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If you’re a cycling enthusiast, you know the value of making your bicycle as functional as possible. Although you could just use your ride to get around town, it’s much better to get accessories so you can do so much more. For example, you can attach a trailer to your bike to haul groceries and other supplies. This way, you can run errands and get more done without using a gas-guzzling vehicle.
But what is the best bike trailer for carrying groceries? We’ve compiled a list of the top six models, and we’ll break down the pros and cons of each unit and how to choose the best one for your needs. Let’s get riding!
Best Bike Trailer for Groceries: Our Top Pick
The Burley Nomad Cargo Trailer is our favorite bike trailer, mainly for its water-resistant cover, dual-wheel design, and highly durable frame:
What Is a Bike Trailer?
As the name suggests, a bike trailer is something you can tow behind your bicycle, much like you would with a car trailer.
Bike trailers come in several varieties, and some are better for carrying luggage and other cargo than groceries. As we’ll discuss later on, the best trailer for grocery shopping is one that offers a flat surface and sidewalls so your bags won’t slide off as soon as you turn. Also, trailers with covers can protect your goods from the elements. Even better, if you hit a bump, you won’t have to worry about a pineapple or some other item flying off and rolling away.
Top-Rated Cargo Trailers for Groceries
Before heading to your local Kroger, Safeway, or Publix, you need to pick the best trailer. We’ve looked at customer reviews, reports, and our own investigations to determine the six top-rated models for your next grocery run. You shouldn’t have any problem finding an excellent trailer to fit your needs.
When it comes to bike trailers, Burley is one of the top brands in the industry. We’ll see more Burley trailers on this list, which illustrates how well the company makes these products. We’ve chosen the Nomad as our top pick for several reasons, including its retractable cover, 100-pound weight limit, and dual-wheel design. Although it’s not a perfect trailer, it’s an excellent choice for hauling groceries.
100-Pound Carrying Capacity
Overall, having a trailer that can carry more weight is better than one that can only handle less. Although groceries are not too massive, it’s nice to have extra room to haul other larger items if necessary. Also, since this trailer comes with a cover, you can protect your food from the elements.
One drawback we have to point out is that this trailer only has one crossbar. So if you have a heavy load of groceries or other heavier items on either side of the bar, they’ll slowly weigh down the fabric material. Over time, it will start to sag all the time, which can be a substantial problem. Although you can arrange your cargo load to avoid this issue, it can get annoying.
When looking at the best bike trailer for carrying groceries, you don’t want to worry about compatibility issues. Fortunately, this trailer connects to the side of your bike wheel, so it should work for pretty much all bicycle models. You don’t have to install a hitch, and you can put it on and take it off in minutes.
The flex connector also rotates so that you can lay your bike flat without capsizing the trailer. This feature is nice because you never know what you may encounter on the road. You have to make sure your trailer can handle virtually anything.
- Carries up to 100 pounds
- Mesh cargo netting inside
- Water-resistant cover
- Collapsible interior divider
- Durable aluminum frame
- Large 16-inch wheels offer ideal ground clearance
- Flex connector allows the bike to lie flat when hitched, a nice design feature
- Only one crossbar, so smaller items can weigh the material down
- Plastic connectors can tear the seams over time
Because durability is a valuable part of a bike trailer, you want to choose something rugged and dependable without weighing yourself down too much. The Retrospec Rover is made of alloy steel, so it should last a long time and haul plenty of groceries before you have to replace it. This affordable trailer is practically tied with our top choice, with the only significant difference being that this model can only carry up to 80 pounds.
Installing a bike trailer for carrying groceries shouldn’t be a long and complicated process. Fortunately, with this universal coupler, you should be able to attach the Retrospec Rover to virtually any bicycle. According to the manufacturer, the coupler works on all adult bicycles with tires between 20 and 29 inches. However, it doesn’t work for bikes with thru-axles, so plan accordingly.
Folds for Storage Purposes
Although your bike trailer comes with ample storage space for groceries, what do you do with it once you’re finished hauling the groceries or other cargo? Fortunately, this model (and pretty much all others) folds neatly onto itself. This way, you can store it compactly in your garage or even in your car’s trunk. The wheels also tuck in for an even smaller storage footprint.
- Holds up to 80 pounds
- Weather-resistant material
- Retractable cover material
- Fits almost all bicycles
- Multiple colors available
- Folds for neater storage
- Doesn’t work on bikes with thru-axles
- Top cover doesn’t offer a water-tight seal
Schwinn is already a well-known brand for bicycles, but the company also makes tons of bike accessories, such as the Day Tripper. Although this model is not as durable as some others we’ve seen, we prefer it because it comes with a retractable cover. As we’ve mentioned, groceries need some extra protection en route to your house, so a cover is very important.
Although you can use the cover to help keep your groceries intact, it helps to strap them down first. The Day Tripper comes with built-in D-rings inside so that you can use various straps to keep everything tight and secure during your journey.
16-Inch Air-Filled Tires
The size of your trailer’s tires can make a huge difference when you haul groceries or other cargo. As a rule, the taller they are, the less you have to worry about ground clearance issues such as with potholes or bumps on a rough road. Also, since they’re air-filled, they’re easy to maintain or replace as necessary.
- Hauls up to 50 pounds
- 16-inch tires clear most ground obstacles
- Folds compactly for storage purposes
- Attaches to almost all bike models
- Retractable cover helps protect your gear
- One-year limited warranty
- Can’t haul as much as other models
- Tires are not as durable as other pieces
Now we’re getting into the uncovered bike trailers, so you may have to plan your trips accordingly. We like the Aosom Foldable Bike Cargo Trailer because it’s built tough and can be adapted to meet your needs.
Durable Alloy Steel Frame
Once again, alloy steel is an excellent choice for a bike trailer because it should be able to handle every bump and obstacle you may encounter. Plus, the steel is powder-coated to withstand the elements (especially rain) easily. That said, the trailer itself weighs 22 pounds, so it can be kind of cumbersome to carry by hand.
Detachable Front and Back Walls
If you’re just hauling groceries, you probably don’t care about removing the walls. If you’re planning on carrying oversized items, however, this flexibility can come in handy quite often.
- Holds up to 88 pounds
- Made of durable alloy steel
- Front and back walls are detachable
- Extra-tall tires for added ground clearance
- Universal bike hitch
- More affordable than other models
- Weighs more than other bike trailers
- Tires may rub against the frame, wearing them down quickly
So far we’ve only seen double-wheel bicycle trailers. While such a setup is ideal for hauling groceries, you can get better maneuverability with a single-wheel model such as this one from Burley. Let’s see what the Burley Design Coho XC has to offer:
Built-In Coil Spring Suspension
The primary advantage of buying a single-wheel bicycle trailer is that it can move around more fluidly during your bike ride. So if you’re going on winding roads or switching terrain often, this trailer is built to keep up. A coil suspension helps prevent your cargo from bouncing around too much and keeps the wheel stabilized, making for a more comfortable ride.
Height Adjustable Kickstand
One issue with dual-wheel trailers is that they require a bike to stand up. Once you detach the unit, you must set the front down somewhere, lest the trailer roll away. With the Burley Coho XC, you get an adjustable kickstand, so the trailer works as a standalone piece when necessary. This feature is extra handy when loading and unloading your groceries.
- Holds up to 70 pounds
- Durable aluminum frame
- Coil-spring suspension offers a smoother ride
- Adjustable kickstand so the trailer can stand on its own
- Quick-release wheels for easier storage
- Removable sidewalls for oversized items
- Requires an axle hitch to install
- Single-wheel design can tip over when the trailer is fully loaded
Our final bike trailer model is the Burley Flatbed Aluminum Trailer. This versatile product works well for groceries and tons of other items thanks to its 100-pound capacity and weather-resistant materials.
Lightweight 12-Pound Aluminum Frame
Although alloy steel can take a beating, it’s relatively heavy and can rust if you’re not careful. On the other hand, aluminum is much lighter and is not prone to rusting (although it’s technically possible). So if you plan to use your trailer in both rain and shine, you may prefer an aluminum model.
Fast Bike Attachment
Realistically, you won’t need to use your trailer all the time. When you’re not hauling groceries, you can detach this model quickly, so you’re ready to go whenever. Reattaching the trailer is just as fast, making it pretty convenient overall.
- Hauls up to 100 pounds
- Made of durable aluminum
- Folds flat for easier storage
- Weighs just 12 pounds, so it’s easier to carry
- Large 16-inch wheels offer excellent ground clearance
- Some items may weigh the base fabric down, causing it to bend
- No cargo straps included
How To Choose a Bike Trailer for Groceries
Although we’ve seen some top-tier cargo trailers, it can be hard to know which one will work best for your situation. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a breakdown of the top features to pay attention to when comparing different models:
Covered vs. Uncovered
You probably won’t be packing your groceries in a sealed container to haul back to your house. While you can mitigate the issue of items falling out by tying up your bags, it’s often better to use a covered trailer. Not only can these covers help keep everything contained, but they can also protect your groceries from rain and other elements. Since you never know what the weather can do, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Retrospec Rover Hauler has a retractable cover that’s pretty easy to adjust for when you plan on hauling tall or oversized items:
That said, the downside of having a covered trailer is that, although you can usually remove the cargo cover, it can be kind of a pain to take it off and put it back on, especially if you have to do it on the fly. But if you go with the Retrospec Rover, this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Number of Wheels
As we’ve seen with the trailers above, some models come with one wheel while others have two. Many riders find that two tires are better than one because they offer more stability, so when you take a sharp turn you don’t have to worry about the trailer capsizing and spilling the contents on the ground.
On the flip side, single-wheeled trailers—such as the Burley Design Coho XC—can be more maneuverable since they can make tighter turns:
Also, most of these models have an extra-fat tire to make them even more rugged. Overall, it may come down to personal preference or the amount of practice you have with each trailer type.
Bicycle cargo trailers can attach to your ride in several different ways.
First, they can hitch to the side of your rear wheel, which is often the easiest option but not as durable.
The second method is to install a ball axle on your bike and attach the trailer to that. This option is more stable, but it requires extra hardware and money to set up.
Finally, you can attach the trailer to a rear bike rack. These models have a taller front piece, offering more flexibility with oversized items and heavier loads or larger loads. However, if you’re mostly hauling groceries, a bike rack trailer may not be necessary.
Dimensions and Weight Capacity
Are you planning on buying groceries for yourself or your whole family? The more additional items you buy, the larger the trailer you need to haul it all in. You have to pay attention to the amount of storage space available.
Wider trailers can carry more bags, as well as oversized items. But you also have to pay attention to the weight capacity. Most trailers can hold between 50 and 100 pounds, so you’ll have to estimate how many groceries you plan on carrying.
The Burley Nomad, which carries up to 100 pounds, is your best bet if you need to transport a lot of supplies:
You should also consider whether you’ll use your cargo trailer for other items. Usually, it’s best to have extra versatility, just in case you wind up hauling something you weren’t planning for initially.
While we’ve seen some incredible bicycle trailers, our top two picks—the Burley Nomad and Retrospec Rover—work best for hauling groceries. We like that they have weather-resistant covers, two wheels, and durable frames. You may prefer carrying groceries in either trailer all the time, even if you have a car available.
If you decide that a trailer isn’t the right option for you, consider getting a bike basket or panniers instead.