Bike trailers are a wonderful solution for active parents who want to include their toddlers on recreational family bike rides. They are strong, reliable carts that promise your kids’ safety and comfort. Using a pull-behind carrier allows your children to be exposed to fresh air and sunshine (using sunscreen, of course:-) while also spending more time with their parents. I have compiled a few features to think about when looking for the best bike carts for toddlers. You’ll also find a number of reviews that detail which ones I consider to be the best and why.
Now, why should you listen to me when I’m writing about biking with toddlers? My wife and I have been active in family-style biking since the mid-1990s when we rode all over central Germany with our kids in tow. Usually, we had the kids in a seat on the back of our bikes, but often rode around with them in a pull-behind kid carrier. Now, living here in Florida, we ride around towing our dogs in the cart. I know, I know…until we get grandchildren, though, the dogs get the benefits 🙂
Benefits of a Bike Trailer for Little Ones
- Keeps your children close at hand so you can enjoy quality time with them while you exercise.
- It’s a great way for you to keep fit.
- Many bike carriers will convert to a joggging stroller, so you can walk with your little ones too.
- Teaches your children good exercise habits at a young age. They learn from you, after all, as you’re pedaling along the trails.
- Lets your kids soak up the sunshine and take in the scenery in a safe way.
- Gets them outdoors more frequently and teaches them about bicycling.
- Typically provides more freedom of movement for your kids than a child seat on your bike.
- Much safer than a child bike seat, especially if you take a spill.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bicycle Trailer
Enclosed or open air
Many parents prefer an enclosed bike trailer for a few reasons. One reason is that children are more susceptible to sunlight, making an enclosed trailer the best way to keep them from being exposed to too much sun. Another reason is that an enclosed pull-behind child carrier can help keep kids free from moisture and bugs while still providing plenty of air. Also, an enclosed unit really improves safety, protecting your toddlers from flying debris and keeping them safely inside in the rare case of a spill.
In general, you get what you pay for with toddler bike trailers on Amazon. A pull-behind child carrier that comes with a large number of features usually comes with a higher price too, but typically, its worth it if you can afford it. There are many kid trailers that come with great perks that won’t empty out your wallet. It all depends on what you want for your kids.
Weight and Handling
Obviously, towing a trailer behind your bike is really going to add weight. That means if your bike does not have gears (single speed) like most coasters, you may have real difficulty lugging your toddlers uphill. Also, some carts are not well centered and really impact the handling of your bike. Pay particularly close attention to how it attaches and whether it tows behind your bike centered or off-center. This article is old, but gives some good information on safety and handling differences between trailers and kid seats for bikes. These days, the best carts are built out of aluminum, which is much lighter than steel, thus easier to tow and carry.
Storage and Transport
You won’t always be using the trailer, so it’s important that you find a compact one, like one with a folding frame, in order to tuck it away. Sometimes, you may be using your car to haul your bike and carrier to a location to ride. You want to make sure you have room for everything you need to haul, so you don’t want your trailer taking up a bunch of storage space in your car. Some of the carts available will fold up very small.
Storage on the trailer is important too. You know how much “stuff” you lug around when you travel with your toddlers. You won’t need to take it all with you on bike rides, but you’ll definitely need some of it. Keep this in mind when researching the various storage space options.
Nearly all bike trailers now come with a bright-colored safety flag that flies at car windshield level so drivers are more likely to see it. Please be sure to use the safety flag everytime you ride anywhere cars may be.
Always look for a unit that features a harness to keep your children from being jostled around. Most carts will have at least a 3-point harness, while the high-end ones tend to have 5-point harnesses. You’ll also want your little ones to wear a bike helmet every time you go bicycling.
While people will argue this point, biking is not a good idea for infants under one-year-old. In some states, it’s illegal. Here’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics has to say about bike and bike trailer safety.
Many of the trailers you’ll find on Amazon have some sort of suspension system to smooth out the bumps for your toddlers. Some of the best bike trailers for toddlers, though, will have active suspension such as springs or shock absorbers, while others use some sort of passive suspension in their seat design.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Bike Trailers for Toddlers
- Ensure the bike trailer has good airflow and breathability for their comfort.
- Select a bike trailer that has a universal hitch so it can easily attach to most bikes.
- Look for a bike trailer with a solid, well-built frame. Get an aluminum frame if you can afford it.
- Find a bike trailer with weather and bug resistance if you can.
Toddler Bike Trailer Reviews
InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer
Top Features of the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer
Quality Pneumatic Tires
One of the great qualities of the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer is that it features durable, resilient tires that promise an easy ride no matter where you go. This is great if you ride on old roads or through the fields at the park. It goes without saying that these carts work incredibly well on concrete and asphalt. Each tire measures 16″ and looks nice and stylish. The tires are pneumatic, and the pressurized air really does help give a comfortable ride. The rims of these tires are molded and super strong as well.
Roomy, Top Quality Design
Naturally, as a parent, your children’s safety and comfort come first. This extends to even pleasant, relatively safe activities like a bike ride down the street. The InStep Take 2 provides both comfort and safety with the 5-point harness included. The bike cart is very well built and is made from a durable steel frame that easily supports the weight of most young children. It can hold two children for a total combined weight up to 80 pounds.
The InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer comes with a hitch coupler that is strong and holds on tight, letting you be free of the fear that it might come loose while traveling. If you own a few different kinds of bikes, this trailer fastens on nicely and snuggly to pretty much all of them.
2-in-1 Protective Canopy
As stated, your children being safe and secure is a priority. With the InStep Take 2, you don’t have to worry about sun or rain getting on them. The canopy of this model keeps them dry and in the shade, while also serving to protect them against any bugs that might try to fly through the mesh. This gives peace of mind that you can take them anywhere you please without encroaching on their comfort, making it one of the best low-cost bike trailers for giving the kids comfort.
Excellent Storage Capabilities
With this pull-behind, you can stow it away in any small space without filling up the closet. This bike trailer has a folding frame that takes no time at all to collapse and its quick-release tires come off like a dream. You can stick it in the trunk of the car if you want, to take it on rides further away from home.
Pros of the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer:
- 16″, durable pneumatic tires
- 2-in-1 canopy includes a bug screen and weather shield
- 5 point safety harnesses with shoulder pads to enhance comfort
- Foldable frame with quick-release removable wheels for easy storage. Folds smaller than many other trailers
- Roomy storage area behind child seat holds plenty of gear
- There is a pocket on each side so your kids can easily reach their stuff
Downsides of the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer:
Large mesh holes. The front of the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer has mesh holes that some of the bike trailer reviews say are too large.
Being made of steel, it’s quite a bit heavier than the trailers made from aluminum.
Some reviewer say their toddlers don’t like having to ride with their feet straight out in front of them because they’re sitting right on the bottom.
One of the complaints about how this trailer folds up is that the cover must be removed for it to fold up, although it folds to a very compact size.
Allen Sports 2-Child Steel Bicycle Trailer
Top Features of the Allen Sports 2-Child Steel Bicycle Trailer
Lightweight yet Strong
One of the best parts about the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer is that it doesn’t weigh you down on your trips. Even though it’s made from steel, it feels like you’re pulling nothing, even with your kids inside. This lightweight bike trailer does not sacrifice its strength for its weight; it is made from top quality steel that looks and feels as sturdy as it is. You don’t have to worry about it jostling the kids around or trying to snap apart in transit or in use.
Safe and Secure
Prioritized above all else is the safety of your children, and the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer fills you with peace of mind. It can safely and reliably transport two children up to 100 pounds. Inside of the cabin is a safety harness to keep them comfortably secure. Included is a safety flag that improves visibility.
Not only is the cabin of the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer comfortable and breathable, it features a foot guard that protects the kids’ feet from any dirt or kick back. It doesn’t constrict and is nice and spacious like the rest of the cabin, but it is for this reason that you might consider this bike trailer to be the best in regards to total safety. Allen Sports really thought of everything here.
Also, the front and side windows are huge making visibility for your children much better than many trailers.
The Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer comes with sturdy wheels that seem to be able to handle any sort of terrain. These wheels add a nice visual touch to the bike trailer and they measure 16″, which is more than enough to support the trailer. They are well inflated and help assist with the smooth ride.
Compact and Convenient
One of the things that you’ll absolutely love about this unit is that it is absolutely portable. Its strong steel frame features a folding design that lets it collapse into itself and allows you to easily stow it away in any small closet or haul it with you in the car. It features quick release wheels that also make it simple to tuck away in only a short amount of time. This really assists with making this a great trailer to take with you anywhere, even on vacation.
Pros of the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer:
- Large front and side windows so your kids can really enjoy the scenery
- Rear pocket which can hold a few helmets or a diaper bag
- Foot guard tube protects toddler’s feet
- Folding frame and quick release wheels allow for easy storage and transportation
- Holds up to 100 pounds of weight at maximum capacity
- The frame is made of lightweight steel
Downsides of the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer:
Tough to pull. Some reviews have stated that the Allen Sports Steel Bicycle Trailer is a bit difficult to tug along behind them. These reviews probably come from bicycles that are already more difficult to pedal, making tugging extra weight an even less enjoyable experience.
Click the chart below to see all the latest Allen Sports Bike Trailers
InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer
Top Features of the InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer
Ultra Cheap (low cost) Bike Trailer
One of the most off-putting things about trying to find the best bike trailer for your toddlers comes down to budget. Most parents are conscious of every penny they spend, so it is important that you’re getting the most for your money. The InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer is a cheap bike trailer that is a great value for recreational bike riders.
Compact and Easy to Carry
The name implies that this bike trailer is “quick and easy,” and it’s true. The InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer has a solid frame that collapses into itself and folds up into a compact, easy to tote size. This makes it so you can take it in the trunk on a longer adventure or simply store it wherever is most convenient without it taking up too much space.
This InStep pull-behind carrier comes with a versatile canopy that allows it to be used in one of two ways: the first is that it serves as a bug shield to keep everything out of your kids’ way so they can enjoy a comfortable ride free from pests; The second is that it serves as a weather shield. If the sun is too hot or if there is a light drizzle, your children are protected from the elements.
The tires on the InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer are of a thick and durable composition, able to handle most terrain. They measure 16″ in size and are filled with pressurized air that gives your children a smooth, relatively bump-free ride. Not only do they deliver excellent performance, they enhance the cart’s great style, too.
Versatile Coupler and Included Brake Strap
This tow-behind features a coupler that attaches to most any bike. The best part is the brake strap. This is a pretty unique feature that you don’t see on many other bike trailers. This brake strap wraps around and through the rear wheel as well as the back of the trailer’s frame. All you have to do is fasten the brake strap clip to the other side of the brake strap and it helps to make the transition from being in motion to stopping much smoother.
Pros of the InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer:
- Holds two kids up to 40 lbs. each and an additional 12 lbs. of storage
- 16” pneumatic tires with molded rims help provide a soft ride
- Folding frame design with quick release wheels make for compact storage
- 2-in-1 canopy includes a bug screen and weather shield
- Versatile bicycle coupler attaches to most bicycles
- 5-point safety harness and shoulder pads for added safety and comfort
- Includes stroller kit with front wheel, parking brake and handlebar
Cons of the InStep Quick N EZ Double Bicycle Trailer:
Tire strength. In a few reviews, people said that the tires have lost air, but many of them say that it was because they exceeded the weight limit. Keep under the maximum capacity and this should not be a problem. One reviewer said a maintenance person at a local bike shop said to inflate the tires to just 25lbs. rather than the recommended 35 lbs.
Schwinn Trailblazer Single-Child Bike Trailer
Top Features of the Schwinn Trailblazer Single-Child Bike Trailer
Keeping the kids out of the elements while trying to enjoy a relaxing bike ride is important. The Schwinn bike carrier gives your children that comfort by employing the use of a 2-in-1 canopy. This canopy protects the toddlers from things like the blazing sun on hot days, humidity and mist when it’s drizzling or raining, and general dust and dirt that might be swirling through the air. Not only this, but it stops any sort of bugs from entering the cabin. Even small pests cannot enter their space, making for a cool, breezy ride, no matter the circumstances.
Strong, Dependable Tires
The Schwinn Trailblazer bike carriage features tires that can stand up to most any terrain, even if you like to go onto dirt and gravel back roads to avoid traffic. When in the park, for instance, if you like going off of the sidewalk occasionally to let your kids take a look at some of the grassy fields and open sky, the tires will easily handle the side-trip. Measuring 16″, these tires are filled with pressurized air that seems to provide a bit of suspension for the ride, helping to keep the kids from bumping around inside of the cabin too much. Molded rims add a fashionable appeal while also contributing to the overall sturdiness of the tires.
Convenient and Simple to Store
Incredibly sturdy, the Schwinn Trailblazer Single Bike carriage features a robust, totally solid aluminum frame that is more than capable of supporting the weight of your toddlers. When in use, this carriage doesn’t seem like it’s going to break apart or come loose during trips. It features a lightweight design that makes toting the kids around a breeze. Furthering its convenience is its ability to fold into itself with ease. This lets you store the tow-behind anywhere, including the trunk of your car or a tight storage space in your home. The wheels have a quick release ability that lets you take it apart fully in only a minute or so.
Pros of the Schwinn Trailblazer Single Bike Cart:
- Speedy, lightweight bicycle trailer with a strong aluminum frame
- Universal coupler attaches quickly and easily to most bicycles
- Carries one child, not exceeding 50 lbs.
- 2 in 1 weather shield and bug screen
- 16″ pneumatic tires for comfortable performance
- A folding frame with quick release wheels easily allows compact storage
Cons of the Schwinn Trailblazer Single Bike Cart:
No mountain bike compatibility. In a number of reviews from mountain cyclists that focus on the Schwinn Trailblazer, they said that they are not able to connect it to a mountain bike.
Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer
Top Features of the Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer
Compact and Simple to Carry and Store
The Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer is super compact when you fold its frame into itself. You can easily stick it in a coat closet by the door so that you can just grab and go when you’re ready to bike with the little ones. You can also put it into the trunk of the car in the event that you want to take them somewhere a bit further from your home.
Keeps the Sun Out of Their Eyes
The Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer provides something that a lot of the others don’t seem to: tinted windows. These windows keep out the rays of the sun, stopping them from burning the skin of your children. They also work to keep the sun out of their eyes so that their experience is just generally more pleasurable.
Ventilated Rear Window for Maximum Airflow
Another unique thing about the Burley Design Bee is the fact that it features rear window ventilation. Sometimes, using a bike trailer can make the inside of its cabin stuffy if there isn’t enough airflow. Not with the Burley Design Bee. This bike cart is perhaps the best when it comes to breathability. You’ll know for a fact that your kids are as comfortable as they are secure when using this trailer!
First, the Burley Bee is designed and tested to meet or exceed ASTM F1975-09 safety standards. It includes strong side battens that create a structured barrier between the wheels and your kids. And, it has wheel guards for protection from unforeseen obstacles. The seats have a five-point harness system and a full internal aluminum roll cage for protection. The side and rear windows are tinted and rated UPF 30.
Quick Release Wheels
The 20″ wheels on the Burley Design Bee Bike Trailer are extremely durable. What you’ll like the most about them, though, is that they further the compact nature of the bike trailer. They also feature push-button technology that releases the wheels immediately so that you don’t have to mess around with taking them apart in order to store the trailer away.
Comes with Everything You Need to Bike
Finally, the Burley Design Bee comes complete with anything you could think of to get started biking right away. This bike trailer comes with a hitch for attaching the cabin to virtually any bike. It also features a sturdy tow arm and an eye-catching safety flag that improves the visibility of the trailer.
Pros of the Burley Design Bee Bike Carriage:
- All inclusive kit comes with everything you need to use right away
- Compact; easy to transport and to stow away
- 5-point harness system and aluminum roll cage for protection
- Rear window ventilation for maximum breathability and airflow
- Tinted windows for sun protection
- Strong heat treated aluminum frame and forged aluminum hitch
- Twin hammock style seating provides passive suspension for comfort
- Weight is just 20lbs, 8 oz. that is very stable with a low center of gravity
Cons of the Burley Design Bee Bike Carriage:
Price. Some bike trailer reviews have stated that the price is a little more expensive than they prefer. As mentioned earlier, though, you get what you pay for. Many reviewers think it is worth the price considering all the unique features, such as the tinted windows, that help keep away the harmful sun as well as the extra airflow that comes from the rear window ventilation.
And which one is the best bike trailer for toddlers …
The InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer! I recommend the InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer because of its included the 5-point harness that makes parents feel secure that their children are safely buckled in. It comes with a folding, sturdy steel frame and quick release wheels that improve its storable nature. I like how breathable it is and that the kids can fit comfortably inside together. The InStep Take 2 Double Bicycle Trailer has a 2-in-1 canopy that allows for protection against weather and the sun while also keeping out any sort of bugs. It attaches to any bike and it is incredibly inexpensive. Overall, I consider this unit to truly be the best-of-the-best bicycle trailers for toddlers and for young children!
|InStep Take 2 Double Bike Carriage for Toddlers||Schwinn Trailblazer Single Bike Cart for Toddlers|
|Lowest Price||$119.95 (3/26/17)Amazon See it||$129.99 (4/2/17)Amazon See it|
|Types||Bike Trailer||Bike Trailer|
|Weight||23 pounds||27.6 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||32 x 27 x 6 inches||20 x 15 x 15 inches|
|Read Full Review||Read Full Review|