Searching for a way to take in more adventures with your child? We tested 6 top kids' bike seats side-by-side to help you find the right seat for your family and adventure needs. We considered the assembly and attachment of each seat to a bike, the adjustability of the restraint and considerations for comfort or safety, and the quality of each seat before ranking the seats and making our award-winning recommendations. Read on to find the best seat for your little one and your outdoor plans.Editor's Note: We updated and reviewed this bike seat review on April 20, 2022, for new potential options and to ensure we have the latest available for you.
Our Top Picks
The Thule Yepp Maxi is a bike seat that attaches to the rear of the bike seat, attaching easily to the seat post. This option's seating area is a soft, flexible material that is soft and squishy for comfort and bendable to resist breaking on impact. We like the bright color, simple attachment, anti-theft locking, and comfort features not included with all competitors. This seat is high-quality and has a longer life than most competitors, with a broader passenger weight range. It also has variable seat placement and an adjustable recline for added comfort.
This product is more expensive than the majority of the competition in this review. However, we feel the seat's longevity and quality justify the price if you plan to use it frequently and your budget allows. We believe this is an excellent choice for families who frequent bike use and plan to have regular outdoor adventures with their children on a bike.
The budget-friendly CyclingDeal Bicycle Seat is a high-backed bike seat with a rear attachment. It has a lightly padded seat, adjustable stirrups, and an adjustable harness with no-rethread shoulder height change. We like that this seat has a handlebar for little ones to hold and a wider seat for more comfort or a range of child sizes.
The padding on this seat can retain rainwater making for a wet seat if you encounter incremental weather. It is also slightly more challenging to put the mount on the bike, though attaching the seat to the mount is easy enough. It also doesn't lock to the bike, so theft could happen depending on where and how you plan to use it. Overall, we think this seat is a good one, especially for the price. It might be easy for families on a budget to overlook the few downsides it brings with it.
If you are looking for a rear placement kids' bike seat, the Thule Yepp Mini is a top contender. This somewhat flexible option is brightly colored, has adjustable stirrups, and a quick attachment that locks to the bike to avoid potential theft. The seat is smaller than the Maxi and has a lower passenger weight range.
Given the front placement and lower weight range, this seat has a shorter lifespan than the other Thule we tested, which could impact your decision to select it over the rear seater. This seat is also somewhat more expensive, and families on tighter budgets may want to look elsewhere. However, we think this is a top-quality option for parents who prefer the front placement on a bike and could be the right choice if you plan to transition your little one to a bike of their own when they outgrow the weight limit.
The UrRider is a unique, collapsable middle seat that folds up and fits in a carry bag. This seat is easy to set up when you know how it works and offers a firm seat, handlebar, and footpegs for little ones. We like how easy this option is to take on the go and think parents will appreciate being able to quickly attach it to a touring bike or bike share in the city. A seat like this can expand the world's possibilities by letting you ride with little ones in a way you can't lugging around a traditional kids' bike seat.
If you frequently use a bike seat, this one might not be the most comfortable. It lacks any padding, and there is no seatback for little ones to lean on. We also think it may not be the best option if you frequently ride at home as it lacks some features for comfort for the sake of being compact and lightweight. Overall, we think travelers and city dwellers will appreciate this compact, easy-to-carry seat.
The economical iBert Safe-T-Seat is a budget-friendly option designed with little ones in mind. We like the contoured full-body design and think the spinning steering wheel is almost as fun as our kid testers think it is. This seat comes with an adjustable harness and stirrups with a thin pad for comfort.
While this seat is inexpensive and could be a good fit for the price, it isn't as high quality as the competition, and the components are somewhat unfinished, like the attachment to the seat, which is more on par with a garage project than a machined part. Also, something about the design puts little ones higher up and closer to the handlebars, which means larger children can't fit in the seat. While we like other options in this review better, both for front and rear seating, we can see value in the front seat placement of this budget-friendly choice. It could be a contender for families who want a front-seater on a budget.
The Hamax Caress is a nice quality rear seat option with an easy attachment method and comfort features. This rear seat is reclinable, unique in our lineup of options, and has easy one-handed adjustments overall. We like that this seat has some padding, suspension, and adjustable seat placement. It can also lock in place to prevent theft.
The Hamax is one of the more expensive options, and we don't think it is that much better quality to merit the price as it isn't as nice as the similarly priced competition. We like the Hamax, and we think parents will too, but if given a choice, side-by-side, we'd choose the Thule over the Hamax.
Why You Should Trust Us
BabyGearLab has been buying and testing gear for babies for over seven years so parents can find the right products for their little ones and needs. This kid bike seat review is led by Senior Review Analyst Bob Wofford, experienced bicyclist and father of 7. Bob selected each seat and tested them on various bicycles with different children of various sizes to determine the best in the bunch for different needs. Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor and mother of 2, rounds out this team with the test results analysis and assistance with award winner selection. We purchased and tested the seats for ease of attachment, seat adjustability, and quality.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested 6 of the top bike seats to find the best option for every need and budget. The seats were tested side-by-side and hands-on to determine which products outshine the competition.
The best bike seats are easy to assemble and use. If a seat is hard to set up or attach to your bike, you'll likely loathe or avoid using it. Over time, difficulties could influence your decision to use the seat or find an alternative that doesn't include it. We considered each seat's ability to quickly assemble without a hassle and as it attaches to various bicycle styles. The majority of kids' bike seats in this review are designed for a standard bike style that falls within the "typical" range of bike construction. Bikes that fall outside these parameters (like a "FatBike") may not work with some or all of the tested seats. You should consider your bike type before making a purchase and consider buying from a retailer like Amazon, which has a simple return process if the seat is not compatible.
The Thule Maxi has an in-depth assembly, more so than most of the competitors. Mounting requires five bolts for the unit assembly and four more to attach to the seat post. It installs lower on the seat tube than the others, and you have to install the aluminum piece that connects to the mount under the seat (two more bolts). The final product is sturdy, and you only have to slide the seat into the component with a color-coded indicator so you know when it is connected properly. The Hamax is more straightforward, with only four bolts to attach to the seat post and a self-adjusting bushing. The seat slides smoothly in place. The CycleDeals is somewhat more complicated. We had to remove the bike seat before mounting the child seat to the seat post. None of the bike seats were particularly challenging. We think all are manageable, but you may feel differently depending on your assembly skills or desire. The UrRider is easy once you get the hang of it, though we can see how it could feel frustrating in the beginning. In our tests, we set it up quickly, but only after we did it a few times and understood the process. It doesn't require any tools and mounted quickly to multiple test bikes. It is by far the easiest to set up and attach, but you won't want to try it for the first time under pressure or with anyone waiting for you.
In this review, adjustability for child comfort or restraint system varies. Some adjust easier on the go, while others are more challenging or lack helpful adjustments. We utilized every adjustment on each product during testing and preferred the quick and easy-to-change options over those with wing nuts or no adjustability.
Many of the seats have adjustable harnesses and stirrups. The stirrups adjust for height, and some include straps to keep feet from kicking around. We like those with quick-moving parts or straightforward adjustments and straps that prevent swinging legs, which can rock a bike off-balance. The 3-point harness on the CycleDeals adjusts easily, and we love the shoulder strap height adjustment that is non-rethread and quickly adjusts with your little one on board. The Thules both lack height adjustment on the shoulder straps, so they are somewhat of a "one size fits most" setup. Both have challenging buckles that require two hands, making holding the bike and releasing a child from the harness difficult. The UrRider has nothing for child harness/fit adjustment, which means little ones need to hold on by themselves. It does have footpegs, but they are stationary. The Hamax adjustments are straightforward, and the shoulder straps have a rubber backing to prevent slipping. The buckle is one of the stiffest in our tests and requires two hands to operate. The IBert adjustments are the most cumbersome and the hardest to manage.
Quality is often a "you get what you pay for" proposition. While not always true, it seems to be in our experience with bike seats. The two highest-priced seats we tested, the Thule seats, offer the most impressive quality and features when compared side-by-side to the competition. Considering design and features, construction, and detail, we believe you won't find a better quality product in this lineup. The Hamax is also nicer quality, though we feel it pales slightly in comparison with the Thule products, and they all have similar prices. The CycleDeals and IBert both appear to be lower-quality choices in our tests, but their prices are on par with what you get. The iBert is probably the most disappointing in the test group. It has rougher edges, a cumbersome feel, stick-on materials, and somewhat unfinished feeling mounting devices. While lower quality than the Thules, the CycleDeals still feels better than the iBert and would be our budget choice if you are looking at the two cheaper options.
Cruising around with your child on your bike can create a lifelong love of the outdoors and staying active. Creating memories is priceless and biking is sure to be something your little one remembers for years to come. Selecting the right bike seat for your child and adventures is a great way to bond when your little one is too little to pedal. A helpful bike seat is an excellent addition to any outdoor child gear lineup, providing a fun way to get outside with your child. We believe our testing and analysis offer the details you need to select the best seat for your baby biking adventure goals.
— Wendy Schmitz
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More