LAST UPDATED: October 25, 2019
Best Bike Trailers: Carry Kids and Cargo on the Go
These top bike trailers are comfortable, functional, and easy to install
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 25, 2019
Bike trailers are highly useful. There are bicycle trailers for kids, pets, and even cargo. If you like to ride around on your bicycle, a bike trailer is a must-have accessory. It increases a bike’s capacity, making it more than a bike. If you want a bike trailer for your child or pet, choose one of the options in our buying guide below.
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Benefits of Bike Trailer
- Convenience. A bike trailer allows you to haul or carry extra gear, kids, or pets while you ride. If you’re someone who enjoys biking but have kids, you can use a bike trailer to take them along with you. If you have a cat or dog that you don’t feel comfortable leaving at home, you can give them a comfortable place to ride along and see new sights.
- Increased carrying capacity. If you ride your bike to work or across town to pick up groceries, a bike trailer lets you carry more gear. You have a place to haul bags of groceries and other items without having to worry about them while you ride.
- Comfort. If you want to take your kids outside without having to constantly keep track of them, a bike trailer is a great way to spend some time outdoors. Your kids can ride in style and comfort while you get some exercise. The soothing ride can also put them to sleep so you have a few moments of peace and quiet.
Types of Bike Trailer
Multi-Sport Bike Trailer
A multi-sport bike trailer can be used in a number of different ways. You can attach one to the back of your bike or use it while you jog or walk as well. They are typically larger and roomier. This also makes them more difficult to pack or store away in a garage or when they are not in use. They are simple to convert quickly to either form so you can go from one activity to another.
Standard Bike Trailer
A standard bike trailer is one that does exactly what it says. It acts as a trailer for your bike and is great for carrying children, pets, and equipment. Larger ones are called double bicycle trailers and can hold two or more kids. They do not have the luxury of transforming into a stroller but are comfortable and convenient all the same. A standard bike trailer may also come with a pedal-along feature that allows your child to work out along with you.
The company was founded in 1895 in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the most well-known bike manufacturers in the world and designs equipment, gear, and accessories like bike seats. Whether it’s mountain bikes, hybrids, road bikes, kids bikes, or cruisers, Schwinn understands a good-quality bike. One of its best bike trailers is the Schwinn Rascal Pet Trailer.
Allen Sports USA
Allen Sports is a popular name among outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy biking, running, or hiking. The company is based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but has other facilities across the United States and overseas. For one of the best bike trailers, consider the Allen Sports T-1B Bike Trailer, our best value choice.
With a headquarters in Olney, Illinois, Instep creates and manufactures walkers and jogging strollers for parents and kids. Along with normal everyday strollers, the company is also known for making bike trailers designed to carry your child safely. You will find that our best choice, the In-Step 2-in-1 Canopy Bike Trailer, is one of its most popular products.
Bike Trailer Pricing
- Under $100: You can find a reliable and comfortable bike trailer for at or just under $100. However, they may be on the smaller side, which means they won’t be able to carry a lot of extra weight. These are best for single riders or parents with younger children.
- Over $100: It is in this price range you will find larger and more robust bike trailers. They will feature a higher carrying capacity, have more room inside, and come with more comfortable padding. Their wheels may be larger and capable of handling more difficult off-road terrain as well.
Knowing the dimensions of the bike trailer you are looking for will help you make your final choice. If you have one kid, then you don’t need a wide trailer with room for two or more kids. If you haul groceries or have several kids, you may want to consider a double trailer that has multiple seats and seatbelts.
You need to be sure your kids or pets are kept safe and secure in the bike trailer during your bike ride. Trailers come with vital safety features that include safety harnesses or belts to hold your kid, pet, or gear in place. Having reflectors is something you should always consider if you ride in low-lit conditions or at night. A safety flag will help other drivers see you before you crest a hill.
This isn’t about how much room the bike trailer has inside, but rather how it will fit inside your garage. Having a bike trailer that folds up neatly, easily, and quickly is important. They can be quite large and take up a lot of space in your home or garage when you are not using them. On the other hand, you can fold some up to fit in your vehicle’s trunk so you can bike anywhere.
- Wheel Size. Larger and beefier wheels and tires are great for bikers who ride over difficult and uneven ground. The ride will also be more comfortable, and the tires can reduce shock so your baby or pet isn’t jostled around inside the trailer.
- Attachment. You should research how the bike trailer attaches to your bike before you make your final decision. They typically come with either a quick release or a thru-axle type attachment. The thru-axle attaches to the bike's back or front wheel, while the quick-release can attach directly to the frame.
Best Bike Trailer Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Schwinn Joyrider, Echo, and Trailblazer Bike Trailer is designed for toddlers and small children. Constructed of high-quality materials, this trailer is reliable, stable, durable, and safe to use. It has a 40-pound weight capacity as well as extra storage that can accommodate 12 pounds. The trailer weighs 21 pounds, and it's easy to pack up and store due to its folding frame and quick-release wheels. It has a universal coupler that is compatible with most bicycles, and the 16-inch tires with molded rims are designed to tackle all sorts of terrain. The trailer also has a bug screen and a weather shield to protect the child occupant from the elements. Inside are pockets for storing items such as snacks and toys. One downside is the seat cushion is a little thin. In addition, the head area may be too narrow for the child occupant to wear a helmet.
The Allen Sports Steel Trailer is designed to accommodate two children who weigh up to 100 pounds combined, but it is also available in a one-child option. This 24-pound trailer is made of steel and comes with quick-release, 16-inch wheels that can traverse rough terrain. It has a user-friendly design with big front and side windows for ventilation. It includes a padded, five-point safety harness system to hold children in place and foot guards to protect their feet. It has weather protection and is easy to tow. It's also lightweight, folds down easily for storage, and includes some rear side pockets for essentials. Unfortunately, the harness straps and seats have minimal padding, and the window seams may tear. Also, the ride isn't smooth on some surfaces.
If you don't want to leave Fido at home when you take a bike ride, consider bringing him with you in the Schwinn Small Rascal Bike Pet Trailer. Depending on the model you choose, this trailer can accommodate small-to-larger pets that weigh 50 to 100 pounds. This safe and smooth-feeling trailer is comfortable and features a sunroof, adjustable bug screen, non-slip surface, rear door, and aluminum rims. The frame folds, so it's easy to store, and it is compatible with most types of bicycles. Overall, it's easy to wash and maintain and comes with an internal leash to keep pets securely inside. There's also a safety flag to alert other road users of your presence. One problem with the trailer is that it comes with a strong rubbery smell that can stick around for a while. Also, the wheels are not the best quality, and they tend to wear out rather quickly.
The Burley Minnow Kids Bike-Only Trailer can accommodate one child and features a spacious rear cargo area to store a variety of items, such as sports equipment. The trailer has tinted side windows, a hammock-style seat with passive suspension, and is constructed of water-resistant 600D polyester. It also has a five-point harness system and an internal aluminum roll cage, which provides added protection in case there's an accident. The trailer weighs less than 20 pounds; has 20-inch, push-button wheels; and folds up compactly for storage. It also comes with a steel hitch, tow bar and safety flag as well as reflective piping and wheel reflectors. Overall, it's solid, well built, and roomy. It's very easy to tow and provides a smooth ride. However, there is no cushioning or padding on the seat, and the tires aren't the best quality.
The Clevr Deluxe 3-in-1 Bike Trailer is unique in that you can use it in three different ways: as a trailer, stroller, or jogger. The removable pivoting front wheels makes it simple to use in your neighborhood as well as on trails or at the park or zoo. The Clevr Deluxe comes with a universal bike hitch, but you have to remove the front wheel to use it in this manner. It has a double seat with two safety belts to accommodate two children and has a weight capacity of 88 pounds. It includes a mesh window for airflow and tinted side windows as well as reflectors for visibility. The steel frame folds flat for storage and transportation purposes; however, you must remove the handlebar, safety knobs, and safety pins in order to do so. The rear wheels come off with the use of a push pin. One downside is that this trailer weighs 37 pounds, which is a little heavier than some other options on this list. Also, the trailer feature won't work on a quick-release bike.
- When choosing a bike trailer, consider the cabin size. It should be spacious enough to accommodate your child, pet, or any cargo you are planning to tow. If you're using it for riding with children, pick the number of seats (one or two).
- Consider the bike trailer's capacity limit. Make sure that it can carry all the supplies you have. You need one with a higher capacity if you're planning to ride with your child and a lot of other items.
- Look for the extra features that provide more safety, especially if you're planning to ride with a child. In addition to a proper harness system, look for bright colors for more visibility and weather protection for dealing with rain, sun, and other elements you may encounter.
- Check whether all parts of a trailer are user friendly. For example, check how it attaches to the bike and whether it's convenient for storage. It's also important to know whether you can fold and adjust the handlebars, wheels, and other parts for more comfort and ease of use.
Q: What are the most common types of bike trailers?
A: There are two main types of bike trailers. The first and most popular one is the carriage style trailer, which connects to the back of the bike. It can also transform into a stroller or jogger. The second type is a small bike that allows older children to get used to cycling before riding bikes independently.
Q: Is a bike trailer safe for children?
A: Yes, bike trailers are designed to provide maximum safety when cycling. They are stable and secure and almost impossible to tip over. If that occurs, however, there are safety belts for more protection. Some trailers even have an improved harness system. Still, you should be extra careful when riding with a child.
Q: How do I store a bike trailer?
A: Most newly produced bike trailers have a collapsible design that allows for easy transportation and storage. All you need to do is to fold the frame and detach the wheels, and you're ready to go. You can take a bike trailer wherever you go and store it easily as it doesn’t take up too much space.
A: Bike trailers for one kid can carry up to 50 pounds. Two-seat trailers usually have a capacity of 100 pounds. You also need to consider the weight of luggage as it will affect the trailer’s function.
Our top pick is Schwinn Trailblazer Single Bike. It’s a good-quality trailer from a reliable company.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, the Allen Sports Child Trailer might be just the right thing.