Each of these bike seats was thoroughly tested, using a range of ‘real world’ and standardised testing across the unpredictable Cumbrian countryside, which included gravel paths, forest trails, and some (very steep) inclines. We checked how easy it was to attach and detach each bike seat, and how possible and simple it was to switch it between one bike and another.
We also put each through its paces for ease of assembly, including whether you needed more than one person to attach the seat to your bike and how adjustable everything was – things like ease of altering straps, footrests and padding, as well as how simple it was to recline the seat itself.
We analysed the materials used for their durability as well as their appearance, studying everything from the way the seat attaches to visibility for other road-users, and we thoroughly checked out the safety features of each, looking for five- or three-point harnesses that couldn’t be clicked open by small fingers and sturdy straps not even a tiny Houdini could wriggle out of.
Last, but by no means least, we carried out a ‘comfort and joy’ test – asking how comfortable the children were in the bike seat, and for how long they were happy to stay harnessed in. How much did they love it (or not), and how could each model make parents’ lives easier? Most importantly, of course, we also noted whether the children were cosy and secure enough when they (inevitably) fell asleep, and how much support the seat really offered for their head and neck when this happened.
Having scored the bike seats on the above criteria, we then added into the equation their price and their longevity (the maximum age or weight) to work out which model was the best of the best and which others deserved ‘honourable mentions’.
Our grown-up tester is a father of three, who knows his stuff about cycling with a family. Our mini tester was the youngest of his children, an 18-month-old who spends a lot of time outdoors. Together, they spent more than three months making sure the reviews we gave you were the most comprehensive and honest they could be.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and in those years we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products for all ages. We’ve watched safety features and engineering become more and more slick, as well as safety laws become more advanced. We tested each of these bike seats with real children in real situations, and we’re confident that our testing left no stone unturned.