If you’re a parent who loves cycling and has small children, you’re probably looking for a way to bring your kids along with you to enjoy bike rides. What better way to bond with your little ones than going out to enjoy an activity together. But since babies and toddlers aren’t big enough yet to bike on their own and keep up with you, getting a bike trailer is a great way to safely tag them along as you cycle.
To help you decide which baby bike trailer to buy, here is a short guide detailing the different types of bike trailers you can get and what features you should consider before investing in one.
What are Baby Bike Trailers?
If this is the first time you’re hearing about this amazing invention, you might be wondering what exactly bike trailers are and whether or not they’re safe to put your little kids in. Well, these bike trailers are small sidecars which can be attached to your bike’s rear axle. They’re specifically made to carry children around the ages of one to six years old. Most trailers can carry up to 125 pounds of passenger weight.
This specific type of bike trailer is designed to seat one or two kids in a strapped compartment which looks not too far from a regular stroller. However, bike trailers for kids and babies are usually designed closer to the ground as a way to minimize the chances of injuries or accidents.
Of course, child bike trailers have safety mechanisms built into them. Almost all models have a hitching device to keep the bike trailer steady if your bike accidentally tips over. These trailers also have straps and a cover to protect its riders from the elements or accidentally falling out while moving.
Enclosed child trailers vs. trailer bikes
There are two types bike trailers for kids you can choose between. Your decision will depend on the age of your children. Just remember that only children above 12 months old could safely ride in bike trailers.
The first type is the enclosed child trailer. As the name implies, this trailer is enclosed by a thick fabric on top and surrounded by aluminum bars for protection and structure. It is also equipped with a zip door with a mesh window which will protect your kids from insects and strong winds.
Enclosed bike trailers are more ideal for smaller children below the age of three as they offer better protection from injuries and the elements. They can carry up to two passengers and even be used to haul other things such as groceries or small camping equipment. Other models of enclosed trailers can even be converted into strollers when not attached to your bike.
On the other hand, trailer bikes offer less protection but gives your kids the ability to cycle with you. This type of bike trailer has pedals for children who are not yet strong enough to bike on their own to learn basic cycling in. However, some trailer bikes are still equipped with ample protection like side railings and a retractable fabric roof. You may also buy a helmet for your child for added protection when riding a trailer bike.
It’s important that you consider your child’s age and physical abilities when choosing between these two types of bicycle trailers. In the end, safety should be your number one priority.
Things to Consider
Aside from trailer type, here are a few more things you need to consider when choosing a bike trailer for your kid.
Budget will always be a consideration whatever product or service we buy. As is with most products, you should know that you can expect to get what you pay for.
Bike trailers for kids can go for as cheap as a hundred dollars or as expensive as a thousand dollars depending on the brand you choose and the features the trailer offers. High-end bike trailers usually offer better protection, more features and an overall smoother ride than its cheaper counterparts. However, you can still find mid-range bike trailers that’ll come with sufficient features at a more affordable price.
Child bike trailers come in single or double seating capacity. Single seating trailers are usually lighter, narrower and much more affordable than double seating trailers. However, they also come with less storage space. As the name implies, these trailers can only accommodate one passenger.
On the other hand, double trailers can seat up to two kids which is great if you have twins or children around the same age. Due to more seating capacity, these trailers are wider and relatively more expensive. But be warned of the dangers of seating one child in a double seating trailer as it will lead to weight imbalance in the carriage.
Hammock-style seats and bench-style seats are the two common types of seating style for baby trailers.
Often found in cheaper bike trailers, hammock-style seats are made out of nylon straps which support an unpadded fabric seat. Because these seat’s straps tend to get looser over time, they are not recommendable for those looking for double seating trailers.
Meanwhile, bench-style seats are padded benches that is not prone to sagging making them the more comfortable choice of seat type. What more a bench-style seat offers more leg room for its passengers. They are usually found in more expensive bike trailers.
Wheel Size and Speed
Kids bike trailers often have a tire size of either 16” or 20”. We recommend that you skip out on the cheaper 16” tires as they are less stable and are usually made of plastic rims. Understandably, these tires are usually found in lower-end trailers. Getting a bike trailer with 20” tires will be the better choice as they are made out of stronger material and are less prone to warping in the long run.
Top 7 Best Baby Bike Trailers in 2018
Take advantage of this fleeting time in your children’s life by bringing them along to do as much exciting activities as possible. One great way of doing so is buying your kids a bike trailer so you can easily and safely tag them along your bike and have some quality bonding time together outdoors.
There are plenty of kids trailers available in the market, some even come with storage and features which make some models suitable for running errands. Anyway, check them out yourself. Browse through our top picks of the best kids bike trailers and see which one appeals to you the most.
InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer
If you’re looking for your family’s first bike trailer, we recommend that you get the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer. It’s at a great mid-price point and offers great features for a family that’s always on the go.
Want to go grocery shopping with your kids after a run or a bike ride? This InStep bike trailer can make that possible as it can be converted into a stroller as well. This feature opens up possibilities of fitting more activities and errands at a given time since you won’t have to go home to get a stroller or lug a bulky stroller in your trunk.
Speaking of bulky strollers, you won’t be having a problem with storing the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer as its simple design allows for easy folding and storage in your garage or the trunk of your car.
Despite this simple design, this bike trailer doesn’t skimp out on features such as a two-in-one canopy which acts both as a bug screen and a weather shield. This canopy can ensure your children’s comfort and safety from bug bites and the elements. You can’t go wrong with the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer.
Thule Chariot Cross Multisport Trailer
We all want the best for our kids and the Thule Chariot Cross Multisport Trailer is as best as they can get and its price and features show it.
Active families will find this Thule bike trailer the most apt for their desired lifestyle as it can be used for activities like biking, jogging, strolling and even skiing (though you’ll have to get a separate attachment for the skiing part).
Consider your money well spent as the Thule Trailer comes with excellent features such as its leaf-spring suspension which ensures a smooth ride even on rough terrains. Combine that with the reclining seats that come with the bike trailer and you’re little one can be comfortable enough to take naps while you ride.
Rest assured that your kids are safe even if they’re asleep as this bike trailer comes with a 5-point harness to keep them safely on the padded seat.
Finally, you can really be sure about this bike trailer’s quality as it comes with a limited lifetime warranty for defects in material or workmanship.
On the other hand, it’s unfortunate that this bike trailer only comes in two colors (blue and orange) and doesn’t have great ventilation inside for the hot summer days.
Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer
The Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer is a great choice for you kid safety worriers out there.
This child bike trailer is specially designed to ensure the safety of its riders. It has a hammock style seat so your child won’t have to sit on the trailer floor and feel the impact of every bump on the road. The seats also have a five-point harness system to keep your kids safely in place. And proving that your kid’s safety is really their number one priority, this Burley bike trailer has a full internal aluminum roll cage which will serve as protection when an accident happens.
Outside, the trailer has reflective piping on its bright yellow polyester cover and some reflectors on its wheels as well. And if that isn’t enough to keep the trailer safely visible to other people on the road, it is equipped with a neon orange flag.
But safety and visibility aren’t the only selling points of this amazing bike trailer from Burley. You’ll be surprised and impressed at the storage capacity of this bike trailer. It has a spacious rear cargo area where you can keep a backpack, some groceries or your kids’ diaper bag with some more room to spare.
Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer
If you’re looking for a simple bike trailer to accommodate two children, the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer is a great choice for you.
For a very affordable price of less than $80 (yes, you read that right), you’ll get a lightweight steel-constructed but very durable baby bike trailer that can carry a maximum load of 100 pounds.
Like most bike trailers, this Allen Sports bike trailer has an easy attach and detach feature for fast and easy use. It also has quick release wheels and an easy-fold design for neat storage and transportation. Hey, this trailer isn’t the only thing you need to be in the trunk of your car.
What’s surprised verified purchasers about this product is its amazing stability even when used in rough terrain and sidewalks which have different path heights. Riders were able to drive the trailer off high sidewalks without feeling like it might topple over. This is thanks to the 16-inch inflated wheels with a metal base that this cheap trailer has as opposed to plastic.
This bicycle trailer also has some safety features in the form of a safety harness on the seats, a foot guard tube to protect your child’s feet and of course, a safety flag.
Aosom Elite II 3in1 Double Child Bike Trailer
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose bike trailer for kids but can’t afford the expensive Thule model, the Aosom Elite II 3-in-1 Double Child Bike Trailer is a great choice for a compromise.
It can be used as a bike trailer, a bike stroller and a jogger while only retailing for around $120 which is just a fraction of the price tag of Thule bike trailers.
But don’t let that relatively cheap price tag fool you into thinking that this Aosom bike trailer doesn’t have much to offer.
It has a full suspension system which makes riding comfortable for your children on almost all types of terrain be it an uphill bike path or a grocery store parking lot. Its 20-inch wheels also ensure that smooth-rolling on uneven and bumpy roads.
The bike trailer itself is made from lightweight steel making it easy to carry around. The Aosom Elite II 3-in-1 Double Child Bike Trailer can carry a maximum weight of 88 pounds. Not much compared to the bike trailers’ weight capacities.
But it makes up for that through its sling-style pocketed seat with a five-point safety harness for protection and an all-weather canopy which will keep your children safe from the elements.
Pacific Cycle Schwinn Trailblazer Double Bicycle Trailer
The Pacific Cycle Schwinn Trailblazer Double Bicycle Trailer is another great choice for those who are looking for a good balance for affordability and overall quality.
For the price of less than $200, you’ll get a perfectly adequate bike trailer which would ensure smooth and safe rides that won’t break the bank. This baby trailer has the 16-inch air-filled tires with molded rims to ensure that.
It also comes with the usual features you’d expect a good bike trailer to have. It can carry two children about 40 pounds each with some more room to spare for another 12 pounds of carry on. However, you’ll be glad to know that this bike trailer can also double as a stroller. Now, you can easily insert grocery runs after you’re done with enjoying a bike ride outdoors.
When it comes to safety, this Pacific Cycle bike trailer has a five-point harness system and a two-in-one canopy with a bug screen to protect your kids from insects and strong winds, rain and too much sunshine.
WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike Trailer
Now, this next one’s a bit different from the rest. The WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike Trailer is a small bike attachment which you can use to teach your kid how to ride a bike.
Unlike the other baby bike trailers on this list, this one doesn’t have a protective surround as it is designed to look and to be used like a regular bike with a seat, handlebars and pedals. Thus, this can only be used by older children preferably 3 or 4 and up. However, you should also assess if you’re kid is strong enough to pedal and sit on the bike.
The bike trailer is constructed from heavy-duty steel and can carry up to 75 pounds of weight which is plenty for a regular kid. Now, don’t be fooled by that cheap price of less than $80. This bike trailer is constructed very solidly and can take a lot on the road as most verified purchasers affirmed.
You can easily use this trailer by attaching it to your bike’s seat post. You’ll also find the quick-release detachment feature useful when storing the bike trailer.
The WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike Trailer comes with a safety flag, but you should also be more mindful when cycling as this doesn’t have the usual enclosing that other bike trailers have.
We hope that you found this guide useful in your decision of which bike trailer to get. Just remember our list of things to consider during your next shopping trip and you’ll surely find a model that’ll help protect your kids while they enjoy cycling with you.
You may love to bike and enjoy the outdoors. However, when you have an infant or young child who cannot independently ride a bike, you certainly won’t get much time to do this. Unless you look into a baby bike trailer! You can hook it up to your bike, and then you and your child can enjoy a trip to the park, down a paved trail or even to a close store.
An advantage is that your infant will like the movement and things to look at. If you don’t feel comfortable not having eye contact with your little one, there are mirrors that can help you see your little one while you bike. The fresh air and movement may lull the little one off to a lovely nap.
How difficult are they to use?
If you like to bike in your area, and love the exercise and fresh air, a kids bike trailer may be exactly the thing for you. The trailers are lightweight, so easy to pull, and balance quite well due to their desing. You won’t feel a great deal of extra effort is needed physically.
The trailers are designed to be easy to hitch up so you can get up and go quickly. Some people find that there is even room in the trailers for groceries or small amounts of things so you can also haul items home with you. Plus, there is room for a little one’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Double trailers are also available so you can carry more than one child at a time, which is helpful for families with more than one child.
Safety with trailers?
The trailers themselves are designed so that if you were to fall from your bike, or it were to tip over, the trailer would not tip over, unless you were at high speeds. The key is that the connections between the bike and trailer are separated by pivots so they can move independently. The trailers aren’t tall, so the passengers are always close to the ground which reduces the distance to fall, were it to tip.
When you think about biking with your child, can think about other options. There are bike seats that go on either the handlebars of your bike, or on the back of your bike. Both greatly change your balance and the way your bike moves. The child passenger is higher up in the air, so there is more distance to fall if the bike should tip.
Also, carefully consider the kind of traffic you intend to travel in. While the trailer may be easy to use and comfortable for you and your child, traffic can always be a hazard. In any situation, traffic should be considered. Avoid heavy traffic areas, heavy traffic times and chaotic areas for bikes. Consider more sedate areas for riding safety.
What ages can use the bike trailer?
According to the recommendations by the trailer manufacturers, your child needs to be able to sit up on their own in order to ride safely in the bike trailer, and most recommend that your child be at least 12 months of age, though by six months most babies can sit up on their own. Many recommendations say that if the trailer is being used like a stroller, and not attached to a bike, a child sitting up on their own is safe, but to wait until a child is a year old before pulling them behind a bike. Helmets are always a wise idea as well.
What To Look When Buying Bike Trailers for Kids
When you start researching trailers, you will find that there are many options out there, so you will want to think about what will be the best for your needs. Not only does the size of the child matter, but the type of riding you want to do, the roughness of your road, what you may want to haul as well as the child, and how else the trailer may be used. Some people chose trailers that can also haul a great deal of gear, in order to continue using after the children outgrow it.
- Can it be used as a stroller? Many trailers can be used as strollers when detached from the bike, which adds to the appeal and usefulness.
- Do you need it to become more compact for storage? Can it fold up so it can be put in a car or a smaller space in the garage?
- What size trailer do you need? For one child or two? To carry more items than just a child?
- What kind of support for smaller children?
- How hard is it to get a child in and out of?
- Are there some sort of bumpers to add to the safety?
- How many points are the harnesses for the child? Five point? Generally, five point is what is recommended and reported to be most comfortable for the child.
- If you choose a double trailer, how are the seats arranged? Will the children slide together or is each child held individually?
- What kind of cover does it have? Does it have a screen? Does it also have a clear solid cover to protect the child from wind or rain?
- What kinds of seats and backrests? Can these be removed for cleaning?
- How does it allow for airflow so it doesn’t get too hot or build up condensation?