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:
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 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.
11 Best Child (Baby) Bike Seats
Why We Love It
|Thule RideAlong Mini|
|Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini|
|Best Universal Fit||$190|
|Peg Perego Orion|
|Best on a Budget||$80|
|Kids Ride Shotgun|
|Best Reclinable Seat||$230|
|Thule Yepp Maxi|
|Best for Hot Climates||$250|
|Bellelli Pepe Standard|
|Best on a Budget||$95|
|Hamax Caress, Rack Mount|
|Topeak BabySeat II|
|Best Universal Fit||$170|
|Bellelli Pepe Clamp|
|Best on a Budget||$90|
Best Overall- Front
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.
Best Universal Fit – Front
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.
Best Budget – Front
AGE RANGE: 12 months – 33 lbs.
INCHES TO MOUNT: 0″
FEATURES: Suspension, 3-position adjustable footrest, standard nylon shoulder straps.
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: 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. One of the few child bike seats compatible with a wide variety of bikes – from hybrid city cruisers with sloping top tubes to full-suspension mountain bikes with dropper posts – the Shotgun is a great choice for adventurous families on the go.
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.
Best Overall – Rear Frame
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 footrest, theft-protection lock.
FULL REVIEW: Hamax Caress
Best Reclinable Seat – Rear Frame
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.
Best for Hot Climates – Rear Frame
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.
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.
Best Budget – Rear Frame
AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.
INCHES TO MOUNT: 3″ on seat tube
FEATURES: Suspension, variable height footrest, two depth settings in center of seat, superior ventilation.
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 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.
Best Overall – Rear Rack
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
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!
Best Universal Fit – Rear Rack
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
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.
Best Budget – Rear Rack
AGE RANGE: 9 months – 48.5 lbs.
RACK INCLUDED: Rack not included, disc brake compatible
FEATURES: Variable height footrest, two depth settings in center of seat, superior ventilation.
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.
Child Bike Seat Comparison Chart
|Mount Type||Child Age/Weight||Reclinable||Mounting Info||Suspension|
|$180||Front Frame||20 - 33 lbs.||No||3/4" to mount||No|
|$190||Front Frame||20 - 33 lbs.||No||1" to mount||No|
|$80||Front Frame||12 months - 33 lbs.||No||0" to mount||No|
|$199||Front Frame||24 months - 5 years||No||1/2" to mount||No|
|$159||Rear Frame||9 months – 48.5 lbs.||Yes||3" on seat tube||Yes|
|$230||Rear Frame||1 year – 6 years (or 48.5 lbs.)||Yes||4" on seat tube||Yes|
|$250||Rear Frame||9 months – 6 years old (or 48.5 lbs.)||No||4.5" on seat tube||No|
|$95||Rear Frame||9 months – 48.5 lbs.||No||3" on seat tube||No|
|$169||Rear Rack||9 months – 48.5 lbs.||Yes||Rack not included||Yes|
|$170||Rear Rack||9 months – 48.5 lbs.||No||Rack included||Yes|
|$90||Rear Rack||9 months – 48.5 lbs.||No||Rack not included||No|
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.
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 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.
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 seatq to your bike’s frame.
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-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!
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 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!
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!
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!
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.