Good in parts, the Laika delights and disappoints in equal measure.
Good to look at from the outside and stylish inside.
Large beds are uncomfortable; locker doors don’t open far enough; some storage areas are difficult to access.
In terms of appearance, the Laika offers a dash of Italian style, although we found the effect of the Venezia design upholstery a little too fussy.
As well as the half dinette up front, there’s also a single side-facing seat behind the driver.
The Laika’s table extends straight out rather than towards the driver’s seat so the cab seat is not great to use for dining. The single seat behind the driver is much better placed in that respect so makes a better dinner chair. Other than that, the seat heights are good for the table. Although the use of a separate drop-in extension panel is less convenient than a fold-out section, it means that the table is easier to lift when turned into a bed, than the more heavyweight Rapido effort.
The kitchen is behind the habitation door, on the offside. It sports a large 150-litre fridge freezer at the foot of the offside bed, which leaves room for an oven under the worktop. The integrated Smev oven is next to the door, which makes it easy to access.
The Laika has limited low-level storage due to the intrusion of the gas locker. The overhead lockers are fine, but the wire basket above the cooker is six foot off the ground. The cutlery drawer is enormous though and there is a large locker above the fridge.
The light woodwork in the Laika lends an airy feel to the washroom. The shower feels roomy and luxurious and the Thetford is usable without having to swivel the bowl. There’s a locker beneath the sink that’s big enough for most people’s toiletries.
The Kreos offers generously proportioned single beds, which will swallow a six-foot tall sleeper with ease. The Laika’s biggest downside lies in the combination of the shallow mattresses, along with no boards to separate the mattress from the wall of the ‘van, and no slats underneath. Also, there is no possibility of being able to make up an occasional double bed. All these points imply that the Laika may suffer in terms of comfort and condensation compared to the other ‘vans on test here.
The Laika’s spacious bedroom is due in part to the small under-bed garage, but it has a massive three-quarter length wardrobe between the bed heads. By sliding the bedside unit in and out, the garage space can be made smaller or larger. It provides flexibility but the garage is still not as big as the others. The Kreos has a small storage locker at the front end for the spare Thetford container (supplied) – a boon for wild campers or ralliers.
|Shipping Length||7.12 m|