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Best Bike Trailers for 2017

Which bike trailer is best for your family?

Bike trailers come in different styles, budgets and are designed for different purposes.  After testing out in person or thoroughly examining at trade shows over 20 different bike trailers, we have found that there isn’t ONE best bike trailer, but rather bike trailers that are best for various uses.  Some trailers offer comfortable seats while others simply perform better on the road.  Other trailers have plenty of room for two kids, while others squish kids in like sardines.

Best bike trailers. Thule Cross, Weehoo iGo Turbo, Burley Encore and Hamax Outback shown.

Top Picks Summary


Which bike trailer is best for your family? To help you confidently find the best trailer, we sorted our top picks by how you plan on using them.  Use our handy chart below to check out which category best fits how your family plans on using the trailer, then scroll down for more detailed info on each trailer.

 

Everyday Use


Everyday use trailers are for families who plan on sticking to paved surfaces around the neighborhood. Offering great quality, durability & comfort for the price, these trailers are ready to get your family happily riding.  All of these trailers can be converted to a stroller.

Burley Encore Trailer: Best Bang-for-your-buck

Best of the best bike trailers. Burley Encore, Best Bang for Your Buck, shown attached to bike and with two kids inside

Burley Encore, Best Bang-for-your-buck, $479: The Encore is best quality trailer/stroller for its price.  In addition to pulling smoothly and quietly behind the bike, the Encore is very well made with comfortable seats kids appreciate. The Encore is compatible with strolling and jogging conversion kids but does not suspension and an adjustable sunshade like the Thule Lite,  Additional upgrade required for stroller feature. Read full Encore review.

Thule Lite, Best for Families on the Go, $800,: Built for families on the move, the Thule Lite has suspension for smooth rides as a trailer on any terrain.  Comfortable seats and an adjustable sunshade for glare-free rides make the ride particular relaxing for young riders. Stroller wheels are included.  A stationary jogging wheel, infant sling, and optional hand brake are available upgrades.

Thule Coaster XT, Best for Occasional Use, $400,: A well-designed and good performing trailer, the Coaster XT is great for families who won’t need the extras, just good quality basics. Coming complete with the stroller wheel and trailer arm, the Coaster XT is ready-to-go out of the box with no additional upgrades to buy.  The stroller mode is a wheel that attaches to the trailer arm and is easy-to-use and easy to convert from stroller to trailer.  Not as fined tuned as the Encore, the Coaster is better for occasional riders while the Encore is preferred for more regular riders.

 

Comparison Chart of Everyday Use Trailers

 

Best for Under $300


Quality and performance, but without breaking the bank, our budget trailers have all the features you need within a reasonable price tag.  Easy to pull with enough for two kids, our budget trailer doesn’t have the fancy buckles or padded seats like a higher-end trailer, but they still perform great behind the bike.

Allen Premium 2: Most Cost Effective

Best of the best bike trailers. Allen Premium 2 trailer shown with 2 kids inside

Allen Premium 2, Most Cost Effective, $199: Roomy, more durable and smoother to pull, the Allen Premium 2 is our favorite budget trailer under $200. In a side-by-side comparison test of similarly priced InStep’s and Schwinn’s, the Allen easily came out on top.  As expected with a $100 price difference, the Allen isn’t made with as thick as fabric or fancier buckles as the Burley and the Thule but performs great for its price.  Allen Premium 2 comparison review.

Burley Bee, Best All-around, $299: Durable, lightweight and build well above industry safety standards, the Bee is a great trailer for the price.  The roomy interior is comfortable for one or two riders, and Burley’s unique hitch design provides a smooth ride for the adult.  The Bee is not compatible with any stroller conversion kids.  The Bee is a double trailer, but Burley also sells a single version very similar to the Bee called the Minnow for $269.

Thule Cadence, Best for Sunny Areas, $299: The Cadence is the only budget trailer to offer a sunshade.  If the sun is in a child(ren)’s face, the “trunk” flap can be reversed and Velcroed in place to provide shade.  Unfortunately, the Cadence’s seats are not as comfortable as the Bee’s.

 

Comparison Chart Budget Trailers Under $300

 

Multi-use: Biking, Jogging & Strolling


Multi-use trailers are best for active families on-the-go, joggers or for those who simply want the cream-of-the-crop.  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

Best of the best in bike trailers. Thule Cross attached to bike and in jogger mode shown.

Thule Cross, Best for Athletes, $899: The Cross is ready for pretty much anything you can throw at it.  With an optional infant sling, true reclinable seats as well as a good internal height, the Cross is a great fit for all ages.  Out on the go, the Cross easily converts to a stroller or jogger and can even be fitted with skis for cross-country skiing (conversion kits required).  For extra stopping power in jogging mode, a hand brake is also available.  Full Thule Cross review.

Burley D’lite, Best All-Around, $629: The lightest trailer in the group, the Burley is a simply a breeze to pull.  Smooth and quiet the D’lite offers very little pull-back to the adult bike.  With 2″ more internal width than the Cross, the D’lite provides a roomy fit for two older kids.  The D’lite also has better ventilation than the others and is less likely to fog up when used with the plastic rain cover.  Full Burley D’lite review.

Croozer Kid Plus, Most Bang-for-Your-Buck, $799: The only multi-use trailer to come with stroller, trailer and jogging attachments, the Croozer is a great package deal.  For expanded use, the Croozer also offers an infant sling and skiing packages.   Full Croozer Kid Plus review.

Comparison Chart of Multi-Use Trailers

 

 

Best for Taller 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 or tall kids and their helmets.

Hamax Outback: Best for Everyday Use

Hamax Outback bike trailer attached to bike

Hamax Outback, Best for Everyday Use, $599: Sleek and modern, yet surprisingly nimble, the Hamax Outback is the cool and edgy SUV of trailers.  With adjustable suspension, extra thick tires for additional cushioning and comfortable 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 a dream to use as a stroller.  The Outback also has amazing ventilation and a peek through window up-top.  Full Hamax Outback review.

Croozer Kid Plus, Best for Bang-for-Your-Buck, $799: Coming complete with the stroller and jogging wheels attachments, the Croozer Kid Plus is a great package deal.  For expanded use, the Croozer also offers an infant sling and skiing packages.  Full Croozer Kid Plus review.

Wike Softie, Best for Older Kids, $799: Tall and mighty, the Wike brand of trailers the rugged and durable.  Built like a work truck rather than a fine-tuned sedan, what it lacks in fine details, it makes up with in durability.  With 30″ on interior height, it offers plenty of height for even an average six-year-old to ride in it. Wike Premium Double Trailer review (similar model to the Softie).

Comparison Chart of Trailers for Tall/Older Kids

 

Best Trailer Cycle


Old enough to pedal, but too young to keep up, trailer cycles are the perfect solutions for family rides for kids ages 3 to 6. Trailer cycles also have pedals for the kids, which allows them to be an active rider instead of a passive passenger.  Trailer cycles have a single-wheel, versus double wheels like traditional bike trailers, but are still towed behind the bike.

Weehoo iGo Turbo: Best for All-terrain Riding

Best bike trailers. Weehoo iGo Turbo shown with 4-year-old rider and attached to a bike

Weehoo iGo Turbo, Best for All-terrain Riding, $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 squeezes.  The Weehoo also 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 Kazoo, Best Traditional Upright, $299: 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 adult rider to tow.  Burley’s unique rack-mounted 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 Budget, $90: Although we have not tested out the WeeRide in person, we have 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.

Comparison Chart of Trailer Cycles

Related Articles


Bike Trailers Ratings and Comparison Charts: The complete list of our top picks for bike trailers, sorted by our recommendation level.

Bike Trailers: How to Choose: What to look for when shopping for a bike trailer.

Burley vs. Thule: Comparison Chart: Comparison charts are pictures comparing the various models of trailers from Burley and Thule.

 

By: Natalie Martins

Last Updated: October 17, 2017