The Bark Ranger is a trailer designed specifically for your dearest companion. Just like how they make trailers for parents wanting to include their small children on their two-wheeled adventures; Burley makes trailers for pet parents wanting to do the same with their fur babies!
If you find yourself daydreaming about including your four-legged fella on scenic routes through the forest, or on a weeklong bikepacking trip you need a Bark Ranger! The line has two options, the Bark Ranger and the Bark Ranger XL, the only difference being carrying capacity.
Over the past few months, Kujo and myself have been spending all our free time exploring and putting the Bark Ranger XL through its paces. During our rides, we took the trailer over crushed gravel, smooth pavement, pothole-laden broken pavement, grassy double track, dirt, and even through some sand.
- Weight: Bark Ranger – 26.6 lbs., XL – 33 lbs.
- Material: Aluminum frame, recycled polyester, and bluesign certified, sustainable materials
- Towing Capacity: Bark Ranger – 75 lbs., XL – 100 lbs.
- Overall Dimensions: Bark Ranger – 36.5 in(L) x 28.5 in(W) x 32 in(H), XL – 36.5 in(L) x 32.8 in(W) x 37.3 in(H)
- Interior Dimensions: Bark Ranger – 36.2 in(L) x 16.7 in(W) x 24.2 in(H), XL – 36.2 in(L) x 22.4 in(W) x 29.9 in(H)
- Ground Clearance: 6.5”
- Step Up Height (entry into the trailer): 9”
- Wheel Size: 20”
- Axle Compatibility: quick release, bolt-on, thru-axle
- Price: Bark Ranger – $599.95, XL – $699.95
- Accessories: Pet Bed($69.95), Bark Ranger Bag($69.95), Pet Trailer Pouch($49.95), Bark Ranger Rain Cover($39.95), Bark Ranger Kickstand($29.95), 16+ wheel kit($179.95), ski kit($249.95)
Out of the box/from being stored the Bark Ranger is a breeze to put together. Unfold the frame (which satisfyingly clicks into place so you know it’s secure), connect the cover to the frame with the attached Velcro loops, pop on the wheels with the push of a button, insert the tow bar, and you’re done.
Once the trailer is together you need to get it attached to your bicycle. Step one, install the hitch onto your bike’s rear axle. This may require additional parts if your bike isn’t quick-release, but Burly has it explained very well on their website or in the included manual. Once installed you can leave it on your bike to save time in the future. With the minimal design, it’s easy to forget it’s even there.
The next step is to get the trailer connected to your bike. Take the rubbery piece on the end of the tow bar called the flex connector (more about this later) and line up the hole going through the middle of it with the hole in the hitch that’s now on your bike. If you’re a visual person think of a sandwich, where the hitch is the bread, and the flex connector is the meat. Once the holes are aligned you can easily slide the retaining pin through and secure it underneath.
The flex connector is specific to Burley trailers and is awesome because you can lay your bike down without detaching the trailer! Finding something to lean your bike against where the ground is also mostly level(so the trailer doesn’t roll away) isn’t always the easiest task, but that’s no longer a concern.
For added safety, there is a safety strap attached to the tow bar that wraps around the frame of your bike and then hooks back onto the bar via a D-ring. Just make sure the strap doesn’t interfere with the rear rotor or spokes and you’re ready to roll!
On top of having the flex connector, Burley also added a snazzy parking brake to the Bark Ranger to make loading/unloading even easier. The lever is located towards the front of the trailer. I’m assuming to be easily reached while standing by your bike. It’s also strategically tucked in between the tow bar and wheel to protect it from unexpected rocks, branches, curbs etc. that you encounter.
One may think I’ve had trailers with features like this before and over time they eventually stop working. Someone at Burley must have had this same thought because they installed barrel adjusters (no tools necessary) on the cabling so you can easily adjust the pin that protrudes into the wheel to prevent them from moving.
Next to the parking brake is a built-in pocket. The opening is narrow, but the pocket goes all the way down to the frame, so it holds more than I initially anticipated. Kujo likes to keep the essentials in here: a leash, his collapsible bowl, and a bag of treats.
On the other side of the trailer as well as on top there are attachment points to connect the accessory bags. I did not get a chance to use them, but my general mentality is you can’t have too many storage options so I’m sure they are very useful. The one on the side would be great for extra poop baggies and things of that nature (tehe). It has an outer mesh pocket that I think would be perfect for stashing a used/full baggy that way it’s separated from your other belongings but isn’t inside the trailer with your pup just asking to be stepped on.
Alternatively, you could use a strap or cord to secure items to the top of the trailer using the attachment points for the bag. We found this useful for our tent or any bulkier items. An extra layer or rain jacket could also be tied down here.
Kujo is more of a stand-up, tongue out, ears flopping, face full of wind kind of guy so he gets max air flow, but for our furry friends who prefer to take a more relaxing approach and lay down Burley did a great job with ventilation to keep them as cool as possible – it can’t be easy wearing a fur coat in 80+ degree weather.
The upper half of both sides has the fabric replaced with a very heavy-duty mesh. Think screened door on your house but literally triple the thickness, if not more. The front window along with the tailgate is mesh as well.
The Bark Ranger has its opening in the back rather than forward facing like the children’s trailers. The tailgate design makes it much easier for dogs to walk right in without having to maneuver around the hitch and rear wheel of your bike. The design also makes it low to the ground not only for added stability but also accessibility. As your pup ages and if they develop arthritis/hip issues like most large breeds do(sigh) they should still have no problems getting into the trailer. Being able to include your number one copilot on your adventures no matter their age is a total win.
Along with numerous reflective details on the trailer, the rear has a loop on each side to attach a taillight. Generally, the trailer draws attention but having a taillight flashing did make me a little more comfortable when I had to ride on the road. Especially around dusk when it can be harder for drivers to see.
I will admit pulling an 80-pound dog in a 33-pound trailer is no easy task, especially initially. If you’ve ever towed anything I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. From a standstill, it takes a lot of force to get things moving. Once you’re going the stiffness and responsiveness of the trailer does a great job of helping keep that momentum moving forward.
One final feature that I really appreciate is the removable floor. The entire floor pops right out to make keeping the trailer in pristine condition a breeze. Side note, this is also how you access the barrel adjusters for the parking brake.
Yayy!! Or Nayy…
The Bark Ranger is built solid and safe, pulls super smooth, can handle long days across varied terrain, and is exceptionally user-friendly. It’s designed for pets but could be multi-purpose. With its high sides, and flat floor it would be great for making a run to the grocery store. No spilt milk or crushed chips here!
Functionally I did not find anything that could use some improvement. It truly shows how much time and resources Burley put into designing this trailer. For that, I give the Bark Ranger a definite YAYY!! and a 5/5 rating!
I feel like I do need to mention the cost though since it may be a barrier for some. While it is a bit of an investment it does come with a 5-year warranty (1 year on fabric). Something can go through a lot of use in 5 years, so I think it’s safe to assume Burley built the trailer to last and the investment is well worth it. After all, our furry companions aren’t with us forever, and nothing matters more to them than spending time with their beloved owner. Spoil them with a Bark Ranger and have memories of your shared adventures long after they cross the rainbow bridge!
For more information visit – https://burley.com/products/bark-ranger/