One gift that is sure to be a big hit with the kids is a go kart or dune buggy type vehicle. Speed + control is pretty much universally loved by kids. These little go karts nowadays are usually constructed with steel and some even have suspension systems that make them nearly indestructible — ideal for whatever havoc your kids and their friends are planning to wreak. Peruse our list of the best go karts for kids of this year in the section below.
6 Best Go Karts for Kids of 2018
Here are the all around best kids go karts currently available. While more expensive than most toys, these are sure to put a smile on your kid(s) faces and provide unlimited adventure in their golden years.
Coleman is one of the powerhouse brands in the outdoor, camping, and sports category. They’ve found success again and put together a popular line of go karts. The go kart featured above is powered by a 4 stroke OHV 1 cylinder engine and is recommended for riders up to 150 pounds. Kids will love hitting trails and zooming around in this kart. The honest truth is this kart is great for both kids and adults. Even adults up to about 5′ 10″ will be able to ride around and make trips between camps (or to the cooler). It’s not going to be the most comfortable ride but it’s doable.
Coleman offers this go kart with two different size engines: a 98cc (3.0HP) and a 196cc (6.5HP). Their go karts aren’t cheap, but they’ve got quality parts that require little maintenance. Attention has been given to the details. A race car-esque seat, four point safety harness, and heavy duty 16 gauge tubular construction help increase the safety and durability of this go kart.
Razor is one of the top brands when it comes to vehicles for kids. The Razor Dune Buggy comes stocked with a powerful 350 watt electric motor. That equates to it peaking out at about a speed of 10 miles per hour meaning. That’s a good balance — kids will still be thrilled by the ride but its not fast enough for them to cause any serious damage. The 8 inch knobby pneumatic tires are ideal for difficult terrain and the offroad beating this buggy will surely endure. It supports up to 120 pounds of weight making it ideal for ages 8 and older.
We like that this one is electric. It wins our award for best electric go kart. Of course, no fuel is required to run this buggy and it operates noiselessly. A two 12V sealed rechargeable battery system powers the buggy for up to 40 minutes of continuous use. When it’s out of juice simply wheel it into the garage and plug in it for charging. The variable speed, high/low torque, and hand brake capabilities are great for speed and climbing control. These are all easily operated via the hand controls.
This dune buggy has plenty of durability and safety features as well. The strong tubular steel frame is built to last and keep the rider safe. The frame combined with the diamond plated traction floorboard make for a sturdy buggy. The bucket seat comes with a seat belt and shoulder straps. Plus, an optional bright safety flag is included that you can mount to the buggy to help you keep an eye on your little ones.
For kids ages 3-7, Fisher-Price’s Power Wheels Dune Buggy is a great option and is our pick for the best kids go cart. This is electric dune buggy which runs on a 12 volt battery. One of its outstanding features is the ‘Monster Traction’ drive system. This ensures that one’s kids can keep truckin’ whether they are riding on grass, hard surfaces such as concrete, and rough terrain. The wheels are another distinct feature. These giant wheels, 5 color styles, plus the flashy chrome accents are appealing to kids. They serve a purpose too: the rugged tires give the rider stability for all their backyard adventures.
One of the main reasons this is made our list of the best kids dune buggies because of its two seater capacity. The steel frame supports up to 130 pounds which is plenty for 2 younger kids. Just don’t let a Shaq sized adult try to sit in there!
It has metal sidebars, front bumper, and dual seat belts offering a safe and secure ride for the occupants. The electronic power lock braking system will hold the buggy in place whenever your kid’s foot lifts from the acceleration pedal. It drives to speeds of up to 5 mph forward and 2.5 mph for reverse.
This is one of the latest additions to Razor’s electric vehicle lineup. Quickly, the power rider become one of Razor’s top products. It is recommended for kids ages 8 and up.
The Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle is a fun alternative to the standard go kart or buggy. This scooter is slick, and allows the rider to execute full 360 degree spins, slides, and drifts. That will turn all the neighborhood’s kids heads. Watching your kid drift around sharp turns may even make you want to give it go. Alas, this tricycle supports riders up to 120 pounds.
The dual inclined casters and pneumatic front wheel give this tricycle ridiculous turning and spinning capabilities. The 12V rechargeable battery system is good for 40 minutes of continuous use. The electric power can get the tricycle cruising up to 9 mph! The moto-style double crown fork design is a nice touch. Impact resistant front wheel, rubber grips, folding foot pegs, steel frame, and hand operated braking and throttle system round out this electric tricycle nicely.
Is your kid into quads? Get them started early with the Razor Dirt Quad (recommended for kids 8 and up). This is the best kids ATV out there. This mini quad helps them work on their motor skills in a safe and relatively inexpensive way. Razor’s dirt quad is a well put together package that does surprisingly well with whatever offroad conditions your kid decides to throw at it. Those 13″ traction tires and droop travel rear suspension system rampage through the muddiest of puddles and thickest of tree roots.
It incorporates two 12V lead acid rechargeable batteries which can pump out enough power for 8mph top speed. Shatter resistant plastic fairings, powder coated tubular frame, and front brush bar round out the best ATV for kids.
Those who desire the best of the best dune buggy for kids ready their pocket books. If you’re looking for the ultimate go kart option the Trailmaster is the full package. A relatively powerful 163cc engine, electric start, remote control, seat belts, 400 pound max load, and residential curbside delivery. It also has great additional features including headlights, a horn for awareness, sporty and safe seats, and reliable shocks. It’s expensive, but this bad boy will climb hills and race around much faster than your average go kart.
This mini go kart goes up to 15 mph and has a 12.4mph climbing ability. The 4-stroke single cylinder gas powered engine. That engine puts out a max 5.5hp, 3600rpm, and 8lb ft torque. With regular maintenance and frame upkeep, the Trailmaster will provide years of enjoyment.
This buggy can fit two kids on it. The safety belts hold your child and their companion firmly in place when they are riding in uneven and rough terrain. Add in the guard bars and frame and this go kart will keep your kids safe from the toughest of bumps and bangs. The low center of gravity on this go kart makes it very difficult to flip this one over when making sharp turns.
General Thoughts on Go Karts for Kids
There’s one toy that’s always a sure bet. If it has a motor and goes fast, they’ll love it. They see Mom and Dad driving around in their cars, and of course, they want to imitate that. Furthermore, the rush of adrenaline and speed is one of the best formulas for smiles and all day fun.
These rides designed for kids help teach children motor skills and how to drive safely. It can teach them skills that they can use if they get into quads and dirt bikes as a teenager.
On the one hand, as far as toys goes these are definitely one of the most expensive choices. On the other hand, if you get a well-built model, it will provide years of enjoyment. On top of that, it gets the kids outdoors for hours and hours. They nurture a sense of responsibility early on knowing where to negotiate with their newfound vehicle and which routes are safe or not. Another side effect of purchasing one of these go karts is that all the kids will want to come over and take it for a spin. Suddenly your kid is the most popular one on the block!
What makes kids dune buggies and go karts special? The construction of a typical kids go kart is one of large wheels, off-road tires, open chassis, and a wide body. These go karts have been designed to ride easily on rough and smooth terrain. The steel frames and bumper bars incorporated by most manufacturers also mean they are practically indestructible too. One will not have to worry about the safety of their children since safety measures like bucket seats, shoulder straps, braking systems, and controlled acceleration are built into these mini vehicles.
Top Benefits of Purchasing a Go Kart
Here’s a handful of the top reasons many folks decide to purchase a go kart.
As we’ve mentioned speed + control is universally loved by children. It’s up there with the laws of gravity. These rides are great for getting the kids and their friends outdoors (and off your hands) for hours at a time.
Teaches Driving Skills
This is another one of the foremost reasons why parents get a go kart for their child. They learn to drive at an early age. Every kid’s dream is to learn how to drive and this will afford them an opportunity to learn how to do so. They learn the basics of control and caution when driving these mini vehicles. They learn aspects of braking, side and back view awareness, navigating corners, steering the buggy, speeding and driving through both rough and smooth terrain.
They Learn Sharing
Dune buggies are great for a kid’s development. They give them a sense of freedom and control. But they also nurture within a child the ability to share with others. If they have a brother or sister, they will have to take turns driving the go kart. This will instill the discipline of sharing and eliminate selfishness. Even if they don’t have siblings, friends and playmates in the neighbourhood will love to have their turn at driving the kart.
Improve Cognitive Skills
Risk taking is a big part of developing confidence and self assurance as a kid grows up. After the first few bumps and bangs, children quickly learn what they can and can not achieve with their ride. Driving a speedy go kart engages their active minds and challenges them to think and act quickly.
What to Look for Before Buying a Go Kart
Before buying any product — particularly an expensive one — it is important to know the top features to look for. When you know what features to look for and you match those to your unique situation, you’ll find a product you’ll be happy with. For example, if you have a child under 8 years old, your buying decision is going to be a bit different than someone who has a 9 year old who wants to buy something with a bit more power. (Sidenote: if you have a very young child around the age of two we suggest checking out our tricycle page). This information is not just isolated for go karts, it can apply to the best kids quads, dune buggies, tricycles, and other vehicles designed for kids.
Here’s a number of things to look for when shopping:
- Safety. As much as fun is at the apex of priorities, at least from the kid’s side of things, safety cannot be understated. The best kids go kart or dune buggy is one which has as many safety measures as possible. These safety measures are designed to look out for the health and wellbeing of your kid. Safety measures include things such as safety belts, shoulder straps, well-built frames, bumpers, and other such features. Ideally, the tires are well-threaded and knobbed.
- Engine. A well-built engine will require less effort to maintain. A powerful engine will ensure that the children enjoy this new toy for years. Take a look at the engine specs first and the extra features second. Another thing you’ll need to decide on is whether you want a full fledged gasoline powered engine or a battery powered one. We recommend electric go karts for younger kids.
- Speed. As much as speed is good for the thrill of go kart, the best kids go karts will have a speed governor. Some of the fastest buggies have top of speeds of about 30 mph. This presents an issue of control with younger kids. If one is buying for small kids 10 years and younger, it is better to have a kart or buggy with a max speed of 10 mph. For ages 3-6 we don’t recommend anything over 5 mph.
- Frame. The frame ensures that the buggy has stability when being driven arout dnd all kinds of terrain. A frame has to be sturdy, strong, and durable. The frame is going to take a lot of punishment, as kids will invariably find a way to take out a bush or run into some obstacle or another. Some of the best kids dune buggy options we look at are seriously built like tanks.