Best Child Bike Seat: Comprehensive Buying Guide With Reviews

Last Updated on

Child bike seats are an easy way to get outside and cycle with your little one. It allows parents to get exercise, set a positive example, and include their child in a fun outdoor activity. What's more, it can serve as an environmentally friendly way of commuting.

Read along to find out what to consider when looking for the best child bike seat. DadProgress reviews point out which seats exceeded both parents' and tots' expectations.


Key Points For Busy Parents

Buyer's Guide

Finding the best child bike seat can be a daunting task. Parents rightfully ask a lot from their little one's cycling gear. The best child bike seat should be safe, comfortable, adjustable and compatible. Bike seats should also cost less than your bike, and beautiful design is always a positive feature.


Bike Compatibility

Before purchasing a toddler bike seat (or bike seat for your baby), inspect the installation points on your bicycle. You should be sure that the two are compatible. 

Not all bikes are compatible with rear racks or have enough space to attach one to the headset. 

The cables, brakes, and other design features can interfere with the installation of a seat.

Road bikes tend to push riders forward. This results in shortening of the space between the seat post and a steering column. 

Picture of a classic bike

Many mountain bikes lack a level top tube to install some front-mounted seats.

The mounting requirements for each bike vary but don't let it discourage you. For most two-wheelers, if a rear mount doesn't work, a front mount will.


What to Consider When Buying a Child Bike Seat


Position Of The Mount


One of the most apparent differences between different types of child bike seats is the position of their mount. Front-mounting bike seats sit between the adult rider and the handlebar.

Front Mounted Bike Seat
Rear Mounted Bike Seat

As you can guess from the name, rear-mounting bike seats sit behind the adult rider's seat. Both have their own sets of pros and cons.

A third option would be a container. These are generally quite big and more expensive though.


Front-Mounted Bike Seats

PROS

  • Front-mounted seats allow parents to see their child: Is she adequately buckled? Is he sleeping or awake? You can also talk with your child instead of yelling
  • Front-mounted seats also provide children with an unobstructed view of the path ahead
  • Front-mounted seats are especially great if you have more than one child to transport. One bike can carry two seats (one in the back and one in the front)

CONS

  • On the downside, front-mounted seats may hinder adults from pedaling as their knees may hit the seat
  • Front-mounted seats may also give a buddy toddler unsafe access to the handlebars or brakes
  • Many bikes have a high center of gravity and adding weight to the front increases the risk of tipping over

Bike seats generally make your bike harder to maneuver.  Many parents have found that using a front-mounted seat is more awkward. For example getting on and off the bike may be harder. 

Rear-Mounted Bike Seats

PROS

  • While rear-mounted seats do not give parents the opportunity to view their child during a ride, they offer some other benefits. For example, rear-mounted seats provide a far easier opportunity to mount a bike compared to front- mounted seats
  • This type of seat often allows a child to recline and nap better


Frame Mounted vs Rack Mounted Bike Seats

While you can install many child seats directly onto the bike, others (mainly rear-mounts) need the installation of an extra rack.

Rear-mounted seats:  You can often install them on top of an over-the-wheel luggage rack. Some are sold separately, while others come as part of a seat package.

Another way is to install the rear rack-mounted seat to the frame (most mount to the seat tube). 

Front-mounted seats: It's common to attach them to the top tube or to the head tube.


Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of various child bike seats differs significantly. In fact, the ones on our list have capacities that range between 33 and 50 pounds. When searching for the best bike seat for your toddler, it's important to consider, for how long it will be usable. This depends on the weight capacity and height adjustability.

The heavier your child is, the harder it is for you to control the bike. So great weight capacity doesn't necessarily make it the best child bike seat for you.

Best Bike Seat For A Bigger Child

From the reviewed bike seats  Bellelli Pepe Bicycle baby Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon) has the largest weight capacity (50 lb). This is a comfortable rear-mounted seat that is EN 14344 compliant.


How To Choose The Safest Child Bike Seat?

Personal Experience: Consider Your Environment

I've worked over ten years in Finland as an ER doctor. To be honest, I've been lucky enough not to have seen any accidents involving children in bike seats. One of the main reasons is that Finland has a superb network of bicycle roads. So the lesson here is that before buying a bike seat, consider your environment carefully.

How good are the roads? What's the road safety culture?

It's also important to consider your skill, but I wouldn't think about it too much. You can always learn as you go, just try not to ride too fast on first days.

European Union likes to regulate things. Sometimes even something good comes out of it. In 2004 EU created a standard EN 14344. The point of this creatively named standard is to determine whether a child’s bike seat is safe and of good quality. Compliance is based on self-certification. People in the EU have it easy- make sure that the seat is EN 14344 compliant and you should be good to go. But even if you're not living in EU, it offers some lessons.

A black man is looking at you with incredolous look


6 Things We Can Learn From The EU Safety Standard?

1. Front-mounted seats  are safe as long as your child weighs less than 33lb (15kg). Heavier children should sit on rear-mounted seats if the seats are compatible

2. Front-mounted seats are not considered particularly safe if you can attach them only to a handlebar 

3. A child should not be able to touch a bike wheel with his or her legs when in a bike-chair

4. Bike seats should not have any sharp edges

5. The weight limit of the best child bike seat should be clearly stated

6. The center of gravity should be marked

Other Safety Features

There are some other elements that can make the child bike seat safer. I've discussed them in the next chapter. Keep on reading:)


Other Design Factors

At first glance, most bike seats look like nothing more than a plastic bucket with a few straps. Yet, most of them incorporate smart design elements that help keep your little one safe. Read along to learn more about what to look out for when purchasing a bike seat for your baby or toddler.


Helmet Pockets 

This design element comes in the form of a recess or cutout in the headrest. It provides a space for the back of a child's helmet to go.

It also prevents a child's head from being pushed forward because of the material filling the gap.

Seats with both a helmet pocket and a slight backward slope provide an adequate hub for a sleeping or restful child. Since all children should be wearing helmets, this design element is a high-priority for seats with high backs.

Lap Bars 

Lap bars provide a few different conveniences. For one, they help supplement a harness in locking down your precious cargo. Secondly, they offer a resting post for your child's hands. In some models, lap bars have evolved into protective dashboards. These would serve as a protective buffer if a bike were ever to collide with something or topple over.

High Back vs Low Back 

High back seats tend to be more comfortable for young children. In fact, they provide extra reinforcement for a child's head and neck. This is also a particularly important feature for sleeping children.

Suspension 

Some seats incorporate a shock-absorbing suspension system. These come in the form of springs and flexible metal rods. They help soften the ride by absorbing the shock from bumps in the road.

Adjustability

Babies and children are on an undeniably fast growth trajectory. Afraid that your little one grows out of the bike seat before it even arrives? Choose one that offers ample adjustability. This can come in the form of extendable foot holders, an adjustable backrest, and generous weight capacity. Most front mount seat have a lower weight capacity than rear mount seats.

Comfort 

A well-designed child bike seat is comfortable for both the child and adult. 

For a child, ample space to stretch, seat and backrest padding, and side bumpers fit the bill. 

For adults, it's vital that a seat does not inhibit or alter their style of riding. If you're continually nicking your knees on the back of your front mount seat, chances are you need to make a change.


Best Child Bike Seats For DadProgress Reviewed

CyclingDeal Rear Baby Seat With Adjustable Seat Rest Height (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 40lb

Seat Mounting Type: Rear Rack-mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames: 27.2-40 mm diameter round frames (except for dual suspension bikes and beach cruisers). The seat tube should be round

PROS

CONS

  • Detaches and attaches easily
  • Padded wrap-around cocoon seat provides ample protection in case of an accident
  •  There is a protective bar that runs the across the front of the lap area 
  • The adjustable backrest is slightly sloped. So children can ride comfortably while sleeping and there's ample room for helmets
  • All the  accessories for mounting are included
  • There's no waist strap

CyclingDeal Child Front Baby Bike Carrier With Handrail (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 33lb

Seat Mounting Type: Front-mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames: 27.2-40 mm diameter round frames (except for dual suspension bikes and beach cruisers). The seat tube should be round.

PROS

CONS

  • Detaches and attaches easily
  • It's easy to install (although instructions are worthless)
  • The shoulder and lap straps come together to form an adjustable five-point harness 
  • There's a handlebar for a baby for comfort
  • All the  accessories for mounting are included
  • Difficult to pedal for a bigger persons as the seat is close to the bike saddle
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    Straps are not easy to adjust
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    Plastic feels cheap

Schwinn Child Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 40lb

Seat Mounting Type: Rear Frame-Mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames

PROS

CONS

  • Detaches and attaches easily
  • It features a solid polypropylene base with easy-to-clean foam seat and backrest cushions
  • It's a very stable child seat
  • There is also a padded lap bar
  • This seat has a head rest, it may push your child's head forward- it depends in the helmet
  • This seat may be hard to install- it depends on your bike
  • Rack is included and you have to remove the existing rack rack to install it
  • This seat is attached to the seat post. If you are a shorter person and your saddle is in the lowest position then don't buy this one
  • Many parents have had compatibility issues

iBert Child Bicycle Safe-T-Seat (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 38lb

Seat Mounting Type: Front-Mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames

PROS

CONS

  • Easy to install
  • Detaches and attaches easily
  • The low centered post provides a solid center of gravity. So the rider is more balanced and comfortable while riding with their child
  • A padded guard in front of the child provides extra protection in case of a head-on collision.  The steering wheel can also function as a napping pad
  • The seat comes in three colors: red, green, and pink
  • Over-the-shoulder straps tend to fall down
  • This seat has a three-point harness

WeeRide LTD Kangaroo Deluxe Child Bike Seat (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 33lb

Seat Mounting Type: Front-Mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames

PROS

CONS

  • Easy to install. The mount bar and all the tools are included
  • Plastic seat detaches easily from the metal mounting bar. It's also easy to attach back
  • The perks include a quick-release five-point harness
  • Backrest and the seat pad are removable
  • This seat comes with a extra large padded dashboard
  • The footrests are adjustable so this seat can grow with child
  • Two colors available
  • The position of this seat result in a good center of balance. There are some cons though, keep on reading...
  • The problem with many front-mounted bike seats is that it may be hard for you to pedal. This is one of those seats. It's quite big and so you probably have to ride bowlegged
  • You have to lean over your little one when you're riding. As there's no backrest, your kid's helmet may feel quite uncomfortable against your chest

Bell Cocoon 300 Child Bicycle Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 40lb

Seat Mounting Type: Rear-Frame-Mounted

Compatibility: Not compatible with many newer bikes (read the cons section)

PROS

CONS

  • Easy to install
  • This seat is extremely budget-friendly. You get what you pay for though. The plastic feels cheap:)
  • This seat has a five-point harness
  • A detachable grab bar is included
  • The seat pad is removable and machine washable
  • It comes with a rear reflector to ensure your precision cargo is visible during early morning and evening rides
  • You have to replace the seat post clamp bolt of your bike. The bolt that comes with this seat connects the U-bracket to the seat clamp and it's 8 mm. 8 mm is too large for most new bikes though
  • This seat is mounted very close to your saddle. It depends on your bike, but this may interfere with your riding
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    Only one color available

Per Perego Orion Front Mount Child Seat (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 33lb

Seat Mounting Type: Front-Mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames

PROS

CONS

  • Easy to install, the bracket system is installed to the head tube
  • Thanks to the one-click secure connection, you can mount your little buddy's seat to your bike for a brisk morning ride and then quickly remove it in time for the evening's triathlon practice
  • You can choose between four different colors
  • This seat is equipped with a suspension system
  • A detachable handle is included
  • The three position adjustable footrests lets the this seat to grow with child
  • The padding is removable, but it's quite thin and you have hand-wash it
  • This seat has a three-point harness

Bell Shell Bike Child Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 40lb

Seat Mounting Type: Rear-Frame-Mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames

PROS

CONS

  • Easy to install, the mount is installed to the seat tube. With most bike models you probably have to remove the existing rack though
  • It's easy to attach and detach this seat. You can also adjust the position of this seat (how much distance you want between a seat and your saddle?)
  • The footrest is adjustable so this seat to grow with your child
  • The padding is removable, but it's quite thin
  • This seat has a three-point harness
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    Only one color available

Bellelli Pepe Bicycle baby Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 50lb

Seat Mounting Type: Rear-Mounted: Can be mounted to the frame (Pepe Standard) or to the existing rack (Pepe Clamp)

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames

PROS

CONS

  • This seat is complying with the stringent European Regulation EN 14344
  • Easy to install. If you buy Pepe Standard then the mount is installed to the seat tube and you don't have to remove your existing rack
  • It's easy to attach and detach. 
  • This bike has an adjustable footrests so it can grow with your child
  • Many colors available
  • The seat padding is removable, but it's quite thin
  • This seat has a three-point harness
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    Tools are not included

Thule Yepp Mini Child Bike Seat (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 33lb

Seat Mounting Type: Front-Mounted

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames (the steer tube should have a diameter between 0.8 to 1.1")

PROS

CONS

  • This seat is complying with the stringent European Regulation EN 14344
  • This seat has a five-point harness system
  • Quite easy to install, but you have to remove the handlebar to install it. All the tool should be included. This seat is installed to the steer tube, over 2" of space is required. So if your steer tube in already in the lowest position then don't buy this seat
  • It's easy to attach and detach 
  • This bike has an adjustable footrests so it can grow with your child
  • Four colors available
  • This seat is shock-absorbing
  • This seat comes with a padded loop handlebar
  • You can buy different accessories like a sleeping roll, a windscreen, mini adapter for mounting or extra shoulder pads 
  • There's no seat padding (so you don't have to clean it either:) 
  • It may be positioned too close to your chest- it depends on your bike model
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    This seat is quite expensive

Thule Yepp Maxi Easyfit Child Bike Seat (Check The Price On Amazon)

Weight Capacity: 48.5lb

Seat Mounting Type: Rear-Rack-Mounted 

Compatibility: Compatible with most bike frames, but the rack should be equipped with a EasyFit window or you have to buy a separate adapter

PROS

CONS

  • This seat is complying with the stringent European Regulation EN 14344
  • This seat has a five-point harness system
  • Easy to install
  • It's easy to attach and detach 
  • This bike has an adjustable footrests so it can grow with your child
  • Four colors available
  • This seat is shock-absorbing
  • There's no seat padding (so you don't have to clean it either:) 
  • As I have mentioned before, you may have to buy an adapter because your existing rack may not be compatible
  • Alternate Arrow Down
    This seat is quite expensive

The Best Child Bike Seat For You

Co-riding is a great way to introduce a healthy outdoor activity to babies and toddlers who aren't quite up for the task of pedaling on their own.  I advocate that parents eventually teach their young ones to ride a bike on their own though.

"The best child bike seat should suit your needs!"

Best Rated Front-Mounted Child Bike Seats

Two best front-mounted bike seats are probably iBert Child Bicycle Safe-T-Seat (Check The Price On Amazon) and Thule Yepp Mini Child Bike Seat (Check The Price On Amazon). iBert is easy to install, comfortable for a child and it's usually cheaper of the two. Thule Yepp Mini is probably safer as this seat is complying with the stringent EU rules and has a five-point-harness. For babies (starting from 9 months) Thule is the best bike seat as it has a higher back.

Best Rated Rear-Mounted Child Bike Seats

Two best rear-mounted bike seats are probably Schwinn Child Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon) and Bellelli Pepe Bicycle baby Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon). As I have mentioned before, Bellelli Pepe is excellent for bigger children as it has a weight capacity up to 50lb. Both of them could be the best baby bike seats for you as they have high backs.

Best Cheap Bike Seat

If you're looking for a child bike seat under fifty dollars, then Bell Cocoon 300 Child Bicycle Carrier (Check The Price On Amazon) is the one for you. It's not the best child bike seat out there, but if you are planning to go riding only a couple of times, there's no need to waste your money. The only problem is that this seat is not compatible with many new bikes.

I wrote a buying guide to best child bike seats because bike seat for kids can be hard to buy. There are so many different designs available. Click to read more