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We test Thule's multi-sport adventure-ready Chariot Cougar 1, the child trailer cum pushchair which is purpose built for taking your young ones with you on outdoors adventures

thule chariot cycling trailer
Overall Score
Fantastic build quality and versatility
Parking brake can be hard to activate

A new young family doesn't have to mean an end to adventure - all you need is the bravery to take your kids with you, and the kit to make it possible and safe.

The Cougar 1 is designed to do just that. In standard pushchair mode, you have an anodized aluminium frame weighing just 10kg, with 20 inch spoked aluminium wheels, an adjustable height handlebar, as well as a large rear pocket.

It's strong too, with its 34kg carrying capacity likely to far outreach your ability let alone desire to push or pull it - bearing in mind that's actually more than your average 10-year-old...

For storage or stowing in a car boot, the Cougar will fold flat, with the wheels popping off each side of the trailer with central push-button releases.



Claiming to be the safest multipurpose child carrier on the market, the Cougar has a five-point safety harness for your child, which fastens with one buckle. While most push chairs - even those only designed for strolls around the shops - are not recommended until babies have full control of their heads, there is a padded infant sling available for the Cougar, which means you can start carrying your child in it from just a few days old.

With an internal height of 66cm, and the frame of the Cougar creating an effect rollcage, your young occupant is well protected from impacts, crashes or even rolls.

The whole front panel fixes down or rolls up, with a broad Velcro strip at the bottom and elasticated sides keeping the passenger completely dry and warm. A transparent front panel and side windows means they'll enjoy almost as much of the view as you too.

A foot operated brake mounted centrally on the rear axle locks the back wheels effectively, although with the rear pocket crammed you'll only know where to find it with experience.



One of the highlights of the Cougar is its adjustable leaf suspension which can be stiffened or softened depending on the weight of the child on board and the terrain.

Inside, your young occupant gets a padded seat, which can be removed and all those ground-in snacks washed out, as well as a padded harness. Mesh side pockets are great for stashing drink bottles, teddies and toys.

The sitting position is good too, with the child's feet below the seat in a roomy and tough footwell.

Versatility The real beauty of the Cougar, and the feature which goes a long way to justifying its price tag, is its versatility. Drop the two excellent trolley wheels off the front with a push of the side buttons, slot in the included towing arm, and you can hitch it up to your bike.

The towing arm has a rubber coupling where it attaches to your bike's rear axle, which cleverly eliminates towing jerkiness for both the rider and the passenger.

Those big 20in wheels mean rolling resistance is minimal, and the Cougar rolls nicely over even bumpy ground - but that doesn't mean that you won't get a serious hill-climbing work out on even the shallowest gradients.

It doesn't just stop at family bike rides: runs or jogs with junior are unlocked with the available jogging kit, which involves slotting a bigger central front wheel to the front of the Cougar.

Even snow won't stop the play, with a Cross Country Skiing and Hiking kit available that replaces the wheels with skis, and telescopic towing arms with a padded waist belt turning you into Rudolf for winter fun.

For bigger families (and even bigger hill-climbing workouts) there is a two-seater Thule Chariot Cougar 2.

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