If you’re looking for a fun way to take your children places or if you’re looking for a way to transport extra cargo while riding your bike, buying a bike trailer is the way to go! Sturdy, safe, and convenient, a bike trailer is a carriage that straps to the back of your bike and transports your child or children in it while you ride your bike. It’s essentially a new-age horse carriage; you’re the horse and your children are the patrons that you’re taking for a spin! If you’re a parent who likes to bike a lot and wants to take your kid or kids along with you, buying a bike trailer is a great idea! Similarly, a bike trailer can also replace a car, especially if you bike to work and your kid’s school or daycare is along the route you traveled to get there.
The convenient nature of bike trailers is a huge attraction. With this being said, some people may roll their eyes or scoff at the thought of keeping a young child in a trailer attached to the back of a bike. You might even think that this is more dangerous than keeping your child in a car with you since he/she could be exposed to dangerous conditions or obstacles. Fortunately, bike trailers have come a long way. They aren’t merely boxes attached by strings from the spokes of the back wheel of your bike. Rather, they’re safe, secure, and comfortable encasements for your child to ride along in, while you bike to work, bike on a trail, or bike in a road race.
Top Bike Trailer Comparison Chart
Below, we’ve compiled a captivating list of information you’ll want to know about if you already feel inclined to give a bike trailer a try. We’ll start with a list of important things you’ll want to consider before you purchase a bike trailer of your own. We’ll then provide an exciting list of the ten best bike trailers of 2017. We don’t want to tell you what to do, but if you’re looking for a nice bike trailer for your kid, you might want to choose one from this list. Without further ado, let’s proceed!
Below, we’ve listed a multitude of important attributes you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for when looking for a bike trailer to purchase.
Whether it’s ice, rain, sun, or humidity, weather protection is paramount in a good bike trailer. Think of how upsetting it would be if you were a child forced to ride in a bike trailer with inadequate protection from the rain, while it was raining. Furthermore, a bike trailer that’s well insulated can protect your child from biting cold and flurries of snow, if you’re planning on biking in that type of weather.
Specific features that bode well in adverse weather include things such as tinted windows, plastic weather shields, and mesh windows. Tinted windows are a hugely advantageous feature of a great bike trailer – they can shade your child’s eyes and skin from UV radiation while keeping the interior of the trailer cool. Weather shields can come in various forms on bike trailers and can help repel both gusts of wind and bursts of rain. Mesh windows and other parts of the bike trailer can keep the interior cool and dry. When it comes to weather protection, your child’s comfort is an important thing to take into consideration.
On the subject of comfort, the amount of room inside the cabin of a bike trailer is a prominent consideration to take into account, before you pick a bike trailer to buy. You’ll want to have two things in mind when looking for space accommodations: A number of children you may be taking in the bike trailer, and the physical height of the child or children you’ll be transporting.
The amount of children is invariably an obvious consideration for this category. What might not be so obvious, however, is the ability of a bike trailer to accommodate children of certain heights. It boils down to research and reading – make sure you know which trailers can accommodate children that are your child’s height before you make a final purchase! While an element-proof trailer can largely impact your child’s comfort, leg room can also be a decisive factor.
Visibility is an important factor to consider when looking for a bike trailer, and should never be though as trivial. When doing your shopping, you’re going to want to purchase something that has a reflective coating, or that has visible reflectors on it. Whether you’re biking on a crowded trail or on a busy road with a bike path, you’ll people who see your bike and bike trailer to think “Looks like there’s a child in there, I’ll drive, bike, or run a little more carefully”.
Another thing to consider with respect to a bike trailer’s visibility is its overall color. If you plan to take your bike and the bike trailer out for a ride at night, or even around sunset, it’s important to consider buying a bike trailer that is brightly colored.
This is one of the most important things to consider when looking for your ideal bike trailer. The attachment is the primary connection from your bike to the bike trailer. To indicate its importance, think of it as the way the wrist connects with the hand – you can’t use one without the other. The attachment can mean the difference between life or death, in the case of a freak accident, such as a collision or equipment malfunction.
The attachment of a trailer bike usually connects to the bike’s rear axle or the post that connects to the seat of the bike.
An important consideration of a well-oiled bike trailer is the trailer’s ability to be stored away, and disassembled at ease. If you’re looking for a bike trailer for your young child or children, odds are that you’re also incredibly busy with both your job and child-rearing. You’ll want to, because of this, make sure that you have a bike trailer that can be stored out of the way, wherever you desire.
Many bike trailers can simply be folded and stowed away in a small area such as a closet or the trunk of your car. Some can actually be stored in a small bag that attaches to the back of your bike. Some might require tedious disassembly, but who knows – you might be okay with that! It depends on how busy of a life you lead, and how much time you care to devote to both the disassembly and the storage of your bike trailer.
You might not be biking with your child over bumpy roots and rough, off-road terrain, but the importance of a safety harness should never be underestimated. Imagine if, for instance, you accidentally got in a collision, or something happened to the bike trailer, and your child wasn’t properly secured in his or her seat. A proper safety harness could mean the difference between life or death.
At the same time, you wouldn’t want a safety harness that restricts your child to the point where he/she is uncomfortable. While safety is important, your child’s comfort is also important. Harnesses come in two forms, primarily. The first form is similar to that of a seatbelt found in an automobile. The second form can be likened to that of the bar that secures you in place on a rollercoaster. We’d suggest opting for an automobile-like strap design. This will give your child the perfect fusion of both comfort and security!
The hitch is one of the most important parts of the bike trailer. It connects the attachment to the bike trailer itself. It can be particularly dangerous if your bike trailer’s hitch malfunctions, because of this. While many hitches are universal, many only connect to a very specific set of attachments or bike brands. It’s important to know what attachment or bike brand the hitch of a bike trailer is compatible with before you buy it.
Another important thing to consider, relating to the hitch, is the type of hitch arm the bike trailer comes with. A modern innovation that appears with many types of bike trailers today is the ability of the hitch arm to keep the bike trailer upright if the bike falls on its side. This is an incredibly important and safe feature to keep in mind, while you’re shopping for the best bike trailer.
Versatility is a broad term, and appropriately so; having a bike trailer that’s versatile can enable you, as the primary driver, to do a broad range of activities. A bike trailer may just serve one purpose: to drive your child, safely, from point A to point B. Sometimes, however, bike trailers can fold into strollers that you can take with you on a jog, for instance.
If you like to both jog and bike, consider a bike trailer that has the ability to transform into a device such as a stroller, which will allow you to do two things during one trip. It’s the perfect solution for a parent that likes to stay active but has to keep a weather eye on their child or children.
Durability of the Frame
The durability of your bike trailer’s frame shouldn’t be a light consideration when you’re searching for the ideal bike trailer to buy. A durable frame can contribute to the longevity of your bike trailer by staying rigid and tough. A durable bike frame can make the assembly and disassembly of your bike trailer twice as easy as a flimsy framed-trailer. The durability of the frame can also contribute to the overall safety of your bike trailer, especially if it were to fall on its side during a collision, or for any other reason.
You’ll want to look for steel, as the most basic and effective frame material. If you’re looking for a model that’s lightweight, aluminum alloy can be a valuable but expensive material to consider. As an added safety feature, many brands of bike trailers come equipped with a mechanism known as a roll cage, which extends from the frame of your bike trailer and reduces the shock of a potential collision.
Last on this list are the wheels. Wheels might be the last feature mentioned, but that doesn’t detract from any bit of their importance. Wheels influence a number of factors on a bike trailer. They influence the balance, the speed, the maneuverability, the durability, and much more. The size and the material of the wheels of your bike trailer can have a direct impact on all of the previously mentioned things.
As far as the size is concerned, you can opt for two types. If you purchase a trailer with larger wheels, you’ll have increased durability as well as the ability to take your bike trailer on paths that aren’t paved. When you have smaller wheels on your bike trailer you sacrifice much of this durability but you add maneuverability. We’d recommend getting a bike trailer with larger wheels if you plan on taking your bike on a trail or gravel road. For inner-city and paved road commutes and trips, small wheels should be fine. As far as the materials are concerned, you’ll want to look for wheels composed of aluminum. While steel wheels are also fine, they have a tendency to rust quicker than aluminum.
Now that we’ve blazed through every conceivable feature on a bike trailer that could affect your buying, let’s take a look at the ten best bike trailers of 2017. All of these trailers feature a combination of the traits we just mentioned. You don’t want to miss out on any of them! We’ll start with the best and end with the worst, but all are highly-rated bike trailers, regardless of their place on this list!
Bike Trailer for Kids Reviews
If you’re looking for a double child trailer that has a little bit of everything, the Bee Bike trailer is the trailer for you. Your child will be riding in comfort and style with this flashy yellow bike trailer. For starters, it’s quite visible. On top of being as yellow as a bee, the Bee Bike Trailer has reflective piping, reflectors on both of its sturdy wheels, and reflectors on the front and the back of it. Even in conditions that don’t guarantee optimal visibility, this compact bike trailer will stand out. In addition to being safe on the outside, it’s also safe on the inside. With room for two in the interior, its hammock-style seatbelts will keep your child or children comfortable and secure. You won’t lose any sleep over risking your child’s safety in potentially dangerous situations – the Bee Bike Trailer is equipped with an aluminum roll cage that will protect your little one(s) in the case of a collision. Other respectable features of this excellent bike trailer include a capable ventilation system, a connector that stays upright when your bike is flat, and a frame that allows the bike to fold flat when you put it away. There isn’t much that’s wrong with it, but it would help if it could be converted into a jogging stroller. Additionally, the cabin may get a little cramped if you have a large child in it wearing a helmet (which you should).
- Easy to store
- Very visible
- Rotating attachment
- Secure seatbelts
- Fits up to two children
- Aluminum roll cage for collision protection
- Doesn’t convert into a stroller
- Interior can be cramped
The Allen Sports Steel Bike Trailer is a beautifully-designed, safe, and easy-to-store bike trailer for one or two kids. With the ability to hold up to 100lbs of weight, it’s hard to believe that it weighs only 26 pounds! There are a number of remarkable things to take note of with this bike trailer. First and foremost, the material it’s made of is not only beautiful to look at but it’s weatherproof, as well. We already mentioned that it’s capable of carrying two fifty-pound children, but we didn’t mention that whatever children ride in it will have a foot guard for protection and a secure safety harness. It’s also equipped with two large wheels, which will surely handle any terrain or road condition that this bike trailer encounters. The major complaint with this mostly-exceptional bike trailer is the spacing inside of it. While it might be able to accommodate two small children, you’ll be better off with just one inside of it. Additionally, it’s not very well ventilated.
- Beautiful exterior
- Easy to store
- Large rugged wheels
- Poorly ventilated
- Not a lot of interior space
The InStep Sync Bike trailer is an electrifying way to transport one occupant, whether you’re taking the kid on a ride or whether you’re taking him/her to run errands with you. It’s shielded from the elements with a more than capable weather screen, yet provides the rider with mesh windows for total ventilation. What’s truly unique about this InStep Bike Trailer is its universal hitch; you’ll be able to take your kid along for a ride with almost any model bike you own (We’d still recommend checking for compatibility before you purchase it). There are a few things that might go wrong with it if you do decide to purchase it. The tire rims aren’t made of metal, they’re made of plastic. This brings the durability of the wheels into question. On the subject of the wheels, there are also reports of the tires not being properly inflated when the bike trailer arrives in the mail.
- Weather-resistant exterior flap
- Plenty of mesh for ventilation
- Universal hitch for easy attachment to any model bicycle
- Poor wheel quality
- Reports of tires arriving damaged
The Schwinn Trailblazer is about as easy to fold and put away as it is to setup, but you won’t want to put it away once you get rolling! It’s loaded with features that will keep both bugs and rain out, wheels that quickly release for easy storage and disassembly, a universal coupler for quick and easy attachment and detachment, and the capacity for an occupant that weighs up to 40 lbs. Your child will be able to enjoy every moment of his/her ride, without any interruptions! Some things to be aware of if you’re considering buying this bike trailer is that it doesn’t convert into a stroller, it weights a lot, and the padding is rather inadequate for the weight capacity it claims to accommodate.
- Easy to assemble for use and disassemble for storage
- Attachable to many bikes
- Weather and insect proof
- Uncomfortable seats
- Doesn’t convert into a stroller
- Weighs a lot
The Schwinn Trailblazer Double Bike Trailer gives you the versatility you need, functioning as both a stroller and a bike trailer. It does other stuff well, on top of its handy transformations. It’s quick to fold and put away, due to its collapsible frame and removable wheels, wheels which release easily. It can hold two kids, so long as each of them is below 40 pounds. Otherwise, they’ll be in for a snug ride! It’s got a couple concerns as well. If you put two kids in it, they might have a tough time keeping their heads down. Another important flaw to point out is the lack of compatibility with bike models. Schwinn claims this model is compatible with most bike models. Some brands such as Trek won’t fit with it.
- Converts into a stroller
- Easy to store
- Can hold two occupants, with a total weight of 80 pounds
- Not compatible with several popular bike brands, despite distributor’s claim
- Can be a tight squeeze for two occupants
The Schwinn Echo Double Bike Trailer is a great bike trailer for a variety of conditions. It’s yellow-colored with reflectors all over it, for optimal visibility. It comes with a weather flap in case you and your little one hit adverse weather while cycling together. Its mesh windows make it cool and breathable, while the top flap is tinted for protection from the sun. There’s a lot to love about this bike trailer. The only things you, as a buyer, need to be aware of are that it’s quite cramped for supposedly supporting two children, and the securements on the side of it can be quite difficult to snap together.
- Great visibility
- Weather and insect resistant
- Mesh windows for adequate ventilation
- Small interior
- Snaps on the outside can be tough to figure out
This Quick N EZ Bike Trailer is as easy to use as its name says. With a universal coupler for easy attachment to most bike models, easy setup and storage, and a simple design, the Quick N EZ will have you and your child on the road in no time. Bear in mind that, while it’s simple to use, set up, and disassemble, the tires are made poorly and cheaply. The interior is also rather tight, so keep that in mind if you have children that are taller or heavier than normal.
- Universally attaches to many bike models
- Easy to set up
- Cramped interior
- Poor wheel/tire construction, tend to break with use
The Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Child Steel Bike Trailer is a great trailer to buy, due to its sturdy metal frame and wheel construction, its foot guard to protect your children’s feet, and its easy-to-store folding capabilities. While we found this bike trailer to be a great choice overall, it has some issues. First, even though it’s advertised to hold two children, it can only hold a maximum of 100 pounds. This means that the children you keep in it will either have to be really light, or really young. The harness is also quite low-quality. You might have to buy a supplemental one if you purchase this bike trailer.
- Sturdy steel frame and wheels
- Foot guard for foot protection
- Easy to take apart and put away
- The harness doesn’t do the job
- For two children, it’s a tight squeeze inside with a low weight capacity
This bike trailer is a sturdy and safe way to get your children around. It’s easy to setup, comes equipped with an extra front wheel for stability, and features hand brakes when it’s in jogger mode, as an added safety feature. While it may be easy to setup, however, it’s not quite as easy to put away. What’s more, is that its odd shape and features make it tough to store, even in the trunk of a vehicle. The front wheel, while great for bike trailer stability, can make it tough to smoothly push in jogger mode.
- Extra wheel for stability
- Hand brakes for stroller version
- Tough to disassemble
- Hard to steer in stroller mode, due to the swiveling third wheel
The Burley Kids’ Encore Trailer is a stylish, compact, and comfortable way to transport your children or your cargo. While it doesn’t double as a jogging stroller, it doubles as a cargo holder, a highly desirable trait. Even when your kids don’t need a ride anywhere, you’ll still be able to use the Encore Trailer. It’s comfortable due to the padded seats and padded harnesses. Your child will stay secure and un-irritated. It’s easy to pack up. After a long day of biking, you’ll be able to put it away in the blink of an eye! One thing you won’t be able to do in the blink of any eye, however, is to change it to a cargo holder. It can be a rather cumbersome task. Additionally, the inside is rather cramped, which detracts from the padded harness and seat.
- Doubles as a cargo holder
- Easy to pack up
- Padded seats and harnesses
- Cramped interior
- Can take a while to transform from one version to the other
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
We’ve reached the end of the ride, folks! Hopefully, you’re equipped with everything you’d ever need to know when you decide to finally purchase a bike trailer for you and your child/children to enjoy. A bike trailer can circumvent having to use a car to take your kid to places that aren’t too far away, like school, the swimming pool, or the playground.
From everything we’ve seen above, you’re going to want a few key things from a bike trailer. First, visibility is important for both you and your child’s safety – look for a trailer with plenty of reflectors or a bright color. Secondly, you’ll want a trailer that’s easy to set up, take apart, and put away. Finally, you’ll want durability. Forget trailers that have wheels or frames made of anything but steel – plastic and other forms of metal tend to break after periods of use.
While finding a bike trailer might be easy, finding the best, most durable, and most user-friendly bike trailer is far from easy. With all the information and products in the above guide, you’ll be able to make a responsible, educated, and intelligent decision that will benefit the safety of both you and your child.