Best Bike Child Seats for Fun Family Rides

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 29, 2017
A child bike seat is a great way to bring your little explorer along on your bike rides. Being easy-to-use, comfortable, and safe, they will offer you tons of fun outdoors. Share bike adventures with your kids and show them the world around with one of the best kids bicycle seats! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Mounting
Best For
Maximum load
Age
Safety
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

DualBeam suspension system absorbs bumps and jolts to provide your baby with a smooth ride.

CONS

The carrier is mounted close to your seat, which may cause discomfort if you're tubby.

OUR VERDICT
Thule RideAlong is a fantastic solution for long trips! Convenient side armrests and soft padding will make your child feel safe and secure while incline levels let you adjust the seat for a comfortable nap on-the-go!
detailed parameters
Mounting

Rear-mounted, Attaches to a seatpost clamp

Best For

Most bike frames (27.2–40 mm diameter round frames and maximum 40 mm x 55 mm oval frames)

Maximum load

48.5 lbs

Age

9 months - 6 years

Safety

3-point safety harness, Foot straps, Side protection

Extras

Double-sided anti-slip pad, Armrests, DualBeam suspension system, 5 reclining options (up to 20°), Built-in reflector and safety light attachment point, Footrest height adjuster

Weight

10.2 lbs

Warranty

5 years

PROS

T-bar mounting system is attached behind the handlebars within minutes and causes no inconvenience for a rider.

CONS

Fidgety kids might make steering difficult, grip the handlebars tight.

OUR VERDICT

A stunning model to bring your family happy memories! Comfy and ergonomic, it allows parents to always interact with their little angels. The kid can even spin his/her own small steering wheel to "help" parents!

detailed parameters
Mounting

Front-mounted, Attaches to a handlebar tube

Best For

Most bicycles (3/4 inch distance is required on the handlebar stem)

Maximum load

38 lbs

Age

1-4 years

Safety

3-point safety harness, Solid leg wells, Handrail

Extras

Shock-absorbing removable seat pad, Padded steering wheel, Vents, Handy hex wrench storage on steering wheel base

Weight

5.8 lbs

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Footrests are designed to effectively protect small legs and keep them from hitting the wheels.

CONS

Although bolts have a smooth top, they slightly protrude and your child can feel them. 

OUR VERDICT

It's an excellent basic item for safe and fun trips with the whole family! Being rear-fitting, it causes no discomfort for your pedaling at all! And good ventilation system ensures enjoyable cruising even in the hottest days.

detailed parameters
Mounting

Rear-mounted, Comes with special supports

Best For

Most 26-inch and 27-inch bicycles without rear suspension

Maximum load

40 lbs

Age

3-4 years

Safety

5-point safety harness, Foot straps, Side protection, Handlebar

Extras

Anti-slip seat pad, Side ventilation system, Rear light mount

Weight

6.75 lbs

Warranty

30 days

PROS

The soft pad perfectly keeps its shape and gently supports the growing spine of your kid.

CONS

Might seem too heavy for petite parents.

OUR VERDICT

This bright and comfortable seat can be tailored specifically to the needs of your child. It's equipped with neon inserts and has mounts for reflectors to be well visible on the road. You are free to travel day and night!

detailed parameters
Mounting

Rear-mounted, Mounts on the supplied rack

Best For

Most road bikes, Mountain bikes with 26-inch wheels, Most beach cruisers

Maximum load

40 lbs

Age

up to 3 years

Safety

3-point safety harness, Foot straps, Leg protection, Handlebar

Extras

Soft memory-foam pad, Back ventilation system, High headrest, Three positions of overhead pull-down grab bar, Feet are adjustable to five positions, Mounts for reflectors and flashers

Weight

11.75 lbs

Warranty

30 days

PROS

The most interactive model that will help your child develop the sense of balance.

CONS

It has no harness system, so parents should always keep an eye on their tots.

OUR VERDICT

Tyke Toter open seat is great for curious kids and for their parents who are experienced enough to watch the road and their kids simultaneously. Your children will definitely like the freedom it provides!

detailed parameters
Mounting

Front-mounted, Attaches to a seatpost clamp

Best For

All bikes without suspension

Maximum load

45 lbs

Age

2-5 years

Safety

Handlebar

Extras

Foot peg (should be mounted on a down tube)

Weight

2.5 lbs

Warranty

Lifetime Warranty

What is a Bike Child Seat

With the delivery of a child, the life of new parents often changes drastically. But the parenthood doesn't mean the end of an active lifestyle (if anything, you'll become even more active) and what isn't worth changing is healthy habits such as riding a bike.

One of the favorite thrills of active parents is taking their kids on exciting bike trips. Bike riding is not only a great way for you to get exercise but also a fantastic adventure for your infant or toddler. Once your little one is old enough (9 months+) you can put him/her in a special safe bike seat and set off on a fun family ride!

Toddler bicycle seats are great both for city neighborhood and country terrain trips (in case you prefer long trips, a bike GPS might be useful). Yet, if you usually ride on-road, you can use a child bike trailer that can accommodate even two kids.

What Features to Compare

Type and Сompatibility with Bicycles

With numerous different mounting systems and countless types of bikes, it’s pretty challenging for parents to choose the right child bike seat for their bikes. In general, most models easily fit standard road bikes without suspension, but finding a proper carrier for a full-suspension mountain bike is usually quite difficult. So, prior to purchasing a seat, consider the type of the bike you have and whether the particular item is compatible with it. 

Another frustration parents often face is what type of seat will work for them, front-mounted or rear-mounted? Actually, both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Front models should be mounted to the stem of your bike and they are very easy to take on and off. They provide a close interaction between you and your child and allow you to keep an eye on them. In addition, these models give a better balance, especially over bumps. However, this type is a bit uncomfortable for petite parents, or worse still, in case you fall, your child might act as your cushion. 
  • Rear ones took a huge step towards safety. They are the best option for older kiddos as they won't block your field of vision. They reliably protect your baby during the trip and even allow him/her to have a nap. You won't be able to watch your baby all the time, though. 

Child's Weight and Age

Before purchasing the selected item, pay attention to its weight and age limits. Front seats generally shouldn't be used for kids under 9 months and over 3 years. The weight limits for rear-mounted ones vary, but they usually go from 40 lbs to 70 lbs. As for safety systems, no one knows your child better than you, so you have to choose the level of protection based on your tot's character. For instance, if you have a very active baby, a seat with high sides and a five-point harness is a worthy choice.

When choosing a child seat, also pay attention to its weight - the heavier it is, the more difficult it will be for you to pedal. That said, heavy models are usually more durable and reliable. 

Extras

Most models have extra frills to be comfortable for both kids and their parents. They are usually fitted with a soft pad so that your kid doesn't slip during the trip. The best models use shock-absorbing materials or a memory foam. Some manufacturers also make this pad double-sided and suitable for machine washing. In addition, some models have a small steering wheel to entertain your little wonder and let him/her feel like a real cyclist during the trip. 

...Read more ...Read less

Thule RideAlong

Convenience and Beauty

Riding around the town with your baby is no longer a problem with this wrap-around seat by Thule! A reliable rear-mounted design can give your tot ultimate comfort and protection from 9 months up to 6 years (pediatrician advice is highly recommended).

Thule RideAlong is designed to keep your kid snug and close to you. During the trip, they will be able to look around or have a quick on-the-go nap thanks to five reclining options. Armrests and footrests are also adjustable to help you accommodate your growing baby comfortably. As soon as he/she overgrows the seat, you can pick up a suitable balance bike for your young rider.

The anti-slip padding is made of a machine washable material. It is also reversible, so you (or your child) can choose the preferable color for the next trip. And thanks to the built-in DualBeam suspension system, this Thule RideAlong model will offer a fun and smooth ride regardless of the terrain!

Review of Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat

Safety Comes First

The thought-out system reliably secures your child yet provides them with a freedom of movement. A three-point harness is equipped with soft pads in order not to chafe delicate baby skin. The harness is very well built and can be fastened with one hand within seconds. 

Special fixtures on the footrests don't allow your baby to swing his/her legs, preventing them from hitting the moving rear wheel. In addition, the comfortable armrests ensure extra protection if you happen to fall. To be well visible in the dark or in the fog, the seat is equipped with reflective inserts. Safety first is safety always!

Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat in the use

Mounting

This model is suitable for most bicycles. It's pretty easy to install and doesn't require any special skills or tools.

  • First, mount the carrier bar to the seatpost.
  • Then, fasten the bracket to the bicycle for installation.
  • Next, insert the carrier bar into the bracket and fix it with supplied Allen key.
  • Position the seat the way you like.
  • Finally, put your son/daughter inside, adjust the footrest and the straps inclination to his/her height.

Ta-da: now you can get ready for an adventurous ride with your little traveler!


Detailed review of Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat

Advantages of Rear Fitting

It's not for nothing that rear-mounted seats are widely used by parents all over the world. Firstly, they give you the freedom of movement and don't interfere with your ability to operate the bicycle, so they are especially great for long trips. Secondly, being fixed to the rear seat tube or a carrier rack, they don't shift the bike's center of gravity forward, which is especially beneficial for parents who are not tall. Thirdly, they protect children from debris during country bike rides. And on top of that, a rear-mounted model is safer because you won't squash your kid in case of fall. 

Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Thule RideAlong
Thule RideAlong
 

iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat

Comfortable for Kids and Parents

iBert Safe-T really stands out from other front-fitting models! Unlike others, this one is attached to a handlebar stem with a patented tool-free Stinger mount. This way, it keeps a baby far in front and allows parents to ride in comfort without banging their knees on the kid's seat when pedaling. Such unusual design looks great, ensures freedom of movement, not to mention the total comfort and safety of your child. Sitting in front of you, they can turn a little steering wheel and pretend to be pedaling as well, shouting fun "beep beep"! By the way, this cute steering wheel is padded so that your toddler could rest his/her head on it.

A special insert surrounds your baby with softness and prevents sliding, and the vents make the baby feel comfortable even during a long trip on the hottest summer days. The seat also boasts a good shock absorption system making a ride as smooth as possible.

Review of iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat

Don't Worry about Your Tot!

Despite its minimalistic design, the model offers great protection. It's deep enough to prevent injuries in case of side falls. During the trip, the child is reliably secured by a three-point harness. Moreover, there is a pivoting lap bar that locks them in place; there are no sharp edges and the pad reaches the top of the backrest so that the little rider could comfortably lean on it.

What is most important, though, is that you will be able to comfortably wrap your arms around your baby to protect them and to enjoy the close interaction. Nestling your baby between your arms, you can easily explain what's up ahead and even let your passenger ding a bicycle bell!

iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat in the use

Get Ready for a Family Bike Tour

Before mounting iBert seat, make sure that your bike is in good working condition and is appropriate for additional load. Since many bike accidents happen due to the fact that riders aren't well visible in the dark, equip your bicycle with reflective elements and lights. It's also worth "decorating" a child bike seat with flashers or reflective stickers.

Do not forget that every kid must always wear a helmet, even if you're just cruising your neighborhood. Be a good example and wear a protective helmet yourself. Note that neither you nor your passenger should wear loose clothes that might get tangled in the spokes or chain and create an accident.

Detailed review of iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat

Installation Within Minutes

iBert model is incredibly easy to mount! The patented stinger system mounts behind the handlebar within a few minutes. Moreover, the seat can be detached from the stinger in just 15 seconds. All the necessary components are included in the package, and the installation requires no special skills at all. A top-notch choice!

iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat
iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat
 

Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier

Healthy Lifestyle is Fun

The manufacturer of this model has taken into account all possible issues on the road and done its best to create the safest child bike seat possible. Its thought-out design protects kids from getting their feet caught in the bike’s spokes, while the high sides prevent injuries in case of a light crash. The wraparound cocoon-style design excellently absorbs bumps and provides a smooth ride, be it a loose terrain or a forest trail. Footrests give your kid a good support and the ventilation holes on the sides provide ultimate comfort even in hot weather.

A comfortable bike seat would be a good purchase for parents as well.

Review of Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier

Installation

This item is suitable for most bicycles and is pretty easy to mount. First of all, lay out all the details included in the package in front of you. After that, start the installation. 

Step 1. Fasten supports to the bottom of the seat using four 6 mm bolts and nuts. Note that the supports are marked with "L" and "R" on the underside.

Step 2. Attach the long lower brackets to the supports with 8 mm bolts.

Step 3. Attach the U-shaped bracket to the seat post bolt using 8 mm bolts.

Step 4. Attach the carrier to the rear fork of the bike as described in the instructions.

Step 5. Insert a lap belt, soft tab, and shoulder straps. Then, fix the front handrail and adjust the straps.

That's it. Ready for use!

Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier in the use

Safe Positioning

First of all, while you are fixing your child seat, the bike should not be leaning on anything; use a kickstand or ask someone to hold the bike in place. Put a bike helmet tightly on your child's head, as a helmet is extremely effective in preventing injuries if you happen to crash. Next, place your kid in the seat and let him/her accommodate comfortably. Then, throw straps over his/her shoulders and between legs and lock the buckle. Adjust the harness system to provide a tight and comfortable fit. Done. Enjoy the trip!

Detailed review of Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier

Removable Handrail

This bicycle seat for kids comes equipped with a handrail where you can attach small toys so that your little passenger doesn't get bored on the road (they mustn't hang around, though!) and always has something to hold in hands to feel safer during a ride. If the handrail makes the ride uncomfortable, you are free not to install it; a five-point harness will provide the necessary protection. 

Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier application

Additional Info

User Manual


Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier
Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier
 

COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier

Super Adfustment

Сopilot model will come to your liking not only because of its beautiful design but thanks to a comfortable adjustment system as well! You can set the footrest in one of five different positions and adjust the hand rest (3 positions) to the needs of your little rider. 

The cushioned back of the chair is high enough to support the child's head and soft enough to let him/her have a quick nap on-the-go. The ultra-plush pad is made of quality material that keeps the shape pretty well and provides good support. The seat itself can be reclined to get the best position for both you and your toddler. Great for short and long bike trips alike!

Review of COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier

So Noticeable!

One of the main safety requirements for cyclists on the road is to be well-visible. And if you travel with your child, you must take a huge step towards safety. CoPilot seat is a way out! Its pull-down grab bar is designed in a bright neon yellow color noticeable from far away. Furthermore, the model comes with a rear light mount compatible with the flashers and reflectors approved by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Want your bike to be a noticeable traffic participant? This is the way!

However, if you plan a daylong trip or often ride in the evenings, equip your bike with a headlight for better visibility and safety.

COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier in the use

Sturdy and Reliable

The seat should be attached to a special tubular aluminum rack first. This way, it will weigh your bike down a bit, saving your tot from feeling every bump and jolt along the way. Security straps reliably keep even the most active kids in place, and adjustable footrests with straps protect small feet from spinning wheels. 

The model has fairly high sides to minimize the risk of serious injuries in the event of falls. Additionally, it has lots of vents so that your baby doesn't feel stuffy. Light, durable, and stable, this baby carrier will bring you plenty of joyful family moments!

Detailed review of COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier

For Multiple Bikes

Although it's a rear-mounted model, it's extremely easy to install! As soon as you equip your bike with Blackburn EX-1 rack (comes in a kit), you can mount the seat on a bike within a matter of minutes. If you and your partner have your own separate bikes, just buy an additional rack to install it on each one and swap the seat between bikes easily!

COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier application

COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier
COPILOT LIMO Fully Adjustable Child Carrier
 

TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat

Make Your Child Feel Free

As children grow, they want to explore the word around them. And one of the key jobs for parents is to create a safe environment for their kids to have freedom to test boundaries. Tyke toter is that very model that can provide freedom coupled with reliable protection. No harness, no backrest, and its own handlebar... sitting in it, the kid can pretend that it's he or she who is actually riding a bicycle. Why not?

What is notable, the model fits 2-5-year-old children, whereas most others work only until the age of 3. So, this one can provide you with fun family trips for quite a long time. Your kid will be up front and you will be able to talk and touch them during a ride. Believe us, after your very first ride, your little explorer will beg you to take him/her out again! The seat is easy to install and it doesn't require additional brackets or racks. 

If you're an enthusiastic rider, we suggest you get a super-useful tool, a bike phone mount, to keep your GPS or smartphone before your eyes wherever you go!

Review of TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat

Is It Really Safe?

Of course, your baby will need some time to get used to this unique seat. But believe it or not, children catch the trick very quickly. Plus, your child will be safely nestled between your arms, so you will always be able to control the situation.

Many believe that if an accident happens, older kids will be safer in a sideless seat without all those bulky harness systems. Why? Because they can slide off in a dangerous situation and avoid serious injury. Moreover, you can always quickly grab and shield them or, on the contrary,  push them away. If you still doubt, we would like to point out that Tyke toter fully complies with ASTM standards.

TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat in the use

How to Install Tyke Toter?

This model is suitable for all types of bicycles (even for mountain bikes) and you will have to take some pretty simple steps to install Tyke Toter.

  1. Place Tyke Toter above the top bar of your bike frame and wrap orange quick-release clamp wings around the seat post.
  2. Tighten the nut, secure the lever pointing front or back, but never up or down. 
  3. A foot peg requires a little bit trickier installation. After removing an adhesive tape, attach the foot peg to the down tube of your bike according to the height of your child. Use one or two rubber shims for a good traction. 
  4. Put your baby in and start pedaling your way to exciting adventures!
Detailed review of TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat

Extras! Extras!

You can always order, for example, one more foot peg (for installation on the second bicycle) to mount only the seat when you need to switch between bikes. Some other additional accessories are also available. Just remember that the item is suitable for most standard bikes with a down tube. So, if you're hunting for a model for mountain bike, you may stop here!

TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat
TYKE TOTER Front Mount Child Bicycle Seat
 

FAQ:

Q: At what age can my kid make its bike debut?

A: It's not a question of age but of physical development. Babies vary a lot as to the age at which they can sit up unattended. Mainly, you can place them on your bike when they are about nine months.

Q: What bike seat should I buy as my first?

A: For under-twos, most pediatricians recommend buying one with a reclining backrest. The riding is very soporific for most infants, and they usually nod off as soon as you start pedaling. Thus, it’s better to get a reclinable model so that your baby can have a comfortable nap on-the-go.

Q: What type of bike seat will work best for me?

A: It depends on your bike and your child. For example, front-fitting ones are usually mounted near handlebars. They are smaller and lighter than rear seats and they work best for small kids from 9 months to 2 years, with some exceptions. As for the rear models, they mount to a rack or a frame of your bike in the back. They offer better suspension and reclinability but they can be harder to fit on some bikes. You will use rear-mounted seats longer since they typically have higher weight limits.

Q: Where can I purchase accessories like cushions, footrests, rain covers?

A: You can purchase additional accessories on Amazon.  

Q: How does a child seat affect the balance of an adult bike?

A: If you can balance well when riding alone, you aren't likely to have problems balancing with a child seat attached. However, we recommend you to mount it and ride without a kid first to become familiar with balancing, stopping, starting, turning, and the overall feel of riding with it. Though you might feel a bit different at first, we are sure you'll get used to it quickly.

Q: Are child bike carriers suitable for use on rough terrain?

A: Not all of them are. If you plan to ride on rough terrain, look for models with good cushioning and suspension system that will absorb road shocks to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride for your little one.

Q: Are there any safety precautions?

A: Cycling becomes very popular for both recreation and common transportation, so the safety standards of child bike seats are highly regulated. Most models meet ASTM and some other standards. Yet, don't forget to follow bicycle safety laws in your state, including wearing helmets for safe and happy cycling!


Sources:

1. Erin Carson The Safest Bicycle Seat to Use for Toddlers LIVESTRONG. June 25, 2015.

2. What to consider when buying a child bike seat, Evans Cycles. January 1, 2016.  

3. Anna Studman Cycling with children, Which?

4. Your Guide to Buying Child Seats and Trailers for Bikes, eBay. March 3, 2016.

5. Family cycling: options for carrying kids on bikes, Essential Baby.

6. Ten Fun Facts About Bikes, National Geographic Kids. 

7.  Vincent Iannelli Best Age and Method for Children to Learn How to Ride a Bike, VeryWell. 

8. Cycling with Young Kids, REI.

9. When can you put your baby on your bike? TheGuardian. 

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Publish Date: 2017-08-29 14:06:00