Bike trailer for older baby/toddler + dog

My husband and I are looking for a way to bike around with an older baby (10 month or older), 30 pound dog, and stuff (e.g. groceries or food for a day trip). 

Our thought now is a bike trailer that could be moved between our bikes at will, plus an electric assist for my bike (bad knee). We strongly prefer the trailer to a bike seat for safety reasons; I know there is some ambiguity on this point but it is our preference based on friends' experience. 

The bike trailers we have looked at so far unfortunately have the following problems:

  • seat too big for our child to be buckled in safely
  • limited suspension, thus possible injury/discomfort for child? 
  • no place for dog or stuff to fit and not crush the child (the dog can run for 10 miles, happily, so it's not essential but nice if we took a longer day trip somewhere)

We are wondering if any very creative Berkeley parents ​have very creative suggestions. My husband is thinking of building us a trailer to use, perhaps one that could even buckle in her carseat. Does anyone have experience with this? 

Or perhaps getting a cargo bike. I am 5'7" and he is 6'3" so one concern is that only one of us would be able to comfortably use it. Is that so, or is there a way to configure it so we both could use it?

Parent Replies

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I have kids + dogs + stuff and bike everywhere. In my experience trailers simply aren’t big enough for everything. There’s also no way to separate dog and kid and no way to monitor interactions since the trailer is in the back. So when the boundary pushing 1-6 year old decides pulling the dog’s ears (or biting the dog) is an awesome idea and the dog can’t get away, a potentially dangerous situation is created.

The easiest / cheapest solution is to put the kid in a bike seat and dog + stuff in a trailer. I know you don’t like the idea of the bike seat, so another far more expensive option is a front loading box bike (Larry & Harry Bullitt, Yuba Supermarche, Douze, etc). They have cargo area that’s a little bigger than a trailer and having the dog share the cargo area is less of an issue because you can monitor the interactions. Another option is a long tail cargo bike (Xtracycle, Yuba Spicy Curry, etc) with a kid seat on the deck and a box / crate or Xtracycle Side Car on the side for the dog. These will have massive carrying capacity while riding like a normal bike, but kiddo would be in a bike seat.

At your listed heights, I think you can find a cargo bike to share if that’s what you want to do. I’m 5’ 5” and have no problem riding my 6’2” buddy’s large frame size Xtracycle adjusted down. 

Safe biking!