Child bike trailer vs. bike seat – which is safer?

bike seat or bike trailer
Photo by Markus Distelrath

Cycling with the whole family is something very special for many. However, the smaller the children, the more you have to think about the right means of transport. As long as they are not old enough to pedal themselves, a suitable alternative is needed. The most popular carpooling options are still the Child bike seat and the Bicycle trailer. But which of the two is the better option?

The first considerations

Before deciding on an alternative, the first step should be to think about how often it will be the case that the whole family really goes on a bike tour and which routes are roughly planned. The decisive question is whether it is more likely City or mountain bike suitable tours are.

Anyone who only intends to use the means of transport quickly for everyday life and mainly for short distances in city traffic, for example to deliver the kids to daycare or elsewhere, is well advised to choose a bicycle seat for children. It takes up significantly less space and does not have to be constantly coupled and uncoupled or specially secured.

For families who like to ride a lot and ride a bike and preferably even over hill and dale, investing in a children’s bike trailer is certainly sensible. In addition to the transport aspect, the bicycle trailer also offers the advantage that additional luggage can be stowed away.

Bicycle trailer and child bike seat in comparison

Obtaining a bicycle trailer is of course significantly more expensive than purchasing a child’s bicycle seat. So much is already clear. However, compared to a child’s bicycle seat, a good trailer also offers more safety, as the passenger cell, thanks to its special construction and processing, offers significantly more protection than the seat in the event of an accident.

Another plus point of the trailer is the (mostly) 5-point belt system, which encloses the entire body of the child and not only includes the shoulder area.

# 1: security: who offers more?

Anyone who believes that physical proximity increases the safety factor in a child’s bicycle seat is unfortunately mistaken. There are now numerous tests and investigations into bicycle accidents with a child’s bicycle seat and bicycle trailer, which prove that a child’s bicycle trailer, due to its design, provides significantly more safety than the seat.

The reason for this is the above Passenger compartment, which in the event of an accident for additional protection ensures that it avoids direct contact with the ground.

Another security plus is that Shift of focus. This is much higher for a child’s bicycle seat, which means that if the bicycle, including the child seat and child, should fall over, the height of fall and the resulting impact are much more intense.

In the case of bicycle trailers, on the other hand, the coupling provides additional security. It ensures that the trailer stops even if the wheel should tip over. This also means more stability for the handlebars, as the fidgeting of the child can have a significant impact on a child’s bicycle seat, while this is hardly of any consequence with a bicycle trailer.

However, you are much more agile with a child seat on your own bike – and you can, for example, on narrow paths drive. With a bicycle trailer, on the other hand, you sometimes no longer even fit on the regular bike path – and you have to drive on the road. If cars then start to overtake and underestimate the width of the bicycle trailer, it can be dangerous. Wherever there is a lot of traffic and flexibility is required, a child bike seat therefore offers more safety.

# 2: When can children come along?

At the Bicycle trailer it is the case that suitable additional equipment must be purchased, but babies can be taken with you from this point onwards as soon as they are strong enough to hold their heads alone.

There is also a Baby seat or hammock required, which adequately protects the still sensitive spine of the little ones and enables a fitting-conform positioning.

The advantage of high-quality bicycle trailers is also the built-in suspension, which significantly increases driving comfort.

The kids can only ride in the children’s bicycle seat if they are able to sit independently in a reliable manner. This varies from child to child, but it is usually at least 8 months before the little ones can sit independently and reliably. Here are more tips on cycling with a baby.

# 3: wind and weather

While the children have the Weather conditions are exposed, you benefit from rain or sun protection with the children’s bike trailer, which, depending on the product or brand, is either included or can be purchased as additional equipment. Such an acquisition is advisable in practice, as you never know exactly when the weather will change.

Especially in midsummer you have to pay attention to the bicycle seat that the Sun protection the children are reapplied regularly. Also insects are to be observed especially in the case of allergies!


The different recommendations mainly depend on the area of ​​application. This should be carefully considered in advance in order to make the right decision.

In any case, the advantages of the bicycle trailer are these increased security as well as the additional space and storage space – You benefit significantly from it, especially on longer trips.

If you want to save yourself a stroller, you benefit twice here, since the child trailer with the appropriate equipment also comes as a Buggy or jogger can be used. However, it is precisely these variants of the test winners that are incredibly expensive (up to 1000 euros!).

The children also enjoy the increased space, as they can move more and pass the time with books or other toys during the excursions. Even a nap is almost inevitable thanks to steady rocking movements.

In the end, however, he decides Main purpose and whether more than one child is to be transported. Anyone who is mainly out and about in the city, who has to cope with short distances and does not want to invest so much money, is better off with a child bike seat than with a trailer.

If, on the other hand, you tend to drive a lot, like to be out with two kids and need more storage space, you should consider purchasing a children’s bike trailer. By the way, you can too Cargo bikes represent a good alternative for transporting children, as they now also contain child seats.

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