Review Croozer Kid Plus for 2 – child two-seater trailer for biking and running

What? Premium 3-in-1 trailer. Bike, jogger, buggy with suspension and all the extras you need (plus some).

How much? €799. Quite the price tag but worth every cent if you use it as is meant to; i.e. often and to make longer excursions with your kids and as a training-tool at speed. It is much more than just a bring-your-kids-to-kindergarten trailer. And thus it costs more. The solutions and care for details makes it the perfect mix for going on adventures with your kids and also finding the time to train yourself. If you only plan to go short stints to and from the playground and kindergarten it honestly is a bit overkill (but you will still want it 🙂 ).

How have I tested it? I have thus far had it for five weeks and really put it through the wringer. During these five weeks I have logged some 380 km of biking and 200 km running with the trailer. All of them at intense use as part of my training combined with an outing for the kids.

Pls note that I post a large number of pics after the review rather than in between texts to make it easier to compare pics from different angles etc.

 

Disclaimer: the Kid Plus for 2 was given to me to test for free by Croozer. This has in no way affected this review.

 

The Kid Plus for 2 is Croozer’s top-of-the line 3-in-1-trailer for two kids and it really oozes quality and feel for details. I will directly say that you will find very little of negatives in this review. But let me also say the following: you shouldn’t at €799. At that price you are to expect the best, and that is what you get here. With their top products the two main producers of 3-in-1 trailers, Croozer and Thule, are now very near the perfect solutions. Hence the €799 is well justified when it comes to the Kid Plus for 2 as you will see below.

First things first: assembly (and folding) is super easy. Really! I have tested other trailers and I’m stunned how smart Croozer has solved the folding of the trailer without sacrificing any stability or robustness.

It is worth noticing that I use it mainly for combining my training with making excursions with the kids and, not least (since our kids are still so small they sleep during the day) to run or bike while they take their day-time nap(s) to be as time-efficient as possible. Often I run with our kids in the trailer and our dog in leash and harness around my hips. Hands full 🙂

This means that it is less of a means of transport and more of a training tool/excursion vehicle used at speed and for long runs and bike rides. And thus all the features make even more sense.

Some features are of course there on every trailer form say €250 and up so I will touch upon some of the things I find clever and very thought through. All the basics are there, believe me.

The bike-set-up will for many be the main use of the trailer they buy. And on the bike is also where some of the features (for natural reasons since the speeds and need for comfort and safety are higher) shine the most. Not least the very clever, dare I say ingenious, suspension. It is a fairly simple solution that works wonders. And thanks to its relative simplicity it also appears to be maintenance free and long lasting (as far as I can judge after five weeks only).

The suspension is part of what puts the Plus-version up an extra €200 from the “normal” Croozer Kid. I have used both versions and I must say that I didn’t think the difference would be as big as it is. No you don’t have to have suspension. But if you’re going to use it like I do at higher speeds and on gravel and forest roads it is well worth thinking about spending that extra €200 to get suspension.

The most obvious upside with the suspension is of course the comfort for the kids. It swallows uneven roads surprisingly well. It also makes accelerating on the bike easier for the rider. Especially out of the saddle you notice a big difference pulling big gears standing up (if you happen to be a chain-to-the-right kind of person, hehe…)

The well-crafted and separate seats are another of the Kid Plus 2’s highlights. Not only that they are built as two sturdy, yet very comfy, seats with a stable divider between them, but also that they have a very thought through “leaning angle”. This is something that maybe you don’t think that much about when you’re deciding on a trailer. But the margin here is quite small. You don’t want the kids to be too much lying down, since they then miss all the fun around them when they’re awake. And you don’t want them too much sitting up, since that means the risk of tilting heads when they fall asleep. Croozer really nailed this angle I must say. I have tried other trailers but they have in one way or the other not found this “leaning sweet-spot” in the same way as the Croozer Kid Plus.

The pads behind the heads and the five-point-belts are also extremely well made. As it of course should be on a premium-trailer like this. And the belts and buckles are very easy to adjust. Which it also should be (but not always is) at this level of gear. Of course the connector hitches (two are included) that you put on your bike(s) works with all bikes whether you have a quick release or a fixed nut/bolt. And, as you probably already know, you leave that connector hitch on the bike to make mounting of the trailer take only seconds.

The insect net and the rain protector are solved in a smart way where the net cover is pulled over the front of the frame and the rain cover runs with zippers on this net cover. Both very easy to just roll up and down. I do 99% of all my runs and bikes with the net down. On the bike it is obvious since you don’t want to risk small stones from your tyres flying into the trailer. And on the runs when you are pushing it in front of you, you want to hold the insects out. The field of vision for the kids is awesome also with the net down.

The wheel-lock for parking is down by the right wheel and easy to handle with foot or hand. It is also rock solid since it works via pushing a pin into the hub casing rather than for instance applying outside pressure on the tyre.

Other small and simple, but important in constant everyday use are for example the fact that the small drainage holes are placed a to the back of the trailer under the seats. I.e. you don’t get spray from a runner-wheel set-up or from the bike coming up in the foot area. There are also two red led lamps facing backwards on the handlebar for increased visibility and safety.

Two net pockets by each seat to store for examples bottles and one separate pocket in the huge storage space in the back. They do their job well and are plenty enough. The rear storage is huuuuge. There is no way you can’t fit everything (plus some) you need for your outing, excursion, run or bike ride back there. And believe me I’ve tried to fill it up. But never have I succeeded 🙂 There could be room for another storage pocket for instance on the top at the back for your bars and gels and for even easier handy access than now. Think: “I need to instagram this now-now and not in the four seconds it takes me to reach in to that internal pocket” 🙂

Ok… Back to more important issues. Having tried also other trailers I have never really felt that the attachment to the bike has been perfected. It has been good, but you’ve always felt that there was more to be done in this area. With their new way of solving this, with separate parts hooked into each other that are rotating freely without limitation in any direction, Croozer has found the best bike-attachment so far that I have seen. It works all the way from turning the bike as sharp as the bike-arm allows (which is a lot) and attaching the trailer to the bike in “strange angles”, to putting your bike down on the ground or un-hooking it without resistance although not parked perfectly straight.

Not to oversee is the fact that the safety strap is attached with a solid pin that locks into a vertical slot and not only a hook or the like. And that it uses a leash that has an elastic part to put it snug around your frame at the back. This snug fit is especially important if you, as me, have a disc brake bike where you need the safety leash to stay clear of your rear disc.

The Croozer Kid Plus 2 handles extremely well for its size and weight. The clever attachment –arm makes the trailer follow your bike perfect even through the tightest of bends. On the weight-topic (see also table below) this is a lightweight build within this category of very stable and luxurious 3-in-1 two-seaters. But the whole concept of this kind of trailer means that you can’t get around that it does add up to some kilos in the end. The trailer itself at just under 18 kilos and then two kids at say 25 kilos plus some water and what not means that you are mostly pulling (or pushing) from at least 30 kilos and up.

Changing from bike to run or vice versa is stupidly simple and takes less than 15 seconds thanks to magnetic pins and a click-in-system for the jogger-wheel. The jogger-wheel and the attach-arms flex well without feeling wobbly or “loose”. It is only when you get to run with a trailer where you have this flex, that you realize how much it does for making minor adjustments in direction a lot easier than had the wheel and arms been totally stiff.

Many of the features above also come into use on the running. Especially if you, like me, run a lot of hilly gravel and forest roads at a decent pace (for being a happy amateur that is). A 3-in-1 trailer like this will never be an über-fast run-trolley like the minimalistic ones designed only for running. Especially not the 3-in-1 for two kids. Having said that, this is the best trailer of this kind for running that I have tested. So what makes a trailer this big good or bad for running?

Well for one the suspension works very well also for running on gravel and forest roads. When running this is of course mostly noticeable for the kids. But it does help also the runner to relax a bit knowing that it’s comfy up there for the small ones. The abovementioned well-crafted separate seats do an excellent job of course also when running.

One thing that might not strike you as the first thing to check, but that is very important if you run hilly and fast(ish) with quite a few bends on sometimes uneven surface, is how the trailer is balanced. I find it very useful if it is easy to tilt the trailer up on the two rear wheels. Just clearing the front jogger-wheel 8-10 cm or so. This to be able to turn the trailer at higher pace and to avoid potholes. And you should be able to do this easily with one hand. Having to put the pressure of two hands to do this at speed hampers your stride and also makes for a much more complicated running when the pace is high. The right balance also helps when running steep downhill (and believe me I’ve been doing some serious downhill testing:) ) where you tilt the trailer to get the right angle both for the kids and for you as a runner. You definitely don’t want a trailer where you have to hold on to the bar with two hands running fast downhill. That makes you run in a very weird way that risks ending up with crashing. If you feel the need to hold on with two hands you should rather lower the pace a bit when running steep downhill. But with the right balance in the trailer there is no need to worry about also keeping the pace up downhill.

Hence a good trailer should be balanced in such a way that you can keep it tilted like this with some ease and it should not feel like it is too “nose heavy”. This of course without risk tipping backwards. Finding this balance is not as easy as it may sound. But you will know what I mean and realize that Croozer has found this sweet-spot as well after having tried it a couple of times. And, may I add, also with differing loads in the trailer.

Helping to make the run experience great are no-brainers like a well-padded grip (that very easily can flipped for higher or lower grip height), low centre of gravity making it steady and feel safe and a leash to put around your wrist on steep downhills etc.

Note that the trailer does not have a handbrake for running. I have never felt the need for that and I run very hilly and sometimes fast. Not least downhill. The aforementioned perfect balance of the trailer makes also the steepest downhill feel safe and I have never felt that the trailer is on the verge of “leaving me”. In my opinion you do not need a handbrake to run safely with this kind of trailer.

The buggy wheel fulfils its function well and beyond. Better than the older Croozer version I have tested. Having said this; the buggy wheel of course mainly is there to make into a buggy when wanting to walk around being on bike excursions. A trailer of this width with so to say external wheels can’t magically be turned into a super agile trolley to run up and down isles in the local minimarket or ride small elevators just for the fun of it. But bringing the buggy wheel does add flexibility. Not least since the storage space at the back is big enough to handle the different attachment arms and jogger wheel without any problems. And the fact that it folds very flat makes it easier to travel with than you might first think. But you do need to take the wheels and handlebar off when folding it. It folds down to an impressively low 27 cm. Including all the wheels and arms stuffed inside the trailer!

As already said above I sincerely recommend this trailer to any serious biker/runner with two kids. Our kids love riding in it and either sing and watch all the action (or the landscape) outside or sleep like logs in it. I’m not making this up, but we have had zero (0!) bad rides or runs with neither the old Croozer for 1 nor the new Croozer for 2. Come to think of it, it is actually pretty amazing that they have been happy at every ride. And believe me: that’s not because they scream and cry less than other kids. They’re just as “bad” as anyone else 🙂

Hence: it’s a five star, all thumbs up note and an absolute buy-recommendation if you intend to use it a lot and as it’s supposed to be used, thereby justifying the higher price tag than what you see on many other trailers. If your plan is only to ride to Kindergarten three blocks away or to the nearest playground it is overkill (but you will still want it anyway 🙂 )

 

LxWxH without handlebar                                            108x90x91 cm

LxWxH with handlebar                                                  108x90x100/113 cm

LxWxH incl length of bike-arm                                     164x90x100/113 cn

LxWxH folded                                                                   108x86x27 cm

Weight (with handlebar and all three wheels)           17,6 kg

Loading capacity                                                               45 kg

Wheels                                                                                 20” rear, 16” jogger, 6” buggy

Colour                                                                                  Sky blue/brown

 

20170606_15393120170606_15392420170606_15390520170606_15382620170606_15380520170606_15373220170606_15372520170606_15372120170606_15360120170606_15354420170606_15352920170606_15352220170606_15343920170606_15143220170606_15141220170606_15074120170606_15073420170606_15072820170606_15071820170606_15070720170606_15065920170606_15065320170606_15064220170606_15062420170606_15061920170606_15061020170606_15045920170606_15045320170606_15041520170606_15040920170606_15035720170606_15035020170606_15034020170606_15032720170606_15031720170606_15030820170606_150302

20170606_15421820170606_154209

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s