9 Best Baby Bike Seats

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on October 3rd, 2021

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Purchasing a baby bike seat can feel pretty overwhelming. You want to make sure you have a safe seat, of course, but you also need to decide between a rear, rack, and front mount, as well as find a model that’s compatible with your bike while being comfortable for your baby.

So how do you go about picking the best baby bike seat? Well, we’re here to help you, first by giving you some general pointers and then by telling you about our favorite products that will have you and your baby up and rolling in no time.

Are bike seats safe?

Biking with your baby undeniably carries with it some risk, as does everything in life.

Your baby is more exposed while in a bike seat but, with modern safety features built into well-made products, they aren’t entirely unprotected in the event you take a topple.

To make your rides as safe as possible, take a few solo trips along the bike trails or paths you will be frequenting.

Do this after installing your bike seat, ideally with something strapped in that will mimic the weight of your baby. These dry runs will get you used to how your bike will handle with an additional passenger.

Baby bike seat age requirements

A general rule of thumb to abide by before taking your baby on a bike is to make sure they can support their head and neck as well as sit up independently.

You will commonly see these skills begin to develop around six to nine months, but some parents prefer to wait until the 12-month mark before strapping their kiddo into a bike seat.

Be sure to check your local laws before taking that inaugural bicycle ride; some areas prohibit children under a certain age from being passengers on bicycles.

The helmet issue

Many parents are uncomfortable with the notion of bringing their baby on a bike ride without adequate head protection and opt to wait until their child is old enough to wear a roadworthy helmet.

If you want to take a baby younger than 12 months on a bicycle, it’s best to consult with your pediatrician as to whether or not they are physically able to tolerate a bike ride and what sort of head protection is best.

Furthermore, it’s wise to check your local laws, as many areas have regulations that prohibit riders and passengers from traveling on a bike without a helmet.

Baby bike seat features

Like all baby gear, you will find some bike seats equipped with more features than others. Here are some of the essential elements to watch for when looking at different products.

  • Shoulder straps: Always look carefully at the harness included with your bike seat. You want to make sure that it’s safe and sturdy while also being easy to adjust and comfortable for your baby.
  • High backed seats: Always look carefully at the harness included with your bike seat. You want to make sure that it’s safe and sturdy, as your baby might well doze off during your ride. A seat with a high back will support your toddler during these catnaps and will also help keep the shoulder straps firmly in place.
  • Reclinable seats: Alas, this is not a feature offered on front-mounted seats (which we’ll talk about in a bit). However, if you are mounting the seat at the rear of your bike, reclinable models offer a bit more neck support and make napping more comfortable.
  • Bumpers: Built into the sides of the seat, these will protect your child’s arms and hands from objects you are passing by, keep their appendages from getting caught in the wheel spokes, and shield your kiddo if you have to lean your bike against a wall to put them in or take them out of the seat.
  • Helmet Recess: This is simply a concave section of the seat that will allow your child to ride comfortably without pushing her head forward into an uncomfortable position while she’s wearing her helmet.

Getting your baby in and out of a baby bike seat

Probably the most convenient way to get your kiddo on and off your bicycle is to invest in a double-legged kickstand that is compatible with your bike. Sure, it’s one more thing to install, but it does provide a stable way to hold your bike upright wherever you are.

Some parents will simply straddle the bike frame between their legs while they load and unload their kiddo, while others lean their bicycle against a wall, brace it with their body, and buckle up their passenger.

Remember to never leave your baby unattended in their bike seat, even with a double-legged kickstand.

Our top picks of baby bike seats

Editors choice

Mount type: Rear frame
Maximum baby weight: 42 lbs
Bike seat weight: 16 lbs
Material: Polyethylene

The rear frame-mounted Schwinn Deluxe Bike Seat tops (check price on Amazon) our list of favorites and comes equipped with plenty of comfort and safety innovations.

The high-backed seat is cushioned, has a padded crossbar, and features a quick-release three-point harness. The headrest is removable, while the feet wells, complete with leg straps, are adjustable.

Loading your kiddo into the seat will be easiest if your bike has a double kickstand, but most parents find that, once they start riding, the weight of the seat doesn’t affect their balance.

What we love
  • Vented seats lessen wind resistance.
  • Spoke guard and seat spring guard included.
  • Seat is comfortable, even while wearing a helmet.
Watch for
  • Does not recline.
  • Not for use on bikes with rear suspension.

Upgrade choice

Mount type: Rear rack
Maximum baby weight: 48.5 lbs
Bike seat weight: 8.4 lbs
Seat frame material: Metal and plastic

Although pricey, the Thule Yepp Maxi Bike Seat (check price on Amazon) comes with easy-to-clean, water-resistant material, a five-point, padded harness, and its installation is very straightforward.

The built-in reflector makes for easy visibility while on the road. Balancing while stopping and starting your ride can take some getting used to, but parents report that their bikes ride smoothly with this seat once you’re over the learning curve.

The seat and footrests adjust with minimal effort, allowing you to ensure that your child is safe and comfortable.

What we love
  • Adjustable seat and footrests.
  • Seat is ventilated.
  • Buckle requires two hands to unlatch for extra security.
Watch for
  • Rack sold separately.

Best budget buy

Our opinion

Mount type: Front
Maximum baby weight: 33 lbs
Bike seat weight: 8.4 lbs
Seat frame material: Steel and plastic

For the biker on a budget, the WeeRide Kangaroo Bike Seat (check price on Amazon) rings up at just around $60. Despite the low price, this model still offers plenty of safety and comfort for your baby.

It can be mounted to your bike seat post, providing a good center of gravity that will make balancing easier as you ride. The footrests have an open cup design, and a padded ‘dashboard’ provides a place for your kiddo to rest her hands.

What we love
  • Affordable.
  • Offers a very stable ride.
Watch for
  • The low backed seat can allow the shoulder straps to slip.

Best front-mounted

Mount type: Front
Maximum baby weight: 38 lbs
Bike seat weight: 3.7 lbs
Frame material: Stainless steel and aluminum

The front-mounted iBert Safe-T-Seat (check price on Amazoncomes with a T-bar that attaches to your handlebar tube, allowing you to slide the seat onto the mount. Installation is relatively easy, and the seat’s center of gravity provides a more stable ride.

Leg tubes and a bucket seat provide plenty of comfort for your little one, and she will have a blast pretending to steer with the included “steering wheel”. Some parents report having to modify the shoulder straps to keep them snug on their baby during a ride, though for the most part, this is a firm favorite among baby-bike seats.

What we love
  • Provides a good center of gravity for stability.
  • UV inhibitor protects color against fading in the sun.
  • Provides the child with a great view of the bicycle ride.
Watch for
  • Seat too low for naps.
  • Shoulder straps sometimes slip.

Most durable baby bike seat

Our opinion

Mount type: Rear frame and rear rack
Maximum baby weight: 35 lbs
Bike seat weight: 9.7 lbs
Seat frame material: Phthalate-free materials

Meeting European and ASTM safety standards, the Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat (check price on Amazon) features an award-winning design and can be mounted via the bike’s frame or with a separately purchased rack.

Its padding is removable for easy cleaning, and anti-theft locks allow you to secure the seat to your bike without having to worry about filing a police report. The footrests offer ten positions of adjustability, and the safety harness is easy to adjust for a perfect fit.

What we love
  • Reclines up to 20 degrees.
  • Helmet recess in the seat prevents a child’s head from being pushed forward.
  • UV inhibitor protects color against fading in the sun.
Watch for
  • Not as easy to balance while riding with rack-mount as other models.

The funky number

Mount type: Front
Maximum baby weight: 33 lbs
Bike seat weight: 4.85 lbs
Seat frame material: Plastic

If your bike has minimal room for a front mount, the Peg Perego Orion Bike Seat (check price on Bed Bath & Beyond) might be the seat for you. The footrests are adjustable, although you need to remove them to change the settings.

The initial installation can be tricky, but once the mount is in place, it’s simple to slide the seat on and off. While not vented, the seats are padded with durable material held in place with velcro.

What we love
  • Affordable.
Watch for
  • Foot straps keep those little legs from kicking while you ride.

Most comfortable baby bike seat

Mount type: Front
Maximum baby weight: 33 lbs
Bike seat weight: 8.2 lbs
Seat frame material: Plastic

A bit more expensive than its predecessor, the WeeRide Kangaroo Classic (check price on Amazon), this updated model comes outfitted with an extra thick seat and backrest padding.

The five-point harness is secured with an oversized buckle system, and the footrests adjust for maximum support. Providing the same excellent stability as the original model, this newer version is easy to install, with the mounting bar included with your purchase.

What they’ll love

  • Provides a well-balanced ride.
  • Plush seating.

Safest baby bike seat

Our opinion

Mount type: Rear frame
Maximum baby weight: 48.5 lbs
Bike seat weight: 10.2 lbs
Seat frame material: Plastic

Although this seat is on the expensive side, the Thule RideAlong Bike Seat (check price on Bed Bath & Beyond) top-notch safety features make it worth the price.

Arm bumpers will keep your baby’s hands safe from objects passing by and protect them if you have to lean your bike against a wall to get your little one in and out of the seat.

A DualBeam suspension system means less jostling for your baby, who is secured into the easy-to-clean seat with a comfortable, childproof buckle.

What we love
  • Plenty of safety features.
  • High backed, reclining seat helps keep shoulder straps secure.
  • Simple Installation.
Watch for
  • Pricey.

Most adjustable baby bike seat

Mount type: Rear rack
Maximum baby weight: 48.5 lbs
Bike seat weight: 6.5 lbs
Seat frame material: Engineering grade plastic

The cocoon shape of Topeak Baby Bike Seat II (check price on Sears), coupled with its arm bumpers, padded safety bar, and suspension system, will keep your baby secure as you hit the road.

The height of the straps is extremely simple to modify, as are the positions of the footrests and straps. The seat pad is removable for effortless cleaning, while the frame has a built-in helmet recess for your little one’s comfort. Installation is incredibly easy so you’ll be up and biking in no time.

What we love
  • Mounting rack included.
  • Plastic guards serve as spoke protectors.
Watch for
  • Does not recline.

Choosing a bike seat mount

Some seats will attach to the front of your bike. Others attach at the rear by way of the frame or an installed rack.

Front-mounted baby bike seats

A front-mounted seat can sometimes be attached to your seat post but is most commonly installed on the base of your handlebars.

Your child will outgrow this type quicker than a rear-mounted seat, as front-mounted models tend to have a lower maximum weight capacity.

They can also be tough to use with tall babies and might cramp your personal space a bit while you ride.

However, they provide the highest amount of intimacy, allowing you to speak to your baby and glance down at her from time to time. Your baby may also relax more, being able to look up at you throughout the ride.

Determining compatibility for a front-mounted baby bike seat

If you can see a locknut at the base where your handlebars meet the bike frame, you have what is called a threaded headset. For the most part, you can install a front-mounted bike seat onto this type of bicycle.

However, if you cannot see a locknut at the base of your handlebars, you have what is called a threadless headset.

These are much less compatible with front-mounted bike seats, as the handlebar base is too broad to fit a mounting bracket. However, you might be able to find an appropriate adapter for some bike seat models.

Measuring for a front-mounted bike seat

What you’ll be looking at will be the verticle space at the stem of the handlebars. Most mounting brackets will need an area between 0.5″ to 1.5″ to be attached.

You will also want at least 18 inches of space, ideally a whole 20 inches for most models, between the handlebar stem and seat tube.

What is a rear frame-mounted seat

These seats attach to the back of your bicycle’s frame, allowing your child to ride behind you on the bike. Although they don’t offer the intimacy of a front-mounted seat, they have higher weight limits, tend to include more features, and provide better suspension when going over bumpy terrain.

Determining compatibility for a rear frame-mounted seat

First, you need to check if your bike has cables running on the seat tube or on any other affixed tubes that are beneath your seat post. If your bike is equipped with these cables, you might have to opt for a rack-mounted bike seat.

If you ride with your seat positioned less than an inch above the bike frame, then you will either need to purchase an adapter or opt for a rack-mounted bike seat.

What is a rear rack-mounted seat

With rear rack-mounted models, you will likely need to purchase a rack separately as most bike seats don’t come with one included. This rack will attach to the bike frame over its rear tire.

Note: When purchasing a rack, be sure to figure in the bike seat’s weight, as well as the weight of your child, to make sure the rack can safely support your little one.

Determining compatibility for a rear rack-mounted seat

The first thing to check for is that your bike has two sets of eyelets with which to mount a rack. The first set will be at the top of your bike frame’s rear triangle. The second set of eyelets will be near the rear tire’s axle and can be harder to see. Check out this video for a demonstration on how to tell if your bike has eyelets.

You will also need to determine what kind of brakes you have. If a large rotor surrounds your tire hub, you have disc brakes and will need to be sure that whatever rack you purchase is compatible.

And our winner is…

Biking with your baby can be an absolute joy as long as you adhere to local laws, obey the rules of traffic, and buy the best baby bike seat for your needs.

While we would recommend any model in our review section, we have a particular fondness for our Editor’s Choice, the Schwinn Deluxe Bike Seat (check price on Amazon).

Its high-back seat and maximum weight limit mean your little one will get to enjoy riding in this model for quite some time. Meanwhile, safety features like the spoke guards and protective crossbar, will give you peace of mind as you peddle.

Be safe and bike on!

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on October 3rd, 2021

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