In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Hamax Outback with Jogger Kit Review

Multi-use option for adventurous families on a budget
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $979 List | $849 at Amazon
Pros:  Versatile, more affordable than similar multi-sport capable joggers
Cons:  Heavy, no sled capability, lacks tracking, slippy handbrake, expensive
Manufacturer:   Hamax
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Sep 30, 2019
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 17
  • Run-ability - 35% 7
  • Ease Of Use - 25% 6
  • Maneuverability - 20% 6
  • Quality - 10% 9
  • Weight/Folded Size - 10% 2

The Skinny

The Hamax Outback child carrier with jogging kit is a cool bike trailer that can be used for strolling or jogging as well as being pulled behind a bike. With the optional accessories, this carrier is a versatile adventure wagon that will keep you outside no matter what the terrain or weather. The Outback is a high-quality product that seats two and has a budget-friendly price considering the materials, features, and design. We really like the Hamax and it is less expensive and similar enough to other trailer style products that we think you'll love what it has to offer for the price. If you don't want to use it as a sled and you don't mind the heavier weight, we think the Hamax is a good value considering what you get.
Update
This review now links to the new updated Outback of 2020. We've purchased this new Outback and are currently testing it side-by-side with the competition. The new version is similar to the old, so the information in this review should give you a good idea of how the new Outback performs.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Hamax AS, of Norway, began in 1958 and has become a pioneer in products and gear that promote leisure activities for families with children. They offer equipment like a child bike seat, bicycle trailer, and toboggan with a focus on the safe transportation of children biking or on snow. All of their products are thoroughly tested to ensure that safety and functionality are maintained at all times. Hamax is a part of the HTS Group, which also owns BeSafe, Voksi, Etto, Swisseye, and Packline.

Performance Comparison


The Hamax Outback with Jogger Kit is a two-seater bike trailer you can stroll and jog with if you have the right accessories.
The Hamax Outback with Jogger Kit is a two-seater bike trailer you can stroll and jog with if you have the right accessories.

Run-ability


The Hamax has surprisingly better than average run-ability using the jogger kit attached (never jog with the strolling wheel).


The Hamax has a fixed front wheel without adjustable tracking, though our product ran straight with no issues staying on course. This stroller has an adjustable handlebar covered in dense foam, though it can still feel short for taller users. The Outback has an impressive suspension system that benefits both the passenger and the pusher reducing fatigue while running. Despite being heavier than much of the competition, the Hamax has limited rolling resistance and is easy to push and keep at speed. Tipping to turn is also not a problem even with a larger passenger and testers remarked it was easier than they thought it would be.

While the Outback may be more difficult to use  the savings over similar bike trailer may make it easy to forget.
While the Outback may be more difficult to use, the savings over similar bike trailer may make it easy to forget.

Ease of Use


The Hamax earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use.


The Outback is more challenging to use than competing trailers, but for some parents, the price savings might be worth the additional effort.

To initiate the fold on the Hamax you first start by rotating the grey handle to release the lock on the stroller.
The Hamax folding process is easy but involved and includes pressing the grey release button while you pull the strap simultaneously on both sides.

Fold and Unfold


The Hamax has more than five steps in the folding process that includes twisting the fold lock, pressing the dual-sided release buttons and pulling up on the side loops while pushing down and folding the stroller into a flatter more compact shape. It isn't difficult, but it requires two hands and takes longer than most.

The handbrake on the Hamax is easy to use and works well but the one we tested kept slipping forward no matter how much we tightened it.
The plastic pedal on the Hamax is easy to access and it securely clunks into place so you know it is set.

Brakes


The Hamax has a deacceleration handbrake (above left) that works well, but ours kept slipping around on the handlebar no matter how much we tightened it. A rear pedal found operates the parking brake (above right); the pedal is easy to set and release and is foot-friendly.

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 Hamax has rear storage in a zippered compartment on the back of the carrier. The bin is large with lots of room, though it isn't easy to get to and there are no pockets for organization, everything inside will float around. The passenger has mesh side pockets for storing snacks and toys. The pockets are in an accessible position, so buckled children can still reach them, something not true of the competition.

The Hamax has a very large peek-a-boo window that is slightly tinted but may still let in more light than little ones will want.
The Hamax has a cover that can protect little ones from the elements.

Sunshade


The Hamax sunshade is similar to the Thule Chariot Cross2 with a full cover and large peek-a-boo window (above left) over the passengers. The entire pod can be enclosed in vinyl (above right) to block out the elements completely, or the mesh cover can be lowered alone for additional airflow. The Hamax also has ventilation mesh behind the seats and mesh panels in the trunk.

The Hamax has a 5-point harness in each seat and it is easy to adjust and use.
The Hamax has a 5-point harness in each seat and it is easy to adjust and use.

Harness


The Outback seats have 5-point harnesses that are easy to use. The buckles are a nesting buckle similar to the one found on the Thule Chariot Cross 2 with an adjustable crotch strap and shoulder straps that have infinite adjustment positions.

With room for two  the Hamax has seatbacks that slightly recline for napping.
With room for two, the Hamax has seatbacks that slightly recline for napping.

Seat


The Hamax seats sit deep inside the carrier and have padded seat backs and bottoms. There is no leg rest, and little one's legs stretch out in front of them. There isn't much legroom and the seat back slopes at an angle, but it doesn't recline. Little ones could nap, but not as flat or comfortably as other options.

Car Seat Compatibility


The Outback does not accommodate any brand of infant seats. Children must be a minimum of 6 months to use the Hamax according to the manufacturer, but BabyGearLab recommends an age closer to 12-18 months and suggests you discuss this with your child's pediatrician.

Ease of Setup


It took us 14:45 minutes to put the Hamax together; this is one of the longest assembly times in the group.



This jogger requires a screwdriver to assemble and adding the jogging kit adds about 4 minutes to the overall time. The manual is confusing with the written instructions and pictures in different locations, and the assembly instructions are out of order from how you would logically put it together. The wheel guards are difficult to install as you have to screw them on from inside the cabin and the front edge of the seat gets in the way.

The Outback must be tipped back for turning when using the jogging kit which makes it a poor choice for crowded or tight spaces.
The Outback must be tipped back for turning when using the jogging kit which makes it a poor choice for crowded or tight spaces.

Maneuverability


The Hamax is not the most maneuverable option with the jogging wheel in place. This level of performance is not as good as the dedicated jogging style strollers (even the fixed wheel options) in part due to its overall larger footprint and weight.


The Outback's fixed front wheel requires tipping to turn, and its large size makes it hard to use in smaller spaces or indoors running errands. It is a stable ride and moves over most obstacles smoothly, but it isn't good at making tight turns. It is broader and longer than other trailers and much easier to use with the swivel strolling wheel attached when you move indoors.

The suspension is good, and the seat is well padded for overall passenger comfort. We think the suspension could be a little stiffer, but it isn't bad and passengers should be comfortable enough to ride without complaint.

Even when folded the Hamax is very large and heavy  and while you can remove the wheels it doesn't make it much smaller but it will likely fit in smaller spaces with less hassle.
Even when folded the Hamax is very large and heavy, and while you can remove the wheels it doesn't make it much smaller but it will likely fit in smaller spaces with less hassle.

Weight and Folded Size


The Hamax is relatively large and heavy. Even when folded the Hamax is still on the large side and removing the wheels doesn't help as much as you hope.


The Hamax weighs about 39 lbs making it one of the heaviest option in the group. It is 30,090 cubic inches when folded, which is also one of the largest. This product requires additional space to stow and the ability to lift heavier things to carry it.

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 Outback is high quality with a heavy-duty frame and simple design.


This trailer is a solid unit with no noticeable flaws in workmanship or materials. The materials include heavy-duty canvas, thick vinyl, and rubber flooring that looks like they will hold up well. They are not the softest, including the seating area fabric, but they feel durable. This stroller has sturdy plastic joints, ball bearing hubs, rubber tires, and spoke wheels. All the joints and the frame line up well and the fabric covers them tightly without faulty stitching.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories



  • 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 soft padded insert lets you safely carry a baby in your Outback for strolling purposes only. The insert has its own 5-point harness system and reclines little ones at an angle that helps keep airways open. This product is designed for infants and should not for use while jogging or when using the Outback as a bike trailer.

  • The Hamax Outback Raincover
    Hamax Outback Raincover — This heavy-duty rain cover is designed specifically for the Outback and provides additional protection from the elements without blocking the passenger's view of the world going by. The rain cover is easy to put on and take off and stores in the back storage bin.

  • 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 — This pack includes a red and a white LED light attachment for the front and back of your Outback to make me more visible in low light conditions. These lights are especially handy when using your child carrier as a bike trailer at night.

Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz