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Choosing a Bicycle Cargo Trailer

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.

Weight

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).

Trailer weight

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

Single Wheel

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.

Two-Wheel

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.

Four-Wheel

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.

Road Conditions

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.

Purpose

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.

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.

Kickstand

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.

Hitch

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

SaleBestseller No. 1
VEVOR Bike Cargo Trailer, 100 lbs Load Capacity, Heavy-Duty Bicycle Wagon Cart, Foldable Compact Storage with Universal Hitch, Waterproof Cover, 16" Wheels, Safe Reflectors, Fits 22"-28" Bike Wheels
  • 100 lbs High Load Capacity: Our bike cargo trailer is your ultimate travel companion, providing a sturdy build and a spacious design capable of handling up to 100 lbs of cargo. Perfect for all your outdoor adventures, from camping trips to picnics, it's the ideal solution for hauling your essentials wherever you go.
  • Industrial-Grade Material: This bicycle trailer features a robust steel frame with a rust-resistant coating, ensuring durability and a sleek appearance. Plus, with its 420D Oxford fabric rain cover, your gear stays protected from the elements, rain or shine.
  • Professional Tire Design: Roll smoothly on any road! Our bike trailer comes equipped with sporty 16" x 1.75" tires and iron hubs, providing excellent stability and traction on various surfaces, whether you're cruising on concrete, navigating gravel paths, or tackling sandy trails.
  • Upgraded Installation: Easy setup, enhanced security! Installing our bike wagon is a breeze, thanks to its user-friendly design and complete installation toolkit. Plus, stand out on the road with the orange security flag and gold-colored spoke reflectors, ensuring visibility during nighttime rides.
  • Fits Multiple Bike Models: Compatible with bikes ranging from 22 to 28 inches, our bike cart seamlessly attaches to a variety of bike models, including recreational bikes, children's bikes, mountain bikes, and highway bikes. Perfect for shopping, camping, and picnicking. NOTE: It's not suitable for pets or kids.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Schwinn Porter Cargo Trailer for Bike, 100 lbs. Max Weight Capacity, Collapsible Frame, Elasticized Mesh Net, Large Knobby Air-Filled Tires, Black
  • Bike cargo trailer with large volume knobby tires for go-anywhere cargo-carrying versatility
  • Removable tow strap for convenient off-bike portages
  • Sized to fit an ice chest up to 26 x 16 inches in size
  • Elasticized mesh net helps secure loose items
  • Daisy chain tie-down loops provide multiple lash points
Bestseller No. 3
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.
Bestseller No. 4
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.
Bestseller No. 5
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. 6
PEXMOR Bike Cargo Trailer with Removable Box & Waterproof Cover, Bicycle Wagon Trailer with 16" Wheels & Quick Release Universal Coupler, Large Loading Bike Trailer Storage Cart with Reflectors
  • 【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.
Bestseller No. 7
VEVOR Bike Trailer for Toddlers, Kids, 60 lbs Load, Tow Behind Foldable Child Bicycle Trailer with Universal Bicycle Coupler, Canopy Carrier with Strong Carbon Steel Frame for Children, Blue and Gray
  • Sturdy Build: Our bike trailer boasts a tough steel frame and rugged double-layer rubber tires, providing solid assurance for your journey. No matter the varied road conditions, it remains reliable and durable, ensuring a safe trip every time.
  • Security First: With an all-round protection and a secure parking feature, our bicycle trailer keeps your wheels safe from harm and ensures a stable stop. Plus, bright reflectors make sure you're seen during the ride, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Versatile Fun: Load it up! Our child bike trailer can handle it all with its high load capacity and large space design. Perfect for joyful rides with your little one. Its universal compatibility design fits various bicycles, making it an excellent choice for your rides.
  • Easy to Use: No sweat assembly or disassembly with our kids bike trailer's quick-release design, saving you time and effort for a more convenient journey. Get on the road faster and enjoy hassle-free adventures.
  • Comfortable and Caring: Our baby bike trailer takes care of every ride with attention to detail. A cozy 30-inch security belt ensures comfort without restraint, while the perforated design at the back of the seat keeps things cool and breezy, providing a comfortable and safe riding experience for your child.
Bestseller No. 8
Ktaxon Foldable Bike Trailer, Bicycle Trailer with Unmatched Load Capacity, 16 Inch Pneumatic Tire, Universal Coupler, Foldable Frame and Safe Reflectors Design
  • 【STRONG WEIGHT CAPACITY & DURABILITY】The thickened Q195 steel frame and strengthened PE bottom provide an unmatched load capacity, which can withstand 180 lbs of weight. With anti-rust powder coating and precision welding technology, our bike trailer has a longer service life.
  • 【DETACHABLE & FOLDABLE】The transition between the fold or unfold is quick due to all the parts are easy to disassemble and install. The foldable on both sides helps you save space after the folding which ensures compact storage in cluttered areas full of belongings.
  • 【DETAIL DESIGN】Comes with 2 yellow reflectors on the wheel to ensure you are safe at night or in the rain. The foldable support bar on the front side of the trailer maintains trailer stability when parked. The double protection of square pipe and round pipe is adopted for the fences on both sides to ensure that everything is safe.
  • 【COMFORTABLE RIDING EXPERIENCE】The thick pneumatic tires allow you to carry all kinds of goods while providing a balanced and smooth ride. This bicycle trailer is a good choice for your daily commuting or long-distance travel.
  • 【FIT MOST OF BIKE】With a universal coupler, our trailer fits most bikes, including mountain bikes and commuter bikes. If the seat tube is thinner than 30mm, you just need to attach it to the seat tube of your bike using the provided coupler and plastic piece for reliable and secure installation.
Bestseller No. 9
Evcitn 2023 Waterproof Foldable Bike Cargo Trailer Bicycle Cart Wagon Trailer w/Hitch, 16'' Wheels, 143 lbs Max Load - Black
  • 【Large capacity & easy installation】 High-quality iron frame with increased load capacity. Rust-proofed and plastic-coated surface. Universal coupling fits most bikes. Tighter connection with nuts and straps. Quick attachment and detachment with hooks and pins.
  • 【Extra waterproof netting】 Elastic cloth cover with TPU waterproof coating. Prevents slipping off and keeps goods dry in rain.
  • 【Detachable & foldable】 Spacious storage for luggage, goods, plants, tools, etc. Ideal for shopping, camping, stalls, moving, and more. Four-sided fence ensures stability and safety. Easy to fold and store.
  • 【Professional & detailed design】 Easy installation with thoughtful hook+pin combination. 1mm thickened rust-proof tube construction. Double-protected fence for safety.
  • 【Product specifications & guaranteed service】 Two 16'' wheels, easy to install and removable. Overall size: 55.1''x26.8''x21.65''. Cargo compartment size: 26.4''x18.9''x13''. Load weight: 143 lbs, net weight: 32.12 lbs. 24-hour customer service and excellent after-sales support. Worry-free purchase.
Bestseller No. 10
VEVOR Bike Cargo Trailer, 275 lbs Load Capacity, Heavy-Duty Bicycle Wagon Cart, Foldable Compact Storage & Quick Release with Universal Hitch, 20" Wheels, Fits Most Bike Wheels, Carbon Steel Frame
  • 275 lbs High Load Capacity: Our bike cargo trailer is your ultimate travel companion, providing a sturdy build and a spacious design capable of handling up to 275 lbs of cargo. Perfect for all your outdoor adventures, from camping trips to picnics, it's the ideal solution for hauling your essentials wherever you go.
  • Industrial-Grade Material: Crafted from industrial-grade materials, the bicycle trailer features a robust steel frame with a powder-coated surface for rust resistance. This construction ensures long-lasting cleanliness and a sleek appearance while promising structural stability and durability.
  • Professional Tire Design: Our bike trailer comes equipped with sporty 20" tires and iron hubs, providing excellent stability and traction on various surfaces, whether you're cruising on concrete, navigating gravel paths, or tackling sandy trails. Dual-wheel design ensures stability during long journeys, avoiding cargo spillage.
  • Upgraded Installation: Easy setup, enhanced security! Installing our bike wagon is a breeze, thanks to its user-friendly design and complete installation toolkit. It comes with reflective strips that you can stick anywhere for your personalized security system, ensuring visibility during nighttime rides.
  • Fits Multiple Bike Models: Compatible with most bikes, our bike cart seamlessly attaches to a variety of bike models, including recreational bikes, children's bikes, mountain bikes, and highway bikes. Perfect for shopping, camping, and picnicking. NOTE: It's not suitable for pets or kids.