Installing a child bike seat on your bike is a convenient way of taking your child with you on a cycling trip. Whether you’re going out for a day or finding a convenient way to transport your child to and from preschool, a child bike seat can be a good solution.
We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our test of child bike seats, we asked normal families with children to use the bike seats in their everyday lives, both for the preschool run and also for other sorts of cycling trips.
The bike seats have been used by children from around 8-9 months of age and upwards. All of the child bike seats were used on the type of bike they were designed for. Some of them attached to the bicycle’s luggage carrier, and others directly to the bicycle frame. In the test we focused on the following characteristics:
The child’s comfort: Is the child comfortable? Can the bike seat be adapted to a growing body?
Functions: Does the bike seat have a reclining position for a sleeping child? Is it easy to fasten and unfasten the harness?
Use: Is the bike seat easy to assemble? Is there a quick attachment so it can easily be moved between different bikes? Does it include a lock to prevent theft of the bike seat?
In addition to this, we have also taken into account the design and price of the child bike seat. After this, we arrived at a final score that determined which bike seat was the best in test.
Very convenient, comfortable and easy to use child bike seat with practical reclining position
Reclining position: Yes, up to 20 degrees Max. weight: 22 kg Quick attachment: Yes Position on bike: Rear Needs luggage carrier: No Installation: Compatible with most bicycle frames (round frames with a diameter of 27.2-40 mm, oval frames of a maximum of 40 x 55 mm)
The Thule RideAlong is a sturdy but simultaneously very convenient child bike seat. It suits the majority of bicycles, both with and without luggage carrier. It’s easy to install the bike seat – you simply screw a bracket to the frame. The manual is clear and has good graphic instructions. If you want to move the Thule RideAlong between different bicycles, an extra bracket only costs about £30. This means you can quickly change which parent’s bike the child seat is attached to. Or one parent can leave both child and bike seat at preschool and the other can collect them by bike in the afternoon.
The functions in the Thule RideAlong feel very straightforward and the child bike seat is easy to use. All of the parts of the seat that can be adjusted are colour marked in light blue. The harness is very convenient. It’s easy to click into place with one hand, which means you can hold the bicycle steady with the other. The bike seat can be adjusted to the child both in terms of leg support and harness height in the seat. The seat is comfortable for the child and they don’t get jerked about during the trip. And if the child falls asleep, you can also move the Thule into reclining position, again with just one hand.
The Thule RideAlong includes a lock which means the bike seat isn’t as easy to steal. The price tag isn’t particularly low, but it gets top marks for all aspects of comfort and use. It also gets bonus points for the fact that you can get hold of spare parts for the bike seat from Thule both easily and for a reasonable price, in case you happen to lose a part. The Thule RideAlong is an obvious test winner.
Uncomplicated and affordable child bike seat with convenient installation and good quick attachment
Reclining position: No Max. weight: 22 kg Quick attachment: Yes Position on bike: Rear Needs luggage carrier: No Installation: Can be installed on round frames with a diameter of between 28-40 mm
The Hamax Kiss is an uncomplicated model of child bike seat. Just like other Hamax seats, it's installed using a bracket around the frame, which you then easily click the seat into. This also means you can move the Kiss easily between different bikes if you buy an extra bracket. The child bike seat doesn’t include a lock.
The Hamax Kiss is comfortable for the child to sit in. The construction of the bike seat provides a bit of suspension, which means the child doesn’t get jerked around when you cycle over rough surfaces. The bike seat has a padded cushion that runs part of the way up the back and makes it more comfortable to sit in. There’s no reclining position. The Kiss can be used for different children by adjusting the harness shoulder straps, although there are only two positions and more would have been better. The foot supports also have several positions that you adjust to fit the length of the child’s legs. Removable protective shields against the bicycle wheel are intended to prevent the child’s legs from getting caught in the wheel. Unfortunately these come off quite often if they get kicked as you’re putting the child into or out of the bike seat.
You can easily attach the harness in the seat unit easily with one hand, but unfortunately it’s difficult to get on if the child is wearing a helmet. The small handles on the sides for the child to hold onto are a nice touch, however. The Hamax Kiss may lack exceptional functions, but it works very well on an everyday basis for the preschool run. And given the price, the Hamax Kiss is an excellent budget choice.
Convenient child bike seat that can easily be adapted to different children and has a good reclining position
Weight: 4.8 kg Reclining position: Yes, up to 20 degrees Max. weight: 22 kg Quick attachment: Yes Position on bike: Rear Needs luggage carrier: No Installation: Can be installed on round frames with a diameter of between 28-40 mm or on a luggage carrier with a width of 120-180 mm (requires separate bracket)
The Hamax Caress is a stylish child bike seat with all of the desirable functions: quick attachment, reclining position, built-in suspension and easy installation. To attach the Caress to a bicycle frame, you screw on a bracket using the Allen key included. After that you click the child bike seat into position. If you buy an extra bracket, you can swap the Hamax Caress between two bikes in no time. There’s also an optional bracket for a luggage carrier, so the Caress can also be used on an electric bike.
On the back of the bike seat’s back support is a one-hand bracket to raise the harness. The leg supports can also be adjusted so they grow with the child. This means that a one year old and a five year old can be comfortable in the same bike seat. If the child falls asleep, you can adjust the bike seat to a reclining position. The Caress tilts backwards to a maximum 20 degree angle. It’s convenient to adjust the angle without waking the child, preventing the head from hanging forwards. It would have been better if the edges of the bike seat were a little deeper, however, to offer greater support and protection.
The harness is very convenient and can easily be drawn over the child’s head with a helmet on without it being a struggle. The leg supports are also easy to adjust using a catch on the back. The Caress has a lock to prevent theft, and comes with two keys. The price is higher than for Hamax’s simpler child bike seats, but what you gain is speed and convenience in being able to move the bike seat between bicycles, an effective harness and the reclining position. If these are functions you’d find useful, the Hamax Caress is a very good value for money bike seat.
Clever and convenient child bike seat that can easily be installed on your bike’s luggage carrier
Reclining position: No Max. weight: 22 kg Quick attachment: Yes Position on bike: Rear Needs luggage carrier: Yes Installation: Installed by being attached around the luggage carrier
The Thule Yepp Next Maxi is a child bike seat that stands out both in terms of its futuristic appearance and its installation method, because this model comes with a luggage carrier bracket beneath it. To install it you simply screw it into place so it’s attached around the luggage carrier. This is very easy to do, and the instructions that come with the bike seat are very clear. You can also change how close to the bicycle saddle the Thule Yepp Next Maxi should be. This way you can make sure there’s plenty of space for larger children. If you want to swap the Thule Yepp Next Maxi between two bicycles, this is quick and easy to do.
This bike seat is very comfortable for the child. However, because the Thule Yepp Next Maxi has no reclining position, it would have been useful to have a little more support for the head. As it stands, if the child falls asleep in the bike seat their head tends to tip to one side. The harness works very well. It’s easy to get on and off for an adult while being difficult for the child to undo. The Thule Yepp Next Maxi can be adapted as the child grows, with adjustable leg supports that you can also use to fasten the child’s feet in place, and a height-adjustable harness.
The Thule Yepp Next Maxi looks more expensive than it is and has very high quality functions. A clever lock to make it more difficult to steal the bike seat is built in. If you’re looking for a child bike seat to attach to the luggage carrier of your bicycle, the Thule Yepp Next Maxi is an effective choice that’s very good value for money.
Easily installed child bike seat with comfortable sitting surface and clever reclining position
Reclining position: Yes, up to 12.5 degrees Max. weight: 22 kg Quick attachment: Yes Position on bike: Rear Needs luggage carrier: No Installation: Can be installed on round frames with a diameter of between 28-40 mm
The Hamax Amaze is a sportier child bike seat with a reclining position, quick attachment and removable cushions. Installation is convenient, and the clear instructions include images. The bike seat can be adjusted in terms of position so it’s far enough behind the bicycle saddle. The bracket is screwed in place around the bicycle frame. No luggage carrier is required and the bike seat also works on a mountain bike. If you buy an extra bracket to install on another bike, you can quickly and easily move the Amaze between bikes.
The bike seat has a soft, padded cushion which makes it more comfortable for the child. The child seems to be comfortable during the journey too, and the rocking that occurs as a result of how the seat is installed doesn’t seem to be a problem. However, the back cushion comes out far too easily when you pick the child up from the bike seat, and this quickly becomes irritating. If the child falls asleep, you can turn a catch so the Hamax Amaze reclines 12.5 degrees. This isn’t much, but it allows the child to sleep without their head tipping forwards. The harness works very well and can easily be expanded and attached with one hand so you can balance the bicycle with the other.
The Hamax Amaze is a user-friendly and convenient child bike seat. In terms of design it won’t be to everyone’s taste and the removable cushions that constantly fall out are more irritating than practical. Amaze is a functional child bike seat that doesn’t stand out from the crowd, but the harness, padding and reclining position help keep the child comfortable and gain it a good score.
Simple and cheap child bike seat that can easily be swapped between different bicycles
Weight: 4 kg Reclining position: No Max. weight: 22 kg Quick attachment: Yes Position on bike: Rear Needs luggage carrier: No Installation: Can be installed on round frames with a diameter of between 28-40 mm
The OK Baby Body Guard is a classic bike seat that’s been around for a while. It includes an installation manual, but this leaves a good bit to be desired in terms of clarity. So the installation process takes a relatively long time and feels anything but simple. Once in place it’s anchored firmly to the bracket. This means it’s easy to move the OK Baby Body Guard from one bike to another if you have an extra bracket. You can adapt the bike seat to the bicycle, to an extent, as you can choose how high over the back wheel or luggage carrier you want it to be.
The OK Baby Body Guard is comfortable for the child, even if there’s no reclining position. The harness is slipped over the child’s head and then attached to the seat between the child’s legs. On either side of the bike seat are large wings to prevent the child’s legs from getting caught in the wheel. The child’s feet can be fastened into place, but as this is done on the back of the protective wings it’s a bit fiddly to do. The Body Guard can grow with the child, as both the harness and leg supports can be height adjusted.
After the initial installation, the OK Baby Body Guard is straightforward. For shorter trips or daily use on the preschool run, it does the job, and for a low price too.
It’s generally recommended that your child is around nine months old before you start putting them in a child bike seat. But some children need to be older so they can sit correctly. In terms of maximum weights, these vary between manufacturers, but 22 kg is a common maximum weight for a child bike seat.
The advantage of a front child bike seat, which are attached to the handlebars, is that you have better contact with your child while you're cycling. It’s easier to hear what they’re saying and to talk to them about what you can see around you. The disadvantage is that it can be more difficult to control the bicycle with the extra weight on the handlebars. A child bike seat mounted this way also has a lower maximum weight, and consequently a shorter period of use.
The advantage of a child bike seat on the back of the bike is that it doesn’t affect the steering, and because the maximum weight is higher you can use it for longer. There’s also more space for larger children. The disadvantage is that you aren’t as close to the child, and it’s more difficult to talk to each other while you're cycling.
No, the bike doesn’t need to have a luggage carrier. There are now many child bike seats that you attach to the bicycle with a bracket that you screw around the bike frame. But if you have a bicycle that doesn’t have a standard frame, or if you have an electric bike with a battery that goes under the saddle, these brackets don’t always work. And then you may need to get a child bike seat that you install by attaching it to the luggage carrier.
Which is best – a frame bracket or using the luggage carrier? Provided the installation is done correctly, it is equally safe to attach the child bike seat using a frame bracket or on the luggage carrier. But one advantage of a frame bracket is that you can often buy extra brackets. This means you can more easily move the child bike seat, for example between the two parents’ bicycles.
A child bike seat is a convenient way to take your child along on your bike, and it doesn’t make the bike any larger. Meanwhile a bike trailer takes up more room. But it does also mean you can take extra luggage, and you can disconnect the trailer from the bike, and if it’s the type that converts into a pushchair you can walk with it too. If you need to transport more than one child, a bike trailer is more convenient than a child bike seat both front and back.
If the moped is authorised to carry passengers, it may be used to carry children. It’s recommended that you use a child bike seat with a seatbelt and leg supports, if this can be installed correctly. As always, the child must wear a helmet, regardless of whether they’re being carried or cycling themselves.
We tested child bike seats from a user perspective and name the Thule RideAlong as our best in test. This is a very convenient child bike seat that’s fast to install and has a clear manual. The child is comfortable and the child bike seat can be angled into a reclining position using just one hand if the child falls asleep during the trip. The harness is easy to get on with a buckle that feels secure. The child bike seat also includes a lock to prevent theft.
You get very little pleasure or use out of a child bike seat if it doesn’t fit on your bike. So when you’re choosing a child bike seat, the first thing to do is to measure your own bicycle frame and find out which attachments it’s compatible with. If both parents will be transporting the child, it can be sensible to choose a model where you can buy an extra bracket. Then you can move the child bike seat more easily between different bikes.
The general recommendation for when a child can start using a bike seat is from about nine months. But age isn’t the only thing to take into account. The child must be able to sit securely in the bike seat and be big enough for the harness to fit correctly. The child must also be big enough to wear a cycle helmet.
The child bike seat can be used as long as the child fits into it comfortably, and provided the maximum weight isn’t exceeded. A common maximum weight for child bike seat is 22 kg, which corresponds to a child about 4-5 years of age. It often doesn’t matter if the child’s legs are a bit long, as they can often sit in the bike seat with their knees bent a little more.
A child bike seat is useful in many different circumstances. The child bike seat is practical during your everyday life, and at weekends and on holiday too. If you commute to work by bike, a child bike seat is perhaps the most convenient way to drop off and collect your child from preschool. You can use a child bike seat to take your child to the swimming pool or playground. Or why not go on a cycling holiday in the summer – with the child bike seat on the back, of course!
Different models of child bike seats are installed in different ways. Some models require a luggage carrier that you then install the child bike seat to. But most child bike seats have their own bracket, which you attach around the bicycle frame. These brackets are adaptable to different frame sizes, within certain limits. If you have an electric bike, you may need to choose a child bike seat that attaches to the luggage carrier.
Some models of child bike seats have built-in locks. This makes it more difficult for a thief to remove the child bike seat from the frame bracket. If the child bike seat you’ve chosen doesn’t come with a lock, you can always buy a separate wire lock that you run through the bike seat and bicycle frame.
If you’re looking for a child bike seat with the maximum comfort, you should choose a model that has good, well padded cushions. You can also add your own smaller cushion into the child bike seat if it seems to be too hard. For smaller children who are likely to fall asleep during the journey, it’s best to buy a child bike seat that has a reclining position. Child bike seats installed with frame brackets often have some built-in shock absorption, which also increases comfort for the child when you’re cycling on a rougher surface.
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