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Q:

What’s the best convertible bike trailer/stroller on the market?

I’m a year-round bike commuter and errand runner (this summer I made a tank of gas last four months). However, the arrival of my son has altered my lifestyle. How old does he have to be before he can ride in a trailer? And which trailer do you recommend? I'd like it to convert to a stroller relatively easily. Also, we’d like a double in case we are lucky enough to adopt a second child. Either that or just to accommodate enough groceries. Karin Mountain View, California

Baby Jogger Switchback Stroller/Trailer     Photo: courtesy, REI

Baby Jogger Switchback stroller

Baby Jogger Switchback Stroller/Trailer

A:Interesting question. As far as “how old," in my view it would be the age where the child can support his/or her head while wearing a helmet. And the rub is, helmets don’t fit infants younger than one year. So that’s your cut-off point. When your son is one, you can put him in a trailer. I would absolutely not advocate placing a child carrier in some sort of trailer and trying to make that work. You’ve really seen people try that?

In short, for a while you’ll need to enlarge your carbon footprint to keep your son safe.

There aren’t a zillion “convertible" trailers out there, but some do exist. Maybe the best is the Baby Jogger Switchback stroller/trailer ($579; babyjogger.com), which converts easily from stroller to trailer without a conversion kit or tools. And the front wheel that’s used in stroller mode fits neatly into an on-board pocket. It also will seat two. Burley’s D’Lite ($460; burley.com) is seen by many as the best child bike trailer on the market. It converts to a stroller with the purchase of a $60 kit. Or, Schwinn’s Joyrider ($380; schwinnbike.com) offers trailer/stroller functionality at a bit lower price. Not quite as spiffy as the Baby Jogger or Burley units, but a solid trailer.

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