In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Hamax Outback Review

Cool bike trailer you can stroll and jog with
Best Value Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $649 List | $649 at Amazon
Pros:  Budget-friendly, easy to turn in tight spaces
Cons:  Suspension could be stiffer, no sled attachment
Manufacturer:   Hamax
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLabTeam  ⋅  Mar 23, 2018
  • Share this article:
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 20
  • Ease Of Use - 35% 5
  • Maneuverability - 25% 9
  • Weight/Folded Size - 15% 1
  • Safety - 10% 7
  • Quality - 10% 9
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat - 5% 1

The Skinny

The Hamax Outback is a cool bicycle trailer you can use as a double stroller with using the single front wheel. This stroller has a cozy seating area, larger rear rubber tires, ample storage and adjustable suspension. We like how easy this stroller is to push and turn and it impressed testers with its ability to move in narrow spaces thanks to the single front wheel. We like that this product has versatile uses at such a reasonable price. While it may be heavy and large, making it a poor choice if space is at a premium, it is a good, economical choice for parents who want more from a stroller but don't have the budget for the higher ranking Thule Chariot Cross 2.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

In 1958, Hamax AS began in Norway and become a pioneer for gear dedicated to leisure activities for families. Hamax makes products like bike seats for children, bike trailers, and toboggans. The company focuses on creating safe child transportation while biking or on the snow. The gear is tested to ensure safety and function.

The single front Wheel on the Hamax may look small  but it helps the larger stroller to navigate smaller spaces easily.
The single front Wheel on the Hamax may look small, but it helps the larger stroller to navigate smaller spaces easily.

Performance Comparison


The Hamax Outback (in blue) is a double bike trailer that can be used for strolling and jogging. Its lower overall score compared to the competition prevented it from winning an award in this category.


The information below includes details of the Hamax's performance compared to the competition.

The Hamax is easy enough to use  but it isn't as easy as the Thule Chariot Cross 2.
The Hamax is easy enough to use, but it isn't as easy as the Thule Chariot Cross 2.

Ease of Use


The Hamax's versatility contributes to it being more difficult to use than the competition resulting in only a 5 of 10 for ease of use.


While the Hamax is harder to use than the similar Thule Chariot Cross 2, the almost $400 in savings could make parents more accommodating of what it lacks.

Folding the Hamax requires unlocking the open stroller to initiate the fold.
Folding the Hamax includes operating the two sides simultaneously making it a two-handed operation.

Fold and Unfold


The Hamax fold requires two hands and five steps. It requires a little more strength and the ability to simultaneously operate both sides. The entire process doesn't take long, but the resulting shape is only slightly flatter and more compact than the open stroller.

The single action brakes on the Outback work well and the pedal is easy to access and use.
The single action brakes on the Outback work well and the pedal is easy to access and use.

Brakes


The Hamax has a parking brake that is a plastic pedal on the back of the carrier (above right). We found the brake to be easy to use, and is comfortable even with sandals to operate.

The Hamax has a large rear storage compartment that will hold lots of stuff but it has no internal organization system so it can be harder to access or items once they have shifted during movement.
The Hamax storage bin has a small mesh pocket but for the most part  it isn't the best for keeping things organized.

Storage


The Outback storage bin is on the back and sort of under the seat. The bin zips closed and is fairly large, but it is harder to reach and there are no interior divisions to help keep items organized. The seating area has side mesh pockets for passengers to store snacks and sippy cups. Buckled children can reach the pockets making them more useful than those found on the Thule Chariot Cross 2.

The peek-a-boo window on the Outback is large and easy to see through  but the lack of shade could allow too much sun to enter the pod.
The cover on the Outback helps protect passengers from outside elements from the road and weather.

Sunshade


The Outback has a full cover with a large, top peek-a-boo window (above left). The seating area can be covered in vinyl (above right) for additional protection from the elements and there is also a smaller mesh cover that provides airflow but less protection from rain or water.

The Outback has a nested buckle system that can be convoluted and harder to use.
The Outback has a nested buckle system that can be convoluted and harder to use.

Harness


The Outback has two easy to use 5-point harnesses with a nesting buckle that is somewhat convoluted. The crotch strap is adjustable and shoulder straps can be set in infinite positions for a superior fit for little ones of all sizes.

Seat


The Outback seats tilt somewhat back and sit low inside the pod. The back and bottoms are lightly padded with space for legs in front of the seats. Legroom is limited and the seats don't recline which prevents the creation of a truly comfortable napping space, though we imagine little ones will still fall asleep.

Car Seat Compatibility


The Hamax is not compatible with any infant car seat. Children need to be at least 6 months to ride in the Outback (according to the user manual), but we recommend little ones be 12-18 months and discussing your adventure plans with a pediatrician.

Ease of Setup




The Outback setup took 14:45 minutes from start to finish, taking longer than all of the competition but one. You'll need a screwdriver to complete the assembly and the user manual can be confusing. The instructions are in a different location than the pictures and the instructions seem to depart from how one would logically assemble it.

The Outback single front wheel improves maneuverability over similar products that have side front wheels.
The Outback single front wheel improves maneuverability over similar products that have side front wheels.

Maneuverability


The Hamax is easy to push and turn earning an impressive 9 of 10 in our tests for maneuverability. This performance is somewhat of a surprise as its larger size indicates it might have trouble in small spaces.


The Outback swivel strolling wheel works well on flat surfaces and allows it to make tight turns to navigate smaller spaces.

The front wheel on the Outback attaches quickly and easily with a color-coded indicator that helps you ensure a good connection.
The front wheel on the Outback attaches quickly and easily with a color-coded indicator that helps you ensure a good connection.

Despite its wider footprint, the single front wheel has an advantage over the two side wheels on the Thule Chariot Cross 2 making it better indoors than the more expensive trailer. The Outback rolls over uneven terrain and bumps easily with the help of the large rubber rear tires. If you need to you can tilt it back slightly to traverse things the smaller front wheel may struggle with. The Outback is a little heavy but the wide set wheels disperse the weight well and prevent it from feeling burdensome.

The Hamax has nice suspension and the seating area is nicely padded. While the suspension could be stiffer, we think little ones will be comfortable riding in the Outback.

The Hamax folds flatter  but it is still fairly large and heavy making it a poor choice for those with limited space or difficulty lifting heavy items.
The Hamax folds flatter, but it is still fairly large and heavy making it a poor choice for those with limited space or difficulty lifting heavy items.

Weight and Folded Size


The Hamax is larger and heavier than the competition earning it a 1 of 10 for weight and folded size.


The Outback weighs just over 39 lbs making it the second heaviest to the Baby Trend Navigator Double. The similar Thule Chariot Cross 2 is around 33 lbs making it the better choice if weight is an issue and price is not a factor. The Outback measures 30,090 cubic inches folded, which makes it the largest folded double stroller in this review.

The rear wheels can be quickly removed by a press of a button on the hub to make the folded product smaller for transport.
The rear wheels can be quickly removed by a press of a button on the hub to make the folded product smaller for transport.

Quality


The Hamax earns a 9 of 10 for quality sporting a thoughtful design with attention to detail and materials that appear durable and assembled for the long haul.


The Outback feels sturdy and stable with no flaws in workmanship or manufacturing. The fabrics are thick canvas, heavy vinyl, and mesh covered seats that are not the most comfortable but seem durable. The frame has solid plastic connections, while the spoke wheels have ball bearing hubs and rubber tires. The covers fit the frame nicely and the frame doesn't flex or wobble where it shouldn't.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


Hamax offers a variety of accessories for use with the Outback. While none are necessary, some could make the Hamax easier to use or more comfortable for passengers.
  • The Hamax Outback has a variety of additional accessories depending on your needs and baby's age. This infant insert allows you to use your Hamax outback for strolling only when your baby is too little for jogging or trailing behind a bike.
    Baby Insert for Outback — This padded insert lets you stroll safely with babies under 6 months. The soft insert has a 5-point harness and situates your baby in a way that keeps airways properly open. This addition is intended for young babies and is only for use while strolling. Parents should not use the insert for jogging or when the Hamax is being pulled by a bicycle.
  • The Hamax Outback Raincover
    Hamax Outback Raincover — The rain cover for the Outback is designed for the Hamax and it fits like a glove to provide protection from weather and road water without impeding the view. The cover is quick and easy to use and it folds small for storage in the back side bin when not in use.
  • The Hamax Outback has a variety of additional accessories depending on your needs and baby's age. This two-pack of LED lights help add additional safety to the Outback by making the front and back of the carrier more visible in low light conditions.
    Outback Led light 2 pack — The LED pack provides front and back light attachments for the Outback in white (headlight) and red (taillight). This helps make the Outback more visible at night while negotiating traffic. The lights increase overall safety in any low light conditions but are especially useful if you plan to use the Hamax as a bicycle trailer or for jogging at night.

Other Versions


The Hamax Outback ONE is similar to the Outback but it is a single passenger carrier  not a double.
Hamax also offers an Outback for one called the Hamax Outback ONE with Jog Kit. The Outback One is narrower and lighter than the double seater but retains most of the same features and functionality, albeit on a smaller scale (i.e. less storage space). If space is at a premium or you want to save some money and you know your future only includes one child, then this smaller Outback may be a good choice for you.

Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLabTeam