Burley D’Lite X Review
A super smooth and luxurious ride for child and adult riders, the Burley D’Lite X has independently reclining seats and a rubber floor mat. Read the review below for all the reasons we love it!
Adjustable Sun Shade, Baby Insert, Handlebar Console, Suspension, UV Windows
Stroller, Jogger, Ski
|Trailer Quality Level||
Included: Single Swivel
Trailer, Stroller or Jogger
Pros & Cons
- Exceptionally smooth ride for biking and strolling
- Jogging and stroller kits come as an upgrade, so you’re only paying for what you'll use
- Super easy to swap between trailer/stroller/jogger functions
- Single stroller wheel in front tucks in closer to the trailer that other brands
- Bowed out sides provide additional shoulder space for older kids to move around inside
- Independently reclining seats
- Sunshade and rain cover come standard
- Rubber, removable floor for easy cleaning
- Adjustable suspension
- Lots of storage space
- Cover never pulls completely taut for a truly sleek look
- Safety roll bar can get in the way of bigger kids getting in and out
Burley D’Lite X Review – Results of our Test Rides
The Burley D’Lite X is Burley’s 2019 update on the Burley D’Lite and is now Burley’s highest-end bike trailer. With double capacity, this queen of comfort comes standard with features like reclining seats, premium seat pads, adjustable suspension, full-length tinted windows, aggressive-tread 20″ tires, and easy-to-use quick receivers that make transitioning from trailer to stroller the easiest we’ve ever seen!
The Burley D’Lite (not X) has also been upgraded and is the same as the X except that its seats do not recline independently of one another and it doesn’t have a rubber floor mat. The Burley D’Lite is available in single (previously known as the Solo) or double capacity.
All three of the D’Lite trailers come standard with a super smooth-rolling single stroller wheel and are also compatible with the double-wheel stroller, jogger, ski, and hiking conversion kits.
Like all Burley trailers, the Burley D’Lite X does everything well. It’s comfortable for the kids. It’s comfortable for the adults. It pulls smooth like butter as a trailer and strolls smooth like butter as a stroller. It’s a breeze to assemble and a breeze to switch between stroller and trailer modes. The Burley D’Lite X does everything well because every detail was well thought out, and executed with style and precision.
If you’re looking for a high-performing trailer, stroller, jogger, the D’Lite should be at the top of your consideration list. The D’Lite is similar to the Thule Cross trailer, so we will be making several comparisons between the two below.
One child has luxurious space, two toddlers are comfy, while a toddler with an older child get pretty cozy in the Burley D’Lite X. In the picture on the left, we have a 17-month-old in 24-month clothes with a 3-year-old in 3T pants. They are cozy together but have enough space to be comfortable.
On the right is the same 17-month-old with a 5-year-old in size 5 pants. (49 lbs, 42.5″ tall). The two fit, but the 5-year-old expressed that it was pretty snug.
However, when I reclined the 5-year-old all the way back while leaving the toddler upright, she felt much more comfortable. Burley D’Lite line of trailers are all bowed out on the sides to provide more shoulder room for older kids like this, but they still can get a little smooshed in the middle with the child next to them.
While a child on the upper end of the maximum capacity requirements can get a little snug side to side, the headroom is plenty. Our 5-year-old tester below is 42.5″, which actually exceeds the recommended max of 41.25″ without a helmet. The legroom is also sufficient, but her knees are required to come up a bit to accommodate her long legs.
Headroom and Legroom in Burley D’Lite X
The 100 lb. weight capacity of the Burley D’Lite X is for 80 lbs. of humans and 20 lbs. of cargo. The written instructions state that each child should max out at 40 lb. However, I called Burley Customer Service, and they stated that you could, for example, do a 50/30 lb split, which is essentially what we have on the right above with our 5-year-old.
Regardless of the weight split, you should always have the heavier child on the right when in trailer mode. (Or if you only have one child in the trailer, put them on the right.) This is the side opposite the trailer arm and provides the best weight distribution to prevent tipping when taking tight turns.
Seats and Trailer Bottom
All three D’Lite models feature Burley’s super-cushioned seats and harness system that do wonders for the comfort of your little riders. These seat cushions are Burley’s “premium” version that include a headrest. They can be removed for washing or for older riders who favor more room over more padding.
The headrests attach via velcro straps around the seat straps. As you raise the seat strap buckles to loosen the straps to accommodate taller riders, the headrest velcro attachments sit on those buckles, preventing them from sliding down lower.
The headrests can also be removed to provide more room for a child’s helmet. If your child’s helmet doesn’t have a flat back, their head will be pushed forward by the seat. If you remove the headrest, the backing behind it is a soft mesh with plenty of give. This allows the back of the seat to accommodate the back of a helmet and still keep a child’s head comfortably upright.
While flat-backed helmets are designed precisely for this reason, our toddler’s head was still a little too upright for comfort with the headrest installed. We ended up removing it so she could recline her head a bit.
The seat bottom is bench-style, which means that it’s solid across like bench, although very padded and comfortable. This is in comparison to hammock-style seating which is found on Burley’s more entry-level Bee trailer. Hammock-style seats typically consist of a thick fabric stretched between the sides of the trailer. Without a lot of support, hammock-style seats often sag in the middle, making them less comfortable, especially with two nuggets in the trailer.
The D’Lite X’s trailer bottom is a flexible sheet of thick rubber that is super helpful for a few reasons. First, as little ones climb in and out of the trailer, they’ll eventually get dirt and mud everywhere. Having mud on rubber is a much better scenario than on the fabric bottom of a trailer. Second, the rubber bottom can easily be removed to wash it off! This is the only trailer we know of to feature a rubber bottom that’s removable!
The 5-point harness system on the Burley D’Lite X is high-quality and easy to use. It is, however, easy for older toddlers to unbuckle themselves.
During our testing, our 3-year-old tester unbuckled herself and her 17-month-old trailermate at the conclusion of a run. However, there is not a trailer that we know of that has a child-proof buckle (buckles that require two hands to release).
If you’ve had a Burley in the past, their trailers no longer feature their SIT (Spring Integrated Technology) seats which kept straps up and out of the way for easier loading and buckling of a child into the trailer.
The front cover of the D’Lite X is mesh with canvas sides with a zip down, water resistant vinyl top layer. The entire front of the trailer is lifted up to get kids in and out of the trailer.
To secure the front cover in place, there are two velcro connections near the top of the trailer – one on each side. Then small metal hooks are fastened into a small yellow ring at the bottom of the sides of the trailer to hold the cover down securely. The elastic strap you see in the image on the right allows you to roll up the entire front cover and hold it in place near the top of the trailer.
This system is very different than the Thule Cross, which has the canvas portion of the cover permanently in place, and just the mesh portion of the cover opens and closes with a zipper. Both the D’Lite and Cross systems work great, but the Thule’s system has a more taut, finished look, while the Burley’s cover never really gets pulled super tight and perfectly in place. Functionally, this is insignificant, but if you’re a neat-freak, it may bug you.
The rain cover of the Burley D’Lite 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 simply zip down.
On Burley’s high-end trailers, including the D’Lite, this zipper is rainproof and prevents any rain from leaking through. (The Burley Encore X, which is one step down from the D’Lite, does not feature rainproof zippers.)
There is also a separate rain cover on the rear portion of the trailer. From a convenience standpoint, Burley’s design can’t be beat. You’ll never get caught in the rain without it because you can’t forget it at home! Additionally, it’s super easy to use and can be put in place in a flash.
To prevent fogging up during rainy rides, the very bottom portion of the rain cover on the front and back can remain unzipped to allow for airflow through the trailer. Obviously, this could allow some rain into the trailer, so pick your poison? 🙂
The design of the rain cover on the Thule Cross is drastically different than the Burley D’Lite. The cover is entirely removable and can be stored in the rear storage compartment. It attaches in six places on the sides and top via elastic straps. While not as convenient as Burley’s system, it does pull more taut than the Burley’s, and you don’t ever have to look at it when you’re not using it. Once again, functionally insignificant, but visually cleaner.
Rain Cover on Burley D’Lite vs. Thule Cross
Like the rain cover on the Burley D’Lite X, the sunshade is also a permanent fixture on the trailer. It’s raised and lowered by pulling on strings on either side of the front cover. It can be moved entirely out of sight when you don’t need it, or lowered anywhere along the front of the cover depending on the direction of the sun.
Compared to the Thule Cross, the sunshade on the Burley D’Lite X is much shorter. Because it’s pulled up and underneath the top portion of the trailer’s canvas when not in use, it can only be so long. The advantage of the Burley is that you’ll never leave it at home, but the Cross offers significantly more protection from the sun.
Living in Texas, this can be a big deal as we use the sunshade not just to block the sun from little eyes, but to provide much-needed shade and protection from the sun in general. Also, if you plan on using your trailer as a stroller with an infant, the added protection from the sun is a huge bonus.
Depending on how often you think you’ll need the sunshade, how you’re using it (for eyes or for skin protection too), and if the convenience of having in already attached to the trailer matter, the Burley or the Thule system could be better for you.
Thule Cross vs. Burley D’Lite Sunshades
The D’Lite folds down very compactly and is done quickly and easily by unhooking one of the two frame tubes from the pair of yellow release latches and collapsing the trailer in on itself. The first few times you do this it’s a bit difficult or “sticky” but it becomes much easier after a few tries.
You have to remove the wheels to fold it down, but the wheels come off just by pushing in on the yellow button in the middle of the axle. Seriously, an 8-year-old could do it it’s so easy. At just 37 x 31.3 x 14.3″ folded, and just 29.3 lbs., lifting it in and out of the car is no problem.
Like the Thule Cross, the Burley D’Lite X features tinted windows with UV protection. For long rides in the summer, this is a huuuuge benefit. Based on the position of the rider in the trailer, the Burley’s windows offer more and better views.
In the Burley, the rider is more upright so they are able to turn their head and look directly out the side window. In the Thule Cross, the child is always in a more reclined position so that if they look to the side, they have to look to the side and forward in order to see anything. The Burley’s windows could be classified as more “panoramic” than the Thule’s.
Storage Compartment & Rear Venting
The D’Lite has an easily accessible storage area behind the seats. It’s very spacious with a flat bottom, facilitating carrying everything from scooters, helmets, basketballs, lunches, diaper bags, a family’s worth of jackets… pretty much whatever you could possibly need to bring along.
It’s primarily accessed from the back of the trailer, but it’s also accessible from the front of the trailer by reaching around the side of the seat support. So in theory, if the child passenger wanted to throw wrappers or a jacket in the back and out of their way, an older child could do so.
The storage compartment has a large mesh cover for excellent rear venting. There’s also a small mesh pocket that lays flat against the inside of the larger storage compartment. (The image below shows it pulled out just so you can see its size.) Separated into two sides, this small pocket is perfect for keys on one side and a phone on the other.
All of the D’Lite models feature 20″ premium wheels with a reflective strip on the sides for added visibility. The “premium” label means that the tire tread is more aggressive than Burley’s other trailers (as well as the Thule Cross) for better traction if you need to periodically go on dirt trails.
The tires are also wider than your standard trailer tires – 20 x 2.125″ vs. the Thule Cross’ 20 x 1.75″. For riders sticking to paved trails, this won’t make much of a difference, but if you’re for those traveling mainly on non-paved surfaces, Burley’s tires will perform slightly better in regards to cushioning the ride. Burley’s wider tires hold more air, have a slightly larger footprint and as a result, will be able to dampen more bumps along the way. While the shocks on both trailers dampen larger bumps, wider tires will absorb and cushion smaller bumps.
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.
Independent Recline and Suspension
Kids loooove the ability to recline their seat for ultimate chillaxin. 🙂 All D’Lite models feature three recline positions that are easily adjusted by pulling on a yellow lever on the back of the seat. This is most easily done from the back of the trailer, but technically can be done from the front if you need to.
The primary difference between the D’Lite X at the standard D’Lite (and why you’re paying an additional $100) is that each passenger’s seat independently reclines so they can be adjusted to different recline levels. The standard D’Lite reclines, but both seats recline together.
Be aware that as you recline the seats you do make the rear storage compartment smaller. Additionally, we found the most upright seat position to be very upright. After a few rides/runs, we adjusted the “normal” sitting position to be the middle recline position.
The suspension on the Burley D’Lite X is incredibly easy to adjust by turning the yellow knob you see below. With five different suspension settings, you can easily switch it up for different weight loads if you regularly swap between one or two kids or cargo.
Mesh Cup Holders
The pockets on each side of the D’lite trailer are deep enough to securely hold a sippy cup, but not too deep that little hands have trouble pulling that cup out. The pocket is also divided down the middle so there are two distinct sides. The advantage of this is that a sippy cup can’t fall over on its side and become out of reach for toddlers.
The Thule Cross, on the other hand, is one large pocket that doesn’t have a divider. Our toddler did knock her sippy cup on its side and it became impossible for her to reach. The Cross’ pocket is also slightly deeper, making it slightly more difficult for small hands to grab things out. Additionally, the pockets are placed in a way that young toddler riders may have difficulty reaching what’s inside. This wouldn’t be an issue as kids get older and have longer arms.
The parking brake on the Burley D’Lite X is engaged by swiping it from the left position to the right position with your foot – really easy to use. I’ve found for whatever reason that the D’Lite tends to roll away more easily than my Thule Cross. I have no idea why, but I now tend to engage the parking brake more on the D’Lite than I do on the Thule Cross.
Burley D’Lite X as a Trailer
The D’Lite 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.
The process of attaching/detaching the tow arm to the adult bike is smooth and easy and only takes about a minute. One issue that can arise with the design of the D’Lite hitch is that its shape requires pretty precise alignment. The adult bike needs to be very upright for the holes to align.
If you’re leaning the bike against the wall, you’ll need to ensure that it’s as upright as possible. Our workaround was to use a bike stand on the front tire of the bike to keep it upright. We then had no issues.
On the other hand, the Thule’s hitch and tow arm are secured using a ball joint that’s easy to get in and out of the socket regardless of the angle of the adult bike. If you plan to frequently remove and attach the trailer to the adult bike, this could be a point to consider.
All of the D’Lite model trailers feature Burley’s new quick receivers that make it so incredibly easy to attach the tow arm, stroller, and jogger kits to the trailer. You simply insert the tow arm into the quick receiver until it clicks in place and the holes are aligned. You then insert the secondary retaining pin for added safety.
As you can see on the tow arm below, there are two settings – one for bike and one for the stroller. By pulling the yellow oval lever on the rear side of the quick receiver, you can push the arm farther into the receiver so that the stroller wheel is closer to the trailer in stroller mode. You also pull that same yellow lever to unlock the trailer arm to remove it completely.
Burley’s tow arms are unique from pretty much every other tow arm out there. The D’Lite’s tow arm is angled a bit like a hockey stick, while the Thule (and most other brands) has a more angular C-shaped tow arm. Because of its C-shape, the Thule trailers are centered behind the adult bike. Instead of being centered on the bike, the D’Lite X is centered on the hitch, making it slightly off to the left of the bike. Burley’s offset design is intentional as to allow the trailer to be centered on hitch.
Burley’s idea is that pulling the trailer directly behind the hitch makes pulling smoother, but I honestly didn’t feel a difference between the Thule Cross and the Thule Burley. We had another adult rider who did notice a slight difference, but this probably shouldn’t be a major determining factor for you.
While riding on residential roads or wide trails, the offset Burley trailer doesn’t really matter and the adult rider doesn’t feel any difference. However, when riding alongside traffic or through narrow gate openings (such as those keeping motor vehicles off of bike trails), the adult rider has to be conscious that the D’Lite is “hanging out” more to the left than to the right. In our testing, this also made another adult rider nervous to ride on the left of the adult towing the D’Lite, worried that he would bump into the trailer.
Burley D’Lite X as a Stroller
While a lot of people use the stroller function of a multi-sport trailer only occasionally, I’m one of those that use it on the regular. As in almost every day. So how the Burley D’Lite X performed as a stroller would be a total make or break for me. The Burley D’Lite X in stroller mode was exceptional.
Whether in 3-wheel or 4-wheel stroller mode, the D’Lite rolls smoothly like a luxury car. Like butter. Like baby skin. Seriously though, it’s so smooth. Coming from daily use of the Thule Cross, it would be hard to impress me. But I was impressed.
1-Wheel or 2-Wheel Options
A single stroller wheel comes standard with the Burley D’Lite X. It remains permanently attached to the tow arm for super easy transitions between biking and strolling. It simply folds up on the tow arm when you’re using D’Lite in trailer mode.
While most single stroller wheels on trailers stick really far out in front of the trailer, the Burley D’Lite’s tow bar can actually be adjusted so it tucks in much closer to the body of the trailer. It’s a super sweet feature we haven’t seen anywhere else!
A two-wheel stroller kit is available for an additional $100. Those wheels can easily be stored in the back storage compartment when not in use. To install them, you simply insert them into the quick receivers just like you did with the tow bar. To remove them, you pull on the yellow oval ring on the side of the quick receiver to release the lock.
My favorite thing about these wheels is how easy they are to install. Although I love the Thule Cross, the stroller wheels are inserted from underneath, which requires you to tip the stroller back to get them aligned. I’ve always found this awkward and a bit cumbersome. With the Burley D’Lite, you simply slide the wheels straight into the front of the trailer. Easy. Peasy. If you’re going to swap these out frequently, this would make a huge difference.
That said, I really didn’t see much (if any) notable change in performance between the one or two stroller wheels of the D’Lite X. I like both experiences pretty equally. To pay an additional $100 for the 2-wheel stroller kit isn’t probably worth it for most people. However, because the 2-wheel kit has the wheels attached to the body of the trailer rather than out in front on the tow arm, the lower profile would be handy if you were trying to navigate busy areas like malls or Disneyland.
Height & Handlebar
The D’Lite is a pretty tall trailer. The body of a Burley trailer sits much higher above the axle than the body of a Thule trailer. Not sure why the companies designed them this way, but in stroller mode, that puts the top of the Burley trailer sitting much higher. I’m 5’10 and the D’Lite still felt pretty tall to me. Not unmanageable by any means, just taller. I prefer the lower body of the Thule Cross in stroller mode, but it’s by no means a deal breaker.
The taller height also puts the handlebar a bit higher than the Thule Cross’. The handlebar is, however, continuously adjustable by releasing the yellow lever, so an adult of any height should be able to find a comfortable position.
The handlebar also rolls completely forward when in trailer mode so it’s out of the way. This serves the dual purpose of being an additional roll-bar in the event of a serious crash (the chassis already has a roll bar included).
Assembly was, for the most part, really simple. I dread assembling things, but the D’Lite’s design is so streamlined that it makes assembly a breeze.
The only issue I had was when it came time to install the quick receivers onto the body of the trailer. I could not get the cutouts on the black plastic to align with the metal tabs on the trailer.
I called Burley Service (which, by the way, is probably the best customer service you’ll ever get) and was quickly and easily walked through the fix. I had to loosen the bolts on the front metal piece which allowed the plastic cutouts to align. I slipped the quick receivers on, re-tightened the bolts, and was done!
The Burley D’Lite X is everything you’d expect in the top-of-the-line trailer from the most popular bike trailer company in the U.S. Luxurious comfort for the passenger, and luxurious simplicity for the adult rider, each detail of the D’Lite makes it simple, easy, and fun to use. As parents of energetic little ones, we appreciate Burley’s attention to the small features that make taking the littles along for the ride a joy rather than a hassle.
Comparison: Burley D’Lite X vs. Thule Cross
While we are huge fans of the Burley D’Lite X, it’s fair to make a comparison with the Thule Cross – Thule’s most high-end kid’s trailer. They are both exceptional trailers that you really can’t find much to complain about, but there are certain areas that each trailer does better in.
Areas where we prefer the Burley D’Lite X over the Thule Cross:
- More storage space
- Higher clearance makes clearing obstacles (like curbs) smoother
- Stroller wheels are easier to attach
- Windows vs. seat placement allow for better side views
- Kids’ mesh snack pocket access
- Wider tires for a bit more cushioning
- Removable rubber bottom for easy cleaning
Areas where we prefer the Thule Cross over the Burley D’Lite:
- Cover is always pulled taut, looks more sleek
- Sunshade is longer, providing more skin protection
- Not as tall – easier for average/short people to use as a stroller/jogger
- Hitch design easier to align with tow bar
- Infant insert can be used in stroller mode starting at 4 weeks (vs Burley’s 3 months)
Burley D'Lite vs Thule Cross
|Thule Cross Double||Burley D'Lite Single||Thule Cross Single|
|Upgrade ($99)||Standard||Upgrade ($99)||Standard|
|Upgrade ($149)||Upgrade ($130)||Upgrade ($149)||Upgrade ($130)|
|29.3 lb.||32 lb.||27.6 lb.||30.6 lb.|
Folded Dimensions (Inches)
|37 x 31.3 x 14.3||34.2 x 31.5 x 15||36 x 27.5 x 15||34.2 x 25.6 x 15|
Trailer/4-Wheel Stroller/Jogger Cost
Our Favorite Accessories
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