By then, we needed a trailer for the daily runs to school & nursery, but also the beach & countryside on weekends. We could afford a more expensive model rather than (the probably nearly as good) cheaper options from Lidl, Argos or Ebay. And given the basic cost of the chassis, the option of a stroller conversion didn't seem to add that much more to the price tag.
We had the option to pay in US dollars, money I had sitting in the bank doing nothing, and import from the USA. Although this would cost something like $160 US for shipping, & attract VAT at 17.5% and import duty of (?perhaps) 10%, it still worked out Â£80+ cheaper than buying in the UK.
It came down to Burley d'lite, Chariot Cougar 2 CTS or Wike Premium Double Moonlight. Dave Roth's detailed description of his experience with both Burley & Chariot made me lean towards the later, but I also made these comparisons:
Base, solid or fabric: B=fabric, I think, C=fabric, although their Captain model is solid, W=solid.
Cost ($US) for basic + cycling kit + basic pushchair kit+ shipping from REI or Wike websites:
B= $667 (159 shipping +429 basic w/1 hitch +39 pushchair conversion kit+40 for two alternative hitches (optional))
C=$647 (159 shipping+390 chassis+40 cycling conv. kit+40 strolling conversion kit+18spare hitch)
W= $565 (135+333+90+7 spare hitch)
Plus in the UK, VAT+10%import duty, approx. B=Â£68-Â£80, C=Â£71, W=Â£64
Frame: B=?,C=anodized Al,W=?
B=Website says that it's lifetime for all parts for whoever buys it new, but there's a review on Epinions that says that the fabric is specifically excluded!. C=Lifetime frame, one year fabric and hitch, wheels & tires not included W= 15 days no questions asked, Lifetime frame, one year part replacements.
Harness: 5 point in all cases, but it's a 2-part 5 point system in the Wike (seems odd). You also pay extra for a nice shoulder pad in the Wike, it's standard in Burley or Chariot.
Height: B & C=84cm, W=104.14cm
B=chainstay or skewer (skewer costs extra)
C=Skewer, canvas strap with lock pin, pay for each one
W=Skewer, bail wire with lock pin; 2 included in price of each trailer
Interior width: B=68.6cm, C=, W=61 cm. Length: B=86.3cm, C=104-115cm, W=114.3cm. Luggage space: B= 3 grocery bags, C=2 grocery bags, I think!, W= 2 grocery bags Weight: B=9.1 kg, C=11, W= 9.7kg Wheels:
B= 20" spoked alloy
C=20" stainless spokes, Al rims, pushbutton release,
W=20" spoked alloy, push button.
Width, Inside: B=68.6cm, C=56 cm, W=56-61cm
Width, Outside: B=81.3cm, C=81cm, W=81cm
The Chariot comes with a window on the top, so you can see inside when using it as a stroller; Burley does not. Chariot features adjustable suspension on both wheels, Burley & Wike do not. Chariot wheels to convert to a stroller store on the trailer - always at hand if needed!
Yet another rave review for the Chariot..
Where to buy the Chariot in the UK, with lots of technical info.
If there's one recurring moan about the Burleys it's the fabric, and the fact that it goes manky fast. Presumably this problem is common to all trailers without mud guards, though.
Reviews of Wike on Epinions. Reviews of Burley on Epinions. Reviews of Burley on biketrailers.com. Reviews of Chariot on Epinions. Yet another Adventure Cyclist review So, what did we decide....?
We had a little bother with the company who did the shipping (FedEx). They labeled it camping gear and tried to impose 17.5% VAT... er, no. It actually qualifies as a baby carriage, subject to much lower VAT (and import duty). FedEx also imposed VAT on the REI membership that I bought, er... I don't think so!! This is something to watch out for if you buy from the USA. To be fair, FedEx accepted my detailed corrections of their original invoice, but it took me ages -- and several phone calls to HM Customs and Excise -- to go thru the invoice to figure out the right VAT and duty that I needed to pay.
So far (3 months in), what we think of the trailer itself is: