The Tout Terrain Singletrailer is a single wheel bicycle trailer with suspension, designed to carry young children over smooth or rough ground – and it does its job well!
Thanks to BikeBike and Tout Terrain, I had the chance to do a short term review of the Singletrailer. My background and experience is having used two wheeled child bike trailers (single and double models), front-loading cargo bikes, several longtails, bike touring and bikepacking with kids, and cross-country mountain biking. Obviously, this review cannot speak to longevity but the Singletrailer will be measured against all of these other experiences.
The Singletrailer was tested with a Surly Troll (small).
- Extremely light
- Very stable
- Off-road capable
- Adjustable suspension
- Seat post attachment
- Single sport
- Price point
- Seat post attachment
Where to Buy:
The Tout Terrain Singletrailer weighs in at a mere 9.5 kg (20.9 lb). It is featherlight for a child bike trailer, shaving at least 4-5 pounds off of the average two wheel bike trailer – which really counts when you are grinding up a long incline! The lightness of the trailer was one of the first things that struck me: it is noticeably lighter than our Chariot Cougar 1.
This lightness does not come at a compromise. The trailer is a complete weather bubble to protect your young child. It also feels extremely solid, there is no play in the frame unlike your typical two wheeled child bike trailer.
Seat post attachment
We have all witnessed the ubiquitous lean of a seat post mounted trail-a-bike! Admittedly, I almost expected that to be the case with the Singletrailer, too. How could it be better than any other single wheeled trailing kid carrier? Well, it just is. The seat post attachment is super solid, easy to use, and does not lean. Not a bit. I was beyond impressed.
When you purchase a Singletrailer you will need to know your seat post size (diameter in mm) and if you want to run it on multiple bikes you may need to purchase an extra mount.
The seat post attachment is made up of a sleeve that fits on your seat post, a codder pin, a quick release, and a cable. The quick release is open in this picture (above) to better see the codder pin. This set-up is effectively triple protection against disconnection. That makes me feel good as a mom.
For riders who wish to tour with a Singletrailer, a seat post attachment might restrict regular luggage carrying capabilities. For example, you likely will not be able to carry a tent or sleeping bag on top of your rear rack, nor could you have a rear kid seat on your rear rack when using this seat post mounted trailer. You will have to use a rear rack if you want to carry luggage on your bike’s back end though as you will not be able to use a seat pack. There should be enough room to run a rear rack with panniers, but I did have to take off my rear rack for this review in order to make everything fit. I have a small framed bike though and my rear rack is a bit high-centered, plus I have seen others run a Singletrailer with a rear rack. Alternatively, some families choose to mount some of their gear on the Singletrailer, itself – a special cargo bag is available to help with that.
The trailing bar that connects to the seat post mount collapses for storage, splitting roughly in half with a quick release.
Furthermore, the entire Tout Terrain family of trailing products – Singletrailer child trailer, Streamliner trailing children’s bike, and Mule cargo trailer – use this same seat post mechanism. This is a real boon for family trips allowing for different setups across various ages and stages, and for allowing parents to be able to take turns pulling. For example, a family of three could have one rider pulling a child in a Singletrailer and the other parent pulling a Mule full of camping gear, plus they could trade to switch it up.
Because of the high quality build and seat post attachment the trailer felt so stable and smooth! I first rode home with the trailer empty and I forgot it was there a couple of times. I figured that when I put my 45 lb 4 year old in the trailer that sensation would change. It didn’t! The trailer continued to feel very much a part of my bike with no jerking or lag. Yes, I did notice the weight difference, but somehow it didn’t affect the handling significantly.
The single wheel means that the trailer tracks well, even while side-sloping. It angulates with the bike but the inside of the trailer is cozy and snug for the rider with its five-point harness and narrow profile. For younger kids, pillows are available for the sides – they also look great for napping on. Worse case, the trailer is a roll cage.
The Singletrailer kickstand is amazing. My Troll is not the lightest bike out there and the Singletrailer kickstand holds up the trailer with my 4 year old in it, plus the weight of the trailer, and my bike.
My preschooler has always been sensitive to bumps on the bike, ever since she was a baby; so, out of habit, I announce pretty much every bump that we are about to roll over. On our Singletrailer rides she kept replying, “I can’t feel any bumps!” My conclusion: the suspension is awesome.
The Singletrailer uses a real air shock. Not a leaf spring like many child bike trailers employ, but an honest to goodness shock like you’d find on your full suspension mountain bike. You will need to pump it up to set the sag, just like a full suspension mountain bike. There is also a dial to adjust rebound. Plus, there are two easy-to-change settings for travel that require you to lift and set the suspension ‘fork’ in one of two slots: 160 mm or 200 mm travel.
Off-roading & Winter fat biking
Because of the previous highlights – lightweight and stable with adjustable suspension – the Singletrailer excels at off-roading. At 45 cm wide, it is also almost 20 cm narrower than your average two wheel child bike trailer and definitely more slender than you and your bike!
Because of the seat post attachment and the long bar that connects trailer to bike, tight corners may be an issue with respect to the trailer clipping the corner. Not a big deal, more of a head’s up that you will have to adjust your line slightly to accommodate and/or slow down in such situations.
The stock tire is about as much clearance as you will get with the bike. For winter fat biking, it will likely be fine in most hard pack conditions. I have seen some hack the trailer with a Thule Chariot ski kit ski; alternatively, you could try mounting a fatter Polar Stroller brand ski on the wheel (which I have seen done on a WeeHoo trailing bike).
The only real drawback of the Singletrailer is the price. It is a high end product and extremely well made, it is also still a rather small market (in North America, at least) – this costs money. If your cash flow can handle it, the price is worth it for lifestyle and quality, alone, and you will recoup a large chunk of the initial purchase price when your kid(s) have outgrown it and it is time to re-sell. The memories you make using a trailer like this are priceless.
When comparing the price of the Singletrailer to other high end two wheel bike trailers, it is still more expensive but it does something that they can’t do: ride singletrack.
When comparing the cost of a Singletrailer to a cargo bike – such as a beefy mid- or longtail cargo bike suitable for some off-roading – the cost it is more affordable than buying another bike.
The Tout Terrain Singletrailer exceeded my high expectations. If my youngest was not just about to exceed the weight limitations on it, I would seriously consider getting one. As it is, I was so impressed with the stability of the seat post attachment that I would consider getting a Streamliner for her instead.
If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, you know full well that it is difficult to extract quality information from them at times. But, know this: My daughter cried when we told her we had to return the Singletrailer after our review. My conclusion: she liked it, a lot.
I fully recommend the Tout Terrain Singletrailer for the baby to preschooler in your life. The recommended age for this product is 3 months (with infant insert) up to 25 kg (about 55 lb or ~5 years old). Start ‘em young!
Review and pictures by Lindsay Bliek, also known as This Mom Bikes. Lindsay is an avid family cyclist with two young girls and can be found cargo biking throughout central Calgary, Alberta and travelling by bike in the Rockies, BC, Québec, and beyond. Check out her blog for more reviews, ideas on biking with young kids, how to cargo bike, winter cycling tips, and trip reports. She can also be found on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Please note that this is a sponsored post as Lindsay was lent a Singletrailer to review but she has received no compensation for this post. The reviewer highly values her integrity and all opinions are her own. Lindsay has always wanted to own — or at least test — a Singletrailer; she finally got a chance when her youngest had almost outgrown it!