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10 Best Child (Baby) Bike Seats: 2020

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 11 favorites, and are broken into the three mounting categories:

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, want to use panniers, or your bike frame is not suitable for a frame-mounted seat.

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.

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

10 Best Child (Baby) Bike Seats

Bike Seat

Mount Type

Why We Love It

MSRP

Burley Dash

Rear Frame/Rack

Best Harness and Storage$149
Hamax Caress

Rear Frame/Rack

Most Universal Fit$189
Bellelli Pepe

Rear Frame/Rack

Best on a Budget$115
Hamax Observer

Front Frame

Best Mid-priced$140
Peg Perego Orion

Front Frame

Best on a Budget$110
Thule Yepp Mini

Front Frame

Best Ventilation$199
Kids Ride Shotgun

Front Frame

Best Non-traditional $150
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi

Rear Frame

Most Lightweight $250
Thule RideAlong

Rear Frame

Best Reclinable Seat $230
Thule Yepp Maxi

Rear Frame

Best for Hot Climates$250

 


Burley Dash

Best Harness and Storage – Rear Frame or Rack


Burley Dash child bike seat in gray

 

MSRP: $149 frame, $149 rack, $189 X reclining model

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 40 lbs.

FRAME MOUNTING INFO:  Need 4.1″ on seat tube to mount (clear of wires)

RACK MOUNTING INFO: Rack not included

FEATURES: Rear storage pocket, 5-point harness with higher buckle, optional recline, easy-to-clean padding, variable height footrest

FULL REVIEW: Burley Dash

If you love Burley bike trailers, you’ll love the new Burley Dash child bike seat! Durable and well-designed for a very fair price point, the Dash seats are easy to mount and easy to use.

Burley’s child bike seats have two unique features that set them apart from the competition. 1) The rear storage pocket is a game changer for short trips when you just need to bring your keys and wallet and don’t want to bother with a purse or backpack. The other seats on this list don’t have this feature!

2) The 5 point harness system adjusts in length from the top, bottom, and sides. All this adjustability allows you to place the buckle lower or higher on your child’s chest according to your preference. We’ve found that being able to place the buckle higher prevents our devious toddler from wiggling her way out of the harness while we’re not looking!

 


Hamax Caress

Most Universal Fit – Rear Frame or Rack


Hamax Caress Rear Rack Mounted Child Bike Seat in Red

 

MSRP: $189 (frame and rack)

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

FRAME MOUNTING INFO:  Need 3″ on seat tube to mount, compatible with wires along the back of the seat tube

RACK MOUNTING INFO: Rack not included

FEATURES: Variable reclining, dual-bar steel suspension (frame), dual spring suspension (rack), helmet recess, adjustable height backrest, non-slip straps, variable height sliding footrest, theft-protection lock

FULL REVIEW: Hamax Caress (frame), Hamax Caress (rack)

What really makes the Hamax Caress stand out is its uniquely universal mounting system. Many bikes have wires on the seat tube that prevent you from using a frame-mounted seat. But the design of the Hamax Caress’ mounting block makes these wires a non-issue, making it compatible with many more bikes than your average frame-mounted seat. And if for some reason your bike still doesn’t work, there’s always the rack-mounted version!

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. We especially appreciate that the Hamax Caress, Rack Mounted comes with suspension, which is very rare for rack-mounted seats!

 


Bellelli Pepe

Best on a Budget – Rear Frame or Rack


Bellelli Pepe Standard child bike seat in red and blue

MSRP: $115 (frame), $115 (rack)

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.

FRAME MOUNTING INFO:  Need ~4″ on seat tube to mount (clear of wires)

RACK MOUNTING INFO: Rack not included

FEATURES: Lightweight, variable height sliding footrest, two buckle depth settings in crotch area 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 footrest 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.

 


Peg Perego Orion

Best on a Budget – Front


Peg Perego Orion child bike seat in red and gray

MSRP: $110

AGE RANGE: 12 months – 33 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: One of few front seats to mount to the frame of the bike, rather than the headset. Accommodates many different frame styles.

FEATURES: Suspension, 3-position adjustable footrest, standard nylon shoulder straps, mounting bracket accommodates many types of frames

For the low price 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.

FULL REVIEW: Peg Perego Orion

 


Thule RideAlong Mini

Best Shoulder Straps – Front


Thule RideAlong Mini child bike seat in gray and glue

 

MSRP: $190

AGE RANGE: 9 months to 33 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: Mounts to headset (threaded or threadless), need 0.94″ free space

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

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. (Most front seats only have one position.) The RideAlong Mini’s footrests also slide up and down 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

Most Lightweight – Front


Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini child bike seat in black

MSRP: $190

AGE RANGE: 9 months – 33 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: Mounts to headset (threaded or threadless), need 0.83″ of free space

FEATURES: Large vents for keeping toddlers cool, foot straps better than most, variable height sliding footrest, handlebar to keep toddlers’ hands occupied, 5-point harness

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 lightest. 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, and the straps are still much better than cheaper seats. Also like the RideAlong Mini, taking it on and off takes mere seconds!

 


Kids Ride Shotgun

Best Non-traditional  – Front


MSRP: $150

AGE RANGE: 24 months – 5 years (up to 48 lbs.)

MOUNTING INFO: Mounts to top tube and down tube. Best for use on a bike with a front suspension fork (bikes without suspension fork often don’t have enough clearance between the front wheel and down tube).

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 a wide variety of frames – from trail bikes to downhill full-suspension mountain bikes.

The Shotgun is a great choice for any trail riding family, but if your family isn’t quite ready to hit the trails, not to worry! The Shotgun also makes for a great seat around town and will fit on essentially any bike with a “mountain bike” style frame.

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. If you’re interested in checking out other open-style front child bike seats, check out our 8 Best Front Child Bike Seats comparison list.

 


Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi

Most Lightweight – Rear Frame


thule yepp nexxt maxi rear mount child bike seat - black blue 

MSRP: $250

AGE RANGE: 1 year – 48.5 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: >6″ needed to mount bracket on seat tube (clear of wires)

FEATURES: Large vents for keeping toddlers cool, foot straps better than most, variable height sliding footrest, 5-point harness

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi

Lightweight with a low center of gravity, we found the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi to have minimal effect on the adult rider’s balance. It also has large vents to keep a child’s back cool in hot weather, and a soft, dense foam pad for added bum comfort.

Parents will appreciate the unique, child-proof magnetic buckle and the foot straps that do a much better job than most of keeping little feet secured in place. And of course, made by Thule, the quality and ease-of-use are top notch.

 


Thule Yepp Maxi

Best for Hot Climates – Rear Frame


Thule Yepp Maxi child bike seat in bright blue

 

MSRP: $250

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

MOUNTING INFO: >6″ needed to mount bracket on seat tube (clear of wires)

FEATURES: 5-point harness, variable height sliding footrest adjustment, superior ventilation

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp Maxi (rack version, which is the same except for the mounting system)

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 can slip down.

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.

 


Thule RideAlong

Best Reclinable Seat – Rear Frame


Thule RideAlong child bike seat in gray and black

MSRP: $230

AGE RANGE: 1 year – 48.5 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: >6″ needed to mount bracket on seat tube (clear of wires)

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

FULL REVIEW: Thule RideAlong

Like the front-mounted 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.

 

Child Bike Seat Comparison Chart

Bike

MSRP

Mount TypeChild Age/WeightReclinableMounting InfoSuspension

Rear Mounted 

Burley Dash

$169Rear Frame or Rack12 months – 48.5 lbs.Optional4.1" on seat tubeNo

Hamax Caress

$189Rear Frame or Rack12 months – 48.5 lbs.Yes3" on seat tubeYes

Thule Yepp Maxi

$250Rear Frame or Rack12 months – 6 years old (or 48.5 lbs.)No6" on seat tubeNo

Bellelli Pepe

$120Rear Frame or Rack12 months – 48.5 lbs.No4" on seat tubeNo
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi$230Rear Frame or Rack9 mo. to 40 lbs.NoRack not includedNo

Thule RideAlong

$230Rear Frame1 year – 6 years (or 48.5 lbs.)Yes6" on seat tubeYes

Thule RideAlong Lite

$180Rear Frame1 year – 6 years (or 48.5 lbs.)Yes6" on seat tubeYes

Topeak BabySeat II

$170Rear Rack12 months – 48.5 lbs.NoRack includedYes

Front Mounted 

Thule Yepp Mini

$199Front Frame12 months - 33 lbs.No0.83" to mount, or special ahead adapterNo

Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini

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

Thule RideAlong Mini

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

Hamax Observer

$170Front Frame12 months - 33 lbs.No1/2" to mount, or special ahead adapterNo

Peg Perego Orion

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

Tyke Toter

$99Front, seat postNo weight limitNoMounts to seat postNo

Mid Mounted - MTB

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

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 rack.

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 lifesaver!

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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