Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Inaugural Product Review: Burley D'lite Trailer

Since I use a wide variety of bike-related items and my daughters have/will use a bunch more, I'm starting up a product review section on Daddy Rides Bikes.  Products reviewed here will be products that I own, and - unless someone unexpectedly starts sending me stuff to review for free - will be products that I have paid for or received as birthday/Christmas gifts.

Our Burley D'lite trailer is on its second family - I purchased it about 2 years ago from someone who had used it with his two children for several years.  So far it's mostly been a one-child carrier since our youngest isn't old enough to ride in it yet (Burley and other manufacturers recommend roughly one year as the starting point, or earlier with additional support if the child can hold his/her head up with a helmet on).

J being shy in the trailer.  Pose for Daddy's blog? HA!
We've used it quite a bit - for family bike rides, trips to the grocery store, trips to go get lunch or dinner or play in the park.  We took the wheels off, stuffed it in our car, and used it on vacation - where we discovered prior to going to the grocery store that it didn't attach to my disc-brake equipped bike.  Fortunately, we've since fixed that with the addition of an adapter that fits on the bike's rear axle rather than sliding onto the frame.  It's harder to move from bike to bike (hence we have 2 of these adapters now), but a lot easier to hook up.

There are other good trailers out there (not to mention many many different ways to put a kid on a bike instead of behind it) - but this one has worked very well for us.  It takes up to 2 toddlers comfortably, has space for 2-3 large reusable-grocery-sized bags in the back, and has both a mesh cover and a rain cover that can snap down (front and back) or roll up out of the way.  It also holds a flag and has a spot on back to clip on a blinky light - I make sure that we always have at least one of those, depending on when we're riding.  On the rare occasions when we need to travel with it, it folds flat and the wheels come off easily - thus we were able to bring it on vacation with surprisingly little effort (in a car... I would probably not recommend taking this through an airport...).

If you purchase a bike trailer, I highly HIGHLY recommend getting one used.  These things are not cheap - used or new - but they hold value pretty well as long as you take care of them - I imagine I could probably get very close to what I paid for mine if I re-listed it on Craigslist now.  That said, get a reputable brand - Burley and Chariot are the two best-known - and make sure everything functions as it should.  There are cheaper ones out there, but if I'm carrying my kids in something I want to know that attention was paid to quality.  In this case it was, and it shows.  We look forward to enjoying this trailer for several more years, and hope to hand it off to another family to enjoy once we're done with it.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid, bribed, threatened, or otherwise encouraged to mention specific products or brands on this blog.

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