I was very lucky to receive a Koochi Speedstar Stroller ahead of its UK launch for review and I was excited, in a manly way, to see how it would differ to the buggy we currently have.
The Speedstar is suitable from birth up to 15kg (approx. 3 years) and is available in Spectrum Red (the one we were sent), Primary Yellow and Mix Magenta. All three colours are extremely bright and eye catching, and you also get a matching changing bag with changing mat, a rain cover and fleece lined Cosy Toes too. To put the Speedstar through its paces, we took it for our two day stay at Alton Towers and across the variety of terrain they have ‘up North’.
The Speedstar comes with everything in one (fairly small) box, all cleverly packed in place. I think that you should be able to assemble a stroller with the minimum of fuss and thankfully, the Speedstar stroller is simple to put together. You pop the front wheels on, put the hood on, put the drinks holder on (genius!) and then it’s ready to rock and roll. You can obviously put the Cosy Toes on, but we decided to leave it off as the weather has been okay.
Normally we drive a Maclaren Triumph 2013 edition, but we left this at home to give the Koochi Speedstar a full and fair test. We gave J a little try in it and he seemed to like it; the next job was to load it in the car and take it away with us.
Once folded up, especially without the Cosy Toes, it goes down very compactly. It is longer than the Triumph and it was a bit of a squeeze getting it to sit across the boot in front of the luggage for any stops at the services. It goes in well at the back section of the boot, but I didn’t want it stuffed under all the bags!
The buggy opens up and is ready to use quickly – essential. The foot rest part always starts in the ‘up’ position, so you have to press the buttons either side of it to fold it down (or not, if you want it up). Strapping J in was a bit of a chore – it has the standard five point harness as you’d expect, but the shoulder strap has to hook into the waist strap and THEN click into the middle strap (repeat for the other side). Koochi have told me the buckle was designed specifically this way as an additional safety feature. It prevents twisting and also means that the shoulder strap cannot be detached from the waist strap whilst in use. It does make undoing it slightly quicker as it all comes apart easily. Another bug bear of the harness are the padded parts; whilst they look lovely, they are a royal pain as they tend to slip off the straps. So as well as taking your time clicking the child in, you find yourself threading them back onto the strap too, which is a bit frustrating with a fidgety toddler.
After the little one is secure, it’s time to get moving! We took the Speedstar across all manner of terrain at Alton Towers: tarmac, concrete, gravel, grass and mud. It handled them all fairly well. I think it was slightly better across the ‘rougher’ terrain than my Triumph as the wheels are that tiny bit larger. An area it was slightly lacking in compared to the Maclaren was the overall manoeuvrability of it. It didn’t feel as ‘nippy’ around the corners or as easy to push with one hand. It’s possibly because it’s a few more kilograms heavier than we’re used to. G (10) likes to help us with the buggy pushing, and she noted “It’s harder than the old buggy!” Despite this, compared to the first travel system we had when J was born, it’s like a hot knife through butter!
Something that I really like about the Speedstar is the adjustment of it – you can make it lie completely flat, even the footrest, which J really loved. It’s VERY rare for him to sleep in a buggy; even when he’s shattered he’ll just scream and scream, refusing to sleep. Amazingly with the buggy lying flat, and a makeshift cover using my hoody, he actually slept for nearly an hour! I think buggies should come with a blackout/mesh cover AND a rain cover.
It was great having the cup holder on the buggy frame too, it’s something missing from most strollers and I love it. Also the storage basket underneath is large and easy to access, something that isn’t always possible on all strollers. I also found the handles to be nice and comfortable (even after a LOT of pushing) and at a good height for an average frame. One negative to the design of the Speedstar is the seat. It seems a little shallow so with the foot rest right down, J looked a little ‘perched on the edge’.
All in all I’ve been fairly happy with the Koochi Speedstar. Whilst the harness is a bit fiddly and the pads are very frustrating, it’s a decent stroller that packs a fair load of extras for a relatively low price tag. The design is funky and eye catching with the Spectrum Red and Primary Yellow options being fairly unisex, but it would be nice to see a blue/black variant to the line-up.
It’s great that you get the rain cover, Cosy Toes and Changing Bag and Mat included in the £140 RRP. The rain cover is nice and quick to put on and the Cosy Toes is fantastic and will keep little dude warm in the coming months. The Changing Bag and Mat is a nice touch, although the bag fairly basic and a little on the small side. We had just enough room for J’s bits and bobs while we were out and about and the changing mat was also quite small for a toddler in the 75th percentile for height!
I think if the few design niggles were ironed out this would definitely be an amazing stroller with some fantastic extras. As it stands though, it’s an above average stroller with some fantastic extras.
Disclosure – Koochi have given me this stroller to review. All words and opinions are my own.
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