Searching for a way to experience more adventures with your child? We tested 5 top kids' bike seats side-by-side to help you find the perfect one for your family and outdoor fun needs. While testing the competition, we evaluated different design elements before ranking and making our award selections. During our testing, we assessed each seat's assembly and attachment to a bike, the restraint's adjustability and considerations for comfort or safety, and the overall quality of the product. Continue reading to find the best bike seat for your child and outdoor plans.
The Thule Yepp Maxi is a bike seat that attaches to the rear of the bike behind the adult seat, attaching easily to the seat post. This option's seating area is a soft, flexible material that is squishy for comfort and bendable to resist impact breaks. We like the bright color, simple attachment, anti-theft locking, and comfort features we didn't see with all of the contenders. This seat is high-quality and has a longer potential life, with a broader passenger weight range. It also has variable seat placement and an adjustable recline for 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 it. 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.
Rider Range: 9 mo - 33 lb | Attachment Location: Front
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Non-adjustable harness height
If you are looking for a front-placement kids' bike seat, the Thule Yepp Mini is an impressive contender. This somewhat flexible seat 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 as a result of the forward seat placement.
Given the front placement and lower weight range, this seat has a shorter lifespan than the other Thule in our lineup. Depending on your goals, it could influence 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.
Rider Range: 2-6 yrs/110 lb | Attachment Location: Center
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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 allowing little ones to ride with you in a way you otherwise couldn't in 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.
Rider Range: Up to 38 lbs | Attachment Location: Front
REASONS TO BUY
Fun steering wheel
REASONS TO AVOID
Footrest takes longer to adjust
Larger legs won't fit under the handlebars
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 has an adjustable harness, stirrups, and 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 feel sort of unfinished, like the attachment to the seat, which is more on par with a homemade garage project than a machined part. Also, the design places little ones higher up and closer to the handlebars, which means larger children don't fit well 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. Which could be you if you don't plan to use it often.
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, we'd choose the Thule over the Hamax.
Why You Should Trust Us
We considered over a dozen potential bike seat contenders before settling on our lineup. We tested each seat on various bike types and with children of different ages. We considered quality, adjustments, and assembly when selecting award winners and ordering ranks.
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 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 incompatible.
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. 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 quickly mounts 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 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 with all gear types, it seems to be true 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 share similar prices. The IBert appears to be a lower-quality choice in our tests, but its price is 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.
Cruising around on your bike with your little one can help encourage a lifelong love of the outdoors and adventures. Creating lasting memories with your children is priceless, and biking will be something your child remembers for years to come. Selecting the best bike seat for your child and outings can help create a fun and unique bonding experience while your little one is too small to pedal. A useful bike seat is an excellent addition to any outdoor gear lineup. It provides an enjoyable and engaging way to bike with your little one. We believe our testing and analysis provide the information you need to find the best seat for your baby's biking goals.
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.