Biking is a fun family activity for adults and children of all ages. This is a great way for your family to be active and get outside in the fresh air. During the toddler and preschool years, your child may not be ready to keep up with the rest of the family on their beginner bike.
Adding a child bike seat to your adult bike is a wonderful option to continue biking with your family when you have a small child. Remember that child bike seats are not intended for babies under nine months of age. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you wait until your child in one year of age before using a child bike seat.
Also, for safety, remember to always have your child wear a bike helmet, even if they are just riding on a seat on your bike. We have a great list of the best infant helmets here on EM. Check your local laws to understand the regulations regarding bike safety.
I live in Colorado where biking is a way of life. With the available access to trails and bike paths, it is quite common to see parents biking with their children. We also have an abundance of quality bike shops with helpful professionals available to answer all kinds of biking questions.
I recommend the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi as the premier child bike seat. This top of the line option is designed to grow with your child. It is also safety focused and made to last. If you plan to bike frequently with your child for many years, invest in the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi.
Best Overall Child Bike Seat
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is the best overall child bike seat. This seat is on the more expensive side, but it adds the benefit of working for your child until they are almost 50 pounds or six years old. According to the manufacturer, this seat will work starting at nine months old, which means this is the only child bike seat you will ever need to buy.
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is lightweight and comfortable for your child. This product has a padded seat for your child’s comfort. Safety is also key with a five-point harness and child-proof buckle.
- Weighs only 5.8 pounds
- Hard outer shell with inside padding
- Weight capacity of up to 48.5 pounds
- Quick and easy mounting to adult bike
- Adjustable 5-point harness with magnetic buckle
If you are looking for a quality child bike seat that will last for many years or through more than one child, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi is the seat for you.
Best Front Mounted Child Bike Seat
The iBert Safe T Seat is my recommendation for the best front mounted child bike seat. According to Rascal Rides, the iBert is the most commonly used front mounted child bike seat in the United States. The iBert is safe, versatile and comes in three fun colors.
As with most front mounted child bike seats, the weight limit is lower than many rear-mounted seats. The seat is only recommended for up to 38 pounds and four-year-old children.
- Patented T-bar mounting system
- 3-point harness
- Removable seat pad
- Includes padded steering wheel
- Solid leg area to protect child’s legs from the bike wheel
- Include steel mounting hardware
- Maximum weight capacity of 38 pounds
This is a great option for the parent that is passionate about bike riding. The iBert Safe T Seat is even rated for mountain biking. If biking is a family affair, then you want to explore the iBert Safe T Seat.
Best Transitional Child Bike Seat for Older Children
The Tyke Toter of a great child bike seat option for children ages two to five years old. If you are a fan of the front mounted child bike seat but your child has gotten too big, this is the choice for you.
This seat feels more like a real bicycle seat and attaches to the frame in front of the adult bike seat. The seat, however, does not include peddles like similar rear bike seat add-ons. The Tyke Toter intentionally does not include straps to allow the child to feel how to balance.
- Fits adult bike seat posts between 1 and 1.25 inches
- Quick installation and removal
- No weight limit
- Recommended for ages 2 to 5
The Tyke Toter is a great option for preschoolers. I do not recommend this for children under two. Also, use this product for casual bike riding not long or tedious trips. This is great to use in combination with a scoot bike to help your child understand balancing.
The Best Rear Frame Child Bike Seat
The Hamax Caress is the best rear frame child bike seat. If you do not have a rack or do not want a rear rack child bike seat, I recommend the Hamax Caress. The Hamax Caress is a safe and comfortable option for your child.
Another great feature of this child bike seat is that it can also be used as a rear rack seat. Regardless of the type of bike you have, this seat should work for your family.
- Height adjustable seat back
- Adjustable footrest system
- Weight capacity up to 48.5 pounds
- Shock absorbing frame
- 3-point harness
- Fits both rear frame and rack
The Hamax Caress child bike seat is a wonderful option if you want the added versatility to fit both the rear frame and rear rack. This quality child bike seat is comfortable and well-made to allow for years of use.
Best Front Frame Budget Friendly Child Bike Seat
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option for your child bike seat, the Wee Ride Kangaroo offers safety at a lower price point. This seat doesn’t look as flashy as some of the other options, but it gets the job done.
The seat works for children up to 33 pounds. Like other front mounted child bike seats, you will not be able to use this seat with your child for as long, but you will save on the upfront costs.
- 5-point safety harness
- Weight capacity of 33 pounds and 4 years-old
- 2 year warranty
- Adjustable foot cups for safety
- Padded dashboard and seat
If you do not need a fancy child bike seat or if you only bike casually, this is a great option. It is reliable and safe for you and your child.
Types of Child Bike Seats
Before you set out to purchase a child bike seat, it is important to understand the different types available. You also want to understand the type of bike you have and which type of seat will work best with your bike’s design.
Front mounted child bike seats allow your child to ride on the front of the bike. Think about when you were a kid and let your friends ride on the handlebars, only safer. Most front mounted child bike seats attach to the headset of the bike just behind the handlebars.
- Most interactive seat
- Allows you to see your child
- Great for experienced bikers
- Doesn’t work well with shorter bikers
- Only works up to 35 pounds
- More risk to child if a crash occurs
The rear frame child bike seat attaches to the frame or seat post of the adult bike. The child sits behind the adult on the bike. This types of rear child bike seat does not require a rack to attach to the bike.
- No rack required for installation
- Quick removal
- Best for reclining and suspension
- Need more clearance to attach
- Less space between parent and child
- Some bikes not compatible
The rear rack child bike seat is my favorite option. The seat attaches to a rack on the adult bike’s back tire. This option allows for more room for the child and will work well as the child grows.
- Versatile use for up to age six
- More room between the adult and child
- Quick removal
- Rack required for installation
- Often more expensive
- Bike must have eyelets to install a rack
Child bike seats are a great option for family biking outings. Whether you bike every day as a part of your lifestyle or enjoy the occasional ride around the neighborhood, there is a child bike seat option for you.
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxiis my top pick for child bike seat based on its reliability, high parent ratings, and child comfort. I also like that this model comes with a five-point harness versus the three-point harness. I am on the shorter side. This rear rack mounted, lightweight option works better than a heavier child bike seat. Also, it is harder to see over a front mounted child bike seat.
If you are looking for a child bike seat, I encourage you to research the various types and models.
Consider your size, the size of your child, your biking experience, and your type of bike. You should be able to make a good decision for your budget and your lifestyle.