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I edited this question more than any of my questions before, please feel free to view old versions. The overhaul of the question was approved in principle by a moderator. I did also add an answer with one other solution I thought about, but that is still only a concept and I would love some opinions.

Objective

I am looking for a way to protect my child's face from rain and wind while in a child bike seat. I'm not a scientist but she gets cold easily and my parental instinct is that even partial cover/protection of the face would reduce wind-chill noticeably. It's for getting my child to school, just a steady 15-20 minute ride but we live in England.

There seem to be no purpose-made products readily available on the market (except from an amazon seller who doesn't look trustworthy). And product recommendation is, controversially to say the least, not allowed on stack exchange (but I'd love a link if they exist).

First thing I could think of

Convert a Rain cover from a "rucksack" child carrier to attach it to a bike seat

enter image description hereenter image description here

Has anyone ever done this? I would like to minimize damage/modification to either product. How can I attach one to another? Do I need to 3d print some fittings?

Factors I need to balance

Usability, breathability, crashworthiness, constructability, wind resistance (from being blown away or into child's face), entanglement ...

Options discarded

Naturally one way would be to use a trailer but I am very reluctant to do this:

  • I don't really have room to store it,
  • there are chicanes on our route to deter mopeds/motorcycles etc.

My child is too big for a Thule RideAlong Mini Windscreen - it's a product intended for a seat for smaller children, sat between the rider's arms.

Any other alternative ideas will be welcome.

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  • If you do this you need some sort of a rail above the child's head to hold the cover in place. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 8 '20 at 1:36
  • Consider airflow too - you don't want a sealed plastic bag. I'd just go with a waterproof jacket+hood on the child, or a nice knitted balaclava hat under the helmet. – Criggie Nov 8 '20 at 3:39
  • I can see now that the question should have been "How to protect a child's face from rain and wind while in child seat", because that's what I'm actually trying to achieve. And the conversion should just be shown as one of the ideas I have considered. Can I still do such a major rewrite at this stage? The two answers to date would still fit - in fact the answerers have pretty much guessed my actual question. Should I rewrite or not? Hope I can ask here without setting up a separate meta question.. – pateksan Nov 8 '20 at 22:18
  • @pateksan go for editing that into your question, and updating the title. Should be fine. – Criggie Nov 8 '20 at 23:24
  • One more thought: do you stop much on the ride? My daughter didn't get much rain in her face in the baby seat because moving forwards I kept it off her. It was only really an issue getting ready to go out, and something fiddly could mean more standing around getting wet. I also block the headwind, even on her later seat. This would support your fairing idea - a coat or cape (the latter fitting to the seat) on the child, and something on your back. – Chris H Nov 10 '20 at 6:58
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Hamax certainly make a dedicated cover, though when I had a Hamax seat I used a cover from another brand (Raleigh I think). Both keep the child's face uncovered.

My worry with that design is that with plastic sheet in front of the face you really need a sufficiently sturdy support to hold it clear of the mouth and nose, even if the child falls asleep and the wind is at its worst (despite the plastic being fairly stiff). But the support mustn't be a hazard in its own right, for the rider or child, even in a crash. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that it's more challenging than you think to make it safe. You'd probably have to destroy the rucksack to obtain parts, unless you had something very similar to dismantle

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  • Thanks. I now clarified in the OP that the main objective is to protect the child's face, as clothing will look after the rest. And yes, clearly I have a lot of aspects to balance, usability, crashworthiness, constructability... – pateksan Nov 7 '20 at 14:28
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+100

If you go to a hardware supply in the personal protective equipment area there is a clear face shield that goes around the top of the head and pivots up. I suggest attaching that to the kids helmet. They are shatter proof, lightweight, and inexpensive ($7)

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    Kind of a smaller version of the face-shield like those used during the pandemic and attached to the child's helmet (Velcro?). There are 3D-print files for that. – Carel Nov 8 '20 at 8:20
  • I like the idea in principle, because it's so much simpler than the various contraptions that came to my mind but seem massively overcomplicated. However, I cannot find any actual products like what you suggested, and I can't think how I would attach one to the helmet. Can you edit your answer and add a link to an example product OR @Carel 3d print design? – pateksan Nov 10 '20 at 0:40
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    @pateksan Something like this? amazon.ca/Safety-Children-Replacement-Reusable-Comfort/dp/… – MaplePanda Nov 10 '20 at 2:20
  • Thanks @MaplePanda. I admit I was reluctant at first but this might be an idea indeed. I would just need a way to wear it without interfering with the helmet. First impression is I could get a shield with a plastic adjustable plastic strap, a bit like a baseball cap or indeed a cycle helmet, then zip tie that to the outside of the helmet. Has anyone seen such a combination, perhaps with another type of helmet, like a construction hard hat? All other thoughts are welcome – pateksan Nov 10 '20 at 12:24
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    @pateksan I think the visor could be attached with stick on Velcro strips. – Carel Nov 11 '20 at 7:26
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Note, this is just one solution I thought about after posting the OP, this is still only a concept so I would love all opinions/suggestions in comments.

Attach a massive hood to my back

I only thought about this a few days after first posting the question. I was inspired by this product. The photo below is taken from the product website and I can't help the impression it was just photoshopped to make it look like there's a cover on the child. Anyway, the idea I got from it is shown in the second, annotated version further down. My thinking is:

  • "extend" the back of the seat upwards with an arch from a material like that used for child bike flags (what sort of plastic and diameter do I want to form an arch of ca. 500mm diameter?)
  • slide the big plastic cover over that arch
  • attach two elastic bands to my shoulders (perhaps to the straps of an empty rucksack), and use that to keep the cover extended

That way I don't need to place anything rigid between me and my child.

Naturally I could probably do it with any large sheet of PVC, no need to order a pricey one from a shop I never heard about.

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • I'd go simpler - don't tether yourself to the bike, which will be very awkward. Instead get an old or cheap backpack and use that to hold an arched roof, long at the top and tapered to your hips at the bottom, from flexible but not floppy plastic sheet (similar to face shields). You could mock one up out of cardboard to get the size right - it would need testing getting on and off the bike – Chris H Nov 10 '20 at 7:05

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