If you’ve always enjoyed cycling and don’t want to give it up just because you have kids, then you need to get a bike trailer to haul around those kiddos. This is the perfect solution for a family that wants to cycle together when there are little ones who can’t ride a bike, or who can’t keep up with the adults.
While there are different types of trailers you can attach to your road bike to haul various things, it’s important that you stick with those designed for babies and toddlers. This ensures you get the safest and most comfortable option for your little ones.
Below we’ll give you some tips on what to look for, as well as some of our recommendations on the best bike trailers for kids right now.
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Compare Top Bike Trailers for Kids (2019)
Burley Encore Child Trailer
|Buy at Amazon|
Also at: REI
Best Value Cheap Pick
Best Value Cheap Pick
Burley Design Bee, 2 Seat, Lightweight, Kids Bike-Only Trailer
|Buy at Amazon|
Also at: REI
Burley Design D’lite Child Trailer
|Buy at Amazon|
Also at: REI
Hamax Outback Multi-Sport Child Bike Trailer + Stroller
|Buy at Amazon|
Thule Chariot Lite Sport Stroller – Double
|Buy at Amazon|
Also at: REI
What To Consider Before Buying
Choosing the right bike trailer demands some of your time and attention. There are plenty of options in the market. If you are not careful, you may end up spending a lot of your money on the wrong bike trailer. Below are the things that we think you should consider before making the purchase.
Consider the needs and number of your children. Older kids may have different needs from younger ones. There are trailers to suit children of all ages. You should, however, talk to your pediatrician to determine whether or not your child is old enough to be using bike trailers. If you have two kids, find a trailer that offers them plenty of space. If you only have one child, there may be no need for extra space. However, it is an excellent option if your family is still growing. You may, however, buy a trailer meant for two kids to give your child room to stretch out. Always find out the age appropriateness of a trailer before buying. Consider the weight of your child and the ability of the trailer to accommodate them.
How much are you willing to spend? Compare the quality of a bike trailer to its performance. Do not purchase a trailer if you feel that the quality does not match the price. If you are looking for a trailer that offers you safety and comfort, you should be prepared to pay a little more than people who are looking for basic features. Some of the comfort features include padded seats and backrests.
There is a possibility of being exposed to extreme weather temperatures including rainfall and heat. Buy a trailer that can withstand the conditions you are regularly exposed to. If, for example, you are frequently exposed to wet weather, you should find a trailer that has a rain shield. If you are exposed to the sun or hot temperatures for a long time, consider buying one with UPF windows or sunshades.
Your kids will eventually grow up. At some point, they will stop using trailers. Think about what you are going to do when that time comes. Thinking about the future may help you make the right choices. If you do not have any use for the bike trailers once your kids are grown n up, you do not need to spend a lot of money on it. If, however, you plan on passing the trailer to other children after your own, you should invest in one which is durable with proper construction. If you plan on selling it, go for simple designs that can appeal to various people. Find you if you can use your bike trailer for other purposes. Some trailers can be converted to carry dogs and cats or to transport spare parts.
How Often Do You Ride?
Consider the number of times that your children ride. Do they ride on a smooth terrain? Consider the use of the trailer. If you are buying it for use every day, get one with a built-in suspension to improve the smoothness of your rides. If, however, you plan to use the trail every once in a while, you may not need it. Built-in suspensions provide kids with a more pleasant experience. If you plan to use the trailer off the road, you should find a trailer with 20’’ wheels. They work well under a rough terrain.
Wheels and Speed
Trailer wheels could be 16’’ or 20’’. 20’’ trailers are stable and suitable for rough terrain. 16’’ trailers are affordable, but they are not as stable as 20’’ wheels. They are likely to warp or crack. Trailers that use 20’’ tires have a maximum speed of 15mph. Those that use 16’’ tires have a maximum recommended speed of 10mph.
Does it Fit Your Bike?
Most bike trailers fit well any bike that you have. You should, however, not assume that every trailer will work you. Find out if it fits your bike before purchase. There should be sufficient room to accommodate the hitch adaptor. Consider the style of dropouts of your bike. Bikes with Breezer style may not be compatible with some bike trailers.
The type of seat you choose may determine the comfort of your child. If you plan on hauling two children, picking the right seat helps to ensure that they do not slide into each other. One of the common types of seats is Hammock-style seating. It is mostly available on cheaper trailers. The seat is made from nylon straps and strapped to a non-padded nylon seat. It is affordable but not can be uncomfortable especially on a double-riders trailer. Bench-style seating is mostly available on high-end trailers. The seat is comfortable and padded with plenty of leg room for the kids. Choose the right seating based on your needs and your budget.
The bottom part is where the kids’ feet rest. The fabric of the bottom is similar to the rest of the trailer. Some bike trailer brands have more comfortable bottoms than others. In cases where they use thin fabric, the durability is shortened. High-end trailers use thicker, more durable fabric. The fabric could be made from rubber or hard plastic.
Trailers usually have a storage area to keep your kids’ essentials. You can use the space to store diapers, snacks, or small toys. Consider the size of your storage area and how much it can accommodate. Do not buy a trailer if its storage area is not enough for your child’s needs. The shape of a trailer may affect the size of the storage area.
How easy is it for a stroller to fold? Do not buy a bike trailer that does not fold into the size you desire. This is very important if you have limited space. Ask about the dimensions of a trailer before and after folding. Consider its weight to determine how easy it will be to lift the trailer in and out of the car.
As with other products, it is important to pay attention to your manufacturer’s warranty. Most reputable companies will offer you a reliable warrant. If you have to choose between two trailers that appear similar, think about the warranty.
It may be difficult to stop children from chewing on their trailers’ straps. It is, therefore, important to ensure that they are not ingesting any harmful substances. Find a trailer that uses non-toxic materials. You should not just take their word for it. The best way to be sure is to find out if they have any certifications.
Find a trailer whose handlebars can be adjusted. It gives you added comfort in stroller or jogger mode. Even though all trailers give you the chance to use at least two heights, not all of them come with swiveling handlebars. A swiveling handlebar offers multiple heights. If you and your partner have a significant height difference, swivel handlebars are a great option. You can get your desired height in a few seconds.
If you buy a trailer with an option for a stroller, it should include a brake. There are various types of brakes. If you do not get the right brake, using your trailer as a stroller can be difficult. The types of brakes include; parking brake, handbrake, and foot brake. The work of a handbrake is to help a trailer slow down and not to stop it. A parking brake is a simple strap around the rear tile. It holds the stroller and keeps it from rolling away. Foot brakes also lock the rear tires. They are engaged with the foot and are available with all trailers.
Even though you should wait until your child is at least one year old to use a trailer, most trailers can function as strollers and joggers. Find out if a stroller has infant or baby inserts to offer additional comfort and support. Lower-end strollers may not have any inserts. They are, therefore, unsuitable to use with infants.
How Safe Are Bike Trailers for Children?
Bike trailers are great. They can enhance your outdoor activities as a family. They are a lot safer than bike seats. They reduce the chances of your children getting significant injuries from accidents because they are close to the ground. The place you pick for cycling, your weight, and your general experience may affect the safety of your kids. Trailers offer protection against extreme weather elements such as exposure to the sun and rain. The following are some of the things that make bike trailers a safe option.
A roll bar is a safety feature that ensures the sides of your trailer do not collapse inwards in the unfortunate event that you get into an accident where your trailer rolls over. This keeps your child safe from injuries during accidents.
Some trailers come with a bright flag to increase your visibility on the road. If your trailer does not come with a flag, you can buy it separately. Trailers are low to the ground so some motorists may not see them. Increasing your visibility on the road helps to avoid accidents.
Some trailers are made from a reflective material. They are, therefore, easy for other road users to see from a distance.
Ball and Socket Joint-Rollover Hitch
If you get into an accident that causes your bike to roll over, the ball and joint socket enable the trailer to stay upright. It gives you the chance to keep your child safe even during accidents. The rollover hitch is useful to both new and experienced drivers. Accidents can be unavoidable.
A 5-point harness straps your child into the trailer. It is especially helpful if you want to have two kids in the trailer. It restrains your kids and improves their safety.
Wide Wheel Base
A wide wheel base prevents rollover accidents. When buying a bike trailer, always look for one with a wide wheel base. Trailers without this feature are generally safe as well. The chances of rolling over are very low.
Tips for Improved Safety
Like any parent, you’re probably a bit concerned about how safe your child will be on your rides. That’s understandable, and that’s why we have a few more tips for you on making those rides extra safe for the little ones in the trailer.
One of the most important things to consider while thinking about the safety of your children is to dress them well. Ensure that they strap on their safety belts and wear protective helmets. Parents should also wear a helmet to encourage the kids and for their safety.
Your weight as a rider matters. Heavy riders are in a better position to control their balance than lighter ones. The child and the seat make up a big percentage of the overall weight if the cyclist is short and light. The child is so high in the air that the balance is reduced.
Height on the Road
Trailers are generally safe. They do not trip easily. Using a trailer on the road increases your chances of getting into an accident. Other road users may not see you because trailers are low. To be safe, avoid roads. Use your trailer on bike tracks or sidewalks.
Benefits of Using Bike Trailers
Not convinced that one of these is a good choice for your family? Let us see if we can change that with a few pros you can expect.
It is a Chance to Get Fit
Most parents rarely get the time to work out. Using a trailer for kids is a great way to exercise while keeping your child close to you. Using your bike trailer, you can cycle with your kids to new places. Set schedules for your bike journey and enjoy the benefits of endurance raining.
It Helps to Get the Kids Out
There are not many ways to let your kids go out for some fresh air. You can plan little adventures where kids get to see, feel, or experience different things. If you make it a routine, your kids may develop an interest in going on adventures.
Quality Time With Kids
You and your kids can bond while biking. If you are a busy parent, you may not get plenty of opportunities to spend time with your child.
Comparing the Best Bike Trailers For The Money
If you’ve been doing some comparison shopping, then you already know that there are a lot of options out there right now. To help you narrow it down so you can choose a good bike trailer for your kids, our editors have selected the models below as our top picks. The following models are some of the best bike trailers on the market right now, according to our editors.
Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer Review
Burley Design allows you and your family to go on bike adventures together without having to spend too much. The trailer is a product of Burley which is known to have been an advocate for setting the minimum safety standards for the industry. Their trailers meet and exceed ASTM F 1975-09 safety standards. They have full internal aluminum roll age to protect your child in case of an accident. It has 20’’ pushbutton wheels that you can remove and put back fast and easily.
- It has a sunshade
- It has a hammock style seating
- It has a spacious rare cargo arIea
- It has a fold flat design
- It has bright yellow polyester cover for visibility
- It is versatile
- It is durable
- The trailer has been designed to meet high safety standards
- It has an aluminum roll cage to keep your child safe during an accident
- It offers extra headroom for helmets, but the heads of little kids may not reach that far up
- It does not have enough reflective parts
- It does not have a suspension system
Burley Design D’ Lite Child Bike Trailer Review
This trailer is fitted with premium features to maximize the comfort and safety of your child on the road. It has enough seating for one or two children, spring integrated technology, and seat pads. The wheel stroller kit and double jogging kit are sold separately. They come in handy when you need to switch from biking to walking. The Compatible We! Ski Kit is also sold separately. One of the trailer’s best features is its adjustable suspension which allows you to adjust the suspension according to your load.
- It is complete with a hitch, safety flag, and tow arm
- It is made from an aluminum frame which is strong, sturdy, and lightweight
- It folds flat
- It comes with adjustable suspension
- The trailer has padded Spring Integrated Technology It has a simple parking brake
- The handlebar is fully adjustable
- It has padded S.I.T seating
- The headroom may not be appropriate for younger children
Hamax Outback Multi-Sport Child Bike Trailer+ Stroller+ Jogger Review
This trailer is available for one or two passengers. It is a child bike trailer-stroller-jogger. It is an excellent option for families that like to go on adventures. The trailer uses Scandinavian safety and design. It has a 5-point safety harness, and aluminum frame to offer protection in case of a rollover. The trailer is EN/ASTM certified.
- It has a spacious cockpit and rear storage
- It has UV-protected windows with sunshade
- The trailer has bug and windscreens
- It has adjustable padded seats
- It has adjustable suspension and headrests
- It has a quick-fold cockpit
- The interior is spacious
- The frame can be heavy
- It is costly
Thule Chariot Lite Cycle/Stroll Trailer Review
This trailer is great for skiing, jogging, biking, and strolling. It is easy to store and transport because of its compact fold. It is easy to convert into the next activity regardless of the kit you use.
- It is versatile
- It has an ergonomic adjustable handlebar
- It has safety reflectors
- It has a limited lifetime guarantee against shortcomings in craft or material
- It allows compact fold
- it has great suspension
- The seats don’t recline
- It is costly
Burley Encore Bike Trailer Review
This trailer from Burley is made to suit the needs of cyclists that love adventure. It can convert into a jogger, stroller, or ski stroller. It is easy to carry around because it allows compact fold.
- It has padded hammock seating
- It has a full aluminum roll cage to keep your child safe in case of an accident
- Conversion is easy
- Side and rear windows have UV protection. It has Flex Connector which makes it possible to lay your bike flat while the trailer remains upright.
- It meets and exceeds ASTM F1975-09 safety standards
- It has a hub-engaged parking brake
- It has wheel guards to protect you from accidents
- It is costly
What Else Can Bike Trailers Be Used For?
A trailer helps you to go biking with your kids but you can use it for other reasons. You can convert your bike trailers to strollers. You may buy an additional kit and use the trailer for jogging or hiking. If you want to use your trailer as a stroller, you need to find models that can be converted.
You can use your bike trailer for shopping. You can easily fit your groceries in the trailer. Having your bike with you makes it possible to save some time while shopping.