Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Burley D'Lite Bike Trailer Review Part 1

Although you can't tell by looking at pictures of me now, I used to be the very athletic type. I actually attended a Division I college on a baseball scholarship and was relatively light in weight for most of my life. Soon after my playing days were over, my wife and I moved away for her to attend medical school and kids soon followed. I went from living a very athletic life full of exercise to one of staying at home taking care of the kids all day. To put it lightly, I became a couch potato. Worst of all, when the kids were hungry (usually 6 times a day or more) I would not only fix them something to eat but fix myself a meal as well. All these extra meals combined with little to no exercise had me adding on the pounds. I knew that I needed to change my lifestyle and start to exercise. My biggest obstacle was that my wife worked around the clock and I didn't have anyone that I could count on to watch the kids. This was going to be a challenge... or at least I thought.

Burley is the worldwide leader in bicycle trailer design and has been for more than 30 years. They put their heart and soul into every trailer they make so you can be sure that you are getting the absolute best in quality, durability and safety. The mission at Burley is to promote active outdoor fun by designing and developing bicycling products that provide functional design, safety and many years of use.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to learn that I would be receiving a Burley D'Lite bike trailer to review on Chunky and Monkey MD. The D'Lite is their top of the line trailer with the capability of comfortably seating two children up to 100 pounds in combined weight. The D'lite includes cutting-edge features such as bowed-out sides for enhanced shoulder room, an elastomer suspension system, deluxe reclining padded seats, tinted UV protective windows and an adjustable sunshade. Everything about the trailer is weatherproof with an all weather cover and waterproof zippers making it great if you are caught in an unexpected rain shower. The trailer even comes equipped with black 20" alloy wheels and a parking brake. Best of all the seat pad and shoulder harness are removable and machine washable. This will really come in handy for any spilled snacks or drinks on the road.

Love all the features on the D'Lite!
Riding with Monkey Man instead of Monkey Bubba

If you have been around Chunky and Monkey MD long enough you probably already know about my major pet peeve product assembly. Assembly can make or break an product in my book. I hate items that come with an endless number of parts  and hours of assembly with them. Before opening the box I was already starting prepare myself for the worst. Much to my surprise there were only a handful of parts inside the box! The only tool that is required for assembly and not included is a wrench. With the instructions assembly was a breeze and took under 10 minutes from start to finish. What stood out the most to me (once the trailer was fully assembled) was the construction and materials that were used. The frames, hinges, and hitch are all made out of high quality aluminum. There is nothing cheap about the D'Lite. This trailer is made to last a long time!

As mentioned earlier, Burley really takes pride in their work and makes sure safety is a top priority. All of their products go through rigorous tests before being introduced to the public for sale. The Burley D'Lite is loaded with so many safety features that I don't even know where to begin. What stood out most for me was the five point harness for securely keeping your child in place. This harness is similar to what you would use in your car seat and has all the bells and whistles for a comfortable ride. The height adjustable handlebar can be rotated and locked into place to serve as a roll bar should the unimaginable ever happen. There are reflectors all over the trailer, and even the cover has a built in reflective material to help ensure you are seen in low visibility conditions. A safety flag is also included to make sure you are visible when driving around obstacles like parked cars on the street. They really do go the extra mile (no pun intended) to integrate safety into their trailers.

Plenty of room for two boys and their toys. I love the 5 point harness!

 I wanted to share a few comments on Burley's safety page that are from testimonials of real life Burley trailer owners. These comments really speak volumes about the safety of Burley Trailers.

"I just wanted to thank you for making such great products and bar none, the safest trailers in the world. My son and I were rear-ended by a vehicle this week and he flipped in the trailer (a "Bee") and we were pushed across the street for 30 feet. Although he was scared out of his mind, I pulled him out with nothing but a small scratch on his knee."

"I was biking with my son towed behind in the Burley...a red Ford Focus hit the bike trailer. I was flooded with terror as I turned the trailer back over, and even more fear overcame me as I lifted the enclosure flap to see my son. To my greatest joy, Tolle had only one drop on blood on his face from biting his lip and was snug beneath his buckling. Other than that there wasn't even as much as a bruise. He was fine. Thank you, Burley."

As I bucked my boys inside the D'Lite for the first time I wondered what it would be like to pull the boys (50-60 pounds combined) and how the trailer would handle turns, ect. I was thinking I was going to be in for one tough workout pulling the boys. The ride was really quite the opposite. The very first day I jumped on the bike and took the boys for a 5 mile ride. I hardly even broke a sweat. The trailer pulls almost effortlessly, and the boys love the pockets inside the trailer for storing toys and drinks on the road.

Playing a game and riding with our favorite animal blanket.
Quite possibly the best benefit you will receive from pulling a Burley trailer is exercise! Biking is a great way to help you exercise and burn those unwanted calories with minimal stress on the body. I have been trying to take the boys for a ride daily and have seen immediate results. Speaking from my own personal experience, I have lost 15 pounds since I received the Burley D'Lite bike trailer to review! I will state that I have a freakish metabolism, and my results may differ from your own. No matter what, I know that you and your children will have an amazing time cruising the streets in the D'Lite.

All smiles knowing they are about to go on a bike ride!
The Burley D'Lite bike trailer also has to ability to easily convert to a stroller or a jogger by purchasing additional add-ons. This way you can eliminate having to buy a separate piece of equipment for your child. You might be wondering what the age range is for children to use the D'Lite trailer. If you purchase the separate Baby Snuggler you can start to use the trailer as young as 6 months old. The trailer will last until your child/children reach the 100 pound capacity. Should you ever need to replace something on your trailer they also sell replacement parts.

What the D'Lite would look like with the purchase of the double jogger kit. Even comes with a complete hand brake!

Although the Burley D'Lite is a little pricy, ($565) it is worth every single penny. I honestly feel that the trailer will last longer than you or even your bike will last! I highly recommend the Burley D'Lite trailer if you are in the market. They do offer other trailer models such as the Cub ($485), Solo ($449), Encore ($399), Honey Bee ($359), and the Bee at ($249). Prices may vary from store to store but these are actual prices that I found online. Do a little research and find out which model best fits your needs before making your purchase. You can even find an authorized store that sells Burley trailers using their store locator. That way you can go see the trailers in person before making your purchase.

Very simple to connect with the sturdy tow bar.

You can connect with Burley on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and on You Tube to keep up with the latest news and updates about their products. Stop by and say hi. Let them know that Chunky and Monkey MD sent you.

Disclaimer: I was sent a Burley D'Lite for review purposes. No other compensation was given. These are my honest opinions and may differ from yours.

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