Now that thousands of people are stuck at home thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, families are looking for different ways to spend some time outside with their kids; bike trailers are a great way to do this.
Bike trailers come in many shapes and sizes. There are dozens on the market designed for different purposes. Today we will be looking at trailers for kids, dogs, or cargo purposes.
When you are looking for the best bike trailer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The trailer should have solid wheels to withstand different terrain, have covers to protect the passengers from harsh weather, and provide comfortable seating for long rides.
With all of the options out there, it can be difficult to narrow down the best product. Fortunately, this guide will list five of the best bike trailers on the market.
We will cover the featured specs, benefits, downsides, and more. You will know everything you need to know about each product so you can make an informed decision. Let’s get started.
Best Bike Trailer – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: Burley Bee Kid Bike-Only Trailer
- Weight: 21.8 Pounds
- Size: 32.25 x 26 x 36
- Tire Size: 20-inch standard wheel
This is the best bike trailer for kids and is very well rated. It is lightweight and comfortable but does not sacrifice safety.
Some reviewers even mentioned that it is so lightweight that they didn’t feel like they were towing anything.
This trailer can seat two small children and has tinted windows to block the sun.
The product comes with a hitch, tow arm, and safety flags; whenever you want to go out, you will have everything you need.
With its full internal aluminum roll cage, your child will be safe if an accident happens.
The trailer also has wheel guards to prevent any large obstacles from damaging the wheels.
Not only will your child be safe, but they will be comfortable in the hammock-style seat. The seat has passive suspension as well.
Another benefit of this bike trailer is that it has a 600D polyester cover that is water-resistant. This material is very strong and will not rip easily.
One of the main drawbacks of this trailer is that the seats are not super comfortable.
They are a bit hard, so you may have to buy a supplementary seat cushion.
The reason why this trailer is the best kids bike trailer is that it is effortless to assemble. Furthermore, the entire trailer can fold flat, making it great for travel.
The top of the trailer has reflective piping, and the wheels have reflectors; this will allow other bikers or vehicles to spot the trailer easily.
One of the best features of this trailer is that it comes with lots of cargo space on the back of the trailer.
You will be able to fit everything you need in the compartment for a long bike ride.
If you are looking for a sturdy, well-made bike trailer that is lightweight, this will be one of the best options out there.
This is also one of the safest trailers on the market since it has an aluminum alloy frame.
Runner Up: Burley Encore 2 Seat Kids Bike Trailer
- Weight: 24.7 pounds
- Size: 33 x 31 x 37 inches
- Tire Size: 20-inch standard wheel
This product is one of the best bike trailers on the market. It is a trailer and a stroller combined, so you will get multiple uses out of one product.
The trailer comes with a 1-wheel stroller kit that allows you to convert the trailer into a functional stroller quickly.
Your kids will be very comfortable in this stroller since the suspension seats will minimize any bumps you run over along the way.
Another feature that makes this trailer easy to maneuver is the push-button wheels. You will be able to remove the wheels in under a minute for easy storage.
On top of the trailer is a sunshade that will protect your kids or dog from UV rays. The cover is also water-resistant and will perform well in wet environments.
The Burley Encore is the best bike cargo trailer since you can remove the seats and use the entire space for storage.
There is also a hub-engaged parking brake that will keep the stroller secure while loading cargo or passengers.
One of the only drawbacks of this trailer stroller is that it is a bit wide when you convert it into a stroller.
Since the product is compatible with long bike trips, it may be bulkier than you would want for a simple stroller.
The Burley Encore X comes with thick seat pads that will make the ride even more comfortable.
This trailer is also compatible as a jogging and skiing stroller with a burley conversion kit.
If you live in a hot climate, the trailer also has rear window ventilation that will help keep your child cool during the ride, making it the best bike trailer for toddlers.
Finally, the front wheel pivots 360 degrees, making for easy maneuvering.
If you are looking for a stroller compatible with a number of different activities like jogging, biking, and skiing, this will be the best bike trailer to buy.
With its full roll cage and comfy cushion pads, you will get high-quality comfort and safety for your child.
Alternative: Schwinn Echo Child Bike Trailer
- Weight: 25 pounds
- Size: 51.8” x 32.5” x 31.9”
- Tire Size: 20-inch standard wheel
This bike trailer has a 5-point rider harness that will keep your kids safe and secure.
The large windows will allow passengers to see clearly outside, while the bug screen will keep annoying critters out of the trailer.
With a maximum of 80 lbs, this trailer will fit two children comfortably. There is also a small storage space that will carry all of the essentials for a bike ride.
The Schwinn Echo is the best bike child trailer with its collapsible frame and removable wheels. You can easily fit this product in your car or closet.
Furthermore, the trailer has a weather shield that will keep the passengers dry and warm.
Another great feature of this trailer is that it will not flip if your bike falls over. That way, no matter what happens to your bike, your passengers will stay safe.
One downside of this product is that it has a very strong plastic smell when you first open the box.
If you go with this option, just make sure to air out the trailer before using it.
The trailer comes with a universal coupler that will attach to most bikes. You won’t have to worry about buying any extra parts.
The seat material is also very easy to wipe. If you want to take your dog on a trip, it won’t be difficult to clean up after.
If you want the best baby bike trailer, this will be one of the best options. The trailer requires minimal assembly and can be up and running in under five minutes.
The seats are very comfortable, and the safety flag will ensure a safe and fun ride.
Alternative: Thule Chariot Cross Trailer
- Weight: 30.4 pounds
- Size: 114.5” x 94” x 65”
- Tire size: 20-inch standard wheel
The Thule Chariot Cross Multisport is an all-in-one trailer and can convert to a bike trailer, jogger, stroller, or ski trailer.
Since it can fold flat, you will be able to take the stroller anywhere, making it the best child bike trailer.
This stroller fits one child up to 75 lbs. The seat comes with a five-point safety harness, so you won’t have to worry about your passenger moving around a lot, even on a bumpy road.
Another benefit of this stroller is that it has removable padded seats. Perhaps your child makes a mess with their snack; you can simply take the seat out and throw it in the wash.
This feature makes it the best bike trailer for infants.
You will also be able to adjust the recline on the seat with one hand. If your passenger wants a nap, you can move the seat’s position quickly.
This stroller is also great for summer. It has adjustable ventilation vents; this way, you can easily control climate and airflow. On the back of the trailer, there is also a safety light.
If you want to go on a long bike ride with this trailer, it won’t be a problem. There is an extra-large cargo bin attached to the back that will fit everything you need and more.
You can also remove the cargo bin if you want to go jogging.
One of the biggest disadvantages of this trailer is that the jogging and ski kits are sold separately.
These conversion tools do not come with the kit; you will need to pay extra on top of the base price, which is rather high.
Furthermore, the stroller only fits one child. You won’t be able to fit two passengers.
The last thing to mention about this product is that the wheels are plastic, which may be an issue for more extreme terrains.
The best bike trailer for baby, the Thule Chariot has adjustable handlebars to suit any sort of activity and height.
The wheels also have a leaf spring suspension system that will decrease the impact of harsh bumps.
The Thule Chariot Cross is the best bike trailer for one passenger. While this is the most expensive on the list, it will last a long time since the materials are durable and high-quality.
This product will be a good fit for active families.
Alternative: Instep Quick Double Tow Bike Trailer
- Weight: 31 pounds
- Size: 34” x 8” x 28.7”
- Tire Size: 16-inch pneumatic tires
The Instep Quick-N-EZ trailer can perform both as a trailer and stroller. This product comes with a universal coupler that will fit most bikes, so you won’t need to purchase any additional equipment.
With 16-inch pneumatic tires and molded rims, your passenger will have a safe ride without feeling any major bumps.
The seat also comes with a five-point harness to ensure stability during the ride.
Another feature that makes this trailer the best bike trailer stroller is the 2-in-1 canopy. It has a bug screen and a weather shield that will keep your passengers comfortable and dry.
Furthermore, the rear vent window will increase air circulation.
This Instep trailer has two seats and can carry up to 80 pounds in weight (two 40-pound children).
You will also be able to go on long hikes or rides with this stroller trailer. There is storage space on the sides and behind the seats to store up to 12 pounds of extra cargo.
Something to keep in mind about this product is that the wheels are smaller than many other trailers on the market.
They are also plastic. If you are planning to ride on some intense terrain, this may not be a good choice.
If you are biking in a more populated area, this will be the best baby bike trailer. The stroller comes with a safety flag that you can use.
This trailer also has quick-release wheels and a folding frame. You can easily fit it in the car for a trip or store it in your closet, so it’s out of the way.
If you are looking for a more affordable option that is still safe, this will be the best bike trailer. With the mesh windows and sturdy frame, your passenger will stay safe and comfortable throughout the journey.
The size is also ideal for your furry friends; it will be the best dog bike trailer if that is what you are looking for.
Bike Trailer FAQ
Are Bike Trailers Safer Than Bike Seats?
There are a few reasons why bike trailers are safer than bike seats.
First of all, bike trailers are lower to the ground than bike seats. If an accident happens, your child could fall over three feet while sitting in a bike seat.
However, the best kid bike trailers will have sturdy frames that will prevent your child from falling out. Hence, they will be much less likely to experience an injury from falling.
Even if they do fall, it will not be a great enough height to inflict serious injury.
Second of all, your bike will be harder to maneuver with a baby on board in a seat. The seat will introduce added weight and be a physical obstacle you will have to work with when getting on the bike.
Depending on how experienced a bicycler you are, it may be hard to ride with the added weight at first. The seat could throw off your balance and potentially lead to a bad fall.
Overall, bike trailers have more safety features than bike seats do. Trailers will normally have a sturdy frame and a mesh covering to keep the child safe if it rolls.
Furthermore, most manufacturers design the trailer not to tip even if the bike falls.
Even so, bike trailers do have some safety hazards to keep in mind.
Since bike trailers are often much lower than bikes, they can be harder to see by motorists on the road. The trailers may also become snagged on branches or rocks.
Lastly, there is a chance of the trailer flipping if the bike turns abruptly.
Can a Car Seat Go in a Bike Trailer?
This topic has started a bit of controversy within the biking community. However, hundreds of parents have put a lot of thought and time into the question.
A car seat can go in a bike trailer, but there is a certain way to do it to keep your baby safe.
The main thing to avoid is simply placing the car seat in the trailer. You need to make sure you fasten the car seat as securely as possible.
You can use bungee cords or straps to do this. When installing the seat, ensure that the straps are tight.
When riding with the car seat, try to stay under ten mph. Staying under this speed will give you more control of the trailer.
The bike seat will add a bit of weight, so it may be more difficult to brake or turn. Staying at slow speeds will prevent accidents.
One last thing to note about using a car seat in a bike trailer is that you will have to invest in a wider trailer than you normally would.
Car seats are quite bulky; the seat might not fit in a smaller trailer.
What Age Are Bike Trailers Suitable For?
While the answer to this question may vary depending on the parent, company, or even region you are in, there is a general consensus about the age that bike trailers are suitable for.
The short answer is that bike trailers are suitable for children aged 1-6.
There is basically one factor that determines whether it is safe for your child to ride in a bike trailer: whether they can support their head on their own or not.
Generally speaking, children 12 months and up can hold their head up (however, it may be 18 months for some children).
If you are putting a child between 12-18 months old in a bike trailer, it is best to check with your GD before you do so. They will tell you whether it is safe or not to take your baby out.
Many doctors also recommend never taking a baby biking that is under 12 months old. This could lead to long-term health effects.
If you want a general rule of thumb, many bike trailer manufacturers (and the American Association of Pediatrics) recommend that children only ages 1-6 ride in trailers.
When the child grows to be over 40 pounds, then some bike trailers might not be suitable.
You can also gauge it by looking at if your child can wear a helmet. If their neck muscles are strong enough to wear a helmet, they will be fine in a bike trailer.
Regardless of the consensus, each country will have different laws regarding the age you can transport your children on a bike. Make sure to know the laws before you go for a ride.
Do Babies Need Bike Helmets?
All babies that ride in bike trailers need to wear helmets – assuming that you are only taking children over 12 months old out.
When it comes to helmets, it is dangerous to put a helmet on an infant younger than 12 months. This age will vary depending on the child.
If your child cannot support their head unaided for over two minutes, you should not put a helmet on them. They will not be able to support the weight of the helmet.
It is actually extremely difficult to find helmets for children aged 6-14 months for this reason.
If your child cannot wear a helmet, you should not take them out in a bike trailer. However, if they are over 12 months and can support their head, they need to wear a helmet.
We hope that this guide has helped you choose a suitable bike trailer for you and your child’s needs.
We considered a few factors such as wheel size, safety, comfort, weight, and overall compatibility while ranking the trailers.
The overall winner on our list is the Burley Bee 1 and 2 Seat Lightweight Trailer. This product will suit just about anyone looking for a high-quality bike trailer.
We recommend the Burley Encore X or the Thule Chariot Cross Multisport for those families that are more sports orientated.
The Instep Quick-N-EZ and the Schwinn Echo trailers will be suitable for those who want a basic, one-size-fits-all bike trailer for kids.
Before you go out, make sure to check the laws in your region regarding rules about age and helmets. In general, bike trailers are suitable for kids 1-6 years old.
Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Matthew Carpenter