Last updated: 04/14/2020

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Spending time with our children is one of the greatest things in life as a parent. However, having to care for them also means we have to sacrifice other activities of our daily lives, like heading out for a bike ride or a run. But what if we told you that you could be with your little one while exercising?

In our new guide, we will tell you how you can ride off on your bike into the sunset – with your child. Thanks to bike seats, you will no longer have to set aside your hobbies. In fact, this is a great way to share your passion with the people you love the most. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about these products.

Key Facts

  • Child bike seats are designed to adapt to your bicycle so that you can take your little one with you and enjoy nature and the great outdoors together.
  • Besides, this accessory is the safest way for children to travel on a bike. In most states, your kid can go with you from the age of nine months and until they reach the maximum weight limit of the product.
  • There are various aspects to factor in when you purchase a child bike seat. As you will discover in the final section of our guide, they are essential for the safety and comfort of your little one.

Our Selection: The Best Child Bike Seats on the U.S. Market

Being familiar with the options available to you is always the best to make an informed purchase. If you are thinking of giving this accessory a go, or if you already have one but want to change, this is the section for you. We have selected some of the very best child bike seats currently on the market, so pay attention. You might just find the one you’ve been looking for!

Best Child Bike Seat: Amazon’s Choice

With hundreds of positive reviews and high ratings, this model by reputable American brand Schwinn has become Amazon’s Choice in the category. This rear-mount bike seat offers plenty of space for your little one and can support up to 40 pounds of weight. Safety-wise, it integrates a classic three-point harness and leg restraints to prevent your child from getting hurt. And all you need is a screwdriver to install it!

Best Child Seat for Mountain Bikes

It can be hard to find a quality child seat for your mountain bike, but here’s one for you! This front-mount model may be slightly more expensive than others on this list, but we guarantee you won’t regret the investment if you’re a nature-loving parent. Compatible with all mountain bikes, you can adjust it in various ways to make sure both you and your child are completely comfortable and safe while you ride together.

Best Front Bike Seat

Here is another fantastic option available on the market for those looking for a front-mount bike seat. In fact, it’s a versatile model that you can install facing front or back, depending on what you prefer for your little one. It comes with a quick-release clamp for greater ease of use. This bike seat is designed for children aged 9 months to 3 years or 33 pounds.

Best Bike Seat for Older Children

If your child is growing faster than others, or they still love to ride with you as they get a little older, this Italian-made bike seat is what you need. Capable of withstanding up to 50 pounds of weight, it has an attractive design that children simply love. The quick-release button allows you to switch from one bike to the other if you have a spare bracket. That way, Mom and Dad can both ride with their children!

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Child Bike Seats

As parents, we love to share our passions and hobbies with our children. This is why these bike seats have become so popular among American families. In the following section, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding these accessories to help you make the right decision.

Walk on bike. Father with son cycling in city

These seats can be attached to the front or the back of your bike.
(Source: Soloway: 27294673/ 123rf.com)

What types of child bike seats are there?

As you may have noticed from our selection above, there is a wide variety of these products on the market. The feature that most differentiates each model is the place where they fit on the bike. You can generally attach them to the handlebar, the crossbar, or the back of the bike. We have explained each type in the following table:

On the handlebar On the crossbar On the back
Bike stability It can make it harder to ride if your kid is bigger. Since the seat is placed in the center of gravity, this type offers great stability. It is less stable, but easier to use the handlebar.
Visibility It may hinder your visibility. It may hinder your visibility.  You will have full visibility.
Child control You see what your child is doing at all times. Again, you see what your child is doing at all times. You have little control over your kid because you cannot see them.
Comfort of the child Your little one has less space and can be more uncomfortable. They are smaller and can be less comfortable too. Your kid will be more comfortable since these models are bigger.
Visibility of the child Your kid can see everything. Your kid can see everything. In this position, your child can see little more than your back.
Size of the child They can support up to 30-33 pounds. They can support up to 30-33 pounds.  This type can support up to 48-50 pounds.

When can my child use a bike seat?

If you want your little one to be safe in this accessory, you are advised to wait until they weigh around 20 pounds. In most states, the legislation states that children must be nine months old to go on bike rides with you. That being said, many parents now prefer to wait a little longer and do not take their kids with them until they are at least one year old.

While you can find several models that withstand more weight, experts do not recommend using a bike seat with a child over 50 pounds. These products are generally designed to support kids aged six months to six years. The most important thing is that your little one is ready and comfortable. When you are sure this is the case, you can start sharing your passion for cycling with them!

Do bike seats affect the way I ride my bike?

Fitting a child seat on your bicycle will naturally need a little adjustment from your part. You will be carrying more weight than usual, which makes your bike more prone to tipping. That means that you may have to put more effort into accelerating and braking and limit your range of motion if you use a handlebar model.

You may think that this will prevent you from really enjoying your outing. But don’t worry because these small changes are effortless. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to go riding without your child. Don’t forget to practice before you set off on a long adventure.

girl with her father

Fitting a child seat on your bicycle will require a little adjustment from your part.
(Source: Prokudina: 44490279/ 123rf.com)

Which child seat is compatible with my bike?

Not all bikes are compatible with every type of seat. If you have a standard city, hybrid, or everyday bike, you won’t have to worry because they are usually more versatile. If you have a more specific bike – carbon fiber, road, or mountain – you may have more trouble adding a child seat to it.

The good news is that more and more companies are developing models for all types of bikes. In the end, the best way to know if your bike can support an additional child seat is by reading the user’s manual of the seat. You can also contact the manufacturer of your bike. That way, you will avoid any unpleasant surprise when you receive the product you buy.

kid with his parents

While you can find several models that withstand more weight, experts do not recommend using a bike seat with a child over 50 pounds.
(Source: Filimonov: 31523830/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages of child bike seats?

In recent years, these accessories have become incredibly popular among parents who love to go out cycling and spend time with their children. However, any product has its set of drawbacks, and child bike seats are no different. You can compare their pros and cons in the following table:

Advantages
  • They allow you to go out cycling with your little one.
  • They are suitable for children under the age of one.
  • You can use them safely.
  • They are easy to adapt to.
  • A wide range of designs are available.
Disadvantages
  • They can make your bike less stable.
  • Not all bikes can support them.

Our tips for using a child bike seat

More and more parents are turning to these accessories to enjoy some quality outdoor time with their children. However, as we mentioned earlier, you will need a little time to adapt to this new way of riding. Once you have it under control, all that’s left for you to do is make the most of the ride. We have collected some tips to help make your time more enjoyable:

  • Before putting your child on the bike, you may want to do a simulation. Place a weight similar to your child’s on the seat and take a ride to see how you feel. This is the best way to gain confidence.
  • The first time you go out with your kid, choose a route you already know to avoid running into an uncomfortable situation. Flat roads are perfect for this.
  • Take breaks frequently so that your child doesn’t tire from being in the seat for too long.
  • Don’t forget to wear helmets! It should be compact, resistant, with air openings for breathability. Look for models that are as light as possible for greater comfort – especially for your kid. Last but not least, the helmets should fit you and your child snugly.
kid on a baby seat

More and more parents are turning to bike seats to enjoy some quality outdoor time with their children.
(Source: Topchii: 12910701/ 123rf.com)

Buyer’s Guide

It is increasingly common to see parents riding on their bicycles with their children. However, the great diversity of models on the American market can make the purchase a lengthy and challenging process. Pay attention to the shopping criteria we have analyzed in the section below to find the product that best suits your needs and that of your little one.

Safety

This is the most important aspect of any product used by children. The safety of both your little and you during a bike trip is fundamental and should be your number one priority when buying a bike seat. Make sure that the seat you choose has adjustable straps that are easy to fit and secure.

Start by checking the compatibility with your bike. This is essential for safety and comfort, in addition to making sure you will be able to remain stable while riding with your child. Don’t forget that both you and your little one should also wear a helmet and appropriate clothing at all times. Avoid loose clothes that could get caught in your bike.

Young mother and her toddler girl riding a bicycle

Fitting a child seat on your bicycle will naturally need a little adjustment from your part.
(Source: Maximkabb: 41378560/ 123rf.com)

Child’s Age & Size

The age and size of your child will play a major role in the bike seat you decide to purchase. In that regard, keep in mind that rear seats offer more space than front models. This is why they are more suitable for older children that require more space.

This type can generally support up to 50 pounds.

Seats placed on the handlebar or crossbar are smaller in size and, therefore, ideal for younger children. They can carry children between the ages of nine months and three years, with a maximum weight limit of approximately 33 pounds. In any case, we encourage you to check your local legislation regarding the use of child bike seats.

Comfort

You want your little one to make the most of your trips, which is why this aspect is fundamental. You should know that many children tend to fall asleep during bike rides. In that regard, don’t forget to pick a model that gives enough room for your kid to move around a little and find a comfortable position for a quick nap.

Three elements play a role in the snugness of your baby. First of all, the headrest will support and secure their fragile heads. The footrests, on the other hand, prevent the uncomfortable feeling of being hanging in the air. Finally, the seat belt offers safety – just make sure it is padded enough.

Design

This factor is directly linked to comfort and safety because it will ensure that your little one is cozy and secure in their seat. Models placed on the handlebar usually feature a lower backrest to preserve your visibility. The drawback is that your child’s head isn’t fully supported.

High-back seats, however, offer increased safety and are more advisable. They support the head better while helping to keep the straps in place. You may also want to opt for a bike seat with adjustable tilt; that way, your little one can fall asleep more easily. Finally, the seat belt must suit your child’s size.

Placement

Last but not least, choosing where you want to place the bike seat is absolutely essential. In fact, it will determine the array of options available to you. Before you can make this decision, you have to know whether or not your bike has accessory hooks in the back. These little parts are required for attaching your child’s seat.

They should be located in the triangle formed behind your seat. If you have these little hooks, it means that these child seats are compatible with your bike; otherwise, you will have to opt for a front model. This type of seat fits on the handlebar or crossbar of the bike, so you will have to measure their size.

Summary

Child seats are an additional space that allows you to ride your bike with your little one. They have become incredibly popular accessories for bike-loving parents, as it allows them to spend more time with their children while sharing their passion for cycling.

Indeed, more and more adults are turning to these products to keep making the most of nature and the great outdoors while spending quality time with their kids. If you haven’t joined them yet and are intrigued by this new experience, wait no more! We are convinced you’ll never want to stop riding with your little one once you get used to it.

We hope that you found our shopping guide on child bike seats helpful and informative. If that’s the case, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article on your social media so that other parents can hit the road with their children!

(Source of featured image: Photobac: 28966898/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Ester is a midwife by profession, but due to an allergic reaction she no longer does her job full time. She now gives advice to parents. Her job motivated her to write articles. Her wish is to be able to reach even more parents and answer important questions.