Urban Arrow Family vs. Riese and Müller Packster 70

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We’ve had numerous conversations with friends and neighbors about the Urban Arrow Family versus the Riese and Müller Packster 70 the key differences, and which one we’d recommend between the two, so we figured it was time to write a post about it!

If you’re looking for an e-bike to commute with your kids and you’ve narrowed it down to the “bakfiets” cargo style, and specifically the Urban Arrow Family or the Riese and Müller Packster 70, this is the post for you. No matter which one you go with, both of these bikes are a genuine car replacement.

Our bottom line: they’re both great bikes and you really can’t go wrong with either. If we had to pick just one, we recommend the Urban Arrow Family because it comes with most of the same key components and benefits of the Riese and Müller Packster 70 but it’s about $2,200 less expensive. The only place that the Urban Arrow Family falls short is that it’s lacking suspension.

See our comparison below for the details.

Comparing the Urban Arrow Family e-bike on the left and the Riese and Müller Packster 70 e-bike on the right
The Urban Arrow Family (left) and the Riese and Müller Packster 70 (right)


The Urban Arrow is the winner in this category, with a base price of $6,999 (and +$400 for a rain cover), versus the Riese and Müller, which costs $9,279 (and +$324 for a rain cover). We’ve heard many people say something along the lines of, “if you can afford the Riese and Müller, buy it because it’s the ‘nicer’ bike.” However, we disagree. When you really break down the differences between the two bikes, they’re pretty similar, except the Urban Arrow is about $2,200 less expensive. On balance, we think it’s a much better bang for your buck.

Battery Range

While Riese and Müller does not publish the average battery range on its website, it comes equipped with a dual battery, so likely has a very strong range. The Urban Arrow has an average range of 30 miles, which is sufficient for most commutes. Riese and Müller has an edge in this category due to their dual battery, but if your commute is less 20 miles or less a dual battery isn’t necessary.

Quality of Bike Parts

They both have good quality components. Both have the Bosch Cargo Line motor with a belt drive instead of a traditional chain for smooth and silent pedaling. Belt drives typically require less maintenance. The Riese and Müller has slightly higher quality bike parts overall because it’s the Mercedes Benz of cargo e-bikes. While the Urban Arrow’s components are not quite as fancy as the Riese and Müller, there are still many of a very high quality. One issue with the Urban Arrow is that we’ve heard from a number of people that the seat is not super comfortable, luckily that can easily be changed out.


When it comes to suspension, Riese and Müller has the Urban Arrow beat. The Urban Arrow does not offer any suspension. The Packster 70 comes with suspension in two places. One is on the frame of the frame of the e-bike which gives you the pedaler more cushion on any bumps. The second, and in my opinion the more important spot is that Riese and Müller opted for suspension on the front wheel. This provides a lot of dampening of the bumps to passengers in the front box. Something that is top of mind when you have your toddlers riding along with you. I’m surprised that Urban Arrow does not also have the front suspension. The lack of suspension is not a deal breaker for me, but it does mean that when you are out riding the Urban Arrow you’ll need to pay more attention to bumps in the road and try to navigate around them… a bit of a challenge in a cargo e-bike.

Suspension on the frame and front wheel of the Packster 70.

Cargo Bin Size

This is about the same on both bikes. However, the Urban Arrow is slightly longer and narrower. For both bikes, the front cargo box fits two kids, with additional room for a few bags of groceries. You can also add a Thule seat to the back rack to carry a third child. The Riese and Müller has a capacity of 240 liters, and the Urban Arrow has a comparable capacity of 230-260 liters depending on the configuration.

The interior dimensions of the Urban Arrow cargo bin are:

  • Length: 31 inches (note: this measurement does go to the sloped front part of the box, it’s a measurement of the usable length, closer to the floor)
  • Width: 22 inches (note: this was taken across the bench seat, it’s narrower in the front)

The interior dimensions of the Packster 70 cargo bin are:

  • Length: 27 inches
  • Width: 23 inches
Urban Arrow cargo bin (left) is slightly longer and narrower than the Packster 70 (right)

Kid’s Seat in Cargo Box

Riese and Müller offers more options for their cargo box than Urban Arrow. On the Riese and Müller you can choose between the two-seat cargo configuration ($216) or the three-seat configuration ($324) which adds a rear-facing single seat at the front of the cargo box. The third seat can be folded down to create a separate luggage compartment.

The Urban Arrow offers a two-seat cargo configuration (no additional cost) and you can add an additional fold-down bench seat for $249.

Both offer an attachment that allows you to place an infant seat in the front of the cargo bin. Enabling you to carry two kids and an infant. A reminder to check your local laws for the transport of infants on bikes before using.

Both come with padded bench seats and they have more padding than the average cargo e-bike, but the Riese and Müller has thicker padding on the seats and backrest. Also, their seat material is of higher quality than the Urban Arrow’s.

When it comes to the style of child restraints, Riese and Müller has done a better job. They’ve opted for each of the three child seats to have a 5-point harness. Urban Arrow, on the other hand, went with a 3-point harness for the two seats on the primary bench and a lap belt for the optional third seat that can be installed on the front of the cargo bin. This means you’ll want your oldest child on the front bench seat that has the lap belt. We have noticed that with the Urban Arrow our toddler has a lot more wiggle room with the 3-point harness. This isn’t a deal-breaker for us, but something to consider.

Weight Capacity

This is about the same on both bikes. For the Urban Arrow, the max front load capacity of the cargo bin is 125kg, and the maximum total weight (bike + rider + load) permitted is 250kg. This is comparable with the Riese and Müller, which has a total weigh maximum of 200kg.

Rain Cover

This is the same on both bikes. The Urban Arrow’s setup will cost an additional $400, versus Riese and Müller, which costs $324. Both have great rain coverage for the cargo box that covers the entire cargo box (versus some of the bench-style family e-bikes where the rain cover doesn’t cover legs and feet). They are large enough to provide a fair amount of room for the kids inside. One concern we have about the Riese and Müller cover is that it’s designed for all year round. Meaning it can also double as a sun shade. Being from the Pacific Northwest we don’t like rain accessories that are also meant to be used for summer sun. This usually means it does neither thing well. That being said, it seems like the Riese and Müller cover is more suited for rain protection than sun protection, so for the “rain cover” category these two bikes are comparable. See below for the “sun shade” comparisons.

The Urban Arrow Family rain cover (left, $400) and the Riese and Müller Packster 70 year-round cover (right, $324)

Sun Shade

Urban Arrow offers a sun shade ($400) that has a built-in SPF-50 UV-protective layer and lots of vents to ensure airflow to the kids. Riese and Müller doesn’t offer a sun specific cover, they only have their “Child cover” ($324) which is supposed to work well for both sun or rainy weather. Our impression is that this means it does neither sun nor rain well. It does not appear to provide adequate shade on sunny days and has lot of see through plastic panels which are obviously good on a rainy day, but not helpful on a scorching summer day.

The Urban Arrow Family sun shade (left, $400) and the Riese and Müller Packster 70 year-round cover (right, $324)


The Riese and Müller has a slight edge here. Despite it’s big size, it has generally smooth handling (which you would expect with that price tag!). Since it’s so big, it can feel a bit awkward at times, but it’s something you get used to and it pedals very smoothly.

The Urban Arrow also handles well generally, though some people report having trouble on tight turns and speed wobbles at higher speeds. It’s believed this is due to how the steering column connects to the front fork. Urban Arrow uses a rigid “linkage rod,” which works great for the most part. However people have noticed that the rod sometimes flexes on turns causing unexpected movements to the front wheel when the rod unloads that flex and pushes back to its preferred position. Riders need to adjust for these wheel wobbles and it takes a bit of practice.

Other Considerations

Finally, for the Riese and Müller, one thing to think about is simply due to the price tag, if you buy this bike you’ll probably feel the need to lock it up wherever you go. At our daycare, this is the only e-bike you actually see locked up outside for pickup area when the parent is running inside to kid their kiddo. All the other bikes are just parked in front.

Comparison Table of Bike Details

Urban Arrow FamilyRiese and Müller Packster 70
Base Price$6,999$9,279
Accessories PriceTwo-Kids Bench Seat: included
Rain Cover: $400
Sun Shade: $400
Rear Rack: $135
Two-Kids Bench Seat: $216
Rain Cover: $324
Sun Shade: n/a
Rear Rack: included
Battery RangeSingle battery
Published average range is 30 miles
Dual battery
No average range published
Drivetrain SystemMid-drive Bosch Cargo Line motor with belt driveMid-drive Bosch Cargo Line motor with belt drive
Cargo Bin Size230 to 260 liters240 liters
Weight110 pounds91 pounds
Overall Length107.8 inches98.0 inches
Wheelbase77.5 inches73.6 inches
Weight CapacityMax total weight (bike + rider + load): 550 pounds
Max front load capacity of cargo bin: 275 pounds
Max total weight: 440 pounds
Max front load capacity of cargo bin: TBD

Also, be sure to read our recommendations for the best family e-bikes for your commute with kids.