7 Best Child Carriers for Bikes (2020) – Reviews

Biking with your children is one of the best things you can do to bring the family together. It encourages exercise, social bonding, and having fun without screens!

You don’t have to be an expert (or even very experienced) biker to start having bike adventures with your kids. There are different types of kid and baby carriers out there to accommodate all experience and fitness levels. 

Family bike rides are a staple in our family, and I’m thrilled to share the results of our experience with you. We have tried out every kind of carrier imaginable over the years and know what works best for different ages and lifestyles. In this article, we walk you through the 7 main ways to bike with your kids and give you our picks for the best product in each category.

Top 3 Comparison Table
IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Burley Honeybee (6 months – 40 lbs)
  • Features: Pull-behind trailer carrier with stroller capability and room for 2 children
  • Benefits: Safely low to the ground with roll cage and weather-proofing, offers widest range of ages for longer use
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Peg Perego Orion (12 months – 33 lbs)
  • Features: Front-mount carrier with adjustable harness and foot supports
  • Benefits: Solid shell for safe coverage and easy access to your child while riding
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat (9 months – 48.5 lbs)
  • Features: Rear-mount carrier that can be attached to the frame or cargo rack and reclines for comfort
  • Benefits: Can be used longer than a front-carrier and installs easily to fit most bike types
CHECK LATEST PRICE

Types of Child Bike Carriers – Buyer’s Guide

When using any of the child bike carriers below, please keep safety in mind: yours and your child’s. All riders should wear helmets, regardless of age. Model good safety behavior by wearing your helmet happily and consistently. 

We also recommend having a professional help you install or check the installation of any attachment mechanisms necessary. While biking with children is very safe, you don’t want to risk an accident from shoddy assembly. 

Finally, do your due diligence to make sure the carrier you are buying will work with your bike. Certain carriers have specific attachment requirements that may not fit your bike. In many cases, adapters can be purchased. We just want to make sure you are fully prepared to get riding once your carrier arrives!


1. Bike Trailers

Tow-behind bike trailers are arguably the most popular way to bike with younger kids and babies. They can attach to most adult cycles, fit multiple children and different sizes, and can accommodate kids through different ages. 

A bike trailer keeps your little one close to the ground, minimizing the risk of falling. They typically have sturdy roll cages as well, which protect your kids in the event of an accident. Children are strapped in with a harness system and get to sit comfortably and enjoy the ride!

Our Pick: Burley Honeybee

We started off with a second-hand bike trailer that we quickly realized wasn’t for us. After some research (and more trial-and-error if I’m honest), we discovered the Burley Honeybee and haven’t looked back since.

The Honeybee has everything you should look for in a bike trailer: ample cargo storage, a full roll cage, and durable tires. Our favorite feature of this trailer is that it also comes with a front wheel so it can be pushed like a stroller while jogging. We’re all for versatility! 

This is listed as an “entry-level” trailer, but we have been able to use ours heavily for long durations without issue. So to us, “entry-level” just means affordable!


2. Front Bike Seats

Many parents like to install front-mounted bike seats when their children are itty bitty. The front seats allow you to see your child at all times, so you are less likely to try and turn around to check on them during the ride. They are also preferred by some babies who like the comfort of proximity to their parent and the ability to see the views. 

Our Pick: Peg Perego Orion

One reason we have owned so many types of child carriers is that kids can be pretty picky. Most of our kids preferred the rear options, but one strongly preferred to be up in the front. Our favorite front-mounted carrier is definitely the Peg Perego Orion. 

The very first thing to consider with any child carrier is safety. The Peg Perego has passed numerous safety inspections and real-life accidents. It is well-made and provides enough surface protection to keep little bodies as safe as possible. 

The feature we like most about this carrier is that it can fit children up to 33 lbs, which is a LOT in the front-mount world. This sealed the deal for us since our kid was so reluctant to use any of the back carriers.


3. Rear Bike Seats

Unlike the front-mounted seats, rear-mounted seats can support little ones up to 45 lbs. They may run a little more expensive but will give you more years of use than a front seat. You can mount them to either the seat stem or an attached cargo rack. 

What we like about rear seats is the ability to recline or incline the seat to the kiddo’s preferred level. Couple that with the slight bounce that comes from the frame-mounted versions and you’ve got a recipe for a sleepy toddler!

Our Pick: Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat

The rear-mounted seat that we use at home with our smaller children, and our far-and-away favorite for this category, is the Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat.

Because it can attach to either the frame or a cargo rack, it has fit every bike we’ve had. It is also incredibly adjustable for different sized kids and features up to 20 degrees of recline. 

Compared to other seats, we also find this one to be easy to install on your own. Some seats require both hands for installation, which makes balancing the bike itself difficult. The Hamax Caress solves this problem with single-hand installation


4. Trailer-Cycles

Once your kid outgrows a rear seat or trailer, they might be interested in a trailer-cycle (also called a tag-along). These are basically half-bikes with a long curved towing arm that attaches to a standard adult bike. 

Your child is able to pedal safely behind you and feel like an active participant. It’s similar to a tandem bike, except you have the option of detaching the trailer when you want to do a solo ride.

Our Pick: WeeRide Co-Pilot

Our favorite trailer-cycle is the WeeRide Co-Pilot. It comes in a few different colors and includes all the necessary safety features: handlebar pad, front splash protector, quality steel frame, and orange safety flag.

If we’re being perfectly honest, there are some other trailer-cycles on the market that are better in some areas, but they are over 15 times more expensive! Unless you are a professional mountain-biker needing to rip through the trails with your small passenger, we don’t think it’s really worth it. 

The Wee-Ride Co-Pilot will do everything the average rider needs without compromising quality or safety.


5. Tow-Ropes and Tow-Bar

A step beyond a trailer-cycle, tow-ropes and tow-bars help you attach a child’s bike to your adult bike. When your child is old and capable enough to ride their own bike, this is one of the most affordable and versatile solutions. 

They do not provide much (if any) balance support to your child; they are designed to help you haul them up hills when their little legs can’t cut it anymore. This way you can go for longer rides than you would if limited to just their ability. 

What we like about these towing options is that you can use them to help get kids to a location and then detach them for more independent riding. This go great with just any type of bike especially hybrid bikes, which we did guide here that you may be interested in.

Our Pick: TowWhee Rope

When it comes to towing options, we tend to prefer the ropes. While tow-bars offer more control and direction, the ropes are easier to store and replace if needed. Plus, when not in use as a bike-tow, it’s still a rope that can be used in other ways! 

Of the options available, our pick is the TowWhee. It’s definitely the most popular tow-rope on the market, so we know we’re not alone!

The TowWhee is strong and gives just enough bounce to prevent startling quick starts. And when you don’t want to use it, you can shove it easily in a backpack.


6. Cargo Bikes

Cargo bikes are a mainstay of European families but are harder to find in the US. There are a few different styles of cargo bikes, but they share the same essential features. 

Cargo bikes look like elongated bicycles (usually mountain bike or cruiser-style). At either the front or back of the elongated bike there will be some sort of carrying mechanism. Sometimes this takes the form of a huge bucket, other times it’s a long rack that you can attach seats or storage baskets to.

Our Pick: Mongoose Envoy

When looking at cargo bikes, we prefer to use them for storing kid gear instead of actual kids. We use the Mongoose Envoy because it comes with high-quality weatherproof zippered bags for carrying groceries or other goods.

We have been able to attach a rear wheel-mount trailer and a front-seat as well for carrying kids. 


7. Tandem Bikes

The final bike on our list is the tandem bike. These have been around for eons and are a popular way to do family bike rides especially if you’re on a budget. Tandem bikes are listed on our recent post on the best bike under 300 dollars here. Tandem Bikes accomplish the same thing as a trailer-bike for families wishing to do longer rides, but with a few differences. 

With a tandem bike, you are closer to your child and know that they are securely attached to you at all times. On the flipside, you don’t have the option of disconnecting for solo-rides.

Our Pick: Buddy Bike Classic Family 7-Speed

The Buddy Bike was originally designed to help family members with autism or disabilities enjoy a tandem bike ride. Thanks to new fold-out footpegs, it works for small riders as well.

We like this bike because Buddy Bike developed add-on folding footpegs so that smaller riders can also use it. Plus, the Buddy Bike comes in several different styles and sizes to best fit riders of different heights. There are multiple gear options as well. You may also like our recent guide on the best comfort bikes here and the best bikes for seniors here


Final Thoughts on Child Carriers

Burley Honeybee

Wee-Ride Co-Pilot

You didn’t know there were so many types of child carriers for bikes, did you? We didn’t either…. until we were desperate to start riding with our kids!

Sure, there are a lot of options and it can seem like information overload. 

Do you want the carrier that is best for each different age range or do you want one that better accommodates a growing family? 

Family riding is such a wonderful experience for parents and children alike, so we think it’s worth the time and effort to choose the right one. Our kids always seemed to prefer the Burley Honeybee trailer when they were younger, and the Wee-Ride Co-Pilot trailer-cycle as they grew older. 

An insider tip is to combine multiple carriers so you can haul the whole family around at once. Just think, you could sit a few of you on a tandem, two more in a pull-behind trailer, and one in a front-mount seat!

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Burley Honeybee (6 months – 40 lbs)
  • Features: Pull-behind trailer carrier with stroller capability and room for 2 children
  • Benefits: Safely low to the ground with roll cage and weather-proofing, offers widest range of ages for longer use
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Peg Perego Orion (12 months – 33 lbs)
  • Features: Front-mount carrier with adjustable harness and foot supports
  • Benefits: Solid shell for safe coverage and easy access to your child while riding
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Hamax Caress Child Bike Seat (9 months – 48.5 lbs)
  • Features: Rear-mount carrier that can be attached to the frame or cargo rack and reclines for comfort
  • Benefits: Can be used longer than a front-carrier and installs easily to fit most bike types
CHECK LATEST PRICE

Related Posts:

The following two tabs change content below.

Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.

Latest posts by Austin Mills (see all)