Bike finder: Which all-purpose child trailer should I buy?
All-purpose child trailer
For: Daria Taddei, age 38, in Bramley, Surrey.
‘Bike’ needs: A trailer for porting a newborn through to later years, for nursery drop-offs and so on, but also touring/bikepacking. It needs to be moved easily between different bikes/e-bikes.
Must be: Lightweight. On and off-road touring suitable. Durable. Narrower than 32" to get it through the passageway between our house and the neighbour’s!
Must not be: Heavy.
Budget: Ideally under £1,000 but we could stretch this.
It sounds like you have some great family adventures ahead. With your budget and off-road ambitions, I’d suggest a trailer with suspension, and more specifically a two-wheel model, given that versatility is important to you.
As for specific trailers that meet your requirements, my first-hand experience is with Thule’s Chariot series. The Thule Chariot Cross (£1,100) is just above your £1,000 budget, and the Infant Sling will set you back a further £100.
The trailer doubles up as a stroller, which is perfect both for day-to-day use and exploring towns while touring. It’s 65cm (25.6in) wide and its 13.8kg weight is reasonable given its build quality and suspension system. I’ve used one with a 29+ Surly Krampus without any issues.
If you want to try before you buy, Bike Trailer Hire is a business that rents out another worthy contender, the Burley D’Lite X. It sells for £880 in the UK but there’s a 'pre-loved' section on the Bike Trailer Hire website listing one for £560. This model is 69.9cm (27.5in) wide and the same weight as the Thule. As a final option, there’s the Croozer Keeke 1 (€950), which is 2kg heavier.
A two-wheel trailer shouldn’t offer any issues towed behind the likes of a Tern GSD. In terms of future proofing, the Robert Axle Project has an excellent Axle Finder for all manner of trailers, bikes and dropout standards.
Thule Chariot Cross £1,100
My first thought was a single-wheel trailer with suspension like the Tout Terrain Singletrailer, which would be fantastic off road and fine on it. At £1,800 it’s way over your budget, however, and the only UK stores I could find listing it (Hitch-a-Bike and Kinetics) show it as unavailable. Tout Terrain doesn’t ship to the UK directly.
A two-wheel trailer with suspension is a more affordable option, and it’ll be fine for “light off-road use” on wider trails. As a two-wheeler doesn’t need to be balanced, day-to-day trips will be easier than with a single-wheeler when your little one grows.
I recommend the Burley D’Lite X. If you don’t plan to have more children in the next five years, the one-seater Single version (£769 from Bike Trailer Hire) is 1.3kg lighter and about 10cm (4in) narrower than the Double that Cass mentions.
Being narrower, it’s less likely to be scraped when wheeled down that passageway. It will also be easier to use as a stroller.
Whichever D’Lite X you choose, add the Burley Baby Snuggler (£75) so you can transport junior right away. I’d also recommend the Burley 16+ Wheel Kit (£179), which lets you swap the 20in road wheels for more off-road capable ones with 16×3in tyres.
There’s a push-button axle release so switching wheels takes moments. At £1,023 (assuming you pick the D’Lite X Single), this whole package is roughly on budget.
Burley produces a range of optional hitches to fit just about any bike or e-bike.
First published in Cycle magazine, December 2022/January 2023 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.
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