How to Choose the Best Baby Bike Carrier

The Best Child & Baby Bike Carrier for Your Family - SavvyMom

Were you an avid cyclist pre-kiddo and starting to think about bringing them with you on two wheels? With an increasing amount of options to bring your kiddos cycling with you, it can feel overwhelming to know which child or baby bike carrier to choose. That’s why we asked Dr. Dina Kulik, pediatrician and founder of Kidcrew, for some tips for deciding which one is best for your child.

First, let’s look at the different styles of baby bike carriers on the market…

Different Styles of Baby Bicycle Carriers:

Rear Mount:

These are the traditional bike carriers that mount to your frame or rack behind you, like the Bellelli Mr Fox Standard. With a plastic molded frame, and a harness that secures your child, this style of carrier can typically support a higher weight capacity, and therefore an older child. This particular model is tested for up to 22 kg and is recommended for kids up to around 6 years of age.

Thule Yepp Mini Baby Bike Carrier - SavvyMom

Front Mount:

You’ve probably seen front mounts like the Thule Yepp Mini, which, with a molded frame and safety harness, attaches in front of you and has an anti-theft lock. These seats are typically tested to a weight capacity of around 15 kg and are approved for use by children aged 9 months to 3 years with the provision to check with your pediatrician for children under 1 year.

Baby Bike Carrier Do Little - SavvyMom

Active Front Mount:

An active front mount seat like the DO LITTLE is a newer style of front-mounted seat that doesn’t have a molded chair or harness – it attaches in front of you just like a regular bike seat, so your little one can feel more involved. This can also be used when mountain biking, and reviewers say it makes for a more interactive experience. This company says theirs is suitable for 18 months up to around 7 years or 27 kg.

Bell Double Bike Trailer - SavvyMom

Bike Trailer:

With single and double options, and some, like the Bell Double, advertising that they can also be pushed like a stroller, these typically have a safety harness and steel construction to create a protective barrier around riders. Some also provide a cargo area, and this type of carrier can typically hold the most weight – up to around 45 kg for this particular model. A recent study concluded that children riding in bike trailers are exposed to higher levels of air pollution than they would be higher up, so this option might be best used with a trailer cover or away from high concentrations of road traffic.

Child & Baby Bike Carrier Safety Features:

“The type of seat doesn’t matter to me as much as making sure the child is old enough to support themself in it, and always wears a helmet,” says Kulik. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids between 12 months and 4 years who can sit well unsupported and have necks strong enough to support wearing a helmet, can ride in a bike seat or trailer.”

Are there any specific age or developmental considerations?

“Many cities have their own laws about the age a child can ride on a bike with an adult. The lowest age is typically 12 months of age. I don’t recommend a child ride in any bike seat or trailer before at least 18 months of age, when they can sit unsupported and remain seated with movement of the bike,” says Kulik.

Kulik also says following the manufacturer directions is a must, and “A helmet is key! No matter what the age.”

In the event of a bike accident, is there one kind of bike carrier where a child would be more protected/less impacted?

“I am not aware of any specific safety studies, though I suspect the more they are enclosed – such as in a trailer, the safer,” says Kulik, “Though being up close to parents could offer some protection as well.”

Other considerations when choosing a child bike carrier:

If you plan to swap your carrier between bikes, look for one that is compatible with the different bikes you plan to use and simple to attach and remove.

Will you be biking over nap times? Look for a seat with a recline function like the Thule RideAlong.

If your child is going to be riding behind you in a seat or trailer, consider getting a bike mirror so you can periodically check in to make sure your little one is comfortable and happy.

Happy biking, and check out some of our favourite bike paths for families in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver. Maybe you’ll graduate to big trips and cycle touring with baby!


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