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Best child bike seat 2023: Find the right seat for cycling with little passengers

Keep your tots safe as you introduce them to the wonderful freedom that cycling has to offer with the best child bike seats

The best bike child seats are a great investment for parents and children who love to cycle, as well as for those who are just getting started. And having your child in close proximity as they learn to ride is a great way to bond with them.

There are plenty of child seats available for different types of bicycles. Some are front-mounted and others fit on the rear of the bike. The majority of seats on the market also comply with the European safety standards so you can rest assured that they’re safe to use too. Some of these bike seats offer complete support, which is perfect for small children, while others are just an attachable seat and handlebars: ideal for older tots who are more aware of their surroundings.

We’ve reviewed a selection of the best bike child seats in a variety of different styles to keep both child and parent feeling safe and secure whilst riding together. Before we get to our roundup, though, we’ve provided a short buying guide on what to look out for when shopping around.

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Best child bike seat: At a glance

How to choose the best bike seat for your child

A bike seat can fit a child from around nine months old, although the more adventurous parents among you might even use them for children as little as six months old. Taking a bike ride with your little one can be an adventure, whether you live in a city or have countryside views.

What types of child bike seats are there?

There are two main types of bike seats available: rear and front bike seats. With both a rear bike seat and a front seat, some parents can travel with two children at once.

A rear bike seat, which can be fitted to the rear rack or frame of a bicycle, is the most common type. Rear seats are available in lots of shapes and sizes and they can come in simple designs and offer side support too. Having a rear seat can alter the handling of a bicycle while riding, especially if your child is older (and therefore heavier). This style can also make it harder to interact with them. However, a rear-bike seat can manage the weight of older children easier and gives you a clearer view of the road ahead.

A rack-mounted seat is another type of rear bike seat and slides onto the top rails of a rack, secured in place with a strap that attaches to the seat tube. Most seats and racks will come in a pack but if they don’t, ensure your rack is suitable for the seat you’ve purchased.Front-mounted seats have less of an impact on your balance whilst riding. They fit onto the front frame of the bike and are positioned between your handle bars and your seat. This type of seat makes it easier to communicate with your child and helps everyone feel safer as your child is essentially positioned in between your arms. This is particularly helpful if your child is slightly nervous about cycling with you. Front-mounted seats also give our little passengers a great view of the road ahead.

Not all front-mounted seats will fit all bikes, so check with the manufacturer what style is suitable. Your knees will be slightly at an angle when riding, but this position shouldn’t be uncomfortable.

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How do I know if a bike seat is any good?

A good bike seat shouldn’t be overly difficult to install and they should come with easy-to-follow instructions. Most seats will come with all the necessary tools required to install and we’ve even chosen one seat on our list that doesn’t require any tools at all. If you do find yourself in a pickle, contact the manufacturer, or head on over to good ol’ YouTube to find a tutorial.

Other features to look out for when choosing a good bike seat include padding, weatherproofing and design. Most seats come with a good amount of padding around the base of the seat and on the shoulder straps. Check what weatherproofing your seat has as you don’t want it to get too hot or soggy as the weather changes. And try to also choose a design that’s ergonomically-friendly, with easy-to-use footrests and comfortable handles.

The most important thing is that the bike seat is attached securely with no sign of budging. Common sense also comes into play here and, as parents, we’ll need to make judgement calls about what’s safe for our children. For example, how comfortable is your little one wearing a helmet? (No helmet, no bike ride.) So ensure your child is snug in their harness and that the bike seat itself is installed correctly and not wobbly.

What safety standards should I be aware of?

Most bike child seats come with a five or six-point harness and footrest straps to secure your tot in place. In addition, most are also tested against strict European safety regulations and will meet the EN14344 standard. For your ease of mind, make sure you choose a model with this safety certification.

How we test child bike seats

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. We test all the child bike seats we review by mounting them on multiple bike types (where applicable), trying out all the different positions and any safety features. Where child bike seats are recommended for a particular weight range, we tested the seats according to those limits to ensure we make an accurate recommendation.

We vigorously examine the seats’ safety features, the ease of mounting, the potential impact on balance while riding, and the comfort of the child during use. We also note whether the seats could potentially impact visibility or overall riding safety. Finally, we confirm the weight and measurements of the product.

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The best child bike seat you can buy in 2023

1. Polisport Bubbly Maxi FF: Best practical child bike seat

Price when reviewed: £45 | Check price at Halfords
This is a lightweight bike seat that’s easy to install and, for added convenience, it comes with adjustable fittings to fit onto a variety of bicycles. The Polisport feels very sturdy and with a three-point harness, the seat feels secure and comfortable.

The seat is stylish and we love the cream/grey colour combo too. With the ability to fit a child that weighs between 9kg and 22kg, the Bubbly Maxi FF is versatile: it has three forwards and backwards adjustments, plus four adjustable footrest positions. It is designed for installation on the frame of a bicycle and it complies with EN14344 safety standards.

Key features – Age/weight range: 9-22kg; Weight: 3.3kg; Mounting type: Rear frame; Adjustability: 3 forwards and backwards positions, 4 footrest positions, 2 height options

Check price at Halfords

2. Shotgun kids bike seat: Best front-mounted child bike seat

Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at Amazon
For kids that are a little bit older and can hold on by themselves, this seat by Shotgun is brilliant. It’s compact, fits on the front of a bicycle frame (just in front of your seat) and doesn’t compromise your riding. It has footrests with grips and straps to keep your child’s feet from swinging out and, for an extra £29, you can buy your child their own little set of handlebars to hold onto.

This seat places your child in between your arms and legs so that, even though they’re technically sitting on their own and have to maintain their balance, your body is offering them some sort of protection and support. It’s incredibly fun for both parent and child, with the close proximity allowing you to have a fully fledged conversation (or singing session) with them.

Key features – Age/weight range: 2-5 years old/max 22kg; Weight: 2.13kg; Mounting type: Front frame; Adjustability: Adjusts to fit flat or sloping top tubes, ideal for mountain bikes

3. Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini: Best rear-mounted child bike seat

Price when reviewed: From £88 | Check price at Amazon
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is one of the most popular bike seats on the market. It’s a comfortable rear-mounted seat that’s perfect for short or long journeys, and we love that both parent and child can remain comfortable and happy on 1-2 hour long cycle rides.

Parents have praised this seat for its ability to create an easy ride. It doesn’t throw a bicycle off balance and the handling is hardly affected by its presence. The seat can be unlocked from the adaptor and it attaches and detaches quickly. It’s easy to install, feels well-made and the safety harness is easy to use.

Key features – Age/weight range: Max 15kg; Weight: 1.9kg; Mounting type: Rear-mounted; Adjustability: Footrests adjustable

4. WeeRide Classic: Best infant child bike seat

Price when reviewed: £99 | Check price at Amazon
When your little one has better control of their neck muscles and you want to have a family bicycle ride, the WeeRide is a firm favourite child bike seat, having been used by several parents with children from as little as six months old. Our nine-month-old was comfortable in this good quality, lightweight seat, too. It’s perfect for children under the age of one and we particularly love the cushioned support at the front.

It’s a sturdy seat and since it’s fitted at the front, you feel extra security as a parent because your arms are at either side of your child’s body. There are straps to keep your baby’s body and feet secure, and it meets EN14344 safety standards.

Key features – Age/weight range: 1-4 years olds; Weight: 4kg; Mounting type: Front-mounted; Adjustability: Footrests height adjustable

5. Urban Iki Cycle: Best easily adjustable child bike seat

Price when reviewed: From £60 | Check price at Amazon
The easily adjustable six-point harness straps made this seat a firm contender for one of the best child bike seats around. There are also adjustable foot straps, which make it super easy to slot little feet in place. It’s advertised for children from nine months to three years old, and it complies with the European EN14344 safety standard.

The seat is made from smooth, soft rubber, and has soft shoulder padding too. It’s very ergonomic and fits our two-year-old toddler comfortably. It also has a minimalistic, modern design, with an integrated drainage system for rainwater, and comes in nine beautiful colours (the Chigusa green special edition is particularly lovely). We love that the entire seat detaches from the base which is fitted to the bicycle: a convenient feature for when you want to store it away.

Key features – Age/weight range: 9 months to 3 years old; Weight: 9-15kg; Mounting type: Front-mounted; Adjustability: Footrests height adjustable

6. Bomoya kids bike seat: Best-value child bike seat

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Amazon
Toddlers just love this seat. It’s comfortable and makes them feel secure as they’re close to their parents. For around £50, it’s cheaper than many of its competitors, the Shotgun being the most obvious one. In fact, we were hard-pressed to find many differences between the two, beyond a slight inferiority in the quality of the materials on the Bomoya (though this doesn’t detract too much from the overall performance). We’ve had ours for over a year and after regular use with a 4-year-old, it’s still going strong.

While we have used this on a sloped bar, it’s best fitted on a straight bar at the front of a bicycle as this prevents that sloped seated position. That said, our tot seemed happy in the seat for short journeys, even when slightly sloped. Overall, the seat feels secure and doesn’t take much space at the front, making it safe and comfortable for both child and parent. The inside of its metal frame is also lined with rubber to keep your bicycle from getting damaged.

Key features – Age/weight range: 2-5 years old/Maximum 25kg; Weight: 1.64kg; Mounting type: Front-mounted; Adjustability: Footrests adjustable

7. UrRider child bike seat: Best child bike seat for versatility

Price when reviewed: £85 | Check price at Amazon
This bike seat doesn’t require any tools for installation and has a quick-release design to pack it away in a small drawstring bag (which comes included). We love that it can be used on several different bike styles, while other child bike seats on the market are restricted to just one or two designs.

The seat takes a few minutes to install and feels extremely secure. And thanks to the fact that it detaches easily, you can cycle your child to nursery or school and leave the entire seat unit there until you pick them up later. As with most front-mounted bike seats, your knees do poke out at a slight angle while riding, but we didn’t find this adjusted riding position bothersome.

Key features – Age/weight range: 2-6 years old; Weight: 1.3kg; Mounting type: Front-mounted; Adjustability: Footrests adjustable

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