In 2009 I asked my parents to buy me a bicycle trailer as a birthday present. It was a Croozer Cargo, original 2003-2013 model (no longer manufactured, but you can find the manual for it as a PDF here), and cost £160 back then (about €200). Looking back little could I have known at the time what a transformative purchase it was. And back then such trailers were rare – today they are far more common.

So if you’ve seen people with cargo trailers and have been wondering about buying one, this blog post is for you. I’ve had the trailer with me while living in London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Berlin, and the polyester panels on it were getting worn due to heavy use, so I have just repaired it:

Here are some pictures of what it’s been used for over the years…

Barbecue at Tempelhofer Feld (bungee cords are handy too!)

Shopping in the snow

Shopping for neighbours during COVID lockdown (shop4me project) – the Croozer Cargo has a handle you can lift to make it into a kind of hand trolley

Waste wood from a garden to waste tip

An iMac and Dell Monitor:

A clothes rack

Pampas grasses to a friend’s garden

Transporting two hifi speakers

Buying a water butt at a DIY store

Oversize package collected from a shop when GLS couldn’t find my flat

More speakers

Empty bottles

Removal boxes

And some furniture

240 litres of compost and wood from the Baumarkt

An IKEA Malm bed frame, and a vacuum cleaner

OK, the last two are rather extreme. I don’t suggest those.

But more generally you get the idea. With the bike trailer I can do the sorts of things… you would only normally be able to do with a car. Over the past year during COVID lockdown I have been using it at least once a week, while before that I imagine it was more like every other week. For intermittent use like that I think it makes more sense than a cargo bicycle (and definitely cheaper).

The important point however is that as I do own the trailer, I think of all sorts of things I could then use it for. Without it the whole shop4me project would not have worked for example. Or now living a fair distance from the nearest supermarket in my new flat in Berlin is no problem – I can shop more, but less often, because of the bike trailer.

So that’s the case for a bike trailer. But what trailer should you buy?

The first choice is how to connect your trailer – most higher end trailers (inc. Croozer) have an asymmetrical connection, with an arm to one side connecting to the back axel bolt of your bike. This has two advantages – it means you can still use the luggage rack on the back of your bike, and any rear mounted bike light is not obscured by the the trailer. The alternative is central mountings – either on the luggage rack or the seat post – that are generally favoured by cheaper models, although this makes it easier for the handle to be doubled as a hand trolley handle.

Trailers with just 1 wheel are also available – those are preferred for bike tours but are harder to mount and unmount than 2 wheel trailers, so are not considered here.

The second consideration is whether to buy a trailer that is a flat panel only, or one with sides. Here my Croozer model scores well – the flexibility to have the sides fully up (for shopping), ends removed (for longer loads) or all flattened (as with the clothes rail) has been a real advantage. Alternatives are trailers with a kind of fixed plastic box (study, but not so flexible) or a flat panel onto which things can be attached with cords or ties.

So what is there on the market? I have not tried any of these, but examining the market at the moment this is my view…

The Croozer Cargo I own is no longer manufactured, but Croozer still makes cargo trailers, priced at €370 to €520. The deluxe model even has air suspension, and an additional arm is available to turn these models into hand trolleys. The design looks excellent, but these trailers are on the pricey side! Croozer is a small firm based in Hürth, Germany.

Burley, based in Eugene, Oregon, USA makes a really interesting range of different trailers – its Flatbed looks to be a really solid option (€249 in Europe), although it does not have a hand trolley function.

There are two cheaper models from Klarfit – a flat panel trailer with a wooden carry area for £160, and one with a small cover but differently constructed area for the cargo for £130. I have never seen anyone using one of these, but the design looks interesting, and the prices reasonable.

XLC has a trailer called “Carry Van” that in its original version was identical to the Croozer Cargo I own, except in blue. However since 2018 they have been selling a newer version that seems to have a similar design, although slightly more sleek – but without the hand trolley function. It costs €250.

There are a whole range of cheaper options – from Uniprodo (€105), Homcom (€99 for the sleeker version, €95 for the larger version), an unbranded one that can take 65kg load (€88) and Qeedo (€189).

Any questions? Do comment below!


I have been asked about extra wear to my bike of using the bike trailer. The main one is that the chain stretches more quickly (the Raleigh Nightflight that’s my main bike has a Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub, no derailleur), so I replace the chain every 12 to 18 months. Brake pad wear is a bit higher too, and then over time rim wear too. But neither of these are marked for me.


  1. I have the Burley flatbed trailer you link, and can recommend it. Similar to you, I’ve used it for all kinds of random transports, like picking up used furniture, buying a printer, moving, taking away bulk trash, or just taking food bowls to a picnic. For stuff which is around 2 meters or longer, I mostly just push my bike for safety reasons. Most of the time the trailer is just collecting dust, but it provides a lot of the freedom commonly ascribed to cars.

    One tradeoff which matters in addition to the ones you mentioned: How easy it is to load items longer than the trailer vs. how convenient it is to keep small items from falling out. The Burley trailer is very much on the “long items” end of the spectrum. I don’t think suspension is that great of a feature for a cargo trailer – just put less air in the tires instead.

    The original Burley bike hitches are quite expensive, but you can get them on AliExpress for cheap – so now everyone in my household (+some friends) have one of those hitches attached to their bikes an can conveniently borrow the trailer.

    • Thanks for the comment! Handy to know! I think the material sides on the Croozer I have are a pretty good compromise in that regard.

      As for the hitch – Croozer hitches are not too costly, but mounting the older square ones on a bike with hub gears isn’t so simple, as you cannot get the adapter to fit flush. But Burley’s Hitch Alternative Adapter is the solution, even for Croozer hitches!


    good for you for publicising them – they are superb for small children and heavy (cos they have to be four-stroke now) outboard motors too!

  3. Mel Glass

    I want to send you a picture! I’ve a very unusual cargo bike solution for my job.

  4. Matti Blomqvist

    I used a BOB Yak for a number of years for bike travel and shopping. Then life happened and I had to sell my trusty companion but I always thought I’d buy a new one when things turn around again. I read your excellent article and though to myself, “hmm… lemme check out what BOB is doing these days”. It turns out a basic BOB Yak costs €700 today. I might look for other alternatives when the time comes.

  5. In Berlin (+ presumably elsewhere?) there are also various schemes which let you borrow a cargo bike for a short period. I’d recommend that if you aren’t ready to buy a trailer yourself.

  6. Great article! We’ve traded in our service fleet of window cleaning trucks for bikes and trailers and cargo bikes back in 2016 and never looked back! Thanks so much for the article!

  7. Does towing a trailer add any stability to a bike, or is it the opposite? I am getting a covered trailer to transport my dog, as she dislikes the car. She’s is tiny, only 7 kg.

  8. Laura S

    I’ve had the Burley Flatbed for a couple of months on hire as a “try before you buy”. Generally, I’ve found it pretty good but there are two flaws that mean I’m probably not going to purchase it for keeps:

    – The inability to rotate the hitch bar round into a pulling bar. This would make it much easier to take the trailer into shops with you. At the moment I leave it locked up outside (with the wheels off) which is not idea in central London and makes loading and unloading a bit of a faff. I’m interested in the Klarfit companion for this reason.
    – The canvas on the Burley hasn’t been super hard-wearing (for me!). The first pick-up I did included a desktop which I strapped to the top of the trailer like your bottom picture. There must have been a bit of movement because the canvas bed got some small rubs on it where it wore through to the threads. Same thing happened on another short journey where a bungee slipped and has rubbed through.

    Trailer is getting picked up in a couple of days and I’m interested to see whether I get charged by the hire company for the damage. If I do, we might just buy it since it’s not bad. You can loop a string through the hitch bar to create your own ‘off bike’ towing mechanism and I can avoid more nylon rubbing by just being much more careful with bungee placements. However, I was surprised how easily the fabric was damaged compared to e.g. my Ortlieb panniers.

  9. Thomas C

    Very interesting little article and great photos especially as cargo bikes are becoming the almost entire focus of utilitarian bikingl
    I have 3 trailers. I live in a rural area of Ireland 6.5km from my nearest shops and supermarkets. I have a car but I got into doing regular shopping trips by bike and very quickly reached and exceeded my limits with weight and bulky items using racks and panniers. 30kg of shopping is a lot on a bike but still only half as much as I wanted to carry to be a real car alternative.
    After a lot of consideration as to which trailer to buy for my ordinary hybrid bike I picked a large sized Trixie dog trailer instead of an actual cargo trailer for €131 from Amazon. it’s fully covered and enclosed and I can load my large reusable shopping bags straight in already packed. Throw in anything else anywhere, zip it up and go. Fully covered and nothing will fall out. I’ve had over 70kg in it and it’s been absolutely wonderful and 2½ years later it’s going strong and is perfect for 90% of all my cargo needs by bicycle. I’ve had 50 litres of tractor diesel and a king size duvet and so much more in it over the last few years. Not all at the same time of course!
    But because it’s a large fully enclosed compartment there are some things I couldn’t carry that were to big or long or whatever.
    So I got a Duramaxx Mountee cargo trailer from hi-fi for €105. A good price on the day. I can use it with or without its cover, let down the front or back panels and the sides too if needed although I haven’t done that yet. Fit in a 60 X 80 cm deep container or easily sit in a full sized lawnmower. So now I can carry almost anything a bakfiets cargo bike can for very little additional cost. It’s one disadvantage I didn’t think of when I was buying it is that it only has 16″ wheels unlike the dog trailer with 20″ wheels. This means there is a slight slope backwards when it’s on my 27½” wheeled bike. But it’s a minor inconvenience. I hadn’t noticed this mentioned in any reviews before I bought it.
    Finally I got a Klarfit Follower single wheel trailer just recently for €135 because I wanted a single wheeler but didn’t want to spend much because I don’t expect I’m going to use it a lot. It’s handy for around 20kg pickups and easier than packing panniers with awkward items. It’s narrow and perfectly tracks the bike and is ideal nipping around narrow spaces and traffic and is noticeably easier to pull especially empty.
    I’ve pretty much got a bike trailer for almost every use now and all cheap and functional. The large dog trailer is still my number one go to 85% of the time because it’s just so convenient and sturdy and enclosed.
    I am seriously thinking about going electric in the foreseeable future. Not sure whether it’ll be a conversion kit or a new e-bike yet.
    But I have been browsing on the interweb and I have seen another pretty cheap and much larger cargo trailer from China that’s around 1.5m long and 80cm wide that makes me imagine just how much more I could carry with the additional torque an e-bike motor would give me!
    I love finding every reason I can to leave the car at home.
    I’m not considering a full cargo bike because in reality I only need to use a trailer on average once or twice a week. Occasionally I may use a trailer every day and then another week not at all. But as soon as I hook it off, I’ve got my hybrid bike back again without having a cargo bike all of the time.
    I bought the cheaper options (although generally well reviewed) because I didn’t want to have something like a big brand name that would be an additional temptation for thieves. In fact I go out of my way to make my own trailers look used and well worn as well as taking my own security precautions like replacing all quick release pins with bolts and two lock nuts on each to deter random little feckers, vandals or thieves. There’s nowhere safe from them unfortunately.
    Hey, just because I’m paranoid…….,.
    In short, trailers plural, give me the flexibility to really be able to use an ordinary bicycle as a real world practical alternative to a car. And at well under €400 for my 3 trailers, that’s also another real world money cost to benefit ratio that I’d have to spend probably around €6,000 or more (much more?) for the same flexibility with an actual cargo bike.
    Not knocking cargo bikes. I’d love to have one but I’m not going to spend that kind of money if I don’t absolutely need it.


  10. Thanks for your article and pictures. I think about buying a cargo trailer for my e-bike in Netherlands and now I know more!
    Спасибо большое)

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