If you’re itching to explore the great outdoors with an infant, then a bike trailer just might be the perfect solution.
But what is the best bike trailer for riding with an infant?
And also, is it even safe to ride with an infant in a bike trailer?
These are the most common questions people ask when taking their kids around in a bike trailer.
I have been riding with my two kids in bike trailers since 2014 when my son was an infant. We have used both the car seat method and the infant insert method.
This article covers the top 5 best bike trailer options for infants, as well as some riding tips to make it safer.
What’s the best bike trailer option for infants?
The best bike trailer for an infant is large enough to fit an infant insert or car seat. Infant inserts are designed specifically for bike trailers, but offer limited options and can be costly. Car seats are safe and convenient but are bulky, which does not allow for two passengers to sit together in the trailer.
Infant insert vs car seat?
There are essentially two ways to pull a bike trailer with an infant: using an infant insert or placing a car seat inside the bike trailer.
I’ll briefly explain the pros and cons of each of these options.
Option 1: Infant insert
The main benefit of the infant insert is that it is designed for babies in bike trailers.
Infant insert pros
- Comfortable for the baby
- Supports the baby’s head and neck
- Small enough to allow for a second passenger in the bike trailer
Infant insert cons
- Limited bike trailer options
- Not compatible with many bike trailers
- Additional cost
Option 2: Car seat
It is very common to find cyclists taking infants around in car seats in other countries, most notably in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.
In the United States, however, it is almost universally recommended by bike trailer manufacturers to wait until the child is at least 1 year old.
However, according to some polls I’ve done in group forums (notably in the popular Facebook group by Rascal Rides), many people in the United States do use the car seat method to ride with an infant. In some cases, people prefer to use an infant insert.
Car seat pros
- Comfort and safety of a car seat
- Supports the baby’s head and neck
- Will work with most bike trailers
Car seat cons
- Larger car seats will not fit inside a bike trailer
- Takes up the entire bike trailer
My overall recommendations
Use a car seat for one child
Overall, I recommend using the car seat method if you will just be riding with one child. You just have to make sure you a bike trailer with a large enough interior to fit an infant car seat (like the trailers mentioned below).
For example, my recommended bike trailer of choice the Schwinn Joyrider has a large interior that comfortably fits our car seat.
Use an infant insert for two children
If you plan to ride with two children, then I recommend getting the Burley infant insert for the baby, which is small enough to allow for two children to ride side by side. It costs around $80, which is on the lower end of infant inserts for bike trailers.
Although Burley states that their infant insert is only compatible with Burley trailers, any bike trailer with a harness will work in theory.
Top 5 best bike trailers for infants
We recommend getting a spacious bike trailer that will fit a car seat. Depending on your budget and whether or not you need a two-seater bike trailer, here are a few excellent bike trailers that all have spacious interiors.
Tip: Since your child will be growing over the years, I recommend going with a bike trailer that also converts into a stroller. Convertible bike trailers make excellent strollers due to their large wheels and smooth ride.
|1. Schwinn Joyrider||$350 (check on Amazon)||Double||Yes||– Affordable|
– Protective cage
– Stroller conversion
– Heavy (40 lbs)
|2. Burley Bee||$300 (check on Amazon)||Double||No||– Affordable|
– Burley quality and design
– Lightweight (20 lbs)
|– No stroller conversion|
|3. Burley D’Lite X||$750 for Single (check on Amazon), $850 for Double (check on Amazon)||Single or Double||Yes||– Stroller conversion|
– Comfortable seats
– Folding up is not easy
– Seats do not recline much
|4. Thule Chariot Lite||$1,000 for Double (check on Amazon) and $900 for Single (check on Amazon)||Double or Single||Yes||– Highest-quality materials|
– Double front wheels
– Lots of storage
– Complicated to assemble
|5. Schwinn Trailblazer||$130 for single, (check on Amazon) or $200 for double (check on Amazon)||Single or Double||Yes on double||– Acceptable quality for a budget trailer|
– Double and single seats available
– Stroller conversion available on double
|– Lower quality materials (budget trailer)|
– No stroller conversion on the single-seater
1. Schwinn Joyrider
Best value bike trailer for infants
Price: Around $360 (check on Amazon)
Stroller Conversion: Yes
Weight Limit: 100 lbs (43 kg)
The Schwinn Joyrider is a steal of a deal at only around $350 for a double-seated trailer that converts seamlessly to an excellent stroller. It has high-end features, such as stroller conversion out of the box, a solid protective cage, large 20-inch wheels for extra smoothness, and large interior space. You get all of that without breaking the bank at just around $350!
I personally have been using the Joyrider the longest out of all the trailers we have, and I still stand by it as the best bang-for-buck bike trailer on the market!
Note: The Amazon description page mistakenly labels this trailer as a “1 Seat” trailer, but that is incorrect. It is in fact a “2 Seat” trailer.
- Affordable—A low price point for high-quality features
- Protective cage—Added peace of mind
- Stroller conversion—Converts seamlessly to a comfortable stroller
- Wide—The frame is slightly wider than average double-seat trailers
- Heavy—On the heavier side of trailers weights (40 lbs)
2. Burley Bee
Best minimalist bike trailer for infants
Price: Around $300 (check on Amazon)
Stroller Conversion: No
Weight Limit: 80 lbs (36 kg)
The Burley Bee is a well-designed, high-quality, lightweight, and budget-friendly bike trailer for frequent riders.
With the reputable Burley brand and high-quality materials, the Burley Bee is one of the best bang-for-buck trailers for anyone looking for a trailer that is just really good at being a trailer.
- Affordable—A low price point for a high-quality Burley trailer
- Burley quality—A high-quality trailer that might turn into a robot
- Lightweight—Weighs just 20 lbs, which is half the weight of some trailers
- No stroller conversion—It’s a minimalist, lightweight trailer
3. Burley D’Lite X
Best 2-in-1 bike trailer & stroller for infants
The Burley D’Lite X is a high-end bike trailer designed for all types of riding. From gravel riding to mountain riding to strolling, this trailer can do it all.
You can tell that Burley put a lot of thought into the comfort of this bike trailer, from the incredibly comfortable seat to the rare suspension for added comfort.
Both the single and double versions of the D’Lite X come with a sturdy bench-style seat that has an excellent five-point harness and headrest. It is rather rare to find a seat of this quality and comfort.
The D’Lite X seats also recline, which is a notable feature not found on cheaper trailers. However, the seats do not recline very far, so it’s a bit unfortunate.
Suspension for added comfort
Not many bike trailers come equipped with suspension. If you plan to do any type of gravel or mountain riding with your bike trailer, then a trailer with suspension is highly recommended. The suspension is located under the wheels to add comfort when riding over rough terrains.
- Stroller conversion—an excellent stroller with large wheels
- Comfortable seats—for added comfort
- Suspension—for an extra smooth ride
- Pricey—a high-end trailer
- Folding up is not easy—expected on a non-stroller trailer
- Seats do not recline much—a nice feature to have, but the seats do not go very far back
4. Thule Chariot Lite
Best overall bike trailer for infants
Best for active families who want the most out of their bike trailer, the Thule Chariot Lite is a top-of-the-line quality trailer that is worth every penny. Its large wheels and suspension feature make it a great option for gravel riding or mountain riding.
Although on the higher end of the price spectrum, the Chariot Lite is actually a few hundred dollars cheaper than its older brother, the Thule Chariot Cross. For that reason, the Chariot Lite makes the list of exceptional trailers and I would recommend it to someone looking for a trailer that can take a beating.
But why would anyone swing for such a pricey bike trailer?
The Chariot Lite comes with suspension, which adds extra comfort to your child on rough terrain. If you plan on any gravel or mountain rides, then this trailer is ideal for your type of riding.
But if you’re just planning on recreational riding, then the Schwinn Joyrider does many of the same things for more than half the price.
- Highest-quality materials—Truly the best components on the market
- Suspension—Added comfort on rough terrain
- Double front wheels—Makes for an excellent stroller
- Lots of storage—It even comes with a pannier bag attached to the back
- Cost—It’s a top-of-the-line bike trailer and has suspension
- Complicated to assemble—It comes with a lot of attachments that are hard to understand at first
5. Schwinn Trailblazer
Best budget bike trailer for infants
I hesitate to add this bike trailer to this list because you can get any of the excellent trailers on this list by just stretching the budget a bit. But I understand the need to keep it within a budget, so this is my recommended budget bike trailer.
Just note that the single-seat option will likely not fit a car seat.
For budget-minded families that also want a bike trailer with great reviews, the Schwinn Trailblazer is hard to beat. There are two other noteworthy trailers that are in the same price range as the Trailblazer: the Instep and the Allen Sports Deluxe.
The reason I would recommend the Schwinn Trailblazer over those two options is simply because of the quality. They just don’t have the same level of durability and safety features that the Trailblazer offers.
The Trailblazer also comes in a double-seat capacity and stroller conversion for around $200. You can check out that model on Amazon here.
- Acceptable quality—for a budget trailer
- Double and single seats available—few trailers give both options
- Stroller conversion available—only on the double version
- Lower quality materials—budget trailer
- No stroller conversion—on the single-seater
Infant insert options
Some bike trailer manufactures make inserts that are specifically designed for bike trailers. Here are three you can check out:
Burley Design Baby Snuggler
This infant insert will be compatible with most bike trailers that use a harness system. You can get it from Amazon and see if it works for your bike trailer, then return it if it isn’t compatible.
Thule Chariot Infant Sling
This infant insert by Thule is only compatible with Thule bike †railers. It costs about $100, but it is an excellent infant sling.
How safe are bike trailers really?
Bike trailers offer a protective cage and harness seat belts that help protect a child in the event of a crash. In comparison to alternative options, such as bike-mounted child seats, bike trailers are the safest way to ride together with a child.
By following some basic safety tips and your own common sense, bike trailers can be much safer than alternative options, such as bike-mounted child seats.
I wrote an in-depth article on the safety and risk factors of bike trailers, which you can check out here.
How to safely ride with an infant in a bike trailer
Here are four tips to safely ride with an infant:
1. Place your infant in a car seat or infant insert while inside the bike trailer
It is recommended to place your baby in a car seat or infant insert while inside the bike trailer. By doing so, you will ensure safety standards designed for the car industry while also keeping your child comfortable (don’t be surprised if he/she falls asleep every time you ride!).
A car seat can be inserted into the bike trailer, facing forward, and strapped to the bike trailer using a belt or cord.
2. Travel at low speeds under 10 mph (16 kph)
Regardless of the age of your child, it is always recommended to keep speeds under 10 mph (or 16 kph) to reduce the risk of losing control and causing an uncomfortably bumpy ride.
(Good luck going any faster than that anyway 🙂).
Kidding aside, riding at lower speeds will give you more control over steering the trailer and also braking when needed. In addition, riding fast may cause more bumping up and down for your baby, especially on rough terrain.
3. Ride on smooth surfaces
Riding on a smooth surface without much gravel will give you better control over steering your bike and the bike trailer. Smooth surfaces also help with reducing the risk of throwing the baby around.
4. Use flashing lights and a flag
One of the potential dangers of biking in general is cars and other riders not seeing you. This is even more important when riding with a child, because bike trailers are closer to the ground and a driver might not see it.
It is always good practice to ride with flashing lights on your bike, as well as on the bike trailer (even during the day). The other recommendation to ensure visibility is to mount a flag to the trailer that will put the trailer in the eye line of drivers. Most bike trailers come with flags to help with visibility.
All in all, if you follow these four simple recommendations, then riding in a bike trailer is arguably safer than riding in a car because of the slow speed and added control.
While following basic bicycle safety recommendations, biking with an infant in a bike trailer is a very safe and healthy way to get around. Weighing the health benefits against any possible dangers will help you make the best decision for your growing family.
Still need help finding the right bike trailer?
If you need help finding the right bike trailer for you, my recommended trailer for most people is the Swhinn Joyrider, which is an affordable double-seater that converts beautifully to a stroller. Check out my full review with photos here.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer for more help with choosing a trailer. I also have compiled a list of the top bike trailers for every common situation, which you can check out here.