If you’re desperate to keep your busy, curious child safe on outings, you may be considering a child leash — despite all the controversy they seem to conjure.
Our goal is to help you make an informed decision as you consider if using a child leash is right for you. We’ve studied the research and listened to parents, caregivers, and various child experts. We’ll share our findings in this comprehensive guide to help you view the issue from all angles.
We’ve thoroughly compared all the best child leash styles and brands and will offer our reviews of their benefits and drawbacks so you can make the best decision for your situation.
- Supports child’s torso
- Has swivel attachment
- Super affordable
- Fun, bright design options
- Waterproof material
- Cushioned straps
- Super-long cord
- Two-layer Velcro security
- Materials for sensitive skin
- Focuses on mom and child’s comfort
- 360-degree attachment
- Leash extends up to 8.2 feet
- Shock-absorbing tether
- Reflective panels
- Lots of room for storage
- Large capacity
- Fun animal design
- Front and side pockets
- Adorable, friendly design
- Adjustable safety strap
- Harness and backpack combined
- Fun design
- Reliable design
- Long leash allows movement
- Very affordable
- One-year warranty
- Three designs to choose from
- Reflective safety tape
- Childproof locking system
- 360-degrees rotating connections
Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we take pride in providing you with an in-depth analysis and assessment of the top child leashes available on the market. Our hands-on experience, thorough research, and expert evaluation of each product ensure that our findings are trustworthy and reliable. We compare the design, comfort, safety features, and durability of each leash. Our team uses benchmarks and performance criteria, such as leash length, material, and ease of use, to rank and measure the products. Additionally, we consider the different needs and preferences of parents and children to identify key decision-making factors. Our goal is to help you make an informed choice by sharing evidence-based results and reviews that highlight the best child leashes for you and your little ones.
One of the best ways to ensure you use a child leash safely is to find a high-quality product designed especially with children in mind. After all, not all child leashes are created equal. You want to look for quality materials, child-friendly designs, and high ratings from other moms.
We have broken down the different types of child leashes you can choose from and the best products in every category.
Best Child Leash Harnesses of 2024
Child leash harnesses wrap around your child’s body. Most are designed to go around your child’s shoulders and chest for a secure, comfortable hold. Here are our top four picks for the best child leash harnesses.
Mommy’s Helper Kid Keeper Harness
Full Torso Support
Simple is sometimes best. This harness is minimalistic, affordable, and easy to use. It has many features, including adjustable straps and a swivel snap leash attachment. But our favorite feature is the way the harness is designed.
Some child leash harnesses cover and press on the sensitive area of your baby’s stomach.
This harness fully supports your child’s upper torso and stays in the correct position to ensure your little one’s comfort. This makes it a good product for a younger child.
This harness is made of durable nylon with plastic buckles and attachments. The padded shoulder straps are comfortable, and the swivel leash attachment prevents tangling. You can extend the adjustable leash up to 42 inches.
- Supports your child’s torso.
- Leash has swivel attachment.
- Super affordable.
- Pieces are plastic and can snap or break easily.
Ptyuhnn Toddler Harness with Leash
Are you planning a large vacation to a theme park or resort? Or maybe you and your family like to go on adventures together. If so, this child leash harness may be right for you.
It features adjustable shoulder straps, a special wrist attachment for parents, and breathable cushions on the harness and wrist attachments. We like these features because it keeps both you and your child comfortable — no matter how much fun you’re having.
We are especially impressed by the breathable cushions because they wick moisture and reduce friction, allowing you to use the harness for longer periods without worrying about your child’s well-being.
The harness is made of durable canvas and cotton with a plastic buckle. The wearable wrist leash is made of uncuttable wire coated in thick, durable plastic.
The wrist attachment goes around the parent’s wrist and has a swivel connector that turns in every direction so your baby doesn’t get stuck or pulled on. The lining is made of cotton.
- Focuses on parent and child comfort.
- 360-degree attachment prevents falls.
- The leash extends up to 8.2 feet for maximum mobility.
- The front buckle isn’t childproof.
- It takes time to adjust straps correctly.
Angel Wings Harness & Leash
Fun & Simple
Children will love the fun design of this harness, and moms will love its simplicity. The harness goes over your child’s shoulders and around their chest.
It is easier to use a child leash when your little one enjoys what they are wearing. The full back panel of this harness sports a pair of angel wings. You can detach the leash with the special clip if needed.
The harness fastens in the front with an adjustable buckle and strap. If you are looking for a simple child leash that still has a bit of flair, this is a good option.
The Angel Wings Harness & Leash is made of high-quality polyester material and nylon. The back loop and leash clip are both made of metal. The unadjustable leash is 59 inches long.
- Fun design will delight children.
- Reliable design.
- Long leash allows movement.
- The leash isn’t adjustable.
- It lacks padding, meaning it might rub on your child’s skin.
Best Child Leash Backpacks of 2024
Many parents struggle with child leashes because they feel they are tugging their child along like an animal. Child leash backpacks help alleviate that problem. Children strap on a fun backpack that can hold snacks, drinks, or toys and has a leash that clips to the back for parents to hold on to.
Here are some of our favorite child leash backpacks.
Skip Hop Toddler Leash and Harness Backpack
Easy Peasy Cleaning
We love these adorable cartoon backpacks, and we bet your child will too! The miniature size is perfect for toddlers, and there are multiple cartoon animals and creatures to pick from. The detachable leash on the bottom is discreet, making it easy to use only when necessary.
One feature we appreciate is the waterproof material. Water stays out, but so does a host of other things. You can allow your child to explore, knowing it is ok if the juice cup spills, the popsicle drips, or they splash in puddles.
Even though your child may need to be restricted with a leash backpack, helping them find their freedom within those bounds can make the experience so much more pleasant for everyone involved. The fun of this backpack may be a great distraction for a child struggling to understand why they need to wear it in the first place.
Each mini backpack is 3.2 inches by 7.5 inches by 9 inches. The material is neoprene, a type of soft, synthetic rubber fabric.
The number of compartments varies by style. Most have one main compartment inside the backpack with one zippered pocket in front. Plus, all feature cushioning in the back and on the shoulder straps.
The leash, which is 38.5 inches long, attaches to the bottom of the backpack with a metal clasp.
- Fun, bright design options.
- Waterproof material.
- Cushioned straps.
- Varied features by style.
By My Side Safety Harness Backpack
This backpack is small and compact but has a lot of compartments for your child’s toys and snacks. We love this option for moms who are taking their children on longer excursions and need to pack more essentials with them.
Our favorite feature is the shock-absorbing tether cord. If your child should stumble or fall, it absorbs some of the strain and prevents discomfort. This is a good fit for moms with children who do not know when to stop running farther than the leash allows.
Each bag is made of multiple materials, including reflective fabric panels and mesh. The tether attaches to the bottom of the backpack with a swivel clip.
Other features include an adjustable chest clip, a large backpack compartment, a large front mesh pocket, and a mesh side pocket.
- Shock-absorbing tether.
- Reflective panels.
- Lots of room for storage.
- Lack of padding.
- Very small size.
Travel Bug 2-in-1 Animal Harness Backpack
Wearing this backpack is like getting a hug from a cuddly animal. It combines the best features of a harness and a backpack. Two strong front clips allow you to keep the backpack on your active child while retaining the helpful storage features of a bag.
The animal design makes it super friendly for your child. We especially love the cuddly, plush style for children who struggle to wear other types of child leashes. With this backpack, the child leash becomes another friend to keep them safe.
Each furry critter harness is 5.9 inches by 4.5 inches by 12.6 inches and is made of cotton materials. It comes in three different styles — a monkey, a dog, or an elephant. The leash attaches to the bottom of the backpack and is 36 inches long.
- Adorable, friendly design.
- Harness and backpack combined.
- Minimal storage space.
- Hard to adjust the straps.
DB Dinosaur Toddler
Best Budget Pick
This tiny backpack is ideal for a tiny child! As any mom will tell you, everything changes once your baby is mobile. Many backpacks are designed for older toddlers, but this one is great for younger children.
With four colors to choose from, this affordable backpack will be one your child will want to use later on without the leash.
This bag measures 10.24 inches by 7.09 inches by 4.3 inches and is made of cloth fabric.
- Very affordable.
- Center leash clasp.
- Cute design.
- One-year warranty.
- Might be too small for bigger toddlers.
Agsdon Toddler Backpack Leash
Best Backpack for iPads
This dragon backpack is a high-quality and budget-friendly backpack that keeps your kids safe. But it’s also more discreet since it looks less like a leash. If you want something that adds a bit of fun and style to safety, this is the way to go.
Plus, it is the perfect size for an iPad Air. This is an excellent option if your child likes to keep a tablet nearby to combat boredom.
The backpack also has a side pocket perfect for snacks and a water bottle. So whether your child gets bored, hungry, or thirsty — this is a superb choice.
- Large capacity, perfect for iPads.
- Fun designs.
- Front pocket and side pockets for snacks.
- Suitable for kids aged 1 to 3.
- The strap attachment is flimsy and may fall off.
- The leash is short.
Best Wrist Link Straps of 2024
Wrist link straps have come a long way. In the past, attaching a cord between your wrist and your baby’s wrist was dangerous and a big no-no. One wrong pull could topple your baby or dislocate their shoulder.
Plus, the rubbing and chaffing could leave a rash on your child’s wrist.
Luckily, wrist link straps have been updated to suit the needs of modern moms. Here are our top two picks.
Zoowa Anti-Lost Wrist Link
Long and Secure
A secure coil keeps your child close while still fostering their independence. The elastic rope is made of stainless steel wrapped with PU.
The adjustable wrist cuffs feature environmentally friendly materials that won’t irritate the skin. Inside each cuff is a layer of padding for comfort.
We especially appreciate the two layers of Velcro for added security. It is easy for a child to pull at anything placed on their wrist. If you are worried about your child tugging off the wrist cuff, know that these two layers of Velcro make it hard for little hands to manage an escape.
Each wrist strap comes with two wrist cuffs. You can attach the cord to the cuffs with a rotating piece for flexible movement.
- Two straps in each package.
- Two-layer Velcro security.
- Materials for sensitive skin.
- Takes extra time to put on and remove.
Dr. Meter Wrist Link
Great At Night
This wrist link strap with reflective tape aims to keep parents and toddlers safe from motor vehicles and other night hazards.
The coil and wristband both feature reflective tape. If you find yourself traveling consistently with your children when it is dark outside, this wrist link strap may be the most useful.
We like the unique lock system on this strap. The adult wristband contains a key, and once the wrist cuff is on your child, they can’t take it off without unlocking it. This is a great option for parents of special needs children who struggle to keep their wrist cuffs on.
The cord between the two wrist cuffs is made of stainless steel covered in PU plastic and striped with reflective paint. The cord can extend up to 4.92 feet or 8.2 feet, depending on the leash color.
The cuffs are made of breathable mesh and Velcro and move comfortably on the wrist.
- Reflective safety tape.
- Childproof locking system.
- 360-degrees rotating connections.
- Shorter cord length.
- Hard to get on and off.
What Are Child Leashes?
When you think of a leash, you probably think of dog leashes. One end of the leash attaches to your dog’s harness or collar. You hold the other end to make sure your dog does not run away.
Child leashes are not much different. They are designed to comfortably attach to your child as you secure the other end. The goal of child leashes is to keep your child within reach and provide safety.
There are three main types of child leashes:
- Child leash harnesses: This style includes a harness your child wears around their body and a leash that attaches to the harness. The harness maintains your child’s ability to move freely while preventing the leash from becoming tangled.
- Child leash backpacks: This type of leash is attached to a child-sized backpack your toddler can wear. The leash is often removable.
- Wrist link straps: Wrist link straps feature wrist cuffs that wrap around your child’s wrist and your wrist. They are made especially for keeping your child within arm’s reach.
As you continue through this article, we hope to help you figure out which type of child leash is best for your specific circumstances.
Why Are Child Leashes So Controversial?
Child leashes are controversial for several reasons:
- Leashes run the safety risk of causing scrapes and falls when harnessed in and may even be at risk for strangulation.
- Children’s leashes can be seen as a lazy parenting style, preventing children from learning how to listen and obey rules (1).
- Using a child leash may humiliate or embarrass children (2).
Mothers may want to consider these factors when using a child leash, but the decision is ultimately a personal one.
What You Need To Know
Should I Use a Child Leash?
How can you determine if a child leash is right for you and your child to have a safe, enjoyable time outside of the house? Ask yourself these six questions. If you answer yes to one or more of them, a child leash may be right for you.
How To Use Child Leashes Safely
If you decide to use a child leash, do all you can to use it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Doing so will help avoid potential risks and hazards.
We have gathered four safety tips you should consider before strapping your safety leash onto your child:
- Do not fasten the leash too tightly: If the leash is not secured correctly, it can rub uncomfortably on your child’s skin or constrict blood flow if placed too tightly. Talk with your child about how they feel when their leash is attached.
- Do not leave children unattended: Never leave your child unattended when using a leash. This includes attaching your end of the leash to something else and walking away. The leash can easily become a strangulation hazard.
- Teach children how to move with the leash: Toddlers can struggle with staying on balance. One of the most common risks for using a child leash is spills or falls. Work with your child on how to behave and act when they are on the leash to avoid falling. Don’t pull your child. Try to keep the leash slack. It should only be taut if your child bolts or tries to escape.
- Practice using your leash at home: Before using it for the first time during a large outing, make sure you introduce your leash at home. The last thing you want is for you or your child to become stressed if the child leash you have chosen doesn’t work the way you thought it did or your child isn’t able to wear it comfortably.
Child Leashes FAQs
The Bottom Line
After careful review, our top pick for the best child leash is the Mommy’s Helper Kid Keeper. It is easy to use and affordable, and it keeps your child safe and comfortable. It secures your child practically without a lot of extra bells and whistles.
However, each parent should make a personal decision about what works for them and their child. Your needs are different from those of other parents.
You may just need a simple leash for a particularly active day. If you prefer having an option with storage, a backpack may work better.