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Recaro Lexa Elite: Rearward-facing (compact) strollers & why are travel stroller so in trend?

Peter • 15 Sep 2023

Dear Eli,

1. Today we tried a Lexa Elite, but even when trying it empty on a smooth apartment floor, it made these squeaky, crackling sounds when steering to the left or right. Do you think this unit was defective and should move silently on smooth surfaces, or is this normal for lightweight models with small wheels? When we tried several buggy models in a retail store, we did not notice anything like this.

2. We were interested in the Lexa Elite because it can be folded in the rear-facing position, which may save some time. How substantial do you think are these time savings really? Is it maybe not worth focusing on?

3. Which rear-facing models would you recommend in general?

4. Why are so many people interested in airplane cabin dimensions? Our understanding is that you can check in any large-size stroller for free, and on board of the airplane, you cannot use it anyway, so why bother about the dimensions? Just out of fear of it being damaged in the luggage compartment of the plane? Or is there another reason?

5. Isn‘t there any model that combines a more or less lightweight design (up to 9kg) with all-terrain wheels and decent durability? It seems that all travel models try to save weight on the wheels, but that does seem like a foul compromise to me. Why skimp on that essential part?

Eli • 15 Sep 2023

Hey, Peter,

1. It is normal for such small wheels to be a bit rattly and/or squeaky. The model that you tired was tried out by many parents in the store so I guess it was a bit worse but yea, you can't expect smooth ride, especially on bumps, with such a small sized stroller.

2. I would probably not prioritize that, no. Especially with travel strollers, a rear.facing sat means much less space in the seat and more movable parts - will get loose over time.

3. I would go for larger models IF I would need a rear-facing one. I loved the Cybex Mios from those compact ones, it is sturdy, roomier, and very nice to push. Still, it is a bit larger than the Lexa Elite.

4. Because of marketing. I don't think most people need a cabin-sized model. You can check in or take as "baby's luggage" a stroller if needed, but you do need cabin luggage, usually, too, and by that I don't mean a stroller - it does "feel" practical not to check in a stroller, but it is by no means necessary. It's pretty much a trend, but yeah, some parents may have referred it because it sometimes happens that when checked in, the strollers become scratched (or, rarely, worse).

5. In all honesty, no. Less than 9kg, even if they could put a larger wheels on such a frame, will mean the stroller will get loose, squeaky, rattly, or else - you need some substance = weight for it to be really sturdy, stable, to have suspension, etc. Travel strollers need to be small and for that, less suspension, smaller wheels, are essential. There are some tries for a bit bigger wheels ones (Emmaljunga Kite, for example, or the Cybex Eezy S+²), but still, these are NOT all-terrain at all. If you need an everyday stroller and don't want to compromise on comfort (of the ride, space for the kid, rattliness...) - you need a bit larger stroller. You will in any case feel the smaller size.

Your -very berry- Eli.

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