The Casualplay Avant 2 in 1 Stroller is claimed to be an ideal pushchair for the city and built to last, but does it live up to the hype?
Casualplay are a family run company based in Barcelona and have been manufacturing award winning car seats and strollers for 40 years. They boast a global reputation for premium quality and cutting edge design, so here we take a close look at the Avant 2 in 1 Stroller and give you our honest opinion in our Casualplay Avant Review.
What's in the Box?Chassis
The RRP of the Avant stroller is £269.99
• Carry cot
Asphalt (black), Scarlet, Apple and Havana
Casualplay Avant Chassis
The Casualplay Avant boasts a lightweight yet robust aluminium frame and lightweight it certainly is at only 8.9kg. The curves to the chassis are quite attractive but at first glance it seems to be made of a lot of plastic. Dig deeper and you will find a well put together quality feel to the product. The chassis design is not necessarily the epitome of design and its style is not for everyone, but as you will see later on, there is a reason for this.
The parking brake is activated by pushing down a lever located beneath the handle to the right hand side. To release the brake, simply depress the red button in front of it and it rapidly flicks off. It's good to see another brand locating their brake lever up on the handle. It is perfect for those that love open toe shoes.
The front double swivel wheels are lockable for added security. Both the front and rear wheels are easy to fit and remove. The tyres are hard plastic and, given that the suspension is pretty firm, a ride along a cobbled street or rougher terrain could prove a little uncomfortable.
Unfortunately the handle is not adjustable, so doesn't cater for differences in height which is a disadvantage.
The basket is huge at 50cm long x 38cm wide and 25cm deep and is easily accessible whichever way the seat is facing. It holds a maximum weight of 2.5kg, which is a bit of a shame as it would certainly be able to hold more than this. The basket doesn't have a cover.
The overall size of the Avant is quite compact and weighs just 8.9kg, making it easier than some for lifting in and out of car boots etc.
Casualplay Avant Review Seat
Casualplay had comfort in mind with their Avant 2 in 1 stroller, providing a memory foam seat insert that is just asking to be sat in! It has the relevant holes for the harness to thread through and fixes down via two Velcro strips on either side. As the Avant seat is relatively well padded without the seat insert, this addition ensures maximum comfort. The padded insert comes in a range of colours so you can contrast with the black of the remainder of the stroller, creating a personalised touch.
I would say though that the Casualplay Avant seat could be a touch on the narrow side for some, measuring 29cm before the memory foam insert is added – although this is cosy for younger tots I do wonder how restricted older children may feel. The seat back measures 47cm and is just usable to this height with the hood back.
The seat can be forward or parent facing and has been designed to fit and change easily. I did find the seat fit a little disappointing though, it was easy enough to do just by dropping into place but there was no satisfying ‘click' to fill you with confidence that it was in situ. In fact I always felt I needed to push each side down a little further once it appeared to be in place as it didn't feel correctly positioned.
It has an adjustable foot rest which is operated by two grey buttons on either side.
The seat has a little movement in it and as you recline the seat it doesn't feel entirely solid and stationary, there is still a little ‘bounce', but it is nothing to be concerned about. There are four recline positions from totally flat to upright. These are achieved by lifting a lever at the back of the seat and moving to the required position – it moves quite smoothly but has an unfortunate audible ‘clunk' into position which isn't ideal if you don't want to disturb a sleeping baby.
The 5 point harness has 3 shoulder height positions adjusted by access at the back of the seat – each shoulder strap has additional chest padding and clicks independently into the clasp so that you don't need to align them up first. The straps across the waist/lap don't feed through from the sides of the seat but instead come out of the backrest almost centrally, in the middle of your child's back and then wrap around and I wonder whether this may feel uncomfortable for some.
The Casualplay Avant hood has an optional viewing window, with a zipped extension and sun visor. It is quite an upright hood and does not provide a huge amount of shade which won't be great on a sunny day but it won't cause little ones to feel claustrophobic either. It is somewhat noisy and clunky to move though.
The bumper bar is not gate opening and has a removable padded cover. It can be removed from the pushchair by depressing tabs beneath and lifting off in one go.
The Raincover is large and easy to fit. It's perhaps more of a rain cape as it actually covers the basket when fitted.
Casualplay Avant Fold
The Avant 2 in 1 Stroller can be folded either with or without the seat in place and with the seat parent or rear facing. Once folded it is freestanding, which for me is always a bonus.
The process of folding took very little effort and you don't need to practice repeatedly to get ‘the knack' of how to fold, it just does!
Firstly you locate a button in the middle of the handle - I say button, it's more of a chunky cube and impossible to miss! – slide this button to the left and depress it. Whilst depressing the button with your right hand, you reach down the left hand side of the chassis and pull the safety catch towards you with your left hand. The handle then pushes forwards and the stroller collapses down quickly and easily.
Unfolding is just as easy, simply release the locking device on the side of the chassis (again impossible to miss as it's bright red) and with a sharp pull up of the handle the stroller opens up quickly and smoothly.
Casualplay Avant Review Conclusion
In conclusion, the Casualplay Avant 2 in 1 is a decent stroller with many positive points in its favour. I do however have issue with some aspects. The seat doesn't feel that it has dropped into place securely and the bouncy movement at each seat recline position are niggling me, oh and the handle is not adjustable.
However, its redeeming features are the memory foam seat insert offering maximum comfort and the fact that folding and unfolding the Avant is an absolute breeze, oh and the basket is huge! It's great to be able to have the seat either front or parent facing and its lightweight chassis makes it less back-breaking than most to lift into the car.
Overall this is a good pushchair if you are looking for something light, from birth and for the urban environment. The Avant is easy to
push, fold and manoeuvre, it is a little expensive but certainly worth a look even if it is just for that massive basket!
We give the Casualplay Avant 3.5 out of 5 stars
Suitability: Birth to 3 years
Unfolded: Width 60cm, Height 100cm, Depth 90cm
Folded: Width 60cm, Height 76cm, Depth 36cm
Seat: Width 27cm, Depth 23cm, Back Height 48cm
Handle Height: 100cm
Basket: Width 34cm, Length 34cm, Depth 25cm
Rear Wheel: 21cm diameter
Front Wheel: 19cm diameter