Buy Bicycle Trailer
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As with all things, you really get what you pay for with bike trailers. High-end and mid-range trailers have the most comfort features (like suspension or reclining seats) and also have the ability to convert to strollers, joggers, and ski strollers. Basic and budget trailers have fewer comfort features and usually are not compatible with jogger, stroller, and ski conversion kits.
For casual biking families who just want a solid, well-performing bicycle trailer that pulls effortlessly, entry-level trailers offer you the most bang-for-your-buck. Reasonably priced so that you only have to pay for what you need, these trailers will help your dollars (as well as your rides) go far.
The best trailer you can buy for under $150, the Allen Sports T2 pulls much smoother and quieter than other budget-brands. Its harness and padded seat are also significantly more comfortable and higher quality than trailers by InStep, Schwinn, and Retrospec.
As roomy and spacious as a more expensive trailer, the Allen Sports S2 trailer provides plenty of headroom and a thickly-padded hammock seat for a comfortable ride. In addition to pulling smooth and steady, the S2 bike cart for kids features an easy-to-use 5-point harness system that is much higher-quality than those found in Schwinn bike trailers and other budget bike carts for kids.
For those looking to spend under $200 on a bike trailer for kids, in a head-to-head comparison with Schwinn and InStep trailers, we found that Allen Sports trailers pull smoother, are easier to load and unload kids, have higher-quality harness systems, and extended helmet pockets for better comfort for young and older kids.
Sleek, modern, and surprisingly nimble, the Hamax Outback is the cool and edgy SUV of trailers. With the most interior headroom of the bunch as well as adjustable suspension, extra thick tires for additional cushioning, super-plush interior, and supportive seats, this bike carriage offers an exceptionally comfortable ride for its passengers.
Visual learner Check out of Kids Bike Trailer Buying Guide video below to see side by side comparisons of all the different features found on kids bike trailers, including wheel size, stroller conversions, and seat type.
The best bike trailer for you is the one that you will get the most use out of! Trailers that include or have optional upgrades for strolling and jogging are perfect for active families who want to use their trailers for multiple activities. Other families prefer to have dedicated bike trailers and a separate stroller or jogger.
Trailers range from under $100 to over $1,000, and in most cases, the quality and performance of a trailer are reflected in its price. Higher-end trailers provide the most features and offer a smoother ride for parent and child, but can be heavy on the pocketbook.
Lower-end trailers are sufficient for many families riding on paved surfaces but lack many safety and comfort features offered by mid-range and higher-end trailers. Top quality brands include Thule Chariot and Burley, while Hamax, Qeridoo, and Wike also have great options.
The best trailers are easier and smoother to pull, offer more comfort features for the kids, more upgrades like hand brakes and drink consoles, and can convert to a stroller or jogger. Like the features on a car, only the top-of-the-line bike trailers offer the top-of-the-line features.
You cannot safely pull a baby in a bike trailer until they are 1 year old. However, if you are using your trailer as a stroller and you have a young infant, you can stroll with your baby as young as 6 weeks old.
Double bike trailers are best for growing families, or families who want the flexibility of bringing along a friend or storing things along for the ride. Keep in mind that most double trailers do NOT have a center buckle, so a single rider in a double trailer must sit on the right side. This actually gives the rider less room because they are sitting very close the side of the trailer. Single trailers offer one passenger more room on either side.
Bench Seats: Found on high-end trailers, the seat is a padded bench that prevents sagging. These supportive seats are more comfortable overall and also provide more leg room for riders. They make it much easier to load and unload kids, because the bench is supporting their weight away from the buckle.
Trailers can be so much more than just a simple bike cart for kids. Outside of biking, strolling is a hugely popular activity. The type of stroller available on bike strollers varies widely. If you plan to use your trailer as a stroller, be sure to purchase a trailer that converts to the type of stroller you want.
A small, plastic swivel wheel is attached to the end of the trailer arm. It flips up and out of the way when in bike trailer use and flips down for use as a stroller. When in use as a stroller, the trailer arm sticks out about 1.5 feet past the cab of the trailer and is therefore not ideal for crowded areas. Examples include the InStep Sierra Double and the Burley Honey Bee.
The quality of this set-up is very basic on cheaper trailers like InStep or Schwinn, but functions very smoothly on higher-end trailers. This style of wheel comes standard on all Burley trailers that convert to strollers.
Very similar to the tow arm swivel stroller, but is connected to the body of the trailer rather than the trailer arm. Pushes smooth and easy, but is not as maneuverable as four wheels when on uneven surfaces. Our top choice in this category is easily the exceptional Qeridoo Kidgoo or Sportrex.
This is the most functional and easy-to-use stroller type. Two small, plastic wheels attach underneath the front of the trailer body. Since the wheels are tucked in, it makes for easy steering and maneuverability. Thule Chariot bike trailer models come standard as a four-wheeled stroller, and Burley multi-sport trailers offer it as an upgrade.
To turn a jogging trailer, you must push down on the back wheels and pivot the trailer while the front jogging wheel is in the air. All multi-sport trailers come with or have the option to purchase a jogging wheel. Examples include the Thule Chariot Cross, and the Burley Encore X.
All trailers that are sold with an option for a stroller are required to include a brake. The types of brakes range from a simple strap around a tire to a hand brake on the handlebars. While brakes are of minimal concern when used as a trailer, as a stroller or jogger, a well-designed parking or hand-brake can make a world of difference.
Similar to typical stroller brakes, foot brakes on bike trailer strollers are engaged with the foot and lock the rear tires. They do not slow the trailer down like handbrakes. Foot brakes can be found on trailers of all price ranges and vary from pushing down with your foot, to sliding it across the base of the trailer with your foot.
Designed to slow a trailer versus completely stop it, hand brakes can be life-savers for joggers and parents navigating hills in stroller mode. The most universal hand brake is available as an upgrade on the Thule Chariot Lite and Cross models and can be used in stroller or jogging modes. The Hamax Outback jogging upgrade is the only jogging kit to come with a hand brake, but activates the front jogging wheel and cannot be used in stroller mode.
An adjustable stroller handlebar greatly improves the usability of a trailer in stroller or jogger mode. Most trailers come with at least two heights, achieved by flipping the handlebar and reattaching it to the trailer.
For example, our Thule Cross Single requires us to fold down the back seat of our Honda Pilot to fit it in the car. As a result, we lose the ability to transport two whole people when we want to bring our trailer along on family bike rides.
But first, you have to find a good trailer. Unfortunately, there are a TON of bicycle trailers on the market and it can be confusing what to look for. Do you need a double trailer or a single trailer Suspension or no Should a trailer have metal wheels or plastic ones
The disadvantages of a double trailer compared to a single trailer is that it is harder to maneuver through tight spaces and it is heavier than a single. For this reason, I always recommend parents of only children to stick with a single trailer. Still, if you need to carry multiple kids, it is a no-brainer to immediately look for a double trailer.
One thing to look at is the weight capacity. Even though a trailer is listed as a double-trailer it may have a maximum weight capacity is that too low for your two children. Lower-end trailers tend to max out at 80 pounds while more expensive trailers usually accommodate up to 100 pounds.
If you have an outdoorsy family that likes to do ALL the activities, then looks for a multipsport trailer. In addition to biking, these higher-end trailers can convert to a stroller, jogging stroller, and ski trailer.
Bicycle trailers cost between $100 to $1,000 which is a pretty big budget range. As with most things in life (unfortunately), the more expensive the trailer the nicer it is going to be and the better the construction is.
Trailers on the lower end are not as comfortable or as durable as more expensive trailers. That said, if you are looking for a way to haul your child on the occasional paved bike path ride, a $100 trailer may be sufficient.
A good rain cover has saved me time and time again. My son has survived some long, cold, snowy bike rides in a trailer with a sleeping bag and the rain cover safely secured. If you plan on riding in inclement weather conditions, take this seriously.
On the other side of the spectrum, sunny rides are much more enjoyable with a shade cover to keep your little ones protected. In hot climates, you want to look for a trailer with plenty of ventilation.
If you are interested in using your trailer to bike with a baby, choose a brand like Burley or Thule that offer inserts for carrying infants. As an alternative, you can buckle a car seat into a trailer as well. 59ce067264