7 Best Toddler Reins

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Toddler reins — you either love them or you hate them.

Personally, we love them. A good pair of toddler reins allows your little one freedom to explore and roam around while giving you control over where and how far they go. They’re ideal for kids who might otherwise run off while you’re on a walk or even if you just want a little more security when walking on busy roads and pavements.

Not all are made equal however. We’ve picked out the best toddler reins and baby reins on the market right now, all of which have different pros and cons, so you can find a pair that will suit you and your child.

We’ve also put together a little buying guide so you can understand exactly what type of reins will best suit your own personal circumstances.

Best Toddler Reins

Trunki ToddlePak

Pros

  • Lots of choice of fun characters and colours
  • Suitable for ages 6 months to 4 years – can be used as training and leading rein
  • Easily adjustable as your toddler grows
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Thick padding for comfort is breathable so your child won’t get too warm
  • Very secure fit with shoulder and waist straps into the fast fitting buckle
  • Easy to take on and off

Cons

  • Hand wash only
  • Can’t adjust the length of the reins

Clippasafe Walking Harness and Reins

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Suitable for ages 6 months to 4 years
  • Machine washable
  • Reins can be adjusted to be either short or long depending on how much freedom you want your toddler to have
  • Lightweight
  • Shoulder and waist straps are fully adjustable so it can grow with your child
  • Feels very secure

Cons

  • Very plain – toddlers may be less inclined to want to wear them
  • We found the back clip to be a little on the stiff side
  • Straps aren’t padded so may not be the most comfortable option

LittleLife Animal Toddler Backpack

Pros

  • Lots of colours and animal options available
  • 2 litre storage space in the backpack
  • Shoulder and chest straps are adjustable
  • Safety rein can be clipped on or off
  • Comfortable and reasonably lightweight to wear
  • Feels secure

Cons

  • Best suited for older toddlers/already confident walkers
  • Hand wash only
  • Can’t adjust the length of the reins

Eidyer Anti Lost Safety Wrist Link Belt

Pros

  • Cotton material is breathable, comfortable and friendly to skin with no friction
  • Both wrist straps are adjustable
  • Can be extended out to 1.5 metres
  • Good price
  • Lock feels very secure
  • Available in subtle blue or pink colours
  • Easy to take on and off
  • Reflective material so very visible even at night

Cons

  • Not quite as secure as chest strap reins — better suited for older toddlers
  • Harness length cannot be adjusted by adult

Skip Hop Zoo Backpack

Pros

  • Lots of animal options available
  • Backpack has good capacity
  • Suitable for toddlers aged 12 months up to 4 years
  • Harness feels stable and secure
  • Harness is adjustable
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear thanks to padded straps
  • Insulated pouch for snacks

Cons

  • Rein attachment at bottom of rucksack is a curious choice — not ideal for running toddlers as can tip their centre of gravity
  • Wipe clean only

Lehoo Castle Toddler Rein

Pros

  • Very comfortable, breathable wrist straps
  • Straps are adjustable
  • Induction lock feels strong and secure
  • Reflective material shows up even in the dark
  • 360° rotating head means you won’t get tangled even if your toddler is running in circles!
  • Can be extended out to 2.5 metres — great for older toddlers who want a bit of freedom

Cons

  • Only available in orange colour
  • Adult can’t adjust length of harness
  • Magnet mechanism can be a little fiddly

Hey Duggee Kids Reins with Backpack

Pros

  • Hey Duggee fans will love the design!
  • Generous sized backpack
  • Safety rein is easily removable and attached at the top of the bag
  • Shoulder straps are padded and very comfortable
  • Suited to children aged between 1 and 4
  • Straps are fully adjustable
  • Feels very secure and durable

Cons

  • Length of the safety rein isn’t adjustable

Toddler Reins Pros and Cons

As we mentioned briefly in the introduction, the subject of toddler reins can be a little contentious.

While some parents swear by them, others think they’re unnecessary. There’s no ‘right’ answer here and what’s best for your child will really depend on your family and circumstances.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons so you can be better informed regardless of where you stand on the issue.

Are reins good for toddlers?

Pros

  • Encourages your child to walk and be active, as opposed to just sat in the buggy
  • Gives them freedom to move around while keeping them within the safe control of the parent or carer
  • Great for more crowded places if you want to keep them close and safe
  • Added security if you’re walking on or near busy roads

Cons

  • Some people don’t like the look of reins and see them as a ‘dog on a lead’ situation
  • They may be superfluous for toddlers who are happy to hand hold
  • Some children don’t like wearing them — hence why it’s important to buy ones that are comfortable
toddler reins

Types of Toddler Reins

There are three major types of reins: chest strap, backpack and wrist strap.

Which one is best for you will mostly depend upon the age of your toddler and the level of security you require.

Chest Strap Reins

Chest strap reins — like the Trunki ToddlePak and Clippasafe reins on our list — are usually the most secure option and so the ones we routinely recommend for younger toddlers and children more inclined to run away from parents.

Attaching around the shoulders and the chest, it is very easy to stop your child mid-run — essential if you’re near a busy road — versus wrist strap reins, for instance.

Backpack Reins

Backpack reins — such as the Hey Duggee, Skip Hop Zoo and LittleLife reins above — are a more modern invention and a very popular choice being as they also offer some nice storage space!

Don’t expect a huge amount of capacity in these backpacks — you wouldn’t want your toddler tipping over backwards while wearing them — but there’s usually enough room for a drink, snack and maybe a soft toy.

Good backpack reins will offer the same amount of security as more traditional chest strap reins, as well as often a grab handle at the top. This acts as another great security option for pulling your child away quickly from danger.

Wrist Strap Reins

Wrist strap reins — the Lehoo Castle and Eidyer options in our list — offer your child the most freedom, being only attached at the wrist, and as such we tend to recommend them for slightly older toddlers who have some sense of the need to stay close to parents.

Again, the wrist strap locks should be very secure and almost impossible for your little one to escape from.

The harness length on these can extend out pretty long so ideally your child will be responsive to requests from you to ‘come back’ if necessary.

What to Look for When Buying Toddler Reins

There are a few things to consider when buying toddler reins. Thankfully, they’re generally very reasonably priced so hopefully you won’t get too worn down by decision making.

First things first, decide what type of reins will suit your child best, as discussed above. Then it’s time to think about what’s important to you:

  • How comfortable are the reins? Are the straps padded, soft and breathable?
  • Are there any colour and character options that will encourage my toddler to wear them?
  • What is the length of the rein? Is it easily adjustable?
  • Are the reins easy to put on and take off?
  • How strong and secure is the locking mechanism?
  • Are the reins appropriate for my child’s age and walking style?
  • Are they easily washable?

Hopefully, after asking yourself these questions, you’ll be a lot closer to deciding which reins are best for you and your toddler.


What’s your recommendation for the best toddler reins?

Head over to our advice section for more tips on travelling with a baby or toddler! You may also want to check out our toddler packing list if you are heading on an extended trip.

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