10 Best Child (Baby) Bike Seats

Our Top Child Bike Seat Picks For Every Baby, Bike, & Budget

When buying a child or baby bike seat, there’s a lot to consider, and you have to make sure the seat fits your child and your bike! The child bikes seats below are our top 10 favorites, and are broken into the four mounting categories:

Front Frame –  Mounts to the front of the bike near the handlebars.  Always smaller than rear seats, they’re best for babies and small toddlers 9 months – 2 years. Many riders prefer front seats because it’s easier to engage with your child in front of you.

Rear Mount Frame – Mounts to the frame of the bike in the rear. They offer the best suspension and reclinability but can be harder to fit on some bikes.

Rear Rack – Mounts to a rack at the rear of a bike. Many lack the great suspension of rear frame seats but are best if you’re already using a rack or your bike frame is not suitable for a frame-mounted seat.

MTB Seat – Designed for mountain bikes, these seats are your best choice if you’ll be tackling singletrack.

If you aren’t sure what type of seat you need, check out our page Child Bike Seats: How to Choose.

Best Child Bikes Seats

Front Frame Mount 

  1. Thule RideAlong Mini – Best Overall, $180
  2. Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini – Best Universal Fit, $190
  3. Tyke Toter – Best for Older Kids, $99
  4. Peg Perego Orion – Best on a Budget, $80

Rear Mount – Frame and Rack

  1. Hamax Caress (Frame & Rack)  – Best Overall, $169
  2. Thule RideAlong (Frame) – Best Reclinable Seat, $230
  3. Thule Yepp Maxi (Frame & Rack) – Best Ventilation, $250
  4. Bellelli Pepe (Frame & Rack) – Best Budget, $65

MTB Seat (Off Road Seat)

  1. Kids Ride Shotgun – Best Universal Fit, $150
  2. Mac Ride – Best for Easy On & Off, $199

 


Thule RideAlong Mini

Best Overall- Front


Thule RideAlong Mini child bike seat in gray and glue

 

MSRP: $180

AGE RANGE: 9 months to 33 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 3/4″

FEATURES: Soft, easy-to-adjust shoulder straps, color-coded adjustment buttons, handlebar keeps babies’ hands occupied, variable height footrest, standard lock to prevent theft. Optional windscreen and handlebar pad.

FULL REVIEW: Thule RideAlong Mini

The Thule RideAlong Mini is high-quality, durable, and packed full of easy-to-use features. Comfort is centerstage with backpack-style shoulder straps that are soft, padded, secure, don’t slip down, and have two height positions to adjust as your child grows. The RideAlong Mini’s footrests are also adjustable to grow with your baby or toddler.

From a safety perspective, the 5-point safety harness requires two hands for unbuckling (no baby is going to unbuckle themselves on accident!) and your child has their own handlebar to hold onto so they don’t grab yours! And with a super simple quick release, you can mount and unmount the seat in mere seconds depending on whether or not you’re bringing your child along for the ride.

 


Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini

Best Universal Fit – Front


Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini child bike seat in black

MSRP: $190

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 33 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 1″

FEATURES: Large vents for keeping babies cool, effective foot straps, variable height footrest, handlebar to keep toddlers’ hands occupied, 5-point harness. Optional windscreen and handlebar pad.

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini

In addition to being one of the best seats on the market, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is also one of the most likely to fit your bike. Because the mount wraps around the whole headset of your bike, the Nexxt Mini fits on both threaded and threadless headsets without the use of an adapter. This also makes it much easier to install – no removing your handlebars or modifications to your bike are required for initial installation.

Also made by Thule, it has features similar in quality and ease-of-use to the Ridealong Mini, but with foot straps that are more likely to keep your child’s feet secured in place and large air vents that will keep your baby cooler in hot climates. We don’t love the shoulder straps as much as the RideAlong’s – they only have one height setting and are a pain to set up initially – but no bike seat is perfect.

 


Tyke Toter

Best for Older Kids


tyke toter child bike seat front mount - orange silver

MSRP: $99

WEIGHT LIMIT: None

MOUNTING INFO: Must have 1.75″ of clearance on the seat post for the bike seat to mount to.

FEATURES: Wide saddle, integrated kids’ handlebars, small footpegs

FULL REVIEW: Tyke Toter

If your child is getting older and can no longer fit in a traditional front-mounted seat, the Tyke Toter is a fantastic choice! While most front-mounted seats max out at a 33 lb. weight limit, the Tyke Toter doesn’t have a weight limit! Without a harness system, your child must be old enough to sit still and hang on.

Riding with your child in front of you is one of our favorite things to do on a bike. And with the Tyke Toter, you can keep chatting away with your nugget all through their toddler and pre-school years. Super easy to take on and off, the Tyke Toter is ideal for quick rides around town, running errands, or school pick-ups.

 


Peg Perego Orion

Best Budget – Front


Peg Perego Orion child bike seat in red and gray

MSRP: $80

AGE RANGE: 12 months – 33 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 0″

FEATURES: Suspension, 3-position adjustable footrest, standard nylon shoulder straps.

FULL REVIEW: Peg Perego Orion

For just $80, there’s not much you can complain about with the Orion. While not as high-quality as the other seats we recommend, we do appreciate its unique mounting system that works for bikes with little or no room on the headset for a mounting bracket.  And because it attaches to the head tube of the bike instead of the headset, the bike seat stays stationary when you turn the handlebars.

With the weight of the seat always in the same spot, the center of balance is more consistent, which is an advantage for adult riders that struggle a bit with balance. The seat is small compared to other front-mounted seats and so as your child grows, the seat will provide less coverage. Additionally, the detachable handlebar only works for kids up to 22 lbs., so the Orion does begin to be less of a bargain as your child grows older.

 


Hamax Caress

Best Overall – Rear Rack or Frame


Hamax Caress Rear Frame Mounted Child Bike Seat in White

 

MSRP: $169

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: Frame mount – 3″ on seat tube. Rack mount – rack not included, disc brake compatible, but you’re responsible for buying a compatible rack.

FEATURES: Variable reclining, dual-bar steel suspension or built-in dual spring suspension, helmet recess, adjustable height backrest, non-slip straps, variable height footrest, theft-protection lock.

FULL REVIEW: Hamax Caress, Frame, Hamax Caress, Rack Mount

If you want the ultimate in comfort provided by a frame-mounted seat, but have wires on the seat tube that prevent a flush mount, the Hamax Caress is for you!

With durable construction, quick and easy adjustments, variable reclining up to 20 degrees, suspension for a smooth ride, and shoulder straps enveloped in soft and slightly tacky foam to prevent them from sliding off little shoulders, the Hamax Caress has plenty of comfort and safety features that make it a worthy investment.

The Hamax Caress, Rack Mounted is the same bike seat as the frame-mounted version, but comes with an adapter to mount to a rack for bikes whose frames aren’t compatible with a frame-mounted seat. We especially appreciate that the Hamax Caress, Rack Mounted comes with suspension, which is very rare for rack-mounted seats!

 


Thule RideAlong

Best Reclinable Seat – Rear Frame


Thule RideAlong child bike seat in gray and black

MSRP: $230

AGE RANGE: 1 year – 6 years (or 48.5 lbs.)

INCHES TO MOUNT: 4″ on seat tube, w/o wires on frame

FEATURES: 5 reclining positions, suspension, color-coded adjustment buttons, and soft, easy-to-adjust, stay-in-place shoulder straps, variable height foot rest.

FULL REVIEW: Thule RideAlong

Like the front-mounting RideAlong Mini, this rear-mounting version is high-quality, durable, and built with the best components. It’s also just as easy to use and easy to mount, and has super comfy padded shoulder straps that actually stay in place – it’s by far the best harness available on a rear frame-mounted rack. The shoulder straps have variable height adjustments so that whether your child is 1 year old or 6 years old, the seat will fit comfortably and securely.

Our favorite feature is the RideAlong’s five different reclining positions that are suuuuper easy to adjust on the fly to the preferred napping position of your child. It also features the DualBeam suspension system to minimize bumps in the road and maximize comfort. The unique low-saddle adapter allows the RideAlong to fit on smaller bikes on which the saddle would normally prevent the seat from mounting safely.

 


Thule Yepp Maxi

Best for Hot Climates – Rear Rack or Frame


Thule Yepp Maxi child bike seat in bright blue

 

MSRP: $250 (frame), $220 (rack)

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 6 years old (or 48.5 lbs.)

MOUNTING INFO: Frame mount – 4.5″ on seat tube, Rack Mount – does not come with rack, easy-fit compatible rack required

FEATURES: 5-point harness, variable height foot rest adjustment, superior ventilation

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp Maxi

So many vents! For families in hot climates, the Thule Yepp Maxi’s superior airflow will help alleviate uncomfortably sweaty backs! While the seat is durable, comfortable, and super easy to clean (no fabric cushions!), the simple nylon shoulder straps are hard to adjust and slip down frequently.

Additionally, as is common with child bike seats, the shoulder straps have only two height positions for adjusting for riders from 1 to 5 years old.If climate control is a huge selling point for you, the Yepp Maxi will surely deliver, but the superior strap system on the Thule RideAlong will be a better choice for many families.

 


Bellelli Pepe

Best Budget – Rear Rack or Frame


Bellelli Pepe Standard child bike seat in red and blue

MSRP: $65 (frame), $75 (rack)

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: Frame Mount – 3″ on seat tube; Rack Mount – rack not included, disc brake compatible

FEATURES: Variable height footrest, two depth settings in center of seat, superior ventilation

FULL REVIEW: Bellelli Pepe

At a very decent price, the Bellelli is a quality seat that offers a comfortable ride. With tons of ventilation, high sideboards for better containment, and variable foot rest height adjustment, the Pepe is both comfy and safe.

We also appreciate the two depth settings in the center of the seat that allows you to get the buckle closer to the crotch of really petite or young riders for a more snug fit. This does help compensate some for the standard nylon shoulder straps that are likely to slide down. The Pepe has 3 shoulder height slots, which is more than the much higher priced Thule Yepp Maxi.

 


Kids Ride Shotgun

Best Universal Fit – MTB Seat


MSRP: $150

AGE RANGE: 24 months – 5 years

INCHES TO MOUNT: 0″

FEATURES: Open set-up provides much more space for the parent rider.  Footstraps prevent kids’ feet from hitting the front tires.  Optional set of mini-handlebars for the kids.

FULL REVIEW: Kids Ride Shotgun

The Shotgun seat is a unique “mid-mount” child bike seat that places kids front and center while riding. Designed specifically for mountain bikes, the Shotgun will accommodate the wide variety of frames – from trail bikes to downhill full-suspension mountain bikes – the Shotgun is a great choice for trail riding families.  If your family isn’t quite ready to hit the trails, not to worry, the Shotgun makes for a great seat around town and will fit on essentially any bike with a “mountain bike” style frame.

Optional mini handlebars are an added bonus that allows kids to sit more upright, rather than being forced to lean all the way forward to hold on to the adult’s handlebars. Due to the lack of shoulder straps, the Shotgun is best suited for older toddlers or preschoolers who are sure to keep a grip on the handlebars during a ride.

 


Mac Ride

Best for Easy On and Off – MTB Seat


mac ride on front mount child bike seat - blue

MSRP: $199

WEIGHT LIMIT: 60 lbs.

MOUNTING INFORMATION: Mounts to seat post and headset.  Bike must have a 10mm spacer on the steer tube.

FEATURES: Seat shape that cradles the child in place, adjustable foot rests, optional mini handlebar grips

FULL REVIEW: Mac Ride

If you want to easily take your MTB seat on and off, or swap between bikes, the Mac Ride is your best choice.  While initial installation takes a bit of time, it’s worth it in the end – the Mac Ride can then be removed in seconds.

The Mac Ride’s saddle is unique because it cradles a child and keeps them securely in place. It was a huge hit with our kids who felt more confident on true mountain bike trail rides. The Mac Ride is also the only MTB seat that has footrests that you can adjust for height!

If you’re interested in checking out other mid-mounted child bike seats, check out our 5 Best MTB Child Bike Seats comparison list.

 

Child Bike Seat Comparison Chart

Bike

MSRP

Mount TypeChild Age/WeightReclinableMounting InfoSuspension

Thule RideAlong Mini

$180Front Frame20 - 33 lbs.No3/4" to mountNo

Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini

$190Front Frame20 - 33 lbs.No1" to mountNo

Peg Perego Orion

$80Front Frame12 months - 33 lbs.No0" to mountNo

Hamax Caress

$169Rear Frame9 months – 48.5 lbs.Yes3" on seat tubeYes

Thule RideAlong

$230Rear Frame1 year – 6 years (or 48.5 lbs.)Yes4" on seat tubeYes

Thule Yepp Maxi

$250Rear Frame9 months – 6 years old (or 48.5 lbs.)No4.5" on seat tubeNo

Bellelli Pepe Standard

$65Rear Frame9 months – 48.5 lbs.No3" on seat tubeNo

Hamax Caress, Rack Mount

$169Rear Rack9 months – 48.5 lbs.YesRack not includedYes

Topeak BabySeat II

$170Rear Rack9 months – 48.5 lbs.NoRack includedYes

Bellelli Pepe Clamp

$95Rear Rack9 months – 48.5 lbs.NoRack not includedNo
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi$230Rear Rack9 mo. to 40 lbs.NoRack not includedNo

Kids Ride Shotgun

$150Mid-MountUp to 48 lbs.NoFits bikes with top tubes 35 – 68mm wide and down tubes from 35 – 100mm wideNo

Mac Ride

$199Mid-Mount24 months - 5 yearsNoMounts to seat post and headsetNo

Do Little

$140Mid-MountUp to 61.8 lbs.NoFixed width, but easily mounts to any bike with a top tube less than 2" wideNo

Tyke Toter

$99Mid-MountNo weight limitNoMounts to seat postNo

How to Choose the Best Baby or Child Bike Seat

Choosing the best Child Bike Seat for your baby, toddler, or growing child can get complicated very quickly. Not only do you need to choose a comfortable seat for your child, but you need to choose a seat that fits on your bike. With thousands of bikes on the market, that can be a tricky issue! We cover this in great detail in our article Child Bike Seats: How to Choose and strongly recommend that you read that before you buy!

Here’s a quick summary of what to look for when selecting a child bike seat that fits your child and your bike.

Front or Rear Mounted Child Bike Seat

Do you want your little nugget up in front with you or behind? Front-mounted seats are fantastic for interacting with little ones, but are much smaller and usually max out at a child weight capacity of 33 lbs, or about 2.5 to 3 years old. Front mounted seats are best for babies and young toddlers.

Mom riding with 1-year-old in the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini child bike seat

Rear child bike seats are generally larger and can often accommodate kids up to 5 or 6 years old! If you start with a front-mounted seat, you’ll eventually need to transition to a rear-mounted seat to fit your growing toddler.

Rear seats have two different mounting styles – frame or rack. While frame-mounted seats are the most common, they can also be the most difficult to mount due to various features or design elements on the bike’s frame.   Rear rack-mounting child seats typically fit on any bike that accepts a traditional bike rack.

Bike Fit Requirements for Different Seat Mount Types

This is where it gets really specific to your particular bike. This is a short summary, but seriously, go read the full version – Child Bike Seats: How to Choose. No matter what type of mounting seat type you’d like to have (front, rear-frame, or rear-rack), your bike may only be compatible with one or two.

Front Mounted

Front mounted seats attach via a mounting bracket on the stem of the handlebars. The width of that stem and its height will determine if a bike seat can be mounted to it. Unfortunately, every bike seat’s mounting bracket is different. Some require barely any space to mount, while others may require a full vertical inch. And then the diameter of the mounting bracket also comes into play.

Because the child bike seat is directly between you and your handlebars, it takes up space in the cockpit of the bike. If you are short and have a smaller bike, there may not be enough room for you and your baby without your knees hitting the seat with every pedal stroke. Take this into consideration before deciding on a front-mounting seat.

Diagram showing were on a threaded and threadless headset to look for the space available to mount a child bike seat

Rear Mounted

If your bike has an external brake cable on the seat tube, you most likely won’t be able to mount a rear child bike seat to your bike’s frame.

Collage showing good and bad examples of Interfering Cables for Rear Frame-mounted Child Bike Seats

Another mounting issue can occur if your bike’s saddle is set to a low position on the frame. While it varies on different child bike seats, all brands need about two inches clearance below the bike’s saddle for the seat and mounting poles.

Rear Rack

Rear rack-mounted child bike seats are generally the easiest to fit on the widest variety of adult bikes. You, of course, need a rack to mount the child bike seat to your bike, which requires eyelets for mounting the rack. If you have eyelets, you’re probably good to go!

Collage showing where to find eyelets on a bike for mounting a bike rack

Disc brakes can be a problem with rear rack-mounted child bike seats, so if you have disc brakes, look for a disc-brake-compatible child bike seat.

Size and Age of Child

Baby (child) bike seats have age and weight limitations for safe traveling. We encourage you to wait until your baby is 1-year-old before you put them in any child bike seat.

Front-mounted seats are smaller and a toddler will outgrow them more quickly. If you’re looking for a seat with longevity, a rear-mounting seat is your best bet. As you can see below on the left, the 1-year-old is a perfect fit for the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini. In the image on the right, the 2.5-year-old is almost too big for a front-mounted seat.

Shoulder Straps

Shoulder straps are one of the distinguishing features of child bike seats. Padded straps are more comfortable for little ones and tend to stay in place better.

Shoulder straps should be set against a high seat back so they won’t slip off a child’s shoulders. Multiple height adjustments for the shoulder straps are preferred so they can continue to fit your child as they grow from baby to toddler to big kid!

Collage showing difference between child bike seats with sliding height adjust shoulder straps and those with rethread heigh adjust and no height adjust.

Recline

Higher-end rear child bike seats have recline features that can make a huge difference for the comfort of little ones. Especially if you go on long rides where your child might want to take a snooze, reclining that seat can be a life saver!

Adjustable Footrests

All of the child bike seats we recommend (but not all of the seats on the market) have adjustable footrests. They give a toddler or child a secure place to rest their feet, and also keep their feet strapped down so they don’t kick parents in the butt!

Collage showing child bike seats with and without foot straps.

 


Related Articles


Child Bike Seats: How to Choose: It’s complicated! Get educated on the proper fit for your child and your bike.

Child Bike Seats: Comparison Chart: To view, sort, and read reviews on ever more bike seats.


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