Pros: easy to hook up as trailer, secure (though awkward) harness
Cons: everything about the stroller
Until recently, my family lived near Boise, Idaho. For those of you unfamiliar with Boise (which is probably most of you), there is a fantastic bike path along the Boise River knows as the Greenbelt. When you?re on the Greenbelt, it?s almost as if you aren?t in a city at all.
Having been to a park that?s located along the Greenbelt with our children several times, my husband commented how he?d like to be able to go for bike rides on his days off. So off we went to Sears to buy bicycles and a trailer. Unfortunately, Sears had no trailers in stock at that time.
Our search for a trailer landed us in Shopko, of all places, where we were able to locate an InStep DuoSport, a bicycle trailer and stroller combo.
Since I didn?t assemble this trailer/stroller, my account of the assembly process will be second hand via my husband.
The assembly didn?t take a terribly long time. It?s been a while now (almost two years), but I recall it taking my husband less than an hour. There are a few nuts and bolts to put together for form the frame, and then the canopy goes on over that.
The directions were clear and straightforward, not a jumbled mess as some can be. I did look them over before my husband started work. I think that I could have done the assembly if my husband hadn?t been available, but I personally prefer to leave ?assembly? jobs to my husband.
As a Trailer
Since we use this piece of equipment almost exclusively as a trailer, I will start with this aspect first.
The hitch for this trailer will only attach to certain types of bicycles, there has to be a crossbar to the rear wheel going in at a certain angle. My bicycle had the proper bars, but my husbands did not. Since he was the one who was going to be pulling the trailer, he was forced to manufacture a brace to attach the trailer.
Hook-up of the trailer takes only moments. Align the hitch with the crossbar of the bicycle, and turn the bright red knob to tighten the hitch. After you?ve tightened the hitch, there?s a ?fall back? strap that wraps around the hitch and the bicycle as a safety measure if by some freak occurrence the trailer should come loose from the bicycle.
As a Stroller
As a stroller, this trailer/stroller is an almost total disaster.
Conversion from trailer (our main use) to stroller is an awkward one involving tools and a bit time consuming too. You could always leave the stroller handle on full-time (as in the picture), but then it?s in the way a lot if you are using this product for the trailer aspect the majority of the time (as I was).
There are two rear wheels and one front wheel, and none of them turn in any way, shape or form. To turn the stroller you have to tip it back and ?throw? it around.
In this stroller?s favor, I must say that the large wheels allow it to move quickly and easily over just about any surface you may want to take it over.
The canopy of the trailer has two ?windshields??one mesh and one plastic. This means that you can close only the mesh window for greater airflow or close the plastic window to keep water (and/or bugs depending on where you live) away from your children. The sides of the trailer canopy are mesh, and the rear is open.
Inside the trailer are harnesses for up to two children. It?s a rather oddly designed four-point harness if you use it for two kids though. There are straps coming over each shoulder that connect to a crotch strap. There is a lap belt that goes from the one side of the trailer/stroller to the other, belting in two kids at once.
If you were buckling in only one child, you would place the child in the center of the trailer/stroller and buckle them in as above, but with the lap belt to themselves. The lap belt is so long for one child though that it provides little benefit.
There is a flag that you can place on the bicycle trailer, but I really never saw a reason for this silly looking ?extra.?
There are no shock absorbers of any sort on this trailer/stroller (not even any padding), so your child will be in for a rough ride if you ever go ?off-road.?
Thoughts and Recommendation
The InStep DuoSport bicycle trailer/stroller is a bottom of the line, no frills trailer/stroller combination that will serve its purpose?barely.
As a bicycle trailer alone, this product would have rated four stars (counted down for no shocks or padding).
As a stroller this product would rate one star, maybe two if I were feeling generous. It?s uncomfortable (no padding), difficult to steer, and could only be used for an older child.
I would not recommend this product as a stroller, but as bicycle trailer I would. The InStep DuoSport gets my recommendation, but conditionally. I recommend it only as a trailer.