Mesh side pockets for rear entrance, optional, easy to break
Disclaimer: We received the Burley Tail Wagon as part of a sponsorship for our bike ride. The views expressed in this post are entirely mine and we have not received any compensation for this review. We love our tail wagon and would love to see more on the road full of dogs!
Burley Tail Wagon is a trailer for dogs, designed specifically with your four-legged companion in mind. If you’ve ever wanted to take your dog on a day trip or a longer bike tour, the Tail Wagon is the perfect trailer for the job.
We used the Tail Wagon daily during our eight-month cycling tour of Europe, as well as during a one-month tour of Oregon after we returned.
The Burley Tail Wagon is a sturdy, well-built dog trailer that can handle tons of mileage, varied terrain and regular use.
During our trip we drove our trailer on smooth pavement, not so smooth pavement, gravel, stone-lined paths, rocky and ingrained dirt roads, forest services roads, cobblestone roads, mud paths, mountain biking trails, sinking sand , crushed clay and over holes.
It never showed signs of wear and worked almost as well as the new one during the trip.
We put this thing through the bell and we know it from the inside. In this review we will tell you what we like about the Burley Tail van and why it has the best dog trailer on the market.
About Burley’s van
Burley Design manufactures bicycle trailers from Eugene, Oregon. The brand started in Fargo, North Dakota about 40 years ago and eventually moved to Eugene.
The company is named after the founder’s wife, Beverly, a cyclist known as the Burley Bev.
Engaged to live without cars, the founder, Alan Scholz, had to figure out a way to take his bags and his little daughter to the Saturday market, where they sold their products, so he built the first Burley trailer.
Today, Burley designs high-quality and durable bike paths and accessories for children, cargo and, of course, dogs.
Why choose a Burley van for your dog?
If you ride regularly or have thought about cycling, but have decided not to do so because you were not sure how to take your dog, Burley’s van is for you!
The spacious dog bike trailer can hold up to 75 pounds. In perspective, Sora weighed about 42 kg.
If you have a larger dog, consider taking something designed for children, such as the Burley D’lite (another favorite bike trailer for rough terrain).
There is a reason why we chose to use Burley Design bicycle trailers. Why?
They are built to withstand Can hold quite large dogs Easy to clean Lots of storage Weatherproof Maximizes airflow Folds for storage and transport
Burley Tail Van Specifications
Once you assemble Burley’s van, it’s ready to turn! The trailer includes all the attachments you need, and more, including:
HitchTow arm Protective flag Handle for optional stroller set Brake
Made of aluminum frame, the Burley Tail van weighs 11.5 kg. The weight is suitable for its size and durability. The design team has minimized the possibilities, while maintaining quality and maximizing performance.
The teardrop shape of the tail cart provides maximum space for dogs of all sizes. At 42 pounds, Sora could safely stand up and turn inside the tail wagon. There was plenty of room for her dog’s bed, as well as other accessories we threw there.
Here are the sizing details:
Inner height = 23 inches / 58 cm Inner width = 19 inches / 48 cm Inner length = 32.5 inches / 82.5 cm
Tail Wagon includes two alloy wheels with hubs and spokes with a quick release lever. Many dog trailers come with plastic spokes, which is bad news if someone breaks because you will have to replace the whole wheel. With spokes you can replace the single spoke and continue on your way.
We exchanged the original tires for the indestructible Schwalbe marathon (16 ”X 1.75”). I believe we had one or two apartments during our entire bike trip, which included very questionable terrain and a lot of glass.
Is Burley’s van weatherproof?
In case you haven’t heard, PNW is a very rainy place. The fact that Burley is based in Eugene means that the team pays a lot of attention to the time when designing their trailers.
Two plastic zippered shutters that protect from rain, while the side mesh windows allow enough airflow to avoid humid conditions inside. In really humid weather, there will be rain coming in, mostly from splashes on the road.
To alleviate this problem, we brought with us an old tent print to cover the inside of the crossbar and secured it with magnets to the trailer cover.
The side mesh panels protect from a little sun, but still penetrate the fabric, making a toasted dog on really hot days. We’d really love to see the Tail Wagon include an adjustable sun visor similar to children’s trailers.
When we traveled on hot days, we improvised, just like in the rain, by attaching a white pillow case to the outside of the trailer using magnets. We stopped more often to help Sora cool off.
All four sides of the Burley Tail van have mesh panels that allow maximum airflow. As mentioned earlier, there are two plastic panels that fasten for rain or cooler weather.
In addition, the back panel can be raised to allow for something like a Dutch door, allowing your dog to pull his head and absorb all odors and wind.
Although there is a wall that keeps your dog safe inside, escape artists can certainly jump out if they really want to. There is no hook to attach your dog to the trailer, but you can create something out of a dog seat belt.
Favorite features of the Burley van
There’s a reason we go with Burley’s van as our dog trailer of choice. In addition to quality, there are many well-thought-out trailer features that dogs have in mind.
Tail Wagon has three large mesh pockets for storing important pet equipment. There are two inside and one outside.
Here we would keep items such as a leash, a dog bowl and a small towel. The outer pocket was great for storing wet equipment. There is no way to close it closed, so just be sure to monitor everything you store there.
The lid is completely removed for cleaning. Just clean with a towel and mild soap or detergent and dry in direct sunlight. To clean the mesh windows, just use a damp cloth.
The floor where the dog lies is completely movable. This makes cleaning easier, whether you just need to remove the dog hair collection that has accumulated over the days or clean it completely after a muddy day or your dog is sick inside the trailer.
The seat pad is a flat surface that may be a little hard on some dogs, especially if they spend long periods of time in the trailer. We lined the bottom with the Wander Loft bed from Kurgo to provide a little extra lining.
Since we traveled by air with our tail, we chose the stroller attachment. We managed to convince the airline to check it as a trolley, so we had to use it to push all our huge and inconvenient tourist facilities.
What we didn’t realize, however, was how convenient it would be to attach the stroller to us. When Sora had an unexpected operation for a cancerous tumor a few months after our trip, we used the trailer to push her as a baby because she couldn’t walk for about a week.
The handlebars are sometimes a little awkward and not easy to store if you take them with you. We put ours back as we travel to minimize wind resistance. Ideally, we’d love to see Burley engage the handle in the same way they do in children’s trailers.
As a bonus, the handlebars work well as a makeshift clothes dryer! It is magnetic, so we would stick any small, wet objects while riding. If the sun came up, they would dry in no time!
Storage and transport
The tail van folds easily in seconds for storage and transport. Broken, the tail wagon fits easily into small spaces, such as a closet for apartments, elevators, car and more.
Easy loading and unloading
Burley designed the tailgate with a reverse hole from the children’s trailers. The large rear tailgate allows dogs to easily jump and jump without having to skip the towbar.
The low profile also means that older dogs will have no problem getting in and out, as they can essentially step right inside. This makes the Tail Wagon a great option as a way to sustain the adventures of adult dogs.
What’s missing from Burley’s van?
As much as we love the Tail, there is always room for improvement! With just a few modifications and additions, the Tail Wagon will be absolutely perfect.
Rear light hook
I would love to see a strip of fabric or a rear light adapter for the rear cart. There was no really good place to put a red flashing light and many times we found ourselves pedaling at dusk.
There are reflective tubes and red reflectors at the back, which certainly helps, but the red flashing light adds an extra layer of safety.
As mentioned earlier, we took our tail wagon over any surface imaginable, and although it is still in excellent condition, we are confident that the strikes will not only provide a more comfortable ride for dogs, but will also reduce the impact of many of the bumps, uneven, perforated surfaces we cross.
After mentioning this to Burley, they said that one of the reasons they chose not to include shocks was to minimize weight. Maybe it will be a supplement in the future?
Final thoughts on Burley’s van
Overall, we love Burley’s van and absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to take their puppy on their bike. In fact, we recommend it. This is the only dog trailer we would recommend.
Whether you prefer short walks in front of the park or the brewery, longer day walks or a multi-day bike tour, the Burley Tail Wagon is the best dog trailer out there with your hands down. See how the Burley Tail Wagon compares to other dog trailers.