To avid bikers, a bike trailer may seem a bit, well… goofy. They look bulky and inconvenient: two adjectives you never want to bring with you on a bike trip. However, it’s all about what type of model of bike trailer you get because the truth is, these seemingly clunky pieces of metal can actually be super helpful in many different situations.
First thing’s first, you just need to figure out what type of situation you’re in. Bike trailers are meant to transport items, people or pets from point A to point B. These wheelie cases attach easily to your back bike wheel, allowing you to pull it wherever you choose to go.
Recently, however, there have been a few brands who have introduced new features that allow you to get more use out of your trailer and see it as more of a multi-purpose buddy.
In this article, we’ll look at the best bike trailer for all you bike fanatics, along with a guide on how to choose the best model for you and your lifestyle.
Table of Contents
- How We Choose Our Ratings
- Top 5 Bike Trailers: The List
- Types of Trailers: Buyer’s Guide
- What We Think: Final Thoughts
How We Choose Our Ratings
We understand how important it is to spend money on quality products. We’re shoppers too, which means we actually get it. You want to know that the product you’re buying will live up to its promises, which is why we take a lot into consideration when rating our products.
We consider materials used, customer reviews, brand, and features when rating products so that you’re happy with every purchase you make.
Image CCO via Flickr
Top 5 Bike Trailers: The List
Now that you have an idea of what type of trailer you need, it’s time to get stuck into our best-of list. While there are some multi-functional trailers on this list, a lot of them are for children and that’s the most popular form of a trailer (and the types that require serious quality).
We also included a couple of trailer bikes, in case your child is at the “big kid” stage. However, whether you’re looking for a children’s or a gear trailer, most of these choices can be quite versatile.
1. Pacific Cycle InStep Bicycle Trailer
This is an entry-level trailer model with practical qualities: an installed weather shield and bug screen along with a seatbelt for your little tyke. These features ensure your child is protected and safe at all times, rain or shine.
The wheels on the Pacific Cycle InStep Bike Trailer are decently sized which helps you ride safely and confidently even though rough roads with rocks and twigs. It’s also possible to attach this trailer to your bicycle by using a compatible hitch.
Storing this trailer is also super simple. The entire trailer can be disassembled and packet pretty much anywhere which eliminates the junk pile up.
Gear and Children’s trailer
2. WeeRide Co-Pilot
Looking to teach your kid how to ride a bike? The WeeRide Co-Pilot is a great way to help boost their confidence and coordination. Made from stainless steel, it looks like half of a regular bicycle.
With this bike trailer, your child can practice moving the handlebars, pedaling, and improving their balance while under careful supervision. It also comes with a red flag for better visibility and a splash guard for mud protection. The only thing this trailer is missing is a safety belt on the seat. While some people may not need this extra bit of safety, a lot of parents appreciate the peace of mind.
It’s sturdy and it packs and stores smoothly. However, it doesn’t disassemble as easily as other models. That being said, it’s fairly thin so you can store it while fully assembled, wherever.
Children and cargo trailer
$219 – 300
3. Burley D’Lite
This is a huge hit with a lot of bike enthusiasts and parents. It’s incredibly versatile as it comes with different parts to transform it into a multi-use trailer. On top of being a children’s trailer, it can be transformed into a multi-sport trailer and a stroller as well.
The seats are easily foldable so that you can tow whatever you need, whenever. The interior of the trailer is roomy, offering more space for kids. While this is a winning trailer, there are a few areas of improvement as well. It can be difficult switching back and forth between sports. However, since you won’t be doing this throughout the day, you shouldn’t have to worry about it much.
This trailer also comes with a vinyl window and mesh screen that helps protect your children from the weather. That being said, the trailer isn’t completely weatherproof. The fabric surrounding the window tends to become saturated and may let a bit of water in if submerged in the rain for a long period of time.
While it does lack in the weatherproofing category, it’s still extremely versatile and made with quality: a trailer you’ll love for years, through whatever new hobby you take on.
Cargo and children trailer
4. The Thule Chariot Cross 2
This trailer is a customer favorite. While it’s not as versatile as Burley D’Lite, it’s still used easily as a multisport or purposed trailer. For parents who are determined to keep up with their outdoor activities, this trailer is perfect.
It offers features that keep both passenger and parent in mind: large wheels, adjustable suspension, and padded seats to keep children cozy on longer rides, no matter what terrain you come across.
What we love about his Cross 2 is how watertight the rain shield is. With its large sunshade and mesh screen, your little guy or gal is completely protected from the elements. The seat is also reclinable in case your tyke falls asleep and all the functions can be easily adjusted without hassle. While we love most functions of the Cross 2, there’s some minor feedback that comes from customers.
The cargo area is a different space which folds down behind the seats and therefore is a lot smaller compared to other trailers. When it comes to quality, Cross 2 has it nailed down. However, it does come with a price.
This is the most expensive trailer on this list, which is why it’s recommended for individuals who are serious about their outdoor activity routine. Once you do make the leap, you won’t regret it. It’ll last for years and comes with everything you need to thrive as a farming parent!
Cargo and children trailer
5. Thule Chariot Lite
Looking for a trailer with the Thule name and reputation, but not into spending nearly $1,000?
The Thule Chariot Lite may be what you’re after. This trailer is able to transform from a bike trailer to a stroller to a ski sled to a jogger. It has great ventilation for your little tyke while also offering serious waterproof and weatherproof abilities. It’s easy to attach to your bike and fold up for transporting or storing and a lot easier to pull than other heavier trailers. It’s easy to use, durable and will last for years.
While there’s a suspension system, it’s unfortunately not adjustable and offers minimal padding on the seats which will be less comfortable for kids on long rides. However, you can always buy some toddler seat padding if you plan on heading out for big trips. As for storage, there’s only a mesh pocket found behind the seats which may only squish in some jackets and bags.
While it’s slightly less expensive than the Cross 2, it lacks many features that make the Cross 2 an awesome trailer.
Types of Trailers: Buyer’s Guide
The best way to figure out what type of trailer meets your lifestyle needs is by looking at the different types of trailers and their functions. While we can’t necessarily say there’s a cool looking trailer, they are all definitely handy. If you’re a parent, you probably know all about the functional vs. fashionable thing.
Functional wins. Every time. However, what you can do with these trailers is pretty awesome. Let’s check out their types and uses.
Image CCO via Flickr
Single-wheel Cargo Trailers
These trailers create less of a drag on the road, compared to their two-wheeled cousin. This means they’re easier to tow around.
When working with technical terrains such as single tracks, the single-wheel bike trailer is a lot easier to turn and will work better on a narrow track.
Two-wheel Cargo Trailer
These two-wheeled bike buggies are a lot easier to keep upright when they’re both attached and unattached to your bike. This makes storing, loading and unloading a whole lot easier and you won’t need to worry about packing a perfectly balanced trailer, either. That’s why all children bike trailers are two-wheeled.
Cargo Trailer Accessories
There are loads of different compatible assortment bags to keep your gear organized, dry and clean. By adding some accessories to your trailer, you’ll be able to accomplish more, with greater efficiency.
Here are some accessories:
Hitch arm/mount: Some gear trailers come with attachment systems that are able to be swapped. This makes them compatible with various rear axles, brake systems, and wheel sizes. Spare mounts/skewers: An extra skewer or mount allows you to change a single trailer between different bikes.
Bike Trailers for Pets
This type of trailer is usually larger and fully enclosed that comes without seats. They can also be used for towing gear. However, it can’t be used the other way around. Typically, gear trailers aren’t suitable for pets. This is because some trailers suited for gear towing have soft bottoms that don’t provide secure footing and some also have walls that aren’t enclosed which can be dangerous when riding with pets on streets.
Bike Trailers for Kids
You’ll find two separate types of trailers for kids: trailer bikes and enclosed child trailers. With the average enclosed trailer, the kid rides and doesn’t use any pedals. They’re pretty much like an enclosed royal carrying chair for your little prince or princess.
However, once they’re old enough to be taught they’re not going to be treated like royalty anymore, you can get them a trailer bike which allows your child to pedal along. Both trailers can attach at the back of your bike.
You should make sure your child wears a helmet at all times when they’re riding any type of trailer. This will protect your kid while also helping them develop safe habits.
What We Think: Final Thoughts
Trailers can be super convenient… except when they’re not. The reason why parents and outdoor, on-the-go enthusiasts purchase trailers in the first place is so they can get stuff done while getting a good dose of exercise and outdoor activity in as well.
You’ll want to choose a trailer that reflects this lifestyle. That’s easy to attach, keeps your children safe and happy and can accommodate whatever other cargo you may need to slay the day.
As long as you have a bit of cash to spend, you’ll be able to find a trailer that accomplishes all of these requests (without looking too dorky, too).
Last update on 2021-04-11 at 03:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API