Burley Bee Trailer Review – Single and Double Trailers

The Burley Bee has been a best-selling bike trailer for years and is Burley’s most basic single and double trailer. It could be considered Burley’s “budget” trailer, but still boasts the incredible quality and durability that Burley prides itself on.

One solid workhorse of a basic trailer, we put the Bee to the test with our own kids to see how well it held up. In our review, we’ll show you how the Bee compares to the Schwinn, Allen and InStep budget trailers and explain why it’s sooo worth upgrading to the Burley Bee.

woman riding a bike with a burley bee bike trailer

Burley Bee Bike Trailer Overview

RATING: Highly Recommended


BEST FOR: Budget-minded families looking for an easy-to-use bike trailer for frequent use


TRAILER CAPACITY: Single or Double
TRAILER TYPE: Trailer only – no stroller or jogger upgrades
WEIGHT: 20 lb.


  • High-quality components and durable build
  • Exceptionally smooth ride
  • Easy-to-use harness system
  • UV Windows and rain cover
  • Lots of storage space
  • Easy initial assembly and folding for transport
  • Top-notch safety features
  • Available in single or double capacity
  • 55% of all fabric materials are made from recycled goods


  • Hammock seats offer less support than more expensive bench seats

Burley Bee Video Review

Check out our video review of the Burley Bee and how it compares to the Honey Bee! After testing out both models with our kids, learn the differences between them as well as 5 things you need to know about these top notch trailers before you buy!

Burley Bee Bike Trailer Review – Results of our Test Rides

For this review, we tested the double and single capacity Burley Bee. As of January 2021, the Burley Bee is also offered as a single trailer, replacing the former Burley Minnow.

Mom pulling Burley Bee bike trailer on sandy trail

Burley Bee vs. Other Burley Bike Trailers

The Burley Bee is the only trailer offered by Burley that is a trailer ONLY. This means that it can’t convert to a stroller or a jogger. The Honey Bee is the same as the Bee, except that it converts to a stroller as well.

If you know you’re only ever going to want to use your trailer to pull behind your bike, the Bee makes sense for a lower price tag because you’re not paying for extra bells and whistles you don’t want.

Mom pulling toddler in Burley Bee bike trailer. Through meadow

Keep in mind that Burley, like all trailer companies, offers better comfort and more features as you upgrade to a higher model. For Burley, those higher models come standard with a single swivel stroller wheel and also allow you to purchase conversion kits for a 4-wheel stroller, jogging wheel, or ski kit.

The nicer the model, you’ll get upgrades like a bench seat, premium padded seating, more interior space, suspension, and reclinability. If you want the nicest trailer money can buy, you’ll want to upgrade to the Encore X or D’Lite X, which both come standard as a stroller.

So whether or not you want to use your trailer as a stroller, if you want the best trailer, you’re going to be paying for a stroller anyways. (For $200+ additional cost.)

Burley Bee, Encore X, and D’Lite X

Side shot of the Burley Bee, Burley Encore X, and Burley D'Lite X bike trailers side by side

If you’re looking for a trailer ONLY, the Bee is phenomenal compared to other brands. With all the quality, durability, and design-focus that characterizes every Burley trailer, you can rest easy that your $300+ investment will last for many years and keep your little ones safe and comfy.

Burley Bee vs. Budget Bike Trailers

With a price tag of $380, what’s the benefit of Burley’s “budget” trailer over a true budget trailer like Allen, Schwinn, or InStep that only costs $100 – $200? Is it worth the extra money? Short answer – YES. We’ve tested them all, and we break it all down below. You can also check out a full list of our favorites on our 10 Best Bike Trailers page.

Side by side comparison of Burley Bee, Allen S2, Schwinn Trailblazer, and Instep Take 2

Burley Bee vs. Allen, Schwinn, and InStep Trailers

From a “budget” trailer comparison, the Burley Bee blows all the other trailers out of the water. To be fair though, it’s also at $100 – $200 more. So while we would always recommend the Burley Bee over these other trailers, we also understand not everyone wants to spend that amount of money.

Here’s a quick snapshot of where the Burley Bee shines in comparison to the Allen Premier, Schwinn Trailblazer, and InStep Take 2.

Why the Burley Bee is better than the Allen Premier

  • Overall design and components are much higher-quality and more durable
  • Pulls smoother and quieter
  • Trailer cover is thicker, better-quality fabric
  • UV windows
  • More storage space, which is also more secure
  • Much easier to fold down for transportation and storage
  • Quick release button for removing wheels
  • Side battens prevent passengers from pushing against the trailer and hitting the wheels
  • Easier initial assembly

Why the Burley Bee is better than the Schwinn Trailblazer

**This list is in addition to the list above**

  • Better quality and more comfortable seat bottom
  • Harness system is easier to adjust and use
  • Buckle is smoother and easier to use
  • Mesh helmet pocket is low enough for young riders to use
  • Protection from rain – Schwinn’s rain cover is fine, but gaps on the side of the trailer cover will let rain in
  • Wheels have wheel guards to protect from obstacles on the ground
  • Side pockets for snacks are easy for young kids to use
  • Hook system keeps cover in place, vs. cheap snap system

Why the Burley Bee is better than the InStep Take 2

**This list is in addition to the lists above**

  • 16″ plastic rims on the Take 2 are low-quality and not recommended
  • Bottom of the Take 2 sags close to the ground beneath

Overall Bee Quality and Performance

The great thing about Burley is that it doesn’t make a crappy trailer. Every trailer Burley makes is precision-designed and of the highest quality. Burley trailers look gorgeous, pull super smooth, are incredibly easy to use, and feel solid and safe for literally your most precious cargo. 

The only complaint (haha, you can’t even call it that!) about Burley trailers is that they’re so quiet and pull so smoothly over paved trails… so every once in a while I had to nervously look back to make sure the Bee was still connected to my bike!

Mom pulling toddler in Burley Bee bike trailer. Paved trail.

At just 20 lbs, the Bee is Burley’s lightest double trailer. It’s 10 lbs. lighter than the 30 lb. D’Lite X because it doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles – no suspension, no stroller wheel, no reclining seats, no premium seat pads, etc.

While those extra features can be really nice, 10 extra pounds can also really take a toll during long rides when you’re pulling two passengers. If you don’t need all the extras, the Bee is a great option.

NOTE: The single Bee weighs 21.8 lbs. and is actually a tad heavier than the double due to steel wheel hubs vs. aluminum.

One of our test rides was at a local nature park that features everything from paved trails to grass trails, dirt trails, sand trails, pot-hole-filled roads, and root-strewn trails. While the Bee certainly wasn’t designed to regularly tackle those rough terrains, it did phenomenally well.

Its lack of suspension was noticeable for the adult and child rider, but our 18-month-old was actually cooing with glee the entire time. She thought the bumps were fun!

Mom pulling toddler in Burley Bee bike trailer. Through grassy trail.

Even without suspension, the Bee is generally a smooth ride. Suspension adds $$$ to the price tag and weight to the trailer. But it also adds a lot of comfort for the rider if you’re planning on going off-road or on uneven surfaces regularly. If you do plan on riding on trails or uneven terrain, you should definitely look into upgrading to the Burley Encore X or D’Lite X.

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: I would not have attempted the terrain I did in a true budget trailer like those by Allen or Schwinn. While those trailers certainly serve a purpose, the Burley Bee is vastly superior in overall quality, durability, and safety.

Burley Bee Interior Features

Capacity – Single or Double Burley Bee?

Burley Bee single and double trailer. Showing amount of space inside while loaded with a 40 lb. three year old.

Do you need a single or double Burley Bee? Clearly you’ll need a double, if you have two kids! But if you only have one kid, we highly recommend getting the single.

Although the single has less cargo space, it allows the single rider to sit in the middle of the trailer. As you can see in the image below, a single passenger in a double trailer has to sit on the right side. So a single rider actually has more room to spread out in a single trailer than they do in a double.

Interior Space and Weight Capacity – Double Bee

A 100 lb. weight capacity is standard in the double trailer category. Burley trailers break that down to mean 80 lbs. of child and 20 lbs. of cargo.

In the left image below, we have an 18-month-old who weighs 27 lbs., and a 2.5-year-old who weighs 32 lbs. With a combined weight of just 59 lbs., they were still quite snug in the Bee. The Bee features 22″ of interior shoulder width, which is pretty standard for both budget and mid-range trailers.

The image on the right shows the same 18-month-old with a 5-year-old tester, who together max out the 80 lb. weight limit.

Interior space of the Burley Bee double bike trailer. Left side shows 18-month-old with a 2.5-year-old. Right side shows same 18-month-old with 5-year-old.

In our experience, towing two kids in a bike trailer is just a snug experience. Your toddlers are going to have to be cool with snuggling up to their siblings, and probably getting a little tight and smooshed as they grow older. This goes for almost ALL trailers, not just the Burley Bee.

We’ve also found that many parents buy a double trailer and end up using it as a single because the reality of towing two kids can be a beast. A double can come in handy though for family bike rides with a small child on a balance bike. When they tire out, you can just stick them in the trailer with a younger sibling.

The Burley Bee offers lots of headroom – over 3″ more than the Burley D’Lite X, and over 1″ more than the Honey Bee. Realistically you’re probably never going to fit a child that tall into the trailer before you hit your weight capacity.

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: The Burley Bee offers about the same amount of interior seat and elbow room as the Allen Premiere Trailer Stroller. The Schwinn Trailblazer and the Instep Take 2 actually have about 25″ of interior width which offers significantly more room. Unfortunately, those trailers’ other shortcomings deter us from recommending them in any way over the Bee.

Interior Space and Weight Capacity – Single Bee

Burley Bee single capacity trailer. With and without a child.

The single Burley Bee has an overall weight capacity of 75 pounds. That’s 40 pounds of child and 35 pounds of cargo. While you’re never going to need to carry 35 pounds of cargo, that doesn’t mean you can carry a child up to 75 lbs. These trailers are safety tested very specifically based on weight distributions, and Burley’s official recommendation is only 40 lbs. of child.

The single Bee will never really get “snug” because a child is centered in the middle of the trailer and has sufficient room on either side as they grow. Our 3-year-old tester here weighs 40 lbs, maxing out at Burley’s recommended limit. She’s 40.5″ and has plenty of room.

Seats and Trailer Bottom – High Quality Hammock Seat

This Burley bike trailer has a hammock-style seat, which is standard at this price point and is featured in almost all budget trailers. Hammock seats are a thick piece of fabric stretched between the sides of the trailer.

Because there’s no hard bottom, the seat tends to sag in the middle. In a double trailer, this also causes two riders to converge in the middle of the seat, and makes it more difficult to get your child in and out of the harness.

That said, the Bee’s hammock-style seat is pulled very taut and sags, but minimally. It’s also placed sufficiently higher than the bottom of the trailer. As far as a hammock-style seat goes, it’s one of the best. Bench-style seats are more comfortable and easier for parents to use, but are much more expensive, like those found in the Burley Encore X and D’Lite X.

Burley Bee Hammock Seat vs. Higher-End Bench Seat

Burley Bee's hammock-style seat vs a bench seat

In the image below you can see how the InStep Take 2‘s hammock style seat sags significantly. Additionally, because the seat essentially sits directly on the bottom of the trailer, those sagging bums actually sag beneath the chassis of the trailer. This could definitely be a problem if you encountered any obstacles in the road. It also doesn’t allow any vertical space for kids to extend their legs.

The Bee also sags slightly due to the hammock-style seat, but it’s very minimal as seen in the image on the bottom.

InStep Seat and Trailer Bottom Sag Significantly

Kids' bums sag drastically beneath the InStep Take 2 trailer, but only slightly under the Burley Bee.

The trailer bottom of the Bee is a thick layer of polyester, equivalent to that found on the Allen, but better-quality than the InStep and Schwinn Trailblazer.

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: Burley’s hammock style seat is far superior to the hammock seat found on lower-end trailers like the InStep Take 2. The Allen Premier trailer has a seat similar to Burley’s but also has a thick layer of breathable padding. The Schwinn Trailblazer has a hybrid bench/hammock seat the prevents sagging but the cushioning is low-quality and a bit hard.

Harness System – Highly Adjustable

The height of the shoulder straps is continuously adjustable for maximum comfort and safety in the Bee. Many budget trailers, like the InStep and the Schwinns, have just three shoulder height settings.

Continuously Adjustable Shoulder Straps on Burley Bee vs. Schwinn

Shoulder harness height on Burley Bee is continuously adjustable while the Schwinn trailers have 3 different settings

The 5-point harness system on the Burley Bee is high-quality and easy to use. The buckle works smoothly and the harness straps tighten or loosen to dial in the perfect fit for your child. While the Bee doesn’t have padding on the harness straps, we really don’t mind. Padding on budget trailers is rare, and if it happens, it’s cheap and comes off easily which just ends up being a hassle.

Burley Bee vs. Allen S2 Harness System

Harness on Burley Bee trailer does not have padding like the Allen S2, but that padding comes off too easily

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: The Bee and the Allen S2 have nearly identical harness systems, both of which are vastly superior to the InStep and Schwinn systems. The latter are not continuously height adjustable and are difficult to adjust overall. Additionally, the buckle system is stiff and feels cheap.

Mesh Helmet Pocket for Max Comfort

Believe me when I say that a helmet pocket is a make or break for a trailer. What’s a helmet pocket?

Well, your child will be wearing a helmet in the trailer, right? The back of that helmet can be bulky. Against the back of the trailer seat, your child’s head will get pushed awkwardly forward.

My toddler recently had the non-pleasure of riding in a trailer with a solid canvas back. NO. HELMET. POCKET. She was ticked the whole time and I felt awful. I actually cut our ride short because she was so miserable.

The top of the seat of the Bee is a loose mesh layer that allows kids to sit up straight because the back of their helmet recesses into the back of the seat.

Mesh helmet pocket in Burley Bee is loose to allow for the helmet to have more room

While most trailers have this, we discovered that on many budget trailers, the mesh is placed too high to really be helpful.

On the Bee (and the Allen), the mesh layer starts 10.5″ above the seat bottom, as indicated by the yellow arrow below. The Trailblazer’s starts 15″ above the seat bottom, and the Instep Take 2 starts 15.5″ from the seat bottom!

As you can see in the image below, our 18-month-old (verrrry tall) toddler’s head doesn’t even reach the mesh pocket on the Instep, rendering it effectively useless except for ventilation purposes.

Helmet Recess on Bee vs. InStep

Mesh helmet recess pocket in the Burley Bee trailer starts much lower than the mesh pocket on the Instep, which is basically useless

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: The Bee and the Allen Premier have nearly identical mesh pocket systems. The Schwinn and InStep’s are too high to be useful for younger riders.

Mesh Cup Holders Easy to Reach

Seemingly minor detail, but whether or not your kid can access their sippy cup can make a huge difference in everyone’s enjoyment of the ride. The mesh side pockets in the Burley Bee are perfectly placed and easy for young toddlers to access.

It’s a little bit shocking how meh some side pockets are in budget trailers. Take a look at the side pockets of the InStep below, compared to the Burley’s. The pocket is pretty shallow and very tight – a young child would not be able to remove or insert that green sippy cup you see.

Burley vs. Budget Trailers: The Bee’s mesh pockets are big enough to hold sippy cups and snacks, and are easy to reach. The Allen Premier’s are very similar. Unfortunately, the snack/sippy cup pockets in the Schwinn trailers are smaller and tighter and difficult for young kids to use on their own.

Burley Bee Cup Holder vs. InStep

Mesh snack holders in Burley Bee are easy to access, while in the InStep they are tight and harder to get sippy cups in and out.

Burley Bee Exterior Components

Covers – High Quality and Stay in Place

This is one feature that really sets the Burley Bee apart from the rest of the budget trailers. The cover of the Bee is thick, high-quality, water-resistant 600D polyester. It looks and feels incredibly durable. You’d have to puncture it with a knife to tear it.

Front cover of Burley Bee hooks in place at bottom of trailer

Pretty much every other budget trailer is covered with a much thinner fabric that does not instill confidence in durability. It could easily get torn, or just wear down naturally because it’s so thin. Additionally, the stitching is often visibly stretched – also not good for long-term wear and tear. If you’re looking for a durable trailer, the Bee wins hands down.

We also prefer how the front cover of the Bee secures to the trailer with a velcro and hook system that actually stays in place. The Allen trailer’s secures with a Velcro system which isn’t too bad but can get a little messy and isn’t always entirely secure with little legs kicking at the front cover.

The Schwinn Trailblazer and InStep Take 2 use a cheap Velcro and snap system that easily comes undone and is hard to secure in place.

Schwinn Trailblazer Snap and Velcro System

Schwinn Trailblazer bike trailer snaps on in front at the corners and velcros in place all along the front

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: The Bee’s outer covering is far superior in quality and durability to the Allen, Schwinn, and InStep trailers.

Rain Cover

Burley Bee all-weather cover velcros in place while in use, and rolls up when not in use

The rain cover of the Burley Bee is a permanent fixture on the trailer. When not in use, it’s rolled up and secured at the top of the trailer front door with elastic loops. When needed, you unroll the cover and attach it in place with Velcro.

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: Most budget trailers have a weather cover that functions decently. Although in true Burley form, the Bee’s in much more durable and easier to use than the true budget trailers.

UV Windows, but No Sun Shade

There are no budget trailers that have a sunshade for the front cover. Depending on how hot and sunny it is where you live, this could be another make or break for you. If you don’t want to hassle with sunblock every time you go out for a ride, you should invest in a trailer with a sunshade. Of course, those trailers are hundreds of dollars more.

While the Bee doesn’t have a sunshade for the front, it does have tinted UV windows on the sides. There are no true budget trailers with tinted UV windows. For me, living in Texas, UV windows are a must-have and absolutely worth the $300+ price tag of the Bee over a cheaper budget trailer.

Burley Bee’s UV Windows vs. Allen S2

Burley Bee's UV windows vs Allen S2 trailer's clear windows

Burley vs. Other Budget Trailers: The Bee offers UV side windows, while the Allen, Schwinn trailers, and InStep trailers do not.

Folding – Fast and Compact

The Bee folds down very compactly and is done quickly and easily by unhooking one of the two frame tubes from the pair of red release latches and collapsing the trailer in on itself.

Burley Bee folded down is very compact. Red clips hold two top bars together.

You have to remove the wheels to fold the Bee down, but the wheels come off just by pushing in on the center button in the middle of the axle. At just 35.5 x 29.25 x 11.25″ and 20 lbs. for the double and 32.3 x 26 x 11.3″ and 21.6 lbs. for the single, it’s very easy to transport.

Burley vs. Budget Trailers: The Bee is much easier to fold than budget trailers, which makes a huge difference if you’re going to transport the trailer often. The wheels also come off slightly easier, but not significantly.

Storage Compartment – It’s Huge!

The Bee has an easily accessible storage area behind the seats. It’s very deep and spacious with a flat bottom and can carry pretty much anything you’d need to bring along for the ride. There’s also a small mesh pocket that lays flat against the inside and is perfect for carrying a phone and keys.

If a lot of cargo space is important to you but you only have one child, the larger rear area of the double capacity Bee may be a better option for you.

Burley Bee's large rear storage space can easily fit a Razor A5 scooter inside

Burley vs. Budget Trailers: Not only is the Bee’s storage area larger than the other budget trailers, but its solid high back ensures that nothing is going to accidentally fall out through a velcro opening.

With the Bee, we’d be confident storing things of value in the back, while with all the other budget trailers, their less-than-durable construction, as well as shorter compartments, would make it much more possible for something to accidentally fall out.

Short Storage Compartment on the Schwinn Trailblazer

Rear storage on the Schwinn Trailblazer bike trailer has a low compartment that is secured by a flimsy cover and velcro

Metal Wheels and Air Tires

Wheels and tires are another area where budget trailers can either shine or fail. The Burley Bee shines with its solid-quality 1.75 x 20″ wheels that have metal rims and quick release center buttons for easy removal. The tread is pretty standard and is the same tire found on the Burley’s Encore X which is a step up from the Bee.

Many budget trailers have low-quality 16″ tires on plastic rims. 16″ tires, in general, are a disadvantage because safety precautions recommend a maximum of just 10 MPH. 20″ wheels, on the other hand, usually have a recommended maximum of 15 MPH. If you want to ride fast or cover long distances, 16″ wheels are not your best bet.

Burley Bee 20″ Wheels vs. InStep 16″ Wheels

20 inch wheel on metal rims vs 16 inch wheel on plastic rim on bike trailer

Additionally, plastic rims are incredibly common on low-budget trailers. Plastic rims are far less durable and much more likely to warp. We don’t recommend any trailer that has plastic rims, such as the InStep Take 2.

The Bee’s 20 x 1.75″ tires have a mild tread that is best for paved surfaces or occasionally packed dirt trails.  If you’re going to tackle serious all-terrain, snow, sand, or gravel on the regular, Burley does offer 16″ fat tires as an upgrade.

Burley Bee vs. Budget Trailers: The Bee’s wheels and tires are seemingly identical to the Allen S2’s, with the exception of the quick release mechanism. They both feature wheel guards that protect the trailer from potential small obstacles. (You can see the wheel guard directly in front of the tire on the Burley Bee above.)

The Schwinn Trailblazer’s 20″ wheels are good quality, but lack a wheel guard. The InStep Take 2’s 16″ tires on plastic rims are a no-go for us, and also don’t have a wheel guard.

Hitch Style

The Bee has the same hitch system as every other Burley trailer. It hitches into a socket that attaches to the rear axle of the adult bike. It has a cylindrical joint with a pin that goes through it and is then secured with a retaining pin at the bottom of the socket. For additional safety, you wrap the nylon strap around the frame of your bike and secure it to the tow arm by attaching it to the D-ring.

Burley vs. Budget Trailers: Every budget trailer we’ve tried has a hitch system somewhat similar to the Bee. The Burley system is clean and precise and clearly precision-built. While the budget trailers’ hitch systems aren’t as high of quality, they aren’t terrible either.

Inserting pin into connection between hitch and tow arm on Burley D'Lite X trailer

Assembly is Fast and Simple

I’ve assembled seven different models of Burley trailers and they are all soooo incredibly easy. They basically come assembled right out of the box and you just have to open it up, attach wheel guards, and the wheels.

Schwinn and InStep are also super easy to assemble, similar to the Bee. While the Allen Premier is our favorite true budget trailer, it was definitely the most time-consuming to assemble. It also has quick release pins holding everything together which need to be checked regularly for safety.

Burley Bee Trailer Bottom Line

The Burley Bee is vastly superior to any truly budget trailer out there. While about $100 – $200 more than cheaper trailers, its durability, ease-of-use, and safety features make it a clear winner. Especially for families that will be riding at least semi-regularly, the Bee’s higher-end design and features will make a huge difference in both parent and passenger enjoyment.

Click here for a full list of Burley accessories

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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