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Launched in 2013, Koochi is a new pushchair and car seat brand that prides itself on its urban styling.
It is the little sister brand of renowned children’s manufacturer Cosatto and you can certainly see similarities in the functionality of their products, prices and their vibrant graphics and colours.
The Koochi Switch Up is a Group 0+ /1 combination car seat that takes your child from birth to 18kg (about four years old).
It can be fitted rear-facing – advised to at least 9 months (or 13kgs) and then adjusted and turned forward-facing when baby is big enough.
As it’s Universal fit it can be fitted in both rear and forward-facing positions with a three-point seat belt so there’s no need for ISOFIX.
Being the new kid on the block, the Koochi Switch Up is facing some serious competition in the multi-stage car seats range.
From Mothercare’s own Malmo chair (£49.99) to the Cybex Sirona (£375) the Switch Up will have to make a big splash on the market to take on the already established car seat heavyweights.
How does it work in infant Group 0+ mode?
Keeping your child rear- facing as long as possible seems to be recommended for maximum safety but with my first child we had him forward-facing from about 9 months because he was running out of leg room, and it was easier to watch him and interact with him facing forward.
My now two-year-old would certainly not be comfortable rear-facing in this seat. The seat feels perfectly safe and secure facing forward but not as stable as I would like when rear-facing for an infant.
How is installing the Koochi Switch Up?
The instructions are simple and brief but with adequate information to help you fit and adjust the seat.
A picture-based series of instructions folds out at the back of the book so you can read and see these at the same time and multiple language instructions don’t call for a huge manual.
In reality it’s a bit fiddly to fit in the rear-facing position and though there are five points to secure the seat it just doesn’t feel as solid as a 0+ seat that clips into an ISOFIX base.
It is also a bit bulkier so long legged passengers in the front may have their seat right up against the car seat, if it’s fitted in the back.
I’d definitely recommend pulling the seat belt to its maximum length before starting to strap it in.
Particularly for new parents, the ability to remove your sleeping baby from the car undisturbed could be really important.
With this seat you have the seat belt stretched across the side making access to the seat a bit tricky and it would be difficult to completely remove the seat with the child in it without waking him.
Plus, it’s relatively heavy to carry in and out of the car by itself, let alone with a child strapped in.
How does it work in Group 1 mode?
Installing the Koochi Switch Up into the car in the forward-facing position makes it feel much more solid.
It has a loud click so you can be absolutely sure the chair has been secured in position and it is fairly easy to adjust one handed.
It has a 3-stage recline feature which can be used when the chair is in front-facing mode, though you may have to raise your car’s headrest.
The chair doesn’t seem to recline quite to the same degree as some other Group 1 seats but it is perfectly safe and offers a very comfortable sleeping position for my son.
Is it a comfortable chair?
Yes, it is! The seat is well-padded with a cosy head roll, tummy and chest pads and looks really comfortable in both modes.
My two-year-old son said he was very comfortable in the seat and when I asked him which seat he preferred (his current Maxi Cosi or the Koochi Switch Up) he said the Koochi – “just because of the nice green” – not a parent’s first priority but it shows kids do love some fun and colour which this seat certainly delivers.
How easy is it to adjust the seat when in use?
The head roll is easily removed to wash or when your baby gets too big, via three little bits of Velcro.
It must be removed before the child starts facing forward in the seat.
Adjusting the strap height on any toddler seat can be a pain and the task is no less frustrating with this one – it took a good twenty minutes the first time.
I would just say when you’re posting the harness straps back through to reconnect them, put the seat in a fully upright position – the rest is easier with the seat completely reclined.
Saying that, the straps are nicely padded and easy to secure, loosen and tighten with no twisting.
The two sides of the buckle clip together before going into the anchor which I think is a great feature, having occasionally struggled holding the two sides together on other car seat belts.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes and no! While it has a removable cover so you can wash it and get rid of the inevitable sick, getting the seat covers off to clean them is a bit of a faff.
But once off, they wash well and hold their moulded shape nicely. You can also remove just the head roll or padding to clean for a young baby.
What’s in the box?
- Koochi Switch Up chair
- Head roll
- Upper seat liner
- Lower seat liner
- Set of chest pads
- Tummy/ crotch pad
- Safety harness
- Adjustment strap
- Recline handle
- Instruction booklet
- Seat belt clip
Any additional extras
The Koochi Switch Up is a good toddler car seat with the benefit of being able to adjust it for a baby.
I would personally prefer the solidity and convenience of a traditional group 0+ car seat that clips into an ISOFIX base for my baby.
Having said that, it is a fun design and has features we love, particularly the flat buckle and straps, 3-stage recline and comfortable padding.
It’s ideal for a parent who’s looking for value for money in buying a single seat and someone who is unlikely to want to regularly remove the seat from the car.
It would also make a good second seat for a couple with two cars or a grandparent, who may not want to buy two seats.