Burley's unique towing hitch provides a smooth ride in the Honey Bee. Adjustable handlebar allows for comfortable stroller use by adults of various heights.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Weight: 25.2 lb.
Tire Size: 20"
Inside Height: 26"
Inside Width: 22"
Stroller Kit: Attached Swivel Stroller Wheel
Jogger Kit: None
Trailer Type: Trailer Stroller or jogger
Brakes: Parking Brake
UV Window: Yes
Unlike bicycles and helmets, bike trailers are not required to be CSPC certified. In fact, the CSPC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) doesn’t even have a set of standards for bike trailers, but rather relies on the ASTM F-1975-09 standard, originally championed by Burley. With over 30 years experience with bike trailers, Burley trailers are known as the safest and most durable trailers on the road. From drop tests, crush tests and push and pull tests, Burley rigorous safety standards ensures that their trailers will provide the safety and comfort that every child deserves.
With seven different trailers on the market, Burley has fine tuned their line of trailers to suit the various needs of families. So whether you are hitting the paved bike paths in your neighborhood, picking up groceries at the store or going on an extensive tour with your family of four, Burley has a trailer for you. While this review is focused on the Honey Bee, several of the main features of the Honey Bee are carried over to Burley’s other lines. Additional information about the differences between Burley’s models can be found by reading 11 Distinguished Features of Bike Trailers, Bike Trailer Categorical Comparison Charts or Burley’s Child Trailer Comparison chart.
The Honey Bee
Designed for families who plan on occasionally using their trailer as a stroller, the Honey Bee comes fully equipped to be used as a trailer and a stroller. With a removable swivel wheel attached to the trailer arm, the Honey Bee was designed to easily convert from a trailer to stroller or vice versa, without the need of any tools or conversion kits. The Honey Bee MSRP is $399, but can often be found on sale for around $360.
As any parent knows, if your kids are not comfortable, your ride/walk is going to be miserable. Whether they are too hot, too cold or their sibling is taking up all the room, if there’s a problem they are sure to tell you (along with the rest of the neighborhood!). With 21.8” of internal width, the Honey Bee is about average in width as compared to other double trailers. Perfectly roomy for our 20-month old or our 4.5 year old individually, but when put together, it was a little too close for comfort.
Although tight quarters are common for double trailers, the exceptional comfort that the Honey Bee provides it not. With UV-tinted windows, a firm, sag-free, cushioning bench, a recessed-helmet pocket (see picture below) and pads that actually stay in place on the shoulder straps, the comforts provided by the Honey Bee are simply not available in lower-end trailers. As a side note, the mesh for the recessed helmet pocket was perfectly positioned for our one year-old, but was not of use to my 4.5 year-old whose helmet was inches above the mesh partition.
As a Trailer
While the Honey Bee looks and feel durable, when strapped behind a bike it really begins to excel. Smooth and effortless, even with a 50 lb. preschoolers onboard, as a rider, it was often easy to forget the trailer was even there. Compared to other trailers, where the rider can often feel every bump on the road and wiggle of the kids, the Burley provided a much smoother and enjoyable ride.
During use as a trailer, the stroller wheel also stays attached to the trailer arm, making it easy to access while out on the go. After riding to a local park, a walk can then be enjoyed by simply converting the trailer. By loosening one knob and flipping the wheel into “stroller” bike, the trailer is ready for a stroll in a matter of minutes.
As a Stroller
In stroller mode, the swivel wheel on the trailers glides easily, but can be a bit noisy. Even when wrapped around the trailer arm, the D-ring of the safety strap did tend to rattle, but not enough to be a nuisance. Being 5’10”, my favorite feature of the stroller was the adjustable handlebar which doubles as a roll-bar in trailer model (an internal roll-cage is built standard in to every trailer). With a simple flip of a lever, the handlebar adjusts the any desired height. The wrist strap, reflective fabric strip and reflectors, were also a hit with some of our parent testers.
The lack of access to the rear storing compartment, however was a feature many of our testers would like to see improved. Although quick and easy, accessing the storage compartment does require lifting up the entire back panel. While certainly not burdensome, our testers preferred trailers with storage within reach. That being said, the Honey Bee is designed primarily to be a trailer, so for families looking for easier access to storage during use in stroller mode, Burley’s offers easy access panels on their Cub, Encore and D’Lite models.
The Fabric Cover
Made with a thick and durable 600D polyester, the cover of the Honey Bee feels as good as it looks. Attached with velcro and elastic bands, one of our favorite features of the panel is its ability to completely fold back (as shown in first image). With easy access to the entire trailer, buckling and unbuckling kids in much easier as compared to limited access on trailers with zippered openings. The plastic weather cover of the Burley is also a standout features as it wraps around the sides of the frame, thereby preventing wind or rain to creep into through the mesh window.
Once fully loaded and ready to go, the front panel attaches to the base of the trailer via a Velcro strip, while elastic bands further adhere the panel to the sides of the trailer. While quick and easy, a secure fit does require the panel to be pulled down tightly in order to make complete contact with the Velcro strip.
The rear-wheel of the Honey Bee lock simultaneously with a lever located on the base of the trailer. With a simply push of the foot, the brakes lock, preventing the trailer from moving.
Completely folding the Honey Bee can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Prior to folding the chassis, we found unlatching the cover around the handle is necessary to prevent the cover from becoming stuck upon refolding. By releasing two red latches on the top of the trailer, the Honey Bee easily folds down on top of itself. The rear wheels can then be detached by pushing the button in the center of the wheels. The trailer arm is removed by simply releasing the D-ring and pushing down a silver safety button.
If you are looking for a trailer, that you would occasionally like to use as a stroller, the Honey Bee is the perfect trailer for you. From its ASTM rating, to its wheel guards and supportive seat, the Honey Bee has all the features you want with a reasonable price tag.
By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: March 1, 2016
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