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Recaro Easylife Review by Best Buggy

The very colourful, tiny folding Recaro Easylife caught our eye at the Harrogate Nursery Fair this year. We love small folding pushchairs which open as a full sized stroller – especially when they have a tall handle. The sporty styling of the Easylife is so unique, and will appeal to both Mums and Dads. The RRP of £189 is very competitive, and will make the Easylife an attractive option in this niche market.

First Impressions

On arrival at BBHQ, our first impression of the Recaro Easylife was the tiny but colourful box. The box was ultralight. At just 5.7kgs the Recaro Easylife is no problem to carry anywhere, or to fling easily into the car boot.

Out of the box came a very neat folded pushchair which had a logical carrying handle. The chassis was a smart matt black with silver logo. All round the Easylife was very pleasing on the eye. A great first impression.

The Easylife comes in six bright colours – Lime, Saphir, Graphite, Sunshine, Pink and Ruby. We have the Ruby colour, and it is worth noting here that we were a little surprised to see that it was a deep orange rather than a bright red.

We had to pop on the front wheels which took seconds. Opening the Easylife is easy, but requires a knack, so I will discuss that later on. We were up and out on our first outing within minutes.
We love straightforward, logical pushchairs where the instruction booklet can be left unread!

Child Comfort

The Recaro Easylife fabrics feel good quality, and are well padded. We love the contrast between the black fabric and the coloured sections and highlights of the seats. There is a nice padded head rest. We believe that the fabrics will remove for washing, but we have not tried.

The Recaro Easylife has a forward facing seat. It is not the tallest we have seen at BBHQ, however, it is plenty tall enough for the average 3 year old. Master BB is 96cms tall, so is exactly this size. Therefore we are testing the Easylife at the top end of its capacity. The centre of Master BB’s head is supported by the seat, so this is good, although if you have an tall child, you may wish to consider the seat height. However there is very good knee to footrest length, which means that an older child can sit very comfortably in the Easylife seat. Master BB sits really well in the seat.

A big positive for the Easylife is that unlike a similar rival pushchair, the seat can be pulled very upright, and it is then fixed in position. The child can not move it once it is upright. This offers good support. Some of the photos above, show that Master BB is able to look around the sides of the stroller. We love that the Easylife is unfussy. It has a neat frame, and the hood is able to be pushed well out of the way when not required.

The Recaro Easylife is suitable from six months of age. There is a partial recline on the Recaro Easylife which is plenty for an older baby or toddler who wishes to sleep. The top of the seat is enclosed by the hood fabric which is great for a sleeping child.
There are two mesh ventilation panels on either side of the seat which are revealed when the seat is reclined. We would prefer these had been solid fabric panels, because although they are no problem now in summer, they will allow bitter winds to cool a baby in the winter months. A footmuff may resolve this, but we do not know how easily the Easylife will fold with a footmuff in place. On a pushchair such as this, we would usually use a stay put blanket, which would not cover the mesh. We feel that there is already plenty of air flow for a child above them, and if necessary the hood fabric could be undone slightly, behind or at the side of the child, rather than having mesh in the seat.

We liked the squeeze button toggle recline – squeeze and pull with one hand, and the seat drops down. The recline can be stopped at any degree from upright to the maximum. Sitting a child up from a reclined position does require two hands and a push, but it is easy enough to do.

We especially like the quirky, sporty, coloured stripes on just one side of the good solid, footrest. A small detail – but it adds interest. However, one of our stripes has fallen off after only a relatively short period of time which is disappointing, especially when we care for our pushchairs.

Hood, Harness & Basket

The Recaro Easylife hood is a good size for a small pushchair although we would have preferred the hood to come down a little lower at the front, especially as this is a pushchair which is likely to be taken to sunny climes on holiday. The fabric looks like cotton canvas but it is quite thin. The hood fits very snuggly around the seat when reclined, and is held in place with press studs and velcro tabs on the back of the seat. Master BB couldn’t easily push the hood back which was great for us!
It is worth noting that a raincover is not included with the Easylife, and will cost an additional £20.

The harness is great! It is very easy to do up – the shoulder and the waist straps are together and they plug into a small buckle. The buckle has one central button to open it. Master BB was unable to press this open.

We do have a big issue with the height of the shoulder straps. There is only one fixed height setting, and one height setting does not fit a range of children from 6 months to 3 years old.
The harness straps are way too low for Master BB. The Easylife shoulder harness starts beneath the level of Master BB’s armpit – so it is not just a little low – but very low. As a result, Master BB could easily lean right out of the harness. We have added the Belt Up strap to keep him safer during our testing, but it was not really a solution because low harness straps can easily be shrugged off a shoulder.
Conversely, when we tried a 7 month old in the seat, the harness height was too high, and the harness did not fit at all on the child. Thus they were not securely fastened.
We would like Recaro to address this issue, by offering adjustable harness height settings.

The Recaro Easylife basket is a good size for such a small folding pushchair. We like the colour coded stripe down the side. However, the basket needs careful packing because, as our photos show, the back of the basket is fairly low and our books slid out. We had to restack it with something at the rear to prevent everything else falling out! We later managed to get my good sized handbag, DD’s small rucksack and her handbag all in the basket at once – no mean feat! Access to the basket is from the rear for large items. The mesh fabric sides meant that it was easy to slide smaller items in and out through the sides.

Wheels, Brake, Handlebar & Handling

The Easylife has four sets of double wheels. This gives it a very ‘buggy’ like feeling to push. It can feel a little rattly on some surfaces – not noisy -  simply due to having so many wheels! There is all round suspension, and the wheels also have some ‘give’ to them which is good to see. The front wheels can be locked for going over rough terrain or unlocked for easy steering.
The Easylife has been easy to push and to manoeuvre even one handed. We tested it back to back with a similar pushchair with single wheels, and there was, no difference in performance or push – they just felt a bit different due to the wheels.
However, there is a small amount of flex in the Easylife frame, especially when cornering. This seemed to be made worse when we pushed one handed. The nearer to the centre of the handlebar we put our hand, the more flex there was. With our hand firmly on the sponge part of the handlebar, the flex was not noticeable, although it is there. For this reason, we would probably not recommend the Easylife as a ‘full time’ pushchair.

The handlebar itself is tall. This is one of the huge advantages of the Easylife over most of it’s small folding competitors. There are very few small folding pushchairs which have a good handle height. I am 5ft 6ins and the Easylife is perfect, verging a little tall for me. This is a massive plus for the Easylife.
The handle bar is split into three parts – the middle section has the fold mechanism embedded in it. The two curved sections at either side are covered in squashy foam. However the foam on one side has slipped slightly, and we keep having to push it back into position. The handle is comfortable to hold.

The brakes are odd, and we have struggled to get to grips with them. There is a small black brake pedal at the rear of both wheels. These pedals can very easily be flicked up or down, in order to apply, or release them. It is possible to flick the wrong pedal and for one side of the pushchair brake to be released but the other side to remain on. Then when you try to work out which side to flick to resolve this, you may find that the brake is now stuck until you reapply the brake, and then release both sides together!! It probably sounds worse than it is, but it is confusing and frustrating when you are ready to go, but accidentally press the wrong side! The Easylife would benefit from some colour coding to make it clear which pedal puts the brake is on, and which pedal releases the brake, and for each side to only do the on, or the off, action.


The one handed, simple, tiny fold is the crowning glory of the Recaro Easylife. This is what this pushchair excels at.
Folding the pushchair is easy. There is a ‘barrel’ on the handlebar with a release catch. Simply slide the grey sliding release catch across to the left, and then rotate the ‘barrel’ down. The chassis releases and starts to fold. Follow through by pushing the handlebar forwards until the Easylife is fully folded. Usually we have to push down on each side to get the chassis to lock. At first, we were a little upset that the fold is to the floor which caused the front of the black chassis to get scratched, but as time went on, we worked out that it was possible to fold the Easylife, so that it folds in a semi upright position which protects the frame.

The Easylife will freestand on its rear wheels which is brilliant for storage. The main handlebar is left uppermost and serves as a carrying handle. The Easylife should be great for anyone who uses public transport. It is possible fold the buggy with a baby under one arm, and the handle is ready then to be grasped for carrying the pushchair onto a bus or train.

The opening is a little more tricky. It is absolutely possible to open the Easylife one handed if you have the knack. Stand behind the hood side of the pushchair; slide the grey slider button to the right; rotate the barrel away from you, and the pushchair releases. This is where it gets a bit tricky. Most of the time, I can get the Easylife open and stood on 4 wheels by flicking it really hard, but really fast. However, if I don’t quite flick hard or fast enough, the pushchair 80% opens, but the lower front joint doesn’t click in as you think it should. Putting your foot on the back bar doesn’t help either!
I happened to be visiting the new Direct2Mum showroom last week, and they spotted us with the Easylife. They have a showroom model, so I asked if they had any tips for opening it successfully. They showed me how to flick the handle backwards slightly to make the front come out. I still can’t manage it one handed, but I can with two. It is definitely a fold which needs practice.

In Conclusion

Looking at the Recaro Easylife objectively – it is a stylish, amazing, small, neat pushchair, with a good sized seat and leg length. It has a decent basket and a one handed freestanding fold. It also has a high handle. We love the Easylife for all these things, and if you are looking for a tiny folding pushchair for a specific purpose e.g. a small car boot; for public transport; to carry upstairs or for travelling with; then the Easylife will be great. Best of all, the Easylife comes at a very affordable price.

However, we have a number of minor issues with the Easylife such as the chassis movement; the way the chassis doesn’t always open first time (maybe our fault); the mesh down the side of the seat; and the stripe which fell off the footplate. There is also the bigger issue for us of the low shoulder harness height which could have safety implications. Due to the nature of these issues we have given the Recaro Easylife four Best Buggy gold stars; but we would love to have given it more.

On balance though, we love the Easylife, and it fills a niche in the market for a tiny folding, high handled, light pushchair at a good price.

We have been told that Recaro are implementing colour coding on the brakes – one will be red and one will be green.
Our comments about the harness have been fed back to Head Office.

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