5 Best Rear-Mounted Child & Baby Bike Seats – 2018

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 Baby Bicycle Seats

People often refer to rear-mounted bike seats as “baby bicycle 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 baby bicycle 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 5 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 Baby Bicycle 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.

For more information, read our detailed review of the Thule Yepp Maxi.

Price and Where to Buy:

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 Eggy

Peg Perego Eggy

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 Eggy offers a top-shelf seat at a reasonable price.  We love the fun colors and the easy installation.

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.

 

Seat Mounting Price (MSRP) Minimum Age Max Child Weight Reclines?
Belelli Pepe Rack Fit Rack 128 9 mos 50 lbs Yes
Bell Classic Cocoon 300 Seat Post 50 12 mos 44 lbs No
Bobike Junior Frame 149 44 lbs 77 lbs No
Bobike Pepe Standard Frame 128 9 mos 49 lbs No
Hamax Caress Frame OR Rack 199 9 mos 48.5 lbs Yes
Peg Perego Eggy Frame 99 12 mos 40 lbs No
Peg Perego 10+ Frame 150 12 mos 40 lbs Yes
Polisport Guppy Frame OR Rack 200 9 mos 48.5 lbs No
Polisport Junior Rack 64 48 lbs 77 lbs No
Thule RideAlong Frame 260 12 mos 48 lbs Yes
Topeak Babyseat II Rack 170 9 mos 40 lbs No
Yepp Maxi Seat Post 220 9 mos 48 lbs No
Yepp Maxi Easyfit Rack 199 9 mos 48 lbs No
Blackburn CoPilot Limo Rack 150 12 mos 40 lbs Yes

 


8 thoughts on “5 Best Rear-Mounted Child & Baby Bike Seats – 2018

  1. Hi Kristen,
    My husband and I have a 15mo kiddo and he’s looking to get into biking with her (I’ll tag along, but I still have random spills on my road bike in my 30’s, so he’ll be doing all the kid-toting). I want to get him a seat for father’s day, but here’s my rub, he has a basic road bike and a cooker mountain bike. We have some super mellow trails by our house and she loves hiking in them, so I have no doubt she’d love biking on them too! Is there one seat that does it all? Or is our best bet to do a thule ride along for the road bike and then an iBert for his mountain bike? I’m a bike moron, and trying to find people that do more than cruise with hybrids around town with kiddos is difficult! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jenny,
      I’m so sorry I didn’t see this until now! You CAN use the iBert on *most* road bikes and mountain bikes. We definitely used the iBert on our road bikes. That said, it’s not as comfortable on the road bike as it is on a more upright bike. I would give it a shot though, and then if your husband doesn’t like it on the road bike, you could always look for a second seat for that bike. You might also discover that he’s just more comfortable in general using a mountain bike when biking with your kiddo, even around town. I prefer it when biking with my son because it’s more upright, and easier to maneuver than my road bike.

  2. Thank you for this information. I’ve tried to post this question a couple of times and think there is a problem so apologies if it comes up more than once. I’m trying to decide whether to a frame or rack mounted seat. Is it possible to just change the connector used if it is not compatible with my bike or are the seats not interchangeable? I mean, if I get a frame mount and it doesn’t work, would it be possible to just get the rack for it or do I need a new seat altogether?

    • Hi Angela,
      Picking the right seat can be a little tricky. Some seats can be mounted either way but require an adaptor (the Thule Yepp Maxi is like this), but most can only be mounted one way or the other. If you have a bike with a rack already installed, this is a no brainer — go with the rack-mounted seat. Otherwise, just make sure you closely read the specs on the seat you want before buying. Most seats, for instance, will call out specific seat tube dimension that it can fit on.

  3. Can you attach a child seat, specifically the hamax caress, to any rear bike rack? I was looking at topeak rear racks but I was told that you’re not supposed to attach a child seat to them ever.

    • Hi John, Good question. You do have to look at the maximum weight limit of a rack. Not all have a high enough weight limit to install a bike seat. Some Topeak racks are ok for use with child seats.

    • Hi John,

      What rack did you go with for the Hamax? I just purchased one along with a Topeak Explorer rack, which meets the functional requirements listed by Hamax, but comes stamped with “not for use with child seat”. Very frustrating and can’t tell whether this means not for use with ANY child carrier or just Topeak’s child carrier. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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