Editors' Choice: Thule Chariot Cougar 2
Chariot is a much loved Canadian brand that makes trailers and strollers, and the company has recently been purchased by Thule, the popular manufacturer of bike racks and cargo boxes. Thule has rebranded the products but kept the designs the same, meaning that the Thule Chariot 2 is still as functional as ever but also backed by a big brand. Smith praises the Chariot 2 for its incredible ease of use and versatility. With the appropriate add-on kits (sold separately) the Chariot can transform between a standard stroller, a jogging stroller, a bike trailer, and a cross-country ski trailer. Smith timed himself assembling all the trailers in his test and he got the fastest time on the Chariot due to its clever and simple design. This is the only model in Smith's test that has an adjustable suspension, which makes for a particularly smooth and comfortable ride for the children passengers no matter what surface the parent rides over. It earns Smith's highest recommendation as the best all-around trailer.
Best Buy: Burely Bee
Unlike the versatile Chariot and and Burley D'lite models, the Burley Bee is a single function trailer and does not convert to a stroller. However, because of this simplicity, it is also very affordable, costing less than half what the Chariot costs. Smith concludes that this simple yet very safely designed trailer is ideal for families on a budget or for those who already own a stroller. He found this to be the best value of the trailers he evaluated.
Top Pick for Commuters: Burley D'Lite
the Burley D'lite stands out in Smith's tests for two primary reasons: ample cargo space and excellent safety. The D'lite exceeds minimum safety requirements and even has an aluminum roll bar to protect children if the trailer rolls over in a crash. Smith found that the D'lite had the most space to commuting on a daily basis, taking trips to the grocery store, and transporting lots of gear, making it the best option for people who will use the trailer to get around frequently. Like the Chariot, the D'lite can transform between a standard stroller, jogging stroller, bike trailer, and cross-country ski trailer if the appropriate accessories are purchased.
Smith's full review provides more details and comparison between the four models he evaluated, and it also discusses two top pedal trailers and the pros and cons of both standard trailers versus pedal trailers. He notes that pedal trailers require the child to remain engaged for the entire ride and also encourages them to participate in the activity. They can be an excellent introduction to cycling for a young child before they are old enough to ride a bike on their own. Standard trailers allow a child to relax and nap while staying safe under weather protecting flaps. His review is published alongside a buying guide that educates consumers on the primary considerations when purchasing a trailer.
Based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, OutdoorGearLab, LLC is a free resource dedicated to educating outdoors enthusiasts and online customers before making purchasing decisions. The website, www.outdoorgearlab.com, houses a wide range of comparison reviews of outdoor apparel and equipment. These reviews cover categories such as shoes and boots, camping and hiking, skiing and biking, climbing, men's and women's clothing, and general fitness. The test team performs rigorous head-to-head tests of gear and publishes the results in reviews illustrated with photos. Each test product is scored across a range of weighted metrics, products are ranked, and awards are given to the best products. Readers can then easily make the best possible purchase with minimal time invested in personal research; the OutdoorGearLab test team has made relevant observations already.