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It is a fact of life that toddlers want to explore the world around them.
It is, unfortunately, also a fact of life that they haven't yet developed the sense to do so entirely safely. That's where baby reins and harnesses become an option for parents.
Some readers may feel uncomfortable with restraining their child in such a fashion, and if you do choose to use them they should, of course, be applied gently and sensitively, so as not to hurt or unbalance your child. Used sparingly though, baby reins and toddler reins are a great tool to allow a baby or toddler to explore, while keeping them within the grasp of their parents should they start to endanger themselves.
With that in mind, these are what we think are the best reins you can buy online at the moment, starting as always with our Kidadl top pick. For other great ways to help your child explore the world, take a look at our 9 Best Baby Carrier Backpacks for Hiking, Holidays and Travel and our 8 Best Baby Sun Hats to Keep Your Child Safe.
Our Top Choice
ClippaSafe Walking Harness And Reins
This is the no frills, no nonsense, bish bash bosh toddler harness and reins. You won't really find any better ones than this. The best 'feature,' if that's the right word, is that the length has two adjustable settings – there's a shorter 'leash' for when a child is just learning to walk and needs additional supervision, and then a longer setting for when you're comfortable letting them roam freer. The question worth asking yourself is whether you want to fork out an extra tenner for a brighter, more eye-catching design that children might be more excited to wear. If you're happy going for the simpler style, Clippasafe are terrific.
- Price: £4.95
- They're safe, sturdy, and they last
ClippaSafe Character Harness
For a slightly more colourful option, Clippasafe do offer a small range of 'character harnesses,' further strengthening their grip on their place as the manufacturer of the best toddler reins. These have all the straight forward usability of their regular harnesses, but for around £2 more you can get an animal of some description on the front, to make them look less foreboding to kids (this one has a bear on the front!) It's worth considering if you agree with us that Clippasafe are the top pick, but worry that the plain design will further put off a reluctant child from wearing the reins in the first place.
- Price: £7.99
- Useable with high chairs, cradles and push chairs
Best For Dinosaur Lovers
LittleLife Toddler Reins - Dinosaur
Let's get the most important thing out the way first – it has a cute dinosaur on the front, which automatically gives it a huge advantage over harnesses that don't have a cute dinosaur on the front. But that's not the only reason this is among the best toddler reins. In terms of practicalities, these reins have a fabric front panel for the child's comfort, and robust nylon straps so that they remain secure in the harness at all times. The brand, LittleLife, started out catering for adventure travellers before pivoting to child travel accessories, so you know they're going to have safety, security, and durability covered.
- Price: £10.39
- Comes with adjustable shoulder straps
DD Dinosaur Toddler Backpack With Reins
An appealing combination of style and substance, with an extremely reasonable £8.99 price. It's our second dinosaur themed product of the list (it's almost as if children quite like dinosaurs or something) and is available in a range of well-chosen colours. The attached backpack is lightweight and waterproof, and a good size for toddlers carrying the necessities. To our eyes, the design is the most attractive we've seen, and considering you get a backpack thrown in as well for only a couple of quid more than the bare bones Clippasafe, it's great value for money.
- Price: £8.99
- Comes with adjustable, padded shoulder straps, and a chest harness
Best Toddler Bag With Reins
LittleLife Toddler Daysack And Rein
Another product from LittleLife, and these ones are such a neat little concept. They come in fifteen different designs, all based on animals, and they all look absolutely gorgeous – check out the Timmy the Turtle and Nemo-esque clown fish. There's also a fold-away hood in the backpack in case it rains! You can tell LittleLife have experience in adventure travel. They really have thought of everything. This also picked up a gold award from Mother & Baby in 2014 for Toddler Safety, so it really does tick all the boxes. A standout option.
- Price: £13.99
- It's a backpack which a child can wear, with reins attached to the back
Best For Cheerful Backpack With Reins
SkipHop Mini Backpack With Reins
A similar idea here from SkipHop, and a similar price point as well. There's a different range of animals, as well as the ever-popular options of dinosaurs and unicorns. An issue highlighted in the reviews is that the reins are designed to attach to the bottom of the backpack, which causes a safety issue if you need to pull back on them in a hurry. However, they can be easily reattached to the handle at the top of the bag, which solves the issue. Other than that, this is an excellent product.
- Price: £19.95
- They all come with a big, friendly smiley face on the backpack, which is a nice touch
Best For Animal Lovers
More cute animal designs! We're sensing a pattern here. Trunki reins are always a popular choice thanks to their exquisite designs. Even in a crowded market, the various designs of the Trunki ToddlePak look distinctive and cute. It's all with the purpose of making it the sort of product a child might willingly put on, and the reviews for it suggest that won't be an issue. It's comfy and secure, and comes with a unique plastic clasp that allows parents to adjust the shoulder and waist straps more efficiently. A great buy.
- Price: £17.99
- Suitable from 6 months to 4 years
Best For Disney Lovers
LittleLife Disney Toddler Daysack
The unmistakable Minnie Mouse influence on this design should help placate young Disney fans that are reluctant to wear baby reins or a harness. Of course, from a purely practical perspective, the main benefit of this is that it's another handy harness/backpack combination, with enough space for all the essentials. Whilst it's a little pricier than the rest, it's another good value option for toddler reins.
- Price: £28.99
- Includes safety harness
Best For Families On A Budget
Cuggl Safety Harness
At £5.99, the Cuggl Safety Harness compete with the Clippasafe ones in terms of price and no frills quality. The reins are easy to detach if necessary, and the harness can be used to secure a child in a pushchair or highchair. Reviews indicate that they're sturdy, safe, and that you won't notice the difference between these and a much more expensive pair of reins.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for Best Baby Reins, for more stylish and practical items for your baby, take a look at our 13 Best Baby Tracksuits and, possibly the most important article we've ever written, the best pumpkin costumes for your child (!!!)
- Price: £17.99
- For ages 6 months to 4 years
After living in various countries across Europe and now settling in London, Georgia is still in awe of everything there is to see and do in the capital. She loves to explore anywhere with a view; whether it's the iconic Shard or a secret spot in Highgate. You can usually find her travelling, taking photos or making her way to a concert - sometimes all three at once!