When you’re shopping for the best bike trailer, then there’s a good chance you want to bring some little ones along for a nice ride. Except sometimes you might also need a trailer for cargo and want a trailer for that instead. Whether you’re sharing an activity with your children or you’re bringing home groceries, this guide will help you decide which trailer will be able to best meet your needs.
The Best Chart for Bike Trailers
Some of the best bike trailers look like miniature sidecars, being pulled behind a bicycle when properly attached. They may carry 1-2 children, though most are suitable for children between the ages of 1-6. Others have the ability to effectively carry cargo so you can run your errands and lower your carbon footprint.
The chart below offers you a chance to compare today’s top-rated bike trailers in each category.
|InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer|| 4.6 || $$$ |
|InStep Quick N EZ Double Trailer|| 4.1 || $$$ |
|Aosom Wanderer Bicycle Cargo Trailer|| 4.2 || $$$ |
|InStep Sierra Double Bicycle Trailer|| 4.0 || $$ |
|Schwinn Trailblazer Single Bike Trailer|| 4.5 || $$ |
|Aosom Elite II Double Bike Trailer|| 4.0 || $$$ |
|Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer|| 4.7 || $$$$$+ |
|Allen Sports Premium Aluminum Double Trailer|| 4.3 || $$$$ |
|Booyah Double Bike Trailer|| 4.3 || $$$$$ |
What Are Bike Trailers and Why Do I Need One?
Bike trailers allow you to take your young children on your next bike ride. They also can operate quite often as cargo trailers, allowing you to transport just about anything from one destination to the next. The difference between the two is that one may offer seating preferences, while the other may not.
There are several benefits of owning the best bike trailer for your bicycle, especially if you’re using one that is designed to safely bring children along.
- It encourages an active lifestyle. Many parents give up cycling while their children are young. Then they try to take it up again when the kids reach the age of 6 or 7 because they’re old enough for their own bike. With the best bike trailer, you can stay active while taking the kids with you.
- It allows you to “show up as a parent.” When it comes to parenting, the hardest part of the job is to make sure you’re there for the kids on a consistent basis. By adding a bike trailer, you can introduce your kids to your passions and still be able to encourage family activities.
- It gives you the opportunity to put the car away. Many errands are run within a mile or two of the home. With the right bike trailer, you could take your bicycle down to the store instead of driving your vehicle. It may take a little extra time to run your errands that way, but you’ll be helping yourself and the environment while you ride.
Bike trailers are an affordable family investment. They also can sometimes double as a cargo trailer. With that level of versatility, it is easier than ever to stay active as a parent of young children.
How Do the Best Bike Trailers Work?
Bike trailers will attach to either the rear axle of a bicycle or to its frame. Most will support a total weight limit of up to 125 pounds, although single trailers may only support 50-85 pounds of weight. You must be careful about not exceeding the weight of any bike trailer because that may compromise the actual structure of the trailer itself.
For bike trailers that seat children, you’ll then need to strap them into the seating that is available. The trailer itself is usually an enclosed and zippered compartment to give the child protection from the elements during the ride. They’re also very low to the ground, which helps to prevent injuries that can occur during falls or low-impact situations.
To avoid most potential impact scenarios, many of the best bike trailers come equipped with a rotational hitch that connects to the bike. Should the bicycle lose its vertical positioning for some reason, this allows the trailer to remain steady and upright.
The low profile of a bicycle trailer also makes it difficult for drivers to see them. For this reason, it is recommended that trailers only be used on designated bicycle trails or attachments, such as an orange flag, be affixed to the top of the trailer to make it more visible.
Common Problems with Bike Trailers and How to Solve Them
Handling is the primary concern that cyclists have when attaching a trailer to their favorite bike. It changes the balance of the bike and where your center of gravity happens to be. This creates changes in how the bicycle will turn and maneuver and may create longer stopping times. You can’t change these issues, but you can take some time on your bike getting used to them. Avoid taking a new bike trailer out on the road until you become familiar with these changes.
Because you’re adding more weight to your bicycle, the average speed you can maintain will likely go down at first. Plan to spend some extra time on the trail with a full bike trailer until your legs build up the extra power that they’re going to need.
Most cyclists understand that their profile becomes longer once they attach a trailer to their bike. What isn’t always considered is the fact that your profile also becomes wider. This adds another layer of resistance to the cycling experience. Look for lightweight bike trailers with reinforced shells to get the best possible experience if you live in a high wind area.
Pricing for the best bike trailers is dependent on its design and intended use. The cheapest bike trailers in this category tend to be “singles,” or designs that are intended to seat one child safely. Entry-level singles tend to be around the $60 mark, with premium options in the $100-$150 most often.
“Doubles,” or bike trailers that can seat two children safely, typically start around the $100 mark. Premium bike trailers at this size may be in the $200-$250 range, and even potentially more, depending on what materials have been included in the trailer’s shell.
Cargo trailers tend to be the most affordable option, with entry-level options at the $40-$50 mark. You’ll also find premium trailers upwards of $250, depending on how much weight you intend to transport.
Here’s Our Reviews:
This bike trailer accommodates up to 80 pounds and features seating for two children. The frame, which is made from steel, offers a weather shield that is both practical and usable. The tires roll consistently, offering a relatively smooth ride. A bug screen is also included with this design. The coupler for this trailer is very versatile, but we did notice there are a few bikes it may not work with very well. Check your model to the coupler to make certain and then enjoy what this great bike trailer can do.
This lightweight trailer is still made from steel, but it also can hold up to 100 pounds of weight as its max payload. We also like the fact that this bike trailer includes a foot guard tube so that the feet of your little ones is better protected. Like most bike trailers, it has 16-inch inflated wheels and has the safety harnesses you’ll need. It does include a safety flag as well, limiting your costs for additional features. It folds quickly, has a small storage profile, and ultimately it makes it easier to make cycling a family activity.
Although kid trailers can double as a cargo trailer for your bike, is that really a necessary feature if you don’t have children? If you’re looking for a bike trailer that serves cargo so your errands become easier, then this sturdy steel model is perfect for you. It’s a foldable trailer which assembles quickly and can hold up to 110 pounds. The hitch is included and adds 22 pounds of pulling weight to the bike when empty. We loved taking a look at this trailer and think you’ll love using it.
When you’re a parent of multiple young children, then you need your products to be flexible and versatile. There’s only so much money to go around and a lot of it goes to your necessities. That’s why we love the design of this double trailer. Not only does it give you all the benefits of a trailer, but it also converts into a jogging stroller. This allows you to be active, let the kids have their own space, and everyone gets to be safe. There’s even extra padding in the interior and on the harness to prevent complaints.
This single trailer minimizes the profile width so you don’t have to be worried about your spacing while cycling as often. The molded rims provide a strong rolling foundation for this trailer, which also has a bug screen and weather shield for added convenience and comfort. The coupler works with most bikes, but we did find it works best with other Schwinn models in particular. It’s a bigger investment than some other trailers, but it gets the job done, which is why we recommend it.
The best bike trailer will safely transport your most precious cargo. Take your kids or your pets along for a ride or use it to haul your groceries. With these trailers, you open up a world of versatility.