Thule Chariot Cheetah XT Bike Trailer Review

By Eric Awwy, 19 Jan 2021

Thule is a renowned household name when it comes to designing the best bike trailers for kids. With five top of the range bike trailers, Thule has distinguished itself from the likes of InStep, Burley, and Hamax. When we had endless emails to review the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT, we were hesitant about what we could write home about it because it is simply a fantastic workhorse.

The Thule Chariot Cheetah XT shouts performance, versatility, versatility, and quality wrapped in a kid-friendly lightweight and yet durable frame. If you plan to add this beautiful family trailer into your bunch of cycling accessories, you have our go-ahead. Running back to back with single mid-range trailers from Burley, there is a reason why most cycling families incline to Thule.

If you ask someone why they love the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT, their answer will be that even though it is pricey, its aerodynamic design, smooth rolling, and premium features make it worth the cost.  Let us find out why everyone loves the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT.

Thule Chariot Cheetah XT Multisport Trailer

Thule Chariot Cheetah XT Trailer
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Quick Facts on Thule Chariot Cheetah XT

Capacity/Trims: Single-trailer (without and with jogging kit) and double trailer (without and with jogging kits)

Tire size: 20 inches

Maximum weight limit: 100 lbs.

Sitting height: 27 inches

Safety Harness: 5-point

Inside width: 27 inches

Overall Weight: 26.5 lbs. (XT 2) 19.4 lbs. (XT 1)

Available upgrades: Thule jogger Kit, stroller kit, Thule trailer brake kit, Thule hydration cage, Thule infant sling, and the Thule Country Skiing Kit.

Full Review of the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT

When reviewing the best bike trailers, we indicated that the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT is a multisport bike trailer. When put side by side by other trailers such as the high-end Thule Chariot Cross, Hamax Outback, and the Burley D’Lite X, it emerged as one of the best mid-range trailers on the market. It fits the level and versatility as it comes jogger, stroller, and skiing ready; you need to purchase the upgrade kits and be prepared to go on a training rampage.

In the list of Thule bike trailers, the Chariot Cheetah XT fits in the same high-end category as Chariot Lite and Coaster XT. In a simple description, the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT is a perfect training partner for a parent who is an athlete but loves cycling or duathletes. It is a nifty invention that allows even mothers with babies to enjoy strolls and jogs around the neighborhoods. It is the best choice for Thule brand lovers who are a few bucks short of getting the Chariot Cross Sport – it delivers and never disappoints.

The Thule Chariot Cheetah XT is the most tricked-out bike trailer in its category compared to the Coaster XT, given that it comes at a great price both for the single and double trailer versions.

Aerodynamic Design

As cycling freaks, we know how aerodynamic designs come to play, especially when you have to fight headwinds. Seemingly inspired by the same thoughts, the Thule Company included an aerodynamic silhouette to the Chariot Cheetah XT, making it adaptive to different sporting activities.

Its aerodynamic and lightweight design makes it a perfect choice for athletic families with small kids to bring along. With the kids tucked in its interior, you can be sure to crank out the miles in peace as your little passengers either cheer on or concentrate on admiring the outdoors.

Cabin Space

Due to the Cheetah XT's slim build, only average-sized kids can comfortably fit into it. However, if your kids are a bit plump, you should check other bike trailer options as they will not have comfort during the rides. Comparatively, the Chariot Cross single-trailer version has a roomy interior compared to Chariot Cheetah XT. This means that for non-toddler bigger 4-5 year-olds, the Thule Cross Sports is the best buy.

The Chariot Cheetah XT single carries kids up to 49 lbs.  But it has a maximum weight capacity of 75 lbs. when the cargo is included. The Cheetah XT Double comfortably accommodates two kids with each the same weight but has a maximum weight limit of 100 lbs., when the cargo is included.

Let’s Talk Safety

The Cheetah XT comes loaded with safety features such as the harness system, covers, sunshades, and UV windows.

All these would make you think that we are describing a sedan, oh! No, it’s just a description of what a safe bike trailer should at least entail.

Innovative and Kid-proof harness system

The Cheetah XT boasts an easy-to-operating 5-point harness system that holds the kids to the bench-style seat. Like the harness systems in the Chariot Cross, the harness has padding that adds extra comfort to the shoulders and the little tots' waists. There is never a tranquil ride like that where the parents know the kids are safe back there.

Snapping the buckle pieces together before insertion to the bottom female buckle head makes it a kid-proof harness system, reinforcing safety.

UV windows and Sunshade (climate control cockpit)

Kids riding in bike trailers are very important people. As such, they deserve maximum protection from the elements. The Thule Cheetah XT comes with UV windows that are functional in summer when the sun is sweltering hot. Your mind does not have to worry about taking babies on a hot afternoon ride. The UV covers allow the kids to have some view of the surroundings.

Even though often disregarded, sunshades are a premium bike trailer feature. Luckily, the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT’s Sunshade rolls up and about a quarter the front-height down on the front, acting as a visor.

And since the Sunshade covers the trailer's roof, it adds protection as the top is made of mesh material. Even though the Sunshade is not as excellent as that in the Thule Cross, it serves the purpose.

However, since the Sunshade is under the front mesh cover, you have to open the front of the trailer to access the Sunshade so that you can lower it. It eats some of your time but does not make it a worthless purchase.

Exterior Cover

We loved the Burley trailers' exterior covers more than Thule’s, but each serves its purpose right. The Cheetah XT is made of a reflective, refined, and sleek material that, apart from covering kids from the elements, ensures the kids' visibility and safety.

The reflective canvas material runs to the sides of the trailer and attaches to the bottom. Then, a rain cover is a permanent feature in the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT trailer. We loved the fact that it rolls up when not in use, making us love the trailer more for its price.

Parking Brakes and Strong bottom

If you are to use the Chariot Cheetah XT as a jogger or stroller, you can use the packing brakes to make the trailer come to a stop.

The bottom of the Chariot Cheetah XT trailer is made of thick canvas, which is a preserve for the high-end Thule bike trailers. Therefore, when kids are in the trailer, there is no need to worry about their safety; it is well assured.

Does it fold, and how much space does it take?

The top of our worries when purchasing a trailer is whether or not it folds. Foldability defines the storage space a trailer takes in the car trunk spaces. The Chariot Cheetah XT compactly folds.

You can fold the trailer by pushing the blue knobs at the trailer's back and slowly pushing the frame down. With the wheels removed, the trailer can be packed into a trunk by pressing the center axle button. 

When folded, the trailer weighs 19.4 lbs. and occupies 42 x 24 x 10.6 inches. However, it is slightly longer, which means taking more space compared to other trailers. You can bring the child bike trailer with you anywhere.

Innovatively, the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT comes with the Thule Click n’ Store feature that conveniently makes it easier for onboard storage of the strolling, cycling, and jogging kit, which allows parents to comfortably change between activities.

Storage Space

Kids love carrying every stuff around. Mums love to bring things such as sweaters, jackets, water, and other items for the ride. This only means that an adequate cargo space ticks the checkboxes of the best bike trailer.

Unlike the Burley trailers with more storage room, the Thule trailers are mean with space – they make you go frugal as far as concerns what to bring on a ride when with kids.

The Chariot Cheetah XT has a large storage space at the back with mesh pockets, which is ideal when using it in the stroller or jogger modes but can equally hold a few items when cycling.

Putting more stuff into the storage means sacrificing the kids' comfort as they will either lean on them or bend forward. The storage also allows free flow of air into the bike trailer cabin, so you limit the flow if you stuff it.

The trailer's interior also has a pair of small mesh pockets that can hold water, snacks, and other little essentials.

Wheels and Tires

The Cheetah XT bike trailer comes with two standard 20-inch metallic rims with 20-inch tires. The tires are thinner, limiting the scope of terrains that you can explore with the bike trailer compared to the slightly fat Burley trailer tires. Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade to the fat tires for this trailer and other Thule Trailers.

The bench-Style Seats (The selling point)

As parents who understand how hard it is to lad kids on hammock-style seats, we were elated that the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT comes with a cushioned bench-style seat that bears the weight of the kids and makes it easy for kids to get in and out. A 5-point kid-proof harness system then secures the children. The only drawback was that the seats cannot be removed for cleaning.

Ease of Assembly

We barely took an hour as we had planned when assembling the Cheetah XT. It is easy to assemble, which makes it a great purchase. Once you assemble it, you will have all the excitement to test ride it with the child in it, the same way we did.

As you assemble the trailer, you will come to appreciate the careful craft and innovative design. Its frame is very sturdy and lightweight, making it one of the best bike trailers on the market. The jogger is also light, well-balanced, and stable, which further seals the reputation of Thule as a great bike trailer manufacturer.

If you run into problems assembling, there are many videos online. However, the very responsive customer support at Thule can also come in handy.

Universal Hitch Style

The Thule bike trailers come with a universal hitch system that fits smoothly. The Thule Patented Axle Mount ezHitch system enables you to tow the trailer around. Installing the hitch system on your bike takes only a few minutes of your time.

The hitch system has a socket or a cup where the rubber lollypop head on the tow arm fits, once the hitch is locked in place, you are good to go.

The hitch system comes with a unique quick-release pin secured into place with a piece of rubber. If you have used a range of bike trailers, you will appreciate that the Thule Hitch system is easy to operate.

The manual is also well structured to ensure that you hitch it correctly.

Versatility

The Thule Chariot Cheetah XT Multisport Trailer has an aerodynamic design that makes it a mule with multisport capabilities. It features the HeightRight adjustable handlebar and jogger/stroller kit that convert it into a stroller and jogger. As a stroller, the Chariot Cheetah XT held to the same performance level as the Thule Chariot Cross single. Its front stroller wheels fold to allow the parent to maneuver spaces with less space. It is very lightweight, which means little energy is expended pushing it. Besides, its wheels roll smoothly, improving efficiency. However, the fact that there are only two height settings for the handlebar limits the fun one had adjusting the handlebar when strolling or jogging.

It also converts to a country baby ski stroller.

  • Bench-style seats
  • Inflatable rubber wheels for good traction
  • Premium safety and security features
  • Versatile and innovative design
  • Good ground clearance
  • Adjustable shoulder straps that fit most infants
  • Large storage space
  • Easy to assemble
  • Cumbersome for smaller storage spaces and trunks
  • Limiting handlebar height setting
  • Does not have a wide color range

Bottom Line

We love the Cheetah XT as it is a fantastic bike trailer packed with premium features. The Thule Chariot Cheetah XT is a win in the trailer market and a statement for a cycling family. Since it is among the best multisport trailer from Thule, you can rely on it for versatility, security and safety, comfort, and durability.

From an expert’s perspective, the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT is one of the best mid-range single trailers. The double trailer gives other brands such as the Burley Encore X a run for their money.  Purchasing it means enjoying four seasons and four activities with just a single bike trailer as it converts to a stroller, jogger, ski rig, and trailer at the same time.

We recommend it for use around neighborhoods and cities and not on rough terrains considering its thin wheels. It has adequate clearance for a family that tours places with even surfaces or good roads.

In simple words, the Thule Chariot Cheetah XT can unforgivingly chew even terrains, making it a workhorse that allows you to take your family on a fun ride.

Packed with safety features and the bench-style seat that is its biggest selling point, it beats other affordable bike trailers, such as the Honey bee, hands down.

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