Best Child and Baby Bike Seats



Apr 18, 2022

There is nothing better than enjoying an activity you love with your baby or toddler. For me that is taking my toddler on bike rides with me using a child bike seat. To make that feasible I needed the perfect baby bike seat for our bikes so I could continue to cycle. 

best toddler bike seat
My two boys on a bike ride to the park

Currently, we take our two toddler boys frequently on the bike. My youngest is almost 2 and asks to go on a bike ride almost daily now. My 3.5 year old is more than happy to go along with that idea.

This article will take you through different options you have for cycling with your baby or toddler.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Rest assured all products I suggest are products I have bought or would buy based on personal experience or through my network of other mothers!

Summary of Best Child Bike Seats

ProductCategoryChild AgeBike Requirements
Best Front Mounted Bike Seat
9 months to 3 years
Tube Diameter Must Be Between .79 - 2.2 Inch 0.83 inch Clearance Between Stem and Head Tube
Best Front Mounted Baby Seat for Drop Handlebar Bikes
9 Months to 33 lbs
Tube Diameter Must Be Between 1.3 and 2.0 Inches Bracket Design Connects in 4 Different Ways Making Stem Length Not Required
Longest Child Use Front Mounted Bike Seat
12 Months to 38 lbs
Must Have 2 Inch Stem Does Not Work With Drop Handlebars
Best Rear Child Bike Seat
9 Months to 48.5 lbs
Rack Mounted - Bike Must Have Eyelets For Rack To Attach Rear Mounted- Bike Frames Between 28 - 40mm Not Compatible With Carbon Frames or E-Bikes
Runner Up best Toddler/Child Rear Mounted Bike Seat
9 Months to 6 Years
Fame Mounted: Fits Frames Between 27.2 -40mm Not Compatible With Carbon Frames
Best Budget Child and Toddler Rear Mounted Bike Seat
1 Year to 40 lbs
Frame Mounted: Fits Frames Between 28-40mm Minimum Seat Tube Length: 4.1 Inch Or 105mm Not Compatible With Carbon Frames

When Can a Baby Start Riding in a Bike Seat?

Babies need to acquire the right head strength before being able to ride on your bike. A baby needs proper neck control for any ride to be safe for a baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that you should wait till your baby is 12 months old.

If you have any concerns you should speak to your pediatrician before taking your baby on your bike with you. And always have your toddler wear a /Best-Toddler-Helmets-for-1-2-3-and-4-year-olds/

bike riding with my 3 year old toddler
My almost 3 year old loving his bike ride

I personally have waited till both my boys were 12 months old before putting them on my bike. Both my boys immediately fell in love with going on bike rides with both myself and my husband. I cycled through all my pregnancies with or without kids on the back!

What Are the Different Bike Seat Options?

There are 3 different locations where you can place a child bike seat on your bike; front mounted, rear mounted and a mid-mount bike seat. Each has its own pros and cons that I will take you through.

Front Mounted Baby Bike Seat

The front mounted baby bike seat mounts to the stem of an adult bike, below the handlebars. Front baby bicycle seats are designed for babies and young toddlers, normally having a child weight limit of 33lbs or 3 years old. 

These seats allow for best balancing and closer contact with your baby or young toddler. You will be able to touch and communicate with your child as you cycle.

However, these bike seats provide the shortest use and can limit steering ability. Front mounted baby bike seats are not compatible with all types of bikes, for instance bikes with drop handlebars might not have remove on the stem to mount the front bike seat to.

Features of Front Mounted Baby and Toddler Seats

  • Back Height: The higher the back of the front mounted seat the safer the seat is for a baby/ young toddler. 
  • Adjustable Footrest: Ability to secure your baby or young toddler’s feet to the footrest
  • Shock absorbency: Whether the seat has any shock-absorbing qualities.
  • Harness type: Whether the harness is 3 or 5 point, the comfort of the harness, padded vs non-padded and the adjustability of the harness

Pros of Front Mounted Child Bike Seats

  • Close contact with child
  • Ability to talk to child
  • Best stability while riding

Cons of Front Mounted Child Bike Seats

  • Shortest use: only suitable for a baby and young toddler
  • Can limit steering range
  • Not compatible with drop handlebar bikes

Rear Mounted Baby and Toddler Bike Seat

The rear mounted baby and toddler bike seat have two locations the seat can mount to; either the frame of the bike or to a bike rack. Each rear child bike seat is different and you want to ensure your bike is suitable for the type of seat you buy. 

Back rear mounted child bike seat
My Back Rack Mounted Bike Set Up

Rear Mounted child seats provide longer duration than a front mounted seat, typically weight limit between 40 and 50 lbs or a 6 year old. These rear child seats have the most features available and will be the most comfortable for your toddler or child. 

Rear mounted child bike seats offer less stability than the front mounted seats, however they provide better steering control. You can use a child seat as soon as your baby is able to ride on a bike, illuminating the need for a front mounted seat followed by a rear seat.

Features of Rear Mounted Child Seats

  • Harness Type and Adjustability: Harness: a 3 or 5 point harness, whether the straps are padded or not and adjustability up and down of the harness for the growing child.
  • Reclinability: The ability of the seat to recline to provide more comfort for napping child
  • Weight Limit: The maximum weight limit for the seat
  • Shock Absorbency: Ability of the seat to smooth out the toddler/child’s ride
  • Footrest Adjustability: Ability of footrest to grow with child and keep feet secure

Pros of Back Mounted Bike Seats

  • Longevity of use: 1-6 year old
  • More features for optimum child comfort
  • Two ways to mount to accommodate different bike styles

Cons of Back Mounted Bike Seats

  • Time for adult to adjust to different stability of the bike
  • Less easy to communicate with child

rear toddler bike seat
My boys ready for my husband and I's cycle back to our house

Mid-mount child bike seat

A mid-mount child bike seat is a child seat placed in between the adult seat and the handlebars. These seats are designed for mountain bikes and for an older child; no harness is provided. The adults arms go around the child keeping them in place.

The mid-mount child bike seat keeps the child's weight in the middle of the bike helping maintain bike stability. These child bike seats allow for you to take your child off road and explore mountain biking, just be sure your child is old enough to hold on.

I personally am not a mountain biker so I have not used this set up. However, I do know a couple mountain bikers who love the mid-mounted bike seat for their mountain biking adventures with their child.

Pros of Mid-Mount Mounted Child Bike Seats

  • Very stable for rider
  • Ability to take child on mountain biking trails
  • Fits most mountain bikes

Cons of Mid-Mount Child Bike Seats

  • No safety harness is provided
  • Only recommended for older child- not babies and young toddlers

Best Front Mounted Bicycle Seat

Thule yepp nexxt mini child bike seat- Best overall Front Baby Mounted Bike Seat

The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is the lightest front mounted bike seat which also has the best features. Of course that does come with a higher price tag, about 100 dollars more than the other two front mounted toddler bicycle seats.

The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini baby seat has a U shape handlebar for your little one to hold onto and a magnetic childproof safety buckle for quick in and outs. This seat is shock-absorbent and padded for your baby or young toddler to enjoy their ride to the maximum. 

Main Features of Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Child Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: 5 point adjustable harness; padded straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 33 lbs
  • Built in Suspension
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Mount Type: Head tube 
  • Product Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Product Material: Plastic

Peg-Perego orion front: Best for bikes with drop handlebars

Peg-Perego Orion Front is a front mounted seat that works with most bike designs. It connects via the head tube and works with some road bikes with drop handlebars; which is not always a given with front mounted baby seats.

This seat is competitively priced and has thermoformed padding for comfort.

Main Features of Peg-Perego Orion Front Baby Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: 3 point adjustable harness; non padded straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 33 lbs
  • Built in Suspension
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Mount Type: Head tube (1.3 - 2 inches)
  • Product Weight: 4.85 lbs
  • Product Material: Plastic

Ibert Child Bike Seat: Longest longevity front mounted bike seat

The Ibert Baby Bike Seat features a cool steering wheel for your child and offers the highest maximum weight capacity for your child. The seat is padded and comes with adjustable foot cups and straps for your baby or toddler’s feet.

This seat will not work with drop handlebars and is the heaviest of the three front mounted seats. It also has the shortest back and does not provide any shock absorbency. 

Main Features of Ibert Child Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: 3 point adjustable harness; non padded straps 
  • Max Rider Weight: 38 lbs
  • Adjustable footrests, 5 lengths available
  • Mount Type: Front Mounted to stem
  • Product Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Product Material: Plastic Resin

How to Install a Front Mounted Bicycle Seat

A front mounted bicycle seat requires space on the stem of the handlebars. The height and width of the stem will determine if the front mounted baby seat will fit.

long stem for front mounted bicycle seat
This Trek Bike has a long stem that would be a good fit for a front mounted bicycle seat

A bike with drop handle bars often Does Not have space on the stem for a front mounted bicycle seat.

no stem room for font mounted bike seat to fit
This bike doesn't have room on the stem to attach a front mounted bike seat

Each baby bike seat has different requirements. Check the requirements before purchasing and ensure your bike can acomodate.

Best Rear Child Bike Seats

Hamax Caress Rear Child Bike Seat: Best Overall Toddler and Child Rear Mounted Bike Seat

Hamax Caress Rear Child Bike Seat is hands down the best toddler and child rear bicycle seat on the market today. Not only is it competitively priced, but it also has all the design features for a safe and comfortable ride for your child. 

best toddler bike seat
My toddlers loving their Hamax seats and bike accessories!

The Hamax Caress has won multiple awards for its product design and innovation and offers a 3 year warranty. The rear child bike seat offers two different ways to mount to a bike; either by a bike rack or directly to the frame. 

The back bike seat can be used for a child from 1 year to 6 years olds or 48.5 lbs, making it the longest duration rear back seat. Hamax can offer this with its very adjustable bike seat to ensure it grows with your toddler/child. 

It is the only bike seat that has an anti lock bracket lock and non-slip shoulder straps. It has an ultra shock absorbing suspicion built in to ensure a smooth ride feel for your child. 

best toddler bike seat
My 1.5 year old enjoying the view on our bike ride

This is the bike seat my husband and I use for our toddlers/kids. My toddlers have taken naps comfortably in this seat and we have never had any concerns. Sometimes they fall asleep before I even recline the seat back. My kids ask again and again to go on a bike ride and say the seat is very comfortable.

Main Features of Hamax Caress Rear Child Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: 3 point harness; padded non-slip shoulder straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 48.5
  • Built in Ultra Shock Absorbing Suspension
  • Adjustable footrests in 10 positions
  • Mount Type: back rack or frame mount option (Frame 28-40mm)
  • Product Weight: 
  • Product Material: Plastic
  • Reclinability: Yes 0-20 degrees 
  • Anti Lock bracket lock

Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat: Runner Up Best Overall Toddler and Child Rear Mounted Bike Seat

Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat is a great rear child bike seat. The main reason I prefer the Hamax over the Thule is the Thule is priced higher, has a lower maximum weight capacity by 8.5 lbs and cannot be mounted onto a bike rack.

Like the Hamax the Thule is fully adjustable and able to grow with your child. The company offers a 5 year warranty on the seat and it fits both round and oval frames. The Thule RideAlong comes with a back reflector that the Hamax does not have.

Your child will ride in comfort with its Shock-absorbant dual Beam Suspension and removable washable padding. Friends I know that use this bike carrier for their toddler have had their toddlers fall asleep on longer rides with its reclinability option.

Main Features of Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: 3 point harness; padded shoulder straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 40 lbs
  • Shock-absorption DualBeam Suspension
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Mount Type: Back frame mount (Round Frame 27.2-40mm, oval frame 40-55mm)
  • Product Weight: 10.2 lbs
  • Product Material: plastic
  • Reclinability:Yes 0-20 degrees 
  • Removable washable padding

Burley Dash Child Bike Seat: Best Budget Child and Toddler Rear Mounted Bike Seat

Burley Dash Child Bike Seat is a great budget friendly choice. The rear toddler seat is the only one with a 5 point harness that has padded shoulder straps and a rear storage compartment. For a rider not anticipating long bike rides and more local trips this could be the perfect fit.

The rear child bike seat is adjustable, although not as much as the Thule or Hamax. For 30 dollars more you can buy the frame mounted reclining option, otherwise the seat doesn’t recline.

The biggest difference in Burley Dash seats compared to more expensive brands is the shock absorption. This seat doesn’t offer it, making the child’s ride more bumpy. Also without buying the more expensive reclining option, your child will most likely not want to take a nap in this seat.

Main Features of Burley Dash Child Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: Adjustable 5 point harness system; padded shoulder straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 40 lbs
  • Adjustable footrests: 4 positions 
  • Mount Type: back rack or frame mount option
  • Product Weight: 9.05
  • Product Material: Alloy Steel
  • Reclinability: Frame mount comes with 20 degree recline for additional money

Bellelli Child Bike Seat: Runner Up Best Budget Child and Toddler Rear Mounted Bike Seat

Bellelli is another solid choice for a budget friendly rear child bike seat. It is cheaper than Burley Dash, however a level down in comfort. 

The Bellelli Child Bike Seat shoulder straps are not padded and the seat is built with minimum added padding. The seat features lots of ventilation holes, so it could be perfect if you live in a hot climate.

The seat has a higher mx weight limit of 48.5 compared to only 40 for the Burley Dash. If you are looking for a budget rear bike seat for your child for trips around town and not all day riding this seat is a great option.

Main Features of Bellelli Child Bike Seat

  • Harness Type: 3 point harness; non padded straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 48.5 lbs
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Mount Type: Back rack mount
  • Product Weight: 12 lbs
  • Product Material: non-toxic plastic
  • Reclinability: None

Topeak Babyseat: Honorable Mention Child and Toddler Rear Mounted Bike Seat

The Topeak Babyseat is another great option for a rear mounted child bike seat. This seat is designed as a cocoon seat with padding around. The seat comes with the rear rack and cannot be mounted on the frame. It comes with a 2 year manufacturer guarantee.

The seat has a rear reflector and a 3 point harness. The seat is adjustable to grow with your child and dual steel spring suspension for a more comfortable ride. The biggest flaw is the Topeak Babyseat has no option to recline and is not as adjustable as Hamax or Thule.

The Topeak Babyseat comes with a padded hand rest for your child. My neighbor has this bike rear seat and their toddler has no complaints riding along.  However, they do not do road cycling; they take more family friendly short rides.

Main Features of Topeak Babyseat:

  • Harness Type: 3 point harness; non padded straps
  • Max Rider Weight: 48.5 lbs
  • Built in Suspension
  • Adjustable footrests and straps
  • Mount Type: Back rack mount
  • Product Weight: 13.65 lbs
  • Product Material: aluminum
  • Reclinability: None

How to Install a Rear Mounted Bicycle Seat

Rear Mounted Bicycle Seats often have two options to install; mounted onto the frame/seat post or a rack.

back rear mount options explained
Bike Can Accept Rack Mount (eyelets available) but not Frame Mount due to External Cables

Bike Can Accept Rack Mount (eyelets available) but not Frame Mount due to External Cables

Rack Mount Tips:

Rack Mounted Seats are normally the easiest to install, but require your bike to attach a rack to your bike. Not all bikes will have the right clearance for a bike rack. Carbon fiber bikes often do not!

Eyelets on bike for back rack
Above bike can accept a rack, it has eyelets

In order to install a rear rack on your bike your bike must have eyelets to mount the rack. Check this on your bike before buying a rack mounted rear child bike seat.

no Eyelet on bike
This Bike has NO eyelet so cannot accept a back rack mounted bike seat

Also not all racks are compatible with disc-brake bikes. Make sure you research which rack to buy if you plan on mounting a bike seat via a bike rack.

Check that the rack you use has a weigh capacity greater than the bike seat plus child weight.

Frame Mount Tips:

Frame mounted seats connect via your seat tube. Check the bike seat you are to purchase for the range of acceptable tube length and thickness before purchasing a frame mounted seat.

If your bike has a rear external brake cable a rear frame won't work. A bike with its cables inside the bike tube works best.

Lastly, is the gap between the seat and the frame. Most rear frame options need at least 2.25 inches clearance to work.

My toddler and I cycling together

Want to get your toddlers excited about bikes? Reading books about cycling is a great way to introduce the love of bikes to your toddler!

Happy Cycling with your toddler/child.