After 50 hours of testing and research, we managed to find the best bicycle trailer for most people that offers both good quality and price. Allen Sports Premium Aluminum 2 Child Bicycle Trailer and Stroller provides safety and comfort for your children, without affecting your budget. Optimum design offers most in terms of safety on the road and clever seating design prevent uncomfortable positions and drooping of the trailer’s bottom, and great additional functions and storage space make trips easier and more fun for whole family.
During our testing, Allen Sports Premium Aluminum outdid its competition by far, proving as most durable and reliable trailer, with additional features, like easy conversion to a stroller, that offer you most in this price range. Lightweight aluminum frame ensures that driving a bicycle with your kids in the back isn’t an impossible task, but rather a fun and easy way to spend more time with your children and 20′ wheels with real tires ensure a smooth ride. Even though the frame of the trailer is not heavy, it doesn’t impact its sturdiness, because Allen Sports Premium Aluminum proved as a durable and safe trailer for your kids. Materials used for the trailer are thick and of great quality, as opposed to other trailers we tested, and the comfort of your child is ensured with a seat that doesn’t sag under the child’s weight and makes for a perfectly safe and comfy ride.
With over 30 years on the market of bicycle trailers, Burley is a well-known brand. Burley Kids’ Honey Bee Trailer is a great choice in case our top pick isn’t in stock, and if your budget is not limited. With its 20′ wheels it provides a smooth and easy ride, preventing bums on the road to cause any trouble during the ride, and 600D polyester is a great choice for cover, since it’s durable and very solid. It’s easily adjusted to be used as a stroller, and adjustable handlebar and hub engaged parking brake make this trailer perfectly functional as a stroller, without the need to invest in additional gear. Additional storage space on the rear end of the trailer enables you to pack a picnic basket or a change of clothes and to fully enjoy outdoor activities with your kids without having to think about additional cargo transport.
In case you cannot spend more than a hundred dollars on a trailer, InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer is a great pick for parent on a tight budget. With its solid performance, this trailer proved as a reliable choice for a ride on smooth roads, because plastic 16′ wheels weren’t a great choice for a rougher terrain. Nylon covers are decent but not heavy-duty, but the bug screen is a welcome addition. Even though the trailer itself is sturdy, it isn’t likely it will withstand frequent use for a couple of years as our top or step-up pick, so, if you are planning to upgrade after some time, InStep Take 2 can be a great temporary solution.
Table of Contents
- Why should I buy a bicycle trailer?
- Is a bicycle trailer more safe than other types of child bicycle carriers?
- How we tested
- Our pick: Allen Sports Premium Aluminum 2 Child Bicycle Trailer and Stroller
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- The step-up pick: Burley Kids’ Honey Bee Trailer
- The budget pick: InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer
- Best bicycle trailer for pets
- Wrapping it up
Why should I buy a bicycle trailer?
If you are looking for a way to include your kids in your outdoor activities more, installing a bicycle trailer on your bike is a perfect solution. You don’t have to wait for your kids to grow up and be able to learn to ride a bike in order to join you, you can simply take them with you and make your regular workouts or trips to the market a fun family experience.
May people are concerned when they think of bicycle trailers as a mean of transporting children, but, in fact, it’s the safest way for a child to ride on your bike. Of course, you’ll have to take precautions, such as helmets for the kids and choosing roads that are not swamped with traffic, but if you are a cycling enthusiast, it’s a great way to share your love of bicycles with your children early on, and to take them with you wherever you go, providing them a comfortable and safe way to participate in the ride.
Is a bicycle trailer more safe than other types of child bicycle carriers?
Researchers with expertise in the pediatrics department, published a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine which, after 8 years of gathering data about injuries in children connected to bicycle seats and trailers, concluded that the occurrence of injuries while children were transported in bicycle trailers was dramatically lower than it was with bicycle seats.
Bicycle seats come in two types- front seats that you mount in front of your bike and rear mounted seats. They offer a sense of false safety, because your child is more close to you than it is when sitting in a trailer, but they are actually much more risky and unsafe for a child. The fact that both types of bicycle seats are mounted high on the bicycle makes it a greater risk factor in case of a fall or an accident. If your child is in a seat, in unexpected circumstances, you can risk them falling from approximately three feet, as opposed to trailers, that not only enclose your children with a cover, they are closer to the ground, and in case of you falling from the bike, they would be a couple of inches above the ground, ensuring to minimize risk of injuries in case of fall or an accident. Bicycle seats make it harder to maneuver your bike, especially front seats, which both impair your visibility and make it harder to use the handles, while the law of psychics allow towing a trailer to be a much easier task with more room for maneuver. Also, getting of the bike while your kid is in a mounted seat can be a painstakingly difficult process, which is another disadvantage of seats when compared to trailers.
American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends parents to decide on bicycle trailer rather than mounted seats, due to the fact they offer better safety, but trailers also have additional advantages, like providing more comfort for the kids, and making the bicycle ride easier for the parent.
However, choosing a bicycle trailer over mounted bicycle seats is not enough to ensure maximum safety. In order to maintain highest level of safety when cycling with your children, it is of utmost importance to provide helmets for your children, even when they’re in a bicycle trailer.
Another important thing to mention is the appropriate age for children to be taken out on bicycle rides. Even though bicycle trailers offer most safety when you want your child to accompany you on your bike ride, it is not recommended to transport infants on bicycle. It is not a matter of trailer safety, because they would provide the same level they provide for any child, but a matter of potential injury caused by exposing infants to bumps on the road in early stages of neurodevelopment. Dr. Tord Alden of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago in his interview for BikePortland expressed concerns about children under the age of one being brought on bicycle rides, since their brains are at their most sensitive in this period, and any unnecessary bumping and vibrations could have a negative impact to child’s development.
How we tested
Over 50 hours of extensive testing and research, we’ve had help from 10 different families who tested the trailers with us, in order to try and find the best bicycle trailer for most people. We consulted pediatricians and did extensive research on bicycle trailer safety, to ensure that our ideal candidate would also check out on all of the important safety details, in addition to being comfortable for both parents and children.
Firsthand experience and extensive, everyday testing with different models of bicycle trailers helped us understand the qualities that make a bicycle trailer convenient for parents to use and comfortable and safe for children, and we managed to narrow down most important characteristics that a best bicycle trailer for most people needs to possess.
One of the features that was a big plus for most of the parents was the ability of the trailer to be converted to a stroller, providing versatility and option to be used even when you’re not on your bicycle. One of the first features that we considered as an advantage was if you didn’t need to buy any additional conversion kits to achieve this, and the bicycle trailer is easily converted to a stroller by default.
Another important characteristic to consider was the weight of the bicycle trailer. Excessive weight proved as a disadvantage when on the road because it made maneuvering more difficult, and it caused a lot more discomfort to parents, who weren’t able to enjoy the ride because they had to pull too much weight.
Use of quality materials in manufacture of the trailer was of great importance, since better quality materials ensured not only durability, but also maximum safety for the child.
We also looked for bicycle trailers whose dimensions offered most comfort for children, and whose interior had all the safety precautions installed, like harnesses and helmet support mesh, and provided most comfort.
Our pick: Allen Sports Premium Aluminum 2 Child Bicycle Trailer and Stroller
Allen Sports Premium Aluminum 2 Child Bicycle Trailer and Stroller quickly became our favorite during testing, because it easily outperformed other, even more expensive, bicycle trailers in all aspects. Lightweight aluminum frame proved as a great solution for frame material, because it didn’t affect the overall sturdiness of the trailer, but didn’t influence the weight, making this trailer perfect for long and short bike rides equally. Opposed to many other models who didn’t make the cut, Allen Sports Premium has 20′ inflated wheels which easily provided a smooth ride, regardless of the terrain. It also made sharp turns and uphill or downhill terrain much easier to maneuver through, due to stability and flexibility of the wheels.
It can support up to 100 lbs in weight, comfortably carrying two kids without a problem, especially when you consider the dimensions- 30′ in width (internal 22″) and 35′ in height.
Nylon cover is a great quality one, durable and thick, and is easily attached and detached with Velcro strips on the sides, making access to kids easy and fast. With rain and bug shield, you’re covered for rides in any environment and in any circumstance, without having to worry about additional protection. Kids loved the large ‘windows’ in the front and on the sides, because they were able to relax and enjoy the view, without feeling boxed in, and the ventilation mesh in the back provided nice air flow. Reflective strips, taillight and safety flag that come with this bicycle trailer ensure you feel even safer and improve visibility of the trailer on the road.
When it comes to the interior of the trailer, Allen Sports Premium trailer again outdid itself, by sewing the seats above the bottom of the trailer, which offered more stability and comfort for the child, and increased safety by preventing the sagging of bottom which could make contact with the road while you drive. Safety straps are nicely positioned, providing safety for your child, but without causing them discomfort, with their choice in padded straps and central position, rather than the crotch position which many of the other models offered, and which proved as uncomfortable. The bottom of the trailer is made from rubberized plastic, which is really heavy-duty and withstands the test of time and maximum use without ripping.
When you decide to use your bicycle to go, for example, to the market or even a zoo, this trailer offers a perfect solution for your kids even when you’re walking around, because it’s easily converted to a stroller. You simply detach the trailer from the bicycle, and adjust the handlebar on one of two heights available, and you’re ready to go. This trailer makes for a perfect companion when planning a visit or a picnic, not only because you can use it a stroller when you finish with the ride, but because of additional storage space behind the seats that can be used to pack all the necessities for a great family adventure. Even your kids can enjoy snacks or sipping their juice while you drive, thanks to spacy interior pockets.
During our testing, Allen Sports Premium constantly had the best performance and outdid even some of the more expensive models, and if you add the fact that its price is well within the budget of most people.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Even though Allen Sports Premium bicycle trailer had the best results in our testing, there was still a bit room for improvement in some areas. Although the safety harness had padded straps and was positioned at the center, which was more comfortable to the kids, oddly enough, lap strap isn’t divided for each of the kids, but rather covers both, which makes it a bit inconvenient when you’re undoing the straps. It wasn’t that much of a problem, but it would be better if each child had its own lap strap, and not only the upper part of the harness.
Some of our testers didn’t like that Allen’s choice for attaching the cover was Velcro, and would prefer zippers or snaps, but, at the same time some just loved the ease of attaching and detaching Velcro provides. When all is considered, this minor inconveniences rather than flaws are not much of a setback when you think about all the other areas in which Allen Sports Premium excels and good value it offers for a bargain price.
The step-up pick: Burley Kids’ Honey Bee Trailer
Burley Kids’ Honey Bee Trailer is a high quality bicycle trailer that also doubles as a stroller, and it’s a great choice if our top pick is out of stock, and if you don’t mind the price, which is exceeds our top picks’ for more than double. With internal width of 21.8′, it’s just slightly smaller than Allen’s trailer, but Burley go out of their way to ensure comfort for the kids. It can easily support 2 kids with maximum weight of 100 lbs, so you can use it for years to come. Same as our topic pick, they opted for sewing in the seats above the foot area, preventing sagging when children are seated. When it comes to the cover, 600D polyester provides can withstand any condition and is very durable. Honey Bee trailer has some nice additional features, like UV- tainted ‘windows’ on the sides, but, instead of window in the front, this model has a mesh that also provides ventilation and nice air flow. Five-point harness with padded straps keeps your kids safe and doesn’t make the ride uncomfortable, and it’s easy for parents to undo.
It also has a rear storage space, perfect for bringing toys on the road or packing lunch for the youngsters, but it has no interior pockets, which proved as rather handy for enabling easy access to snacks or drinks for kids during the ride.
20′ wheels with real tires ensure that the ride will be smooth even on bumpy roads, enabling you to enjoy the ride knowing your kids are not feeling uncomfortable in the back.
One of the additional features Honey Bee offers is hub engaged parking brake, which you can easily activate with your foot, making sure your stroller won’t go anywhere when parked.
The budget pick: InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer
When you need a bicycle trailer that is solid and safe, InStep Take 2 is a great choice for parents with a limited budget.
However, budget option might not offer all the perks our top and step-up pick have. For example, maximum weight for this trailer is 80 lbs, 20 lbs less than Burley’s and Allan’s, but it actually feels like enough, considered that this trailer won’t get used for a few years, due to less durable materials used that reflect the low price. Nylon used for covers is less thick and durable than our top picks’, and it’s more prone to deterioration over time.
With 16′ pneumatic tire wheels it’s more suitable for flat terrain and smooth roads, but you can use it on a more uneven terrain, even though the ride might not be that smooth.
When it comes to safety, InStep Take 2 is a solid trailer, with a sturdy steel frame, but it often felt like too much of a burden for parent who rode the bicycle, due to its weight.
Unfortunately, the seating area isn’t divided from the bottom, so you can expect some sagging, especially when you come close to the upper limit of 80 lbs, which can make kids a bit uncomfortable.
Finally, when price is considered, InStep Take 2 is a great option for a summer or two, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities with your kids, but, overall, it’s really worth deciding on our top pick, which is more durable and can be used for many years without a problem.
Best bicycle trailer for pets
Families come in all types and sizes, so we thought it would be nice to include a bicycle trailers for our four-legged members of the family. Bicycle trailer for pets, which did best in our tests, is Aosom Elite II Pet Dog Bike Bicycle Trailer. With maximum capacity of 88 lbs, it can fit any dog breed, and, in some cases, more than one dog, allowing you to share your love for the outdoors with your furry friend. This bicycle trailer is easily converted into a stroller, making it a perfect addition for families who have dogs that suffer from arthritis or have difficulty walking due to old age.
Nylon covers protect your pet from the weather and make him safe during the ride, and, for convenience, have three entry or exit points, making it easy to get you pet in and out.
20′ inch wheels and additional safety features adjusted for pets, like interior leashes, make for a smooth and safe ride your pet will enjoy.
This is a great choice for everyone who wants their pets to be able to join them on bicycle rides, without compromising their safety and assuring that they’re comfortable.
Even though maroon color of this trailer was an instant hit with family who have girls, InStep Flare Double Bicycle Trailer left much to be desired. With 16′ wheels with plastic rims, it was not a great choice for long rides or rougher terrain, especially when you consider that the seats are not divided from the bottom of the trailer, which makes rides on rough terrain extremely uncomfortable. Even though it can be converted to a stroller, it requires you to use a conversion kit.
With a weight limit of 88 lbs, Aosom Elite II 3in1 Double Child Bike Trailer and sling-styled seats, this model of trailer proved as prone to sagging during our testing, especially because of initial low limit for weight and no reinforcements on the bottom. Its advantage is that not only it can be easily converted to stroller, you can convert it to a jogger too. However, this price for 3 in 1 trailer doesn’t guarantee you high quality, so this is not a good choice if you want a durable trailer.
With 20′ wheels and aluminum frame, Schwinn Trailblazer Double Bicycle Trailer is great for maneuver on the road and can easily handle different types of terrain, however, it weight limit of 80 lbs isn’t impressive. It is easily converted to a stroller, and, even though it’s marketed as a bicycle trailer for 2 kids, it may be better to use it for one child.
InStep bicycle trailers seem to all have trouble with poor quality wheels, and InSTEP Sierra Double Bicycle Trailer isn’t an exception, with 16′ wheels with plastic rims. However, this model offers some better solutions for the seating, with padded seats and reinforced bottom, minimizing the sagging during the drive, but still not eliminating it.
It might seem that this bicycle trailer is closer to our step-up pick than any other model in the competition. Unfortunately, even though Thule Cadence is a reliable, sturdy bicycle trailer, it’s pretty much basic, to that extent that it even can’t be converted to a stroller, not even by additionally purchasing conversion kit. With the ability to find much more for half of Cadence’s price, this model just isn’t worth it.
As the cheapest bicycle trailer, the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer is available for half the price as its Premium Aluminum model that was our top pick, but it also lacks a lot of the features our top pick has. With steel frame, it’s much heavier and more difficult to steer and drive with, and 16″ inflated wheels don’t provide smooth rides over bumpy roads, but, they’re still more durable than the ones with plastic rims. It also can’t be converted to a stroller, lacking the versatility and functionality of Allen’s premium model.
Wrapping it up
If you are a cycling enthusiast or just love to spend time outdoors, a perfect way to include your younger children is to ride them on your bike. Bicycle trailers are the safest option for children to accompany you on your bicycle, being more stable and having more safety measures than mounted seats.
For most parents, the best choice is the Allen Sports Premium Aluminum 2 Child Bicycle Trailer and Stroller, which offers great quality at a reasonable price. Sturdy and reliable, but lightweight and easy to steer, this bicycle trailer is perfect for any type of terrain, and can endure longer rides same as the quick ones around the block. With additional features, such as easy conversion to a stroller, and additional storage and inner pockets, it makes a perfect companion for visits to the market, zoo or a city tour, because you can store everything you need for the trip, and, with inner pockets, kids will be able to access snacks and drinks while you drive. When you come to your destination, just unhook the trailer, and your stroller is ready to go.
Another good choice is our step-up pick, Burley Kids’ Honey Bee Trailer, especially if price is not the issue. It’s worth investing more in this bicycle trailer in case you live in an especially hot climate, because it has a front mesh window, which offers maximum air flow and ventilation, preventing heat to accumulate inside the trailer, and UV-tinted side ‘windows’ which protect your children from strong sunlight. However, in case you don’t have to worry about the heat, you don’t need to spend the extra money in order to buy a safe, comfortable trailer for your children.
In case you’re on a budget, and can’t afford to spend much money on a bicycle trailer in the moment, InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer is a bicycle trailer which will be great for driving your kids around, but no more than a season or two, due to the lower quality of materials used. In case you’re planning on a temporary solution until you upgrade, this budget bicycle trailer can be great for your needs.