Hauck Roadster Duo
The Hauck Roadster Duo is one of the cheapest twin buggies on the market, but some improvements need to be made if it also wants to be classed as one of the best.
Hauck is a Germany company that has been making equipment for babies and children since 1921, including buggies, car seats, travel cots and toys. Its philosophy is ‘Fun For Kids’ and security for parents, at a fair price.
The Roadster Duo is the only double buggy in its range – a twin (side-by-side) that’s sold as suitable for twins or a toddler and a baby. Both seats operate independently and can recline fully. There’s a 5-point safety harness, suspension on the back axle, and the front wheels can swivel 360 degrees or be locked. A centrally locking brake works on both the back wheels.
What we love
The Hauck Roadster Duo is easy to push on even surfaces and the front wheels (which are solid plastic, so no punctures) can be fixed or swivel.
The seat covers and hoods are wipe-clean or can be removed for washing.
A clever toggle system behind the seats allows the backs to be reclined independently of each other and to exactly the angle you require, while the harness is well padded and comfy.
The seats seemed comfortable enough for short journeys and although my twins didn’t ever sleep (as they usually do in buggies), they didn’t complain and seemed to enjoy the ride.
The Roadster Duo only comes in one colourway – black and beige – but this would suit girls and boys and is quite tasteful.
Best of all is the price. At £169.99 it’s among the cheapest double buggies on the market.
What to watch out for
The width! I’ve used plenty of twin buggies and none are as wide as this. On my very first outing I couldn’t get through the back exit to my block of flats, nor through the door to my doctor’s surgery – a major problem. This extra width put me off attempting to get on a bus with it, and the Hauck Roadster Duo wouldn’t be my buggy of choice for the supermarket or department store.
The other main problem is the Roadster Duo is a buggy with an identity crisis. It can’t seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be light and practical or solid and reliable. As a consequence, it fails at both. The frame feels robust and well made, but the rest of the materials and construction are flimsy and lesser quality. The seats are little more than thick cardboard covered in thin fabric, and the hoods about as thick as a cheap umbrella. Not only that, they kept detaching from the buggy frame, which is a pain as well as a potential trap for tiny fingers.
While the frame is sturdy, it’s fairly heavy and its folded size is still pretty big and cumbersome. There’s a clip that keeps the frame in place when it’s folded, but this is awkward to release when you want to put the buggy up again.
The Roadster Duo boasts a storage basket under each seat as well as a pocket on the back but these are next to useless. I could just about slide a newspaper into the baskets – there would be no hope of getting a bag of shopping in there – and anything I put in the pockets ended up bumping the tops of my babies heads! Most importantly, there was nowhere on this buggy I could put my changing bag – the baskets were too small and inaccessible and when I attached a clip to the handlebar (which isn’t adjustable) and tried to suspend the bag from there, I just ended up banging my knees on it.
Although the Roadster Duo is sold as suitable from birth, I wouldn’t have wanted to put my twins in it as newborns. The seats lack decent cushioning and can only face forwards. It’s much better suited to older babies who don’t need to be fully reclined.
Finally, I’m always amazed when a buggy doesn’t come with a raincover as it’s such an essential if you live in the UK. Raincovers (£15.99), parasols (from £10.99) and cosytoes (£19.99) must all be purchased separately, and if you wanted to use this as a year-round buggy, you’d need them all.
Who is the Hauck Roadster Duo buggy best for
Penny-watching parents with older babies or toddlers and room to store their buggy unfolded.
A budget buy, but sadly the quality of the Hauck Roadster Duo is reflected in the price. This twin buggy would be good for grandparents or as a second buggy, so long as you don’t need to often fold it away, lift it into a car or take it on public transport.