We have tried three of these seats and can say a lot of fun can be had on this style of seat. All four share the principle of placing the child in front of you, allowing them to balance and anticipate terrain ahead. Leg stirrups or foot pegs allow the child to stand-up and absorb bumps and roots making for a very interactive ride.
Restraint straps are not integrated. The thought is you want to get yourself and child way from the bike in the event of an accident. This makes intuitive sense to mountain bikers as they will always say its best to get as far away from the bike as possible if you were to come off. Personally, I don't even strap my kids into our traditional ibert front mounted seat for this reason. Of note, there currently are no safety standards for front mounted seats. The biggest risk with theses seats in our opinion is a foot being jammed in the front wheel or being wedged in between fork crown and tire. For this reason, we adopted a velcro strap for the tyke toter as it does not offer anything to secure little feet to the foot rest.
This seat has it all. A well thought out design allowing for easy on/off once a headset spacer is mounted, this seat will also accommodate dropper posts on a mountain bike. Plagued with manufacturing issues on the first run, they have since changed vendors and created a much better product. We just took delivery of the 2.0 version and it is great! Our install video here.
Ages: 2-6 | Max weight: 60 lbs | MSRP: $219 USD | Where to buy: mac ride
This sturdy seat from New Zealand is fantastic. Although you give up the stirrup adjustments and easy on/off of the mac ride... you get a more robust/more comfortable seat with better weight distribution due to the frame mount (lighter steering than a headset mounted seat). The child also sits lower with slopet down tubes which we like better. Although the manufacturer states it's ok for carbon frames, we would go with the Mac Ride if you have a carbon wonderbike.
Ages: 2-7 | Max weight: 61 lbs | MSRP: $155 USD | Where to buy: do Little
Not intended for off road or use with a MTB dropper post, this little seat is still really fun on light trails with a conventional seat post bike. Please note the foot rest does not have anything to secure the kids feet which can lead to a catastrophic foot in the front wheel accident. We ALWAYS use a velcro strap to secure the wee ones feet to the foot rest. Our first look here.
Ages: 2-5 | Max weight: 45 lbs | MSRP: $115 USD | Where to buy: amazon
We have not tried this seat but it looks attractive. It pre-dates the Mac Ride and seems to be produced in limited quantities. Fit looks good for any bike with a seat tube of 31.6 or smaller and a regular A headset. There is plenty of movement forward and aft for the seat in addition to plenty of adjustment for the foot stirrup lengths. The one drawback compared to the mac ride is the inability to remove the seat easily. You will have remove your stem every time you want to put the seat on or pull it off.
Ages: 2-6 | Max weight: 60 lbs | MSRP: $170 GPB | Where to buy: LOCT