Updated 9 March 2022
Would you like to going biking and bring your family along? Our independent expert have tested bicycle trailers in real life. For a bicycle trailer to become a favourite it has to be of high quality, be comfortable for the kids to ride in and be easy to use in everyday life.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our test of bicycle trailers, we asked ordinary families and experts in the area to use the trailers with their own children. The majority of bicycle trailers are multifunctional and can also be used as normal or even jogging strollers. In this test, we’ve primarily focused on the bicycle trailer’s properties as a bicycle trailer and as a stroller, as these are the two positions that will be used most often. During the test, we reviewed characteristics including the following:
Cycle mode: What’s the trailer like to attach behind the bike, is the towing arm easy to connect and disconnect, and has the bicycle trailer any kind of suspension?
Stroller mode: Is it easy to change between cycle mode and stroller mode, does the trailer have an adjustable handle and is there a parking brake?
The child’s perspective: What’s the sitting space and comfort like for the child, what’s the maximum weight of the bicycle trailer, is the harness easy to fasten and can the backrest be inclined?
As well as these characteristics, we also assess the general quality of the bicycle trailer together with how its functions and characteristics relate to its price tag.
Well constructed and spacious bicycle trailer with adjustable suspension and good attachment for bicycle arm.
Width: 86 cm Weight: 18.5 kg Maximum weight: 40 kg Folding: Yes Number of children: 1 or 2 Adjustable backrest: No Adjustable handle: Yes Stroller wheels: Yes, swivel wheels included Front cover: Clear plastic and sunshade
The Hamax Outback is an unusually successful combination of clever functions and attractive design. The Outback’s silhouette is stylishly slim with the trailer’s frame exposed, which means that it looks as robust as it is. The maximum weight for children in the trailer is 22 kg and the total maximum load is 40 kg. The Outback includes a quick attachment for the bicycle and a swivel stroller wheel. You can also buy a fast, pneumatic jogging wheel if you want to use the trailer to run with.
The Hamax Outback has space for two children, but can be used with just one child in too. The seats feel spacious and are nicely padded for comfort. From the 2019 version of the Outback onwards, the backrest can also be inclined in three steps down to a comfortable reclining position. It’s easy to attach the five point harness and two children of five years of age were comfortable sitting beside each other in the Outback. The manufacturer states a maximum height for children of 117 cm, but it can hold taller children. Including with their cycle helmets, of course. The backrest feels long, so it’s more that the taller children have to bend their legs a bit to fit. To make things more comfortable for the passengers, the Outback has adjustable suspension on one back wheel, with clear symbols for how to set it.
The Hamax Outback shines most when it comes to its well-designed functions. The quick attachment for the cycle arm and stroller wheel is the most convenient solution we’ve encountered thus far. You simply click the bike arm on and lock it in place. If the connection is correct, the colour field on the attachment turns green – if it’s wrong it shows red. Changing between cycling and stroller mode can be done in less than a minute and both the front wheel and bike arm can be stored in the Outback’s baggage space at the back. The baggage space is big enough for two large beach bags, and there are also small storage pockets inside the trailer for things the children may need close to hand.
The trailer has a clear plastic cover to protect the children from wind and weather, and a sunshade that can be drawn down to shade their heads. There’s also a cover consisting only of insect net which is perfect for hot summer days as air can get through. If you unclick the back wheels, it’s easy to fold the Hamax Outback into a flat package that can be stored in a car boot. The Outback has a handle that can be adjusted to several different angles, which means it’s easy to push on walks for parents of different heights. We also give it an extra point for the convenient foot brake. It’s obvious that the Hamax Outback has been designed to work both as a stroller and a bicycle trailer, and it’ll quickly become a favourite with the entire family.
Multifunctional bicycle trailer with suspension, spacious seat and comfortable reclining position
Width: 80 cm Weight: 14.5 kg Maximum weight: 45 kg Folding: Yes Number of children: 1 or 2 Adjustable backrest: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Stroller wheels: Yes, swivel wheels included Front cover: Insect net and separate clear plastic cover
The Chariot Cross 2 is a multifunctional bicycle trailer from Thule, who are known for never compromising on either function or quality. With their Cross 2, they offer families with small children the opportunity to cycle or walk with the trailer. You can even by jogging wheels or a kit to use the Cross 2 when cross-country skiing. The trailer’s maximum weight is 45 kg, and the children may weigh a maximum of 22 kg each. It’s just as easy to cycle with one child as two in the Cross 2. There’s plenty of space in the seats. Thule state a height limit of 111 cm, but taller children will fit too in a pinch. The harness is easy to adjust for height and circumference. It gets a big plus for it being possible to attach the harness straps to the bracket one by one – in other words you don’t have to pair them all together beforehand. The harness is thoroughly padded and the seat also feels comfortable. But the best thing of all about the Cross 2 is that it has individually adjustable backrests that can be inclined to a reclining position. The angle is just right for a child to be able to sleep comfortably without their head tipping forward. And because the backrest locks in the different positions, the Cross 2 is one of very few bicycle trailers where it’s permitted for you to cycle while the children are in the reclining position.
As a bicycle trailer, it’s easy to connect the Cross 2 to your bike with the quick attachment included and installed on the rear wheel of the bicycle. The trial has adjustable suspension that without doubt makes the ride more comfortable for the children. A bicycle flag is included. As a stroller, the Cross 2 is easy to steer and the handle can be set to several different angles. Changing between a stroller and bicycle trailer mode is rapid with Thule's quick attachments for the front wheels and cycle arm. Extra plus points for the fact that the stroller wheels are clicked into the brackets from above when you're using the Cross 2 in cycle mode, so they're always handy when you need to change back again. The Cross has a built in, zipped insect net that covers the trailer. A separate sunshade can easily be clicked on and set at different height positions. And for bad weather there’s also a clear plastic cover. However, this doesn't cover the entire trailer and if it’s going to be kept outdoors in rain you’ll need another form of protection. For transport or long-term storage, the Cross 2 can be packed compactly by folding it and unclicking all the wheels. The baggage space at the back can also be folded up against the trailer for better legroom if you want to run with it. The Cross 2 has smaller storage pockets both inside and on the back of the backrest. The Thule Chariot Cross 2 is a stable trailer with high levels of comfort for the child and at least as much functionality for the parent. If there’s space in your budget, you definitely won’t be unhappy with the Cross 2 as your means of transport.
High-quality, functional bicycle trailer suitable for everyday and shorter leisure use
Width: 80 cm Weight: 12.5 kg Maximum weight: 45 kg Folding: Yes Number of children: 1 or 2 Adjustable backrest: No Adjustable handle: Yes Stroller wheels: Yes, swivel wheels included Front cover: Insect net together with separate sunshade and separate clear plastic cover
The Thule Chariot Lite 2 is a two-seat bicycle trailer, approved for use from 6 months. The backrest gives a firm, slightly reclined sitting position and there’s no resting or lying position. The Lite 2 is therefore best suited for children who won’t sleep in the trailer.
The seat is perceived as spacious and comfortable. The maximum weight is 22 kg per seat unit, and both seat and harness can comfortably be used by children up to the age of 6-7. The harness buckle is very easy to operate, mainly because you can click the straps into the buckle one at a time – without having to pair them first like on a rear-facing car seat. In front of the children you draw across a piece of mesh to protect them from insects, gravel and stones that be thrown up by the bike's rear wheels.
Lite 2 also comes with a separate sunshade and a clear plastic cover, which can be attached to the front of the trailer. The clear plastic protects against light rain, but above all against wind. Without it, as with all bicycle trailers, it’s a little like having a parachute trailing behind the bike. Unfortunately, these parts are easily lost or left at home.
As always with Thule’s bicycle trailers, safety is clearly a high priority. Connecting the Lite 2 to your bicycle is easy and secure. The bicycle arm is attached twice to both trailer and bike, with a regular bracket and additional safety strap in case the bracket fails for any reason.
Switching from cycling mode to walking is also straightforward. You attach the two small front wheels upside down to the Lite 2 while you’re riding. Then you can click them back into walking mode in less than 30 seconds. The baggage space at the back of the bicycle trailer is a large mesh pocket. It certainly does hold a fair bit. But the maximum weight is only 4 kg, so the Lite 2 is not the bicycle trailer you can simply load up with a shopping bag or a beach bag.
The Thule Chariot Lite 2 is equipped with an adjustable handle, making the trailer more comfortable to walk with. For transport or storage, the Lite 2 can be folded flat very easily. If you remove the rear wheels and put them plus the bike arm in the passenger compartment after you fold the trailer, the entire package is very compact. Unfolding the Lite 2 is also easy, with clear green and red indications that show whether or not everything has been done correctly.
It would be untrue to say that the Thule Chariot Lite 2 is a budget trailer. But compared to the most expensive models in Thule’s range, the price of a Lite 2 is much more affordable. Especially after actually using the trailer and realizing that both design and function are of the same high Thule quality as always. As long as the baggage space or reclined position aren’t on your list of requirements, the Thule Chariot Lite 2 is exactly that functional, attractive and uncomplicated bicycle trailer you always wanted.
Good value and easy-to-use bicycle trailer with spacious seat units and generous baggage space
Width: 78 cm Weight: 15 kg Maximum weight: 45 kg Folding: Yes Number of children: 2 Adjustable backrest: No Adjustable handle: Yes Stroller wheels: Yes, swivel wheels included Front cover: Clear plastic, sunshade and net
The Hamax Avenida is a convenient and easy-to-use bicycle trailer. It’s 78 cm wide and the standard size of many doors is 80 cm, so you can squeeze it in lots of places. The Avenida has space for two children, but is also available as the Avenida One with just one seat unit. When you buy the bicycle trailer, it includes everything you need to attach it to your bike, together with a small stroller wheel for using the Avenida as a stroller.
Inside the trailer are two well padded seats. The harness can easily be adjusted in terms of height, so the straps are in the right position at the child’s shoulders. The straps are then fastened one by one into a harness buckle. There’s plenty of space in the Hamax Avenida. A normal-sized five-year-old of approx. 110 cm can ride comfortably and even has space with their helmet on. Smaller children from about the age of one can travel comfortably too. The Avenida has no reclining position. The fixed sitting position of the backrest is slightly sloping, however. But the Avenida isn’t a bicycle trailer that small children can sleep comfortably in.
Using the Hamax Avenida with a bicycle is very straightforward. The bicycle arm is easy to attach to the right-hand side of the trailer. You then insert it into the bracket installed on the bicycle’s rear wheel. Connecting and disconnecting the Hamax Avenida only takes a couple of minutes. The bicycle trailer doesn’t have any suspension. But the large wheels mean that the ride isn’t too bumpy for the children.
The handle can be adjusted to several different positions, which means that parents of different heights can hit a position that makes the Avenida comfortable to push as a buggy. It doesn’t take long to change from cycle to pushchair mode. The small, swivel front wheel is easy to click into a bracket on the front of the trailer. This means it’s easy to cycle to the shops and then take the Avenida in with you.
On the back of the Hamax Avenida is a decent sized baggage space that can hold several shopping bags. The trailer also comes with a folding insect net and a simple rain cover that can be fastened over the opening. You should always use the net as protection against stones and debris being kicked up by the back wheel of the bicycle. If you want to take the Hamax Avenida in the car or store it for the winter, the bicycle trailer can easily be folded up to a relatively flat package.
The Hamax Avenida is a very good value and easy to use bicycle trailer that’s perfect for everyday commuting to preschool. More and more bicycle trailers have reclining seat units, which is useful if you have children who need to sleep while you're cycling. But if you don’t need that, the Avenida is one of the better choices of bicycle trailers available.
High quality and well-designed bicycle trailer with high levels of comfort and reclining seat units
Width: 80 cm Weight: 16.5 kg Maximum weight: 45 kg Folding: Yes Number of children: 2 Adjustable backrest: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Stroller wheels: Yes, swivel wheels included Front cover: Clear plastic, net and sunshade
The Thule Chariot Cab 2 is a high quality bicycle trailer. If you have an active lifestyle, there’s a wide range of useful accessories for the Cab 2, which means that the bicycle trailer can also be used for jogging and even skiing. The Cab 2 has space for two children. The seat units are well proportioned, with plenty of space even when the children are wearing cycle helmets. Children up to 4-5 years of age can ride comfortably. The harness is easy to adjust. The fact that you can click the harness straps into the buckle one by one makes things easier when you have to attach two children the same time.
One function that our testers really liked about the Thule Chariot Cab 2 is that you can adjust the backrests on the seat units to a good reclining position. The backrests are separate, so one child can sleep while the other is sitting and looking out. You can angle the backrest with one hand using a catch on the back. The baggage space on the back of the Chariot Cab 2 is very good. You can fit at least a couple of shopping bags or one large beach bag. But you need to be aware that the baggage space is smaller when the backrests are in reclining position.
With the children in place, you close the bicycle trailer with a net that attaches with zips and clips. If it’s very windy, or if you want to protect your children against light rainfall, there is a separate rain cover in clear plastic that you can attach over the opening. In the same way, you can also attach a sunshade to the bicycle trailer, and this is easy to adjust so it gives exactly the right amount of shade. However, the fact that both the rain and sunshade are separate increases the risk that they will be left at home or lost.
To attach the Thule Chariot Cab 2 to your bicycle, you need the Cab 2's bicycle arm and the quick attachment on the back wheel of the bike. It then takes less than one minute to connect the bicycle trailer to the bike. And it’s just as quick and easy to transform the Chariot Cab 2 from a bicycle trailer to a stroller. The two stroller wheels are always with you, installed upwards in cycle mode and downwards in stroller mode. The Chariot Cab 2 is 80 cm wide, which means that you can get it through most standard doors.
Thule are good at high quality, well thought out details. On the Chariot Cab 2 this includes the fact that the handle can easily be angled to different height positions, there’s good and adjustable suspension and an easily accessible foot brake. The bicycle trailer can also be folded for transport and storage. If you remove all the wheels and store them in the seating area, the Thule Chariot Cab 2 it is very compact and can easily be packed into the car.
If you’re a serious runner who wants to use the bicycle trailer during your running sessions, the Thule has other models with a built in hand brake in the handle. But for every other knees, the Thule Chariot Cab 2 works very well. The clever functions and ease of use together with the comfortable seat units with reclining position make the Chariot Cab 2 just as pleasant for the parents as for the children.
Good value bicycle trailer with space for two children, baggage area behind and stroller wheel
Width: 11 cm Weight: 11 kg Maximum weight: 45 kg Folding: Yes Number of children: 1 or 2 Adjustable backrest: No Adjustable handle: Yes, can be installed in two different directions Stroller wheel: Yes, swivel wheel included Front cover: Mosquito net and clear plastic
The Thule Coaster is a bicycle trailer with quite simple functions but which still does a really good job. The Coaster can hold two children simultaneously and has a maximum weight capacity of 45 kg, which includes any baggage. A normal-sized five-year-old wearing a cycle helmet fits easily in terms of both height and width, and there’s plenty of space for two preschool children beside each other. The backrest has an upright sitting position and can’t be inclined. This means that even when the Thule Coaster is being used as a stroller, it’s most suitable for children who are awake.
As a stroller it also works best on tarmac or smoother gravel paths, as the stroller wheel is small and made of plastic. But changing from bicycle trailer to stroller is both fast and easy with the Thule Coaster, so cycling to the supermarket and taking the trailer into the shop with you is perfectly possible. The bicycle trailer has a handle that can be attached to the chassis into different directions – angled upwards or downwards depending on the height you want the handle at when you push the buggy.
As a bicycle trailer, the Thule Coaster it is very easy to use. To attach it to your bike, you use a quick attachment with an extra safety strap so the bicycle trailer can’t run away if the pin in the bracket fails. A cycle flag is included to make the bicycle trailer more visible in traffic. The Thule Coaster has no suspension as such and therefore runs best on a smooth surface. Of course it can cope with slightly rougher terrain, but if the ground is too uneven, it will be a very bumpy ride for the children. The front of the Coaster has two overlapping covers. The top one of these is made from clear plastic and protects against both rain and wind (but isn’t a rain cover for the entire trailer) while the second layer consists of a fine mesh insect net.
The Thule Coaster has a good baggage space at the back, where you can store the stroller wheel and also put a couple of shopping bags. For storage or transport, you can fold the Thule Coaster up into a flat packet – and of course it’s more compact if you remove the cycle arm and rear wheels. If you’re going to use the bicycle trailer regularly, you should perhaps look for a model with more suspension, a more spacious seating area and better storage space. But if you’re only going to use it to take the kids to and from preschool or the odd trip, the Thule Coaster works very well as a good, cheap bicycle trailer.
A bicycle trailer can fulfill many functions for a family with children. It can be used to give lifts to preschool instead of a sibling stroller, can work for children who don’t like to use a child bike seat, or for parents who aren’t comfortable with having their child in a bike seat on the front of the bike. A bicycle trailer can be a great help if you don’t have a driving licence or a car. In countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, where bicycles are used regularly, bicycle trailers are a common sight.
A bicycle trailer is primarily used from 9-12 months and upwards, but can even work for walks with infants with an insert, often in the form of some kind of hammock. If you’re going to cycle with the trailer, it is not recommended to put a newborn baby in the bicycle trailer, as it is recommended that any child in a bicycle trailer wears a helmet, even if the law doesn’t require it in your country. But children from about 6-9 months who are sitting upright by themselves can start to travel in a bicycle trailer. If the bicycle trailer has an adjustable backrest, it can be used as a pushchair from earlier ages by setting it in reclining position. Often it’s the more expensive models that have extra functions such as reclining position and a convenient folding mechanism. A good cheap bicycle trailer works very well with your bike, though rarely has an adjustable backrest.
There’s no upper age limit for carrying children in a bicycle trailer. It isn’t the age of the child but rather the child’s weight that determines when they’ve grown out of the bicycle trailer. So, whether or not your child can travel in your bicycle trailer is determined by the trailer’s maximum weight capacity. With a maximum weight of 50 kg, two normal-sized five-year-olds plus quite a lot of luggage can be carried in a bicycle trailer without problems. There are bicycle trailers intended for one child – single models – but also models for two children. In double bicycle trailers, the harness can be reconfigured to balance the trailer when there’s only one passenger in it. To attach the child safely, you should use the bicycle trailer’s harness.
Our advice for the best way to buy a bicycle trailer is to try out the trailer in a physical shop before you buy. This is particularly true if you have tall children – and don’t forget to make sure the child fits in the trailer with their helmet on. Of course, you can also order online, sometimes for a better price. If you have a tight budget, you can also buy a second-hand bicycle trailer quite cheaply.
If, as well as transporting your children, you’ll be using the bicycle trailer for shopping, it’s important that there’s space for it. The baggage space of a bicycle trailer varies from a large baggage compartment to smaller storage pockets. If you’re going to take the bicycle trailer on more uneven terrain, it’s important that it has suspension – and perhaps even has studded tyres for the winter. Bicycle trailers have pneumatic tyres that must be inflated regularly to be most efficient. The bracket and towing hook included with the bicycle trailer work on most bicycles and make it easy to connect and disconnect the bicycle trailer. A rain cover, storage cover or transport bag can sometimes be purchased separately.
Most bicycle trailers are relatively broad, and it’s extremely important to find out the dimensions of the trailer before you buy if you have an outer door it has to go through. The weight of the trailer can be relevant too. A light trailer means less weight to pull behind you with the bike. In some cases, the solution can be to attach the bicycle trailer behind an electric bike, which will give you a bit of extra help. Whether this is necessary depends on the bicycle trailer’s weight. A bicycle trailer with an aluminium frame can be stable but simultaneously not too heavy. Other than aluminium, a bicycle trailer with a hard bottom will also feel better balanced and more stable. We asked families with experience with bicycle trailers to review several different models, and based on their opinions, we have selected the bicycle trailer we think is the best choice.