Friday, March 7, 2008 6.00pm
By Neil Pedoe
Aptly named, Trek's big double trailer might easily be mistaken for a giant robotic beetle. In trailer form it's easily the biggest on test, due mainly to the arching central roll-bar that runs from the middle of the front bumper to the top of the GoBug's back where it is fixed in place with a quick-release pin. Pull this pin and the hoops that make up the Bug's superstructure fold neatly forward. You're left with a not quite flat package with a funny curved handle on one side, but it's pretty neat and easy to heft considering its unfolded size.
The Bug betrays its outdoorsy Californian inclinations by having a well-designed 'jogger' set-up but no compact, easily manoeuvrable trolley wheel for a stroller configuration. This means that in practice, due to its elegant, though impractical length, this is the least likely trailer on test that you'd take round the shops. Isle of Wight? Yes. Aisle of Mothercare? No.
You could also say that the GoBug passenger pod is best for a Californian winter too. Rather than being designed to give optimum visibility to its little passengers with all the weather protection in place, its default configuration seems to be with the undeniably excellent meshed canopy as the topmost layer. But this might only be a criticism if you're heading for high rainfall destinations like deepest Wales, the Lakes or western Scotland for your family holidays.
But the GoBug is packed full of quality features, inside and out, giving the impression of a more deeply designed, developed and mass produced product than others here. On the outside reflective strips and logos abound – there are even reflective sidewalls on the tyres. The excellent bug shield is zipped in place either side, which means you can tend to either child without opening the whole canopy to the elements, and you get a big luggage bay accessed from the rear via a zipper. The foldable aluminium and plastic push handle is a revelation at this price too, with a single arm and moulded in catch to lock it in place at your chosen height. You also get an excellent foot-operated handbrake that locks both wheels with the flick of one centrally mounted lever.
The two bucket seats here might not be as all-serving as the infinitely versatile benchseat, sling options and harnesses of the Chariot, but they make up for it by being the coolest. Your little ones will be supported and cosseted in the padded bucket seat and harness-filled interior as if they were in a rally car. Should they get too excited though, fear not – all the padding is removable and washable.
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