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One of the reasons parents adore having kids is all the fun that can be had together. One excellent family-friendly activity is bike riding.
But with great fun comes whining and danger. Children have great aptitude in each. Thus, parents want bike equipment that minimizes both.
These best bike gear for parents will keep their kids comfortable and safe while being easy for the parent to use:
- Burley Dash Rear Seat
- Shotgun Front Seat
- Thule Chariot Cross Tow Trailer
- Trail-Gator Tow Arm
- WeehooBlast Tag Along
- Xtracycle Cargo Bike
- And more...
My two kids have always adored bike rides, and we've made some excellent memories. But some of the options for parents wanting to ride with their children are nothing but a costly hassle. Then there are all the products being marketed that are hardly more comfortable than the cardboard box. Actually, the kids would have preferred the cardboard box.
Thus, I've waded into the deep waters of bike options for parents wanting to cycle with their kids. I've found the best rear bike seats, trailers, tow arms, cargo bikes, and more. Because parenting is hard enough without being sold rubbish that doesn't suit the needs of ourselves and our families.
3 Best Rear Bike Seats For Parents
Rear bicycle seats are the most popular way for parents to haul small children on a cycle. Thankfully these seats have come a long way since the 80s when the "harness" might be a piece of rope, and the kid could kick their parents in the kidney. There are now harness styles with foot straps that even recline when the child sleeps.
1. Burley Dash Bike Seat
The Burley Dash Child Bike Seat looks like your typical mount and harness seat. However, it has two fabulous features. The first is its 5-point harness that adjusts from all five straps. The second is that it has a rear storage compartment. Parents never have enough pockets and cubbyholes when out and about, so this is brilliant.
The seat's footrest does adjust and has straps to keep your darling from kicking you in the kidneys (always a bonus). They also have armrests to keep the child comfortable and rear reflectors for safety.
Pros Of Burley Dash
- Storage pocket
- Adjustable 5-point harness
- Only weighs 9lbs
Cons Of Burley Dash
- Could be warm in summer due to no ventilation slots
2. Hamax Caress Bike Seat
The award-winning Hamax Caress Bike Seat hails from Scandinavia. It's designed so parents can adjust it with a single hand. It also has a 20° recline position, shock absorption, adjustable foot straps, helmet recess, anti-theft locks, a quick release for easy removal, Phthalate-free, and is TUV & STM safety certified. In short: kid bike seat luxury.
Pros Of Hamax Caress
- One-handed adjustments
- Recessed shape for child helmet
- 20° Recline
Cons Of Hamax Caress
- Getting the harness over the kid's helmet can be tricky
3. Thule RideAlong Bike Seat
The Thule RideAlong Bike Seat has a unique 2-prong mounting system that goes around the bike frame's tube and is secured with a 4-bolt lock. This provides DualBeam suspension and allows quick release for easy on and off. However, it won't work on longtail cargo bikes, full-suspension mountain bikes, or carbon frame bikes.
This is a super comfortable seat for kids as well as durable. Its harness has padded shoulder straps and is height-adjustable, as is the footrest. It also reclines in 5-positions. But parents love it because it doesn't compromise the bike's maneuverability.
Pros Of Thule RideAlong
- 5-reclining options
- DualBeam suspension
- Doesn't compromise the bike's maneuverability
Cons Of Thule RideAlong
- The unique mount means it won't fit some bikes
4. Topeak BabySeat II
It has a handy adjustable shoulder height harness and footrests, making it easy to grow with your child. The molded "cocoon" seat is nicely padded. While its sides don't make the best armrest, it has an excellent padded hand rest to make up for it.
Pros Of Topeak BabySeat II
- Shock absorption
- Comes with its own rack
- Good padding
Cons Of Topeak BabySeatII
- Velcro foot straps are awkward
3 Best Front Bike Seats For Parents
Front seats are helpful for parents who have a child that needs emotional security. With the parent's arms on either side, it makes the kid feel like they're being held. Also, the kids love the view, and it makes interaction easier. So while it is a slightly more awkward style for mom or dad, it might be precisely what's required to ride through a stage.
1. Hamax Observer Bike Seat
The Hamax Observer is a compact seat, making it easier to see over and around while leaving room for the parent to sit on their own bike. One of the criticisms of the chair is the smaller size as kids will grow out of it faster. But after a certain point, only the tallest of the tall can see past a full front seat, so the child would have to be moved anyway.
Despite its petite design, it is padded, safe, and has an anti-theft lock, and one-handed safety buckle release.
Pros Of Hamax Observer
- Not as bulky, leaving more room for the parent
- One-handed safety buckle release
- Anti-theft locking mechanism
Cons Of Hamax Observer
- Large mounting bracket
2. Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Bike Seat
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Bike Seat is another one that doesn't require you to be a giant to see around. It's very light, which makes peddling easier on the poor parent. There are vents to make it more comfortable in the heat, and a nice grab bar gives your darling something to hold.
It is also one of the rare seats sporting a 5-point harness, which is secured by a two-handed magnetic safety buckle. It's nice to have something the baby can't "undo" on their own. The straps are also height adjustable.
Pros Of Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini
- Compact and lightweight
- 5-point harness
Cons Of Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini
3. Shotgun Bike Seat
The Shotgun Bike Seat Handlebar Combo or the Shotgun Pro is a great design for kids who think the safety seats are too "baby," but the parent doesn't want to tow a bike or trailer. It's essentially a saddle, just like mommy and daddy use, but no peddles (it has footrests). It's perfect for taking a go-go kid mountain bike riding.
Pros Of Shogun
- Sits low so parents can see over
- Fits on a variety of bikes, including full-suspension and hardtail
Cons Of Shotgun
- Takes about 10 minutes to swap from one bike to another
4 Best Bike Trailers For Parents
Bike trailers can be seen as a bulkier option for parents, but they often have versatility, converting into strollers, joggers, and some even ski. They are also an excellent solution to living a sustainable life in areas with lots of weather, especially rain. It keeps the children dry and safe, sparing your ears from whining.
1. Allen Sports Deluxe Bike Trailer & Stroller
The Allen Sports Deluxe Bike Trailer & Stroller is the best in the budget price range. But it comes in a single or two child design and can be converted into a stroller. It's excellent value for money and has a removable three-season bug and rain shield. In addition, they use a 5-point safety harness, making it a safe and affordable choice.
Pros Of Allen Sports Deluxe
- 5-point harness
- Converts into a stroller
Cons Of Allen Sports Deluxe
- Can take 5-10 minutes to fold down for transport or storage
2. Burley Bee Bike Trailer
The Burley Bee Bike Trailer is the budget option in the Burley range, placing it in the low price range. It's not fancy, but it is a quality build that does what it does very well. It keeps the rain out, has UV windows, and a mesh helmet pocket to keep the kid's head from being smashed forward. Also, despite the lack of suspension, it is a pretty smooth ride.
Pros Of Burley Bee
- Excellent value for money
- Lots of storage space
- Quality that's built to last
Cons Of Burley Bee
- Doesn't convert
3. Burley D'Lite X Bike Trailer
The Burley D'Lite X Bike Trailer is in the high-price range. It is an excellent choice for families that venture into various terrain throughout the year. It has kits for a 2-wheel stroller, jogger, ski kit, and special 16+ wheels that can handle light snow, sand, and gravel. It is easy to transition between the kits and even folds up for storage and transport.
It is safe and comfortable, has tons of storage, and has an abundance of other features. Moreover, it handles beautifully; the only way you'll find a better trailer is to go into the luxury-price bracket.
Pros Of Burley D'Lite
- Easily converts to a variety of options, including for storage
- Super comfortable, complete with reclining seats
- Lots of storage space
Cons Of Burley D'Lite
- No handbrake for jogging stroller
4. Thule Chariot Cross Bike Trailer
The Thule Chariot Cross is the luxury-price bike trailer for those that want even better handling than the Burley D'Lite provides. Thus, it is just that much better at negotiating the rougher mountain biking terrain, and that's saying a lot since D'Lite is an excellent choice.
It flows between conversions and being packed up. It handles like a dream. It is extraordinarily comfortable, with adjustable suspension. An amazing buy if you can afford it.
Pros Of Thule Chariot Cross
- Easiest trailer to load and unload your children
- Flows between switches
- Extraordinary performance
Cons Of Thule Chariot Cross
3 Best Tag Along Bikes For Parents
As kids grow, they want to bike on their own. Which is excellent for short trips around the neighborhood or a spin around the campground. But on longer family adventures, they get tired and need a little boost. Tag along bikes are perfect for parents who want to enjoy longer cycles with their kids. It's safe and fun.
1. Burley Kazoo Tag Along Bike
The Burley Kazoo is an incredibly stable ride given that it can grow with a child from around 4-years-old until they are 10. The bike is light, and the connection bar swoops in a high arch, ensuring it doesn't rub against the parent's rear tire. Thus, it provides a smooth ride for parent and child. The comfy saddle is nice, too.
Pros Of Burley Kazoo
- Adjustable - fits kids 4-10 yrs
- Most stable tag along
Cons Of Burley Kazoo
- Doesn't fold for storage
2. KaZam WeeRide Co-Pilot Tag Along Bike
The Kazam WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike typically is a third cheaper than the Burley Kazoo. Thanks to its adjustability, you still get a nice age range (4-9 years), but it is slightly heavier, and there is significantly more wobble. But to put that in perspective, the wobble is still less than anything else in this price bracket.
The Kazam is easy to take on and off your bike once the initial installation is complete. It also folds nicely for storage. The saddle is comfortable, and it has a splash guard, chain guard, and rear fender. A great deal for its price.
Pros Of Kazam
- Good age range and adjustability
- Folds for storage
Cons Of KaZam
- It takes time to adjust to the wobble
3. Weehoo Turbo Blast Recumbent Tag Along Bike
The Weehoo Turbo Blast is a recumbent bike. Because it is closer to the ground, it will have greater stability than a traditional tag along. This also allows it to fit a greater age range, so even toddlers can ride in this. This makes it a great alternative to trailers, especially as it has a narrower footprint, which widens parents' trail options.
It is a comfortable, safe option with incredible stability while allowing families to tackle narrower and more uneven trails.
Pros Of Weehoo Turbo Blast
- Incredibly safe, including a height-adjustable harness
- Narrower than a trailer
- Comfortably handles uneven surfaces
Cons Of Weehoo Blast
- The parent's bike must be upright while loading the kid
3 Best Tow Arms For Parents
By the time kids are at the upper age limit of tag along bikes, they're riding around on their own for all but the most epic, hillier journeys. Back in the 80s, that meant just grabbing a piece of rope or an old dog leash. But times have progressed with options that are less likely to send the kid to the ER. These modern takes also keep the kid going and cut down on the whining.
1. FollowMe Tandem Tow Arm
The FollowMe Tandem is designed for families that cycle through traffic and other crowded spaces. Thus, it's not your typical tow arm design but resembles a wheel clamp for people who made poor parking choices. But that's essentially what it is; a hinged wheel connector ensuring your child is close and moves with you as you navigate town and city streets.
Even better is that it is hassle-free to take it with you for "just in case." It just folds up at the back of the parent's tire, ready when you need it, without compromising the bike's handling.
Pros Of FollowMe
- A smooth and stable ride
- Hassel-free to bring along for "just in case"
Cons Of FollowMe
2. Trail-Gator Tow Arm
Trailer-Gator is a popular classic tow arm that does the job precisely as parents and children deserve. It is secure, does the job, and can be stored on the adult's bike for "just in case" without getting in the parent's way. But since it is a classic tow bar, there is a wobble that the parent will have to adjust to handling.
Pros Of Trail-Gator
- Doesn't interfere with parent's back tire
- Stores on parent's bike for "just in case"
Cons Of Trail-Gator
- Initial tow arm installation can be a bit of a project
3. TowWhee Tow Rope
TowWhee tow rope is the upgrade to the 80s dog leash, and thank goodness for that. Tow bars and the FollowMe are not recommended for mountain biking, which is our family's preference. So if you and the fam love to hit the trails, this is your best option. It's strong, can haul up to 500lbs, and is safe and reliable. It holds the tension and has a quick release.
Pros Of FollowMe
- Easy to take with you
- Keeps the tension
Cons Of FollowMe
- You do have to stop mid-ride and pack it away when it is no longer needed
4 Best Cargo Bikes For Parents
Cargo bikes are becoming the new minivan. These e-bikes are made to haul everything from children, groceries, and the family dog. They are a fun and sustainable way to take on the world, from doing errands to making memories.
1. Bike Friday Haul-A-Day Cargo Bike
The Bike Friday Haul-A-Day is made in Oregon and is one of the lightest longtail cargo bikes you can find. It's also one of the less expensive options. In addition, it fits adults 4'6 to 6'4. This bike does the job, moves well thanks to its light frame, yet can still carry the kids and groceries. You can also haul it upstairs without breaking your back. Excellent value.
Pros Of Haul-A-Day
- Handles like a bike instead of a trike
- Impressive carrying capacity for its size
Cons Of Haul-A-Day
- Not the most powerful cargo bike option
2. RadPower Radwagon Cargo Bike
The RadPower Radwagon is an affordable option that can carry heavy loads, get up to 20mph, has a solid distance range, and provides a stable ride. It has an accessible step-through frame and a comfortable and wide saddle. However, it is heavy and needs plenty of room to turn.
Pros Of RadPower Radwagon
- Good carrying capacity
- Well priced
Cons Of RadPower Radwagon
3. Tern GSD S00 LX Cargo Bike
The Tern GSD S00 LX Cargo Bike is an expensive yet reliable, stable, and low-maintenance machine. This e-bike doesn't splutter, jerk, or let you down when taking your family up a hill. It can easily be converted into an all-weather ride for your passengers. This versatile design is meant to replace cars for urban families, so it is easy to store, too.
Pros Of Tern GSD
- Easy to store, even the handlebars fold down
- Integrated head and taillights
Cons Of Tern GSD
4. Xtracycle eSwoop Cargo Bike
The Xtracycle eSwoop is a mid-priced low step-thru frame making it easy for the parent to get on and off while dealing with the family load. Unlike many cargo bikes this length, this one can actually turn without feeling like the titanic. Instead, it's a strong bike, built to haul, and very aware of the rider, ensuring power, balance, and excellent stopping power.
Pros Of eSwoop
- Turns well
- Excellent stopping power
- Easy for parents to get climb on and off even when hauling a heavy load
Cons Of eSwoop
- Restricted child seat options. For example, you can use a Yepp Nexxt Maxi but not a Yepp Maxi.