The Chillafish Bunzi grows with your child as it converts from a tricycle to a balance bike, but only works as a balance bike for the tiniest of riders. Read the full review below to decide if it’s right for your little one.
Chillafish Bunzi Review
BEST FOR: Confident walkers in 12 to 24 months pants
SEAT HEIGHT: 8.6″/9.8″
WEIGHT: 4 lb.
- Lightweight, high-quality ABS plastic frame
- Silent anti-skid TPE tires suitable for indoors or outdoors
- Seat lifts up for under-seat storage
- Comes 100% assembled
- Available in four colors
- Least stable
- Balance bike has a set seat height that is too low for most kids ready for a balance bike
Chillafish Bunzi Review: Results of our Test Rides
The Chillafish Bunzi is a 2-in-1 toy that can grow with your child. Starting as a 3-wheeled ride-on toy for early walkers, it converts to a 2-wheeled balance bike for confident young toddlers who are ready for a higher seat and the challenge of balancing on two wheels instead of three.
With just one wheel in front and two narrow-set wheels in back, the Chillafish Bunzi was the least stable ride-on toy we tested. As small little legs alternate pushing off the ground, the Bunzi tends to move from side to side, keeping the child in a state of semi-balance. This semi-balance also causes little ones to stop moving with greater frequency to reestablish their stability.
That said, we still had confident testers love this little bike and keep riding and riding despite their semi-balance, and we never actually had a toddler fall over. Consequently, the Bunzi is better for confident walkers and riders who won’t be phased by a little unbalance here and there.
One advantage of the narrow-set wheels is that as kids grow, their longer legs are less likely to hit the wheels as they begin and finish their stride.
Bunzi’s Narrow-Set Wheels in Back are Less Stable than other Ride-On Toys
With rubber wheels, the Bunzi is suitable for indoor or outdoor use in both ride-on toy and balance bike mode.
The primary issue we have with the Bunzi in balance bike mode is that it only has one seat height, so it can’t be set for proper leg extension based on your child’s inseam. It will fit your child perfectly for a short moment in time, but after that, the seat will be too low for your child to sit and comfortably stride to glide.
Additionally, because the balance bike seat height is just 9.8″, most toddlers ready for a balance bike are going to be too tall to use it as a balance bike. Two of the smallest balance bikes on the market, WOOM 1 and Strider, have minimum seat heights of 10.8″ and 11″ respectively. The vast majority of toddlers small enough to ride the Bunzi in balance bike mode will not be developmentally ready to ride it that way.
The toddler below in 2T pants is already too tall for the Bunzi. She had been struggling with her standard sized balance bike, so we thought a smaller, lighter bike might help her. Unfortunately, because we couldn’t set the seat height appropriately, she was just awkward in balance bike mode.
Ride-On Toy Mode vs. Balance Bike Mode
The Bunzi has a fixed seat height of 8.6″ in ride-on toy mode and a fixed seat height of 9.8″ in balance bike mode. There is no range, it’s one height or the other, depending on the mode you choose. While Chillafish states that the Bunzi is for toddlers 1 -3 years old, please check your child’s inseam rather than go strictly on age. Also be aware of what mode (ride-on toy or balance bike) your child will be riding in.
The Bunzi is a great fit for our petite 16-month-old tester (10.25″ inseam, 12 months pants) while in ride-on toy mode. Her little feet can touch the ground, while her legs are bent at a comfortable angle to push off the ground and she has plenty of room to be comfortable.
Our 2.5-year-old tester is average sized (12.75″ inseam, 2T pants), and is almost too big for the Bunzi while in ride-0n toy mode. While she loved scooting it around the house and preferred it above the other ride-on toys she tested, she has no room for growth, and it’s really not the best fit for her.
While our 16-month-old tester was a good fit for the Bunzi in balance bike mode, she wasn’t yet developmentally ready for the balance bike. Be realistic about your child’s ability and size, and weigh this accordingly. Also remember that the Bunzi is a very, very small balance bike and you will most likely need to buy a standard size balance bike anyways.
Frame and Components
Built with a high-quality ABS plastic frame and silent, anti-skid rubber wheels, the Bunzi is incredibly lightweight, which makes it easy for the youngest riders to manage. While the plastic is well-built and durable, it’s still plastic, which makes the Bunzi feel more like a “toy” that other ride-on toys like the Hape Scoot Around and the YBIKE Pewi.
Handlebar and Steering
The tiny little plastic handlebars of the Bunzi are supposed to look like a rabbit, which is why the Bunzi is sometimes called a “Bunny bike”. They turn the front wheel with ease for very smooth and easy maneuvering. They are the one part of the bike, however, that feels a little less quality than the rest.
Younger riders that are an ideal fit for the Bunzi as a ride-on toy may have difficulty figuring out how to steer. Our 16-month-old tester kept running into the wall because she couldn’t figure out how to turn.
The Chillafish Bunzi is a solid choice for a ride-on toy for confident walkers in 12 – 24 months clothes. We love how lightweight and easy it is for little ones to maneuver, but we don’t recommend it in balance bike mode because it will most likely be too small by the time your child is ready to advance from 3 wheels to just 2.