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The Hauck Viper is a budget-friendly 3-wheeler that delivers smooth steering and decent storage, but you’ll have to wait until your baby’s 6 months old to enjoy it.
Hauck has been making products for babies and young children since 1921. The Viper has joined its selection of cheerfully hued buggies in 2011.
In recent years, 3-wheeler buggies have become the stylish modern mum’s must-have. Originally designed for off-road outings (and often fairly expensive to boot), 3-wheelers now come in every shape, size and price point, from cheap, compact lightweights to do-everything travel systems. Bright and sturdy, the Hauck Viper is a good-value addition to the 3-wheeler market.
The Hauck Viper mimics the look of more luxury 3-wheelers perfectly, and at under £160, is proof you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a chic and sturdy model you’ll be proud to push down your high street. If you hunt around online, you should be able to snap one up for closer to £120.
What we love
I find the Hauck Viper smooth to steer, and surprisingly low-effort. I can definitely feel the bouncy benefits of the rear-wheel suspension, especially when pushing it across grass or gravel paths. The fact that you can lock the front wheel is also a plus point here. If you fancy going for a brisk walk or doing a buggy-fit class with your baby, it’d definitely make the grade.
The foam-covered single bar handle means that one-handed pushing is comfy – useful for those days when you need to clutch an umbrella, or keep a hand on an older toddler.
For a pretty slimline buggy, I’m particularly impressed by the size of the basket. As my partner said, “you could almost fit a suitcase under there!” It’s ideal for supermarket shops and just stuffing in all the daily paraphernalia of life with a baby or toddler.
The hood is also on the generous side, ideal for protection from either showers or sunny spells.
The Hauck Viper is also easy to collapse, with a neat folding mechanism that tucks the front wheel underneath. It forms a nice compact package that can easily be stashed in halls and car boots. Though I found it fairly heavy to lug at 9.1kg and it’s not the lightest buggy out there, it’s certainly not the heaviest either for this type of model.
The seat is well padded and generally roomy, and the footrest is easy to adjust.
What to watch out for
Assembly is very straightforward, that is, until it comes to putting on the final wheel! The two small metal buttons designed to lock the front wheel into the chassis don’t compress sufficiently, until extra brute force is used. The assembly instructions also follow a growing trend for only using pictures rather than words, which personally I find rather frustrating.
One drawback is the fact the buggy can’t be used until your baby is 6 months or old, so this will most likely be a second buggy for many parents.
Perhaps inevitable given the mid-range price tag, some of the smaller details aren’t top quality. The 5-point harness is slightly fiddly to do up and might drive you mad day-to-day. The seat has a continuous sliding mechanism (you adjust it at the rear using a toggle), but it feels a little flimsy. I also feel my toddler looks like he’s leaning back too far, even in the most upright position.
While the Hauck Viper buggy is easy to push across grass and gravel, it doesn’t come with true all-terrain pneumatic tyres, so it’s arguable how often you’d want to take it across track and field, and for how long. It also seems to pick up an awful lot of sticky mud on its wheels in a short space of time, but perhaps I’m just unlucky! Also bear in mind that the seat is fixed in a forward facing position. It’s not travel system compatible either.
Finally – and again it’s possible I’m just unlucky – but when putting the buggy up, the folding mechanism misaligned and got wedged. Luckily I was eventually able to nudge it back into place and fold again, but if it did get permanently stuck this could be a real problem!
Who is the Hauck Viper 3-wheeler buggy best for?
On-the-go parents after a sturdy, easy-to-steer buggy that won’t blow the budget.
The Hauck is a sturdy, sporty looking three-wheel buggy for active mums on a moderate budget and babies over 6 months, and it does the basics really well. It’s easy to fold, steers well and has plenty of storage space, but inevitably you get what you pay for on some of the finer details.
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|Child age (approx)||6 months to 3 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:107cm W:55cm L:106cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:40cm W:56cm L:91cm|
|Travel system compatible||No|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|