Personal setups, Trip Reports » Bikepacking singletrack with kids

We finally got out to try bikepacking with our daughters, aged 1.5 and 4.5. We did a quick overnight in an area we are familiar with from day rides. We rode out from the parking lot in the late afternoon, rode for about an 1 hour and set up the tent near a lake. Unfortunately it was to marshy around the edges to swim.

I cooked dinner while my wife and girls played in the tent to avoid the abundant mosquitoes. then they came out fully suited up to eat their supper.

In the morning we continued the rest of the loop, with a stop to pick raspberries, back to the car where we had lunch.

We used a Tout Terrain tag-a-lomg for my 4 year old and a Tout Terrain singletrailer for my toddler. These allow us to ride actuall mtb trails with the kids, not just atv trails.

In the trailer we had an Ursack with dinners, breakfast, cups, spoons as well as a Jetboil Sol Ti and a small drybag with clothes. Otherwise we had the tent inner in my backpack, the outer in my wife’s and a handlebar bag with clothes/sleeping gear each. We used 2 full length Neoairs and one short one and a size S Thermarest UL. Since it was forecast to be warm we used light fleece blankets. We didn’t need quite all the capacity of the small toptube/handle bar bags, so could have left some of those behind.
The kids had a blast, as expected, since they love biking and camping. The trail we picked was just right for us, not a lot of climbing, but lots of fun slalom and whoop-dee-do’s that we and the girls enjoy.

Comments (14)

BlammoJuly 21st, 2012 at 9:03 am

Nice write up. Looking forward to the next.

BartJuly 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 pm

well done! wish I would of know about that trailer a year ago!

ColoradoCoolBreezeSeptember 21st, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Nice report. My daughter now 27 with her own one year old son still talks about her first campout with mom and dad.

JsunSeptember 26th, 2012 at 8:55 am

I had to look up that trailer too. Pretty cool idea. I tried a charriot trailer on the trail and felt it was too rough of a ride. Actually jack-knifed it with a three year in it once. Thank goodness for the roll cage and her good sense of fun.
The family camping trips, no matter how simple and close to home, are always a winner. Thanks for posting.

WesFebruary 5th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

The trailers both look awesome. My 3 year old would love the singletrailer. Where did you get it and how much was it? I can’t find anyone in the US that carries it.

slimFebruary 5th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

We got the Tout-Terrain Singletrailer from Peter White Cycles. I don’t see it on his site anymore. Also, when we got it, his price wasn’t very good, as the Euro exchange rate was dropping at the time and he didn’t seem very friendly or helpful.

I don’t see the current price listed on Tout Terrain’s website, you’d have to ask them. I think it was around 1500 Euro at the time, probably more now.

Because of this we bought the Streamliner tag-a-long in Holland. The tag-a-long(Streamliner) easily fit in a regular suitcase.

If you are a US resident and buy something in the EU, you can reclaim the VAT, which is included in the listed price in the EU, so you will pay ~17% less than the listed price.

I modified them with a longer pulling arm, to clear our 29er- full suspension bikes.

WesFebruary 6th, 2013 at 6:33 am

I checked with Peter White Cycles. They are not importing it any longer. I contacted Tout Terrain directly and they do have 2 other dealers in the US. The Bike Shop at Hughes Ace Hardware, St.Maries, Idaho and Tess Velo, Joe Bike, Portland. I am going to contact them and see what the price is. 1500 Euro is pretty steep. I don’t know how long my daughter would be able to use it before she is ready for a streamliner or something similar. This is the only single wheel child trailer that I can find. Surely, as bikepacking gains popularity, there will be others. I have thought about trying to modify a BOB yak trailer…might be cheaper, but after modifications I’m sure it would be heavy. Thanks for the info. Happy riding…

slimFebruary 6th, 2013 at 7:14 am

Yes, if your youngest is 3 already, it might not be worth it, usually kids can start riding a trail-a-bike around 4 or 5. They will fit in the Singletrailer till about age 6.
For me it was a good decision. I bought it when my oldest was only a baby, so I knew I would have it for a long time. Also, at the time, it was the only way for me to get out and mtb at all, since my wife and I were never home together.

I know someone who modified a yak. It’s pretty involved and heavy, because you need to make sure you have a good roll cage and cover to keep branches out of their face.

slimFebruary 6th, 2013 at 7:23 am

Forgot to mention, the ToutTerrain trailers have actual rear shocks from Rockshox, unlike the the Chariot (urn dampened leaf springs) and the Burley(rubber square). The Singletrailer has 200mm/8″ travel.

They ride very well. The only issue for the trailer is riding through a gap between two rocks, or riding over a log, as these will hang up on the bottom of the trailer.
Tight switchbacks are also an issue because of the length, of the combo.

Other than that, you can ride some real mtb trails at a reasonable pace.

CassJune 1st, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Great looking setup.

How much stowage space is there in the Singletrailer? I’m struggling to see where you packed everything (-;

I have a Chariot, which is great, loads of accessories/versatility and pretty good on dirt roads – but I’m itching to ride some singletrack. I have a Tout Terrain Mule, so I’m familiar with the general design.

From the looks of it, there’s no real cargo space, other than what I see you’ve done – attach a bag to the arm. Did you stow stuff in the trailer too? One advantage of the Chariot over the Singletrailer for touring is that you can still run a seatpack.

Also, how did you modify the arm for 29er clearance?

Thanks!

slimJune 3rd, 2013 at 9:27 am

>How much stowage space is there in the Singletrailer? Did you stow stuff in the trailer too?
Yes we did. Under the seat. See article. There is about 5″ of height under the seat.

>… what I see you’ve done – attach a bag to the arm.
Actually, that is a life jacket, we were riding to a lake, so we wanted to swim. You can buy a bag to fit in that space, but I have just strapped on a drybag there previously.

>I’m struggling to see where you packed everything (-;
See the paragraph about packing. Just don’t bring very much.

>Also, how did you modify the arm for 29er clearance?
Cut it of and replaced it with a slightly longer and more curved arm. I had it done at a muffler shop. Cheap and quick, but not as light or pretty as an actual framebuilders job.

debsDecember 26th, 2013 at 6:26 am

I have been steadily acquiring all the gear to take my youngest with us next year, I think we’ve just about got everything we need now (unfortunately we can’t travel quite as light ’cause of the awful Brit weather). I loved reading your write up, it really gave me a shove to make sure that we go through with our plans. What more can you can offer your children – your undivided attention, fresh air and loads and loads of fun. Cheers for the inspiration.

JeanneJanuary 16th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Do you still have the kids trailer and would you want to sell it in the US? Thank you.

JeanneJanuary 16th, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Love the bike.

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