The Best Child Mountain Bike Seats

The Best Child Mountain Bike Seats


Child Mountain Bike Seats

Child mountain bike seats have taken family adventures to the next level. There’s nothing quite like riding singletrack but with your little toddler or kid nestled in front of you. The stoke, the quality time and the fun is unmatched!

Mom and toddler mountain biking together

My child mountain bike seat has been one of my favorite pieces of kid gear to date. I think every family needs one of these seats!

I personally have ridden over 200 miles of singletrack with my toddler on our child mountain bike seats. I have truly experienced all the joys and stoke these seats have to offer.

Quick Info: Price: Reviews: Specs:
Mac Ride $229 Full Review 2 years old up to 60 lbs
Shotgun Original $149   2 years old up to 48 lbs
Shotgun Pro $250 Full Review 2 years oldup to 60 lbs

More Info on Child Mountain Bike Seats

Child mountain bike seats are different from your typical front mounted or rear mounted child bike seats. These seats were designed with mountain biking and singletrack in mind.

They are an open-style child bike seat, meaning there is no harness or buckling system and no physical seat with a back. With no bulk of an actual seat you have much more range of motion and movement as you ride (ideal for true mountain biking).

However with that your child isn’t truly strapped in, except for their feet. Initially, parents may feel weary of this, but when you give it a try for yourself you realize just how secure it feels with them nestled between your arms. I feel these seats are very safe and I have personally never had an issue.

These seats are not recommended for kids under the age of 2. A kid developmentally needs to be older for this open style seat. 2-5 is the recommended age.

Close up shot of the mac ride child bike seat

Additionally, these seats are highly compatible with most mountain bikes. Likely one of these seats will fit your mountain bike.

If you’ve ever tried putting a traditional front mounted or even rear mounted child bike seat on your mountain bike you likely have been very disappointed. These traditional seats are not made to accomodate the aggressive geometry of modern, newer mountain bikes.

But of course child mountain bike seats ARE made for the aggressive geometry of mountain bikes. And best of all these seats are even simpler and sleeker than traditional seats.

They’re so sleek that even non-mountain biking families should strongly consider these child mountain bike seats even just for rides around the neighborhood, paved paths, day care pick up, etc.

Which Child Mountain Bike SEAT is Best?

Let’s talk about the different child mountain bike seats available.

You have two incredible companies that have created child mountain bike seats - Mac Ride and Kids Ride Shotgun. I have had the opportunity to work with both companies in testing and reviewing their seats and have nothing but the best to say about both.

But I will say each seat is a little different, so it’s worth researching which would accomodate you and your family best

Breakdown of Child Mountain Bike Seats

Mac Ride Child Mountain Bike Seat $229

Mac Ride Toddler Mountain Bike Seat

Mac Ride Bike Seat

Mac Ride’s mountain bike seats have zero contact with your frame. They have a specific spacer ring that will replace a spacer on your headset (super easy process and you only have to do once). The seat will clamp on to that specific spacer ring and then to your seat post (attach below your seat dropper post, not directly on your dropper). This seat is unique for its curved saddle shape.

Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Mountain Bike Seat $250

Shotgun Pro Child Mountain Bike Seat

Shotgun Pro Seat

The Shotgun Pro has a very similar design to the Mac Ride. It doesn’t have contact with your bike frame and connects into your headset with a special spacer ring and to your seat post. It’s unique for its modern look and design. It looks like an extension of your newer, modern mountain bike (like it was meant to be there). The little grom foot holds even look like a traditional mountain bike pedal and grip your little’s feet so well.

Kids Ride Shotgun Original Mountain Bike Seat $149

Original Kids Ride Shotgun Child Mountain Bike Seat

Original Kids Ride Shotgun Seat

The Kids Ride Shotgun Original seat is unique as it rests directly on your frame and secures differently than the previous two seats. It’s a more basic design, but gets the job done.

Mac Ride & Shotgun Pro Bike Seat Reviews

I have tested each seat and been able to fairly compare. You can read my lengthy reviews below.

These reviews will give you an in depth look at each seat and help you decide which would be best for you.

Overall I will say that as a mountain biking parent I prefer the Shotgun Pro and Mac Ride seats. Here are some brief reasons why:

  • They are contactless with your frame, most mountain bikers will appreciate this. Our bikes are precious.
  • These seats are easy to take on and off your bike. As well as swap with a partner.
  • These seats are highly adjustable. You can really individualize the fit to your little co-rider.
  • The Shotgun Pro and Mac Ride also fit a wider variety of bikes than the Kids Ride Shotgun original seat.

When Would You Recommend Buying the Original Kids Ride Shotgun Seat?

Mom and Toddler riding mountain bikes together in Park City, Utah

Obviously the original Kids Ride Shotgun seat is more cost friendly to families, so that would be one reason. (But if you can see if you can wait for one of REI’s 20% off coupons and apply it to the Shotgun Pro seat, it won’t be that much more than the original seat).

There may also be some bikes that have compatibility issues with the design of the Shotgun Pro and the Mac Ride. Those families can then use the Kids Ride Shotgun original seat. I have troubleshot compatibility issues with a few followers and we landed on the Kids Ride Shotgun original seat for their particular bike. I am glad that the original seat is an option. I feel confident in saying between the three seats one should work on your bike!

Bottom Line

Mom and toddler with a child mountain bike seat

You will learn more about this if you read my in-depth reviews, but the seat that has worked best for our family is the Mac Ride seat.

The Mac Ride seat is a better fit for shorter parents. The seat sits lower in relation to your bike than the Shotgun pro seat. Why does that matter? It means that the kids sit lower in relation to you as the rider and interfere with the parent rider less. If you are a taller parent the seat height may not matter, but it sure does if you are a shorter parent and want to maximize the use of your seat. Again, find more in-depth information on this in my Mac Ride review .

The other reason I love my Mac Ride seat is the curved saddle shape. This is an optimal design for little kids. The seat cups their bum and it feels much more secure out on the trails, especially if you do any little rock rolls, drops, etc.

Close up shot of bike slammed stem

And lastly, Mac Ride works with my slammed stem. Pictured above is the slammed stem on my 2020 Cannondale Jekyll.

If you have a slammed stem on your mountain bike you will need to pick the Mac Ride as the design of the Shotgun Pro isn’t compatible with slammed stems. You can learn more about this too in my in-depth reviews.

Mac Ride works with a wide variety of bikes including quill stems. If you are wanting a child mountain bike seat on a bike other than a mountain bike i.e. cruiser bike, hybrid bike, etc. I would recommend Mac Ride .

Which Child Mountain Bike Seat is Best for E-Mountain Bikes?

Both Mac Ride and the Shotgun Pro will work with e-mountain bike frames. However, I would consider the Shotgun Pro first if your primary bike is going to be an e-mountain bike. They are compatible with e-mountain bikes straight away. Mac Ride you need some an additional adapter.

Is a Child Mountain Bike Seat Only for Mountain Bikes?

I briefly touched on this above, but the answer is NO! Child mountain bike seats are an incredible bike seat for all bike families. And the Mac Ride especially works on most bikes.

Here are some reasons why I might choose a child mountain bike seat over a traditional child bike seat:

  • Child mountain bike seats are simple and easy
  • No bulky mounts left on your bike
  • Kids and parents love the open style seat and the amazing bonding it creates
  • You can easily and quickly swap between bikes
  • Much easier to transport and store

Can You Ride True Singletrack with a Child Mountain Bike Seat?

Mac Ride Child Mountain Bike Seat in use with a beautiful view

Absolutely. I have ridden all over with my toddler in tow. Everything from Park City, to Moab to Targhee in Wyoming.

It all depends on your ability as a rider. I will always advocate for riding well beneath your ability level. So as long as you are already comfortable on dirt, then yes hit the trails in your area. Obviously your riding will be more slow and controlled, but arguably it will be even more stoke inducing with your fun little co-rider.

Check out my article here for tips on mountain biking with your kid on a child mountain bike seat.

You can also check out my article listing some of my favorite trails to ride with my toddler on our child mountain bike seat.