7 Best Bike Trailers For Your Kids

hamax outback bike trailer

Looking for a bike trailer for towing your kids? Awesome! You’re about to have a ton of fun with your family!

But first, you have to find a good trailer. Unfortunately, there are a TON of bicycle trailers on the market and it can be confusing what to look for. Do you need a double trailer or a single trailer? Suspension or no? Should a trailer have metal wheels or plastic ones?

To help you get the best trailer for YOUR family and YOUR budget, we’ve tested, reviewed, researched, and surveyed parents to help you find the very best bicycle trailer for your unique situation.

Below, you’ll find a list of 7 brands that make great bicycle trailers for kids, as well as our top picks from each manufacturer. But first, we give you some things to consider before buying a trailer so you don’t waste your time or money.


Table Of Contents

Quick And Dirty Picks7 Best Trailer Brands
Questions To Ask Before BuyingComparison Chart
Other Things To Look ForFrequently Asked Questions
Is A Trailer The Best Option For Your Family?More Reading

The Quick And Dirty Guide

Don’t want to read any further? Here are our top 2 picks….one top-of-the-line and the other cheap but functional.

Best Overall

Best Under $100


7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Bicycle Trailer

#1: Do You Need a Single Trailer Or Double Trailer?

The first and most obvious criteria to choose a trailer based on is whether you want to use it for one child or for multiple children.  Even if you don’t have a second child yet, if you plan to have one soon, you might want to invest in a double trailer.  You can always use a double trailer for a single child.

The disadvantages of a double trailer compared to a single trailer is that it is harder to maneuver through tight spaces and it is heavier than a single.  For this reason, I always recommend parents of only children to stick with a single trailer.  Still, if you need to carry multiple kids, it is a no-brainer to immediately look for a double trailer.

One thing to look at is the weight capacity.  Even though a trailer is listed as a double-trailer it may have a maximum weight capacity is that too low for your two children.  Lower-end trailers tend to max out at 80 pounds while more expensive trailers usually accommodate up to 100 pounds.

#2: Do You Want To Use The Trailer For More Than Just Biking?

Multisport Trailers

If you like to run as well as bike, then a trailer is an obvious choice.  Rather than buying separate gear for each activity, choose a bike trailer that can act as a jogging stroller as well.  Some trailers, like the Thule Chariot, can even be used for cross-country skiing or fat-biking.

If you are looking for a trailer for bicycling only, then skip the convertible trailers.  They are more expensive.

#3: What’s Your Budget?

Bicycle trailers cost between $100 to $1,000 which is a pretty big budget range.  As with most things in life (unfortunately), the more expensive the trailer the nicer it is going to be and the better the construction is.

Trailers on the lower end are not as comfortable or as durable as more expensive trailers.  That said, if you are looking for a way to haul your child on the occasional paved bike path ride, a $100 trailer may be sufficient.

At the high end of the price spectrum, a $1,000 trailer will have suspension, durable fabric, good ventilation, lots of storage, and plenty of other perks.  If you can afford it, go for it.

Most families will be best served by a trailer somewhere in the middle.  We’ve tried including a variety of price points in our top picks below.

Chariot Cougar 1

#4: What Kind Of Terrain Will You Be Riding On?

Whether or not you need is suspension is largely dependent on the type of riding you plan on doing.  If you are going to be largely primarily on paved bike paths and other smooth surfaces, you can probably forgo the extra expense of suspension.

On the other hand, if you plan on riding off-road on gravel rail trails or forest service roads, suspension is a must.  Even on uneven city streets, having suspension can make a big difference in the comfort and enjoyment for your child.

Additionally, if you plan on riding off-road almost exclusively, you might want to consider a mountain-bike specific trailer like the Tout Terrain Singletrailer.

#5: How Much Storage Space Do You Need?

I like a lot of storage space in my bike trailers.  As parents, we have all sorts of stuff that needs to come along — diaper bags, toys, snacks, balance bikes, etc, etc, etc.  I also like being able to pick up a bag of groceries or some library books.  If you plan on being a frequent bike commuter with your trailer, look for one with plenty of cargo space.

Thule Chariot Cross Storage Space

#6: Do You Plan To Ride In Inclement Weather?

A good rain cover has saved me time and time again.  My son has survived some long, cold, snowy bike rides in a trailer with a sleeping bag and the rain cover safely secured.  If you plan on riding in inclement weather conditions, take this seriously.

Additionally, if you will be riding on snowy roads during the winter, the Burley plus-tire kit is great.

On the other side of the spectrum, sunny rides are much more enjoyable with a shade cover to keep your little ones protected.

Not all trailers come with these things, so evaluate your needs before shopping.

Chariot Trailer with Polar Stroller Skis

#7: Are You Going To Be Riding Up Hills?

All else equal, look for a trailer with the lowest weight.  Carrying kids in a bicycle trailer is heavy and hard; you don’t need to make it even tougher on yourself by hauling a heavy trailer too. This is particularly true if you live in an area with a lot of hills.

#8: How Old Is Your Child or Baby?

If you are interested in using your trailer to bike with a baby, choose a brand like Burley or Thule that offer inserts for carrying infants.  As an alternative, you can buckle a car seat into a trailer as well.

If your child is older (4 and up), make sure you choose a trailer with plenty of internal space. Most trailers are designed for toddlers which means kids with longer legs will feel cramped. We really like both the Hamax Outback and the Wike Premium Double for families looking for a little more interior space.

Hamax Outback Seat

#9: Do You Need The Trailer To Fold Small For Storage Or Transport?

Some families have huge garages for storing their sports gear. Others, live in small apartments or like to travel with their trailer. For the latter folks, you want to make sure you get a trailer that tears down quickly and doesn’t take up a ton of space to store.


Other Things To Look For In A Bike Trailer

Comfortable Seats

The quality of seats between bicycle trailers varies widely. Some seats are nothing more than a hard bench with a couple of straps. Other seats are well-cushioned and include 5-point harnesses. The more often you ride, and the longer you ride, the more important comfortable seats are.

Burley bike trailer

Quality Wheels

Wheels are what make a trailer roll smoothly, and yet, they are one of the most-overlooked factors when buying a bicycle trailer. Make sure to look for a trailer that has 20″ wheels and metal rims and spokes.

Cheaper, inferior trailers will have 16″ wheels and plastic rims/spokes, and don’t roll nearly as well. You’ll notice the “budget” trailers on this list have 16″ wheels, which is a trade-off you make at the lower pricepoints. None of the trailers on our list have plastic wheels, however; that’s where we draw the line.

Brakes

All the better trailers (Burley, Thule, Hamax) have some sort of brake. Most of these are foot-operated brakes to help keep the trailer in place while parked.

Some of the multi-sport trailers will also have a handbrake for use when in strolling or jogging mode. This can be nice for heavy loads and especially hilly areas. That said, a hand brake can be a bit of a pain to install and adds extra complexity.

Cheaper “budget” trailers are likely not to have a brake at all. This may not be a big deal if you are only using it in trailer mode (as opposed to stroller mode).

Available Accessories And Spare Parts

How much use do you plan on getting out of your trailer? If you plan to be using it alot, then consider buying from a brand that is known for offering excellent customer service and plenty of accessories and spare parts.

Thule and Burley are the two best brands at this. Both have plenty of accessories (like infant slings and multi sport kits) and spare parts (like extra hitches so you can use the trailer with multiple bikes).

Bike Compatibility

Compared to a bike seat, trailers are generally pretty compatible with bikes. I’ve used a trailer with all kinds of bikes over the years: my mountain bike, my road bike, my commuter bike, and even my fat bike.

The one thing to be aware of, however, is that most trailers attach to your rear axle. This means they will work with just about any bike with a quick-release skewer (including bikes with disc brakes).

They will NOT work, however, on bikes with a thru-axle. If you have a thru-axle on your rear wheel, then you will need to choose a brand that offers a thru-axle adapter (Burley and Thule both do) OR you will need to buy an adapter from The Robert Axle Project.

Weight Capacity

Bike trailers can vary greatly in terms of how much weight they can handle and hold. Cheaper trailers may only hold 40 pounds, while higher end trailers will handle 100 pounds. If you are planning on carrying multiple children or lots of gear (think groceries), then you want to pay careful attention to this when choosing.


Is a Trailer The Best Option For Your Family?

For parents looking to bike with young kids, the first option that comes to mind is a bike trailer. In fact, trailers are hands-down the most popular way to bike with young kids and babies–and for good reason.  Bicycle trailers can carry multiple children, gear, and even kid’s bikes.

That said, they aren’t the only option for hauling young kids, and you might want to explore your other choices first.

Trailers vs Bike Seats

Compared to child bike seats, trailers tend to be safer.  A good-quality trailer is essentially a roll-cage providing protection to your child in the event of a crash or a tip-over.  With a bike seat, on the other hand, if the parent crashes, the child is crashing too.

That said, I still prefer a bike seat (especially a front-mounted bike seat) to a trailer–although I use both.  This is because with a bike seat you have your child close by where you can talk to and easily interact with them.  

In a trailer, it is much harder to see and hear how your child is doing.  When we use our trailer, we often have to pull over and stop to help our son or to hear what he’s saying.  A bike seat is also much lighter than a trailer, which can feel awfully heavy when you are climbing hills.

Trailer vs Cargo Bike

In terms of cost, a trailer falls squarely between a bike seat and a cargo bike.  While a good-quality trailer can be quite a bit more expensive than a bike seat, it is still much cheaper than a cargo bike.  A cargo bike is awesome if you can afford it, and if you are going to be commuting on a daily basis.  If you only plan to do the occasional bike path ride or cruise to the park, go with the trailer.

Madsen Cargo Bike

Trailer Age Range

Trailers tend be best for use with young kids If you are comfortable with it, you can even buckle a carseat into a trailer.  For parents of multiple young children, a trailer is often the ideal option as you can put two kids in there.

Unfortunately, for slightly older kids the trailer quickly becomes BORING.  If you have a child 3 or up, I much prefer a trailer-cycle, where they are able to pedal along.

Bike Trailer Pros:

  • Many trailers can convert to jogging strollers
  • Affordable compared to a cargo bike
  • Can carry more than one child
  • Can carry gear in addition to child
  • Child is relatively safe in the event of a tip-over or crash

Bike Trailer Cons:

  • More expensive than a bike seat
  • Parent-child interaction is low
  • Child engagement is low (no pedaling, etc)
  • Heavy

7 Best Bicycle Trailer Brands

Here I offer up what I consider the seven best bicycle trailer brands.  Each of these brands offer models that range from no-frills to all the bells-and-whistles. 

The first three brands (Thule, Burley, Hamax) are my top picks. These trailers are of extremely high quality, roll well, and are from reputable brands that offer accessories and follow-up support.

BrandHigh-End OfferingPrice Mid-Range OfferingPriceEntry Level / Budget Offering Price
1ThuleThuleChariot Cross $1,789.99 * (single)
$1,179.95 *(double)
Thule Chariot Cheetah XT$599.95 * (single)
$651.23 *(double)
Thule Cadence$329.95 *(double)
2BurleyBurley Cub X$949.99 (double)Burley Encore X$599.99 (double)Burley Bee$349.99 (double)
3HamaxHamax Outback$799 (single),
$850 (double)
4CroozerCroozer Kid Vayya $870 (single)
$967 (double)
Croozer Kid Keeke $678 (single),
$447 (double)
5WikeWike Premium$549.00 *(double)Wike Junior$279.00 *(double)
6Allen SportsAllen Sports Deluxe Steel$149.57 * (double)
7SchwinnSchwinn Joyrider$359.99 *(double)Schwinn Trailblazer$139.99 *
8Tout TerrainTout Terrain Singletrailer$1,700 (single)

*Amazon prices updated 2020-12-14 at 18:49 – More Information


Thule Bike Trailers

Chariot Cougar 1

No doubt: the Thule bike trailers (particularly the Thule Chariot) are the nicest trailers on the market.  The Thule Chariot is the very first thing I bought when I found out I was pregnant. 

The Thule Chariot models are the crème de la crème for active families thanks to the multitude of available accessories.  The trailer can do double duty as a stroller, jogger, and ski sled.  The more expensive models have suspension for off-road riding, plenty of storage, and will last for years.

Read Our Reviews: Thule Chariot Cross or Thule Chariot Cougar

On the cheaper end of the spectrum, the Thule Cadence offers good quality at a budget price. The Cadence can fit one or two kids, has ample storage space, and folds into a tidy little package for storage.

Thule Chariot Cross

thule chariot

Price: $1,789.99 * (single)
$1,179.95 * (double)

What We Love: Suspension, Jog/Ski Kits, Durable Construction

Thule Cadence 2

thule cadence 2

Price: [amazon-element asin=”B00FZLIK1U” fields=”ListPrice”] * (double)

What We Love: Lots of storage space, folds flat

*Amazon prices updated 2020-12-14 at 18:49 – More Information


Burley Bike Trailers

burley cub

When thinking of bicycle trailers, Burley is probably the name that comes immediately to mind.  Known for high-quality products and good value, Burley deserves their positive reputation.  They offer trailers across the budget spectrum, from bare-bones entry-level trailers that still boast good quality to high-end trailers with adjustable suspension.

The Burley Cub is one of the most popular trailers on the market, and for good reason. It has several attachment options for a variety of outdoor activities, is easy to clean, and collapses for easy transport.

Finally, for parents on a budget, the Burley Bee is a top pick of nearly every family we’ve surveyed. It’s a bike-only trailer that’s durable and well-constructed. It can carry one or tow kids and includes 5-point-harness straps.

Read Our Reviews: Burley Honey Bee and Burley Encore X

Older Model Reviews: Burley Cub and Burley Solo

Burley Cub X

burley cub x

Price : $949.99 (double)

What We Love: Suspension, multi-sport kits, easy to clean

Burley Bee

Price: $349.99 (double)

What We Love: Durable, 5-point harnesses


Hamax Bike Trailers

hamax outback bike trailer

You’re probably familiar with Hamax carseats, but the Norwegian company also makes great bike trailers.  The Hamax Outback offers great quality at a slightly more reasonable cost than its competitors

Like the more expensive Thule Chariot or Burley Cub X, the Hamax offers the option to add multi-sport kits like a jogger and ski kit. It’s also recently been updated to include reclining seats, which make naptime much more comfortable.

The trailer is both wider and taller than its competitors, making it a good option for older kids.

Read Review: Hamax Outback

hamax outback

Price (MSRP): $799 (single), $850 (double)

What We Love: Roomy interior, multi-sport kits, well-ventilated


Croozer Bike Trailers

croozer kid for 2 bike trailer
Photo Credit

Like Thule, Croozer offers multi-sport trailers for parents that want to do it all.  They also have features totally unique to Croozer and unavailable on other brands (like air suspension rather than spring suspension).

The brand offers two models: the Croozer Vaaya and the Croozer Keeke. Both models have air sprung suspension, but the Vaaya steps it up another notch with automatic light-up handlebar and climatex® seats.

The only thing to be aware of is that there is no U.S. dealer, so you have to put in a little work if you want one. (If you live in Europe, then no problem).

Croozer Vaaya

Price (MSRP): $870 (single)
$967 (double)

What We Love: Climatex® seats, air suspension

Croozer Keeke

Price (MSRP): $678 (single),
$447 (double)

What We Love: Air suspension, jogging kit compatible


Allen Sports Bike Trailers

allen sports trailers


The Allen Sports trailers lack some of the bells and whistles that the brands on this list have, but they do come at totally affordable pricepoints.  Unlike other “cheap” trailers, the Allen Sports trailers are lightweight and easy to pull. 

If you’re on a budget, or only plan to use your bike trailer occasionally, look no further than these top picks.

The Allen Sport Premier can act as a jogger as well as a trailer. It’s one of the narrower double trailers out there, which is great for fitting through tight spaces, but not so great if your kids are bigger.

The Allen Sports Deluxe Steel is hands-down our favorite trailer under $100. It’s made of durable steel so won’t flex or bend and has metal rather than plastic wheels; something that’s rare at this pricepoint.

Allen Sports Premier

Price: Price not available *

What We Love: Trailer/jogger combo, affordable

Allen Sports Deluxe Steel

Price: $149.57

What We Love: Best Budget trailer, solid steel construction

*Amazon prices updated 2020-12-14 at 18:49 – More Information


Wike Bike Trailers

wike trailer
Photo: Wike Blog

Unlike any other trailers on this list (or in the U.S. market for that matter), Wike trailers have a unique look and serve as the ideal trailers for families who like to do lots of around-town riding and commuting. 

The Wike trailers are durable, comfortable, and heck, they look nice!  We also appreciate that these trailers fold up small, making them nice for storage and transport.

The Wike Premium converts quickly between a trailer and a stroller, making it great for Saturday trips to the farmer’s market. The Wike Junior is a bike-trailer only but comes at a great price. It can accommodate two kiddos and is lightweight and quick folding.

Wike Premium

Price: $549.00

Wike Junior

Price: $279.00

*Amazon prices updated 2020-12-14 at 18:49 – More Information


Schwinn Bike Trailers

schwinn trailer

Chances are you had a Schwinn bike as a kid.  Yup, that’s how long this company has been around.  If you’re looking for a basic, budget trailer that will get the job done, consider a Schwinn.  You won’t find any bells and whistles on these trailers, but they won’t fall apart and they don’t weigh a ton.

The Schwinn Joyrider has a unique, and super practical design. It quickly converts to a stroller for pushing around town, and we like that the cover simply closes rather than needing to be zipped or strapped down. It fits two kids.

The Schwinn Trailblazer is a good budget option for a single child. It’s narrow which makes it good for navigating busy areas. It also folds down pretty flat for storage and transport.

Schwinn Joyrider

Price: $359.99

What We Love: Converts to stroller, easy-open, easy close door/cover

Schwinn Trailblazer

Price: $139.99

What We Love: Folds up small for storage, narrow to fit on crowded paths

*Amazon prices updated 2020-12-14 at 18:49 – More Information


Tout Terrain

tout terrain singletrailer review

The Tout Terrain Singletrailer isn’t the trailer for most families, but you might not be “most families.” This trailer is the BEST option for parents who like to take their child along on singletrack or bikepacking adventures.

It has a single wheel design that allows it to be ridden on skinny trails. The only bummer, of course, is the cost.

Read Review: Tout Terrain Singletrailer

Tout Terrain Singletrailer

tout terrain singletrailer

Price (MSRP): $1,700

What We Love: Single wheel design, suspension


Comparison Chart: Bicycle Trailers for Kids

To compare brands and models, use this handy chart to help you choose the best trailer for your family.

TrailerSingle or DoubleWeightMulti-Sport?Suspension?
Thule Chariot Cross 2Double31.96 lbYesYes
Thule Chariot Cross 1Single28.2 lbYesYes
Thule Chariot Lite 2Double27.55 lbYesYes
Thule Chariot LiteSingle25.79 lbYesYes
Thule Chariot Cheetah XT 2 Double26.5 lbYesNo
Thule Chariot Cheetah XTSingle19.4 lbYesNo
Thule Coaster XTDouble26 lbNo No
Thule CadenceDouble22 lbNoNo
Coozer Vaaya 1Single35 lbsYesYes
Coozer Vaaya 2Double39 lbsYesYes
Croozer Keeke 1Single35 lbsYesYes
Croozer Keeke 2Double39 lbsYesYes
Burley CubDouble37 lbsYesYes
Burley D'LiteDouble28.4 lbsYesYes
Burley Honey BeeDouble25.2 lbsNoNo
Burley BeeDouble19.95 lbsNoNo
Burley MinnowSingle 21.9 lbsNoNo
Allen Sports 1 Child Trailer/JoggerSingle19.5 lbsYesNo
Allen Sports 2 Child Alloy Trailer/JoggerDouble25 lbsYesNo
Allen Sports 2 TrailerDouble25 lbsNoNo
Wike JuniorDouble18 lbsNoNo
Wike MoonlightDouble22 lbsNoNo
Wike Premium DoubleDouble24 lbsYesNo
Wike SoftieDouble24 lbsYesYes
Tout Terrain SingletrailerSingle20.9 lbsNoYes
Hamax Outback 1Single44 lbsYesYes
Hamax Outback 2Double51 lbsYesYes


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we get emailed regularly. Still have a question not answered here? Leave it in the comments below and we’ll try to answer.

How Do I Attach A Bike Trailer?

Almost all bike trailers attach to the adult’s bicycle via a trailer arm and hitch mount. The hitch mount installs on the adult’s rear axle and the trailer arm then slides into it and pins in place.

The biggest problem we hear from parents are those that bought a trailer used and then realized they weren’t given the hitch mount after the fact–yikes! If you have a trailer from a reputable brand like Thule, Burley, or Hamax, no worries. You can easily order a replacement hitch mount from the brands website. For other smaller brands, you may be out of luck.

If you have a thru-axle on your rear wheel, you may also need a axle adapter. For Thule or Burley, you can order these directly from the brand. For other trailers, you can order an adapter from The Robert Axle Project. (More on this topic earlier in the article).

Finally, some trailers (like the Tout Terrain or the Weehoo) attach to the bicycles seatpost instead of the rear axle. Trailer-cycles will attach to either your seatpost or a rear rack.

When Can A Baby Ride In A Bike Trailer?

Quick and easy answer: 12 months old. That’s what the AAP recommends and it keeps you on the safe side.

For a longer answer, read our post on biking with babies:

Should My Child Wear A Helmet In A Bike Trailer?

Yes! In some places they may even be required to wear them by law.

Although kids are pretty safe if they are in a good quality trailer (again think Burley or Thule) and strapped in via a 5-point harness, don’t risk it. You always want to keep your child’s head protected with a good helmet.

There is one exception to this. If you are using the trailer with a baby under one OR a child that doesn’t yet have strong enough neck muscles to support the weight of a helmet, then they should not wear a helmet. Refer to the linked post above on biking with a baby.

More Reading

4 thoughts on “7 Best Bike Trailers For Your Kids”

  1. Love this post!!! I have been on a frenzy looking for a bike trailer and it is so difficult to make a decision. It doesn’t help that almost all are sold out, but I did not want to just buy only what was available. I know now exactly what I want and I thank you so much for your help!

    Reply
  2. Hey, this really helped! the only thing I now need before purchasing the trailer is a compatibility list. I have a non-standard bike due to my bad knees. It’s a Giant road-E+ from 2018. Any idea where I can find that?

    Reply

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