Xtracycle Kid Seats - Finished!

Well, I've been thinking about it and working on it over the last couple weeks. And finally, the folding Xtracycle SnapDeck seats are finished!

Again, all I wanted was some support via a backrest for my kids and something that would fold flat when not in use. Here's what I came up with...

When they're unfolded or "up," they depend on the straps' tension to keep them upright. You can adjust the straps at the buckle to offer more reclining angle if the kids choose to chillax a bit. I wanted something like this that would offer different support for different sized kids. It's also the same mechanism that holds the backrests down when it's time to haul some cargo.

Just drop the seats and pull the straps tight. You virtually have a regular SnapDeck for all intents and purposes. You could toss on some cargo or another adult passenger without having the clutter of bulky kid seats. I really like the final product. I made the straps with buckles to facilitate another option for strapping down cargo if I wanted to. Now that it's there, I'm not sure it's really necessary. But it certainly won't hurt anything.

If I changed anything I think it would be the thickness of the wood. One inch thickness is overkill. It doesn't make a difference in functionality. But I do have an unfounded desire for this kids' seat to look exactly like an original SnapDeck when folded down. Using half inch board would have come a bit closer. Maybe I'll try it on version 2.0.

Now the only thing left is to disassemble, paint or stain, then put it back together. I'm going to take some time to decide on color finish. In the meantime, we'll get some great use out of it. We used it for the last five days and everything has been great. I'm glad I took on the DIY challenge.

Get out there.


  1. Rock on, Derrick! Looking forward to the finished, stained end result. :)

  2. These are awesome. Can you send me more detailed pics, I would love to try to replicate! stein@mac.com

  3. So cool! I wish I had any wood working/building skills at all. I'd totally be into having a setup like that for my xtra!

  4. Beautiful work. Step by step instructions?

  5. Brilliant. I built a wooden seat for my 5 year old but did not think about the folding feature. Love it.

  6. Those are really cool seats. I like the outside-the-box thinking.

    One comment: I think the buckles could be a problem. I really love all the neat seat designs, but in the end we decided our kids (granted, the youngest was four when he started) could just hold on. Mostly I'm really concerned about adding a catastrophic failure point to the system.

    In this case I could see failure occurring from:

    - continued loading and unloading until one of the male legs snapped.

    - Or because bored little fingers were playing with the buckles and happened to give them a tiny push or squeeze at the wrong time (say, during the unweighting at the top of a bump), causing release occur following the compression of landing on the down side of a bump).

    Without actually seeing the seats in person, it looks like both of these failures could result in a child, not used to holding on, to be spilled backwards.

    At the very least I'd use the metal Ancra cam buckles and knot the strap over the buckle as another layer of safety.

    Again, sorry to be a downer on such a cool project. I worked for a long time processing QA returned/defective items for a large outdoor retailer and saw many failures of things you think wouldn't fail.

    So felt like I had to mention it, one Xtracycle owner/Dad to another.

    Keep riding!

  7. Thanks everyone, for the kind words! I'll work on a step by step feature of how they work and how they were made. I'll try to get that up in the next few days.

    @Tim - Thanks for the advice. As of now, I don't think I'll need to make any major changes but I really do appreciate the observations. More than anything (and I mentioned this in the post) the buckles just don't really serve much purpose. I think a more heavy duty adjustable strap would accomplish the same thing without possibility of failure.

    @jjfantastic - No woodworking skills needed! I seriously had to borrow all the tools needed. My manliest tool at home is a pair of toenail clippers. It's not much more than tracing two snapdecks, cutting one apart and hinging it together. I'll try to post something to explain it all soon.

  8. Cool Derrick. Glad you didn't take it the wrong way. I'm looking forward to see some action shots of the seats in use!