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The best rear bike seats for toddlers and small children
A rear bike seat is a great way to get cycling with your young child as they’re designed to carry toddlers from about 12 months to 3 years or over. There are three main price and quality bandings for children’s rear bike seats – your budget and what you need the seat for will help determine which one you go for – check out our article about what to consider before purchasing a rear bike seat, if you’re not sure what you need.
Here we take a look at some of the best rear bike seats available, and where to buy them.
Yepp Maxi Rear Bike Seat (RRP £120)
The Yepp Maxi is an award winning Dutch children’s rear bike seat that was first produced in 2009. It is now widely available in the UK. The fun range of colours and range of accessories make the Yepp Maxi a popular choice for both parents and children.
The Yepp Maxi bike seat is made from the same rubber-like material (EVA) that is used to make Crocs shoes, which is antibacterial, shock absorbent, water resistant and really easy to clean, which means they are designed for daily use, year round. There are no seat cushions to worry about keeping dry from the elements.
The 5-point safety harness has a childproof buckle and soft shoulder pads to help avoid rubbing. There are two height levels for the shoulder straps which allow the seat to grow with your child. They come in lots of fun colours (lime green, blue, silver, orange, yellow, black and purple).
The Yepp Maxi is mounted on your bike’s seat post using the Yepp Maxi seat post adapter, which fits 95% of bike models. The seat is quick and simple to snap into place and also detach. Additional Yepp Maxi seat post adapters can be bought to allow use on more than one bike.
The Yepp Maxi Standard can be attached to bicycles with a frame size of 21 inches or larger and a seat post diameter of 1 1.8 inches (28-45mm). However, there are some bikes with a frame smaller than 21 inches, which can also be used with the seat. Please consult your bike shop or Yepp to check whether you bike is suitable for use with the Yepp Maxi rear seat.
An integral anti-theft lock helps give peace of mind when leaving your bike unattended, making it ideal for both adventurous cycling days out or the daily commute. There are also three rear reflectors for night time and low light levels when road cycling.
As you can see from this picture, Yepp also do a front bike seat, called the Yepp Mini if you need to carry more than one child at the same time.
Bobike Exclusive Tour (RRP £130)
Bobike make a large range of different bike seats, and if you ever venture over to Holland you’ll see that they rival Yepp for popularity. Brand new for 2017, the Exclusive Tour is their premium model, which has been designed with longer bike rides and cycle touring in mind. This is shown in features such as an adjustable headrest and a contoured belt which is designed to keep your baby upright, even if they fall asleep.
The “Click and Go” mounting system allows you to switch the seat easily between bicycles, which is useful on long bike rides or if you’re sharing the nursery drop off and pick ups, and the seat belt is designed to be fastened with just one hand. There is a flashing LED light on the rear for safety during the winter months.
A waterproof cushioned seat (and we know sometimes it’s more than rain that gets a seat wet!), spoke protectors, adjustable foot support trays and helmet recess all combine to make this a premium kids bike seat, which is of course reflected in the price.
The Bobike Exclusive range has two different mounting systems available – one that fits onto a rear pannier rack (called the “carrier mount”), and another than mounts directly onto the frame, which can be specified at the time of purchase.
Bobike Exclusive Maxi (RRP £115)
The slightly less expensive Bobike Maxi Exclusive is very similar in design to the Tour shown above, but doesn’t have the head rests and head cushion support. This will be more suitable for older children who don’t sleep so much, or for shorter daily commutes where your child wants to see what’s going on, and is unlikely to fall asleep.
Hamax Siesta Rear Bike Seat (RRP £110)
Hamax’s top of the range kids bike back seat, the Siesta, as the name suggests, is great for toddlers who like a snooze while you do the hard work. The seat can be reclined by 20 degrees without impacting on the centre of gravity, allowing your child to enjoy their siesta in comfort.
The standard Siesta model uses the Hamax Safety System which is quickly and easily fitted to most types of bike using only 4 screws. You can remove the bike from the fixing point, but it will still have the metal carrier bars attached to the seat. The Siesta has a curved head area to allow space for the back of the helmet (resulting in a more ergonomic ride, as your child’s head is not pushed forward by the back of the seat).
The Hamax Siesta comes with a double buckle system, which only requires one hand to fasten and keep the child securely in the seat, leaving your other hand free to support the bike. It can also be fastened without going over the child’s head (or helmet).
Hamax also produce a wide range of accessories, including a neck support pillow and waterproofs, plus additional fixing points so you can carry on more than one bike.
Cycle Sprog reader Andy has provided us the following details of the Hamax: “I have used the Hamax Siesta on a full suspension Specialized Bicycles Stumpjumper 2010 without problem for several years. The seat is very good, and although you can release the buckles with one hand but it is pretty stiff and isn’t easy. Much easier to use two hands.”
The Hamax Siesta Rear Bike Seat is available at Evans Cycles
Mid-Range rear bike seats
Hamax Smiley Rear Bike Seat (RRP £70)
Billed as Hamax’s “Comfort” model, the Smiley comes with built in suspension, to protect your child’s spine.
The Hamax Smiley (like the more expensive Siesta) comes with Hamax’s double buckle system, which only requires one hand to fasten and keep the child securely in the seat, leaving your other hand free to support the bike. Ventilation in the back rest is also provided, to keep your child cool on a summer’s day.
As with the Siesta, there are two versions of the seat, with different ways of fixing to a bike.
This version uses the Hamax Safety System which is quickly and easily fitted to most types of bike using only 4 screws. You can remove the bike from the fixing point, but it will still have the metal carrier bars attached to the seat.
The Hamax Smiley Rear bike seat is available online from Tredz
Yepp Junior bike seat
All the rear seats we’ve looked at so far have been designed for smaller children, but once your child grows out of their first rear seat you can continue to carry them using the Yepp Junior seat – usually between the ages of 5 and about 9.
This type of seat is incredibly popular in Holland, where you see lots of primary school aged children being carried this way. Yepp do two models – the more robust junior seat shown here (RRP £80) is designed for daily use. It has solid folding footrests to ensure feet and spokes don’t mix, and the back rest is designed to be comfortable and also a bit “cooler” for older kids who don’t necessarily want to look as if they’re being contained too much.
Basic Models of rear bike seat
If you’re using your rear child seat on a daily basis, and have several younger siblings coming along to use it, then it can make sense to invest in a more expensive version. However, we all know kids grow so quickly so if you’re only going to use the seat for a few weekend and holiday rides you can get a perfectly good rear bike seat and still have change from £50.
Avenir Snug (RRP £45)
The Avenir Snug from Raleigh comes in two models – one secures straight onto the bike frame and the other onto a rear mounted pannier rack.
Both versions come with a 3 point safety harness, adjustable foot straps and some seat padding, plus it has a reflective rear sticker.
The Avenir Snug is available at Tredz
Polisport Koolah and Koolah 29er (RRP £48)
As with the other brands mentioned in this article, Polisport do a range of bike seats, mainly at the mid to low price range. Their entry level seat is the Koolah, which comes with Adjustable Foot Rests, an ergonomic shape for the helmet to rest in and a reasonable amount of protection to the sides.
The feature that distinguishes the Koolah is that you can get a model designed to fit a 29″ mountain bike (and paradoxically it also fits a bike with a smaller frame) as you’re able to push the seat up as shown in this diagram.
The Polisport Koolah and the 29er are both available at Halfords
As you can see, each manufacturer has a wide range of bike seats to suit different ages, bike types and riding requirements. Most retailers will stock a wider range than shown here, so have a look at each model in the range to see which suits you and your child best. If you’d like to share your photos of you out and about enjoying riding with your rear seat then tag them #cyclesprog on Instagram and we’ll repost the best of them.
Rear bike seats on Amazon:
Other articles you may find useful:
- Huby Muffle review – keeping a toddler warm on a rear bike seat
- Front bike seats for kids – makes and models
- Rear bike seats – a great way to cycle with a toddler
- Choosing the best balance bike for your child
- Toddlebike review – a pre balance bike for under 3’s
This article on rear bicycle seats was first published in February 2013, and last updated in April 2017 to reflect the current selection of rear seats available.
Affiliate disclosure: This post about rear bike seats contains a number of links that use affiliate marketing. This means that if you purchase using this link Cycle Sprog get a small commission payment. This doesn’t change the amount you pay, but really helps us to keep the website running, so thanks for your support in using these links
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