Erin is 3.5 but we still use a pushchair for her on a regular basis. As a non-driving family, we can’t expect Erin to walk as much or as far as we do. On days out, she gets really tired and sometimes wants a nap during the day and without the pushchair, this would just make things pretty impossible. Last month our old pushchair gave up on us as the wheels started to fall off and it became unusable. We needed a replacement and pretty quick. Thankfully we were able to order something from Amazon with next day delivery so we went for the Hauck Rapid 4s. Of course, with only online reviews and Amazon to go on, we had to hope it was everything we hoped it would be.
This is what I was looking for when I set about looking for a new pushchair: large hood, large basket, decent wheels that wouldn’t fall apart, easy and small fold.
When the pushchair arrived we all wanted to get it put together as quickly as possible; Erin especially. The Hauck Rapid 4s was mostly really simply to put together with only one really tricky but and that was the wheels. This was only really because the images on the instructions aren’t really very clear so we had to do a bit of guesswork to figure it out. However, even so it only took around 15 minutes for us to be able to go out with the pushchair.
The first thing I noticed was how amazing the hood was. Most pushchairs suited for up to 22kg (as this one is) tend to have quite small hoods and I don’t know why. Bigger children still need protection from the sun and light rain. The hood on the Hauck Rapid 4s comes down really far and even has an addition section that you can zip/ unzip to make the hood even bigger. I really like that there are different positions for the hood so you can get the coverage you need. When the hood is down all of the way it nearly covers the whole of Erin and this is also great for if your child likes to sleep without much sunlight!
The Hauck Rapid 4s has a great recline on the seat so it’s fantastic for if your child sleeps quite often in the pushchair. When we first put the pushchair together we struggled a bit to actually get the seat to be completely upright and Erin hated it at this point. It’s worth noting that you really have to pull the string tight at the back of the seat the first time you use it to get it in the right position. After that, it goes to where it should be for normal use really easily.
Speaking of the seat, it comes with a 5 point harness, bar on the front and an additional safety strap for between the legs. The seat is really well padded and seems to be extremely comfortable. Erin hasn’t complained so far! My only small issue is the 5 point harness because it can come apart easier than I would like and Erin can press the button herself now. However, she is 3.5 and isn’t strapped in all the time now especially when we’re only going to school etc.
Something we haven’t had before in a pushchair is a handle that can be changed to suit who is pushing it. John is over 6ft and struggled with some pushchairs. The handle on the Hauck Rapid 4s has 3 different positions so can be positioned to suit both tall and short people. Erin particularly likes putting it on the lower setting and helping to push it when she’s not in it.
I don’t think John ever figured out how to fold our old pushchair. I remember him just looking at it a few times then waiting for me to sort it out and I really thought it was funny. The Hauck Rapid 4s has a really easy to see handle on the seat of the pushchair; it has bright letters saying ‘Rapid Fold’. To fold the pushchair all you need to do it pull the handle and that’s it! It takes 2 seconds to get this one folding down and it’s also quite small when it is folded. Be sure to make sure the wheels are facing forward first though because then you are able to stand it up when it’s folded down.
Every pram or pushchair we’ve had up until now has had a terrible brake. The Hauck Rapid 4s comes with a bar across the back which goes between the back wheels. The bar is so much better and easier to use than those brakes which are a bit like a large peddle or switch. The bar brake is really easy to put on and off, even with sandals on, and what’s even better is that it locks both back wheels. We use public transport a lot and this has really stopped the pushchair from rolling around a bit like the old one would.
One of the important things I was looking for in this pushchair was the large basket. Not being able to drive means having to do things like the weekly shop, go to swimming lessons, go on days out etc. with the pushchair so we need somewhere to put everything. The basket on the Hauck Rapid 4s is huge and I am so happy with it. Instead of having to go to the shop multiple times because I can’t carry everything I can do it in one trip!
Lastly, after the wheels failing us on the old pushchair I had to be sure the new one was different. The old pushchair has rubber wheels and the rubber was worn down from us going over things like gravel or through the woods etc. The Hauck Rapid 4s has puncture resistant wheels however, they are not all-terrain wheels so you do have to be a bit careful on some tougher ground.
I nearly bought a pushchair that was double the price of this and even then, it would have been a compromise on what I wanted. I am honestly so happy with the Hauck Rapid 4s. We have taken it on the school run, trains and even a trip through the woods and it has coped mostly fine with all of that (tree roots in the ground were a bit tricky).
At the time of purchase, June 2019, the Hauck Rapid 4s cost around £110.