It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of bike trailers available for kids. The sheer scope of competitors, colors, custom features, and add-ons can make you feel dizzy. Here is a guide for finding the best bike trailer for kids. First, you need to decide on a few basic options. Once you have an idea of what features you would like, it is much easier to find the perfect fit. Bike trailers come in all sizes, but don’t be discouraged, the perfect trailer is out there. However, the perfect trailer for one person is not the same as it might be for someone else.
There are some areas to think about before selecting the perfect trailer for you and your child. Here are a few things to consider before looking at the different models available:
Will you be taking your child with you on long biking trips? Will you want to run or jog with the stroller? The first step in finding the best stroller is to think about your activity level and where you plan on taking the trailer. Some trailers allow you to use it as a jogging stroller without your bike. Trailers come with a wide range of shock support and cushion, which can greatly impact the your child’s comfort level during longer rides. Some budget picks may seem attractive, but aren’t as durable when it comes to long rides or trips offroad.
Do you need room for one child, or are two siblings going along for the ride? There are a few things to keep in mind with both double-seated and single-seated trailers. First, a double-seated trailer sometimes feels a bit off-balance if there is only one child, or a large weight difference between children. A single-seated trailer is more compact, but can feel less spacious for your child. If you are using the trailer for an older child, a double-seated trailer might give her or him the extra space needed. If your child is 3 or older, you will want to consider a trailer cycle.
Are you looking for the best money can buy, or a great budget pick? Prices can vary dramatically, so think about your ideal budget and weigh your options carefully. Each trailer type will have a budget choice, a mid-range model and a top-of-the-line selection. You don’t have to have a large budget to get a quality, safe bicycle trailer for your child. Higher priced models do, however, come with extra custom features that can make the trailer more durable, comfortable, or functional.
Is your child old enough for a trailer? While the age can vary, most professionals will agree that 12 months is the minimum age for a child in a bike trailer. Children should be able to hold their head up on their own. This can occur as young as 6 months, but some trailers and many health professionals recommend a later age.
Depending on where you live, your child may be required to wear a helmet while riding in a bike trailer. If it is not a law, it is still a very wise idea to always wear a helmet while traveling in a trailer. If your trailer doesn’t come equipped with a safety flag, look for an orange flag between 3 ½ – 7 feet high. Also look for reflectors on the front and back of your trailer. While you’re thinking of them, go ahead and check the reflectors on your own bike as well.
Double check your bicycle and bicycle trailer every time before use, and make sure you follow all instructions for assembly and attaching to your bike. It may seem like common sense, but each trailer is slightly different and can easily be installed improperly. Breathe a little easier knowing you chose a bike trailer, an option that is safer for your child than a bike seat, particularly a rear-mounted bike seat.
Before choosing the perfect bicycle trailer for kids, think about your storage needs. Most trailers need some assembly before use. Most are quite easy and come with detailed instructions. Generally, trailers can be folded or disassembled in just a few seconds. If you need to travel with your trailer, check the dimensions before buying to ensure your trailer can be transported easily and safely. This is especially important with larger trailers or trailer cycles.
These types of bicycle trailers also function as strollers. They are perfect for anyone who likes to walk or jog with her or his child, or anyone who loves multi-use equipment. Here are the best jogging stroller bike trailers for kids; pros and cons of each choice will be highlighted:
This budget-friendly jogger already comes equipped with the front jogging wheel; no attachments are needed. It is spacious and capable of holding two children. The comfort level is a bit lower, with less padding overall. It is, however, the best jogging stroller bike trailer in this price range.
The best, most comfortable trailer with a suspension. The Burley Encore provides more comfort and support and includes UV windows. It rides very smoothly for being a suspensionless trailer. The jogging wheel comes as an upgrade kit, sold separately.
This heavy-duty bicycle trailer comes equipped with everything you could think of, and some things you may not have thought of before. Spacious, great suspension, reclinable seats and the option of an infant sling are just a few of this impressive trailer’s features. There is also the unique option of skis for winter use.
The stroller option is a separate kit, and you can also add a hand brake for the rear wheels. This trailer is a bit heavy, which makes travel a bit cumbersome. It is also one of the more expensive trailers available. Consider checking out the Thule Chariot Lite for a lower-priced and lighter version.
If you are looking for something with a bit more room to grow, consider one of these spacious bicycle trailers for kids. These trailers are perfect if you have larger or older children, or they just need a little more room to wiggle. They can be especially useful to provide room for children wearing bicycle helmets.
Perhaps the most aptly named, this yellow and black trailer will have you buzzing back and forth on the road. It has a lightweight frame, which creates far less drag on your bike. You’ll definitely notice the weight difference when traveling uphill.
This trailer doesn’t function as a stroller, but has plenty of headspace for your child. If you only have one child, consider the Burley Minnow. This sleek design still offers extra room, but with only one seat and at a lesser cost.
A great in-between choice, this trailer provides plenty of headroom, sturdy construction and is still a lightweight design. While it looks a bit boxier than most trailers, it is spacious and easy to pack up. There are several options to consider with this selection. First, you can opt for the Wike Premium Double Trailer, which allows for a jogging stroller kit. You can also choose a single seat version, the Wike Premium Single.
The perfect premium choice, the Hamax Outback comes with all the spacious and comfortable features you would expect from a top-of-the-line trailer. It is the best bicycle trailer for kids who need more room, and also includes a few unique features. A jogging stroller swivel wheel comes standard with this selection, and it has excellent venting and visibility with large screens on both sides and in front. You can upgrade to a baby insert, or choose the solo version of this versatile and smooth trailer.
Be honest, sometimes it’s tough waiting for your training-wheel-clad little one on a bike. You want to encourage your toddler to ride independently, but also want to ride at your own pace. A trailer cycle is a great option for this situation. Your child gets to pedal on her or his own, but the bike is attached to your own. It turns your bicycle into a parent-child tandem bike. Trailer cycles all have pedals for your child and only have a single wheel. They usually have handles, helping kids feel like they are riding a bike just like you. None of them are able to be used independently as a stroller. They are designed for older kids, usually ages 4-9.
This budget-friendly cycle has all the necessary features at a very reasonable price. It has pedals, a seat and handlebars that closely resemble your child’s own bike. It’s rated for up to 75 pounds, and the trailer itself weighs 24 pounds. The seat does not come with a backrest, but it can be added as an upgrade. The WeeRide Co-Pilot attaches to your bike’s seat post.
This trailer cycle doesn’t attach to the seat post like most, but instead, is mounted by a special “Moose Rack” that comes included. This helps stabilize the trailer, which makes a smoother ride for both you and your child. It includes a gear shift, which allows your child to begin practicing a multi-gear bike. This cycle may be slightly too tall for a 4-year-old, which is the minimum age.
As usual, the top of the line includes many additional features and functions. The Weehoo iGo Turbo has a seat more reminiscent of a trailer rather than a bicycle. It has storage capacity, which is great for longer rides. This trailer is rated for younger children, with an age range of 2-9 years old. Comfortable, safe, and low to the ground, this cycle trailer is perfect for long bike rides or for younger children looking to grow with their bicycles.
Most trailers come standard with two seats. However, for families with only one child, this can be an unnecessary size and weight. The good news is that there are many trailers available with a single seat. The factors to consider are the same, so here are the best bicycle trailers for one child:
Small, versatile and convenient, the Schwinn Trailblazer single provides a basic trailer to get you and your child on the road. It has a bug screen and folds up neatly and easily. It is rated for a child up to 40 pounds. This trailer, however, doesn’t include any shocks or jogging capabilities.
The sleeker model of the Burley Bee, this single seated trailer is durable and comfortable. It has extra room for a child wearing a helmet or for an older child. The wheels are easy to remove for quick transport or storage. This trailer also doesn’t come with any jogging stroller features.
The Thule Chariot Cross Multisport Trailer & Stroller is the best of the best, with tons of features, padding and safety for your child. The seat can recline to cater to a napping child, and the trailer has the option of becoming a jogging stroller for parents who like to run as well as bicycle. The durable frame is a bit heavy when pulling, however.
If you are looking for a multi-use trailer, or aren’t sure what features you would like in a trailer, here are some of the best overall trailers currently on the market. These trailers are especially good if you are considering a trailer as a gift for a friend or family member and are unsure what custom features they are looking for.
This is one of the most budget-friendly trailers you can buy that still includes full-sized 20-inch tires. The trailer does have less durable fabric and no shocks, but if you are looking for a trailer with none of the frills or upgrades, then this is the perfect selection for you. The trailer still comes equipped with large windows that include bug screens.
A great universal bicycle trailer with some extra features you may enjoy, this model is durable and water resistant, but is not as comfortable or padded as other trailers. It comes with a much longer warranty than most models, with a one-year warranty on the fabric and other parts and a three-year warranty on the plastic and framing.
One of the best trailers money can buy, this option offers the widest range of features with excellent quality. Adjustable leaf-spring suspension gives your child the smoothest ride, whether you are using the trailer or jogging stroller function. The seat-reclining feature is a breeze to use and offers you the precious opportunity for naps on the road. It has a large storage space for diapers, toys or a picnic lunch. It handles bumpy trails with ease, and it also includes some excellent safety features, like a five-point harness and built-in roll cage.
So, you’ve thought about every possible feature you could want with a bike trailer. You’ve researched multiple brands, picked a price point and compared features. Soon, you will be the proud owner of the best bike trailer for kids. Here are some bonuses that come with owning a bike trailer:
Finding time to exercise is often incredibly difficult for parents with young children. Time outside is usually at conducted at the pace of a toddler, which can make it difficult to work up a sweat and stay active. By using a bike trailer, you can finally get back on the road and enjoy the outdoor activities you did before having a child. But this time shouldn’t be seen as selfish, because you are also spending quality time with your child or children.
Taking the bike trailer on the road also benefits your son or daughter. You are giving your children time to enjoy the outdoors, and they can also see you modeling exercise and a love of nature. This can help instill good habits as they grow up and begin bicycling on their own. Spending time outdoors is a great way to spend time together as a family.
A bicycle trailer allows your children to explore nature without the need for a long car ride. It can provide a greener alternative to driving to the park or a friend’s house. Bicycling just a few times a week instead of driving is a great way to not only save on gas money, but also make your day just a little greener.
Of course, owning and using a bicycle trailer doesn’t solve all the world’s problems. As with any other product, there are downsides to using any of these models with your children. Before making any purchase, it’s wise to consider both the pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing a bike trailer:
If you get tired of holding your child for long walks, you may find it difficult pedaling with a trailer behind you. This becomes particularly apparent if you attempt to travel uphill or purchase a heavier trailer. If you become winded on a regular bike ride, consider the added weight of pulling a trailer.
You may feel a trailer can be a bit cumbersome for long rides or rides on uneven surfaces. Most bike trailers handle very well, but it can take some time to get the hang of. This is particularly true if you have a larger trailer with two children. Take some time getting used to pulling and turning your trailer before going on extended rides. This will help you to feel more confident in handling your bicycle with a trailer.
How many times do you plan on using the trailer? For families who are avid bike riders, this is a very worthwhile investment. However, if you don’t ride your bike very often, or are unsure you will ride with your child, the cost may outweigh the benefit. Carefully consider the amount you plan on using the bicycle trailer.
Narrow roads, bumpy trails and sidewalk curbs can be a hassle while riding a bike, but they present an even bigger issue when pulling your little one. To have a safe, enjoyable ride, plan your route and think carefully about the obstacles and terrain you may encounter. This is particularly important if you are riding with younger children or using a trailer that doesn’t have shocks to support your child.
Time certainly flies with little ones. One minute they are barely crawling, and the next they are applying to college. Most bike trailers have an age range of approximately 1-6 years old. Trailer cycles are generally for children 4-9 years old. First, make sure your child is within these age ranges before using your bicycle trailer. You should also think about the amount of time your child will be able to spend in the bicycle trailer. You will want to take full advantage of the age range, so be aware that if your child is already at the older end of the age range that your time to enjoy the trailer might be limited.
Bicycle trailers can be a big investment, but with proper planning and research, they are incredible additions to your home. They are an excellent way to spend time together outdoors doing something that you love. With time, your children are sure to grow to love bicycle rides as a family. This is far from an exhaustive list. There are many more makes and models of bicycle trailers on the market, but these are the best bicycle trailers for kids and parents who are looking for budget, mid-range or top of the line trailers with a variety of features.