German brand Hauck has been manufacturing products for more than 90 years, with parenting goods being at the heart of its business since the 1970s.
Best known in the UK for making affordable travel systems sold at high-street retailers like Argos, Toys R Us and Tesco, Hauck has one of the biggest and wide-ranging childcare goods collections on the market.
It makes pushchairs, car seats, travel cots, rockers, highchairs, carriers, safety gear and play centres to mention just a few of its wares.
And the Comfort Shopper is one of Hauck’s lightweight easy-fold strollers. Weighing 7.5kg, it’s suitable from birth to 15kg, has 3 recline positions, a 5-point harness and forward-facing seat unit.
Certainly at the lower end of the market pricewise, it costs £79.99, but is facing stiff competition in the form of the Mee-go Feather, Summer Infant UME, My Babiie Billie stroller and Maclaren Triumph. While it’s low-cost, it isn’t the cheapest stroller you can buy.
Saying that, in terms of price, it does try to punch above its weight, with a clever folding mechanism, a big luggage sling and storage trays for the child and the adult.
The Comfort Shopper came in a small and portable box – a good start. It’s not a Maclaren of course, but for a stroller, the folding size is impressive.
A label boasts of the ‘German Design’ and it pretty much unfolded as I lifted it from the box.
Tell us more about Hauck Comfort fold mechanism
It has a different closing mechanism from its predecessor, the Hauck Sport Buggy, which required two hands to open. This really is a joy.
Get your child out, twist the handle and push down and it just collapses on itself.
Click the latch and you’re ready to store away. It’s really light for a stroller too so lifting can be one-handed if you’ve got your shopping or child in the other one.
Does its weight hamper its durability?
In my opinion it does. It’s hard not to think that all the weight-saving has been at the expense of strength. It’s not as sturdy as I’d like.
Having said that, I don’t get the impression that there are bits that would break on it. It’s not that flimsy – there’s just too much flex.
Even without your child in it, you have to push down a long way to get the front wheels over the kerb = not good.
How does it push?
The light construction means the inside wheels come off the ground when you turn and when they touch the ground again they’re often facing the wrong way. Judder, Judder.
And one-handed steering as you text, grab shopping or hold a toddler’s hand is just not possible. There is a front wheel lock, which helps with the poor control, but that’s no use if you need to turn.
Saying that, the wheels are quite soft rubber and so take up some of the sharp bumps.
On loose stones the flimsiness makes the wheels get out of line so it’s hard work.
I just got off them as quickly as possible and found a place where I could steer with two hands as that’s the only way to use this buggy.
I did go over some cobbles at one point and ended up having to pull him backwards as I couldn’t get it to go forward.
The hood is well made and quite nice and rigid and stretches quite a good way over so can keep your little one in the shade – although the sun will still get to their feet.
The rain cover comes in a nice little bag, but you’ll never get it back in there. It works fine though and should last a few years if you look after it.
How is it to store?
It’s not as compact as, say, a Babyzen Yoyo pushchair, because although it’s light, it’s quite bulky to carry and when folded up.
Is the storage on the buggy good?
It’s excellent. It has a big rectangular basket, which makes putting tins, boxes and regular-shaped luggage in it a lot easier.
And you and your child get a tray each. Arthur loved his – which can easily be clipped on and off to get him out. The adult one has two cup holders and a tray and snaps on securely.
Is it comfortable for your little one?
Yes, the seat is comfy for our son and comes with three recline settings. Quite upright, reclined and flat.
The reclined is fine for your child to sleep in and the rear cover keeps the sun and wind out to keep them sleeping once they get down.
Saying that, the harness is not easy to use. It’s a 5-point belt, but you have to slot the shoulder and waist clips together before clicking them into the main buckle, which is on the belt between the legs. Very fiddly.
And the harness pads which go over the shoulder slipped down and fell off while I was trying to put the side clips on. No fun when your kid is playing up.
Are the brakes good?
When they’re on, they’re fine, but again the poor construction lets it down.
The pedals are next to each back wheel and you can lift one almost all the way up with your toe without moving the other one.
Why not have the pedal centrally located between the wheels? It would work fine.
Is it really OK for a newborn?
Our child is almost 2 and it’s a great fit for him. A newborn would be OK in the lie-flat mode, but it’s better for older babies.
And I think most parents would prefer a carrycot or carrier until their baby can hold their head up.
Is it good value?
Yes. It’ll last at least a good couple of years, and with the raincover supplied, the asking price is certainly competitive.
What’s in the box?
- buggy frame
- seat unit
- shopping basket
- parent tray
- play tray
- detachable hood
- chest pads
Any additional extras?
The Hauck Comfortfold stroller is well designed and has some great features: you can tell the brand put a lot of thought into developing this buggy.
Sadly though, it doesn’t quite transfer into practice as it seems the stroller is let down by flimsy construction, meaning it doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
But if you’re after an affordable, light stroller with a load of added extras then this is the one for you. However, it’s worth noting there are lighter, more compact and cheaper strollers out there.
We’ve got more strollers right here…