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The German company has been manufacturing products for over 90 years, with parenting goods being at the heart of its business since the 1970s.
Hauck is not synonymous with having the most iconic buggies on the market, but, if you’re as enthusiastic about pushchairs as I am, you will recognise some Hauck merchandise a mile away, as they usually have Disney characters on them.
In fact, the brand has held the license to make Disney-branded products since 1989, the same year the Little Mermaid hit the big screen – for all of you Disney enthusiasts out there.
Perhaps best known in the UK for making strong and affordable travel systems, Hauck has one of the biggest and wide-ranging childcare goods collections in the market.
It makes pushchairs, car seats, travel cots, rockers, highchairs, carriers, safety gear and play centers to mention only a few of its wares.
The Freerider is Hauck’s versatile three-wheeler – a buggy that can be used as either a single or double and has an option to become a travel system for younger babies with the addition of a car seat.
What’s in the box?
- Sibling seat
- Hood extension
Any additional extras?
- Zero Plus Select 0+ car seat £80
Out of the box the Freerider looks larger than you may expect. But that’s not an altogether bad thing, as, unlike many other double pushchairs that have very small seats, the Hauck seats look more generous.
Taking it out of its packaging one of the first things you may notice is how very durable and strong the individual parts feel.
I must admit, as I unwrapped the buggy I was impressed with the quality.
Is it easy to build?
Yes, it is very easy to put together, even without the instructions as it only comes in a few parts and everything slots in easily.
Five minutes is all you really need to make the contents of the box into a double buggy!
How does it convert from a single to a double?
Converting the Freerider from a single to a double is simple; the bottom seat is attached securely but can be removed in seconds using two buttons on either side of the seat.
When it is removed, the pushchair feels more spacious to push and you can stand in a better position without worrying about the second seat on your knees.
Tell us about the different modes.
This is a great buggy if you have two different aged children or are planning a close age gap, as there isn’t an option for two newborns.
The Freerider grows with your family converting from?a single to a double and back again.
As a single there is the option of a complete lie-flat mode, which is great for newborns but there isn’t the space to have the top seat reclines fully when being used as a double.
That aside, I was really impressed with the seat sizes and I think even a toddler bigger than my own would be very comfortable in both seats.
This isn’t a stroller that your child will outgrow easily.
The main part of the pushchair can be used from birth up to 15kg (approx three years) when in single mode or with an infant car seat.
The sibling seat can be used from six months, is a good size and able to handle a growing toddler up to 15kg.
It is also small and easy to store away from the pushchair when not in use.
Travel system compatible with the Zero Plus infant carrier, the car seat can be used when the buggy is in either mode.
Whilst this is a great double option, I think it’s definitely more comfortable to push as a single. That’s because if you’re a tall parent you may knock your knees against the sibling seat as my husband did a few times.
But if you’re using this as a single pushchair though, then it is great for parents of all heights.
The hoods are quite substantial, especially the hood for the sibling seat. They offer a good amount of sun protection, but the front canopy is limited and could be a bit bigger.
So how does it push?
It actually lives up to its name – the Freerider is great for inner-city tarmac and smooth pavements and moves really well on the standard surfaces.
But the big wheels make this buggy suitable for slippery grass, bumpy tree roots and the always-tricky gravel as well.
The air tyres are strong and make pushing it easier than you might expect on all terrains.
Again, it is easier to maneuver as a single buggy due to the necessary weight of a double.
The front wheel features a 360 ° rotating system and is also lockable. It’s perfect for difficult terrains and the brakes are easy to take on and off and feel secure.
We tested the Hauck Freerider on buses and trains as well as walking everywhere. I used it with two 22-month-olds as well as trying it with a three-year-old in the bottom seat, which was much easier than I expected!
How comfortable is it for the children?
Very comfortable, they seem happy when in the pushchair and what’s great is that there’s enough room to recline so both can have a sleep when we’re out and about.
For legroom the second child must put their feet in the basket, which is actually comfortable for my little one, but does take it out of play for storage, which is a shame as it’s a nice-sized basket.
When my toddler is in the second seat he has a great view of me when he looks up, and can see easily out the sides.
But it is hard for me as a parent to see my son in the top seat as it is so far forward.
Saying that, this is very common for double pushchairs and the Hauck only has the option for forward facing seats.
What about the fold system?
The fold is simple and easy; although different from most other buggy models I’ve tried.
The buttons to collapse the frame are down the sides of the pushchair rather than near the handles, so be prepared to do a little bending.
For time-saving parents the Freerider can be folded down in single or double mode with both seats in place.
It’s worth noting that it will not be compact and you would probably benefit from removing the second seat first if you’re tight for space.
But if you do have a substantial boot though, being able to fold the pushchair in one piece is a bonus!
Is it value for Money?
Yes, at only £199 this is one of the cheapest double strollers on the market, and for that price I think it is fantastic value.
You do need to buy the car seat separately if you are using it with a newborn, but the full travel system still comes in at under £300!
Other than the car seat, there isn’t anything you need to buy either.
The Hauck Freerider is a great budget option for a double pushchair and grows well with your family.
It isn’t the most comfortable push for the longer legged parent as the second seat is at knee level but with a few adjustments it can be comfortable and very easy to push.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years – Suitable from birth when in single mode|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions (folded)||H:97cm W:61cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Recline positions||Multi-position – Top seat has multi-position, but sibling seat cannot recline|
|Optional extras||Zero Plus infant car seat|