Hamax Outback Review
Pros: Budget-friendly, easy to turn in tight spaces
Cons: Suspension could be stiffer, no sled attachment
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
In 1958, Hamax AS began in Norway and became 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.
Ease of Use
The Hamax's versatility makes it more difficult to use than the competition.
While the Hamax is harder to use than similar trailers, the significant savings can make you forget what you're missing.
Fold and Unfold
The Hamax fold requires two hands and five steps. It requires a little more strength and the ability to operate both sides simultaneously. The entire process doesn't take long, but the resulting shape is only slightly more compact than the open trailer.
The Hamax has a plastic pedal single action parking brake on the back (above right). The brake is easy to use and is comfortable even when wearing sandals.
The storage bin is on the back and sort of under the seat. The bin zips closed and is relatively large, but it is harder to reach, and there are no dividers for organization. The seating area has side mesh pockets for passengers, and buckled children can reach the pockets making them more useful than those on competing trailers.
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 a smaller mesh cover for airflow.
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 have infinite positions for a superior fit for all sizes.
The seats tilt somewhat back and sit low inside the pod. The back and bottoms are lightly padded with space for legs in front. Legroom is limited, and the seats don't recline which prevents the creation of a genuinely comfortable napping area, 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 six months to ride in the Outback (according to the user manual), but we recommend little ones be 12-18 months and that you discuss 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 they seem to depart from how one would logically assemble it.
The Hamax is easy to push and turn in our tests for maneuverability. This performance is somewhat of a surprise as its larger size indicates it could have trouble in small spaces.
The Outback swivel strolling wheel works well on flat surfaces and allows it to make tight turns in smaller spaces.
Despite its wider footprint, the single front wheel has an advantage over the two side wheels on the competition 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 over. The Outback is a little heavy, but the wide-set wheels disperse the weight well and prevent it from feeling burdensome.
The Hamax has useful suspension, and the seating area has adequate padding. While the suspension could be stiffer, we think little ones will be comfortable riding inside.
Weight and Folded Size
The Hamax is larger and heavier than the competition.
The Outback weighs just over 39 lbs making it the second heaviest. The similar competition 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 most substantial folded stroller in this review.
The Hamax sports 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.
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.
- Baby Insert for Outback — This padded insert lets you stroll/walk 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 walking. Parents should not use the insert for jogging or when the Hamax is being pulled by a bicycle.
- 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 apply and it folds small for storage in the backside bin when not in use.
- Outback Led light 2 pack — The LED pack provides front and back attachment lights 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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLabTeam