As bike seats go, you can’t get much better than the Hamax Caress. This rear-attach bike seat was simple and quick to install, and with a whole host of extra features, it ticks a lot of boxes.
We were pleased to see an easily adjusted and secure three-point harness system, which loops over your child’s head and clips to a buckle which reaches up between their legs. These straps were easily adjusted by our tester, but were still complicated enough that the mini tester couldn’t loosen anything himself.
Although there’s plenty of space behind the rider to wear a backpack safely and comfortably (and to stop any pesky kicks to the behind from tiny feet), this can affect ease of communication with your child, and it can be tricky to hear what your passenger is saying sometimes.
This being said, our tester assured us that he could easily reach back and adjust a helmet or hold a hand when needed, and could just about see what was going on back there when he needed to. Great for that added reassurance that your child is safe and happy.
The Caress also boasts many other stand-out features, including a recess pocket to accommodate the helmet, an adjustable footrest, and controls which allow your child to lie back to a splendid 20% recline. Our tester said this was great for his passenger and there were no complaints; the 18-month-old actually fell asleep on a bumpy gravel trail, which sounds like a success to us.
I got a Hamax Caress rear bike seat when DD was 13m. I really wish we'd got it sooner. She loves it and often asks to go out on the bike. It fixes to the down tube and is easy to fix and remove.
The installation instructions are clear, using pictures and simple English. An Allen key was also provided, which could even be attached to the fitting bracket while not in use for complete ease.
Adjusting the height of the foot rests was easier than on cheaper models, and it was also easy to adjust the position of the seat itself. The foot harnesses were a little fiddly, and the dial to recline the seat is a little tricky to get the hang of, but the seat as a whole was totally child-proof – and we were willing to put up with more complicated controls if it meant they couldn’t be tampered with by little fingers mid-journey.
Looks-wise, the seat is a real winner. There is very little fabric, so cleaning it would be relatively simple. The main seat was white on the model we tested, which may not be to everyone’s taste as it could mark more easily than darker colours, but was a winner for our tester as it meant their child could easily be seen by other road-users. Its high, sculpted back also has a great reflector on its reverse, again increasing that all-important visibility.
The Caress is the premium model in the Hamax range, and you can really tell. Although not cheap, you really do get what you pay for – and we believe it’s worth every penny.
Front or back mount? Back
Dimensions: 94cm x 28cm x 36.5cm
Safety harness type: Three-point
Age range: Approximately nine months up to 22 kg
RRP: £154.99 (including lockable fastening bracket)
Average resale price: £70
Colour and design options: The seat is available with black, red and blue padding
Bike specifications: Hamax recommend the seat fits frame diameters from 28-40mm, and may be fitted to bikes with or without luggage carriers. More information can be found on the website.