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Burley Nomad Review

A versatile model great for touring or just shorter trips to the grocery store and around town
Burley Nomad
Photo: Burley
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Price:  $350 List | $349.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Bike can lean without trailer leaning so climbing hills off your seat is much easier, lightweight, durable
Cons:  Difficult to lock trailer up along with bike, weather-resistant but not watertight
Manufacturer:   Burley Design
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 24, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 8
  • Capacity - 30% 8
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Ease of Towing - 20% 7
  • Smoothness of Ride - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Burley Nomad was designed for bike touring, but we like that it's not limited to just that one specific use. The two push-button release wheels and collapsable design also make this a space saver to store. We rarely took advantage of the inside compartments consisting of six mesh utility pockets, but they are nice to have when trying to organize and keep things separate inside the trailer. The Nomad is a lightweight, durable, and versatile cargo bike trailer, ready to get you and your cargo wherever you need to go.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Burley Nomad
This Product
Burley Nomad
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $349.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$270 List$154.99 at Amazon$299.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.99 at Amazon
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Pros Bike can lean without trailer leaning so climbing hills off your seat is much easier, lightweight, durableLightweight, large capacity, versatileEasy to assemble, spring loaded connection on the hitch allows for good tracking behind the bike, durableUser friendly, packable, stable haulingEasy to use, good tracking, simple assembly, affordable
Cons Difficult to lock trailer up along with bike, weather-resistant but not watertightNo straps or dry sack includedPlastic bottom rattles when using empty, heavy, axle mount for the trailer has a tendency to rotate forward due to the torque from the weightSmall wheels, plastic componentsNoisy, wheels out of true, thin fabric top
Bottom Line A versatile model great for touring or just shorter trips to the grocery store and around townNo matter what you want to haul, this trailer will probably do itThis burly and affordable trailer is too heavy for the long haul, but useful around townThis is an incredibly easy to use trailer with the ability to transport groceries and fragile materials without damaging themDesigned for simplicity and ease of use, this bike trailer will get you to and from the grocery store without any hassle
Rating Categories Burley Nomad Burley Design Flatbed Aosom Wanderer Burley Travoy Schwinn Day Tripper
Capacity (30%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
Ease Of Towing (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Smoothness Of Ride (20%)
7.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Versatility (10%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Burley Nomad Burley Design Flatbed Aosom Wanderer Burley Travoy Schwinn Day Tripper
Capacity 100 lbs / 105 liters 100 lbs 110 lbs 60 lbs 50 lbs
Weight 15 lbs 14.5 lbs 30 lbs 10.2 lbs 18.5 lbs
Number of Wheels 2 2 2 2 2
Size (when open, L x W x H) 32.4" x 26.8" x 22.8" 33" x 16.1" x 30.9" 57" x 27.6" x 19.2" 43"x 22" x 16" 25" x 16.5" x 10"
Wheel Size 16" 16" 16" 12" 16"
Access into Trailer Top Top Top Top Top
Cover Protection Weatherproof cover None None Weatherproof tote Weatherproof cover
Attachment to Bike Forged aluminum hitch Forged Hitch Aosom Type 'B' Bike Trailer Universal Hitch Coupler Quick release Forged Steel Hitch

Our Analysis and Test Results

Burley is one of the top names in excellent, durable, and highly functional bike trailers. Not only do they crank out quality cargo trailers, but they also make refined kid and pet haulers worthy of a look if you're in the market.

Performance Comparison


The Nomad is an excellent trailer that offers a hefty payload...
The Nomad is an excellent trailer that offers a hefty payload allowance and smooth rolling around town.
Photo: Brian Martin

Capacity


The Nomad boasts a massive weight capacity of 100 pounds. If you haven't attempted to ride a bike loaded with that much weight, it is extremely difficult. We did our best to load the Nomad to maximum capacity, and while we struggled to get it up hills, the trailer was no worse for wear. The cargo space allows you to hold around 105 liters inside with the cargo cover on and secured. The built-in waterproof cargo cover can also be easily removed to allow for large or misshapen objects to fit in the trailer as well.

The Nomad can easily tranport a picnic to the baseball field saving...
The Nomad can easily tranport a picnic to the baseball field saving you the hassle of finding parking!
Photo: Brian Martin

Ease of Use


Assembly and use of the Nomad is about as easy as it gets. The trailer came almost completely assembled, requiring only that we snap the wheels and arm into place before hitching up. The real highlight of this trailer is the simple latching system making the cover easy to remove or close even with thick gloves on. If we had to sum up the overall use characteristics in a few words, it would be simple, intuitive, and scrumtrulescent.

The hitch is unobtrusive and can easily live on your bike rent-free...
The hitch is unobtrusive and can easily live on your bike rent-free if you want. The attachment point is easy for one person to hitch without assistance or another person holding up the bike.
Photo: Brian Martin

Ease of Towing


Of the two-wheeled trailers we tested, this was one of the top scorers for ease of towing. The Nomad rolls smooth and has what appears to be replaceable sealed wheel bearings. Additionally, the wheels are true and without warbles — something other more affordable trailers lacked. While the efficiency of a two-wheel design is inherently less than a single-wheel design, the Nomad strikes a nice balance between efficiency and versatility, allowing one to transport significantly more weight than a single wheel could.

Smooth rolling wheels and tight tolerances made for a quiet and...
Smooth rolling wheels and tight tolerances made for a quiet and efficient two-wheeler.
Photo: Brian Martin

Smoothness of Ride


One of the most noticeable attributes when switching between budget trailers and the more refined Nomad is how quiet it is while rumbling down dirt and gravel roads. Other trailers rattled like crazy, while the Nomad was largely quiet and composed. The Nomad has no suspension to speak of, which certainly keeps the overall weight down but makes for some extra bounce when the terrain gets rowdy. We did manage to get it up on one wheel a few times when taking turns too tight and clipping a curb with one wheel, but this is entirely avoidable.

Rolling down bike paths was smooth like a hot knife through butter...
Rolling down bike paths was smooth like a hot knife through butter. Gravel roads were surprisingly good as well, though the Nomad is significantly less efficient than suspended single-wheelers.
Photo: Brian Martin

Versatility


While not offering as much versatility as the wide-open canvas of a flatbed trailer, the Nomad is lightweight, relatively efficient while pulling, and can manage a hefty load. Any trailer capable of taking you on an overnighter, to and from the grocery, or just out to watch a ballgame with cooler in tow is pretty versatile. That being said, the two-wheel design makes long-distance touring more difficult than it needs to be, and the small footprint and shape make hauling large odd-shaped items difficult as well. The overall versatility is balanced towards being an efficient urban trailer that can take you on an overnighter pretty easily.

From urban trail systems, grocery runs, and the occasional...
From urban trail systems, grocery runs, and the occasional overnighter, the Nomad was excellent. Still, unless we were really in a pinch, we would opt for a single wheel trailer on long-distance tours.
Photo: Brian Martin

Value


The Nomad is not cheap, but it is a great value. Everything about it seems rugged and well made, from the burly top cover to the chunky attachment points. The idea that this trailer could function well as a grocery getter and a decently efficient overnight hauler speaks to how well it is designed. When parting with three or more crisp benjamins, we absolutely want to know we're getting something that is made well and will deliver on its promises. The Nomad truly does its job well, and while we might pick something a bit more efficient for long-distance touring, it is a jack of all trades.

Conclusion


It's no mystery that Burley makes quality bike cargo trailers. They generally are refined and serve very specific purposes. The Nomad is effective as a fun overnight gear hauler or for the randomness that is required of an urban problem solver. While it lacks the ability to haul oversized or odd-shaped items, it does work well for the general day-to-day hauling around town. It was difficult to find attributes we didn't like about this trailer!

If you're looking for a high-quality trailer that can do a bit of it...
If you're looking for a high-quality trailer that can do a bit of it all, the Nomad is an excellent choice.
Photo: Brian Martin

Brian Martin