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Best child bike seats

By Richard Owen, Kids' Cycling | Sunday, February 2, 2014 9.00am

If you've recently bought a bike and wish to take your child out on your bike with you, then you'll need a good child's seat. BikeRadar has rounded up and reviewed some of the best available.

Most bike seats are suitable for carrying kids between the ages nine months and four years, and up to 20kg (44lb). The heavier the child the harder handling your bike becomes!

Rear seats come in three basic designs: cantilevered from the seat tube; fixed to a rear carrier rack; and fixed directly to the seat tube and seatstays. Front seats usually attach to the top tube, with a bar fixed above it, or a bracket on the head tube.

Generally, the more you pay the sturdier the seat. Here are some of the best that are currently available.

Hamax Caress


Five stars: five stars

The caress is well made but pricey.: the caress is well made but pricey.

"Comfortable, hardwearing, simple to set up and easy to use. Pricey, but hard to fault"

The Caress is top of Hamax’s child seat range. We found it to be one of the easiest to set up and fix to a bike. Unlike on some rear seats, removing the mounting bar from the frame mount is very easy and makes taking the seat on and off a doddle. A dial at the front of the seat enables you to easily adjust the angle of the backrest to recline it – very handy should your passenger fancy a snooze. Adjusting the height of the back and footrests is very straightforward too. Padded shoulder straps click firmly into the seat base and held our rider securely in place, although some parents found the strap release button a little stiff and hard to undo. For better visibility there are reflectives on the back, and to provide some security when unattended a key locks the seat system to the frame.

  • Seat and mount weight: 4.8kg
  • Suitable from: 9 months
  • Max child weight: 22kg
  • Mount: Frame or rack

Okbaby 10+


Three and a half stars: three and a half stars

The okbaby lacks side protection.:

"A sturdy and stylish child seat, but side protection is less than with brands such as Hamax"

This Italian-made child seat is similar in size and mounting operation to the Hamax range of seats. The seat and mounts have a sturdy build quality. Assembly and installation took us about 30 minutes and the instructions were clear and logical. Our overall impressions of security and ride feel of the seat were positive, although the side areas offer less protection than other brands. The adjustable footrests and reclining rear allow for a comfortable ride, whatever the size of your child. The harness is easy to adjust and passed the tamper test of a two-and-a-half-year-old. When cycling the seat felt secure and uneven road surfaces didn’t affect the ride much. However, we did have to raise the footrests higher than would have been ideal because the pedalling rider’s heels clipped them while in motion.

  • Seat and mount weight: 3.7kg
  • Suitable from: 9 months
  • Max child weight: 22kg
  • Mount: Frame

Bobike Maxi Tour


Two stars:

The bobike maxi tour: the bobike maxi tour

"A well-specced seat, but we were less than impressed by the unusual harness fastening"

This seat from Dutch manufacturer Bobike has some unique features. The headrest curves around the child’s head for extra protection and support, plus it has adjustable footrests and a built-in rear LED light. The three-point harness clips in and out at the shoulder section rather than into the seat base, which we found difficult if the passenger was in a wriggly mood. It’s also easy to think you’ve connected it correctly, only to find it has come undone. We also had an issue with inserting and removing the frame-mounting bar, which involved a lot of jiggling. The seat, though, is really easy to remove from the mounting bar. A padlocked cable locks the seat and bar to your frame. 

  • Seat and mount weight: 5.78kg
  • Suitable from: 9 months
  • Max child weight: 22kg
  • Mount: Frame or rack

Hamax Kiss


Three and a half stars: three and a half stars

The hamax kiss: the hamax kiss

While it's not as well equipped as its fancier stablemate, the Caress, Hamax’s Kiss is still a well designed and decent seat for the money. It features a tall back support and double-wall side protection. It didn’t take long at all to install, adjust to fit our passenger and get riding. Once on the road, the seat felt sturdy, safe, stable and secure. As with the Caress, the back and footrests can be adjusted to fit your child as they grow. Our one gripe with the seat is that the three-point harness clip is very hard to undo with one hand, which makes the already somewhat tricky task of supporting both the bike and your dismounting passenger at the same time all the more difficult.

  • Seat and mount weight: 3.45kg 
  • Suitable from: 9 months
  • Max child weight: 22kg
  • Mount: Frame or rack

WeeRide Classic


Three stars: three stars

The weeride classic: the weeride classic

"More central- than front-mounted. An interesting design with many unique features"

The WeeRide is a popular front seat in the UK. Rather than attaching to the head tube like most of the other front mounted seats, it attaches to a bar that runs along the top tube of your bike and clamps to your seatpost and head tube at either end. The seat itself has a large cushioned front section, which allows your rider to have something to hold onto and lean on – particularly useful if they fall asleep. For smaller riders, however, it’s a bit big to reach or rest upon. While perfectly adequate, the seat harness isn’t quite as secure or as adjustable as some of the other systems. The mounting bar adds ugly-looking metal to your bike, so will not be to everyone’s taste.

  • Seat and mount weight: 2.69kg 
  • Suitable from: 6 months 
  • Max child weight: 18kg

Yepp Mini


Three stars: three stars

The yepp mini: the yepp mini

"A lightweight and well made seat that attaches to the handlebar stem, though offers less protection"

The Yepp Mini is the only seat tested that fits to the handlebar stem. This keeps it as far forward as possible, so you’re less likely to be forced to pedal bow-legged as with most forward positioned seats. The flipside of this is that the seat turns with the handlebar, which takes a little getting used to. It also makes getting your passenger off and on somewhat tricky at first. While there’s no cushioning, the seat is made from a rubber material that absorbs small bumps. If you have a bike with an Aheadset type stem, rather than a quill stem, you’ll need to use an adaptor, which is included with the seat. The seat can be locked to the stem mount with a key. 

  • Seat and mount weight: 2.56kg 
  • Suitable from: 6 months 
  • Max child weight: 18kg

Okbaby Orion


Four stars: four stars

The okbaby orion: the okbaby orion

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"Light, wobble-free and well built with a locking safety rail that gives the child protection"

Like the Okbaby rear seat, the Orion is sturdy and well made. Fitting the mount in the optimum position for the comfort of both parent and child took a bit of trial and error because there are quite a few possible options on the head tube. The seat clamp fixed firmly to the bike and ensured a wobble-free ride for our junior tester. He in turn was held securely in place by a three-point harness and a safety rail that fastened around him. The rail is a nice addition, not only for our little rider’s protection, but it also gave him something to grab onto while riding. While there’s no adjustment in the back height (typical of most forward positioned seats), it’s easy to adjust the position of the footrests, and the rubber straps easily secure little feet in place. The seat stays front facing at all times, rather than turning with the bars like some models available. The moulded cushioning is on the thin side, but still adds enough comfort. Rubberised bolt covers on the clamp make a nice finishing touch.

  • Seat and mount weight: 2.1kg
  • Suitable from: 7 months 
  • Max child weight: 15kg

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