Recaro are best known for car seats for both adults and children, they are also recognized for combining quality and safety with a ‘race car' look. It was therefore a natural progression for them to evolve into providing the whole package. We have the Recaro Akuna Duo on test, to see if they are driving towards becoming a serious contender in the pushchair market.
The Recaro Akuna was released this year to turn the Recaro Young Profi Plus Infant Safety Carrier into a from birth travel system. This super-safe, popular car seat is one of the only car seats on the market that can grow with the child. Now it has escaped from the car and can be clipped onto the pushchair to be wheeled around town.
Whats in the box?
Cup /bottle holder
- Young Profi plus car seat
Mosquito Net: £9.50
Large changing bag: £39.50, Small change bag: £34.50
Akuna pushchair can be bought separately: £205.00
Akuna Duo – Pushchair, car seat: RRP. £310.00
Akuna Trio – Pushchair, car seat, carrycot: RRP. £395.00
The Akuna comes in two colours, Bellini Punched Cherry/Black and Trendline Bellini Asphalt /Grey.
The first thing you notice about the Recaro Akuna is the fabric. It is a suedette, the sort of fabric you have to touch, but that's coming from a woman's perspective, men notice the colour and the robust sporty look, in fact it is quite a masculine looking pushchair…if that's possible!
It has a great 3D fold, folding both horizontally and vertically at the same time. It is a little cumbersome to perform but folds down to a great size and stands independently in it's own small footprint, fantastic! Anyone with limited space in the house or car should seriously consider the Akuna because it is one of the best folds on the market.
In the frame
Unfolding the Akuna needs a demonstration or some instruction, we had neither so had to figure it out for ourselves and at first I can safely say, we struggled but being doggedly determined we found the key. Pull the grab handles at the same time as pushing downwards on the foot plate and the whole frame expands and snaps ‘open'.
The fold, once again, is a little awkward at first, but worth it when you get there. If you have the seat unit attached, fully recline the backrest and remove the canopy, if you have the car seat mounted, it needs to be removed.
Pull the handle on the back of the frame, (positioned around knee level) upwards, to take the tension out of the frame, then pull the trigger-like grips on the handle shafts while leaning the whole frame on the front wheels and push down slowly. The frame shrinks in front of you and stands on it's front wheels, it's fantastic, well worth overcoming any newbie niggles.
Another brilliant feature about the frame are the handles. We love the punch grips that rotate independantly 360 degrees, you can find the perfect angle to suit you. The front wheels can also rotate 360 degrees but can be locked off for rougher terrain. There are four back wheels (two pairs) that can be firmly halted by the step-on brake; great control but I wouldn't want to release it with my flip-flops on!
The chair unit can be positioned facing you or facing away. The seat is easily released by two little red buttons on either side of the frame. We found it fiddly to put the chair back in, but once it was located properly onto the frame and given a firm push it clicked into place. The leg angle can be adjusted with the sliders on the side of the chair.
The handle on the back of the chair is used to adjust the recline. We love this simple method of angle selection, it seems so common-sense over all the other methods on the market. The Akuna has three positions from really upright to really reclined, the perfect sleeping environment on the soft, padded fabric.
The five point harness is fully adjustable with a standard clip. The bumper bar is easy to release and has knuckles all the way through it to facilitate the pushchair fold without having to remove it. It's covered by a cushioned pad and threads through a crotch strap to give the child an extra barrier from sliding out the pushchair. (Making the ‘T' shape that you find in childrens swings).
The canopy is is beautiful. It is lined with a striped cotton, has a window in the top and a pocket in the back and a peculiarly padded, pop-out sun visor...they have thought of everything! To get the best fold in either direction it needs to be removed and with a slight tug it comes out of it's socket as easily as it went in.
The car seat, the Young Profi plus, snaps onto the frame with the adaptors when the seat unit has been removed; an easy manoeuvre, simply press the two red release buttons on the frame and lift the seat out. The car seat faces you and is positioned high in the frame so that you and your infant can maintain great contact..
The range of adaptors for the Young Profi plus car seat is about to grow so that it is not limited to only fitting just the Akuna, in very near future it will be compatible with the Baby Jogger City Mini/Micro/Elite and Summit XC, the Bugaboo Cameleon and the iCandy Apple.
Recaro are well known for their safety and quality and the Akuna delivers both in the most practical ways. The Akuna would meet all your requirements and more if you are looking to use it around town, or in and out of the car. If you don't have a great deal of room, the Akuna's fold is a winner, a space saving genius.
Adding the footmuff and the raincover to the Duo package would give you a pushchair that will last the distance. It will meet the needs of your newborn, right up to the occasional use from a four year old. There would be no need to buy a second, smaller stroller after having splashed out on the big combination pram/pushchair as the Akuna folds small enough and is light enough to see you all the way through.
It's not a 'fashion' pushchair, it doesn't look comtemporary but it will meet all your practical needs without crippling your purse, plus the accessories are not overpriced afterthoughts. So if you want a 'do-it-all' pushchair, this is the one!
We give the Recaro Akuna Duo
3.5 out of 5 stars
The RRP for the Recaro Akuna Duo is £310.00