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The best bike trailer for kids 2022 - trailer options to bring your kids along for the ride

Best bike trailer for kids group image
(Image credit: Josh Ross)

The best bike trailers for kids make it possible to bring your children along with you on all your bike adventures. If you love being on a bike, it's only natural to want to share that love with your little ones. It's a fact we talked about in our deep dive into the best kids’ bike helmets but there's overlap here as well. What's new is that while getting a kid on one of the best kids' bikes is an excellent thing to do, it's a very different experience for the parent. 

For most of your child's life, when they ride their own bike, it will mean a short trip and worrying about them falling over, but to start with it almost invariable involves either towing the little ones in a trailer, or having them ride in a bike seat.

A bike trailer for kids opens up riding for you without the need to resort to childcare, capacity for multiple kids and luggage too, plus some resistance training for added benefit. If you want to take the little ones out and about on two wheels then read on to see what we think are the best bike trailers for kids.

Best bike trailer for kids

Thule Courier 2-seat kids cargo bike trailer

The best bike trailer for kids to last a lifetime

Specifications

Size Options: Two seat only
Weight: 35lbs
Stroller conversion: Ready to convert out of the box
Max weight load: 2x49 lb or 1x97 lb
Connection to bike: Axle

Reasons to buy

+
Options exist for babies, pets, and cargo
+
Conversion between stroller and bike trailer is fast and stable
+
Adjustable handlebar
+
Super high quality wheels

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks suspension

While most kids bike trailers have a somewhat limited use period, the Thule Courier could really be yours for a lifetime. While most bike trailers will require your child to be at least a year old, Thule offers an infant sling. When they are really tiny, start there. As they grow you can move to the baby supporter which adds neck support for kids older than infants but still too small to sit upright comfortably. After that, you've got the expected time period where kids are old enough to sit upright and support their own heads. 

During this time, converting to a stroller is as easy as flipping the front wheels down. Even once your child ages out of it there's still plenty of use options though. The conversion to carrying cargo is as easy as the stroller conversion, and an extra purchase adds pet carrying capabilities too. It's an expensive purchase but it can last a long time and find a lot of use. 

Hamax Outback bike trailer

The best bike trailer for kids that comes with suspension

Specifications

Size Options: Single or double
Weight: 17 kg / 37.5 lb (single), 20 kg / 44 lb (double)
Stroller conversion: Ready to convert out of the box
Max weight load: 34 kg / 74.8 lb (single), 40 kg / 88 lb (double)
Connection to bike: Axle

Reasons to buy

+
Large and unobstructed forward view for passengers
+
Plenty of legroom
+
Adjustable suspension system

Reasons to avoid

-
No easy way to store sunshade for the rear window

The Hamax Outback isn't the only bike trailer for kids on our list that has suspension. The very next listing, the Burley D’Lite X bike trailer also has it but the two are different enough we wanted to include them both. The Hamax has an almost pod-like shape that puts the passengers towards the back of the interior. The front panel only has a bit of a curve and the covers, both screened and the solid clear rain cover, zip right along the frame leaving a big expanse of a window. 

The Hamax also has a more substantial panel for the floor where passenger feet will rest. When it's time to switch between duties as a bike trailer and a stroller, you'll need to remove the stroller wheel and attach the bike arm but the system is incredibly easy and smooth. The only thing we found a bit of a challenge while testing is that there's no obvious way to store the rear sunshade so you can see your kiddo when using the stroller function.  

Burley D’Lite X bike trailer

The best bike trailer for kids if you want a lightweight option

Specifications

Size Options: Single or double
Weight: 30.4 lb / 13.8 kg (double), 27.6 lb / 12.5 kg (single)
Stroller conversion: Ready to convert out of the box
Max weight load: 100 lb / 45 kg (double), 75 lb / 34 kg (single)
Connection to bike: Axle

Reasons to buy

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Lightweight
+
Short footprint is easier to store
+
Adjustable suspension system

Reasons to avoid

-
Passenger forward vision is somewhat limited

The biggest difference between the Burley and the Hamax options is the weight. If you are looking for a lighter weight to pull and move around then the Burley D’Lite X bike trailer is the best option for you. Part of what makes it lighter is that it's short, which also makes it more manoeuvrable too. There is a single or a double size option and when it's time to convert between a bike trailer and a stroller it's just a matter of folding down the front wheel as with the Thule option. 

If you wanted to bike somewhere then lock the bike up and push kids around in the trailer you'd have everything you need to do that. The one downside to the design is that there is a lot of opaque area that creeps into the viewing area for the passenger. It's also worth mentioning that while the Burley has a less solid floor compared to the Hamax, you can easily remove the foot area and clean it. The Hamax floor on the other hand isn't removable.  

Best bike trailer for kids - Burley 7-Speed Piccolo Trailercycle

(Image credit: Josh Ross)

Burley 7-Speed Piccolo Trailercycle

The best bike trailer for kids if you’ve got bigger kids

Specifications

Size Options: Single
Weight: 18 lb / 8 kg
Stroller conversion: N/A
Max weight load: 85 lb / 39 kg
Connection to bike: Proprietary rack

Reasons to buy

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Lightweight
+
Very stable for the adult bike
+
Easy to store

Reasons to avoid

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Only works on bikes with rear rack attachment points
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Kids can’t sleep during the ride

 Just about every list out there that covers bike trailers for kids has one big omission, there's no option for kids that are just a little bit bigger and more capable. We've covered some of the best options for kids when they are really young but it doesn't take many years before that age is gone forever. If you've got a kid that's big enough to sit upright and hold a bike position then you can get them learning to ride with a bike trailer for kids that's modelled after a regular bike. 

You can start them pretty young and the act of pedalling will help them learn to transition to their own bike. There's even gearing on the Piccollo but if they are too young, they don't need to use it. The same is true of the actual pedalling. If they want to, great, and if not, that works just as well. The handlebars are adjustable in height as another way to accommodate a wide age range and the rear rack attachment does limit the adult bike selection but it's a much more stable way to connect a single wheel bike trailer to an adult bike.  

Best bike trailer for kids - Weehoo Turbo

(Image credit: Josh Ross)

Weehoo Turbo Bike Trailer

The best bike trailer for kids that want to pedal

Specifications

Size Options: Single or double
Weight: 35 lb/ 16 kg (double), 26 lb / 12 kg (single)
Stroller conversion: N/A
Max weight load: 80 lb / 36 kg (single and double)
Connection to bike: Axle

Reasons to buy

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Huge age range
+
Kids can pedal
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Single or double options plus rain covers

Reasons to avoid

-
The heavier the load the less stable the adult bike feels

If you like the idea of a bike trailer for kids that lets them pedal but you want more of a traditional trailer, this is your best bet. My son started with the Burley Bee right around his first birthday but by two he was spending a lot of time in the Weehoo bike trailer. Since they are sitting down, they can fall asleep just like any other bike trailer. However, when they aren't sleeping, they can pedal. It's really a win-win situation and kids love it. The other helpful thing about the Weehoo are the options available; you can add a rain cover, and if you've got two kids then there's a two-seat model also.  

The only downside is that the more weight you carry, the more it influences the feel of the adult bike. Meaning as they get bigger the shifting of their weight will move your bike around a bit. For this article my son and I actually spent time with the Weehoo again and at 10 years old and just below the weight limit he still loved it but my bike was a handful. It's a lot easier when they are little though.  

Best bike trailer for kids - Burley Bee

(Image credit: Burley)

Burley Bee bike trailer

The best bike trailer for kids in most situations

Specifications

Size Options: Single or double
Weight: 20 lb / 9.1 kg (double), 21.8 lb / 9.9 kg (single)
Stroller conversion: No
Max weight load: 100 lb / 45 kg (double), 75 lb / 34 kg (single)
Connection to bike: Axle

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Continuously adjustable shoulder straps
+
Room for helmet when child is seated

Reasons to avoid

-
No way to convert to a stroller

If you are thinking about a bike trailer for kids there is nothing more iconic than the Burley Bee. It's a product that's been around since the late 90s and it's not even all that unusual to see those early generations still in use. I used the Burley Bee for years when my son was little. It carried him through warm weather and through rain and when it was time to pass it to a friend it barely looked used even years later. The connection to the adult bike is simple to operate and works with a thru-axle with an optional adapter. 

There isn’t any suspension in this model but compared to most budget options the wheels on the Burley are a big upgrade. Given that this is the least expensive Burley option, it's not luxurious inside but it's sufficiently comfortable and there's room for a kids helmet so they can sit upright. What's really nice about the Burley Bee is that it's small and simple with a low weight. The lack of features is actually a positive if that's all you want.  

How to choose the best kids bike trailer for you

What age can a child be in a bike trailer?

You'll want to make sure that they are old enough to support their neck and back as the trailer moves. The recommendation for when that happens, according to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), is twelve months of age. This recommendation is exactly why we have the Thule Courier on our list as it has accessories for infants and for babies. With the right solutions it is possible to ride with kids younger than one year but if you are looking to make use of a standard seat in a standard bike trailer, that's the recommendation.  

Can you convert a bike trailer for kids into a stroller?

Most bike trailers for kids do convert to a stroller, but not all of them. Among the options that do there are also a variety of conversion styles. Some choices will come with everything you need in the box and some will require an additional purchase. If you are looking for a running stroller then a single wheel that doesn't turn is the best option. That style will track straight while you run and doesn't require two hands at all times. If you are looking to use the bike trailer as more of a general use stroller then you'll want wheels that rotate easily and aren't far out front. 

This question does require a warning though. Typically, the idea is that bike trailers are expensive and if you can combine the use that helps shoulder the cost burden. The problem is that kids bike trailers don't really compete with strollers in even the best-case situations. They work well as running strollers but even an inexpensive stroller will tend to be a better choice for running errands. They are lighter, they fold smaller, and they are more compact. If you are the kind of parent that tends to use baby wearing options and only needs a stroller for an occasional trip then it works. It’s also a great area if you bike somewhere then want to transition to a stroller and leave the bike locked up. For everyone else, leave the kids bike trailers to sports use and look for an everyday stroller.

Are bike trailers safer than bike seats?

Yes. A bike seat puts your kiddo up on your bike with you. It's easy because there's less to carry and manage but should you happen to fall, your child will fall with you and the distance is substantial compared to their size. On the other hand, a bike trailer with two wheels will tend to stay upright even if the parent bike falls. There's usually enough mobility in the connection to the bike that the trailer won't flip. If it happens to flip, it's built like a roll cage and your child has a restraint system. They can happily hang upside down, or sideways while you get the situation in hand. 

The extra safety extends to the single wheeled options on our list as well. If it's a trail behind bike, it's much closer to the ground and they aren't strapped in. If they fall, they might catch themselves and if they do hit the ground, it's from a lower height. 

Bikes are pretty safe though, it's unlikely you will just fall. What's more likely is that you've fallen because a car has hit you. In that case, because a bike trailer keeps your child behind you, they may stay safe even if you don't. When a car hit me, my child fell as the bike fell but he was okay and out of the way. 

Do kids need to wear a helmet in a bike trailer?

Our recommendation is that children wear a helmet on every bike ride, even if they are in a trailer. Bikes are safe and trailers are even safer but it's best to err on the side of even more safety. We always wear a helmet and we recommend the same for kids. Starting young with regular helmet use will also pay off later by normalizing the experience.  

What kind of bikes do kids bike trailers connect to?

Kids bike trailers connect to bikes using either the seat post or the axle. The only one that differs from that is the Burley Trail Behind Bike that mounts with its own rack. For the vast majority of options, that means you will be able to attach to most bikes but there are some considerations. If your bike uses a thru-axle, you may need an adapter. That's becoming less of an issue as thru-axles become more ubiquitous but it's worth looking into. 

For those that attach to a seat post you will likely want a seat post that's not carbon and is round. As far as the rest of the bike the more stable your bike is, the easier it's going to be to ride with a trailer. I rode for years on a Cannondale CAAD race bike with a Weehoo but it's not the best experience. In most situations an easy to ride city bike will feel best.

How did we test the best bike trailers for kids?

My son is 10 now, going on 11 and my journey into fitness and cycling with him in tow is how I came back to cycling after he was born. We spent hours and hours riding with him attached to my bike in various bike trailers including the Burley Bee and the Weehoo Turbo Bike Trailer. For this collection I relied on my experience and we also spent some time riding with the options. He's technically still below the max weight limits even though he's also much too big. We had a lot of fun figuring out how everything worked and seeing which options were the best for which situations. Anything you choose from this list is a product we feel good about recommending.  

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutia of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Orbea Orca Aero, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Trek Checkpoint, Priority Continuum Onyx