BOB Ibex Plus
70 lbs | Weight:
Adjustable suspension improves handling
Great tracking behind the rear wheel
Easy to attach
Handles large bumps and potholes easily
Must pack evenly or it gets wobbly going downhill
Can't stand up on its own
The BOB Ibex Plus proved once again to the reigning champion among bike trailers. This versatile, lightweight, solidly designed trailer was excellent in myriad conditions and environments solidifying it as our Editors' Choice. The single wheel, in-line design made this trailer extremely maneuverable and the added suspension helps absorb bumps and road chatter making it pleasant to pull. The ride quality coupled with the generous capacity and ease of use (removing and reattaching) made the BOB Ibex Plus a trailer well suited for most any conditions.
While the BOB Ibex Plus is a fantastic trailer, it does have some drawbacks. You need a 10mm wrench to assemble the rear shock and to connect the fork to the main body. You also need patience: it took us about 20 minutes to put together and install on our testers bike. The single wheel also creates a very specific balance point favoring careful packing so as to keep the center of gravity low and evenly distributed. With these small drawbacks in mind, the BOB Ibex Plus is an excellent trailer with the capability to tackle whatever you throw its way.
Read review: BOB Ibex Plus
Best Bang for the Buck
110 lbs | Weight:
Ease of assembly
Great tracking due to the spring-loaded connection
Rattles when empty
Axle mount sometimes rotates forward
The Aosom Wanderer not only has the highest weight carrying capacity of the trailers we tested, but it is also uniquely inexpensive among the posh competition. Like Rudy (the football player), the Aosom Wanderer proves a rugged, durable, sturdy, and unrelenting design doesn't have to be expensive. We were also impressed by the versatility, ease of which it was set up, and how nicely such a simple trailer could pull.
On the flip side, there were a few niggles. Of all trailers tested, this was the rattliest trailer when it was empty. If you aren't bothered by the noise of a chattery trailer, then no worries but it is something to keep in mind when making firewood runs down a bumpy gravel road. The Aosom Wanderer is also quite heavy which is a necessary downside to having such a large carrying capacity. All these things considered, this is a fantastically capable trailer at the price point.
Read review: Aosom Wanderer
Top Pick for Grocery Shopping
60 lbs | Weight:
Incredibly stable design
Folds up small and stores in a tote bag
Softback protects groceries
No dry bag
Can't take curbs without damage
The Burley Travoy is a specialist in the broad category of bike cargo trailers. Some trailers are designed for long-distance efficiency, some for massive loads, the Travoy is designed specifically for around town endeavors. We found this trailer best suited for grocery runs as it has an integrated tote bag and the option to unhitch the trailer and wheel it straight into the grocery store. All of these features are user-friendly. We especially liked how easily we could fold the trailer up and store it in the tote bag when we were finished.
Some of our frustrations with the Travoy included the inability for the trailer to clear the rear bike wheel when ascending a curb. At certain points while on our way to the grocery store, we had to go out of our way to avoid large bumps and drops for fear of breaking the trailer. In addition, we wished there was a bit more versatility but in the end, found the Travoy to be extraordinarily adept and maneuvering through the city and hauling a generous load of groceries without sustaining any damage to vulnerable items such as eggs and produce.
Read review: Burley Travoy
Top Pick for Versatility
Burley Design Flatbed
100 lbs | Weight:
Sturdy axle provides stability for large loads
Folds up small for storing
The open design makes it easy to haul oddly-shaped items
Straps and dry sack not included
The Burley Design Flatbed offers unparalleled versatility in the cargo trailer category. While some of the trailers we reviewed are very specialized in what they can haul and how they should be loaded, we threw everything in sight into the Burley Design Flatbed and it could perform. Not only did it perform, but it was notably easy to load and the weight didn't necessarily have to be evenly distributed. The lightweight design along with the flexible PVC tarp bedding made use, cleanup, and storage a snap.
Unlike some of the trailers we reviewed, the Burley Design Flatbed
doesn't come with any tie down straps or dry sacks/covers necessitating that you provide your own if you're hauling any equipment that must be kept dry/secured. While setup and mounting are quite easy, the trailer does weigh in at 14 lbs, adding some heft to your uphill commute, though if you're hauling the max capacity of 100 lbs. you will hardly notice another 14! All in all, the Burley Design Flatbed
is incredibly versatile allowing you to haul anything from firewood to camping gear while offering durability and being extremely easy to use and store.
Read review: Burley Design Flatbed
Notable for Bike Touring
70 lbs | Weight:
Great on uphill sections
Built to last
Not fully waterproof
Tough to lock up with bike
The Burley Nomad is a long distance touring beast. If you've liberated yourself from the gram counting madness and want to take all the comforts of home, the Nomad is your horse. Our testers found the Nomad to pull straight and true even when loaded down to the max. Notably, the assembly and breakdown of this trailer are extremely easy making storage a pleasant process.
While this wasn't the most versatile trailer we tested it performed quite well in all categories from bike touring to running errands around town. The Nomad wasn't completely waterproof with the weather cover and while it could haul a significant amount of weight, 15 lbs. is quite a lot as a base weight for a trailer.
Read review: Burley Nomad
Canine tester Vossi could stretch out in the Burley D'Lite because its seat backs unclip from the trailer frame to lie flat, opening up a range of cargo hauling possibilities.
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is led by OutdoorGearLab Senior Review Editor Katherine Elliot. For the past four years, she has been a prolific gear testing expert at our home base in Tahoe. Kat enjoys myriad outdoor pursuits, many of which can be facilitated with a bit of extra bicycle carrying capacity. She is joined by former Yosemite Search and Rescue member and SAR technician Brian Martin. Brian is a mountain athlete for all seasons, and can be found on everything from alpine ridge climbs to ski tours. His responsibilities in Search and Rescue often involved maintenance and selection of equipment; experience which has lent him a sharp eye for the finer points of many types of outdoor gear.
Believe it or not, we initially considered over 40 models of bike trailer to potentially purchase and test for this review. We did as much research as possible and purchased the 7 models that we considered most promising. We carefully considered the function of a bike trailer, and designed tests around key performance areas. For ease of towing, we hitched each model up in succession, comparing performance side-by-side. Smoothness of ride was evaluated by towing the trailers across paved and unpaved, rough surfaces. Each model's versatility was examined through direct inspection and use across the testing period.
Related: How We Tested Bike Cargo Trailers
Analysis and Test Results
To help you find the right cargo trailer for your needs, we break down the most important metrics and rate each model side-by-side.
Related: Buying Advice for Bike Cargo Trailers
There are many important things to consider when purchasing a cargo trailer, and the price is an omnipresent factor. The trailers we tested ranged from about $95 to $440 which is truly a massive spread of pricing. While we all know higher prices generally correlate to better quality, there can be exceptions to the rule. For example, the Aosom Wanderer a great trailer, capable of hauling 110 lbs costs less than you might expect. If you're looking for the highest performance and can pay for it, the BOB Ibex Plus was our favorite, earning our Editor's Choice award.
We weighed capacity higher than any other metric tested. The entire point of using a bike trailer is to add cargo space to your bike after all. Two wheel trailers, in general, have more area for packing odd-shaped items, plastic tubs, or even firewood. Single wheel trailers demand careful packing and are better equipped for lightweight technical equipment than odd shaped large loads.
Trailer Loading Tip — You should attach single-wheeled trailers to the bike when they are empty and then load them. They are much more stable, light, and easy to handle when empty. Attaching the trailer to the bike usually requires an extra set of hands or a sturdy wall for support to lean your bike and trailer on, but with practice, it becomes possible to do by yourself.
The highest weight capacity was the Aosom Wanderer at a whopping 110 lbs. The trailer itself weighs close to 30 lbs, giving a staggering max trailer weight of 140 lbs. While the trailer is capable of holding this much weight, make sure your bike brakes are in good working order and be ready to get some new brake pads! The Burley Design Flatbed and Nomad are nearly at the top of the weight capacity holding 100 lbs each. While both can carry a lot, it was much easier to fully load the Burley Flatbed than the Nomad. The Flatbed's open front and back design made it possible to fit larger and heavier objects in the trailer with ease.
Both the BOB Ibex Plus and the BOB Yak Plus are rated at a 70 lbs. The extra three inches of suspension on the back of the BOB Ibex Plus add one pound to its weight, but the suspension made for a much smoother ride. It was an added weight that we were happy to have.
The Burley Design Nomad bike cargo trailer in action hauling a fully loaded cooler, the removable top cover allows for extra room when carrying large items.
Ease of Towing
To find the recipe for the perfect tow, we hitched up our seven bike cargo trailers and loaded them down. There is quite a difference in trailers equipped with one wheel versus two. At a standstill, like a stoplight, having two wheels makes the trailer and bike infinitely more stable. In contrast, a poorly loaded single wheeled version could easily tip over.
The trade-off for stability is maneuverability. Tight turns and high-speed handling are more challenging with a two-wheeled trailer's wider profile. Singletrack bike paths are a no go with two wheels. Single-wheeled trailers track better behind your bike and create less drag. They are slimmer and more easily maneuvered on a crowded street or narrow passage.
The top cover on this bike cargo trailer folds back to allow for easier packing and unloading.
Throughout testing, we preferred the handling and maneuverability of the single wheel bike trailers over the stability and higher capacity of two-wheeled options. The one-wheeled trailers were great for longer excursions and overnights and handled a lot better on the dirt roads. That said, two-wheeled trailers are ideal for around town commuting and hauling larger loads.
True to form, the single-wheeled BOB Ibex Plus and Yak Plus were the easiest to tow. Both track so well you nearly forget that they're there. Their lower center of gravity allows for better maneuverability and handling with or without a cargo load. The single wheel design also makes this a great trailer for maneuvering through tight spaces or a crowded street. Unfortunately, it is easy to overload the Yak, which makes it a bit tricky to manage when you are traveling at higher speeds, especially on downhills.
A comparative look at the BOB Yak Plus' back wheel and the BOB Ibex Plus with the extra three inches of suspension on its back wheel.
The Ibex Plus is the best choice if you're planning to travel on bumpy dirt roads or singletrack. Its three inches of suspension almost eliminated the fishtailing we encountered when towing a heavy load in the Yak down dirt roads at higher speeds. We also encountered a lot of streams while towing the Ibex Plus and, when properly loaded and closed, the dry sack keeps your items safe and dry from the elements.
Of the two-wheeled trailers, the Burley Nomad followed our bikes around the best. The Nomad is equipped with a lightweight aluminum arm that attaches with a quick release pin to a forged aluminum hitch mount. This attachment allows the Nomad trailer to swivel horizontally and in yaw. Meaning the trailer itself doesn't tilt with the bike. As a result, it is much easier to come out of your seat and pedal on the uphills. Burley's golf-caddy-like Travoy is also a pleasant tow if you stick to smooth pavement. If the going gets bumpy, or you want to get up and over a curb, your back wheel and the trailer may collide.
How you load your trailer has a lot to do with how well it tows. For example, the dual-wheeled Aosom Wanderer made for an easier tow if there was a heavier load that was properly tied down and secured. It was a little squirrelly when empty or with a light load. Both the mono-wheeled BOB Ibex Plus and the BOB Yak Plus performed best with the heavier supplies (tent, stove, etc.) in the back of the trailer by the wheel. This method creates better traction with the trailer and the bike.
A close up of the shock engagement on the BOB Ibex Plus bike cargo trailer.
Smoothness of Ride
The Bob Ibex Plus had the smoothest ride as its suspension includes a three-inch coil spring shock absorber. The Yak Plus has a similar build and rolls well, but it's not able to match the smooth ride of its brother. The Burley Design Flatbed and the Nomad both offer the same movable hitch mount that allows the bike move independently of the trailer itself, allowing for a quiet ride. The Travoy is similarly smooth as long as the road is as well.
As far as the Aosom Wanderer goes, the empty trailer makes a lot of noise and tends to jump around when you are in motion. It does settle down a bit with some weight in the trailer but still received the lowest rating metric for ride smoothness.
A rear view of a fully loaded Burley Design Flatbed bike cargo trailer.
The Burley Flatbed is among the most versatile we've tested, due to its folding sides and large and open cargo space. This makes it easy to load and unload a variety of objects. You can even add your own personal cargo bin and secure it with bungee cords for loose or smaller items, such as grocery bags. The Ibex Plus came in close behind the Flatbed in scores for versatility. The extra suspension on the back is ideal for switching between pavement and dirt roads, and it tracks very evenly behind you.
The Yak Plus and the Burley Nomad offer comparable versatility. The large dry sack on the Yak Plus makes it easy to load up and tie down. Similarly, the Burley Nomad has cargo cover that helps secure your load. The cover is easy to attach and detach from the main trailer body. So if you are hauling large or uneven cargo you just need to unclip the cover from the trailer, load, secure your items, and you're ready to roll. You still have plenty of room for larger or longer items to fit out of the back of the trailer.
The easy to use hitch connection of the Burley Design Nomad.
Ease of Use
Both the BOB Yak Plus and Ibex Plus had a quick and easy initial set up process. The only thing that slowed us down was finding two 10 mm wrenches to assemble the front fork and the back shock for the Ibex Plus. Attaching the trailer to the bike is also easy with two quick release pins that insert into the provided skewer.
The Burley Design Flatbed comes with two 16 inch quick release alloy wheels.
The two Burley designs have an easy to use trailer attachment as well. It's a forged steel hitch that mounts directly to your bike frame by the back wheel. It also has a quick release pin that holds the trailer in place and allows the trailer to move freely from the bike. The Nomad and the Flatbed also come with button activated, quick release wheels, so taking them on and off for storage or travel is quick and easy.
The Aosom Wanderer's wheels are mounted with bolts onto the trailer, so it takes more time to adjust the wheel if needed.
With a pair of pliers, we managed to straighten out the back connector and get it attached to the quick release skewer and the bike. The initial setup and connection took around 15 minutes altogether, and besides the bent back connector, it was a rather easy setup.
A view of the back wheel after straightening the connector for the wheel.
- The Burley Design Flatbed is great for hauling large or odd shaped items.
- The Burley Design Nomad, the BOB Yak Plus all come with carrying cases. These products made it better for cargo that needs to stay dry and safe from the elements.
- The Aosom Wanderer rated at a maximum 110 lb carrying capacity, making this the best for heavy loads. But, it's a close contender with both the Burly Design Flatbed and Nomad.
- The Bob Ibex Plus advertises that it will, "Follow you to the ends of the earth." This couldn't have been a more valid statement. The Ibex Plus was a great off-road cargo hauler.
- The Burley Travoy, while not the most versatile, is by far the best suited for around town grocery shopping. The detachable shopping bag and tie down straps allow for large and efficient grocery runs.
Different Types of Bike Trailers
- Single Wheel Bicycle Cargo Trailers — the Bob Ibex Plus and the Bob Yak.
- Two Wheel Bicycle Cargo Trailers — the Burley Design Nomad, Burley Design Flatbed and the Aosom Wanderer.
Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Bicycle Trailer Kit
Some of these types of bike trailers can also be converted to a jogging or hiking stroller.
- Dog & Pet Bicycle Trailers like the Aosom Elite II which has rear suspension dampers that absorb shock.
Attaching the front wall of the Aosom wander takes only seconds and secures with a quick release pin making it easy to use, especially on solo adventures.
Our main motivation for choosing the BOB Ibex Plus as our Editor's choice was its suspension, allowing it to handle a large capacity load and still handle well on the singletrack and dirt roads around our neighborhoods. We love the Burley Nomad for its large carrying capacity and balance point designed to reduce torque on the frame. The Burley Design Flatbed cargo trailer offers an open front and back design and its accredited 100 lb weight capacity piqued our interest for heavier and longer objects to transport. Lastly, the Aosom Wanderer offers a lightweight steel frame and easily collapsible side walls for storage which made it a must on the testing list. The Burley Travoy is great for around town commuting and grocery shopping.