Hamax Outback with Jogger Kit Review
Pros: Versatile, more affordable than similar multi-sport capable joggers
Cons: Heavy, no sled capability, lacks tracking, slippy handbrake, expensive
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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