Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Car-Free/Car-Lite as a Family, Part III

After doing quite a bit of research and asking around we decided to do some comparison shopping locally. There is something to be said for actually seeing a product in person so you can touch it and, most importantly, put your kids in it to see how it works. I’m really glad that we elected to follow this option instead of trying to buy it online.

Unfortunately, no one store in our area sells both the Burley and the Chariot. In the end the two stores were in the same city, but a bit of a distance apart. We really wanted to see the Trek as well, but they’re getting a bit difficult to find locally. The store that carried the Burley also used to carry the Trek, but they felt that the Trek didn’t really have anything else to offer that the Burley didn’t.

Burley – We looked at both the Honey Bee and the D’Lite. The Honey Bee was definitely out once we saw the interior of the D’Lite. The seats looked nice and there was a decent amount of space in the back to carry cargo. Both J and L fit in the carrier, but J looked a bit cramped. J’s probably on the tail end of being able to fit in a bike trailer so it wasn’t all that surprising.

To be honest, though, the Burley very much looked like a bike trailer that also just happened to function as a stroller. By the looks of the stroller kit (just one wheel out on the front of the bike trailer arm) and the handle/handle padding it appears that Burley put the bike trailer part at the top of the list. We did briefly consider the jogging kit, but since it’s a fixed wheel felt that it’d be a bear to try and maneuver in the store. We’re planning on using it as a stroller first so we really do need that to have been among the first priorities in design considerations.

Chariot – There’s a reason why the Chariot is considered the top of the line. Not only is it a fantastic bike trailer, but it’s also equally wonderful as a stroller. We considered both the Cougar 2 and the Corsaire XL. While I liked the extra cargo room in the Corsaire (and it would have likely fit J for a much longer period of time since it’s intended for older children in my understanding), I was afraid that it would fit through the door at a number of the stores we visit. In the end the Corsaire is more expensive than the Cougar 2 and it just didn’t seem that the price difference was justified.

The Cougar 2 is a fantastic carrier – the handle and padding is of very high quality and definitely seemed like they would last for a long time. Both J and L fit in the trailer well – J looked much more comfortable. The fabric in the Cougar 2 also looked of higher quality than the Burley. The biggest drawback here? Not much for cargo room. There is a cargo basket, but at most they say you can carry ~4lbs.

The stroller kit snaps in the Versa Wings very easily – if you plan on using the bike trailer kit you can easily stow the stroller kit in the top of the Versa Wings. And the suspension…it’s like your children are cradled by air! The Cougar 2 pushes smooth as silk – almost effortlessly. I can imagine this thing will really pick up speed. Thank goodness for the wrist strap that comes standard.

We spent a bit more than we originally planned, but I’m glad our money was spent more locally. The staff was super helpful and even topped off the tires for us before we left. We had to run some more errands and elected to take the kids in the Cougar 2 when we went into Target. It was a breeze to maneuver through the aisles. Both J and L really enjoyed it, neither of which seemed all that interested in getting out!

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