Burley updated the Travoy since our test period. The latest model features a new Quick Hitch which allows for a tool-free transition from bike to bike. There are integrated wheel guards, an extendable tow arm, and a wider kickstand to provide a stable platform when the trailer is staning on its own. Below is a side-by-side comparison. The version we tested is pictured first, and the updated Travoy is shown second.
We're linking to the updated model, but since we haven't reviewed that version, the review below pertains to the older model.
Hands-On Review of the Travoy
The Travoy is a breeze to tow on smooth pavement, just don't try to hop any curbs.
The Travoy offers a decent weight capacity at 60 lbs and comes with a 35-liter tote bag big enough to handle a substantial grocery run. Our tester could easily pack in enough supplies for 4-5 days. In addition to the tote bag, there is a large lower deck capable of holding multiple cases of La Croix or any large items that don't fit inside the tote bag. There are two adjustable clip-on straps that allow you to secure large unwieldy items. The only limiter on what you can carry is the weight and width of the item. As long as it fits between the wheels, 15.5 inches, you're good to go.
It's worth noting the maximum weight capacity of the Travoy is one of the lowest we've tested. If you plan on loading your bike trailer down with heavy items such as water jugs, firewood, or trail building material, check out some of the burlier designs such as the Burley Design Flatbed or the Aosom Wanderer, as they have a sturdier build and much higher weight capacity. Not to mention the flatbed design is more conducive to heavy loads.
Two adjustable straps are included to secure items that don't fit into the tote bag.
While the Travoy comes with only one Tote bag, there are many more options for attachable totes and containers that work directly with the Travoy on Burley's website. The Travoy also comes with two load-bearing straps to secure odd sized/shaped items to the trailer. With the tote bag removed, you could strap on any number of items such as golf clubs, a hive of bees, or even a chainsaw w/gas (for landscaping at a friends house).
Ease of Use
Similar to the other Burley trailers we tested, the Travoy is incredibly easy to set up and collapse for storage. The trailer folds down and fits perfectly into the included tote bag. Once the Travoy is set up, it attaches to the bike seat post with a quick release hitch. We especially liked the simplicity and one-hand operation of this attachment.
Hitching the Travoy to the seat post mount is an easy one hand operation. This allows you to stabilize the bike, or manage groceries with the other hand!
Having a trailer that is designed for such specific uses around town initially made us think we might not use it that much. The fact that it stores and deploys so easily changed our minds. Since the trailer stores in the same tote bag you shop with, we just hang the stored trailer with our shopping bags and its ready to go for next time. Our current speed record for getting it out of the tote and hitched to the bike is 30 seconds, but we are confident we can do it faster.
Ease of Towing
For getting around town the Travoy worked excellently. As soon as we took this trailer off of paved roads and gentle steps up and down there were some issues. The main issue we found was trying to climb or descend any step the size of a standard curb. This would cause the trailer to come in contact with the rear wheel of the bike. This occurred both on our 27.5 MTB and 26 road bike.
Wheel clearance was an issue for a step up or down bigger than a standard curb. On a step up the Travoy Trailer would be sucked into the rear wheel, prematurely scrambling some eggs!
While this attribute was a bit annoying, it wasn't a deal breaker. We were just relegated to streets and sidewalks making sure we didn't get too ambitious when pulling the Travoy. While you probably don't want to make a habit of jumping up and down curbs with a bike trailer in tow, the Burley Design Flatbed and BOB Ibex Plus are both more than capable of doing it when needed.
The Travoy trailer is incredibly stable while you are riding, and if it weren't for the extra weight you wouldn't know it was there. The push button detachable wheels roll smooth and their tiny diameter only became an issue with large potholes. Slightly larger wheels do give you a noticeable benefit when it comes to what they can effectively roll over.
Smoothness of Ride
One of the first things we noticed pulling the Travoy was how quiet it was in tow. There was no rattling or really any sound coming from the trailer. Without anything loaded, the trailer is stable and capable of making tighter turns than you would typically need to make while towing. Like with most of the trailers, you have to be mindful of obstacles as the trailer will cut corners closer than you do. Through grass and gravel, the tiny wheels of the Travoy definitely struggled a bit more than other trailers. If you're heading off road in any capacity we would suggest taking a look at the Burley Design Flatbed or the BOB Ibex Plus as they both have larger wheels and the BOB Ibex Plus even has the suspension to soak up the gravel road chatter.
Around town and while loaded to the brim with groceries the Travoy worked well. As long as you're sticking to the roads and sidewalks the Travoy will get the job done.
The Travoy isn't the all-around do-it-all trailer like the Burley Design Flatbed. With its lower weight capacity, small diameter wheels, and integrated tote bag attachment system, the Travoy is adapted for urban grocery runs. It's actually so well adapted for urban bike grocery shopping we don't take anything else with us.
The Travoy does come equipped with two removable straps that utilize the same attachment points as the tote bag. These allow you to strap down awkward sized and shaped objects. While the tie down straps do add to the versatility, you're still confined to objects that fit the width of the wheels and items that aren't much longer than the trailer is tall, as they end up hitting the cyclist!
What set this trailer apart from the competition was the ability to unhitch and use it as a dolly. We could ride straight into the garage and wheel our groceries directly to the pantry. Depending on grocery store policy you could even wheel the dolly through the store in lieu of a shopping cart.
The Travoy is a grocery run champion. While you could use this trailer for commuting to work or transporting most things, it is really at home wheeling to the grocery store. The included grocery tote bag was ample for a multi-day grocery run for two people and even left enough space on the bottom deck for the crucial duo of La Croix twelve packs. We would hesitate to approach the 60lbs. weight limit, as the plastic connections seem like they weren't made for abuse and we would also relegate this trailer to paved surfaces. The tiny wheels created an uncomfortable amount of drag and chatter on gravel roads and grass surfaces.
If you are in the market for a practical solution to grocery shopping by bike this is a great deal. While this trailer isn't suited for tasks outside urban commuting and shopping, it does its job well and has the ability to pack up into an easily stored package.
Anyone who has struggled through a bike ride with a backpack full of groceries will remember the burning shoulder pain they experienced before they made it home. This is a perfect, low impact solution to shopping by bike. For individuals who are hoping to begin to lessen their impact and take a bike once in a while, trust us, this trailer will help you accomplish that goal. It's easy setup and smooth towing skills help make your bike a viable option for errand runs around town.