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.
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.
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?
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.
#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.
#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.
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.
#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.
#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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Regardless of the model that you choose, you can assume if you are buying a trailer from one of these brands it will be a quality product.
|Brand||High-End Offering||Price |
|Budget Offering|| Price |
|3||Hamax||Hamax Outback||$550 (single)|
|4||Croozer||Croozer Kid Plus||$849 (single)||Croozer Kid||$349 (single)|
|6||Allen Sports||Allen SPorts Premier|
|Allen Sports Deluxe Steel|
|8||Tout Terrain||Tout Terrain Singletrailer||$1,700 (single)|
Thule Bike Trailers
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.
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
What We Love: Suspension, Jog/Ski Kits, Durable Construction
Thule Cadence 2
What We Love: Lots of storage space, folds flat
Burley Bike Trailers
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.
What We Love: Suspension, multi-sport kits, easy to clean
What We Love: Durable, 5-point harnesses
Hamax Bike Trailers
You’re probably familiar with Hamax carseats, but the Norwegian company also makes great bike trailers. The Hamax Outback offers great quality at a killer price.
Like the more expensive Thule Chariot or Burley Cub, the Hamax offers the option to add multi-sport kits like a jogger and ski kit.
The trailer is both wider and taller than its competitors, making it a good option for older kids.
Read Review: Hamax Outback
Price (MSRP): $550 (single), $650 (double)
What We Love: Roomy interior, multi-sport kits, well-ventilated
Croozer Bike Trailers
Like Thule, Croozer offers multi-sport trailers for parents that want to do it all. But unlike the Thule Chariot trailers, you don’t have to buy any accessories.
All Croozer trailers include the trailer kit, jogging kit, and stroller kit, making them a great deal. That said, the Croozer trailers do tend to be a bit heavier than their Thule counterparts.
The brand offers two models: the Croozer Kid and the Croozer Kid Plus. The major difference between the two is that the “Plus” includes suspension, while the regular Kid does not.
As of fall 2019, the U.S. dealer is closing out their inventory, so get it while the gettin’ is good.
Price (MSRP): $349 (single), $399 (double)
What We Love: Included Multi-Sport kits, good ventilation
Croozer Kid Plus
Price (MSRP): $849 (single)
What We Love: Suspension, padded 5-point harness
Allen Sports Bike 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.
Wike Bike Trailers
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.
Schwinn Bike Trailers
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.
What We Love: Converts to stroller, easy-open, easy close door/cover
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
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.
|Trailer||MSRP||Single or Double||Weight||Multi-Sport?||Suspension?|
|Thule Chariot Cross 2|
|Thule Chariot Cross 1||Single||28.2 lb||Yes||Yes|
|Thule Chariot Lite 2|
|Thule Chariot Lite|
|Thule Chariot Cheetah XT 2|
|Thule Chariot Cheetah XT|
|Thule Coaster XT|
|Croozer Kid for 2||Double||31 lbs||Yes||No|
|Croozer Kid for 1|
|Croozer Kid Plus for 1||Single||27 lbs||Yes||Yes|
|Burley Honey Bee|
|Allen Sports 1 Child Trailer/Jogger|
|Allen Sports 2 Child Alloy Trailer/Jogger|
|Allen Sports 2 Trailer||Double||25 lbs||No||No|
|Wike Premium Double||Double||24 lbs||Yes||No|
|Wike Softie||$482||Double||24 lbs||Yes||Yes|
|Tout Terrain Singletrailer||$1,700||Single||20.9 lbs||No||Yes|