Cycling is one of the best ways to enjoy your sights and surroundings, and whether you’re exploring an exciting urban city or pedalling across the uninterrupted countryside, getting on a bike and adventuring the great outdoors is a healthy and family-friendly activity.
But what about the little ones? Long rides and tricky terrain can prove tiring for smaller legs, so if you’re planning on going on a more substantial journey or even a cycling holiday, it always helps to invest in a child bike seat.
With so many children’s bike seats out there, the choice can be a little bewildering – and how do you know whether the seat is the right choice for your child? To help, we’ve highlighted different types of bike seats as well as two top-selling products, their benefits and our own recommendations on which bike seat you should buy.
What to look out for
Kids bike seats are the best way to get out and about on your bicycles safe in the knowledge that your child is both comfortable and well-protected throughout the journey.
Most bike seats are designed for children aged between nine months and four years of age, though there are different criteria that need to be evaluated when choosing at either end of the scale.
When seating kids towards the lower age limit, you should consider their ability to sit upright unsupported. This will determine which design of bike seat you should buy; be that a reclining seat that’s suitable for children who are too young to sit up without support, or a more standard, upright style.
Bike seats for children towards the upper age limits are determined by weight; this weight limit is typically around 20-22kg. It’s vital that, in order to comply with the bike seat’s safety features, you do not exceed the weight limit of the seat, even if the product still appears sturdy enough. Doing so can not only affect how securely your child fits into the seat, but it can also interfere with the handling of the bicycle too.
Types of child bikes seats
As is the case with many infant-focused products such ascar seatsandpushchairs, there are different types of bike seats for kids, this allows you to pick an option which best suits the needs of you and your child.
The main categories of bike seats are:
Front-mounted bike seat
- Attaches to the steerer tube or top tube.
- Best used for toddlers and children up to five years old.
Rear-mounted cantilevered bike seat
- Mounted to the bike’s seat tube.
- Recommended for children aged nine months and over.
Rear seat and stay tube mounted bike seat
- Attached to both the seat tube and seat stays.
- Best used for kids aged nine months and older.
Rear rack mounted bike seat
- Is secured on the top or rear of the bike rack.
- Suitable for children aged nine months and over.
Though there’s a superb range of child bike seats available here at Green Flag, we’ve thought long and hard and picked out just two of our star performers, highlighting some of their benefits and differences below.
The Hamax Siestais an incredibly versatile product that is designed to grow with your child.
Available in both rack-mounted and rear frame-mounted options such as the product pictured, the Siesta features an adjustable safety harness and adjustable footrests that really allow you to get the most out of this amazing product.
With a sleeping function that allows your child to recline in comfort and safety, longer bike rides are well catered for, with both the rider and the child able to enjoy their journey in comfort. The rack-mount option makes this the perfect bike seat for the burgeoning amount of e-bike ownership too, a must for those looking to futureproof.
Functions and features:
- Approved to carry children above the age of 9 months and weighing up to 22 kg
- Fits carriers sized from 120-180mm
- Round tube diameters of 10-20 mm
- Sleeping function adjustable to 20°
- A 3-point safety harness with additional chest bracket secures the child safely and practically
- Childproof belt buckles mean the safety harness cannot be opened by the child itself
- Fully adjustable safety harness and footrests
- Available with Air Cover, an inflatable cushion which provides extra comfort and ventilation
- Boasts an ergonomic design which includes space for a cycling helmet
- Safe and easy to fit
The Hamax Amazeis an elegant design which comes available in a choice of grey with petrol blue or grey and lime colour options.
It doesn’t just look great though, it’s also incredibly comfortable too, with extra thick padding that ensures your child is seated safely and snuggly on their bike ride.
There are plenty of features too, with natural suspension via the Amaze’s hanging steel bar, a reclinable seat and one-hand operated buckles and footrests.
Functions and features:
- Fits frame diameters of 28-40mm
- For children above the age of 9 months and weighing up to 22 kg
- Reclining function adjustable to 12.5°
- One-hand operated harness, buckles and footrests
- Thicky, comfy padding that’s also changeable and waterproof
- Rear reflector for improved visibility and safety
- Fits bikes with or without a luggage carrier
- Lockable bracket with a quick-release system
- Safe and simple to fit and mount with just four screws and green indicators to ensure correct installation.
These two offerings from Hamax are both amazing products, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any faults with either or a better example of safe and well-designed children’s bike seats on the market today.
The choice is a tough one, but out of the two our vote lies with the Hamax Amaze. The reasoning? The Amaze gives you plenty of bang for your buck; it’s easy on the eye, available in a choice of colours and includes plenty of future-proof functionality to boot. For us, the Amaze just edges it in terms of versatility and features.
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