The 10 Best Bike Trailers
Taking The Kids On The Trail
There are many variations of bike trailer available today, and choosing the right option for your family depends on much more than just a child's size.
The family bicycle trip is a hallowed institution in many parts of the world. Whether it be a multiple day trek complete with camping out and sight seeing or simply an afternoon outing for a bit of exercise and enjoyment, taking a bike trip is a great way for a family to come together and create shared memories while being active and healthy.
For many families, especially those living in cities or in easily navigated suburban areas, a bicycle is also a viable method of transportation used for everything from running errands to school drop-offs to trips to the movies, museums, and more.
Once children are old enough to control their own bicycle, a parent's responsibility is to choose the right helmets and other safety gear, and to select paths that are safe for a child to navigate. While a youngster is still too small to ride his or her own bike over longer distances (or to ride a bike at all), a good bicycle trailer is a great idea.
There are many variations of bike trailer available today, and choosing the right option for your family depends on much more than just a child's size. You need to consider the type of terrain you're likely to encounter on a ride, the additional gear you might want to bring along (or the groceries or other items you might want tot bring home later), and also consider other uses for the trailer beyond the bike. Many bike trailers also double as great jogging strollers, for example, or can be used to haul gear (instead of little people) on a cross-country trip.
And don't forget that there are bike trailers designed for the four legged members of your family, too. Go ahead and bring your dog or even your cat along in a dedicated pet bike trailer.
The Best Bike Trailer For Small Children
When choosing a bike trailer meant for pulling along your child, first decide if you want an option that your child (or children) ride inside, or that they sit atop. Many options in the latter category involve largely exposed seats into which you strap a child. This setup allows a youngster to fully enjoy the journey, seeing all around him or herself and feeling like a part of the action. However this type of seat also exposes the child to dust and debris and might make it easier for them to be injured in the unfortunate event of a fall or collision or simply by leaning over and touching the passing ground or reaching out and touching a passing object. Therefore this type of seat should be reserved for children old enough (or simply wise enough) to keep their hands safely to themselves.
Many options in the latter category involve largely exposed seats into which you strap a child.
Other bike trailers feature actual bike seats on which a child balances and with which they can even help to pedal. These seats are ideal for kids already old enough to ride a bike but not yet cut out for the long cross country travel you have planned.
By far the most common and most popular type of child bike trailer, though, is the cabin-style of bike trailer that functions like a compact, ergonomic little rickshaw. Select a bike trailer for one or two children, making sure to note the unit's top weight capacity, and then consider the many features such as mesh windows and waterproof covers. The right trailer for you will depend on everything from the average weather in your area to thickness of the trailer's tires (off road riding requires different tires than paved surfaces, e.g.).
And don't overlook the ease with which a bike trailer can be folded down for travel and storage. One option might look perfect, but if you can't easily fit it in your home, then you probably shouldn't fit it into your life.
Animal Bike Trailer Options
Not that long ago it might have been considered eccentric, if not downright odd, to want to bring your pet along for a bike ride. Today it is not only common to see animals accompanying people on more than just a daily walk, it is in fact ubiquitous. If you want to bring your dog (or cat or other pet) along for a bike ride, you have plenty of options at your disposal.
This is important both to keep your dog in place during a ride and while the trailer's door is open.
Most good dog bike trailers have built in safety leashes, or at least have a spot to anchor a leash inside their cabins. This is important both to keep your dog in place during a ride and while the trailer's door is open. Look for a pet bike trailer that offers decent storage space outside the actual cabin area, too. That will make it easier to store treats and food without the risk of it being consumed while you're under way.
As with any bike trailer, look for a pet bicycle trailer that has plenty of reflective surfaces on it. Your pet trailer may block the reflectors on your bike, so it must be outfitted with bright, high visibility accents to help keep you and your pet safe while you are riding in the dark or on gloomy days.
And in case you also want to take your canine companion along while you go for a job, there are several pet bike trailers that can be converted into doggy jogging strollers. (Though in reality you should probably let your dog use his or her own legs during a jog or a stroll.)