Best Bike Trailers to Carry Cargo, Kids, or Dogs
Bicycle trailers for kids, pets, or cargo are an excellent tool for transporting things on your bicycle. Opinions about them are divided within the cycling community, but we think the best bike trailers are a smart buy.
While they are not perfect for every usage, they do offer many advantages. These advantages can be seen when compared to alternatives such as bike seats for children, panniers, or bike seats for pets.
The size, weight, quality, and cost vary hugely, but the reasons behind using a bicycle trailer remain constant: it is an easy way to transport things.
Bike trailers do take some getting used to. They add a lot of length to your bicycle, making it harder to turn corners, especially in urban areas. Badly designed trailers can wear quickly and may function poorly too (as it is with most bike-related equipment).
That being said, with a well-built trailer and some practice, these problems can be mitigated.
Table of Contents
The demand and supply ratio has reached a nice melting point by offering a decent selection of durable, super multifunctional, and great value bike trailers for the consumer market.
Main trailer types
- Kids’ bike trailers – For carrying one or two children with you. Some premium trailers can also be used as a stroller for jogging and exploring in general.
- Cargo trailers – For hauling camping gear, kayaks, SUPs, and more.
- Pet bike trailers – For dogs mainly.
Bike trailer wheels sizes:
- 2 wheel trailers – The most classical bike trailer wheel combination.
- 2+1 wheel trailers – Ideal to being used as a stroller as well.
- 1 wheel trailers – Single-wheel bike trailers offer the best passability in single tracks.
Bike trailer attachment:
QR or Thru-Axle:
- Quick-release trailer connections are among the most-known connections used for bicycle trailers.
- Thru-axle bike wheels are more common these days, so whenever you are after a bike trailer make sure to check its attachment points!
1. Best Kids’ Bike Trailers
Using a bike trailer is a superb way to get your children involved with your rides in a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable way. While bike trailers are a significant initial investment, the convenience and fun they bring make it worthwhile.
If you invest in a quality kids bike trailer, you can be sure that your children will be safe and happy. The top brands usually have easy folding features for the convenience of storage and transport. Getting on and off your bicycle is also significantly easier and safer with a bike trailer compared with bike seats.
Before you purchase a trailer, make sure that the brand has a good reputation. Here are a few other variables that you should consider too:
- Weight Capacity
- Trailer Weight
- Coverings (depending on your climate and usage)
- Wheel size
Safer for Your Kids
A bike trailer for kids is generally safer when compared to child bike seats. The children are lower to the ground, strapped in, stabilized by 2 or 3 wheels, and positioned behind the bicycle. All of these factors make it safer in the event of an accident or sudden braking.
Two Passenger Limit
For families with more than one young child, a kids bike trailer will allow greater flexibility for your day out. Most models comfortably fit two children.
Weight allowances usually vary between 80-100lbs leaving plenty of room for your two tots.
Burley – D’Lite X
As well as being a premium kids bike trailer the D’Lite X also works as a stroller, easily switching between its two functions. The spacious cabin features comfy seat cushions, headrests, and suspension to deliver an unparalleled riding experience.
Other notable features include reclining seats, with adjustable angles for added convenience, and a 5 point harness system for safety.
No matter where the road takes you, the Burley D’Lite X trailer is the perfect tool for the job (and it’s also available in a single-seat model).
- Weight Capacity – 100lbs
- Rear wheel diameter – 20″
- Weight: 31lbs
- Dimensions -38.25 x 33.25 x 31.25 inches
- Folded Dimensions – 37 x 31.25 x 14.25 inches
- REI score: 4.8 / 5 out of 60+ ratings
Burley – Bee
With the Burley Bee, you can expect a lightweight Burley bike trailer that doesn’t sacrifice any of the exceptional safety features and durability that Burley users come to expect.
The natural suspension in the hammock-style seats provides a surprisingly comfortable ride for your kids. Parents can also take advantage of large storage space in this Burley camp trailer, allowing you to carry all the items you need for your adventure.
Despite being affordable, the trailer is easy to assemble, lightweight, and folds up compactly. All of this and more makes the Burley bee an excellent choice for any family. A single passenger model is also available.
- Weight Capacity: 100 lbs
- Weight Including Towbar, Hitch, Flag: 20 lbs
- Wheel Size: 20″
- Dimensions -32.3 x 30 x 36 inches
- Folded Dimensions – 35.5 x 29.3 x 11.3 inches
Burley – Minnow
A cheap & foldable bike trailer
The Burley Minnow is the brand’s self-described “entry-level” model. Despite being a basic model, the trailer is high-quality and durable, like all of Burley’s products.
Notable qualities of the Minnow include its safety (Burley’s standard 5-point harness system), and the spaciousness of both the cabin and the storage area. Despite only having 1 seat, the Minnow has an impressive carrying capacity of 75lbs. This leaves plenty of capacity for any extras you need for your day out.
The Minnow was Burley’s Solo bike trailer. Unlike other models, the Minnow didn’t come in a double passenger version. Burley’s release of the ‘Bee’ in 2021 has lead to a discontinuation of the Minnow.
- Weight Capacity – 75 pounds
- Size – 36 x 32.25 x 26 inches
- Folded Size – 32.25 x 26 x 11.25 inches
- Wheel Diameter – 20 inches
- Weight – 22lbs
Schwinn – Trailblazer
Schwinn double bike trailer
This Schwinn double bike trailer is an excellent budget model for any family who wants to take their kid(s) on exciting adventures.
The Trailblazer is optimized for convenience. It features a unique folding frame and quick-release wheels that allow it to fold up neatly for easy storage and transport. Because of its universal coupler, it also easily attaches to almost any bike for added versatility.
Safety is another priority for Schwinn. The trailer has a 5-point safety harness, as well as a bug screen and weather shield to protect your children from the elements.
As the Trailblazer is an entry-level trailer, it runs optimally with lighter usage on paved trails. The Schwinn Echo bike trailer is also available in-store for $250.
- Weight Capacity – 92 pounds (2 40lb Children + 12lbs Cargo)
- Weight: 28.5 Pounds
- Universal coupler
- 16/20″ wheels depending on model
- Frame material: steel
*Schwinn – Trailblazer 1, 2, Joyrider and Echo available as well.
The Instep bike trailer is a highly-affordable, sleek bike trailer available in 4 distinct colors.
The trailer is spacious despite being neat and has 16-inch pneumatic tires that perform surprisingly well for comfort. Users do note though that the wheels may warp with heavy usage as they are made of plastic.
The Instep has a 5-point harness to ensure your riders are protected, along with a canopy featuring both a bug screen and weather shield with a rear window.
As with the Schwinn Trailblazer, the Instep double bike trailer has a folding-frame design and quick-release wheels. These features provide added convenience for storage and transport.
- Weight Capacity: 92lbs (2 40lb Children + 12lbs Cargo)
- Weight: 23lbs
- Wheel Size: 16″
- Comes in 4 designs
- Single / double
Weehoo – iGo Blast Tag Along Child Bicycle Trailer
The Weehoo bike trailer is the perfect tool to get your kids involved with your rides in a safe, engaging, and exciting way.
This recumbent-style kids bike trailer is designed for children aged 2 to 5 years old, featuring an easily adjustable seat and 3-point harness. Your child can feel safe with a robust yet comfortable chair with ergonomic handgrips on either side.
Weehoo prioritizes convenience by implementing a removable push bar and snap pins. These features allow the trailer to fold into a compact unit for easy storage and transport.
The iGo Blast Tag Along is well-built and durable despite its competitive price and is suitable for most trails while remaining secure and comfortable.
- Weight Capacity: 80lbs
- Weight: 26lbs
- Wheel Size: 20″
- Score: 4.5 / 5 out of 187+ raings
- Size: 62 x 13 x 30 inches
More trailers by Weehoo:
- Weehoo Turbo
Thule – Chariot Lite 2021 🏆
A premium kids’ bicycle trailer and a stroller
Sweden’s Thule consistently manufactures top-of-the-range products in both design and performance, and the Chariot bike trailer is no different.
The Chariot Lite is Thule’s mid-level kids’ double bike trailer. It’s designed to be easy to use and take with you wherever you go with a highly compact fold.
This Thule bike trailer is perfect for day-to-day usage, while also allowing you to enjoy many other activities with your child including jogging, walking, and skiing. An ergonomic, adjustable handlebar provides maximum parent comfort no matter which activity you choose.
Your child will be comfortable and safe no matter what the terrain. Advanced suspension, adjustable vents and rain cover, and Thule’s premium 5-point safety harness system.
- Rear wheels: 16″
- Weight: 26 lbs
- Weight capacity: 75lbs (Child weight 49lbs)
- Foldable bike trailer
- Size – 45 x 37 x 25.5 inches
- Folded Size – 34.2 x 25.6 x 15 inches
Allen Sports – Steel Trailer
Cheap & lightweight child bike trailer
Allen bike trailers are recognized for being no-frills, lightweight, and durable kids bike trailers.
The Deluxe 1 is no different, featuring quick-release 16-inch steel wheels, it can be folded conveniently into a small unit for easy storage and transport.
This model comfortably transports 1 child, however, is limited to 50lbs carrying capacity, one of the lowest in the market. The cabin is bright and airy due to its adjustable front and side windows.
Child safety is a priority for Allen Sports and they include a padded 5-point safety harness to keep children secure and comfortable.
- Weight Capacity: 50lbs
- Weight: 22lbs
- 16″ wheels
- Dimensions: 15 x 22 x 22 inches
CoPilot – Bicycle Trailer & Stroller
Double bike trailer
CoPilot has two highly functional, durable, yet budget-friendly trailer/stroller combinations.
The Model A pictured above (the slightly cheaper version), is a neat unit that switches quickly to a stroller (in 90 seconds) using a tow bar-mounted wheel.
This CoPilot bike trailer is spacious and comfortable for 2 children, with its large cabin. 20″ tires, padded seats, and a 5-point harness safety system also add to the comfort and safety of your children.
CoPilot’s bike trailers are built to be sturdy, using a steel chassis and wheels. Ease of use is also a feature of the Model A, featuring a quick-release mount that conveniently attaches to disc brakes and lots of accessible storage pockets throughout the trailer.
- Weight Capacity: 100 lbs (2 Children)
- Weight: 28 lbs
- 32 x 9 x 27 inches
- 20″ wheels
Aosom – Elite 360 Swivel 2-in-1 Double
A lightweight two-seat bike trailer
Aosom’s Elite 2-in-1 bike trailer is a sleek trailer/stroller combination that delivers excellent value for money. Aosom markets this unique bike trailer for multiple usage purposes, including pets and cargo up to 88lbs.
This multi-purpose Aosom bike trailer allows parents to get their children involved in various activities including cycling, jogging and walking.
Children and pets can stay safe and comfortable with an all-weather canopy with mesh and plastic to shield from the sun or rain. A sling-style seat and a five-point safety harness in the cabin complement the external protection.
The trailer hitches to almost any bike and converts quickly to a jogger without the need for tools. Another notable feature is the hand brake which allows it to be locked in place conveniently.
- Weight Capacity: 88lbs
- Weight: 45lbs
- Made of steel
- Dimensions: 32 x 36 x 34.25 inches
Retrospec – Rover Kids Bicycle Trailer
A $100 kids’ bike trailer
This Retrospec bike trailer is a very highly regarded kids trailer despite being priced extremely competitively.
At its low price, the Rover offers all of the same safety features as its main competitors. This includes a 5-point harness system, bug and weather shields, and wrap-around reflective fabric.
Although not the sleekest design, the steel frame results in a sturdy unit. Some users mention durability issues with the wheels, however.
One of the Rover’s key functions is its ability to fold down flat, making it easy to store and transport. While in use, there is plenty of storage with its deep rear pocket.
For families on a budget, the rover is the perfect lightweight, entry-level kids bike trailer to accompany and your child on your next adventure.
- Weight Capacity: 40 lbs
- Weight: 22 lbs
- 16″ wheels
- CPSC Approved Safety Reflectors
2. Best Dog Bike Trailers
A pet bike trailer is an unbeatable way to take your furry friends on an adventure. There are limited choices for transporting your pet by bike, so a pet bike trailer stands out as the best option.
Carrying a small dog is possible in a basket, however, is more unsafe, and has limited weight capacity and size.
If you are trying to make a decision about whether or not to buy a bike trailer for dogs or other pets consider some of the following reasons:
- You want to take your pet along on rides, but they cannot run alongside you
- You want to take your pet for long-duration adventures and days out
- Pet bike trailers can double as cargo trailers: with a small animal, you can take extra cargo on board. If you leave your pet behind you can use it to run errands
- You have an old or sick pet and still want them to be able to get outside in nature
Burley – Tail Wagon Bike Trailer
Burley bike trailers are premium quality, and sleek products and the Tail Wagon bike dog trailer is no different.
This medium or small dog bike trailer is built for convenience. It offers a flip-down tailgate so it can be loaded quickly, and an easily removable floor for cleaning. It is also compatible with a stroller kit which can be purchased additionally.
Along with a spacious interior, the Tail Wagon has lots of space for storing things in its large cargo pockets. This trailer is easy to break down, folding flat in seconds for storage or transportation.
Most importantly, your dog will be safe and comfortable on all your adventures in this top-quality pet bike trailer.
- Weight Capacity: 75 lbs
- Weight: 23.5 lbs
- Dimensions: 36.5 x 31 x 32 inches
- Dimensions Folded: 37.5 x 28 x 9.5 inches
- 16″ wheels
Schwinn – Small Rascal
Bike pet trailer for large dogs
Schwinn bike trailers are consistently affordable yet well-built.
The Schwinn Rascal bike pet trailer allows your pet easy access with a rear dog-door. A large sunroof and non-slip floor surface also help to maximize your pet’s enjoyment and comfort while riding.
This high-capacity trailer supports large dogs and keeps them safe with an adjustable leash to stop sudden disembarkment.
Schwinn has optimized the Small Rascal bike trailer for pet parents’ convenience, fitting the unit with quick-release wheels, a compact folding design, and a universal coupler to fit most bikes.
- Weight Capacity: 100lbs (Small version – 50 lbs)
- Weight: 34 lbs
- Wheel size: 16″
- Dimensions: 34 x 28 x 19.5 inches
3. Best Cargo Bike Trailers
Whether you are touring a continent or running errands, a cargo trailer may be the perfect accessory to support your trip. Although trailers are generally seen as awkward, heavy, and difficult to maneuver, new models can be surprisingly convenient and lightweight.
Four pannier bags and the rack can easily weigh over 10lbs, while the lightweight trailers range from 12-15lbs. This is an insignificant difference when added to rider weight and carrying capacity.
Single wheel cargo trailers also allow easy maneuverability as the wheel tracks directly behind your rear wheel, although it will take up more space on the road and in storage.
These reasons, along with the benefits mentioned below, highlight just how useful they can be, while limiting much of the perceived downside of cargo trailers.
Kayak Bike Trailer
This specialty bike trailer is relatively new to the trailer market. With the use of lightweight materials, manufacturers are able to make bike-mounted kayak trailers. Now you can leave the car at home and just use your bike.
Although not widely available yet, companies such as Idaho-based Salamander Paddle Gear are offering these products with the ability to tow up to a 17 foot, 70lb kayak.
With these products, you can save time on finding parking at your local beach, and save the hassle of awkward roof-mounted transport by car.
Carry Bulky Items Easily
Bicycle trailers are designed to carry bulky, heavy loads. This is a distinct advantage over pannier bags which can add up to similar carrying capacity. However, you must distribute everything throughout your 2-4 pannier bags making it impossible to carry large items.
Easier to Manage
As a bicycle trailer is one unit, it is significantly easier to manage than panniers. Instead of remembering where each individual item is located in your panniers, cargo trailers can carry your whole pack together, making them easier to pack and unpack.
Protection from rain is more convenient, as one dry bag or waterproof cover can be used in place of separate ones for each pannier bag.
Burley – Coho XC
Single-wheel suspension cargo bike trailer
Burley’s Coho XC is a sleek and agile single-wheel cargo bike trailer.
Like all Burley products, it is built to last. This premium trailer fits 3 types of tires so it can be used for any adventure, including riding singletrack trails, bicycle touring, and camping trips.
The Coho XC is extremely easy to use. It features simple, tool-free adjustment and installation on a wide range of bike types and disassembly. It disconnects and snaps into place quickly, and has an adjustable kickstand to keep the bike upright and steady for loading and unloading cargo.
This Burley trailer has ample storage capacity of 70lbs but also supports extra weight over the rear wheel to which you can connect pannier bags.
- Weight Capacity: 70 lbs
- Weight: 21.5 lbs
- Wheel Size: 16″
- Cargo Area: 24 x 15 x 11.5 inches
- Dimensions: 32.5 x 22 x 22.5 inches
Schwinn – Day Tripper Cargo Bike Trailer
Schwinn’s Day Tripper is a high-capacity, tidy cargo bike trailer that functions perfectly for day-to-day usage and short bike trips.
Because of its wide frame and two-wheel design, the Day Tripper can support up to 100lbs, however, this limits the maneuverability of the trailer.
When out of use, the folding frame design and quick-release wheels allow it to pack up neatly and compactly. Like all of Schwinn’s trailers, this cargo trailer allows easy one-time installation because of a universal coupler that easily attaches to most bikes.
16″ tires with molded rims allow a smooth ride of paved surfaces, while interior D-rings allow you to strap down any items, providing extra security for your cargo.
- Weight Capacity: 100lbs
- 16″ wheels
- Folding frame
- Quick-Release wheels
Burley – Nomad Cargo Trailer
The Burley Nomad bike trailer is the company’s ‘utilitarian’ choice of a cargo trailer.
This simple and lightweight trailer is optimized for loads of up to 100lbs, with easy storage and access to cargo due to its open design. As the flatbed has 2 wheels, it is stable during riding and while stopped.
Burley has added quick-release tires with the push of a button on the 16″ alloy wheels. This allows for quick and compact folding for storage or transportation.
One unique feature of the cargo trailer is the ‘Flex Connector’ that allows your bike to lay flat while the trailer stays upright.
- Weight Capacity: 100 lbs
- Weight: 14 lbs
- Wheels: 16″
- Dimensions: 32.5 x 22.5 x 22 inches
QuietKat – 20QKCTSW
Single-track fat bike trailer
The QuietKat off-road fat tire bike trailer is a new and unique addition to the cargo trailer market.
The 20QKCTSW is single-wheel, which allows it to be narrow and maneuverable. Despite being single-wheel, the trailer has a large carrying capacity (14”x 24”/100lbs) that rivals 2-wheel alternatives.
As QuietKat is a hunting company, they have ensured that their trailer can ride effectively on any terrain, and carry large items like game meat, hunting equipment, and firewood.
One issue with the trailer is the slightly limited compatibility, requiring a specific axle purchase for some through-axle bikes. With the right axle, the quick-attach system allows it to be attached in seconds to your rear post.
One unique feature is the trailer’s rear suspension, which when paired with the fat tire, makes this bike trailer ride smoothly on the roughest terrain.
- Weight Capacity: 100 lbs
- Weight: 34 lbs
- 14”x 24” Storage
ABN – Universal Kayak Carrier
A kayak bike trailer
ABN’s Kayak Trailer is the perfect accessory to take the headache out of your day at the beach.
The Universal Carrier can be used for your kayak, as well as a canoe, paddleboard, float mat, and jon boat (weighing up to 200lbs). Despite being durable (made from high-strength steel) the trailer is also very lightweight, making it easy to carry.
ABN’s kayak trailer can be used on most terrains, rough or smooth, including sand, gravel, and wooded areas. Tire design and padded bars help to keep your vessel from getting scratched in transit.
The carrier is also easy and convenient to use. The unit includes a kickstand for ease of loading, as well as removable wheels so it can be stored in a large backpack on your vessel while in the water.
- Weight: 7.5 lbs
- Weight limit: 200lbs
- 22 x 9.2 x 13 inches
SUP Wheels – Evolution
SUP bike trailer
The Evolution is a specialized bike trailer for standup paddle boards.
It is a lightweight trailer that is designed to float in the water or be stored on your board while you paddle. Because SUP doesn’t use metal bearings, it doesn’t get rusted or clogged with sand.
While the trailer’s strap system can adjust to fit your board, it is not compatible with some types of boards including wide boards or square-tailed boards.
While protecting your board effectively, the board is also easy to use. It has a handy rubber handle for pulling, attaches to your bike easily and tool-free, and features ‘never go flat’ wheels.
Although its use is limited, the SUP Evolution is the perfect trailer bike solution for standup paddleboarders.
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Size Capacity: Less than 15 inches wide
- Dimensions: 28 x 15 x 3.5 inches
Can you use an electric bike to tow a bicycle trailer?
Yes, you can use your e-bike to tow a bicycle trailer. Electric bikes are the perfect tool to give you an extra boost with the added weight of a trailer, as tackling inclines with a loaded trailer can be difficult. Make sure the trailer hitch is compatible with the e-bike before purchase. Compatibility can usually be seen on the manufacturer’s page.
What age of kids is a bike trailer for?
Bicycle trailers are recommended for kids who are able to hold their heads by themselves. Although the bike trailer weight capacity is intended for kids up to 100lbs for a double trailer, which is quite a lot, the height of the child must also fit comfortably in the trailer.
Is it hard to ride with a bike trailer?
Bike trailers can make it more difficult to maneuver in tight places, take corners, and handle your bicycle in general. However, well-built trailers are much more effective when handling. Two-wheel trailers are more stable, whereas single-wheel alternatives perform better when maneuvering due to being narrow and more agile.
Should your kid wear a helmet during a bike trail ride?
Yes. Both rider and passengers should use a helmet at all times when traveling by bicycle.
Are bicycle trailers safe?
Yes, modern bike trailers with standard safety features (5-point harness system, safety flag, reflective material) are perfectly safe when usage guidelines are followed. Children are strapped into a padded cabin that provides maximum protection in the event of sudden braking or turning.
Additional safety features such as a roll bar or wider wheelbase are also available in some models.
Bike Trailers – Where To Buy Online?
- Amazon bike trailers
- REI bike trailers – Thule & Butley trailers
- Trekbikes – Offers a broad selection of Burley bicycle trailers
What are the best bicycle trailer brands?
- Burley – Known by their wide range of entry, mid-range, and premium level trailers for simply everything – Hauling,
- Thule – A transportation brand that has been around for over 70+years, well known for their high-end and super multi-functional kids bike trailers & strollers
*Both of these brands offer a wide range of trailers for different needs and plenty of accessories to go with it as well.
Before investing in a bike trailer, consider your own personal needs along with the pros and cons we’ve mentioned here. They are the perfect tool for many users to support long rides. Whether going solo, with your kids, or with your pets.
A well-made bike trailer will no doubt bring unrivaled convenience and hours of enjoyment to its users.