Note from Kristen: This review of the Burley Solo bike trailer is a guest post from Becky Vordermann, Burley ambassador, and super-mom, super-cyclist extraordinaire. Most of the words here are hers, but I’ve added a few notes in italics to help add clarity for parents who aren’t as familiar with choosing a great bike trailer.
The Burley Solo is the top of the line single child trailer produced by Burley Design. Over the past four months, our family has put the Solo to the test. We’ve used the trailer on pavement, snow-covered gravel backroads, and local fat bike singletrack. We recently put the Burley Solo to the ultimate test, in our minds, by taking our 17-month old daughter bikepacking in Grand Staircase-Escalante for 3 days. Read on to see how it performed.
Review in a Nutshell
- Adjustable suspension
- 4-season trailer with attachment options for pavement, gravel, snow, and sand
- Easy to clean
- High safety standards
- No side ventilation
- Lighting system by Burley that fits the trailer is not the highest quality
Price & Where to Buy:
Burley Solo Detailed Review
The Burley Solo is a one-child trailer. Although the trailer only has room for one, there is plenty of room for additional gear and toys under the seat, in front and behind the seat, and on each side of the child. In total, there are 2400 cubic inches of cargo space. This has allowed our family to take several long bike rides through town, and most recently, a trip bikepacking with our daughter, her toys, diapers, and extra clothing, in tow.
The Burley Solo collapses to a size of 36 inches long by 27.5 wide by 15 inches tall. This makes the trailer easy to transport and store, when not in use.
Note from Kristen: The fact that the Solo has only one seat is unusual for the Burley line-up. Indeed, with the exception of the Minnow trailer, the Solo is the only Burley option for parents looking for a single rather than double trailer. For parents that only have one child that requires towing, we always recommend choosing a single rather than double trailer. Why? Because they are narrower which makes them easier to use on trails and to maneuver thru tight spaces. Single trailers also tend to be lighter than their double counterparts.
The comfort of your child in the Burley Solo is one of the most important features. The Burley Solo has adjustable suspension allowing your child to have a comfortable ride, over varying terrain, as they grow. The Solo has three settings for suspension.
Note from Kristen: Choosing a trailer with suspension is hugely beneficial if you plan on riding dirt roads or other uneven terrain. If, on the other hand, you plan on riding primarily on pavement and smooth trails, it creates added expense and weight that isn’t particularly necessary.
The Burley Solo also has a Spring Integrated Technology (SIT) seat, which prevents the straps in the seat from becoming tangled. We have never had tangled straps in the 1000+ miles we have used our Burley trailer.
Finally, we like that the Burley Solo also has bowed out sides. This allows your child extra space at the sides to move about, even when securely strapped. Our daughter usually has a stuffed animal to the side of her, on rides.
For winter riding, Burley has a bunting bag that securely attaches and specifically fits their trailers. We used the Burley Bunting bag all winter in the Burley Solo. It kept our daughter warm and cozy, without having loose blankets in the trailer. Burley advertises the bag for children up to 2 years old. We highly recommend this bag, if you plan on using your trailer for winter adventures.
The Burley Solo comes standard with a 20-inch wheelset which works well on pavement and bike paths. If you want to use the Burley Solo in snow, sand, rocky terrain, or as a jogger, there are a number of kits available for purchase. The We! Ski kit, for example, is made for Nordic skiing, but can also be used for cruising fat bike singletrack and snowy roads, in the winter.
The 16-inch-plus wheelset allows for a more comfortable ride on rough terrain. We regularly use the 16×3 inch wheels on gravel roads and bikepacking. We have used them on sand and hard pack snow, as well. They are perfect for mixed terrain.
The jogging kit provides the option of cross-training. You do not need to have a separate jogging stroller, the Burley Solo Jogger kit, allows you to easily switch the bike tow bar, for a jogging wheel.
Burley also offers a stroller kit, which allows for the Burley Solo to act as a stroller, on casual walks around town.
Burley helped developed the child trailer safety standards. All Burley trailers meet or exceed the American Society for Testing and Materials Standards. Burley performs both a Push-Pull test and a Drum Test to ensure that the hitch, frame, and wheels are built to last. This testing ensures parents that their trailer is safe for little ones.
The Burley Solo has an aluminum frame and paired with the aluminum handle acts as a roll cage. We have never experienced a rollover, though we have traveled on uneven terrain, but in the case that we ever do, we feel this feature would protect our daughter.
The Burley Solo also comes with a flag and reflective fabric on the cover at the rear, front, and sides. This allows the Burley Solo to be visible in traffic and adverse conditions. The Burley Solo comes with a mount for the Burley Child Trailer Light Kit. The kit is a combination of a front-facing white light and rear-facing red light. This helps increase visibility at night, though we found that attaching other bike lighting systems to the mount made us more visible. We prefer a flashing light and the Burley Light Kit lights do not flash.
The Burley Solo’s windows are rated UPF 30 to provide protection from the sun for the passenger. Rear ventilation and a roll-up front window, allow air to flow through the trailer and help keep your child cool on hot days. The trailer does not have side ventilation, which we feel would benefit the passenger, at times.
The Burley Solo is the ultimate adventure trailer for one child. It is an expensive, high-end trailer, but well worth the price if you are looking to get out in all weather and multi-terrains. We have put our Burley Solo to the test on snow, dirt, gravel, and sand. The solo performed well up steep washed-out roads in Grand-Staircase-Escalante, as well as a winter of fat biking using the ski and plus-tire attachments. There are both less and more expensive trailers out there, but if you are ready for adventure with your child, this is the trailer we recommend.
Compare the Burley Solo to other bike trailers, by checking out our trailer comparison chart.
Becky Vordermann is a mom and teacher from Teton Valley, Idaho. She enjoys camping and cycling with her husband, Bryon and daughter, April. They share their adventures at https://barefootintheburley.blogspot.com/