10 Best Child (Baby) Bike Seats: 2018

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10 Best Child (Baby) Bike Seats: 2018

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

When buying a child 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 three mounting categories:

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

Rear 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.

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

 

Top 10 Child (Baby) Bike Seats

 


1. Thule RideAlong Mini: Best Overall – Front, $170


Thule RideAlong Mini child bike seat in gray and glue

Thule RideAlong Mini: $170, View on Amazon

 

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 child.

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 handle bar 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.

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 kids’ hands occupied, variable height foot rest, standard lock to prevent theft. Optional windscreen and handlebar pad.

FULL REVIEW: Thule RideAlong Mini


2. Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini: Best Universal Fit – Front$180


Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini child bike seat in black

Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini: $180, View on Amazon

 

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 child 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.

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 33 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 1″

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


3. Peg Perego Orion: Best Budget – Front$80


Peg Perego Orion child bike seat in red and gray

Peg Perego Orion: $80, View on Amazon

 

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.

AGE RANGE: 12 months – 33 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 0″

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


4. Hamax Caress, Frame Mount: Best Overall – Rear Frame, $159


Hamax Caress Rear Frame Mounted Child Bike Seat in White

Hamax Caress, Frame Mount: $159, View on Hamax.com

 

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.

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 3″ on seat tube

FEATURES: Variable reclining, dual-bar steel suspension, helmet recess, adjustable height backrest, non-slip straps, variable height foot rest, theft-protection lock.

FULL REVIEW: Hamax Caress


5. Thule RideAlong: Best Reclinable Seat – Rear Frame, $250


Thule RideAlong child bike seat in gray and black

Thule RideAlong: $250, View on Amazon

 

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.

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 


6. Thule Yepp Maxi: Best for Hot Climates – Rear Frame, $230


Thule Yepp Maxi child bike seat in bright blue

Thule Yepp Maxi $230, View on Amazon

 

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.

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

INCHES TO MOUNT: 4.5″ on seat tube

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


7. Bellelli Pepe Standard: Best Budget – Rear Frame, $95


Bellelli Pepe Standard child bike seat in red and blue

Bellilli Pepe Standard: $95, View on Amazon

 

At a very decent price, the Bellelli is a quality seat that offers a comfortable suspended 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 allow 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.

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

INCHES TO MOUNT: 3″ on seat tube

FEATURES: Suspension, variable height foot rest, two depth settings in center of seat, superior ventilation.


8. Hamax Caress, Rack Mount: Best Overall – Rear Rack, $169


Hamax Caress Rear Rack Mounted Child Bike Seat in Red

Hamax Caress, Rack Mount: $169, View on Hamax.com

 

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!

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: Rack not included, disc brake compatible, but you’re responsible for buying a compatible rack.

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

FULL REVIEW: Hamax Caress, Rack Mount


9. Topeak BabySeat II: Best Universal Fit – Rear Rack, $170


Topeak BabySeat II child bike seat in yellow and white

Topeak BabySeat II: $170, View on Amazon

 

As we know from experience, trying to match a child bike seat to a rack you already have can be problematic. It can also be just as much of a pain to buy a new rack that’s compatible with the child bike seat you want. With the Topeak BabySeat II, you don’t have to worry about compatibility because the seat comes with a rack, and also has an option for bikes with disc brakes! As long as you know what kind of brakes your bike has, Topeak will send you the right rack.

We love that the Topeak’s wrap around design offers extra protection for kids, and for parents, we love that it’s the easiest rear-mounted bike seat to use and install. But while the buckling system is simple to adjust, the standard nylon straps do tend to slide down and only have two height adjustment positions. It’s also important to note that the seat fits very close to the adult rider, making it less ideal for older or larger kids.

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs. (But at 48.5 lbs., the child would be snuggling pretty tightly with the adult rider in front of them.)

MOUNTING INFO: Rack included, disc brake compatible

FEATURES: Suspension, grab bar, variable footrest height adjust.

FULL REVIEW: Topeak BabySeat II


10. Bellelli Pepe Clamp: Best Budget – Rear Rack , $90


Bellelli Pepe Clamp child bike seat in blue and red

Bellelli Pepe Clamp: $90, View on Amazon

 

The Bellelli Pepe Clamp is the rear rack version of the rear frame-mounted Pepe Standard. The two seats are exactly the same except that they have different mounting systems, which also means that the rack version does not have suspension.

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

RACK INCLUDED: Rack not included, disc brake compatible

FEATURES: Variable height foot rest, two depth settings in center of seat, superior ventilation.

 


For a comparison chart of even more Child Bike Seats, please view our Child Bike Seats: Comparison Charts and Ratings page.

By: Carrie Wren

Last Updated: April 20, 2018