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.
This article outlines some of these features with a few recommendations. Our top pick, Burley Flatbed Utility Bicycle Cargo Trailer, is ultra-lightweight with a flexible design that offers universal options.
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.
Burley Nomad Lightweight cargo trailer weighs just about 17 pounds and can carry up to 100 pounds. It has an aluminum frame which makes it extremely lightweight and stable.
Types of Bike Cargo Trailer
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.
Bestselling Bike Cargo Trailer
Bestseller No. 1 Polar Aurora Bike Cargo Trailer w/Universal Bicycle Coupler, 16'' Wheels, Foldable Bicycle Cart Wagon for Carrying Groceries, Luggage, Tools
- [Large Capacity&Easy Installation]: The whole body of this bike cargo trailer is made of top-grade iron frame, raising the load capacity to a new height. The frame surface is treated with rust prevention and plastic spraying.The attached universal coupler is suitable for most bicycles. The design of nut and strap makes the connection more tight and prevents loosening and falling off. At the same time, it is matched with a hook to quickly connect or separate them by inserting and pulling out pins
- [Refined Wheels Built to Last]: The two 16'' wheels are easy to install and detachable for easy storage. The spokes and rims are made of high-quality materials, and the surface anti-rust treatment greatly prolongs the service life.Thick pneumatic tires allow you to carry all kinds of items and tools, protect the goods from bumps, and ensure a smooth and labor-saving ride.Equipped with reflectors on both sides to keep you safe at night or in the rain
- [Detachable&Foldable]: Sufficient storage space to accommodate luggage, goods, plants, tools, sundries or other large items, it’s very suitable for shopping, camping, shopping, setting up stalls, moving houses and other outdoor activities.The four side fence ensures the stability and safety of the cargoes during transportation.It can be easily folded and disassembled and not only easy to transport, but also easy to store
- [From Professional&Loyal to Details]: Adhering meeting customer needs.The wagon uses a intimate hook+pin combination design in many places, which is really convenient for installation and using.Under the guidance of the instruction,the whole assembly can be completed in 20 minutes.The whole body is made of 1mm thickened anti-rust pipe,and the double protection of square pipe and round pipe is adopted for the fences on both sides to ensure that everything is safe
- [Product Specifications&Guaranteed Service]: Overall dimensions with drawbar:55.1''x26.8''x19.3''(LxWxH),cargo compartment dimensions:26.4''x18.1''x10.6''(LxWxH),weight capacity:143 lbs,net weight:24.2lbs.We provide 24-hour customer service and high-quality after-sales service, so that your purchase has no worries
Bestseller No. 2 PETKABOO Bicycle Trailer, Foldable Bike Trailer, 16'' Wheels, 145 lbs Max Load, Bicycle Cargo Trailer with Oxford Fabric Bike Cargo Trailers, Removable Cover, Folding Frame Quick Release, Black
- 【Sturdy Material】: This small bicycle trailer is made of a sturdy iron frame. The cargo compartment uses cloth cover, which is more waterproof and durable.
- 【Removable and Foldable】: This bike trailer has a foldable tow bar and a quick release tire function, which can be quickly folded to save more space for you. The detachable cargo compartment design has a good protective effect.
- 【Multifunctional Design】: This bicycle trolley is ideal for daily commuting or long-distance travel. You can use it for shopping, transporting goods, and other errands. You can also use it to bring your pet to play.
- 【Easy to Assemble】: This bike cargo trailer is easy to assemble and disassemble, just follow the steps in the manual to get a practical and beautiful small trailer.
- 【Guarantee】: The bike cargo trailer can be used for shopping, camping, grocery shopping, setting up stalls, moving houses, etc. It is a good helper for out-of-home shipment.
Bestseller No. 3 Retrospec Rover Hauler Cargo Bike Trailer | Folding Frame & Weather Resistant Fabric | Large Cargo Carrier | Fits 20” - 29” Bicycle Wheels | Black
- 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 17"W x 11"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.
SaleBestseller No. 4 Schwinn Day Tripper Cargo Bike Trailer, Folding Frame, Quick Release Wheels, Red/Grey
- 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 100 lbs of cargo
SaleBestseller No. 5 PEXMOR Foldable Bike Cargo Trailer with Universal Bike Hitch, Bicycle Wagon Trailer with 16" Wheels & Reflectors, Large Loading Bike Trailer Storage Cart
- 【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.
SaleBestseller No. 6 Aosom Bike Cargo Trailer Bike Wagon Bicycle Trailer with Suspension, Triple Safety Features, 16'' Wheels, 88 lbs Max Load
- Safe Design: Triple safety features help your load stay visible in the darker hours. A red flag, a reflector in back, and reflective strips around the wheels protect you and your stuff.
- Lightweight Feel: Your ride will be quicker and lightweight without the extra heft. Despite having a frame that eliminates a heavy pull, the design is tough and durable with a steel construction a and a strong PE bottom.
- Large and Foldable: The large capacity holds tons of storage, but the design collapses into a small package to keep the bike wagon easily out of the way.
- Shock Absorption: A shock-absorbing design creates a smooth ride even when the road is bumpy, offering a suspension system that keeps you comfortable.
- Bicycle Cargo Trailer Information: Overall Dimensions: 49.25" L x 25.25" W x 21" H. Cargo Compartment Dimensions: 27.5" L x 18" W x 9.75" H. Compatible with bicycle wheels with a diameter of 22"–28".
SaleBestseller No. 7 Aosom Bike Cargo Trailer, Bicycle Trailer, Heavy-Duty Bike Wagon Cart, Foldable Compact Storage, with Universal Hitch, 16" Wheels, 88 lbs. Capacity, Black
- Heavy Duty Hauling: The front, back, and side walls of our bike wagon easily detach, allowing larger items more space on top flatbed style; that way, you can make the most of its 88 lbs. capacity.
- Foldable Bike Trailer: With simple assembly and a fold-down design, this bicycle cargo trailer is easy to store and transport.
- Smooth and Secure Ride: Large 16" air-filled tires allow our bike trailer a smooth and seamless roll; orange reflectors make you more visible, enhancing safety on the road.
- Durable Construction: A sturdy steel frame and a reinforced bottom offer you peace of mind while carrying cargo on our bike cart.
- Trailer for Bike with Hitch: Including a simple seat post hitch for attachment to a bicycle, our bike trailer is an easy-to-use option for hauling cargo.
Bestseller No. 8 Aosom Wanderer Folding Bicycle Bike Cargo Storage Cart and Luggage Trailer with Hitch - Black
- Foldable Design: Two fold-in walls on the longer sides, two removable walls, and quick-release wheels create a space-saving design that ensures compact storage in cluttered areas full of belongings.
- Heavy-Duty Load-Bearing: This bike sidecar is built with a a heavy-duty steel frame and a strengthened steel bar pulling the weight, ensuring a design that can handle big loads without struggle, while providing a balanced and stable ride that keeps your belongings secure and safe.
- Easy Assembly: Quick and easy assembly saves time and effort when hitting the road. The bicycle sidecar includes a simple-to-use universal hitch that fastens onto your back wheel to allow for fast and efficient attaching and removing.
- Safe Reflectors: Four reflectors located on the back and on the wheels ensure people see the load behind you.
- Bicycle Wagon Information: Cargo Area Dimensions: 28" L x 16.5" W x 9.75" H. Maximum Load Capacity: 110 lbs. Trailer Weight: 25 lbs. Wheel Size: 16". Compatible with 20"-28" diameter bike wheels
Bestseller No. 9 Ktaxon Bike Trailer Foldable Bicycle Trailer with Detached Cover, Quick Release Wheel, Anti-Rust Steel Frame and Universal Trailer Hitch, Bike Cargo Trailer for Moving Houses, Camping and Shopping
- 【LARGE LOAD CAPACITY & STRONG DURABILITY】The bike cargo trailer is made of strengthened steel with anti-rust powder coating for a powerful load capacity, which allows you to transport more items without multiple trips. The detachable Oxford cover with nice texture provides a good protective effect, while also being easy to wipe clean.
- 【UNMATCHED AIR-FILLED WHEEL】The rim is made of high hardness and lightweight aluminum alloy for nice durability and ease of riding. The high carbon steel spoke provide great stability for riding and can support a heavy weight of up to 180 Lb.
- 【EASY TO ASSEMBLE & FOLD】The bicycle trailer can be assembled without other tools and can be completed in only 15 minutes by following the assembly steps in the instructions. The removable cover and quick-release wheels help you save space after the folding which ensures compact storage in cluttered areas full of belongings.
- 【FOR MULTIPLE PURPOSE】Comes with 4 yellow and 2 red reflectors to increase your safety when riding in the dark. The 4 side fence design effectively prevents the internal items from being damaged during transportation. This bicycle cargo trailer is perfectly suitable for moving houses, camping, and shopping, while you can also use it to bring your pet go out.
- 【VERSATILLE TRAILER HITCH】The universal trailer hitch is suitable for most bikes and you quickly and easily attach or detach the bike to the trailer. Please contact us feel free if you encounter any problem that cannot be solved.
SaleBestseller No. 10 Booyah’s Cargo Stroller and Bicycle Bike Trailer Suspension Beach Sport Cart
- THE FRAME IS NOT ALUMINUM. It is powder coated steel. 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.