- Great Value
- Ambiguous park brake
- Narrow pockets
The Burley Solo is an intuitive full featured bike trailer that can convert to a stroller or jogger. Albeit being the lightest and least expensive of the trailers we tested it is well made and easy to use.
The Burley Solo is a full featured bike trailer. Unique to Burley and one of the most outstanding features is the brilliance in which the front panel layer system has been designed. It is the main point of access to load the passenger and it includes a retractable vinyl windshield over a mesh backing and a very simple to use shade system sandwiched between the two. Other features include large bowed out (for more internal room) tinted side windows, adjustable suspension, a collapsible frame, adjustable handlebar, padded 5-point seatbelt, a large cargo area, single lever parking brake, drop-down seatback to convert to full cargo use, internal mesh pockets for the passenger, a small internal mesh pocket in the cargo area for small items, and conversion options between bike trailer, stroller, jogger and a ski/hike mode.
The Burley Solo comes standard with the bike trailer items like the arm attachment, safety flag, reflectors and hitch. The one or two wheel stroller conversion, fixed jogger wheel and ski sled kit are all sold separately. There are also a number of accessories available like a gear console for the push handle, a light kit for night use, a storage cover, a baby snuggler for extra small passengers and more.
Ease of Use
The Burley Solo exudes simplicity and that makes it extremely easy to use. If I could make one modification, it would be to use the Thule ball-in-socket hitch system instead of the need to align the grommits to drop a pin through. Although their unique rubber grommet flex connector does allow for the trailer to remain upright even when the bike gets laid on its side. Also of great convenience on the trailer tow arm, the optional single wheel stroller attachment is very easy to transition from stroller to trailer mode and stows in place for later use. As mentioned above, Burley has the easiest design for adjusting the front panel between the ventilated mesh for warm days, adjusting the shade for sunny days and unrolling the clear vinyl windshield—which is easily stowed—for cooler or precipitation days. The front panel is large and easy to open and latches shut with a simple hook system (one hook on each side). This simple to open and large panel makes it easy load and unload passengers. The large rear storage area is accessed via a simple flap that overlaps the base and is secured by a Velcro strip. The push handle is also very easy to adjust with a simple lock lever on the right side and the push handle works as a lock to hold the collapsed unit together during transport. It’s very easy to collapse the Solo and the wheels are easy to remove with a simple hub-based push button release. Finally, another component of ease-of-use is that the Burley Solo is nearly ten pounds lighter than the next lightest trailer/stroller in this test which makes it that much easier to handle and tow around.
The Burley Solo is built with a sturdy aluminium frame and uses a durable nylon fabric with premium zippers designed to resist scrapes and tears and to shed water, wind and sun. The Solo showed no signs of wear and all of the mechanical components have continued to work flawlessly.
For passengers and pusher/pullers the Burley Solo is extremely comfortable. The internal 5-point seatbelt harness is padded and the straps have covers that surround the passenger to mitigate chafing. The hammock style suspended seat provides added comfort and is slightly reclined with some adjustment available and will hug sleepy riders to keep them from flopping around. The optional baby snuggler is great to keep smaller passengers safe and comfortable. The adjustable push handle keeps the stroller/jogger comfortable for pushers of various heights. And since the Solo is so light compared to others on the market, it’s relatively comfortable to maneuver while rolling and towing as well as to lift it when collapsed into a vehicle for transport for adventures afar.
How We Tested It
These trailers were tested for months in various weather conditions in Boulder, Colorado and taken on short road trips and day trips to test their packability and full range of ease-of-use. For more tests beyond this 2016 test, check out our other related bike gear reviews.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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