Sharing our love for the great outdoors with our kids was something that B and I looked forward to since the day we found out I was pregnant. As Alaskans, we live in a winter wonderland from October to May and are then blasted with 20+ hours of daylight from May until August. It’s very easy to escape into the mountains or cruise on up to the trails because they are, literally, right in our backyard. Of course, as easy as it is to get your outdoor fix in Alaska, when you have kids, having the right gear is a must! During the winter, we enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. And when summer comes around, it’s all about biking and hiking! With the exception of hiking, the Burley d’lite bike/ski/stroll trailer is a multi-season must-have for toting two kidos around the neighborhood, ski trails and/or bike paths so that the whole family can get their outdoor fix.
Once our kids hit the 1-year mark this past January, we were very excited to try out the Burley! Because it was winter, the We! Ski kit was a must. The Burley d’lite itself is a bike trailer, however, there are several conversion kits that you can purchase depending on what activities you plan to do with your Burley. We opted for the We! Ski kit and the Stroller kit. We have a BOB Revolution Duallie that we use for rough terrain and daily walks, so opted not to purchase the Jogger kit.
For the boys’ first Burley trip, we took them out for a cross-country ski in the fields a few miles from our house. The Burley folded up very quickly and easily so that we were able to put it in the back of our Subaru Outback. If you had an SUV or even a slightly larger trunk-area than we have with our Subaru, there would not even be a reason to fold it. Unfolding the Burley, once at our destination, was simple and involved only a few clicks and we were good to go!
The roomy interior seats are suspended over the wheel axles and are made of heavy-duty mesh. Much like our BOB Revolution Duallie, the shoulder harness is a 5-point system (though it’s a bit different than a typical 5-point) and extremely well-padded. The seats are able to be reclined, though not independently. Depending on the weather, the Burley offers two levels of protection for your tykes. For mild conditions (or to keep the bugs away), the mesh screen provides adequate protection and allow your babes to feel the wind on their cheeks. For cold, harsh or windy weather, the plastic wind screen provides additional protection from the elements and keeps the kids warm and cozy. The dual-zippers make it simple to change the cover from one level of protection to the other, and also allows easy access to your kids. Being that we live in the Land of the Midnight Sun, we are always concerned about sun protection. The side-windows and wind-screen cover on the Burley are not only tinted, but also offer UV protection. Coupled with the adjustable sun-shade (which offers much more coverage than the typical stroller shade), the kids are well protected.
From a parent’s perspective, the Burley is very well built, yet extremely light for its ruggedness! The whole kitten caboodle weighs in at 28 lbs, which is much less than our BOB (32 lbs) or our every-day stroller, the Maclaren Twin Traveller side-by-side (32 lbs). The only bummer is that there aren’t any cup holders, but obviously these would only be needed with the stroller kit. There is, however, ample storage room in the rear. We’ve been able to stuff extra clothes, snacks and sippy cups with room to spare. My husband has both cross-country and skate-skied with the We! Ski attachment without having a problem using either technique, thanks to a well-padded and snug-fitting hip harness. When turning corners, however, I’d recommend taking them slower than you usually would without a trailer attached to you. Although the Burley is designed to not tip over even if you fall, it’s still best to play it safe…not to mention, your kids will be more likely to keep their lunch down. When hill climbing, although you will notice the extra weight that you are pulling, it’s surprisingly easier than you’d think because the weight is very evenly distributed across your hips.
When using the Stroller kit, which we’ve done only a handful of times, it was hard for me to get used to not pushing something with huge wheels at first. I found that I had to be a bit gentle with curbs and ice/snow patches than I would normally do with our BOB, but this is due to a smaller front wheel attachment. While I would not recommend buying the Burley strictly for use as a stroller, I do think it is a fine option for dry pavement.
Once the snow melts, you can count on another product review of the Burley d’lite in its purest form…as a bike trailer! But until the temperatures warm up and we know that spring is here to stay in Alaska, all four of us will continue to enjoy the Burley while we ski or stroll!