10 Best Child and Baby Bike Seats

When buying a child or baby bike seat, you have to make sure the seat fits your child and your bike!  We have personally tested over 60 child bike seats with our own kids to help you find the seat that will work best for your situation. This list was fine-tuned and carefully crafted after 14 years of product testing.

From mounting style (front vs back, frame vs rack) to age range (babies to preschoolers), we cover all the possible options you need to consider. If you’re looking for a baby bike seat for an infant, be cautious. In addition to other safety concerns, a baby needs to have sufficient neck strength to hold up their head while wearing a helmet. We recommend waiting until 12 months old.

mom riding with the hamax caress rack mounted child bike seat

10 Best Child and Baby Bike Seats

Bike Seat Why We Love It Price
Baby Bike Seat: 1 - 3 years old. Smaller fit for smaller bodies.
Peg Perego Orion Best front seat on a budget $79
Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Mini Lightweight, baby in front $219
Burley Dash Rear storage pocket $169
Hamax Caress Fits on more bikes $169
Toddler Bike Seat: 1 - 4 years old. Fits smaller and bigger bodies equally well.
Bellelli Pepe Best on a budget $95
Topeak BabySeat II Comes with a rack $209
Thule RideAlong Best fit and most comfortable $299
Child Bike Seat: 2 - 4 years old. Harness height best for 2+.
Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi Most lightweight $249
Kids Bike Seat: 2 - 5 years old. No harness, higher weight capacities.
UrRider Budget friendly $95
Mac Ride On and off in seconds $229

Child Bike Seat Fit and FAQ Guide

There are three main questions parents ask when they’re looking to purchase a bike seat for their baby, toddler, or child.

STEP 1: FRONT OR BACK – Should I get a child bike seat that mounts to the front or back of my bike?

STEP 2: FRAME OR RACK – What’s the difference between a frame or rack mounted child seat?

STEP 3: PRICE – How much am I willing to pay for quality and comfort?

If you don’t already know the answers to these questions, jump down to our How to Choose section before you dive into the specifics of our top pick seats.

Want to see our top picks in action? Check out our 10 Best Child Bike Seats video below to see our favorite seats while in use as well as learn about our favorite features of each.


These baby bike seats offer a smaller fit for smaller bodies, generally from about 1 to 3 years old. There are front mounting as well as rear mounting options.

Front mounting seats are smaller and won’t fit your toddler as long, but offer the most interactive experience with parent and child.

Peg Perego Orion

Best on a Budget – Front Frame Mount

MSRP: $79

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 bike frames

FULL REVIEW: Peg Perego Orion

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 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 young toddler grows older.

Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Mini

Most Lightweight – Front Headset Mount

MSRP: $219

AGE RANGE: 12 months – 33 lbs.

MOUNTING INFO: Mounts to a threaded headset only, need 0.83″ of free space on the stem for the mounting block

FEATURES: Large vents for keeping toddlers cool, foot straps better than most, variable-height sliding footrests, handlebar to keep toddlers’ hands occupied, magnetic buckle

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Mini

In addition to being one of the best seats on the market, the Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Mini is also one of the lightest. It features the high quality and ease-of-use you’d expect from Thule, with a unique, child-proof magnetic buckle. Its large air vents will keep your baby cooler in hot climates.

The Yepp Nexxt 2 Mini’s quick release bracket allows you to snap the seat on or take it off in less than 5 seconds. This makes getting out for spur of the moment rides exceptionally easy. We also love the large handlebar in front to keep little one’s hands occupied and off your handlebars!

Burley Dash

Rear Storage Pocket – Rear Frame or Rack Mount

mom looking at her daughter in a burley dash child bike seat

MSRP: $169 frame, $169 rack, $199 X reclining model

AGE RANGE: 12 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

Fits on More Bikes – Rear Frame or Rack Mounted

Mom and toddler watching a horse while riding a bike and using the Hamax Caress child bike seat

MSRP: $169 (frame and rack)

AGE RANGE: 12 months – 40 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

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!


These toddler bike seats have harnesses that are highly adjustable, making them a great fit for toddlers as young as 12 months, until they’re as old as 4 or 5. All of these seats mount behind the adult rider, on a rack or the bike’s frame.

Bellelli Pepe

Best Ventilation on a Budget- Rear Frame or Rack Mounted

bellelli pepe child bike seat action shot

MSRP: $110 (frame), $95 (rack)

AGE RANGE: 12 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 Pepe 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 for your toddler.

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.

Topeak BabySeat II

Comes with a Rack for Mounting

Young girl riding in Topeak BabySeat II child bike seat

MSRP: $209 (rack mount only, includes rack)

AGE RANGE: 12 months – 48.5 lbs.

RACK MOUNTING INFO:  Comes with a rack for mounting. Different options for standard brakes or disc brakes. There is not an option for mounting on the frame of the bike.

FEATURES: Wrap-around design for extra protection, suspension, soft mesh-layered padding, variable-height footrest, easy on and off

FULL REVIEW: Topeak BabySeat II

If you know that your bike doesn’t work with a frame mounted seat and you need a rack mounted seat, the Topeak BabySeat II is a simple choice. It’s the ONLY seat we know of that actually comes with a rack. With all the racks on the market, it can be confusing to find a rack that will work with your child bike seat. Topeak takes that frustration factor out of the equation! 

The BabySeat II is also unique because it attaches to the rack via a proprietary mounting system that simply clicks into place and is much faster to mount and un-mount than other rack-mounted seats.

Thule RideAlong

Best Fit and Most Comfortable- Rear Frame Only

Mom riding Priority bicycle with toddler on the back in Thule RideAlong child bike seat.

MSRP: $299

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, variable-height sliding footrest, and soft, easy-to-adjust, stay-in-place shoulder straps

FULL REVIEW: Thule RideAlong

The Thule RideAlong is the luxury vehicle of child bike seats – high-quality, durable, and built with the best components. Its harness is by far the best of any child bike seat on the market, with super comfy, padded shoulder straps that actually stay in place! The shoulder straps have sliding height adjustments so that whether your child is 1 year old or 5 years old, it’s easy to get an exact, secure, and comfortable fit.

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 toddler. 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.


These child bike seats have harnesses that cannot be adjusted as low as our favorites mentioned above. As a result, they are a better fit for children about 2 and older. Both seats below have rear frame or rear rack mounting options.

Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi

Most Lightweight – Rear Frame or Rack Mounted

toddler on the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi 2

MSRP: $279

AGE RANGE: 1 year – 40 lbs. (48.5 lbs. in Europe)

MOUNTING INFO: >6″ needed to mount bracket on seat tube (clear of wires), or eyelets on the bike’s frame to mount a rack

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

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 Maxi

Lightweight with a low center of gravity, we found the Thule Yepp Nexxt 2 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 2 Maxi

Recommended with Reservations

Thule Yepp 2 Maxi on a cargo bike

MSRP: $249

AGE RANGE: 1 year to 40 lbs. (48.5 lbs. in Europe)

MOUNTING INFO: >6″ needed to mount bracket on seat tube (clear of wires), or eyelets on bike’s frame for mounting a rack

FEATURES: 5-point harness, variable-height sliding footrest adjustment, suspension on all models

FULL REVIEW: Thule Yepp 2 Maxi

The original Yepp Maxi has been discontinued and replaced by the Yepp 2 Maxi. While we strongly recommended the previous model of this seat, the updated Yepp 2 Maxi receives our recommendation with reservations.

While the Yepp 2 boasts exceptional quality and usability in every other respect, the new buckle on the Yepp 2 seat isn’t entirely child-proof. Our testers 3-years-old and older were able to push the buckle and unbuckle themselves.

We are in discussions with Thule about this issue, but for the meantime, we recommend getting the Thule Yepp Nexxt or Thule RideAlong instead.


Open style seats have much higher weight capacities, making them a great option for parents who want to ride with older kids. Due to the lack of a harness, they are 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 kids bike seats, check out our 8 Best Front Child Bike Seats comparison list.

Mac Ride

On and Off in Seconds

Mom on mountain bike with her toddler sitting on the MacRide child bike seat

MSRP: $229

AGE RANGE: 24 months – 5 years (up to 60 lbs.)

MOUNTING INFO: Mounts on the headset and the seat post. Headset mounting spacer required.

FEATURES: Open set-up and low-placed saddle provide much more space for the parent rider.  U-shaped saddles keeps kids in place on rougher terrain.  No frame contact.

FULL REVIEW: Mac Ride Bike Seat

The Mac Ride bike seat is a unique “mid-mount” child bike seat that places kids front and center while riding. Originally designed for mountain bikes, the Mac Ride will accommodate a wide variety of frames – from trail bikes to downhill full-suspension mountain bikes.

The Mac Ride 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 Mac Ride also makes for a great seat around town and can fit on cruiser style bikes with a quill stem adapter.

The unique mounting system of the Mac Ride allows you to take it on or off your bike in mere seconds, and swap between bikes just as easily.


Budget Friendly

MSRP: $94

AGE RANGE: 2 – 5 years

MOUNTING INFO: Rear clamp on seat post, front rests on bike’s top tube

FEATURES: Padded saddle, padded handlebars, footrests and footstraps

FULL REVIEW: UrRider Child Bike Seat

If you’re just riding around town, the UrRider child bike seat is a more budget-friendly open-style seat. Not built with the same precision as the Mac Ride, you wouldn’t want to take this seat mountain biking, but it certainly gets the job done in the neighborhood.

A soft saddle, soft handlebar grips, and foot rests make for a comfortable ride for kids, while parents will appreciate the rubber-lined legs that help protect your frame from scratches.

How to Choose the Best Child Bike Seat for Your Bike

STEP 1: Front or Back Child Bike Seat?

This first question is a matter of preference, but also depends heavily on your child’s age and weight.

Back vs Front Harness vs Front No Harness

Collage showing front and rear child bike seats

REAR MOUNTED SEAT – in the back

AGE AND WEIGHT CAPACITY: Rear seats are suitable for ages 12 months to 40 lbs. (in Europe up to 48 lbs.) All rear seats are larger than front-mounted seats and have a longer life span as a result. On the flip side, they are usually not as good of a fit for toddlers under 18 months old.

MOUNTING: Rear seats can mount to the frame of the bike or a rack, which we’ll delve into in the next question.

FEATURES: They offer more comfort and ease features such as the ability to recline, suspension, and shoulder straps with more adjustability.

BIGGEST BENEFIT: Will fit a child for 3 or 4 years, rather than just 1.5 or 2 with a traditional front-mounted seat.

BIGGEST DRAWBACK: With the weight of the seat and the child behind you, rear mounted seats affect your balance considerably more than a front-mounted seat. This becomes even more of an issue as children grow.

FRONT MOUNTED SEAT – with a harness

WEIGHT CAPACITY: Traditional front-mounted seats are the smallest seats and are suitable for ages 12 months to about 2.5 years old (or 33 lbs.).

MOUNTING: Front seats may mount to your bike in many different ways, but near the handlebars – generally to a threadless headset or to the head tube of your bike.

BIGGEST BENEFIT: With the baby bike seat placed between the adult rider’s arms, babies and toddlers often feel more comfortable and carefree in a front seat versus a rear-mounted seat. Parents also enjoy the “snuggle factor” of having their child in front of them. Additionally, your bike is much easier to maneuver with your child’s weight in front of you.

BIGGEST DRAWBACK: Kids grow out of a standard front seat much quicker than a rear seat.

FRONT MOUNTED SEAT – no harness or seat back

AGE AND WEIGHT CAPACITY: Without a harness or seat back to secure your child in place, these mid-mount seats are suitable for ages 2 to 6. At the young end, a child must be old enough to safely hold on to your handlebars. At the older end, many of these seats have a 60 pound weight limit!

MOUNTING: This newer style of front child bike seat is mounted mid-way between your bike saddle and the bike’s handlebars.

BIGGEST BENEFIT: These seats have the longest comfortable life span – we ride our 60 pound, 6-year-old to kindergarten on one! Additionally, even at that weight, because the weight is centered on your bike, there is basically no effect on your ability to balance the bike.

BIGGEST DRAWBACK: Not all parents will be comfortable with small toddlers riding without a harness to secure them.

STEP 2: Bike Compatibility – Frame or Rack Mounted Child Seat?

With a wide variety of child bike seat styles and adult bike frame designs, compatibility is a major issue and is the result of most negative reviews on seats. Once you’ve selected front vs. rear, you’ll need to examine your bike to determine if you can mount the seat to the frame or a rack.


Mom riding Priority Bike with 2 year old toddler sitting in the Burley Dash child bike seat.

Mounting a rear seat to the bike’s frame is more cost-effective because it doesn’t require a separate purchase of a rack. Unfortunately, many bikes are not compatible with frame-mounted seats.

Two Key Questions

(1) Is your bike’s seat tube compatible with a child bike seat?

(2) Is your saddle (seat) set too close to the frame of the bike?

1) Is your bike’s seat tube compatible with a child bike seat?

Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi 2 frame mounted mounting block system

The mounting bracket for a rear frame-mounted seat attaches to the seat tube, which must be round and have at least 4″ to 6″ of open space. This open space must be clear of studs for water bottle mounts, wire mounts, and for most child bike seats, clear of all wires as well.

Interfering Cables for Rear Frame-mounted Seats

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

2) Is your saddle (seat) set too close to the frame of the bike?

Even if your bike’s frame has the proper clearance for the mounting block, if your saddle is set to its lowest position on the bike or within an inch of touching the bike frame, you still may have trouble mounting a rear frame-mounted seat.


Rear rack-mounted seats mount to a rack attached to the frame of the adult bike over the rear tire. Child bike seats typically do not come with a rack. If your bike can take a rack, any rack-mounted child bike seat will likely work. The rack’s weight capacity should be at least 60 lbs.

Two Key Questions

(1) Does your bike have eyelets for mounting a rack?

(2) Does your bike have disc brakes?

1) Does your bike have eyelets for mounting a rack?

Eyelets on your bike are necessary for mounting a rack. Without eyelets, you can’t connect a rack to your bike.

There are two sets of eyelets on the frame of a rack-compatible bike (two near the rear wheel axle and two near the top of the rear triangle). The top eyelets are easier to spot and essentially guarantee that the lower eyelets are on the bike.

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

2) Does your bike have disc brakes?

Bikes with disc brakes have a large rotor around the wheel’s hub. If you have disc brakes, you must buy a rack made specifically to work with disc brakes.

Collage showing how to identify if your bike has disc brakes


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

Traditional front mounted baby bike seats (with a harness and seat back) can vary pretty wildly in how they attach to a bike. We’ll cover the two most common methods here – attaching to a threaded stem or to the head tube.

Two Key Questions

(1) Is your bike big enough to comfortably ride with a front-mounted seat?

(2) What type of headset does your bike have? Threaded/Quill or Threadless/Ahead?

Don’t worry, these questions can easily be answered with a tape measure and your eyes, no pros needed. 🙂

1) Is your bike big enough to comfortably ride with a front-mounted seat?

Front-mounted bike seats take up about 10″ of space between the stem and saddle of the bike. If your top tube (the distance between your handlebars and seat tube) is less than 20″, your chest and knees may both hit the seat.

Cruisers, hybrids, or other bikes on which the adult rider is in a more upright position can get away with just about 18″. Forward-leaning road bikes are not suitable for front-mounted seats as the rider’s chest will make contact with the child bike seat.

Photo Source: Dutch Trading Company (Brighton UK)

2) What type of headset does your bike have (threaded/quill or threadless/ahead)?

There are two main types of headsets on adult bikes – threaded/quill and threadless/ahead. Front seats that attach to the headset are generally only compatible with threaded headsets.

Diagram showing difference between a threaded headset and a threadless headset.
Threaded/Quill Headsets

On quill stems, the mounting bracket is clamped around the stem. Mounting brackets range from 0.5″ to 1.5″ tall, so you will need that much open space on the stem. If you don’t have enough room, it is very likely that you can loosen the locknut and raise the handlebars to get the space you need.

Threadless/Ahead Headsets

If you have a threadless headset, you still have a few options. The Peg Perego Orion seat has four unique ways to mount to your bike’s head tube (not the head set). The Hamax Observer offers a threadless/ahead adapter.


Mom on mountain bike with her toddler sitting on the MacRide child bike seat

Front child bike seats that mount mid-way between your saddle and the handlebars are MUCH easier to fit on a bike than rear and traditional front-mounted seats. Since most of these mid-mount seats mount by “squeezing” the top tube and bottom tube on a bike, or mount to the seat post, they can adjust to fit a wide range of bikes.

There are two main styles of mid-mount seats that are designed for completely different uses. Recreational seats are designed for quick and easy rides about town while mountain bike child bike seats are design for mountain biking, but can also be used recreationally.

Because each brand has its own method for mounting to a bike, we suggest reading the full reviews on our website. To learn more about the fitting requirements of each seat, check out their individual reviews: Do Little, Tyke Toter, Mac Ride and Kids Ride Shotgun,

Baby Bike Seat Age and Safety

You’ll notice that many baby and child bike seats are technically safety rated for infants as young as 9 months old. This doesn’t mean it’s safe to put a 9-month-old on a bike. In many states it’s illegal to put a child under 12 months in a child bike seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until a child is 12 months old, and also until they can sit unsupported. Many other safety organizations agree, including the CPSC. You can read the CPSC’s guidelines for babies on bikes in their official rules.

ASTM Certification and EN Certification

What is the weight limit for a rear child bike seat? Depends where you live.

In the US, these seats are safety rated to 40 pounds according to ASTM F1625, while in Europe, the standard is 48.5 pounds, according to EN 14344.

But here’s where it can get confusing. Most seats sold in the US are safety certified by both the US and European standards, meaning the same seat is rated in the US to 40 pounds, but to 48.5 pounds in Europe.

Take for example, the popular Topeak BabySeat II. This is a great seat! It is safety certified in the US by ASTM (40 pounds). It is also safety certified by the European standard EN 14344 (48.5 pounds).

So why does this matter? We often see parents in the US choose a seat because they think it has a higher weight capacity – “max weight capacity of 48.5 pounds”!

If a standard rear child bike seat sold in the US advertises a weight capacity of 48.5 pounds, this almost certainly is referring to the seat’s European safety rating.

If you’re looking for a rear child bike seat to carry a child OVER 40 pounds, there’s just no safety rating for that in the US. If you choose to abide by the European standard instead, that’s up to you!

You should also consider an open-style front child bike seat like the MacRide or Kids Ride Shotgun Pro, which have weight capacities up to 60 pounds.

Also regarding certification, make sure that your rear child bike seat has an ASTM or EN certification! Not all seats do. While they are legally being sold (because ASTM compliance is not required in the US), why aren’t they certified? Might as well err on the side of caution and buy a seat that is certified safe.

There is no ASTM certification for front-mounted seats. Puzzling, we know.

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 even more bike seats.

If you still need a bike for yourself, we’ve tested a lot of great adult bikes and summarize our favorites on our 10 Best Women’s Bikes page.

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