The humble tricycle is usually the very first sort of vehicle a child has the pleasure of steering and riding. There are a number of options to help make this the most enjoyable (and safest) experience for your child which also means less worry time for you! Check out our list of the best tricycles for young children in our section below and find one that is right for your family.
Comparison Table: Best Tricycles for Toddlers
Here is a quick look at our picks for this article. We’ve got them in order of price ascending, and put our more in-depth reviews in the same order below.
|Fisher Price Thomas the Train Tough Trike||2-6 years||Plastic|
|Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle||2.5-5 years||Metal|
|Schwinn Roadster 12-Inch Trike||3-5 years||Metal|
|Little Tykes Perfect Fit 4-in-1 Trike||9 months-5 years||Metal & Plastic|
|Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle||1-4 years||Metal|
Top 5 Best Tricycles for Toddlers of 2018
There is a wide array of tricycle design and if you are out there looking for the best, you’ve got a lot to choose from. The biggest factor that helps determine which will be the best tricycle for your family depends on the age of your child. You’ll want something different for a 4 year old than you would buy for a 2 year old. We take a look at the best models for each age below.
Award: Best Tricycle for 2 Year Olds
- Age: 2-6 years
- Material: Plastic Frame
- Tires: Plastic
- Features: Under Seat Storage, Cartoon Themes
Fisher Price is another well known brand in the kids toys business. The Fisher Price Tough Trike comes in four choices: Barbie Tough, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, and Thomas the Train. It is recommended for ages 2 through 6, though we probably wouldn’t suggest it for kids 5 and above.
Kids love the ‘secret’ storage compartment hidden underneath the seat, where they will stash their favorite toys.Cool styles, cool tires, and cool storage compartment — check, check, and check. This is sure to be one of their favorite toys.
It may not be as sturdy as some of the steel frame options, but the price is right and it will last them until they outgrow it. This is our top pick for the best tricycle for 2 year olds.
Award: Best Tricycle for Toddlers
- Age: 2.5-5 years
- Material: Metal Frame
- Tires: Rubber
- Features: Bell, Tassles
Radio Flyer designed this trike about three decades ago and the retro style is still as popular as ever. This tricycle won awards from Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Award, The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval, and the Parents Choice Classic Award. It also happens to be our top pick for the best tricycles for toddlers.
The dual deck design is great for them to climb up on and step into the seat ‘all by themselves’. The low center of gravity, rubber tires, and smooth turning radius makes for an easy ride. The stands right on the back of this tricycle is intended for toddlers to get on.
There are a couple extra touches Radio Flyer added that really make this one of the best trikes out there. The classic bell is a feature kids love and great for them to practice how to signal their location to nearby walkers and riders. They also get a kick out of the streamers and flutter behind them the faster they go. The adjustable seat grows with your child, until they are ready to move on to a bicycle.
Award: Best Tricycles for 3 Year Olds
- Age: 3-5 years
- Material: Metal
- Tires: Rubber
- Features: Bell, Tassels, Tire Covers
Schwinn has been around since 1895, where it was established by Ignaz Schwinn in Chicago. They make some excellent bikes and trikes. This is a durable little puppy and has a sweet look with its vintage style too. The bright red, full steel frame, chrome fenders, and real wood deck with the burned in Schwinn logo displays its quality.
You can have your choice of 6 color options to get the perfect match to your child’s favorite color. This is our pick for the best tricycle for 3 year olds and could certainly make a 4 or 5 year old happy too.
They can get some decent speed with this roadster, the low center of gravity prevents tip overs. They get a bell and tassels, much like the Radio Flyer model that made our list.
Award: Best Tricycles for Growing
- Age: 9 months-5 years
- Material: Metal & Plastic Frame
- Tires: Plastic
- Features: Canopy, Steer Handle, Adjustable Seat
Probably the most unique design on our list, the Little Tykes 4-in-1 Trike is extremely versatile and is our pick for the best 4 in 1 trike. It doubles as a stroller of sorts. It is available in 3 color choices of teal, blue, and pink. Little Tykes designed the Perfect Fit trike to grow with your child. Little Tikes breaks down how the Perfect Fit works by stages.
Stage 1 is stroll mode when your child is 9 months or older. This is when the parent is in control and push the child along. Stage 2 is pedal time for children 18 months or older where the child learns to pedal. Stage 3 is when the child is ready for steer mode. This lets the child steer their direction (though the parent still has control to override their movements with the push bar).
At long last we have Stage 4, trike time for kids 2 years and older. You can remove the push bar and let them have full control over the tricycle.
Award: Best Tricycle for 1 Year Olds
- Age: 1-4 years
- Material: Metal Frame
- Tires: Fixed Rubber
- Features: Basket, Belt, Steer Handle
Schwann’s bicycles have been widely used in and around the world and the brand itself has developed into a household name when it comes to the best bicycles styles and designs. The Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle comes in four color choices: blue, pink, red, and white. It is our pick for the best tricycle for 1 year olds.
One of the most striking features about this tricycle is push and steer handle; allowing parents to take full control at a moment’s notice. The handle is tall enough to allow you to comfortably walk behind your little one at a leisurely pace. Once you’re confident your child can handle things, the steering system is removable so you can take it off and let them go for it.
The 3 point seat belt keeps even the smallest of riders strapped in safely and ready to enjoy the ride. Though you will need to put it together once you get it out of the box, it won’t take more than 15 minutes to fully assemble.
General Thoughts on Tricycles for Children
For an industry that is heating up with competition, tricycle designers are working round the clock looking for ways on how they are going to make their products the best. With new and sophisticated tricycle designs constantly hitting the market, consumers win with the number of choices at their fingertips.
Is your child ready for a tricycle? Young children often surprise us with the amount of energy they have. Most parents often complain that their children of ages 2 and above tire them out. Well, that is something to be happy about as it shows that your little one is healthy.
At the same time, it is important and necessary to divert all that energy through the right outlet and one of the best toddler tricycles is a wonderful choice. Most children start out on a tricycle before moving on to a real bike.
Another route to go is purchasing a balance bike instead of a trike, and there’s advantages and disadvantages to going either way. Unlike traditional bikes with hard to reach pedals or wobbly training wheels, tricycles offer one of the safest ways for toddlers to begin developing the skills necessary to balance and ride on two wheels.
What goes into selecting the best trike for toddlers? A careful selection of one that is either right size or can be adjusted to be the right size for your child. One of the best things about tricycles is that it teaches the child steering and pedaling.
Once a parent is confident that his or her child has mastered those skills and is old enough to move to a two wheeled-cycle, they can being training him or her on a real bicycle. In the end, a tricycle is one of the best options in terms of exercise as well as getting kids started on cycling.
Top Benefits of Tricycles
Why should I spend my money on a tricycle? This is one question most parents will ask. Ideally, a tricycle provides a new level of independence and freedom kids, and promotes physical and emotional growth. Here reason why you should invest in tricycle.
Preparation for a Bike
As your children grow, they will be ready to move on to new challenges. A rite of passage for every young American boy and girl is learning to ride a bicycle. Riding a tricycle help build the skills necessary graduating to two wheels. Normally, children who spent a lot of time riding tricycles are likely to feel more prepared to get on a bike than those who haven’t yet learned to pedal and steer.
Unlike those traditional bikes meant for adults, the way tricycles have been designed offers a great deal of comfort for your kids. The slightly recumbent position makes it easy for the kids to reach the handlebars and push the pedals. This feature comes in handy especially for kids whose size doesn’t yet allow them to sit upright and pedal on a bicycle.
Fresh air and exercise. Two things most kids aren’t getting enough of. Well we don’t want to be one of those people, we think video games and YouTube videos are awesome too. But mixing a little tricycle riding in there doesn’t hurt anyone a provides a nice balance. Tricycles can also be taken to the park or around the neighborhood which is a good way for your child to practice astute navigation skills.
Safe and Child-Friendly
As long as a tricycle is designed properly, it is one of the safest toys for toddlers in terms of things they can ride around on. The sturdy metal frame is meant to keep the tricycle from being damaged and help it last until your child outgrows it. So when you are out shopping for the best tricycle, go for a model that comes with low center of gravity to help avoid tips and spills, as well.
Additionally, tricycles are easier to balance and ride than those traditional bicycles we are all used to. The chances of getting hurt are much less likely and once they grow and are experienced your child can be encouraged to ride the tricycle without constant supervision.
Offers a Level of Independence
When your kid(s) are growing up, many folks think it is important they learn how to do things on their own. A tricycle offers a certain level of independence to your child. They also become responsible for a vehicle of their own and will likely take pride in making sure it stays in ship shape.
What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Tricycles
Looking for the best tricycle for your toddler? Here’s all you need to know:
Just like when you are making any larger purchase, there are a couple of things that you will want to weight before clicking the buy button. To get you started, here is a rundown of the top things to keep in mind. They will help you find the right model for your little one.
Safety is one of the first things you need to consider. It makes sense to find a tricycle with a wide base at the very least to prevent spills and crashes. For very young children age 1-2, you may want to find one with a push bar that allows you to control the tricycle while walking behind them. Another thing to look for is a seat belt. Three point seat belts offer the best security and safety for your child.
Steel is always going to outlive plastic. If you have a couple children or planning to have more, you may want to dish out extra for a durable tricycle. Models like the Radio Flyer Classic are built like tanks and will last year after year. Rubber tires are another big win and though you may have to pump them back up every once and awhile, offer a superior, smooth ride.
If it isn’t adjustable, you’ll want to do your research carefully. Make sure it is a model where your child’s feet and arms can reach. Parents are advised to make sure they pick a design that a 18 month year old son or daughter can grow with for a couple of years.
Last but not least, it is also important to look at your budget. After all, apart from buying the tricycle, you need to factor in other items such as a helmet, knee, and elbow pads. Protecting their delicate little bodies is always of the utmost importance, but doing so can get costly very quickly.