This in-depth article opens with a description of the different styles of trailers available. The two primary styles of trailers are standard, enclosed trailers which can fit either one or two children, and pedal trailers, which can only hold one child at a time but allows them to pedal along and contribute to the forward progress of the ride. Smith's review focused solely on standard trailers, but he did evaluate two different pedal trailers as well. Standard trailers are ideal for young children who are not old enough to ride a bike on their own, for taking children on a long commute that they wouldn't be able to pedal themselves, or for towing cargo such as groceries. These models come with five-point restraint systems and usually have extra space to store other items such as a diaper bag, toys, or lunch. They also protect children from weather with sunscreens, bug screens, and rain flaps. Pedal trailers can come in a couple of different styles as well. Some are like mini-bikes that attach to the back of an adult's bike, and require the child to be attentive while sitting on the saddle. This most closely mimics riding an independent bike, but allows a child to keep pace with a parent. Other pedal trailers are in the style of a carriage and have a restraint system while still allowing the child to pedal. This style gives the child the option of pedaling or just enjoying the ride. Pedal trailers provide a faster and more exhilarating experience for children who get bored sitting in enclosed trailers, even if they are old enough to ride a bike on their own.
Smith's article then goes on to discuss the different options available for standard trailers. He elaborates on the fact that some trailers are multi-functional, and with the addition of certain accessory packages can convert to standard strollers, jogging strollers, and cross-country ski trailers. Though multi-use models are far more expensive than single function trailers, Smith concludes that ultimately, a multi-function trailer can save a family money and storage space by only requiring the purchase of one item. Smith explains that some models are better for commuters who use their trailers to bring kids along on missions to the grocery store or to tote them to daycare. Other models work better for parents simply looking to get some exercise with their children.
Lastly, Smith addresses other factors pertaining to trailer purchase. He discusses the different attachments to bikes, the amount of storage space different models require, and the varying prices of popular models.
Smith's buying guide is accompanied by a full-length comparison review that evaluates the safety and function of four leading enclosed bike trailers. Smith ranked each model and chose winners from the highest performance models. Each model has a detailed individual review in addition to the comparison review.
OutdoorGearLab, LLC is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and is a free resource designed to help online customers make informed purchasing decisions about outdoor gear. The site, www.outdoorgearlab.com, publishes comparison reviews of outdoor apparel and equipment, with complimentary buying advice guides for each category. The test team analyzes gear, comparing products against one another in the field, and releases their findings in written essays. Each product is scored across a range of weighted metrics, ranked against competing products, and awards are given to the highest scoring models. Readers can then find the most suitable product with minimal time invested in personal research. These reviews cover categories from camping and hiking, shoes and boots, climbing, men's and women's clothing, to general fitness.