How to choose your baby seat?
You love cycling and you dream of taking your child with you, but you still need the right equipment to ride comfortably in all safety. There are many baby seats options, but how to choose the right one? We give you some criteria to take into consideration to make an informed choice.
First of all: the baby seat must be certified by the European standard in force CE EN 1434. Then, the choice will depend on the child's age and your preference to have him in front of you or behind you on the bike.
Baby seats characteristics
- Size: baby seats are usually conceived for children between the ages of 9 months to 3 years. Beyond that, you can opt for a trailer (which advantageously protects up to 2 children from bad weather) or for a tow bar on which you can fix your child's bike. For most brands, the criteria that must be taken into account is weight. Front baby seats are conceived for children weighing up to 15kg and rear baby seats up to 22kg. The child must be able to stay sat on his own so they don't fall over because of a lack of balance. When the child grows older, check carefully if the back of the baby seat still envelops their back and that they can still correctly settle themselves in the seat.
- Fastening system: there are many types of fasteners to fix your baby seat, most of whom are mainly suited for road bikes and MTBs. You'll have to check your bike's compatibility and look out for the baby seat's size, knowing that some models can be adjustable and moved further to the back to adapt to your bike. Most importantly, it must be easily installed and uninstalled; to that end, a fixed support and an removable seat that comes off with just one click remains the most practical system.
- Comfort: all baby seat have a thick back and some models are equipped with padded parts inside for better comfort. A harness is obligatory to maintain the baby in place even when it's sleeping; ideally, it should be adjustable upwards to better suit the size of your child. Finally, footrests are recommended for the child's comfort and to avoid them from getting their legs stuck in the spokes.
Rear baby seat
The rear baby seat is the most common model and exists in reclinable versions so that your child can take a nap during the trip. It's made for children whose weight doesn't exceed 22kg.
It's either fixed on the seat post or on the cargo racks, depending on the model.
Front baby seat
The front baby seat allows the child to fully enjoy the view and the adult to check up on them without having to turn around all the time. Fixed at a low height, it doesn't obstruct the rider's view but can sometimes interfere with the bike's balance. It's made for children whose weight doesn't exceed 15kg.
It's fixed on the bike's head tube or stem.
There are different types of accessories, notably wind screens to shield your child from the wind, sun or rain. They act as a sort of windshield.
For your child's safety, you need, in addition to a well-adjusted baby seat, a properly closed harness and a child helmet (obligatory for children under 12 years old), reflective safety stickers on the rear and the side of the baby seat to make it more visible.