9 Baby Bike Seats for a Safe and Comfortable Ride
April 19, 2021
You don’t have to wait until baby’s ready for their own set of wheels for them to experience riding a bike. There are plenty of benefits to getting them in a baby bike seat at a young age: Biking is a fun way to get from point A to point B, and allowing kiddos to take in the view from the front or back of your bicycle seat is a great way to experience the outdoors together. It can also help your child get used to the idea of pedaling their own bike someday. Biking with baby can take some getting used to, but the best baby bike seats are supportive, comfortable and won’t significantly alter how you control the bike. Ready to take baby along for a ride? Below are some important bike safety tips you should know, followed by our top picks for the best baby bike seats.
Many child bike seats are designed for infants as young as 9 months, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the best baby bike seat age for a safe ride is 12 months. Before using a bike seat, “Baby should be on track with their milestones, able to sit upright without assistance, and have good head control to support wearing a toddler helmet,” says Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, a Texas-based pediatrician. Even if baby meets these criteria and is an above-average weight for their age, “the safest option is to wait until they’re at least one year old to go for a bike ride,” she says. In some states, it’s even against the law to transport children under age one on a bicycle.
Baby bike seats are the only safe way to carry a child on your bike; the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that front packs, backpacks, slings and carriers don’t offer adequate protection. It also isn’t a good idea to go out for a ride during nap time. “If a child falls asleep, you don’t need to wake them up, but they shouldn’t sleep in a bike seat for a prolonged period,” Phillips-Walker says. “Like with car seats, there’s an increased risk of suffocation if they fall asleep slumped over.”
Before going on your first ride together, you’ll need properly fitted bike helmets, spoke protectors to prevent those little hands and feet from getting hurt, and reflectors to make your bike visible at night. You should also check your bike’s tire pressure to make sure the tires are well-inflated, as this can make for a smoother ride.
Rear-mount bike seats attach to the bike above the rear wheel (known as a frame-mount) or on a separate bike rack (rack-mount). Since bumps and potholes are more often felt from the back of a bike, these types of bike seats often have shock-absorption features. Rear-mount bike seats can also accommodate a higher weight limit than front-mount bike seats, often up to 48 pounds.
Topeak BabySeat II
Two reasons this Topeak rack-mount model tops our list as one of the best baby bike seats: It’s padded with safety features (literally) and has more longevity compared to other seats, with a 48.5-pound weight limit. The wrap-around design offers great protection with a suspension system, roll bar handle, six-point harness, and multiple heights, along with adjustable footrests and straps to keep a passenger’s feet away from the spinning wheels. It also has a built-in rear reflector.
Buy it: $180, DicksSportingGoods.com
Thule Yepp Maxi Child Bike Seat
This frame-mount rear bike seat has been popular with everyday cyclists for years, and for good reason. The shock-absorbing seat is one of the lightest on the market and is made with water-repellent materials, making cleaning a breeze. It adapts as your child grows (until they’re 40 pounds) with an adjustable padded five-point harness, footrest and foot straps for ultimate comfort. It’s available in black, blue and orange, as well as a rack-mount version.
Buy it: $250, BedBathandBeyond.com
Burley Dash FM Rear Child Bike Seat
Despite having a smaller footprint than similar child bike seats, this rear frame-mount seat doesn’t compromise on comfort or safety. Weighing 8.7 pounds (and 6.4 pounds for the rack-mounted model, the seat works in three positions for ideal spacing between you and your little one. But what makes it the best baby bike seat? It has armrests, an attached small storage compartment, a rear reflector, and perhaps most appealing of all, a removable water-resistant seat cushion for easy cleaning. The adjustable five-point safety harness can accommodate toddlers up to 40 pounds.
Buy it: $150, Backcountry.com
Schwinn Deluxe Bicycle Mounted Child Carrier
It comes as no surprise that one of the most well-known bicycle manufacturers knows a thing or two about constructing a sturdy and reliable child bike seat. This top-rated frame-mount rear seat has a padded crossbar, three-point harness and seat features like a removable headrest and vents to help with the airflow. Bonus: Adjustable leg restraints will prevent unwanted kicks from unruly passengers. It’s suitable for kids up to 40 pounds.
Buy it: $90, Amazon.com
Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat
One-handed adjustments make this seat a serious contender for the best baby bike seat. It’s designed so you can quickly and easily adjust the seat, footrests, foot straps and three-point harness while keeping one hand steady on the bike—a major win. It’s also one of the few reclining seats, offering up to a 20-degree recline with an adjustable-height backrest and slightly recessed headrest to comfortably fit a helmet. It comes in a frame-mount style too, with the same safety features: spoke guard attachments, reflectors, shock absorbers, a childproof safety buckle, and the ability to support kids up to 48 pounds.
Buy it: $189, Amazon.com
Front-mount bike seats attach to the front of the bike, with baby’s legs sitting zbelow the handlebars. Although this position provides an optimal view for them, wrapping your arms around the bike seat can feel a bit cramped, especially as baby grows. Front-mount seats tend to have a lower weight capacity than rear-mount seats, so you’ll likely need to switch to a rear-mount seat when baby reaches 33 pounds.
WeeRide Kangaroo LTD Center Mounted Child Carrier
Like its animal namesake, this affordable front-mount bike seat is a cozy way to keep young co-riders close—until they reach 33 pounds. It’s lined with extra padding on the seat, backrest, shoulder straps, five-point harness and front bumper (which doubles as a headrest), and also has adjustable cup holder-like buckets for growing feet. The bike seat comes with a mounting bar that attaches just below your bike’s handlebar and seat post to help distribute the weight and improve your balance. And for solo rides, it’s easy to remove the baby bike seat and gain some extra legroom.
Buy it: $100, Walmart.com
Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Child Bike Seat
Weighing in at only 4.2 pounds, it’s amazing how sturdy this lightweight front-mount bike seat is. The shock-absorbing soft padded seat and easy-to-grasp handlebar offer ultimate comfort, while an adjustable and padded five-point safety harness and magnetic childproof safety buckle will keep children secure, up to 33 pounds.
Buy it: $200, BedBathandBeyond.com
iBert Child Bicycle Safe T-Seat
This colorful front-mount bike seat comes with a padded steering wheel for your child to help lead the way. Able to hold kids up to 38 pounds in a three-point harness, this seat offers great stability and easy communication with your rider. It has a lower back than other front-mount bike seats, which can make it easier for your arms to feel relaxed on the handlebars.
Buy it: $121, Amazon.com
Peg Perego Orion Front Mount Child Bike Seat
A unique bracket system connects this seat to the bike’s frame, and offers a built-in suspension system typically only found in rear-mount seats. The seat is water-repellent and waterproof, with three positions for the footrests, and a three-point harness that adapts to fit children up to 33 pounds. There’s even a removable handlebar to give toddlers (up to 22 pounds) some extra restraint.
Buy it: $120, BuyBuyBaby.com
About the expert:
Alexis Phillips-Walker DO, is a pediatrician at Memorial Herman Medical Group Pediatrics Atascocita in Atascocita, Texas. She earned her medical degree from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency at Authority Health/Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she trained at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.