Want to get rolling with a young child? Get a kiddie trailer and hit the trails for a new world of family adventure.
MTB kids trailers are a fantastic way of transporting your child by bike. Protected from the elements and surrounded by a roll cage they are a stable and safe way to roll with your kids. With MTB kids trailers able to take infants as young as 3 months old until they are about 5 years old, they are the quickest way to include your child in your cycling life. Better suited for longer rides than front child seats, MTB kids trailers can also take luggage so that you can pack more food/clothes/nappies or whatever. However, the ability to take big kids and extra gear comes at a cost in terms of rolling resistance: the heavier your load the less you will enjoy riding hilly terrain. We’ve had the most fun with MTB kids trailers when hitched up to eMTBs, as they cancel out the drag and make riding so much easier!
Although expensive, many models are super versatile, converting to a stroller, jogger or even a sled and seeing as you’re going to buy a buggy anyway, getting the right MTB kids trailer could save you money and space.
What makes a good MTB kids trailer?
A good MTB kids trailer will fit any bike, regardless of axle type or width, hardtail or full suspension design and needs to adapt to fit other bikes too. Picking the right MTB kids trailer for your family’s needs is vital: Ask yourself where you want to ride it? Weight, rolling resistance and how the MTB kids trailer affects your bike’s handling is crucial, as it’s ability to cope with rough terrain or going up and down curbs. Versatility and cost need to be considered: do you just want to ride off-road trails or do you need it to be multi-functional? Parents looking for an MTB kids trailer that also works as a stroller, for the school run and shopping as well as riding, will want something tough and stable that will handle heavier loads. How weatherproof is it and is it adaptable for a year’s worth of conditions? A rain cover and bug guard are essential in keeping your wee one safe and dry. Pack-down size is important considerations for storage and transportation as is how easy it folds down and fit in the back of a family car? If you want to swap the MTB kids trailer between bikes or remove for rides by yourself, how easily does it fit and how quickly can it be removed?
With almost as many ‘standards’ as there are bike brands, compatibility issues are a real pain, we had problems finding the correct axles even when swapping between bikes with the same width dropouts. Measure your bike’s rear axle length and check the thread pitch to ensure you have the right one, our advice is to buy from a good local dealer and let them work it out!
MTB kids trailer Top Trumps
We wanted to find the best MTB kids trailers for a modern mountain biking families needs so we picked the three MTB kids trailers on the market that best covered all the bases: suitable to ride off-road and able to fit any full suspension frame. The contenders are: the € 649 Thule Chariot Lite; a no-frills but top quality allrounder from one of the best known brands in the market: Burley’s € 705 robust Dlite is the pack horse of the test, for growing families and big trips and the super light, Tout Terrain Singletrailer at € 1390, with its unique single wheel, for uncompromised offroad performance.
We tested each MTB kids trailer over a variety of terrain, starting out with wide gravel tracks and easy trails, then increasing the terrain severity until we approached our comfort zone for each design. Each model was also used for general duties, such as nursery drop off and shopping in both trailer and stroller modes before being subjected to the curb test (minus the child), to see just how stable the design would be on an obstacle all riders will encounter.
Which is the best MTB kids trailer?
The Tout-Terrain Singletrailer is the only MTB kid’s trailer for getting your family on a proper mountain bike adventure. However, the Singletrailer is expensive and single-minded in its approach so it may not fit everyone’s needs: the Thule is much more versatile and usable for everyday life and the Burley has the most comfort features and is a fantastic choice for growing families.