Which bike trailer is best for your family?
Bike trailers come in different styles and are designed for different purposes – there isn’t ONE best bike trailer, but rather bike trailers that are best for various uses and various budgets. Some trailers perform like a dream on the road, while others excel at multiple functions like jogging and strolling. Other trailers have plenty of room for two kids, while some squish kids in like sardines. We’ve narrowed down the best options below so you don’t have to do the research!
Top Picks Summary
Best Bike Trailers for Every Budget
BEST ON A BUDGET
Great trailers for basic everyday use
|Burley Bee||Allen Premium 2||Schwinn Echo|
Trailer + Jogger/Stroller
Stroller and jogging conversion kits come standard or as upgrades
|Thule Cross||Burley Encore||Allen Premier 2|
Best for Taller/Older Kids
Extra space for older kids or those who want more room for kids to grow
|Hamax Outback||Wike Moonlite||Burley Bee|
Best Trailer Cycle
"Tow" kids that are too big for a standard trailer
|Weehoo iGo Turbo||Burley Piccolo||Wee-Ride Co-Pilot|
**For Single Trailer options, see individual sections below
Trailers for Basic Use
The best, cream-of-the crop trailers don’t come cheap and are often a bit of overkill for families simply looking for a good quality, basic bike trailer to use around town. If you plan on only using your trailer as a trailer, and not as a stroller or jogger, these trailers offer great performance for their price. While some do come with stroller wheel attachments, these trailers don’t work nearly as well as strollers as those listed in the multi-use section below.
Allen Premium Aluminum 2: Best Mid-Priced Basic Trailer
Burley Bee, Best Overall, $349: Durable, lightweight, and built well above industry safety standards, the Bee offers the best overall quality and safety features for basic use trailers. With its durable frame, smooth pulling hitch, and roomy interior, the Bee is a fun and comfy ride for both parents and child. The Bee is not compatible with any stroller conversion kits.
Allen Premium Aluminum 2, Best Mid-Priced, $220: While not as fine-tuned as the Bee, the Allen is a stand-out compared to other trailers in its price range. The Allen’s full-size 20″ tires on metals rims provide a smooth ride (many lower-end trailers have 16″ tires), its pockets are large enough to hold sippy cups and snacks (many Schwinn and Instep trailer pockets are teeny) and it’s built with thicker fabric to increase overall durability. For more details, check out our Allen vs. InStep vs. Schwinn budget trailer comparison.
Schwinn Echo, Best on a Budget, $175: With small pockets and thinner fabrics, the Schwinn isn’t a nice as the Allen Premium, but it’s one of the few budget trailers to offer full-size 20″ tires on metal rims. The larger tires provide a smoother ride for both parent and child. Cheaper trailers are available, but in our opinion, the upgrade to 20″ tires is worth the additional $50 (as compared to the InStep Take 2 or Quick N EZ).
Multi-use: Biking, Jogging & Strolling
Multi-use trailers are best for active families on the go, especially runners or for those who simply want the cream-of-the-crop trailer. In addition to having the best quality and performance across all trailers, our top picks in multi-use trailers can easily adapt for bike, stroller or jogging use.
Thule Cross: Best for Athletes
Thule Cross, Best Overall (and Best for Athletes!), $999: The Cross is pretty much the best quality trailer money can buy and handles like a dream. With suspension, true reclinable seats, an optional infant sling, durable fabric, an adjustable sunshade, as well as a good internal height, the Cross is simply the best of the best. The Cross is designed with on-board storage of both stroller and jogger kits for spur of the moment conversions while you’re out and about. (And they don’t take up your normal storage space!) For extra stopping power in jogging mode, the Cross is the only jogger to offer a rear-wheel hand brake. Full Thule Cross review.
Burley Encore, Best Mid-Priced, $479: If you’re looking for a high quality trailer but don’t want to pay for all the bells and whistles, the Encore is your best bet. The Encore pulls smoothly and quietly behind the bike, and focuses on the comfort of the rider with features like supportive seats, padded straps, and UV windows. The Encore is compatible with strolling and jogging conversion kit upgrades. Read full Encore review.
Allen Premier Aluminum 2, Best on a Budget, $290: For under $200, the Allen Premier is a relatively smooth ride and comes with a large stationary jogging wheel that smoothly tracks while running. Thinner fabric, hammock-style seats, no foot brake and lower-quality padded straps keep the cost down, but at this price point, you definitely won’t find better. There is no stroller upgrade available.
Best for Tall or Older Kids
Trailers for taller and/or older kids need to be nice and roomy with plenty of headspace. These trailers have the tallest interior height on the market, providing plenty of room for tall kids and their helmets.
Hamax Outback: Best Overall Trailer for Tall Kids
Hamax Outback, Best Overall, $599: Sleek, modern, and surprisingly nimble, the Hamax Outback is the cool and edgy SUV of trailers. With adjustable suspension, extra thick tires for additional cushioning, super-plush interior, and supportive seats, the Hamax provides an exceptionally comfortable ride for its passengers. While it doesn’t perform as smoothly as a Burley or Thule in trailer mode, it’s a dream to use as a stroller. The Outback also has amazing ventilation and a peek through window up-top. Full Hamax Outback review.
Wike Moonlite, Best Mid-Priced, $449: Tall and mighty, the Wike Moonlite is built like a work truck rather than a fine-tuned sedan, but what it lacks in fine details, it makes up for in durability and space. With 30″ of interior height, the Wike offers plenty of height for even an average six-year-old to ride. The Moonlite is easy to use and easy to fold up, but it cannot convert to a stroller or a jogger. For a step up in price, Wike’s Premium Double offers conversion kits for jogging and strolling: Wike Premium Double Trailer review.
Burley Bee, Best on a Budget, $349: The Burley Bee is our go-to basic bike trailer that also happens to have ample headroom for tall riders. While the Bee doesn’t convert to a stroller or a jogger, it excels as a trailer – Burley’s unique hitch and the Bee’s lightweight build allow for very little resistance when pulling your child behind you.
Best Trailer Cycle
For kids old enough to pedal, but too young to keep up with the older kids and adults, trailer cycles are the perfect solution for family rides with kids ages 3 to 6. Trailer cycles have a single wheel, versus double wheels like traditional bike trailers, but are still towed behind the bike. They also have pedals for the kids, which allows them to be active riders instead of passive passengers.
Weehoo iGo Turbo: Best Overall Trailer Cycle
Weehoo iGo Turbo, Best Overall, $349: Simply the best for all-terrain riding. Narrow and low to the ground, the Weehoo easily flies down single-track trails with much less concern of running into plants and sticks or other obstacles in tight spaces. The Weehoo has a three-point harness that keeps kids in place, even if they fall asleep, making it great for city riding as well. Full Weehoo review.
Burley Piccolo, Best Mid-Priced, $359: Connecting to a bike rack, instead of the seat post on the adult’s bike, the Burley is much more stable than traditional trailer cycles. Most trailer cycles lean to one side or the other while in use, making it more difficult to for the adult rider to tow. Burley’s unique rack-mounted system reduces the standard lean significantly, creating a more comfortable ride for both the adult and child. Full Burley Trailer Cycle review.
WeeRide Co-Pilot, Best on a Budget, $90: Although we haven’t tested out the WeeRide in person, we’ve only heard great things about it. A fraction of the price of our other picks, based on the numerous 5-star reviews compared to similarly priced trailer cycles, the Co-Pilot appears to be the budget trailer cycle of choice.
How to Choose the Best Kid’s Bike Trailer
Kids’ bike trailers have tons of features to consider when you’re trying to find the best trailer for your family’s needs. While we have a much more detailed discussion about this in our article Bike Trailers: How to Choose, here’s a quick summary of the most important features that should impact your decision in buying a bike trailer.
Of course, there’s your standard bike trailer, but many bike trailers also convert to 3-wheeled or 4-wheeled strollers, joggers, and even ski strollers!
Trailers that include or have optional upgrades for strolling and jogging are perfect for active families that want to use their trailers for multiple activities. Other families prefer to have dedicated bike trailers and a separate stroller or jogger.
Before you start your research, be realistic about what activities you want to be able to do with your kids so you can purchase a trailer that suits your specific needs.
Budget – Good, Better, Best
The best trailers are easier and smoother to pull, offer more comfort features for the kids, more upgrades like hand brakes and drink consoles and can convert to a stroller or jogger. Like the features on a car, only the top of the line bike trailers offers the top-of-the-line features.
For example, the wildly popular Burley Bee is a trailer only, but it’s just what they would classify as a “Good” trailer. To get the very “Best” quality trailer, you would need to upgrade quite a bit to their performance D’Lite line.
That said, any trailer by brands like Burley, Thule, or Hamax is going to be far superior to basically any other trailer out there. They are also more expensive. With trailers, you really get what you pay for. If you’re going to be using it often, you should spend as much as you possibly can.
If you’re on a tight budget, at the very least we recommend that you find a trailer with 20″ wheels and metals rims. Many budget trailers have 16″ wheels on plastic rims which are poor quality and make for a very bumpy ride.
16″ Wheels with Plastic Rims vs. 20″ Wheels with Metal Rims
Capacity – Single or Double?
If you’re only ever going to have one child, a single trailer is probably the way to go. They are narrower and lighter than double trailers, making them easier to pull.
Double trailers are best for growing families, or families who want the flexibility of bringing along a friend or storing things along for the ride.
Budget trailers generally have what’s called “hammock-style” seating, which consists of a thick piece of fabric stretched across the frame of the trailer. These seats generally always sag in the middle and don’t offer a lot of support. Higher-end trailers have a true bench-style seat. When you have two riders, a bench style seat makes a huge difference in comfort level for those little riders. If you can afford it, it’s certainly worth the upgrade!
Rain covers and sunshades have saved us from staying inside on soooo many occasions. Rain covers protect from rain, wind, and frigid fall and winter temperatures. Sunshades are a lifesaver in the scorching summer heat.
We’ve found that well-functioning rain covers and sunshades allow you to get out in almost any weather in stroller and jogger modes, and in biking mode as long as you are in safe riding conditions. We highly recommend that you choose a trailer with these features!
How much room you have to store items you need to bring along for the ride really comes down to personal preference. We like to err on the side of more storage than you think you might need! We’ve found ourselves hauling scooters, balance bikes, helmets, basketballs, lunches, and a family’s-worth of jackets. Higher-end trailers tend to have better storage options.
How easy it is to fold a trailer can make the difference between you getting your trailer out on those trails, or just not wanting to bother because it’s such a pain to load it up. Its dimensions while folded will also determine if you can even get it in your car! For example, our Thule Cross Single requires us to fold down the back seat of our Honda Pilot to fit it in the car. As a result, we lose the ability to transport two whole people when we want to bring our trailer along on family bike rides.
If you have a young infant, a baby insert is necessary to use the trailer in strolling mode until the baby is at least 6 months, if not longer. (You cannot pull a child in trailer mode until they are 1 year old.) Speaking from experience, the baby insert in my Thule Cross was one of my favorite baby gifts of all time. It allowed me to get out and be active again just 6 weeks after giving birth.
Not all trailers have baby insert upgrades. Thule and Burley trailer/strollers are your best bet if you want to use your trailer as a stroller with a young baby.
Burley vs. Thule Chariot Comparison Guide – An easy reference guide to help you decide between the two best brands.
Bike Trailers: How to Choose: What to look for when shopping for a bike trailer.
Bike Trailers: Comparison Charts – To view and sort more trailers from even more brands, and read reviews.