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The Trekkers Friend Hiking Trailer Review

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

For some hikers, taking a big heavy pack can be difficult and take a toll on your body especially if you are not as young and able as you once were. A hiking trailer is one possible solution that might help you get back out on the trail more often and leaving you less sore in the days after, in this review we will cover everything you need to know about a hiking trailer and ask the question of ‘is it worth it?’



So what is a hiking trailer?


A hiking trailer is a device which can be attached to a hiking pack that adds wheels in order to make it easier to carry your pack along long stretches of path as you hike. These trailers work best on relatively flat ground such as rail trails and makes walking these long stretches easier while still allowing you to carry your pack on your back as you would like.


The Trekkers Friend is one of these hiking trailers that is out on the market and is a custom-designed, lightweight, and smart device which weighs only 1.8kg. The device can be attached to most hiking packs while still allowing you to carry your pack on your back as you would normally while you walk, this can then be taken off to unlock the benefits it holds. The device, once attached, wheels your pack behind you and uses a harness to attach it to your body, this ends up using far less energy and puts much less strain on your body which we will talk a little more about later.


Included in the box is:

  • A small day pack that attaches to the back of the hiking trailer.

  • Two lightweight wheels with sealed metal bearings and clips.

  • A webbing harness with two shoulder straps and waist belt.

  • Top and Bottom metal plates which attach to your bag.

  • The Straps used to secure the trailer to your bag.

Not included in the box is:

  • The hiking pack the trailer needs to be attached to.

  • Aluminium 7075 Trekking poles required for assembly.



How do you use the Trekkers Friend?


So how do you actually use it? Well, the setup of the Trekkers Friend can be a little tedious but once you have assembled it, it can remain on your pack without needing to do much fiddling with it. When setting it up, I would defiantly set aside some time at first to learn the basics as it can be a little hard when first starting out but after following the very straightforward guide on the Trekkers Friend website, you will undoubtedly know exactly where to go next and should be able to do a full set up in about 5 minutes.


Once you have fully set up your Trekkers Friend you should find using it pretty straightforward and can be used in two modes, the first being on your back (not in use) and the second being wheeled along the ground (in use). If you are planning on using the first mode, make sure that while setting it up you follow the instructions for making it compatible to use in this way, once set up you can simply put the backpack on your back and get walking. Once you want to start wheeling your pack using the trailer, simply take it off, attach your poles as per the instructions on the website and make sure your harness is comfortable, then you should be ready to set off with the trailer running behind you.


So what are the benefits?


So by now you may be asking why should I bother getting one? Well, there are many benefits that a hiking trailer can provide such as an increased walking speed, moderate energy savings, less stress on your bones, more space for your body to breathe, and lower risks of pack-related injuries.


These benefits are best felt when hiking over many days which can really put a lot of strain on your body and especially your back, this is something most hikers just overlook as being part of hiking but the Trekkers Friend gives you an opportunity to change this and hike in a much less stressful way. While using the Trekkers Friend, the energy savings can vary on your terrain and your own body but they can reach as much as 14.5% in some people but it's also important to remember that the energy saving can be as little as 1.3%. On top of the energy savings, there tends to be a large boost to walking speed that comes with the use of the Trekkers Friend and this is something that you will undoubtedly notice while using as it can change the way you hike. Finally, without your pack on, there is naturally less strain on your body and more space to breathe making for a much nicer hiking experience during the hike and while in recovery.


What are my thoughts on the Trekkers Friend?


Well overall my thoughts on the Trekkers Friend are very positive and I think it offers some people who have felt as if they can no longer continue to hike as they once did to once again get the urge to get back out onto the trail. This trailer has many things going for it but also has some drawbacks that can discourage someone from buying which I will look a little deeper into now, so let’s start with the pros.


Pros:

The pros of the trekkers friend are extensive and include its ability to take the strain off walking long distances with a heavy pack, when field testing the trekkers friend I found myself finding it easier to walk even when my pack was the same weight as it usually was and I didn't seem to need as long of a recovery as other hikes I have undertaken previously. Because of its harness that made walking with it on so easy, I found myself walking on average quicker and feeling less tired at the end which I think all hikers can agree is a big plus. Another bonus of using the trailer that I found was the amount of access I had to my bag while walking, typically I avoid taking off my pack while hiking but with the trekkers friend I could stop anytime I liked and it wouldn't be a hassle. This became especially helpful when trying to access a water bottle, raincoat or a snack and meant on average I took less time stopped and more time moving.


Finally, I think I need to talk about how easy it is for your body to breathe when you are using a hiking trailer compared to wearing your pack as normal. During the summer months especially, I find myself sweating along my back due to the heat that gathers between my pack and my back but when wearing the trekkers friend, my body felt a lot breezier and freer to move than it ever had before while wearing my pack. This is definitely a bonus during the summer months but is less of a big benefit while winter is in town.


Cons:

While the trekkers friend is great at a lot of things it's not entirely perfect and does have a few drawbacks that make it not as useful to some hikers depending on what kind of hike you are planning to do. Firstly I think we need to address the elephant in the room which is its ability to function on rough and uneven terrain, though it may have many applications on smoother trails it does have far more limited abilities on these types of track. The trekkers friend does come with the ability to be carried on your back as you would normally carry a pack but this is not the greatest experience due to the trailers design which adds both the wheels and cords that can get a little in the way sometimes especially when the trailer remains attached. The trailers 1.8kg of weight also adds some extra strain so you will want to make sure that you are wheeling it for a majority of your journey otherwise it becomes somewhat of a disadvantage rather than the benefit it should bring you.


Though it may not work perfectly on uneven ground it's also important to note that its design is not made for these kinds of trails and is better used by hikers doing thru-hikes such as Caminos through Spain and further abroad.


Should you get one for yourself?


Well, I've got to be honest, when first hearing about this hiking trailer I was sceptical but after using it I was almost instantly sold on how easy it was to carry my pack using the trekkers friend compared to on my back as I usually would. If you are a young person who still has that ability to push through even when the going gets tough then I would say you are probably fine without this tool but if you feel yourself struggling to complete a thru-hike that you desperately want to do then this might be a good option for you to be able to do the hike you want. The freedom this trailer can bring to your hiking experience allows you to do what you want without compromising on the ability to do the trails you want to do. As previously mentioned this trailer works best for hikers looking to do trails such as the Caminos and I would suggest this as a must for someone who is trying to complete a trail like this for the first time.


So yes, I would suggest the trekkers friend as a great hiking product made by a hiker for hikers which clearly has made it the best in its field in my opinion.


For this review I used the Trekkers Friend Hiking Trailer by Chris Lowe, unlike most other competitors of the trekkers friend it is not quite as expensive, coming in at $260 AUD, most of the other competitors' products come in around double this price making it far more affordable. This hiking trailer is not cheap but is well worth the price if you plan on doing a long trail such as the Camino in the future. Before you buy it is always a good idea to look at similar products to make sure you are getting what best suits you, due to the rather small niche this product sits in this may be rather difficult.



Written by Josh Welch


A special thank you Chris Lowe for letting us test the trekkers friend.

3 comments

3 Komentar


Does the price include delivery and taxes to the uk

Suka

How does this comply with some of the national parks and hiking the Appalachian trail the pacific coast trail and the continental divide trail? Also I am a novice in the hiking realm. I am older and have a child and I want to be able to carry the needed items with my child and family. child is 3 y/o


Suka
Josh Welch
Josh Welch
23 Des 2021
Membalas kepada

Hey there, the Trekkers Friend isn't really made with the intension of being used on a trail such as the Appalachian trail. This product is better used for use on rail trails and flatter tracks as the wheels can become hard to use on rough ground. If you are looking to do a long thru-hike such as the ones you have mentioned then I would suggest you think very hard about bringing young children as the trails can be very demanding which isn't suited to younger hikers.

Suka
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