“ Brand: Hauck / Type: Travel Systems „
Hauck travel system review
We've had this travel system, and used it pretty much daily, since our son was born. It doesn't have the brand recognition that some of it's more expensive competitors have, but in my view it is easier to handle and that makes it superior. The travel system consists of pushchair, group 0+ car seat, changing bag, raincover and footmuff. All the elements have a Disney Winnie the Pooh motif, which makes the system quite eye-catching, but the colour scheme, brown and cream, means that it is suitable for both boys and girls.
The pushchair is forward-facing, which means that baby is looking out onto the world, but the car seat latches neatly on top of the pushchair seat to make it rearward facing. We used it so that when baby was small he can sat facing whoever was pushing in the carseat, protected from the elements on all sides, and once he started to take more interest in the world we put him in the pushchair so that he could face out. The pushchair can be reclined completely using a toggle system on the back, so that when our son fell asleep we could lower him into a more comfortable position lying down without having to wake him. We did have a number of occasions when we would come back from a walk when he'd fallen asleep and I could wheel him straight into our front room and leave him there until he woke naturally. It meant that I could get on with things or just have a sit down without having to worry if he was in a safe sleeping position.
The pushchair comes equipped with a five point harness, now that our son is a little older we can just buckle the lap element and leave the shoulder straps free so that he is secure but not uncomfortable. It has brakes on all four wheels, although the rear brake is actually placed in front of the rear wheels under the pushchair body. This makes is a bit fiddley to apply the rear brakes, but there is very little risk of them being unintentionally released. There is a double cup holder by the handle which can easily accommodate a bottle or cup for you, a bottle for your baby, mobile phone and small wallet or purse. This is really handing for things like long walks in the park or even if you little one has a meltdown at the tills and you have to make a speedy exit; you can just balance everything on top until you're both out of the way. There are also storage compartments in the pushchair hood and underneath the seat. The hood is ample protection from the sun, especially when used rear-facing - both hoods can be pulled up so that there is only a small slot for you to peek through to check on baby.
Because the travel system is designed to be used both with and without the car seat, balance can sometimes be an issue, especially when the pushchair isn't occupied. We've had a number of occasions when the empty pushchair has fallen backward, and even one frightening incident when it fell backwards with my baby strapped in. I've counteracted this by placing heavy items in the shopping basket, which makes it more stable, but it's also important not to hook too many heavy things from the handles. The changing bag springs to mind here; it's intuitive to loop the baby's changing bag - which contains everything they might need for the next day or so - over the pushchair handles, which is probably why lots of people do it. Unfortunately if you do this with this pushchair, it can topple. You can slip the bag further down the handle, under the pushchair hood, which is what I do, but it would be better if the shopping basket could accommodate a standard changing bag.
The pushchair is easy to maintain, with fabric that can be cleaned with a wet wipe when out and about or a wet cloth to give a deeper clean, and many sections can be detached to give access for cleaning. The handlebar is a nice height but is not adjustable, so I'd recommend a test-drive if you think this might be an issue for you. It's also covered in foam padding, which while a nice touch for the comfort of the person pushing, means that if you get caught in a rain shower you will have to hold a sodden bar until you reach somewhere to dry out, which isn't particularly pleasant.
The car seat
As we all know, the standards that apply to car seats are quite strict, so there is less scope for variation from the manufacturers. That being said, my son found this car seat fairly comfortable, at least, he slept in it a lot! Like every other infant carrier in existence this one had a hard plastic shell, a stiff foam inner, webbed straps, a buckle, a handle with the same absorbent foam cover as the pushchair handle, a seat cover with warning messages urging you to read the installation manual in a dozen languages, and an installation manual that is essentially a series of inscrutable pictograms. Once you decipher the pictograms it's pretty easy to install; the seat belt just wraps around the car seat, so you can quickly swop it in and out of the car, great if you have more than one car or take taxis frequently.
The seat cover is attached to the seat with snaps, so that you can easily remove it and stick it in the wash if starts to look grimy. If you have an older child or a pet and your car is grimy because of this, then the cream car seat soon looks like it needs a wash, so this is definitely a positive. The strap adjustment mechanism is easy to understand, there is a clip under the cover which when you press, allows you to loosen or tighten the straps. The two shoulder straps fit together and slot into the buckle intuitively, but once you put your car seat belt over, it's easy for the baby's hand to get a bit lost underneath it all, which can make them a little frustrated.
This car seat is nominally designed for infants up to 13kg, so about a year old, but we moved our son into the next size up when he was nine months because he'd worked out how to undo the buckle. This isn't because he's amazingly talented but because there's no cover on the big red button in front. He's also a little on the larger side and was starting to look uncomfortable in the seat, as the foam inner had absolutely no give at his shoulders. How much of that is determined by car seat legislation and how much by Hauck I don't know.
The changing bag
The changing bag has a motif matching the travel system, ie Winnie the Pooh illustration. Like many women, I view my changing bag as a sort of extra-large handbag, so while I've nothing against Winnie the Pooh, I don't find it particularly feminine or grown-up. In fact I quickly bought another changing bag and stopped using the Hauck one entirely. The one I bought had the added advantage of being waterproof, which the Hauck bag is not, aside from this, the Hauck bag is actually fine if you're not as profligate as I am!
The rain cover
The Hauck rain cover has stood the test of time with us, although it is beginning to show signs of wear. The cover will accommodate the entire travel system, with Velcro fastenings at the front to keep it in place. One note of caution from a very wet day - during the course of one particularly heavy rain shower I found out that the rain cover isn't actually waterproof! There are ventilation holes on either side; at best it's shower proof.
The foot muff
The foot muff was great before my son could sit up; I could fit the straps through the base, strap him in, then zip on the foot muff top. There is even a lap bar on the pushchair that's detachable to make it easier to get him in. He'd lie back and look the world and all his dangly toys, happy as a clam. Now that he can sit up, the situation is completely different. The only reason the foot muff stays put is because the baby is strapped in and the straps are fed through the base layer. As soon as he shifts his weight, the base layer slips down, and the straps tighten around his little legs. Cue uncomfortable, fussing baby. Now that he is older, he's a lot stronger and active, so he doesn't just lie there and wait for me to zip the whole thing together either. Faced with a wrestling match with a discomforted baby every time I need to go anywhere, I've taken the path of least resistance and decided not to use the foot muff anymore. After all, it's not that cold really.
This travel system present excellent value for money and the pushchair element is an extremely robust, practical piece of kit. However, we didn't really get much usage from the other elements, for reasons to do with the items but also some of our own biases. With the benefit of hindsight I would recommend a Hauck pushchair in combination with other separate items.
The comfortable Shopper 11 Shop´n Drive is set for highest demands. The package includes the sporty buggy, the car seat Zero Plus group 0+, the foot muff and the changing bag. This super lightweight Shopper with its sturdy frame as well as its extra large wheels which easily copes with kerb-stone edges and cobbled streets - plenty of driving pleasure for you and your child. The practical storage tray attached to the handle grip offers extra comfort, and keeps the baby bottle always at your fingertips. Top safety is provided by the 5-point harness and the double-sided parking brake. In combination with the car seat Zero Plus group 0+, you can convert your Shopper 11 Pooh Doodle Brown thanks to the adapters integrated into the armrests into the Shop´n Drive system. The Zero Plus 0+ can be used for babies from birth onwards as well as for toddlers of 13 kg of weight. Features: Suitable from birth - 3 years. Package includes the sporty buggy, the car seat Zero Plus group 0+, the foot muff and the changing bag. Super lightweight Shopper with sturdy frame. Extra large wheels which easily copes with kerb-stone edges and cobbled streets. The practical storage tray attached to the handle grip offers extra comfort, and keeps the baby bottle always at your fingertips. 5-point safety harness with padded shoulder straps. Double-sided parking brake. Folded dimensions - 95 x 52 x 33 cm. Weight - 7.6 kg. Car Seat Features: Babies are vulnerable and the hauck Zero Plus is the ideal solution for security and mobility. The Zero Plus has a new side impact system that provides the best protection whilst in a car. With the patented use of materials the Zero Plus has achieved excellent test results in front and side crashes from ADAC and Stiftung Warentest. In everyday life this car seat promises flexibility and comfort. With the built-in adapters, it instantly converts a range of buggies into a shop'n drive travel System. Additional protection is provided for your child by the centrally adjustable 3-point padded seat belt and the additional head protection insert. Suitable for newborns and infants up to 13 kg.