Baby transport buying guide

Strollers, carriers, car and bicycle seats: we tell you what to look for.
 
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  • Updated:3 Oct 2009
 

07.Bike child seats and trailers - what to buy?

Until your child is old enough to ride their own bicycle, you’ll need to carry them on yours, either in a child seat mounted on your bike or in a trailer towed behind.
Is your child ready?

  • Your child must be strong enough to support their own head while sitting upright.
  • By law, they must wear a helmet, even if in an enclosed trailer, so make sure they can bear that extra weight too.
  • They’ll also need to be able to cope with the bumps and bounces experienced when riding, and with acceleration forces as you speed up or slow down.
  • Most children are ready at about one year old. If you’re not sure, get advice from your child’s doctor.
  • Once your child is too big and heavy to fit in a child seat or trailer – typically from about four years of age – consider a tag-along style of trailer, which is like a partial bike with seat and handlebars and a rear wheel. Or of course you can start them on their own bike, with training wheels if necessary.

Bike seat or trailer?

Seats

Pros
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Smaller and easier to store than trailers.
  • Your child sits close to you so conversation is easier.
  • No need to bend down while loading or unloading the seat, but need to stabilise the bike.
Cons
  • Can make the bike less balanced as it raises the centre of gravity.
  • Child isn’t sheltered from the weather.

Trailers

Pros
  • Stable while loading.
  • Can carry other cargo such as shopping bags.
  • Offer more shelter than seats
Cons
  • Can be expensive.
  • Heavy and bulky, although they can be folded for storage.
  • Your child sits further away from you, making conversation harder.
  • Increase the effective length and width of the bike.

What to buy

CHOICE tested seven child seats and four trailers in June 2009. These are the models we recommend.

Child seats

Weeride Kangaroo Baby Carrier

Weeride Kangaroo Baby CarrierPrice $180
Good points

  • Child is within view of adult rider at all times.
  • Very to easy to mount the bike with seat in place.
  • No assembly required for the seat.
  • Very easy to connect and disconnect seat to bike.
  • Harness meets stroller standard requirements.

Bad points

  • Doesn’t comply with Australian standard for child seats for bicycles, due to centre mounting, method of attaching to bike and seat dimensions.
  • Small seat.
  • Seat is secured to mounting frame by only one screw.

Rosebank Deluxe Child Safety Seat HS2002

Rosebank Deluxe Child Safety Seat HS2002Price $99
Good points

  • Can accommodate a larger child.
  • Rigid cross bar.
  • Secure four-point bike attachment.
  • Has a waist strap.
  • Second-cheapest unit tested.

Bad points

  • May be difficult to mount bike with seat in place.
  • Harness is awkward to use and is not compliant with the stroller standard.

Trailers

Chariot Cougar 2

Chariot Cougar 2Price $1530
Good points

  • Five-point harness that meets the stroller standard.
  • Can carry two children.
  • Very to easy to mount bike with trailer in place.
  • Excellent bike handling.
  • Very easy to load and unload a child.
  • Can convert to a stroller, and other conversion kits are also available.
  • Certified to the American standard for bicycle trailers ASTM F1975-02

Bad points

  • Very expensive

Croozer 535

CroozerPrice $743

Good points

  • Five-point harness that meets the stroller standard.
  • Can carry two children.
  • Very to easy to mount bike with trailer in place.
  • Excellent bike handling.
  • Can convert to a stroller.

Bad points

  • Too wide to fit through an average doorway.
  • Expensive
 

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