Most helpful positive review
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
You cannot buy a better trailer for $249
on February 12, 2010
I did a lot of research into these trailers before making my purchase. I read plenty of reviews, checked it out at a local REI, and I even watched a video right here on Amazon from someone who really hated it, before making my decision. All I can say is, for the money, there is not a better trailer out there. Sure there are better trailers, but they all cost two to three times what this trailer cost - and many of them are heavier.
I put it through it's paces on a short 8-mile ride - sans kids - and found it rolled well and was extremely stable. I then decided to tempt fate and put my 2 year old in it for a short 20-mile river bike path ride. Loaded it up with her favorite stuffed animal, a couple books, a cooler of food, and diaper bag and hit the road. The added weight was noticeable but tolerable, riding in the saddle posed no noticeable problem with maneuverability. When standing for a short climb, I did feel a bit of a tug that limited my ability to really hammer - due to the limited rotational flex of the hitch, but again, tolerable and I quickly learned how to manage the limitations. And to be quite honest, I had to remind myself that this was a ride as much for my daughter as for me, and the added weight was greatly adding to my workout and speeding up hills simply wasn't necessary.
As far as the front flap is concerned, I put it down for the first half of the ride as it had recently rained and I did have to ride through a few puddles and minor mud patches. Nearly all of the debris and water ended up on my back like it always does; nary a drop of water was on the window of the trailer or up under onto the mesh door. So for the second half of the ride, I decided to roll up the outer door and just go with the mesh door. This posed no problems at all, and in fact I could hear my daughter playing inside as I rode, which made me very happy. She absolutely loved it!
So, are there things I didn't like about it? Not really, but there are a few things I noticed that could probably be done a little better. First, the brake is very solid and effective, but in my opinion, contacts the tires at a bad angle and puts a fair amount of torque stress on the rims and axles. It is hard to say how continued prolonged use of the brake could effect the trueness of the wheels, so my recommendation would be to use the brake sparingly and absolutely do not store the trailer with the brake engaged.
Second, the product literature states that you and your passengers should all wear helmets, so I went out and bought a cute pink Bell helmet for my daughter. She got used to it well enough, but the "helmet pocket" (the loose mesh wall above the seat) is a bit too tight and does not allow her to comfortably put her head back. It will probably be less of a problem as she gets a little taller, as her head barely reaches the top of the seat. She actually preferred to ride sitting forward with her feet on the front bar, so it was no big deal.
Lastly, as the video reviewer points out, the outer window door does appear to be a half to maybe an inch too narrow, although it is fully functional and DOES cover from side-to-side, it takes only a small amount of care to align both sides so they wrap around the corners. The air gap is present, but again, I do not share the video reviewer's concern that debris or water would be thrown up into this gap in any great amount. If I were at all concerned, I would simply have a Velcro strip sewn on to the lower edge of the outer door and onto the corresponding area on the inner door to seal the bottom.
All-in-all, this really is a great trailer for the money. It's sturdy, light weight and stable, and my daughter loved it!
Edited 08/03/2010 - I changed the title to include the price I bought it for since it has gone up considerably since I wrote how great this trailer was for the price. The trailer is still great, but I would recommend searching around for the $249 price.