Dog Bike Trailers vs Dog Bike Carriers

Comparison of dog bike trailers and dog bike carriers

Dogs love to go out and enjoy the day as much as humans do. If you’re going for a bike ride and your dog doesn’t have the strength to run, you don’t need to leave him at home. Instead, equip your bike with a trailer or bike rack.

Both are suitable options for taking your dog. However, their very different designs may make them superior to your needs.

dog bike trailer

Dog bike trailers are fully enclosed carts that are towed behind you as you ride. They sit low to the ground and feature multiple large mesh panels that allow for plenty of airflow. Some of them can be opened to gain access or to let your pooch stick his head out. Most trailers also come with tie-down points and tie-down pockets and cost between $150 and $400.

Advantages of the dog bike trailer

One of the biggest advantages of bike trailers is that they can accommodate medium and large dogs that would be impossible to put in a carrier. Some models are designed for dogs up to 125 pounds, while carriers are only suitable for dogs weighing less than 25 pounds. You can also put two small dogs together in a trailer, making it a good choice for those with more than one furry family member.

Because the trailers are so low to the ground, it’s easy for dogs to get in and out without their owner’s help. This design also makes them very safe and stable. In the unfortunate event of an accident, your dog is more likely to come out unscathed in a trailer because he won’t end up falling very far. Plus, the bike trailers full enclosure means your dog can’t unexpectedly jump out to chase a squirrel.

Disadvantages of the dog bike trailer

Many of the drawbacks of dog bike trailers stem from their size. They can be heavy and difficult to tow, especially with the added weight of their precious cargo. Don’t be surprised if your journeys suddenly become much more arduous when towing a trailer.

Trailers can also be problematic when riding in crowded areas with lots of pedestrians or other cyclists. Some are almost 3 feet wide, so they require more space on trails and sidewalks than a bike alone.

For those who live in apartments or small houses, the size of bike trailers can make them difficult to store. To alleviate this, many trailers fold up and/or have removable wheels. This can be a bit tedious though, as you will have to remove the trailer from your bike every time you want to do so.

Best dog bike trailer

PetSafe Happy Ride Aluminum Dog Bike Trailer

With a sturdy aluminum frame and a weight capacity of 110 pounds, it’s a good choice for large dog owners. It features multiple mesh panels for airflow, two vents for easy access, and rear reflectors to help motorists see you. There are also several pockets on the outside to carry treats, toys and anything else your furry friend needs.

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Best dog bike trailer for the money

Retrospec Rover Waggin Pet Bike Trailer

Retrospec Rover Waggin’ Pet Bike Trailer

This affordable trailer is ideal for those with dogs up to 50 pounds who want an affordable option. To ensure the safety of your pooch, it has a non-slip floor, an internal attachment point and reflectors on the back and on the wheels.

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Dog bike trailer to consider

Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer

Schwinn Rascal Bike Pet Trailer

The Rascal is available in two sizes and three bright colors. Ideally, it can be uncoupled from your bike without any tools. The top has a zippered panel with mesh and solid covers. This will give your dog extra airflow or protect him from the elements as needed.

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dog bike carrier

Dog bike carriers are baskets that you attach to your handlebars or rear rack. They are often modified for comfort and safety, with features such as adjustable openings, tie down points, padding, and sometimes even full enclosures. Many also have small pockets for carrying valuables, water bottles, and other items. Carriers come in a range of styles, from modern nylon and mesh to classic wicker, and cost between $20 and $100.

Advantages of the dog bike carrier

Dog bike carriers are more versatile than trailers. Many come with removable shoulder straps so they can be used as standard carriers when you’re out and about with your four-legged family member. They attach to and remove from bikes quickly, without the need for tools. This makes it a good choice for those who like to ride solo as often as they do with their dog.

Bike carriers also keep your dog closer to you, allowing you to reach out to pet or comfort him. Plus, due to their small size, storage is rarely an issue with carriers.

Disadvantages of Dog Bike Carriers

The biggest issue many people have with carriers is security. They are mounted very high off the ground, which can be dangerous in the event of a collision, and most do not have full enclosures. The tether and adjustable openings alleviate this problem somewhat, but that still doesn’t make them as secure as trailers.

The carriers are also only suitable for small dogs. If you have a medium or large breed, this is not an option. They also may not be an option for people who have trouble bending over or picking up their pet. Most dogs can’t fit into carriers on their own, so you’ll need to be able to lift them and place them in the carrier. Nor should they be taught to jump on their own. Otherwise, they are more likely to do it unexpectedly in the middle of a ride.

Best Dog Bike Carrier

Travelin K9 Pet-Pilot Wicker Max Bike Carrier

Travelin K9 Pet-Pilot Wicker Max Bike Carrier

This charming wicker carry bag features a plush sherpa lining and a removable metal case with a sun shade to keep your best friend comfortable on long trips. It is also equipped with a folding handle, so it can also be used for transport off the bike.

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Best dog bike rack for the money

Bicycle basket with love for pets

Bicycle basket with love for pets

This bike rack has all the features your dog needs for a safe and comfortable ride, while costing significantly less than other bike racks. It has an adjustable opening, two patch pockets and removable plush interior padding. However, it can only accommodate dogs up to 10 pounds.

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Dog Bike Carriers to Consider

Travelin K-9 Pet-Pilot Original

Travelin K-9 Pet-Pilot Original

Although a little pricey, the Pet-Pilot Original has a strong steel frame and stays securely in place without rocking while you ride. It also comes with six inserts that allow you to change its accent color to suit your mood.

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Should you buy a dog bike trailer or a dog bike carrier?

The choice between a trailer and a carrier often comes down to the size of your dog. Those with small dogs will want to opt for a carrier as they are more affordable and convenient. Owners of large dogs, or those who want to take two small dogs together, will need to purchase a trailer.

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Brett Dvoretz written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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