Quick Summary: Koochi have definitely succeeded in creating a bold, masculine statement of a pushchair in the Litestar, with its stand-out fabric designs.
- Long lie-flat seat
- Comes with lots of accessories
- Large basket with zipped compartment
- Reflectors on the chassis
Whats not so good?
- Fiddly harness
- Bright design might not be for all tastes
- Seat doesn't sit up right
Bold is the first word that springs to mind when you first uncover the stand-out Koochi Litestar from its bursting at the seams box. Koochi, the self-proclaimed adventurous company, have made it clear that image is key for this urban inspired pushchair - whilst still promising it has enough substance and quality about it to withstand the 4 year guarantee it boasts.
The Litestar has been created to make a statement. The chassis is broad, measuring 63cm wide, but if colour is your thing, it is pleasing to the eye, with its light frame being finished in satin-like paint work and added accents of eye catching masculine colour that complement the fabric designs of the seat unit.
The wheels are made from an EVA puncture resistant material and the front wheels have the option of being locked off. Although the chance of puncture is removed with these wheels, they do tend to pick up small debris and gravel from the pavement easily leaving holes and dimples in the wheels quite quickly.
The Litestar most definitely lives up to its name when it comes to the push without its occupant sat in the seat – it is as light as a feather and manoeuvres easily. You can turn it on a sixpence, even when pushing one-hand. It did however feel heavier than expected to push when laden with baby and popping up and down curbs was a task that really required some practice! The push of the Litestar resembles the push of a smaller stroller rather than that of a larger pram/ travel system but it does feature all-round suspension which means that most urban lumps and bumps are absorbed giving baby a slightly smoother ride.
Upon first glance, the handle on the Litestar took us aback slightly. It seems rather large and the shape may not be to everyone's liking. There are 2 adjustable positions achieved by pushing the buttons in on either side of the handlebar hinges. At 5ft 7, the tester used the highest of the settings comfortably.
The brake on the Litestar is super for parents living a busy, stop/start lifestyle. It is operated by one simple to use, easy to see, push on – flick off foot pedal. The chassis also features fabulous reflectors to make sure that the pushchair is seen and stays safe in the city – a great feature!
The shopping basket is definitely something to shout about in the case of the Litestar travel system. It's not only roomy but it has high sides meaning your shopping can be piled high and is easily accessible from all angles. Another great feature of the shopping basket is the large and padded, zippable compartment which can be used to store all manner of important goodies.
The seat on the Litestar has certainly been created to make a statement, even though the striking urban and masculine designs on the hood may not be to everyone's tastes. Suitable from newborn all the way up to 15kg the seat can change from parent to world facing by pressing the two buttons on the side of the chassis – this wasn't always easy though and did sometimes need a bit of a wiggle.
From the top to the end of the footrest, the seat unit it is one of the longest on the market, meaning baby can comfortably lie flat from newborn into their toddler years. We tested the pushchair with an 11 month old and a 22 month old and both children laid flat in the pushchair with ease. The shallower depth of the seat did mean that the 22 month old didn't sit quite so comfortably as the smaller baby.
The seat comes with a large, patterned, foam liner and a fleece lined apron to cover baby's legs. The 5 point adjustable harness is comfily padded with yet more colour coordinated covers. The harness buckle is slightly fiddly to secure with the need to slot each strap in independently but the release is simple with a single push-button release.
The recline on the Litestar didn't quite have me jumping for joy the way the shopping basket did. The seat is operated by a simple strap recline system which lays beautifully flat however does not sit up anywhere near straight enough for your average inquisitive little pushchair passenger – this is fine for newborns but once your child is 6 months old + this becomes a bit frustrating. The other niggle with the seat recline is that when the seat is put in its most upright position, the pushchair fabrics gather right behind babies head meaning they are unable to rest their head on the seat – this annoyed the test passenger slightly!
The seat unit features a fully pivoting and rotating bumper bar. When the bumper bar is removed altogether, clever Koochi have provided plugs to pop over the holes where the bumper bar would usually click in, so that the little people can't poke their fingers into unwanted holes!
The hood of the Litestar is perhaps the most eye-catching design feature of the pushchair, featuring its brave urban prints and colours matching with the pushchair chassis. It gives adequate coverage and features a visor and a zipped hood extension. The peek-a-boo window is handy to check on baby. In the back of the hood there is a handy storage pouch to keep small nick-nacks close at hand.
The fold on the Litestar will please parents who are looking for a full sized travel system when space is a premium. Once the seat unit is removed, the chassis folds in a clever and compact manner. The folding of the chassis happens in two stages – firstly, pop the handlebar into its lowest/fold position and then secondly (the best and easiest bit!), push down with your foot on the fold lever which is conveniently positioned by the right rear wheel of the pushchair. Each section is numbered so that you know what to do next. The chassis pops down effortlessly and makes a very neat parcel for a full sized pushchair. There is an automatic frame lock on the chassis for ease of carrying and storage. To unfold the pushchair the process is simply reversed.
The Litestar boasts the ability to provide a flat surface for newborns to lie on without the need for a carrycot and is also compatible with Koochi's 0+ car seat, the Upstart. Koochi provide the Upstart car seat adapters in the box with the Litestar as well as range of other accessories. A safety tether to attach to the handlebar, crotch and belly pads to make the harness more comfortable for baby to wear, a fleece lined apron and a small kit bag/change bag, which is big enough to store a few necessities and attaches to the handlebar. The rain cover of the Litestar is also included in the box and is easy enough to use. It features a handy zip access which is great for rainy days out in the busy city.
Koochi have definitely succeeded in creating a bold, masculine statement of a pushchair in the Litestar, with its stand-out fabric designs.
Its compact fold will definitely be a winner for parents experiencing the great space-take over that a new baby brings along and the easy brake pedal is also a positive feature. Koochi have taken a leaf out of their relatives at Cosatto and packed lots of free, coordinating accessories into the box to help keep the cost down for parents.
The shallow seat and lack of an upright position with the strap recline system may mean that your baby grows out of the Litestar sooner than you imagined and the art of getting the Litestar up and down those city curbs will definitely take some muscle power and practice. The fiddly harness straps are also frustrating for parents in a hurry or those battling with a defiant little passenger.
But, if you want something that makes your child's ride stand out from the crowd and are after a pushchair that includes everything you could need, then the Koochi Litestar is great value for money and worth a look.