Packing your travel essentials when you head off on your bike tour can take a lot of space… panniers are great if you can keep the weight down and be selective about what the take (and what to leave at home!). However, for longer trips, family trips or just picking materials from a store, you can’t beat a cargo trailer for your bike.
Choosing a bicycle trailer may pose almost the same challenge as picking a bike. However, to be a smart consumer you really need to take a look at the various features and models available before making a purchase.
What To Consider When Choosing A Bicycle Cargo Trailer
Bike trailers come in a whole range of different styles, some matching a specific bike model, some for special purposes (eg carrying a child or dog). Yet, for a seamless bike touring trip, you should go for a model that will enhance rather than frustrate your tour. Here’s our list of some of the most important features to consider.
There are two classes of weight you should consider when shopping for a bike trailer and these are normally listed separately as the weight of the trailer itself (ie how much weight are you pulling along even when it’s empty) and the weight capacity (ie how much load can the trailer carry).
The weight of empty bike trailers ranges from below 10 pounds to about 40 pounds. However, you should know that you’d be pulling the entire weight with your bike, and the heavier it is, the slower it moves. That wouldn’t be a problem if you’re going on a short trip, but it would pose a major challenge when going on bike touring.
Trailer Weight Capacity
Different bike trailer models come with varying carrying capacities and can weigh up to 150 pounds. This feature should be up on your consideration list as it helps determine things you can bring along on a touring bike trip.
When choosing a bicycle trailer, you should check the weight and number of items you wish to bring. This would help you know which trailer you should choose. Two-wheelers have more carrying capacity than bike cargo trailers single wheel types. The material of the cargo also determines its load capacity.
You should consider going for one wheel if you have a hill or mountainside bike touring on your cards. It comes with a single wheel and would tow excellently on a narrow path as well as turns. The biggest advantage of a bicycle bike single wheel cargo trailer is that it moves well on curved roads.
One of our favorite single wheel cargo trailers is Burley Coho XC. It features a coil spring suspension that helps stabilize the gear and trailer, giving you a smooth ride by also reducing structural stress.
However, using a single wheel means you wouldn’t have to carry a large weight making you pack just a few necessary items.
If your bike touring is in an urban setting with defined sidewalks and bike lanes, you should get a double wheel bike trailer. They have a better weight distribution and allows you to carry more load on your touring trip. This feature makes them better than the single wheel cargo trailer.
They also run smoothly on flat roads, which makes them perfect for city touring. Yet, they are not very flexible in function. A good example of a two-wheeler is the Aosom bike cargo trailer with its 16-inch tire and durable steel frame.
If the single- and double-wheel don’t serve your purpose, maybe because of a larger load, you can get a four-wheel bike trailer. Their bases are lower than the rest, and their frames, stronger. Unlike the smaller trailers, you can move bigger materials with them and travel a longer distance without issues.
Bike Cargo Pricing
One important factor you should consider is the pricing of the bike cargo trailers. While some brands are affordable, some others would weigh so much on your purse. Hence you should know and define your budget before going for a search.
For lightweight and small carrying capacity, brands like Schwinn and Retrospec offer cheap bike cargo trailers under 200. But they only carry small loads and come with a lighter material make.
On the other hand, the Burley Travoy Bike Cargo trailer comes with a sturdy steel frame and a durable 100+ pounds trailer. It comes with an adjustable loop and enhanced suspension rim, making it one of the best bike cargo trailers under 300$.
To get a larger and sturdier trailer, you may want to budget a sizeable sum of 300-500 dollars. These models have improved designs for larger loads and feature better suspensions and stability. They are the go-to trailers for long trips.
A better option with impressive features in the 300-500 category is the Roland Bike trailer features. It offers major upgrades on the other two price categories like the ultra-large carrying capacity and improved steel frame.
Trailer Frame Material
The make-up material which a cargo contains determines its attributes like weight and durability. Bike trailers are usually made from steel and other metallic alloys.
The steel trailer is more popular because it is durable and affordable. The downside to using this trailer type is its weight. Alloy, on the other hand, are lightweight and durable.
Also, check for frame weld solidity before choosing one
Bicycle Cargo Trailer Cover
A trailer cover is an important consideration to check before making a carrier choice. If you must go for a trailer with a cover (as some don’t have), you should choose one like the Aosom Enclosed Bicycle Cargo Trailer with a durable closure material. Some come with a bag, strap, or any other attachment to help secure your load.
Moreover, some trailers are coverable, making them more durable and protecting your items from the rain. Also, consider covers that are resistant to water and is washable with either hand or machines.
You should consider the condition of the roads on your bike touring map before choosing a bicycle cargo trailer. As mentioned earlier, a mountain bike cargo trailer should be one wheel to enable a smooth ride on narrow roads. But for commuter bikes that tow on flat and tarred roads can have a double wheel cargo trailer.
If you intend to hit the mountains any time soon, you may want to go with the BOB Yak Plus 28 bike cargo trailer. It comes with overwhelming features.
Here’s a helpful hint, when you’re touring on a rough mountain or hilly terrains, you should have extra straps or pins for better luggage security. A bigger cover would also come in handy for dust protection.
Another factor to consider when choosing a bicycle cargo trailer is how you want to use it.
There are two main classes of trailers: open and closed. If you are an outdoor person and often need space to take things home, then an open trailer is a better option for you. It gives you room to put more items.
But if you need wagon cargo, then a general-purpose cargo trailer might be ideal for you.
Other Necessary Considerations
Aside from the wheels, materials, and frame, there are other factors you should look out for before buying a bike cargo trailer.
Mounting and Storage
To avoid spending half of your touring time trying to mount or release a trailer, you should check the mounting system before buying. Some come with a quick-release feature to attach and unmount the trailer faster.
The Aosom Folding Bike Cargo Trailer has a quick-release wheel and a seat post hitch for easy attachment. More so, it has a foldable design that allows you to assemble and take it down with much ease. In addition, it has a large 16-inch tire that can hold up to 88 pounds without worries.
Wheel Size And Type
Even though they are not up on the list of considerations, the wheel size is something you should check out. The wheel’s type and size determine how the trailer moves and makes the ride smooth or rough.
Rougher terrains and bumpy roads require big pneumatic wheels and small tires to withstand the turns and curves. The big tires lift the cargo trailer high above the ground, though. Smaller wheels are more adapted to smooth roads and can go with bigger tires.
The trailer tires are mostly about 16-inch big, although they may be bigger or smaller ones. You should ensure to get durable tires that are less prone to leaks. You may also want to add reflectors to improve your safety around cars and other bikers.
This feature helps keep the cargo and bike upright when not in use. While it is not present in all cargo trailers, it is an important feature. It helps ensure the trailer stays in place during loading and offloading.
This is the point of attachment between the trailer and the bicycle. A trailer comes with this hitch, and In some cases, manufacturers include an additional strap that becomes active when the hitch fails.
Take along your gear for the ride with the Schwinn Day Tripper Cargo Trailer. The wide frame provides large towing and storage capacity, while the two-wheel design limits torque placed on your bicycle for unhindered performance.
A unique folding-frame design and quick-release wheels pack up neatly for compact storage and transport.
For added versitility, enjoy the ease of one-time installation with the universal coupler that easily attaches to almost any bicycle.
16-inch air-filled tires with molded rims provide a ride that's always smooth, while interior D-rings allow you to strap down your cargo, providing extra security and improved performance.
This bike trailer ships ready to be assembled, has a 1 year limited , and the wheels measure 16 inches, holds up to 50 lbs of cargo
HEAVY DUTY CAPACITY: At 88lbs., the Aosom Wanderer has the highest carrying capacity in its class, allowing it to handle most any load.
DETACHABLE FRONT AND BACK: The front and back detaches easily allowing for more space and for larger items to be placed onto the trailer.
DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Made of sturdy steel frame and a strengthened PE bottom provide sturdy construction. In addition to the front and back, the side walls fold down making it easy to transport large objects.
FOLDABLE DESIGN: This trailer is assembly requires, easy to set up and fold down which is easy to transport and stroage can save your space.
BICYCLE HITCH INCLUDED: Includes a simple to use universal hitch that fastens onto your back wheel to allow for quick and easy attaching and removing.
【FOLDABLE & EASY TO INSTALL】- Comes with detailed instructions for easy installation and foldable design makes it easy to store and save space.The front and back of the frame can be easily removed, and the side can be folded down. It provides more space for transporting large objects.
【DURABLE & LARGE CAPACITY】-Steel tube with anti-rust powder coating and reinforced PE bottom build a sturdy and large-capacity transport space.It increased towing and load capacity.
【SAFETY DESIGN & DURABLE TIRE】- Comes with a red and 4 yellow reflectors to increase your safety when riding in the dark. Two 16" extra big air filled wheel for smooth ride.It allows you to haul and load items with ease.
【UNIVERSAL BIKE HITCH】-The trailer includes a universal hitch can be attached to your bike rear wheels and help you quickly attach or detach the bike to the trailer by plugging and unplugging the pin.
【MULTI-PURPOSE TRAILER】- The trailer can be used for shopping, camping, grocery shopping, setting up stalls, moving houses, etc. The large capacity and 90kg super-heavy load allow you to transport many items you need at one time.It is a good helper for out-of-home shipment.
【LARGE CAPACITY & SAFETY DESIGN】-The light but sturdy metal frame with a large-capacity plastic transport box for easy storage and organization of your gear or groceries. Comes with 4 red and 4 white reflectors to increase your safety when riding in the dark.
【DURABLE TIRE & PUSH HANDLE】-Metal frame with anti-rust powder coating and two sturdy rubber-covered wheels for added trailer hauling and load capacity.Easy-push handle design allows you to haul and load items with ease.
【REMOVABLE COVER】-With a removable cover made of 600 x 600D Oxford cloth and it with a PVC waterproof coating so that you can use the bike trailer outdoors and protect the gear you store inside the box.
【FIT MOST OF BIKE】-The universal coupler is designed to help you quickly attach or detach the bike to the trailer. Also included is a seatpost adjustment ring, which allows you to adjust the size of the bike's seatpost so that you can attach a bike trailer to various model of bike.
【FOLDABLE SUPPORT ARM】-The foldable support arm design on the front side of the trailer, it can help you park your trailer quickly and safely.You only need to adjust the support arm by plugging and unplugging the pin to easily push or park the trailer.
2-IN-1 DESIGN: The storage cargo is convenient to push or pull by bikes, versatile coupler attaches to most bicycles for convenient use, the red button enables easy installment and disassembly of the connector to bicycles
LARGE TIRES: It will be easy for you to haul and load things up to move, thanks to the two rubber-covered wheels and easy-to-push handle.
LARGE CARGO: You'll fill the big removable cargo compartment with quite a bit before it's complete. Provide yourself with a handy storage option that lets you conveniently organize your gear, groceries, and supplies.
SAFETY DESIGN: You'll be able to keep your inventory protected with the outdoor storage trailer thanks to the 600 oxford cloth with coating. You'll save yourself in the dark with the included red, yellow, and white reflectors.
BIKE TRAILER PRODUCT INFORMATION: Overall Dimensions: 56.7" L x 23.23" W x 31.5" H. Weight Capacity: 88 lbs.
WEATHER RESISTANT: Retrospec Rover Hauler sports element and weather-resistant fabric so your gear stays safe and protected no matter the climate.
LARGE CARRYING CAPACITY: Hauler carries gear, toys, food, textbooks, and other goods in place of bulky, cumbersome backpacks. Includes safety flag for added visibility. Maximum weight capacity 80 lbs and interior dimensions 27"L x 24.5"W x 20"H.
WIDE RANGE COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with nearly all adult bicycles with included coupler. Fits 20”-29” wheels. Not recommended for bikes with thru-axles.
SECURE YOUR GEAR: Internal 4-point D-rings in its no-slip interior base allows you to strap in cargo, providing additional security and safety for your gear while on the road.
COLLAPSIBLE FRAME: When not in use, Rover Hauler easily folds down to a slim, compact size for easy storage.
【Durable & Strong Trailer Base】The strong frame made of high quality iron plates and steel pipes enables our bike cargo trailer to withstand 88 lbs of weight. In addition, the 500D Oxford cloth cover is durable and can be used to store various goods and tools.
【Versatile Coupler & Removable Cover】The universal coupler is suitable for most bicycles and is very convenient to use. Besides, the removable cover has a good protective effect and can effectively prevent the internal items from being damaged.
【Quick-Fold Down for Easy Storage】Our bicycle cargo trailer features a simple fold down method. These four poles can be easily folded when not in use. Therefore, the compact size not only makes our bikes easy to store but also easy to transport.
【Easy to Assemble & Disassemble】Our bicycle cargo trailer can be assembled without other tools and the whole process is simple and easy. Velcro simplifies the installation process and is very sticky.
【Perfect Bike Cargo Trailer】Our premium bicycle cart is ideal for running errands such as shopping or toting supplies. You can use it to take your pet to a park or party, or to transport tools or groceries. The large capacity allows you to transport many of the items you need without multiple trips.
Before purchase check the width of any doors, gates or elevators you may be using this with. Exterior Width: 32 inches.
Acts as both a stroller, a bicycle trailer and a pull cart. Bike arm and hitch included. Side opening alley way for long items such as beach tents, chairs, fishing poles, baseball bats or boogie boards.
110 lbs weight capacity. Interior Dimension of Cargo Space: 27.5 x 21.5 x 12.5 H. Exterior Width: 43 L x32 W x 40 H. Handlebar height: 40 inches. Alley way opening is 6 inches. Weight: 43lbs. 20 inch aluminum rear wheels. 10 inch aluminum front wheel. Easy click on/click off handlebar. Lockable front wheel for jogging.
Comes with suspension, 2 bungee cords, a leash and the ability to hang the front wheel in the rear when not in use.