Baby seats, trailers, cargo bikes … How to choose between them and find one that really suits you? As you research your options, consider each in terms of your needs for flexibility, ease of use, safety, parking, and cost. If you are worried about making the wrong choice, remember there is a strong second hand market, making it easier to sell an item that is unsuitable or outgrown.
- How long until it is outgrown? Check weight and height specifications.
- Will it suit the type of trips you want to make: about town, touring, shopping etc?
- Is it usable beyond hauling kids?
- Will its size limit where you can take it?
- Do you want it to do double duty, e.g. as a buggy?
- Do you need protection from sun and rain?
- Does being close to your child, or able to see them, matter?
Ease of use
- When loading and unloading, how stable and supported is it?
- Will you be able to transport it by car, bus, train or plane?
- Will it support a sleeping child?
- Will it be comfortable for your child?
- Is it easily cleaned? Is padding removable and machine washable?
- What skills are needed for initial installation and set up? Are there clear instructions?
- How much set-up is involved each time you use it? (getting out of the house with kids can be hard enough as it is)
- If you want to use it on different bikes, how easy is it to move between bikes, and will you need extra accessories like mounting brackets, racks or hitch points?
- Will it fit your bike and your size/height?
- How heavy and awkward will it be to handle – both loaded and unloaded – when riding and maneuvering your bike?
- Will it make changing a flat tyre harder?
- Will you be able use it on your own, or will you need another adult to help?
- What sun and rain protection does it provide?
- In the event of minor crashes, what protection does it give your child?
- Are your child’s feet and hands kept away from moving parts?
- Does it comply with a safety standard here or overseas?
- How stable will your bike be when parked with your child aboard?
- Can you ensure it is visible to other road users?
- Does it accommodate helmet use?
- Is it well made?
- Where will you keep it?
- How much room will it take up?
- Will much assembly/disassembly be needed before you can stow/park it?
- When you are out and about, will its length or size limit where you can park it?
- Can you secure it?
- Is it freestanding, or will you need somewhere to lean it?
- Does it fit your budget?
- Can you buy/sell second hand?
- Can you borrow or share with another family?
- If it is not available locally, how will importing it cost in taxes, fees and shipping?