The Ultimate Guide to Rear-Mounted Child (Baby) Bike Seats

Rear-Mounted Child Bike Seats

Rear-mounted child bike seats are the most common method of riding with kids and babies, and for good reason.  They are affordable, they fit on nearly any bicycle, and they accommodate a wide range of ages.

In this guide, I offer my favorite rear-mounted child/baby bike seats, tell you what to look for when shopping for a seat, and provide a comparison chart of many of the most popular bike seats on the market.

Front mounted child bike seats vs. rear mounted child bike seats

Yepp Bike Seats

Front-mounted bike seats have a special place in my heart.  They provide a very special, bonding experience with your child that you don’t get with a rear-mounted seat.  Unfortunately, they have a pretty limited life-span as the weight limit is usually around 30 to 35 pounds.  (If you have a child under that weight limit, you might want to check out my top picks for front-mounted bike seats).

In addition to fitting a wider range of ages, rear-mounted bike seats are generally thought to be safer, and they work well with a large variety of bikes—cruiser, mountain bike, cargo bike, etc.

Frame-mounted vs. rack-mounted rear child bike seats

Rear-mounted child bike seats are either affixed directly to the bike (via the frame or seatpost) OR they are attached to a rack.  If you have a rack (or a long-tail cargo bike), this tends to be the easiest option.  Even if you don’t have a rack, you can buy and install one easily. (Some bike seats even come with a rack).

When choosing a rack, make sure that it has a high enough weight limit to safely carry your child—some don’t.  I like the Topeak Explorer.  Another awesome choice is to convert your bike to a long-tail cargo bike with the Xtracycle Leap.

Age Range for Rear-Mounted Child Bike Seats

People often refer to rear-mounted bike seats as “baby seats.”  In reality, however, they are well suited for a wide range of ages.  The Yepp Junior, for instance, will fit kids up to 77 pounds.

As for whether bike seats are appropriate for babies is a matter of debate.  They are certainly not appropriate for biking with infants.  (Read When Can you Start Biking with a Baby?  for more information).  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until babies are 12 months old.  In other places (Europe for instance), it is more acceptable to bike with a baby once they have good neck control—around 9 months old.   It’s up to your own good judgment and comfort level as when to start biking with your baby, but you’ll see several bike seats listed below with a suggested age of 9 months+.

What to look for when shopping for a rear-mounted child bike seat

Biking with the Yepp Maxi

Child weight limits.

Many rear-mounted child bike seats advertise a “suggested age range,” but it’s really more important to look at the maximum child weight.  One child might max out a 40 lb bike seat at 3 and another at 6.  Choose a seat that gives your child plenty of room to grow to maximize the value of your investment.

Reclining.

Many of the more expensive rear-mounted seats recline.  This is NOT a necessary feature, but certainly nice to have.  For younger kids who are likely to fall asleep, the reclining seats also help keep their heads from flopping forward while they snooze.

Seat Weight.

The weight of rear-mounted child bike seats vary quite a bit.  As a general rule, lighter is better.  You are already carrying quite a bit of weight in the form of a child; you don’t need to carry even more due to a heavy seat.

The Five Best Rear-Mounted Child, Baby Bike Seats

If you don’t want to spend a bunch of time researching bike seats, consider one of these seats.  They are without a doubt the best rear-mounted bike seats on the market.

Yepp Maxi

Yepp Maxi Child Bike Seat

The Yepp Maxi is my top pick for rear-mounted bike seats.  The seat comes in two versions—the standard Yepp Maxi that attaches to your bike’s seatpost, and the Yepp Maxi Easyfit that attaches to a rack.  Both versions come in an array of beautiful colors, are comfortable for the child, and have a long lifespan and good resale value.

Price and Where to Buy:

  • $200 (Easyfit version) or $220 (Seatpost version) at Amazon.com
  • $230 (Seatpost version) at REI.com

Thule RideAlong

Thule Ridealong

The Thule RideAlong offers an array of top-notch features—a reclining seat, suspension, and quick release bracket.  The seat’s padding is machine-washable and reversible.  The seat easily mounts to your bike’s frame (via the seat tube), and fits kids ages 1 to 6.

Price and Where to Buy:

Peg Perego Sirius

Peg Perego Sirius

Moms everywhere are familiar with Peg Perego carseats and strollers, but did you know they make child bike seats as well?  With the high-quality you would expect from Peg Perego, the Sirius seat folds for easy storage and makes it ideal for travelling.  The seat also locks to your bike for protection against theft.

Price and Where to Buy:

Hamax Caress

Hamax Caress

The Hamax Caress child bike seat is unique in that the back adjusts to grow with your child.  Easily adjustable footrest and harness systems make further additional adjustments a cinch as well.  Finally, a wide range of accessories (including a neck pillow and rain cover) make the Caress ultra-functional.

Price and Where to Buy:

Polisport Guppy

Polisport Guppy

The Polisport Guppy is a top pick due to its recessed helmet pocket (awesome for babies and toddlers) and super-quick installation and removal.  A rear storage compartment is another bonus and provides ample room for diapers, and snacks.  Comes in both frame and rack mounted versions.

Price and Where to Buy:

Rear-Mounted Child Bicycle Seat Comparison Chart

Here’s a comparison of the seats listed in my top 5 favorites list, as well as many of the other rear-mounted bike seats on the market.

SeatMountingPrice (MSRP)Minimum AgeMax Child WeightReclines?
Belelli Pepe Rack FitRack1289 mos50 lbsYes
Bell Classic Cocoon 300Seat Post5012 mos44 lbsNo
Bobike JuniorFrame14944 lbs77 lbsNo
Bobike Pepe StandardFrame1289 mos49 lbsNo
Hamax CaressFrame OR Rack1999 mos48.5 lbsYes
Peg Perego SiriusFrame18012 mos40 lbsYes
Peg Perego 10+Frame15012 mos40 lbsYes
Polisport GuppyFrame OR Rack2009 mos48.5 lbsNo
Polisport JuniorRack6448 lbs77 lbsNo
Thule RideAlongFrame26012 mos48 lbsYes
Topeak Babyseat IIRack1709 mos40 lbsNo
Yepp MaxiSeat Post2209 mos48 lbsNo
Yepp Maxi EasyfitRack1999 mos48 lbsNo

 


Kristen

Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

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