Thule Chariot Trailers
Thule's Chariot range are bike trailers that live up to their name, Ben Hur would be proud to have his kids riding in any of the Thule Chariot range, and it probably could actually be attached to a horse, with a bit of jerry rigging. Jokes aside these are very flexible trailers, Thule products are known for this, ease of use, flexibility of use and rugged but top class build quality. For the outdoor family this is a great piece of gear. The Chariot comes in five variants, the top of the range Sport, the middle weight Cross, the stripped down Lite model, the workhorse Cab model and the classic Coaster XT. All boast a great list of standard features. The Sport is the top of the range. It includes adjustable leaf spring suspension to suit any road or trail conditions. We were especially excited when we saw that the Sport trailer features climate control! We were looking forward to temperature controlled aircon, however, we were only slightly disappointed to see that it actually refers to the excellent ventilation system, with removable windows and adjustable sunshade. Sorry to say Thule has not integrated an airconditioner in their trailers, yet. It also features extra thick more comfortable seats that are fully removable for easy cleaning. It is the only model to feature high performance disc brakes, so it is the best option for those thinking of setting record speeds with the kiddies in tow. The sport also has as standard, the features of all lower models. The Cross is the middle of the road model, it also has adjustable suspension as a standard feature, removable and washable comfortable seat padding, an XL storage compartment and reclining seats. The only things missing in the Cross model versus the Sport are the disc brakes and climate control window and sunshade system, and the seat padding is slightly less comfortable, although it still has the easy reclining system. The paired down Lite model is the least expensive of the range. Thule have saved abit in expense and weight on the Lite, the seat padding is still good, just not as nice as the Sport or Cross, the seats also do not recline. The suspension is non adjustable and the cargo space is not as large as other models. The Lite is physically lighter than its cousins though, weighing in at only 12.5kg for the 2 child carrier, so it has that practical advantage in certain situations. The Cab is the workhorse of the family, it only comes in a 2 child size and is taller to accomodate more storage and taller kids. This makes it the heaviest in the range and bulkiest, coming in at 15.9kg, although it is arguably the most practical as well, due to its size. The Cab also features the largest storage space of any of the models. The seats are standard thickness and are only partly removable for washing. The cab does have the adjustable suspension of the Sport and Cross models, although like the Cross it lacks the disc brakes. Across the range the standard kit includes both the stroller kit and bicycle trailer kit. So without any further accessories this trailer is also your stroller. The fold down integrated wheels included for the stroller kit are not really suited to jogging with the kids. However, with Thule's jogging kits its a cinch, the bigger single front wheel and stowable storage compartment allow full stride jogging, and pliant suspension ensures your kids have a smooth ride. You can even bring the little tykes skiing with the Thule Ski Kit, not that we recommend tackling any double black diamond runs with your toddler in the carrier. The Thule Versawing wing system features across the Chariot range, allowing very easy switching of accessories for different activities, allowing strolling, biking, skiiing and jogging all in a days work, with your kids in tow. Not that we can see a situation where this need comes up, unless you're an olympic decathlete in training, but nonetheless it's possible with the Chariot. The Chariot comes in a range of colour options, including a blue and black combo, for batman's kids, or a range of other options that are more visible and in our eyes therefore safer. It also comes in two sizes, either single child, or two child carrying capacity, with the exception of the Cab model which only comes in a two seat size. Across the range the two child model has a 45kg carrying capacity, and the single child size has 34kg carrying capacity. The width also varies, with the single seat trailer having a 39.5cm shoulder width and the double having a wider stance with a 54cm shoulder width. All trailers have a 68cm seat height, with the exception of the Cab, with a slightly higher 70cm seat height. The length is the same for all size variations. The two child option only adds a small percentage increase in price over the single child size, so in our opinion it's the better option for most users, no matter which model variant you go for, just due to that added hauling flexibility. The Chariot also folds up to a very compact and manageable size, in any size or model variant. The smaller single child trailers of course also fold up a little bit smaller too, one of the advantages to the single seat models. Safety hasn't been forgotten either, all models meet international safety standards and all have 5 point harnesses . The seat padding is decent in all, best in the Sport and Cross models. My son says the Sport model is very comfortable, and we will have to take his word for it, as i didn't fit inside the one child model, despite trying. The Chariot range also all feature Thule's ClickNStore system, very useful for water bottles, mobile phones and assorted kid gear. The model variants have a few differing features, so depending on your priorities Thule has strived to fit the Chariot to your needs. The reality of a trailer like this is that it doesn't have to be for kids only, you can bring your dog for rides, or take an extra 34- 45kg of gear, with weather protection, on your next adventure. With Thule's usual build quality and a full range of spares if you need them, these trailers will last through years of use.