I've narrowed it to between the Burley and the Chariot, but there are so many models that I need help! I just want to find a safe bike trailer for my 2 y/o. Can someone who has been here help me out with some first hand experience?
best bike trailer?
I only have experience with a Chariot CX1. We bought it in 2006, along with the stroller wheels and later added the running wheel and bike kit. We had no other stroller but were living in an area at the time with a few miles of paved bike trail. We started off using it in stroller mode with the hammock. The rest of the time I wore my son. We started jogging with him at 5+ months and used it as a bike trailer on paved and unpaved paths and the road from 12+ months. We used the toddler insert to take up some of the space in the trailer. It was comfortable, DS would fall asleep; Safe - I felt secure that he had the waist belt and shoulder harness, space for a helmet, full roll cage; stable - connects to the bike using a ball and socket connection with safety strap; was easy to use - switching between bikes was simple, easy to fit attachments, wheels etc. It was possible to cycle to the supermarket, disconnect from the bike and use the stroller wheels in the store to do the shopping. When we moved to the UK, we switched the flag to the other side and cycled on the roads in rural Surrey, Hampshire and Leicestershire with no problems. We also cycled around Rutland Water with his walking bike in the back. It's a very stable setup. DH took a corner too fast returning from a day out to the coast and while he skidded sideways on the road (literally 150m from home), the chariot stayed totally upright. With the jogging wheel we were able to use if for walks on the many bridleways that exist in the UK. We still use it as a stroller if we are going to be out for a long day in Bilbao or if DS is ill to walk him to the Drs. I haven't cycled with him here as the hills are just too big - I'm in the valley with a 3km, 5% hill on my normal route. In our village he rides his own bike.
We have a Burley (2 kid one, D'Lite, I think?) and are very happy with it. When we bought it we got the previous year's model and saved hundreds.
We ride a lot and my kid loves it. I've hauled 2 kids and it's a little tight but fine. It holds so much in the "trunk" and has been really safe. It's never tipped and DH has a nasty habit of missing curbs. I really can't say enough good about our experience with ours.
Our burley has, It's an old one but I would be surprised if they removed the feature on newer ones.That said it took a while for DS to be tall enough that his head reached the helmet space.
We just got a Burley d'light model off of craigslist (an older model '05 maybe) So far so good! We've taken it out so far as a trailer and stroller and we're happy with it. Ds is only 16 months and he is swimming in it a little. But a two year old would fit really well. It feels very stable when riding.
I think the D'lite and the Encore are both quality trailers. I'd go with the D'lite because of the better suspension, but we ride in some off-pavement situations where that is a helpful feature. If you will be sticking to smooth pavement the Encore should be just fine.