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Review: Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat

Is the Hamax Caress the best child seat on the market? Find out here.

Sam Haddad is the editor of coolermag.com

A top of the range kids’ bicycle seat from Hamax of Norway,
that’s extremely easy to use, with heaps of well thought out features
and design flourishes. But you pay for them…

Children’s bike seats fall into two camps. Those intended to stay
permanently* on your bike or those where a bracket stays
permanently on your bike but the seat can be removed as and
when you need it.

The Caress does the latter, which is my preferred
kind, as you don’t ride with needless weight when you don’t need
to. Or if aesthetics are your concern, sully the good look of your
bike with a child seat when you don’t need to.

* I say ‘permanently’ but they can of course be removed whenever
you want and shouldn’t have damaged or altered your bike or
paintwork in the process. It would just be a serious faff to do it for
every ride.

It’s not very girl power to admit this but the last two child bike seats
I fitted required my husband’s help. But the Caress didn’t; it was
surprisingly easy to put on. It came with clear instructions and
screwing the fastening bracket (via four screws) to my bike frame,
the part, which normally causes the most cursing, went smoothly.

The seat itself felt fractionally heavier than other models but
appeared more robust. It also boasts a sleek, almost futuristic look,
which would appeal to any parents who sometimes daydream of
cycling off ET-style into space with their offspring on the back (nope
just us then…).

When you click the two what the manual calls ‘carrier bow ends’
though I prefer seat prongs into the bracket two green safety
indicators jump out to let you know the seat is in correctly. This is a
good feature as I’ve worried about that with other child seats in the past, and especially when you just start cycling with young kids on
the back, the last thing you want is extra fret ammunition.

One improvement on that feature could be red indicators to show you
when the seat isn’t in right, which turn to green once it’s correctly
installed. The much loved and trusted Isofix car seat bases use this
function, and it’s great for piece of mind.

With my youngest child (21 months ish) in the seat, I found the belt
straps very easy to adjust and I liked how they looped over the back
of the seat rather than getting in the way while I was seating him.
They clicked into place easily; in spite of his constant efforts to
undo them appeared to be totally childproof.

The footrest height was easily tweaked and the foot straps were the
best I’ve used, as I often find it a pain leaning over the bike to sort
the furthest away foot. Feet getting loose and stuck in wheels is the
biggest cause of child bike seat injury (way more than car collisions
pleasingly) so it’s another area where good kit is important.

Other extra features include great reflectivity on the back, the ability
to lock the seat to the frame and a reclinable seat, which I didn’t
use. Not sure how good that would be for little necks on bumpy
roads, but I have no science to back up that worry.

Verdict

So off we went for a merry ride along the seaside. The youngest
was happy, as was I.

Later, I gave his older (almost) four-year-old brother a go and then
asked him whether he preferred the Caress to our usual model.

The Caress looked sturdier and more comfortable so I expected
him to say that, but he just shrugged. When pushed he went for the
other model as it had his favourite wolf sticker on it.

The other model was also £90 cheaper and that’s the real crux. The
Caress is an awesome child bike seat, that’s extremely easy to use,
with heaps of well thought out features and design flourishes.

But do you really need a top of the range seat? And will your kids even
notice? Over to you…

Pros
Extremely easy to assemble and use
Robust Well thought out design features
Sleek look

Cons
Pricier than most other models on the market
Silly name

Price: £129.99, available from Zyro.

Sam Haddad is the editor of coolermag.com

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