Nursery manufacturer Casualplay specialises in capturing concepts inspired from nature and transforming them into pushchair designs. Its most recent release, the Kudu4 is recognised as the most city-inspired pushchair in its collection for its uniquely simple and clean design and lightweight aluminium frame.
The Spanish company has over 40 years experience in developing baby products and currently sells over 11 different kinds of child seats. Recently branching out into the world of buggies with four new pushchairs, the Kudu 4 is easily the jewel in Casualplay’s crown.
The name ‘Kudu’ was derived from an endangered African antelope known for its grace and stripped hide, hence the slick and organic smooth lines on the buggy. Picking up many awards since its launch a few short years ago, it has scooped the Banta Awards 2013, Kind & Jugend Innovation Award 2012 and the Junior Design Awards 2013.
Rivalling other versatile, lightweight buggies in its class like the Mountain Buggy Nano, Britax B-Agile and Quinny Buzz Xtra, the Kudu 4 is suitable from birth, can be used both parent and world facing and is travel system compatible.
What’s in the box?
- Rain cover
- Instruction manual
Any additional extras?
- Metropol carrycot – £129.99
- Footmuff – £39.99
- Parasol – £30.00
- Rain ball – £39.99
I can see why it has won several awards for its design and technology as the shape & style was one of the first things I noticed and great for those interested in aesthetics.
Aside from the appearance of the Kudu 4, I had previously read up on the buggy and all its features, which all seemed like pros to me. But what interested me the most was the four reclining front & back positions and I was eager to try it out.
Is it easy to assemble?
All in all it was rather simple to put the pushchair together. At first I was a bit confused as to where the small wheels were, but after searching the box a couple of times I realised they were stowed inside the buggy.
After conquering that trial, I turned back to the instructions, which were straightforward and putting it together didn’t take longer than 30-45 minutes to get up and running.
Is it comfortable?
My five-month-old son loves to sit up when he’s fully alert and when he is sleeping he can lie completely flat. And because he finds it so comfortable, he hardly fidgets and is asleep, soundly might I add, for longer periods in comparison to the last Graco buggy we had.
How is the Kudu 4 when out and about?
Possibly my favourite feature about the buggy is the sturdiness of the wheels, which are pneumatic. It consists of an outer tyre and inner EVA foam, which makes it drive smoothly no matter the road surface.
So whether I am pushing it over grass or on pavements, it’s a nice ride. One of my biggest issues with my last buggy is the fact it didn’t do well on bad surfaces or bumps on the road yet with the Kudu4, I can hardly feel the bumps.
The wheels are able to turn corners swiftly without too much handling effort as each wheel has independent suspension and the front wheels swivel 360 degrees. This has its perks such as when I’m running around crowds in a busy shopping centre.
Tell us about the breaks.
There are front breaks and a back break. Once the back break is on, it is stable enough to keep the buggy from rolling or moving and reassuring for trips using London transport.
Does having rear and forward-facing seating make a difference?
It really does, I think its amazing! I can have him facing me so I can keep an eye on him or facing outwards if I feel like being more adventurous.
Is it a true lightweight buggy?
Not really, I don’t find the Kudu4 as light as is stated, so when I lift the buggy slightly to go over the pavement, it requires a bit of extra strength.
What do you think of the handlebar?
Fantastic! It is adjustable with one click of a button, which is useful for when my 6’2 husband uses it. It’s also handy for when the taller members of my family take my son out.
Most of my family members are significantly taller than me and so the adjustable handlebar makes taking him out an easier experience without hurting their back.
Tell us about the hood and the raincover.
The hood is really handy, it has a zip so I can extend the hood in the case of covering his face completely from the sun for example.
While the rain cover is very straightforward to attach which makes life easier if in a rush and the weather makes a change for the worst. Noticeably the Kudu4’s rain cover looks a lot more fitted and attractive compared to the other rain covers I have seen in the past which look scrunched up and annoying to attach.
How is folding the Kudu4?
It wasn’t as easy as advertised. It takes a bit more effort than just a one-click fold down. My husband and I have both attempted it and it doesn’t get any easier. It is also worth mentioning that each time I put it down I got a dirty leg because of the awkward fold.
As it is not the lightest product, after fiddling around to fold it down, lifting it to put into the boot of the car can leave you feeling slightly exasperated.
Saying that, once folded the Kudu 4 is quite compact (although the hood can get in the way so it is better to detach the hood before folding it) and very easy to store. It also fits in the car with plenty of room left.
What about the basket?
It’s terrible! There is such a small storage compartment at the bottom of the buggy. The baby bag doesn’t fit in it and my handbag barely fits. It is only handy if you don’t need to carry too much.
The space issue wouldn’t be so bad if I could have put the baby bag around the handle bars but it doesn’t fit and therefore it keeps hitting the wheels and I keep hitting the bag as I am walking; absolute nuisance.
The only solution would be to carry the baby bag around my shoulder but we carry everything in ours and it is way too heavy to put on my shoulder.
Is the Kudu 4 travel system compatible?
Yes, with the Sono car seat.
What do you think of the Sono car seat?
The Group 0+ infant chair is neat looking and easy to attach to the buggy and feels really secure when in the car. My last Graco car seat was quite basic and couldn’t recline at all, but the Sono has three recline levels and can lie flat, which is amazing because I drive a lot and it allows me to keep my young son in the best resting position possible.
It also has a lot of padding making it snug which in turn makes him happy. Saying that, although it says it can handle up to 15kg, my son is 5 months and his legs are too long for it.
How is installing the Sono?
It was a bit confusing fitting the Sono in the car at first, but after watching the video and fiddling with it for 10 minutes my husband and I worked it out.
While I like the recline, security and comfort features of the chair, it’s biggest downside is the size of the seat. Once in the car I noticed it takes up a lot of space.
Anyone sitting in the passenger seat will have to move right forward and sacrifice leg space to give the Sono enough room in the back.
Who would you recommend this buggy to?
I think it would be ideal for parents with new babies but would suggest the use of either the Sono car seat or carrycot attachment as part of the package.
And as there is hardly any storage, would also suit family that prefers carrying their bags as they stroll.
Is the product value for money?
I think it is a bit pricey at £529 as the storage department is too small making it difficult to get around and I found it quite a struggle to fold the buggy down.
Saying that, most accessories are included, (except the umbrella and the carry cot sold separately) so it would be good for those interested in a stylish and easy-to-push pram.
Made for mums verdict:
Conclusively, I think the Kudu4 is a beautifully designed buggy with great wheels ensuring a very smooth riding experience. It is comfortable for my son and also for me when pushing.
Sadly, the downside is the small storage space that can be more annoying than it is worth.