10 of the best baby and toddler reins

Help keep track of your little explorer on busy days out with these reins, harnesses and backpacks

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Once little ones start to walk and toddle about, keeping them close by in busy places can be a tough task. If you’re worried about managing your miniature escapee, then baby reins or toddler reins might be worth considering. 

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For lots of parents, toddler reins are as essential on a day out as kids’ sun hats or a baby changing bag and there are plenty of different styles and designs suited to various ages.

In the sections below we take you through what to look out for and highlight some of the best baby and toddler reins on the market. 

What are the different types of toddler reins?

Essentially, baby reins are a safety harness that attaches onto your little one – usually around their chest, waist, or to a backpack – with a strap that can be held by an adult, or attached to them.

The idea is that the harness keeps your little one from straying too far, in situations where they could get easily lost or in danger.

There are different style reins available including backpack, belt and chest harness options. 

Backpacks allow children to carry some of their own bits and pieces along with them and are often made in extra fun designs which they’ll be excited to wear. Those with detachable reins also mean the backpack can be used on its own, offering longer term use.

A chest harness can often provide a more secure fit for wriggly little ones and simpler reins like these and the belt tend to have a lower price tag than some of the backpack options. 

Belts, on the other hand, offer a hands-free, buddy up system. You and your little one each wear a belt secured around your waists which are connected together by a secure strap. The design that works best for you will mostly depend on your own personal preference. 

Are toddler reins a good idea?

Toddler reins are one of those subjects that can really divide opinion and using children’s reins is completely down to personal preference.

Some parents feel reassured that their little one has the freedom to walk by themselves, but they still have control over how far and where they can go.

Other parents can feel that it is restricting for their child to wear reins, or worry they may be uncomfortable, and they would rather simply hold their hand.

There are lots of options for using reins, or choosing not to, so it’s a really personal decision on what is best for you and your little one.

Here’s 10 of the best baby and toddler reins

1. More 2 Explore Adventure Belt, £15

Age suitability: 2 to 5 years | Type: belt 

Mum of two Lucy Bostock invented the award-winning Adventure Belt after getting separated from her son while at a theme park.

Designed for little ones aged between 2 and 5, it includes belts that fit around the child and adult’s waist, with a bungee attaching them together that expands from 40cm to 80cm in length.

One mum of a 20 month old who bought the reins praised the reins for providing peace of mind, saying it gave her daughter, “more freedom and retract at busy times when she needs to be closer to me.”

There are various designs available including this adorable white and silver unicorn version. 

Available from: Amazon

2. LittleLife Toddler Backpack with detachable reins, from £18.99

Age suitability: 1 to 3 years | Type: backpack

These cute backpacks from outdoors specialists LittleLife come in a range of 23 different designs, from traditional walking packs just like mum and dad’s, to character rucksacks like the Gruffalo, Buzz Lightyear and Spiderman.

With a 2 litre capacity, this option is great for storing and carrying extra supplies and was a win with previous buyers. One parent who said, “My son is absolutely thrilled with his Buzz Backpack. We previously owned the toddler Dino pack. This is more spacious which is great for larger clothing.”

The backpacks are available to buy with or without a set of reins, so make sure you check whether you need an included set or not before purchasing. The Buzz Lightyear pack pictured includes reins.

Available from: Little Life and Amazon 

3. Trunki Toddlepak, £17.99

Age suitability: 6 months to 4 years | Type: chest harness 

From the team that brought us the Trunki ride-on suitcase come these toddler reins, that fit over your child’s shoulders and around their chest.

Trunki have designed the reins so they can be used in two different ways, depending on the age of your child and their walking stage. They are size adjustable and come in 7 brightly coloured designs, including Leeroy the Lion, Betsy the Bear, Dudley the Dinosaur and Ollie the Owl.

These sets are recommended by Amazon and are rated 4.5 stars out of 5 from previous buyers. Parents were impressed by the quality and security of the straps as well as the breathable canvas material and that they seemed comfortable for little ones to wear.

Available from: Trunki and Amazon

4. Munchkin Harness and Reins, £8.75

Age suitability: 6 months to 4 years | Type: chest harness

These durable reins from Munchkin are simple and robust, and adjust around the chest and shoulders to get a secure fit.

Simple black webbing with plastic buckles, they won’t win any design awards, but do exactly what it says on the tin. They can also be used to keep your little one secured in a highchair or shopping trolley when out and about, and roll up into a compact package for easy storage or travel.

Another high-scoring model recommended by Amazon, parents who’d bought these reins in the past were impressed with their value and how easy they were to use. “Really easy and simple to fit and remove. Straps are easy to adjust as needed. Really lightweight so my son doesn’t even notice he’s wearing it.,” said one reviewer.

Available from: Amazon

5. Lindam Fun Pack with detachable reins, £7

Age suitability: 6 months to 4 years | Type: backpack 

This great value toddler backpack comes with a set of detachable reins that simply clip onto the bottom of the bag, or can be stored inside when you don’t need to use them.

The bright red and yellow colours are bordered with reflective strips, for added safety, and it comes with a hook at the top for hanging up. Zip it open at the top to fit in a drinks bottle, nappy, wipes or whatever treasures your little one collects along the way.

Previous parents who bought the Lindam Fun Pack said it was useful for keeping track of their little ones and a great price, although some did mention it was better for smaller children as it was not as big as some other models.

Available from: B&Q and Amazon

6. RedKite Backpack with detachable reins, £9.95

Age suitability: 1 to 3 years| Type: backpack

These cute backpacks come in either a flower or lion design and have a hook at the bottom for attaching the rein.

Each of the bags are multi-functional with 3D features, zips open at the top, plus has a side pocket for a drinks bottle. They measure 25cm x 18cm x 6cm and should be lightweight enough got little ones ( 120g).

Reins are included with the backpack and are a reasonable price, made by baby brand Red Kite. Suitable from 12 months upwards, they are great baby reins for younger children. 

Available from: Kiddies Kingdom

7. Trespass Mini Me Backpack with detachable reins, £6.99

Age suitability: 1 to 3 years | Type: backpack

With its mesh front pocket with an inquisitive bear peeping over the top, and the understated black and blue or pink colourways, this toddler backpack looks almost like a grown-up hiking pack.

It’s got a 3 litre capacity, a zip top and has detachable reins that clip onto the top of the backpack. Well padded straps make this a comfy and good value choice.

This product has nearly 700 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. Parents who bought the toddler reins in the past were impressed by the adjustable straps, overall security and design, with one buyer saying, “It’s sturdy and adorable on, with its clip to the front to hold him and the bag in place.”

Available from: Amazon and Trespass

8. Diono Sure Steps Harness, £5

Age suitability: 2 to 4 years| Type: chest harness

This safety harness from Diono has a 99cm strap that can be shortened to around 58cm depending how close you want to keep your little one!

It has an adjustable Velcro back fastening and extra long shoulder straps for fitting comfortably over winter clothing, and adjusted to size when it’s t-shirt weather. Lightweight at 150g, the Diono Sure Steps Harness is washable too.

With hundreds of positive reviews from previous buyers, this harness is a popular value option, as parents felt it helped keep their child secure and on busy days out. However some parents did note that the sizing was quite small, which might be worth keeping in mind when choosing which one is right for your child.

Available from: Uber Kids and Amazon

9. Skip Hop Mini Backpack with detachable reins, £18

Age suitability: 1 to 3 years | Type: backpack

The distinctive Skip Hop characters have been transformed into mini backpacks with detachable reins – with an owl, monkey, giraffe, ladybird, bee, cat, unicorn or dinosaur to choose from.

Super cute and high quality, the Skip Hop backpacks have a side mesh pocket for a drink, a handy write-on name tag, and a detachable rein that clips onto the bottom of the bag.

The large grab handle at the top of the bag is great for carrying or hanging the backpack up too.

With an impressive 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and over 600 reviews, this is a popular choice with parents who have bought it in the past. The reins can be attached to the bottom or top of the bag, but previous buyers recommended that the top hook seemed like the safest and more secure choice. 

Available from: Amazon

10. Babymel Zip & Zoe Mini Backpack with detachable reins, £17.95

Age suitability: 1 to 4 years | Type: backpack

This backpack and reins combo is one that will make little ones stand out from the crowd, with funky designs including cartoon-style dinosaur and floral images, and the urban city scene, which we love!

Beautifully designed with an outer zip pocket and internal elasticated loop to keep drinks in place, the Babymel mini backpack also has a cute musical tag featuring the Zip & Zoe characters.The reins are detachable and the bag can be machine washed too.

One parent seemed pleased with her purchase of the toddler reins for her 2 year old saying, “Nice that it has a harness for traveling and keeping your toddler close by but giving him/her the independence to walk without holding your hand.”

Available from: Amazon

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