I’m so happy you’re reading this story about the best kids bike seats for family touring!  Bike touring with kids in bike seats is such a fun way for your young family to enjoy the diverse and wonderful landscapes that NZ has to offer.  However, its not something that you can rush out and do tomorrow.  It does take planning & preparation.  Don’t be put off.  Once you have some basic knowledge and make some decisions, everything will fall into place and you and your family will be smiling while riding.

This story is going to concentrate on choosing the right seat for your family.  There are a lot of different options for carrying or towing children.  We will look at the positives & negatives (if any) of our top 3 seat choices for family touring.

Bike Touring with Kids in Bike Seats

Pencarrow Lighthouse – Wellington

The rail trail kids on carrier Hollie asleep goRide

Otago Rail Trail – NZ Cycle Trail

product solution kids bike seats women families goride

Great Taste Trail – Nelson

Bike Touring with Kids in Bike Seats

Before we dive into your seat options lets consider a couple of things

  • you will be restricted with your choice by the age of your child
  • some trails are better suited to riding with children than others.  Take a look at the surfaces you will be dealing with and the ‘on road’ sections.  You might have to miss out some sections of a trail to keep everyone safe and happy
  • this is an investment and a lifestyle choice.  Getting fit and riding regularly before you go is all a part of the experience.  The more you ride the better return for your money you will get.  The more you ride before you go the better prepared you will be for whatever occurs…
WeeHoo Turbo Reclined Trailer Bike $579 – Best age range, fully adjustable, lots of storage & optional weather protection

This seat would be our first choice for touring with kids.  It has so much going for it.  To begin with is the huge age range achieved by a fully adjustable seat and harness system.  From as young as 2yrs to a maximum of 36kg or 9yrs.  That gives you years of biking as a family.  The reclined seat design gives your child a really comfortable ride.  They can choose to assist you with pedalling or just sit back relax, eat or drink.

This is the only trailer bike on the market that gives you storage options for helping with the transport of stuff.  A couple of small rear panniers and pockets on the arm rests provide you with space.

WeeHoo give you the option to purchase a weather protection system (sold separately, $109).  This comes in the form of a sun shade or a fully enclosed rain cover making this trailer bike a great year round performer.  No other trailer bike gives you these options.

Learn more about the WeeHoo

How to Assemble a WeeHoo Turbo

Adams Trail-A-Bike $379 – Versatile use, foldable, pedal assist

When the distances are simply too big or the hills will be tough going for a child riding independently on a small bike (4 to 6yrs old).  Yet you still want to get your family out there on an adventure.  The Adams Trail-A-Bike is a great solution for family touring but will also serve you well in an urban environment negotiating busy traffic situations.  This makes the Adams a versatile investment.

The first company to provide a well designed foldable trailing bike so that it is easy to transport to and from the riding destination.  This also makes it compact enough to store with ease when you’re not using it…but I think if you brought one you would be using it a lot.

This is a great transition piece.  It enables your family to change from smaller rides with your toddler attached ‘on’ the bike (1 to 4yrs) to exploring greater distances with the help of them pedalling (4 to 6 yrs).  Then when they can power along on a 24″ bike (7yrs+), it may be time for them to ride independently.

Other considerations – family touring usually means carrying gear and this type of trailer bike takes up space where gear is commonly placed (rear carrier with panniers or a gear trailer being towed).  It offers no storage so anything that needs to come along will be on your back in a pack, on the front of your bike or the responsibility of another adult/older child in your family.  Also be aware that your child will not be harnessed into the seat, meaning they can move around/lean to get a better view.

Learn more about the Adams Trail-A-Bike

How to Assemble a Adams Trail-A-Bike…coming soon

Thule Yepp Maxi $269 to $279 – Harnessed, best interaction, lightweight

With an age range from 2 to 6 years this seat will give you great value for the money invested.  Being able to keep your child close to you on the bike means you have greater opportunities for quality interaction while riding.  They are tucked in right behind you which will also provide them with a bit of protection from air flow.

The Thule Yepp Maxi rear seats that we choose to sell are the lightest on the market.  They are constructed from lightweight foam similar to what the shell of a helmet is made from.  So if you decide on the ‘on’ the bike option you will be choosing the lightest addition to your bike out of our 3 picks.  This is a great option if you the adult are new to bike touring or not an over confident, regular type of rider.  But…and this is quite a big but as they get older – NO PEDAL ASSIST.

Other considerations – family touring usually means carrying gear and a rear kids seat may be attached via a carrier.  If this is the case you can buy carrier extenders and place panniers on your bike as well as the kids bike seat.  Please watch the additional weight and only carry light items.  This type of weight loading is only recommended for steel frame bikes/touring specific bikes with strong frames.

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Kids Bike Seats – What are the options?

How to do more riding with a toddler or 2

Kids Bike Seats – Match your bike to a seat?

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