When my youngest was 18 months old, I bought her a beautiful wooden balance bike for Christmas. I thought it was the perfect gift but it turned out to be heavy and she rode it once then it sat forgotten in the corner!
So, when it came to reviewing the Hornit AIRO, I was sure it would be difficult to win me over. Then it was delivered and, pretty much from the second I picked up the box, I could tell this was going to be a completely different experience!
- 1 Quick Hornit AIRO Review Summary
- 2 What Sets the Hornit AIRO Apart?
- 3 Hornit AIRO First Thoughts
- 4 Hornit AIRO Features
- 5 Hornit AIRO In Use
- 6 So, Is It Really Worth It?
Quick Hornit AIRO Review Summary
To put it plainly, the Hornit AIRO completely changed my view of balance bikes and I can see both of my kids enjoying it for years to come.
What Sets the Hornit AIRO Apart?
The Hornit AIRO is marketed as being “levitatingly light” at just 2.95kg. I admit I have seen other balance bikes that weigh in a little lighter but they are usually accompanied by reviews that mention poor build quality. The Zoomy leisure, for example, weighs in at just 2.3kg but a friend purchased it and I wasn’t impressed by the quality.
So the thing that I feel sets the Hornit AIRO apart from other options on the Australian market, is the weight coupled with the incredibly high build quality. I’m not exaggerating here, I was very surprised by how durable and strong the frame is despite weighing less than 3kg. “Levitatingly light” seems like the perfect description because I’m sure there is some kind of Harry Potter type wizardry at play here!
Hornit AIRO First Thoughts
When I first received the parcel I nearly threw it over my shoulder by accident. I picked it up off the floor with two hands expecting it to be heavy and put in way more effort than was necessary! In reality, I could lift the entire package with just two fingers which blew me away.
My first feelings when I opened the box were of sheer relief at finding the bike in one whole piece. I was dreading spending ages putting something together so when I slid an entire bike out and found i just had to tighten a couple of bolts I was extremely happy.
Compared to our older wooden balance bike, this instantly screamed quality and the matte paint finish made it look very attractive.
Hornit AIRO Features
Overall I was really impressed by the quality of the bike. The matte yellow finish was super appealing and eye catching and the bike seems super durable, despite it’s deceptive lightness.
There are some particular features that i think really add an extra quality touch though:
Durable Frame – not only does the frame look great but it’s also made from a super hard wearing magnesium alloy and feels like it can easily withstand some serious knocks.
Footrests – The built in footrests are grip taped for safety and mean kids can easily rest their feet whilst gliding along. Unlike some other products, they don’t stick out and catch on the rider’s legs either.
Air filled tyres – The 12.5″ rubber tyres are air filled and go a long way to reducing the weight when compared to sold wheels on some other bikes. They give a really smooth cushioned ride.
Padded seat – The comfortably padded seat is adjustable between 29cm and 44cm meaning the bike is suitable for a large age range. My kids can both easily use the bike, one is 18 months and one is 4 years old!
Grippy Handlebar – The handles on this bike have comfortable rubber grips with stoppers on the end which make it particularly easy to ride even for younger kids.
Hornit AIRO In Use
So what is the Hornit AIRO actually look like in use? And how easy is it to use straight out of the box?
When I pulled the bike out of the box, all that was needed was to tighten 3 bolts (with the provided alan key) and adjust the seat to the right height. the kids were literally trying it out within minutes of being unpacked.
My youngest (18 months) had never tried a balance bike before and I wasn’t sure f she would “get it” but she took to it straight away. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t gliding around but she understood how to sit and “walk” herself along the road. I didn’t give her any instructions or explain how to keep it upright at all.
She did topple over once (which I figure is pretty normal with a first timer) but the bike is so light that she just pushed it to the side and got straight back on again.
What About Older Kids?
My 4 year old has used a balance bike before but not for about 2 years and it was too heavy and she hated it. I thought she might be cautious about the AIRO but she took to it straight away, which shows how much the weight of a balance bike really matters!
After a few shaky walks, she quickly got the hang of it. When I asked what she thought her answer was that it is “so cool!” which I guess is a thumbs up! She has even affectionately named the bike Bumblebee due to it’s bright yellow and black design.
So, Is It Really Worth It?
After a poor previous experience with balance bikes, it was going to take quite a bit to impress both me and Miss 4 year old but the Hornit AIRO exceeded our expectations! This balance bike is definitely going to be a regular on our walks.
I do wish there was a carry strap available as I’ve seen with some other products though. My kids have a habit of getting distracted easily while we are out and about so having the option to carry it hands free would be a bonus. Honestly though, it really is light enough that I can easily carry it with one hand so maybe I’m just being a little picky when looking for a downside!
If you’re looking for a birthday or Christmas gift for your little one, the Hornit AIRO is certain to impress with its funky colours and ease of use. We’ve even had a couple of people ask where we got it while we’ve been out and about.
If you’re interested to learn more, click the button below for some great information and videos on their website.