Koochi is a new parenting product manufacturer created by Bolton-based children’s brand Cosatto.
Like its sister company, you can tell a Koochi product a mile-off as they are all brightly coloured and eye-catching.
Still growing its collection, Koochi has a total of three pushchairs, three car seats and one travel system in its range.
And it’s the latter, the Litestar travel system that is getting the full MFM tried and tested treatment in this review.
How does the Koochi Litestar work as a travel system?
The first thing you’ll notice about the travel system is that it’s big.
Adding the car seat to the chassis makes it look a bit smaller and neater, but in reality it’s the chassis that is broad, so it’s worth noting you’ll probably have problems getting through narrow aisles.
The upside when using it as a travel system with the car seat attached is that you can lift baby off while she is strapped into the car seat and put her down somewhere safe while you fold the chassis if you need to.
A massive bonus of this and any other travel system is that when baby falls asleep in the car seat, you can lift it off the chassis and bring her into the house without waking her up.
I have never yet managed to relocate my daughter from her pram into the house without her waking up.
What do you think of the Litestar fold?
It folds incredibly easily, but you do need two hands to put it down. Once folded it needs to lie down and doesn’t actually take up any less space floorspace, so for public transport there doesn’t seem a lot of point, but it would enable you to get it into the back of the car.
Tell us more about the size of the buggy.
Size is an issue. I like how sturdy the pram is but it’s not good for shops with narrow aisles or buses with limited buggy space. I wouldn’t use it on public transport in rush hour.
How does it steer?
It steers like a dream! It drives easily one-handed through doors, and can do a full 360 degree turn on the spot – which makes turning around in narrow corridors very easy, no more awkward 3-point turns.
The other day I managed to steer it one-handed in really strong winds whilst wrangling a writhing baby with the other arm.
It was empty, so very light, but I was impressed that it went where I wanted it to and didn’t fly off course. (Baby was in a sling, so quite safe, but seemed determined to wriggle out and needed calming.)
It’s also a nice pram for going on long walks with. It has plenty of storage underneath to cater for every eventuality: raincover, picnic, nappy bag.
And I especially like the zip up chiller compartment underneath which can be used to keep your milk cold on the way home from the shop.
The 50+ UPF fabric hood pulls right down to screen out the blazing summer sun, the raincover is thick, feels durable and goes on easily, and the padded cosy toes is good quality.
Tell us about the wheels.
The wheels are EVA rather than tyres, and I will be interested to see how well those last as my little one (12 weeks old) puts on weight and we pack in the miles.
But on the upside the wheels detach easily and replacements are readily available.
Are there any added extras?
Yes, you get a raincover, cosy toes and bag included with the travel system. The bag attaches to the handle with poppers, but I haven’t yet thought of what to put in it as it’s really quite small.
It’s the sort of size that would just fit a purse and your phone, so it would be more useful if it had a strap as these aren’t things you want to leave hanging on the pram.
It would be nice if it did up with velcro or something as the flap kind of waves in the wind a bit.
What do you think of the Upstart infant car seat?
Like the Litestar pushchair, the Upstart car seat is very easy to use. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into making the design as simple and intuitive as possible.
The ISOFIX base fits into the car easily and quickly. While the seatbelt clips on the chair are simple-to-use and adjusts with one tug on the cord at the front.
But at 4kg it’s not particularly light. And with baby in (and my baby is still under 5kg) you need a bit of muscle to carry it around. But it is easy to add the chassis.
Is the Koochi Litestar travel system value for money?
It’s pretty average and sits in the middle of the travel system market, price-wise.
The buggy alone costs £450 and to use it as a basic travel system, you need to pay an extra £130 for the Upstart car seat, taking the price to £580.
To make the car seat i-Size compatible you’ll need to fork out another £130 for the ISOFIX base, taking the total cost of the travel system to £710.
This price matches other travel systems like the ABC Design Case, Mamas & Papas Armadillo and is the exact same cost of the Cosatto Giggle. But if you shop around you can easily get the buggy for £359.
How is assembling the travel system?
It took just minutes to assemble and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. The pieces go together with a satisfying click and it feels a sturdy as a rock.
My other pram is an elderly Mamas and Papas Pramette which has me sobbing with frustration every time I fold or unfold it.
Made for Mum’s verdict?
It’s a big pram, so if space is at a premium or you need to use the bus during rush hour then you might want something smaller.
But if you want something that stands out from the crowd and you like this bright and cheerful print design then the Koochi Litestar is good value because it is solid and easy to use. While the Upstart car seat is very comfy, easy to adjust and easy to strap.