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The challenges of picking out a bike seat or carrier for your toddler

By on Oct 8th

Oh, did I forget to tell you that my family also doubles as bicycle catalog models? Because seriously, this photo might as well be in one.

While we do have a car, Sean and I are cyclists at heart. Sean bikes all over — to work, to school, downtown, etc. I haven't been on a bike consistently, other than random small trips, since I was 28 weeks pregnant and all of the sudden discovered I could no longer balance the way I used to.

We'd been throwing around the idea of getting some kind of cart or seat for Jasper for a while, but didn't really pick it up until I got a new bike a few weeks ago (something I desperately needed). After that, it was only a matter of time before some kind of baby-carting contraption made its way into our lives. Enter: the Bobike Mini Seat!

We considered a bike cart, something like the InStyle Quick N EZ Bicycle Trailer, but honestly? I wasn't totally comfortable with the idea of Jasper being in a cart behind me — a cart that people driving their monster SUVs and trucks wouldn't be able to see easily. Since we ride on the road, I wanted something that meant I could see Jasper, know that he was safe, and not have to worry about him overheating or the driver behind us not realizing someone was in the cart in the first place.

So then we moved on to bike seats that go behind you — something like the Beto Deluxe Reclining Seat, or, if you're working with a budget, the Bell Classic Bicycle Carrier. The back-of-the-bike-seat seemed a little bit better, at first, but then it rapidly occurred to both of us that my balance would be thrown way off. Plus, I wouldn't be able to see him — my primary problem with the cart.

We were back to square one.

After some random Amazon searches, I happened upon the Bobike Mini Seat — a front-of-the-bike seat! Bobike is a Dutch company, and if there's one thing I would say about the Dutch — they know how to safely and awesomely get around on bike. After making sure this bike meets all safety requirements (check!) and reading awesome reviews (double check!), we happily purchased it and an extra mounting bracket for Sean's bike so we wouldn't have to remove the hardware every time.

Jasper and I met Sean after class for his first trip on the Bobike Mini--total love! And yes, I know Sean needs a helmet. Tsk, tsk.

Jasper's first outing in the Bobike was a roaring success, and this is a kid who doesn't like it when the wind blows in his face while the car windows are down. He loves being in this seat. I love it because I know where he is, and can also talk to him while we bike — I talk to Jasper about nearly every single thing that happens during the day, so it's awesome to be able to communicate with him while we share our joy for biking.

The seat is also perfect for me because I can see him — I know that he's ok, and unless a car side-swipes or hits us dead-on (in which case I'm not sure anything would help us), he's totally, 100% safe. The mini seat will be great for Jasper until he's around 3 — give or take a few pounds. After that, Bobike has maxi and junior seats — the maxis can seat up to 6 years, and the junior up to 10!

So, fellow neurotic biking parents rejoice! We have a solution.

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About Stephanie Kaloi

I am the former editor of Offbeat Families, and owner/photographer at Stephanie Kaloi Photography in Portland, OR.