I’ll admit it. When I was a younger man, I was a bit of a want-to-be racer. My pride-and-joy was a 1988 Nissan Skyline. It was a beast with its straight-six and rear-wheel drive.
Like most young men with dreams of Bathurst glory, I wanted to do all the things to my car. I wanted to make it as close to a racer as possible. The top of my list was RECARO racing seats. In my mind, they were the ultimate addition – sleek, body hugging and pure-bred for the race track.
Of course, also like most young men I had zero dollars to my name. I never realised my dream of racing seats (or of winning the Bathurst 1000, for that matter). I grew older, my priorities changed, the Skyline made its way to the scrapheap and I, somehow, became a reasonably respectable father who drives a terribly sensible car.
Old Feelings Reignited – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller
Imagine how it felt then, when through the haze of mother-centric stroller names appeared a familiar word. A word that reignited long-forgotten associations with freedom, speed, comfort and untouchable quality – RECARO.
The teenage me, that long supressed champion of thrills and enjoyment, jumped for joy somewhere deep inside. He shook me, he begged me to remember that once-upon-a-time I didn’t drive a Camry. He pleaded with me to get my hands on the contraption!
The adult me considered it. The adult me looked closely at the features. He read the specifications and diligently Googled reviews. Much to his surprise, the adult me was impressed. Perhaps this stroller could do the job. Perhaps this stroller could be the one to take to Japan – the one that met the long list of requirements that he had compiled in the most adult of ways:
Lay-flat position for daytime naps, tick!
Single-handed folding function, tick!
Large storage basket, tick!
Large canopy for whole-days in the sun, tick!
The list went on and the boxes continued to be ticked. There was nothing for it, I had to contact RECARO and find out if they really did have the stroller for me…
The Delivery – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller
To say that I was excited on the day of delivery is a massive understatement. I was like a little kid at Christmas. Every few seconds I glanced at the door. I was terrified that if I didn’t answer it within a split-second, the delivery driver would turn around and take my package away. And with it, he would take my opportunity to live vicariously through my child. I may never have realised my dreams, but she sure could (realise my dreams. Not hers).
Finally it arrived. The box was smaller than I had anticipated, but the weight of it told me that it was full of stroller.
For the past 18 months we had used second-hand strollers and buggies, so I had never had the simple pleasure of unboxing a stroller for the first time. The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller comes mostly pre-built. The only parts that are not already attached are the rear wheels, the TWO cup holders (yes, two!) and the tray. Each of these pieces were easy to attach, the wheels and the tray made a satisfying click sound and they were put in place.
Step Back and Admire – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller
The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller is a good-looking ride. I walked around it as if examining a new car in a show room. I resisted the urge to kick the tires. Instead, I set about taking in the details. I admired the sturdy frame, I appreciated the feel of the padded handlebar. Some details stood out fairly quickly, the embroidered RECARO branding on the shoulder straps, for example.
The seat looked large and comfortable. If anything, It has plenty of room for Hannah to grow into. In fact I’m pretty sure she will outgrow the need for a stroller well before she outgrows this stroller.
I gave the stroller a push. It glided forward smoothly and silently. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so used to second-hand strollers, or because the RECARO is so well built, but if felt really easy to push and manoeuvre.
Size and Weight – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller
The size of the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller is just about the maximum with which I would feel comfortable travelling. At just over 10kg, it’s certainly not a light-weight umbrella stroller. However, at that size, it also comes with benefits.
The stroller offers a full recline for out-and-about napping. It has a large canopy for protection against the elements and a huge basket for storage under the seat. The frame is robust and feels as if it will last for many years to come. Nothing about the RECARO stroller is flimsy. The large puncture-proof wheels and suspension system also add to the overall size, as does the very handy removable child’s tray. Did I mention it has two cup holders?
The footprint is a little larger than our current umbrella stroller, but it still doesn’t feel huge. The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller also feels extremely agile and manoeuvrable, so I’m pretty sure it’s size isn’t going to cause us too many issues in Japan. If size/weight is your number one priority, the RECARO Easylife Ultra-Lightweight Stroller looks like a pretty great alternative.
Where the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller really stands out in terms of size is in when it is folded. Unlike our second-hand Bugaboo Chameleon and many other premium buggies, the RECARO folds as a single piece. No more messing about with dismantling pushchairs in the carpark! The fold is really easy, after a little practise, and it can be done one-handed. Once folded, the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller sits neatly in an upright position, which helps it to take up minimal space. That will be very handy in our not-so-large (tiny) Japan accommodation.
First Drive – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller
Like any good boy-racer, I was eager to get the new set of wheels on the road. I must have been grinning wildly as I pulled into the parents with prams spot at the local shopping centre. The stroller was out of the boot and ready to go in mere seconds – a very welcome change from the cumbersome two-piece buggies, to which I had become accustomed.
I strapped Hannah in and off we went.
Also like any good boy-racer, within seconds I had misjudged the proximity of the rear wheel to the curb. The result, a tiny scuff mark. I shook my head in disbelief at my own incompetence, but the irony of the situation was not lost on me and I quickly saw the funny side. I guess it’s a good thing that I never did get the set of alloy wheels for my Skyline that I so desperately craved.
After that first little hiccup, we were once again on our way. This time it was smooth sailing (or should I say rolling). The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller glided smoothly over the bitumen of the carpark. Once on the smooth, tiled floor of the shopping centre, the stroller moved with barely any effort.
Steering was excellent, the stroller turned easily and precisely. It felt well-balanced and easy to manage even in tight spaces.
I’m a fairly tall man, and a pet hate of mine with strollers is not having enough room between my feet and the back of the stroller. This was never a problem with the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller. There seemed to be plenty of room for me to take full strides as I pushed the stroller through the shopping centre. The adjustable handle also helped with providing a comfortable pushing position. I’m confident that I will have no trouble pushing this stroller around the streets of Japan for days on end.
That’s it for now. I’ll be putting the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller through its paces shortly on the streets of Japan, then I’ll let you know all about it in a full review.
Disclosure – The Amazing Baby Company provided Blog Of Dad with this stroller free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.