Child Bike Seat Review: Topeak Babyseat II vs. CoPilot Limo & Bell CoCoon

Conclusion: Topeak Babyseat II Rating: ★★★★☆

Topeak II child bike seat

A quick search for kids bicycle seat on Amazon brings up a list of about nine seats to choose from.

There are two main categories: a.) those that mount on the front of the bike, and b.) those that mount on the back of the bike.

I have two kids, so I’m thinking I may need both eventually, but since I will mostly be riding with my oldest son, who about 40 inches tall now, I decided to go with a rear-mount seat since they accommodate taller children more easily.

This decision, along with the popularity, price and amazon reviews narrowed my choices down to three brands: Bell (~$60 – rack not included), CoPilot (~$125), and Topeak (~$130). All three look fairly similar at first glance, but a closer investigation helped me determine what I think is the best choice. All three have lower end models that cost less, but I’m only interested in the full featured models for my little prince.

(FYI – if you are interested in a front mount seat, the iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat is a good choice from the reviews I’ve seen so far.)

Here are the three product descriptions taken directly from the Amazon product listings:

Topeak Babyseat II:

Topeak Child Bike SeatTopead Child Bike Seat
The Topeak® BabySeat™ II with rack creates a virtual cocoon of protection and features a 6-point harness. A suspension system cushions bumps and jolts, and the integrated roll bar provides head protection and doubles as a carrying handle. Adjustable footrests and straps keep small feet away from spinning wheels. The heavy-duty rack features a BabySeat™ attachment that requires no tools to attach and remove seat from rack.

CoPilot Limo:

Copilot Limo Child Bicycle SeatCoPilot Limo Child Bike Seat
The 2006 CoPilot Limo features a reclining back and adjustable foot wells that are category leading for comfort and adjustability. With 150 grams of ultra-plush gel inside a washable pad, your kids will experience unsurpassed comfort. The Limo also includes a strong, lightweight tubular Blackburn EX-1 rack that doesn’t weigh your bike down, and a secure, quick release mounting system that makes it easy to swap the limo between bikes with the addition of a second rack.

Bell Cocoon:

Bell Cocoon Child Bike SeatBell Cocoon Child Bicycle Seat vs. Topeak Babyseat II
Take along your child on a biking adventure using Bell’s protective and comfortable rack-mounted child carrier. The Cocoon will carry your 40-pound-or-less child in safety, comfort and style, as it features a thick seat pad, high back for added protection, a five-point harness, molded spoke guard, and adjustable foot rests (which also allows the seat to grow with your child). Easy to attach to most 26- and 27-inch bikes (without rear suspension), this carrier can also be removed easily for solo rides. A rear reflector is included.

After reading dozens of user reviews for all three of these seats, It seems like any of them would be a decent choice, but I decided to go with the Topeak BabySeat II with (Disc Brake) Rack for the following reasons in order of priority:

  1. It is the only kids bicycle seat that offers spring suspension (that I’m aware of) for the child passenger. The springs have a full three inches of travel, so in the unlikely event of a curb hop, they won’t be jolted into tears.
  2. The back of the seat goes up high enough on the sides to act as a ‘roll cage’ in the unlikely event of a slide-out, the child’s head will be protected by the seat on the sides and rear.
  3. Six point harness system offers one more point of security than any of the others, although I’m not too sure what that amounts to in practice.
  4. Quick release system will allow me to easily remove the seat when I want to go for a ride w/o the kiddies.
  5. Adjustable foot rests – this turned out to be a critical one since my heels hit the foot rests as I peddle when at their lowest position. I had to move them up a couple notches to get clearance for my size 10.5 feet. This isn’t a big deal as my 40″ boy still has plenty of room for his legs at that position.

One thing that the Topeak child bike seat does not do is recline. I noticed that some of the others do, I suspect this is better if your kid likes to sleep during rides, but it seems like it would move the center of gravity further back than it already is which isn’t such a good thing in my mind.

Topeak Babyseat 2 Un-boxing and Assembly Picture Gallery

Here are the manufacturer’s detailed  specs:

The Topeak® BabySeat™ II features an innovative suspension system, quick secure rack mount, and fully adjustable seating and harness system to make it the best in the business! The rear rack is Quick track compatible with all Topeak MTX trunk bags and rear basket for a multi purpose base rack. The tubular aluminum rack is disc brake compatible and its solid design also acts as a rear fender.

  • New wrap-around seat design with integrated roll bar creates a cocoon of protection and complies with stringent European and Japanese safety standards.
  • Updated 6-point harness offer superior comfort and protection
  • Suspension system between the BabySeat II and the base rack helps to isolate the child from bumps and jolts.
  • Included tubular aluminum rack is disc brake compatible and features fast and easy BabySeat mounting and removal.
  • Seat Body Molded Engineering Grade Plastic.
  • Safety Features: Adjustable Foot Rests with Straps, Roll Bar Handle, Six Point Harness System, Full Body Cocoon, and a Rear Reflector.
  • Suspension: Dual Steel Spring.
  • Capacity: 22 kgs / 48.5 lbs.
  • Weight: 3130 g / 6.9 lbs (Seat) 630 g / 1.38 lbs (Disc Rack)

Here is a video of the Topeak child bike seat in use:

Here is a video review of the CoPilot Limo baby bike seat:

..and here is a video of the Bell Cocoon kids bike seat:

Disclaimer: I do not have hands-on experience with the Limo or Cocoon seats – my opinion is only based on my research and personal experience with the Topeak seat.

I hope this review has been helpful and informative for other parents out there doing their research. If you have experience with other toddler bike seats I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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27 comments on “Child Bike Seat Review: Topeak Babyseat II vs. CoPilot Limo & Bell CoCoon
  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. We are still in the research phase for bike seats and it is nice to be able to see what actually comes in the box.

  2. Gemma says:

    i have to echo the sentiments of Anon. A child bike seat is a very important part of buying a bike and many parents will ignore this for one reason or the other. Most helpful post i’ve read on the topic so far.

  3. Ethrons says:

    This is a fabulous review, and really helped clear up many questions I had as I searched online for a bike seat for my son. Thanks so much!

  4. deelux523 says:

    Great review Steve, I wish I’d seen this before I bought my seat. I also own the Topeak seat and wanted to share a few tips with other prospective buyers.

    1) The disc-compatible rack also works with non-disc equipped bikes. If there’s a new bike in your future,
    consider getting the disc-compatible rack so you don’t have to repurchase the rack if you choose to get a disc-equipped bike.

    2) I did have a bit of a problem with the seat on my old bike because the seat interfered with the cantilever brakes. If you have cantilevers, be sure to measure the outside distance of the brake arms and confirm that it’s less than the distance between the inside distance between the “legs” of the seat before buying.

    3) Topeak’s description of the “6-point harness” is bit misleading. The seatbelts are technically 3-point with two shoulder straps connecting to a clip that comes up between the child’s legs. The 4th & 5th “points” are the foot straps (which my wiggly daughter wants nothing to do with) and the 6th is the padded hand bar. The manufacturer’s description is iffy to disingenuous, but the child is secured effectively.

    Happy and safe riding!
    DL

    • Steve says:

      Hey Deelux – thanks for your additional info! And thanks for clearing up the bit about the harness – I never really did understand how they came up w/ so many ‘security points’..

  5. Velvet says:

    This is a great review Steve – thanks. Just wondering if you or someone who owns the seat could tell me what the actual inside distance is between the ‘legs’ of the seat, so I can compare with width of my brakes?

  6. Nancy says:

    Hi Steve,

    This is a great review and very helpful as I look for a seat for my husband for Father’s Day. A fast question – do you know if you need the rack to attach the seat to the bike? It looks like it’s sold with and without it, but I can’t find any information on whether it can be mounted that way. If you happen to know, I would greatly appreciate it.

    – Nancy

    • Steve says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for the kind words.

      The answer to your question is: yes. You absolutely do need the bike rack that is sold with the seat in order to attach it to the bike.

      You can buy the seat w/ and w/o the rack or just the rack separately so that you can use the same seat on more than one bike.

      We have been using the seat a lot more this spring and it’s been working great!

      Cheers,
      Steve

  7. Jess Colton says:

    Hey Steve, you missed one. There is a new seat on the market that is much more interactive and simpler to use. Tyke Toter is an innovative front mount design that makes the riding fun for you AND your child. With this seat, they get to participate in the ride as much as you and they love it. With them right in front, you can talk and interact with them and truly spend some quality time with them.

    Check it out. I would love to hear what you have to say.

    http://www.tyketoter.com

    JESS

    • Steve says:

      Hi Jess,
      The Tyke Toter looks like a great design! Nice alternative to the iBert. Probably better for slightly older kids that can hold on well enough though. 😉

  8. Jon W says:

    Will the rack fit a 29er?

    • Ali says:

      Hey Jon,

      The current rack will NOT fit a 29er. I have the Hardrock 29er and after speaking to Todson (Topeak’s customer support), i was informed that after Jan 1, they will be introducing a rack that will fit a 29er (both DMV and regular). Guess we have to wait until then.

      btw, Steve, this was a great review. The pics helped a great deal, esp visualizing how it would look on pretty much my bike.

      Thanks,

      Ali

  9. Frank says:

    Glad I found this review. I made the mistake of purchasing the Topeak Babyseat II without first checking to see if my bike is compatible. It turns out that my 29er does not have either the braze-ons or the attachment points near the rear drop out. Long story short, I am now in the process of purchasing a used Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc that is identical to yours, down to the year and color. It’s reassuring to know that the bike and the babyseat will be compatible. Thank you.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Frank,
      Thanks for letting me know my review was helpful.

      I have been very happy with my Specialized mtn bike – it’s held up very well and been a comfortable ride with and without the topeak child seat attached.

      Cheers
      Steve

  10. mary says:

    Hi Steve! Thanks for the review! can you tell me your experience with your child in this seat? in particular do they have trouble with their helmet bumping against the back of the head rest? is it easy for them to take a quality nap in? many many thanks!!! Mary

    • Steve says:

      Hi Mary,
      We went for a ride this weekend and I noted that the headrest does wrap around on the sides a bit and has some padding there as well so it is ideal for napping. 😉

      Cheers
      Steve

  11. Rachel says:

    Thanks so much for the fantastic review, certainly helped narrow-down the decision making process 😉 Had a question about the mount, I do not have a bike with disc brakes and was curious if the seat is generally sold only with the disc-mount rack, and if so, will I need to purchase a more basic rack to mount my seat properly?

  12. Rachel says:

    Steve,
    Thanks so much for the quick reply, I can’t wait to hit the trail with my little one in tow!
    🙂
    rachel

  13. mike says:

    Nice detailed review. I couldn’t figure out why the seat kept leaning back like a recliner. I thought the strap around the bike seat post was supposed to hold it down. I didn’t realize until I looked at your pictures that the seat base went around the front of the rack. Thankfully I researched reviews and found this one!

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