We've recently expanded our range of seats designed to help get your little ones into MTB and bikes before they're likely to be able to shred on their own. As the range expands, it's a fair question to ask how they all these kids bike seats compare and which child's bike seat is most suitable for you and your family.
So we hit the trails with our little ones to test out the three seats we carry and let you know the pros, cons and differences. We tried them out on two bikes, a small frame set up for me (Jen - 5ft tall) and a large bike set up for Michael (6ft tall). We gave them a go with our two daughters, now age 3 and 5.
Read on for a detailed rundown of each seat, or skip to the bottom to see a feature comparison table.
You'll notice these are all low-profile front-mounted seats, and we don't carry any rear-mounted options. Check out our blog here to find out why.
We've been stocking MacRide for quite a while now - it was the first in our range of kids bike seats. It's the one we've used most with our kids and probably still my personal favourite.
This seat is incredibly well made and does everything you could want from an MTB-specific kids bike seat. It excels if you have kids of different ages or heights and want to be able to quickly adjust the seat to suit, or you intend to swap it between bikes or take it on and off frequently.
The saddle can be moved back and forward 100mm, and the flat platforms that the kids put their feet on can be moved up and down 130mm, forward and back 60° very easily. This means you can optimise with a 5mm Allen key in seconds exactly where your child sits in relation to you and your size, your child's size, your bike frame, your bars and your wheel.
The footrests also include adjustable silicone rubber straps. These do a great job of keeping your child's feet in place and out of the way of the wheel, or from coming off during riding - a fantastic safety feature.
From my testing, it's the best option if you are on the shorter side, especially as your kids get older, as I was able to get it lower/closer to the top tube than any of the other seats I tested. This meant I was able to better see the trail and also brought the weight down, making me feel more stable and in control.
The MacRide installs using a custom 10mm spacer under your stem, so you do need to make sure your bike has the space for this. Once this is in place, it's all tool-less and about a 15-second job to put it on each time! It doesn't touch your frame at all, only attaching at the spacer and on your seatpost using a quick-release. It even comes with a spare spacer so that you can switch it between your partner's bike, or other rides in your quiver.
Overall, the MacRide is hard to beat. It is the heaviest option of all three seats, but at 1.65kg it's still a fairly stealthy piece of equipment.
Shotgun Kids Seat
Designed in NZ, where they've got plenty of sweet MTB trails to test on, the Shotgun seat definitely impressed me. On the plus side, it can be positioned in a variety of ways so you can dial in exactly where your child sits in relation to you and the bars. The padding prevents it from damaging your frame when installed. The saddle looks like a typical kids saddle, and my daughter rated it for comfort!
It took a little bit of playing around to get it installed, and if you are intending to take it on and off frequently or swap it between bikes, this may mean you're better suited to the MacRide. I also found that the length of the supports for the footpegs suited my youngest daughter (3), but were a bit too high for my eldest (5) and couldn't be adjusted.
Despite not being able to get it as low to the frame as I could the MacRide, I was still able to use the Shotgun comfortably, found it didn't interfere with my bike control and I was able to see the trail just fine.
The Shotgun kids seat is well made, nifty piece of kit at a great price!
Feva Star Seat
The Feva Star Seat is a super lightweight option (at just 730g!) and once you know where all the straps go, it's nice and quick to install.
Due to the length of the straps, I found that it sat quite far forward (close to the bars), which was not a problem for my youngest child (3) but just took a little getting used to on my part as a rider. It did mean she was well out of the way and there was no issue with bumping my knees on her or the seat, which was great! The positioning on the Feva is also useful if you can't/don't want to sacrifice any standover height.
We did find that for my (somewhat lanky!) 5 year old, unfortunately, the Feva Star couldn't be positioned far enough back from the bars to ensure she didn't hit her knees when turning.
However to be fair, this seat is not really designed for older children. The sweet spot for the Feva is kids from around 18 months (depending on their core strength and ability to follow instructions), through to around 3. For these younger children in particular, you might want to utilise some of the safety straps (which include one around each leg to keep their feet in place, and one for across their waist).
As my kids are a bit older and used to standing over obstacles, I chose not to use the straps and found them easy to pop out of the way when not in use. However for younger children, the straps will be useful to keep their feet in place and prevent them being thrown forward if things get a bit rough.
The seat is made from a firm, but soft, foam, which does make it relatively comfortable for the kids.
Overall, the Feva Star is a light, very well priced option that is perfect for getting out amongst it with your little one!
So which one do I choose?
|Anodised aircraft Aluminium
|Steel frame, rubber padding
Does not touch frame.
|Clamps to frame using rubber padding
to prevent damage - suits alloy or carbon frames
|Straps to hold in place -
easy tool-free installation
18months-4 (height dependent)
* Scooped saddle for kids to nestle into
|* Adjustable to suit almost any bike
* Comfortable saddle
* Relatively lightweight
* Nothing to bump knees on
* Very lightweight
To view our full range of kids seats - click here