Burley D’Lite X Review: Why It’s Worth The Money

Outdoorsy families want to do it all: bike, run, walk, ski. You pride yourself in taking the kids along for adventures, and a high-quality multi-sport trailer can help you do just that.

Burley offers several multi-sport trailers ranging from a simple design (Burley Encore X) to premium ones (Burley Cub X). In the middle, the Burley D’Lite X nearly all of the bells and whistles of the Cub X, but at a slightly more affordable price.

In fact, this is the multi sport trailer that we’d recommend for the vast majority of our biking, skiing, adventure loving friends. It’s not (quite) as expensive as other multi-sport trailers, but offers nearly everything MOST families would need.

burley d'lite x trailer review

Review In A Nutshell


Pros:

  • Conversions are easy
  • Comfortable padded seats, 5-point harnesses, extra interior room
  • Adjustable, comfortable suspension
  • Easy to fold down for storage/transportation
  • Plenty of storage space in rear of trailer
  • Can convert to a cargo trailer
  • Reclining seats

Cons:

  • Door isn’t as clean as the Thule or Hamax
  • Heavy when compared to a dedicated bike trailer
  • No handbrake for jogging stroller

Price: $749.99 (single), $849.99 (double)


Stroller To Trailer Conversion Is Simple

The D’Lite X (along with other Burley trailers like the Burley Honey Bee and Encore X) have the easiest conversion from bike trailer to stroller that I’ve seen. This makes it ideal if you want to use the D’Lite X as both a stroller and trailer in the same outing. If it’s off to the park, library, a restaurant, shopping, or all four, this trailer makes it more than easy to bike to the desired location and then walk around in stroller mode without ever having to unbuckle the littles.

Both the trailer attachment and the stroller wheel are attached to the same arm. When in trailer mode, you flip the stroller wheel up. When you detach the arm from the bike, simply flip the wheel down again via a simple latching mechanism.

It’s really that easy. The conversion takes seconds and is way more convenient than any other brand of trailers we’ve tested.

trailer and stroller arm

Reclining, Padded Seats Are Comfortable and The 5 Point Harnesses Keep Kids Safe

Unlike cheaper bike trailers, the Burley D’Lite X has really comfortable, padded seats. The D’Lite X comes with Burley’s “premium pads” that offer additional head and neck support and is a step up from the seats on the Encore X. We highly recommend these seats for families who do long rides, as they make the ride significantly more comfortable for your little passengers.

Additionally, we appreciate that the seats recline. On the single trailer, the whole seat back reclines, while on the double model the two seats can recline independently. In other words, one kid can nap while the other looks out at the view.

As far as safety goes, the D’Lite X offers robust, 5-point harnesses (two harnesses on the double and one on the single).

Adjustable Suspension Is Ideal For Families That Ride Bumpy Terrain

The D’Lite X has adjustable suspension that adds extra comfort for kids when riding off-road, over bumps and pot-holes and even curbs. We highly recommend choosing adjustable suspension for families that plan on riding dirt or gravel, in particular.

Compared to the Burley Encore X, which has suspension but can not be adjusted, the D’Lite offers a fine-tuned ride depending on your child’s weight and the terrain you are riding.

burley d'lite adjustable suspension

The suspension on the Burley D’Lite X is comprised of a coil spring mounted around the axle. The spring does not have a through-shaft (like the Thule Chariot), but that doesn’t seem to affect the efficiency of the system.

When you adjust the supsension, the springs either siffen or relax. Having the adjustability allows one to really fine tune the feel of the tow and comfort level of the little riding in the trailer based on the terrain.

Aluminum Frame Acts As A Roll Cage

We appreciate that the frame of the Burley D’lite X acts as a roll cage and offers an added sense of security to the whole package. The frame surrounds your children on all sides.

Like Burley’s other convertible trailers, when using the D’Lite X in trailer mode, you can fold the handle forward to add additional protection on top of the trailer. This means that if the trailer tips or rolls (which is sometimes known to happen with trailers), chances are that your child will remain totally safe–especially if buckled in properly.

burley d'lite x in action

Other Safety Features

Burley as a brand prides themselves on safety. That’s why we’re not surprised to see other safety features such a flag, reflectors, and reflective accents included in the design. The trailer meets or exceeds all ASTM F1975-09 safety standards.

Foot Brake Keeps Burley Trailer From Rolling When Stationary

The “foot brake” on the Burley D’Lite X is different than most trailers that we’ve seen (but similar to the other Burley trailers). The brake is activated (or deactivated) by pushing this big red lever from side to side.

This has been the easiest trailer brake I have ever used. It did a good job of keeping the trailer in place, even when loaded and on a hill.

foot brake

Plenty Of Storage And Sitting Space

The Burley D’Lite X has a significant amount of space for storage behind the seat. The entire frame is bowed out to add additional room for kiddos in the main seating area. This adds space to the storage area as well.

There is plenty of room in there for books, toys, or a few bags of groceries. Because the space opens from the top rather than the back, it’s also possible to drop in a balance bike so the days adventure can include the pump track. Inside the rear storage space there is also a small mesh pocket that you can use to store your keys and phone, for instance.

rear trunk

Inside the seated area, there are mesh pockets (one on either side) for your child to stash some small toys, a water bottle, or a pacifier. As I already mentioned, the sides of the trailer are bowed out which means that the seating area is roomier than most trailers we’ve tested.

The Burley D’Lite we received is designed to seat one child, but there is a model that carries two as well. If you’re using the dual seater for just one child, they’ll have extra shoulder space and you’ll have extra space for hauling stuff along.

The single seated trailer is quite spacious and offers a comfortable ride with plenty of space for the kiddo and all of their adventure toys to come along too. It’s also narrower than the double which makes it easier to maneuver through tight spaces.

The Burley D’Lite X has a 100-pound weight limit on the double model and a 75-pound limit on the single. That includes passenger weight and cargo weight.

Can Convert To A Cargo Trailer

One of my favorite things about the Burley D’Lite X (and some of their other trailers) is that it can convert to a cargo trailer. This is awesome because eventually your child will outgrow a trailer and won’t need to be towed anymore.

At this point, you can remove the seats and use the trailer to tow groceries or camping gear instead. Even though our son has outgrown a trailer, we still often use our trailers to haul all kinds of stuff on bike outings.

Heavy When Compared To A Dedicated Bike Trailer

Multi-sport trailers are awesome. But all those bells and whistles do come at a price–literally and figuratively.

The biggest price you’ll pay is weight. The trailer(when empty) weighs in at 27.6 pounds for the single and 30.4 pounds for the double. Compare that to the Burley Bee, Burley’s dedicated bike trailer, which weighs only 20 pounds.

Waterproof Door and Sunshade Protect Kids From The Elements

The door on the Burley D’Lite X has a mesh window, as well as a roll-down plastic cover for rain or colder weather. With a blanket inside, kids can stay quite warm and cozy.

In sunnier weather, you’ll also appreciate the sunshade. It covers just the top of the door to help shade your children’s faces and eyes. In addition, the windows are all tinted to offer UV protection.

For those warmer days, there is also a rear window that unzips to expose mesh. This provides for some extra ventilation and airflow.

While it doesn’t effect performance AT ALL, it’s worth mentioning that the cover on the Burley D’Lite doesn’t have the nice clean look of the Thule Chariot or Hamax Outback. The mesh door clips down rather than zipping closed, and the result is that it always looks just a little bit sloppy.

Rubberized Floor Mat Is Removable And Easy To Clean

While the Burley D’Lite X doesn’t have a re-inforced floor (you’ll have to the Cub X for that feature), we do appreciate that it has a rubberized floor mat. This provides extra protection as kids climb in and out, and makes the floor much easier to clean.

rubberized floor

The rubberized floor mat is easy to wipe down and protects the fabric floor.

Folds Down For Easy Transportation And Storage

The Burley D’Lite is easy to take down and build back up. You take off the wheels (via a button), release the top bar, remove the trailer/stroller arm, and fold in the stroller arm. Once it’s torn down the Burley is easy to store in the garage or place in the car’s trunk. This is universal for all of their trailer models.

burley d'lite x folded up

They Burley D’Lite X folded up for storage.

Plus Sized Wheels

One of our favorite accessories that Burley offers are the 16-inch plus sized wheels. These are smaller rims than the 20 inch wheels that come standard on the D’Lite X, but have fatter plus-sized tires.

These tires are ideal for riding off-road in gravel, sand, and a bit of snow. If you’re going to do true fat biking, I’d recommend using the skis from the ski kit in conjunction with the bike tow arm.

Plus sized wheel kit is a good choice for riding off-road, in sand, or light snow.

Ski Kit

The ski kit is also a great option if you enjoy cross country ski outings (or fat biking) and want to bring the kiddo along. The skis insert where the wheels hook in at the axle point. There is a pulk arm kit and waist harness that make towing easy and comfortable.

burley ski kit

The Burley ski kit transforms the trailer into snow-ready trailer. Can be used with poles and belt for xc skiing or with trailer arm for fat biking.

The skis only attatch the trailer at one point, verses the two points on the Hamax Outback. I thought this made the trailer slightly more maneuverable, BUT made it much harder to carry the trailer across the parking lot to the ski track with those skis flopping around.

The harness is a belt-style rather than the vest-style on the Hamax Outback ski kit. I prefer the vest style harness, but the belt is a better fit for those with a larger bust or more muscular chest.

Jogging Kit

The D’Lite X also converts to a jogger, though this does require a bit more work than converting to a stroller. The trailer arm removes from the trailer body and you replace it with two jogger arms and a single wheel in between. It’s not difficult to do but it does take a few minutes.

You should also be aware that the jogging kit does cost extra ($150), so consider that when deciding on a purchase price if you plan to use the trailer as a jogger as well.

As far as performance jogging goes, the Burley D’Lite X is similar to other convertible trailers. In general, it is not difficult to run with the D’Lite X, but some might find it more challenging than a dedicated jogging stroller. It seems more cost effective to have a dual-purpose piece of equipment though. Especially when the task at hand is easily completed with said equipment.

burley jogging kit

The Burley jogger kit transforms the bike trailer into a jogging stroller.

The ergonomics of the handle are on point. You can adjust the position for personalized comfort and find the spot that is right for you, no matter if that is walking the greenbelt or jogging a trail.

The receivers (left) on the Burley D’Lite X are easy to use. The trailer/stroller arm, jogger arms, and ski kit arms can all insert or be removed easily. The handle (for strolling or jogging) can change positions via a simple lever (right).

You should also be aware that the Burley jogging kit does NOT have a hand brake, so if you live in a particularly hilly area this might be an issue. For most people running on reasonably flat terrain, a hand brake is more effort than it’s worth to install every time you want to go for a jog.

D’Lite X Vs Other Burley Offerings

The D’Lite X is Burley’s mid-point multi-sport trailer, and the one we’d recommend to most outdoor families.

The Encore X is a more affordable option, but lacks the adjustable suspension, reclining seats and premium seat pads, and higher-end construction of the D’Lite X. For families that do a lot of riding, I think these features are worth the extra money.

burley encore x multi sport trailer review (1)

Burley Encore X

The Burley Cub X is the next step up from the D’Lite X, but doesn’t have much additional to offer. What it DOES offer is a hard plastic bottom which means that it’s more durable, especially over rugged terrain. If you plan on using the trailer off-road or for bike touring, then the additional $50 is probably worth it. On the other hand, the Cub X doesn’t accept the plus-sized tires, so that can be a deterrent for riding on rugged terrain as well.

Compared to the cheaper Honey Bee ($399), the D’Lite X offers suspension, padded seats, the option to use the jogging and ski kits, and the ability to convert to a cargo trailer. I would HIGHLY recommend the padded seats, though you can always add premium seat pads to the Honey Bee for $50 each, which still comes in cheaper than buying the Encore X or D’Lite X.

burley honey bee multi sport trailer review

Burley Honey Bee

What you really get with the D’Lite X is the addition of adjustable suspension, premium seat padding, and reclining seats. This can make the ride a lot more comfortable for kids especially if you plan to ride rail trails or roads with lots of bumps and rough stuff. If you are sticking to smooth suburban roads or bike paths, it’s probably not worth the extra investment.

Adjustable suspension is probably worth the extra money if you plan on riding lots of gravel roads, and reclining seats are nice-to-have (but not necessary to have) for napping kids. Reclining seats help to prevent the dreaded saggy sleepy toddler head.

The Burley D’LIte X is also a little wider and provides more elbow room. If you know you have kids who are going to fight in the trailer, you might want to go with the wider trailer. That said, the wider a trailer, the more difficult it is to maneuver and fit through tight spaces, so keep that in mind.

D’Lite X Vs Competition

Pricewise, the closest competitors to the Burley D’Lite X are the Thule Chariot Lite and the Hamax Outback. All three are excellent choices, and I wouldn’t bother spending too much time agonizing over which one to get.

Compared to the Thule Chariot Lite, the Burley D’Lite X gains points for additional interior space, reclining seats, adjustable suspension, and the ease of which it coverts. On the other hand, the Thule Chariot Lite is a bit sleeker, and weighs a couple pounds less. In my opinion, the Burley D’Lite X is the winner between the two considering it offers more features and a comparable pricepoint.

(The Thule Chariot Cross, which is Thule’s next step up is THE nicest option but WAY more expensive. If money is no object, go for it. For most families, the Burley D’Lite X is good enough).

Thule Chariot Cross (left) and Hamax Outback (right)

I’d say choosing between the Hamax Outback and Burley D’Lite X are more of a battle as the two are very similar. The biggest differentiators on the Hamax Outback is the hand brake for the jogging kit and the sleek door. The D’Lite X has larger interior pockets, and was a little easier to convert. Both have comfortable, reclining seats, and similar suspension designs. The winning point for me, is that the Burley D’Lite X is significantly lighter.

Bottom-Line: The Perfect Trailer For Active Families

We don’t reccomend the Burley D’Lite X for everyone. If you just need a bike trailer or are on a budget, opt for a cheaper Burley option instead.

That said, if you are specifically looking for a multi-sport trailer and spend lots of time in the outdoors, we’d highly recommend the Burley D’Lite X. It’s the best multi-sport trailer at it’s pricepoint, and the adjustable supsension and comfortable seats mean that the only thing the kids will have to whine about are how many snacks you (didn’t) pack.

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