Last updated: 12/26/2019

How we pick our products

14Products analyzed

21Hours invested

5Studies researched

80Comments collected

If there is one toy that is present in every North American household from the day a baby can walk to the day they grow to learn to ride their own bike, it’s the tricycle. From the moment your baby takes their first steps, a kids tricycle will become their number one companion for both indoor and outdoor fun. Not only are these entertaining and stimulating for your baby, but they also play a key role in assisting with their physical development.

Having these toys in the house can help your little one improve their coordination, balance, spatial awareness, all while increasing their motor skills development. Keep in mind that all this happens during hours of entertainment. These days, you will find countless types of kids tricycles on the market, make sure to do your research well in order to find the one that suits your child the best.

Key Facts

  • During the first years of development and in the very initial stages of growth, learning is best absorbed if it is paired with fun and entertaining activities. Educational and interactive toys are always the most beneficial option for your child. Tricycles can play a huge part in your child’s playtime as well as their physical development.
  • The benefits of engaging your children in outdoor activities are many. Not only do they provide infinite amounts of space for them to explore, but it allows them to interact directly with the natural environment of the world around them; the fresh air and sunlight keeps them lively and feeling rejuvenated. Tricycles are the best option for facilitating outdoor play.
  • Today, we can find a huge variety of kids tricycles, all varying in size, design, material, and added accessories. All of these elements will be important to take into consideration when going about your search for the right tricycle for your child.

Our Selection: The Best Kids Tricycles on the U.S. Market

Today, there are numerous models of kids tricycles. This is great, as it allows us to pick a more individualized design that you know your toddler will love. However, with so many options, it can make the selection process a bit more difficult and overwhelming. To make it easier, we have researched and selected the five best tricycles on the market. Below you’ll find a short summary of each and their distinct characteristics.

Radio Flyer — 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike Pink

This evolutionary tricycle is lightweight and very durable. It has multiple modes, making it possible to adjust the tricycle to the needs of the baby during all the various stages of growth. The 4 different ways to ride are as an infant trike, steering trike, learn-to-ride trike, and class trike. Furthermore, it includes removable footrests for the youngest of riders.

This tricycle comes with an attached push handle on the back with a comfortable foam grip that allows adults to steer and control the tricycle from behind if needed. It has an adjustable seat that can change sizes as your child grows. Its weight capacity is of 49 lbs and it is a great tricycle for children as young as 9 months old, all the way up to 5 years of age.

Radio Flyer — Red Rider Trike

This product is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in the category of kids tricycles, this trike offers superior convenience, comfort, and fun. It has an adjustable “grow-with-me” seat, which is made of a solid steel frame that promises years of riding fun. Riders can bring their favorite treasures along for the ride in the covered storage bin, located on the rear end of the trike.

The comfortable handlebar grips and quiet-ride tires provide a smooth and enjoyable ride. It’s designed with an adult handle grip on the seatback, allowing you to easily transport this tricycle from one place or another, no matter where your family adventures take you. It has a maximum weight capacity of 49 lbs and it suits children ages 2 ½ – 5 years old.

Joovy — Tricycoo 4.1 Tricycle

This is an ideal starter tricycle for toddlers as they begin their movement adventures. Joovy’s tricycle allows parents to control the tricycle via the ergonomic push handle, or remove it to allow their little one to explore and move on their own. It has a front-wheel pedal locking system and a fold-down footrest. This 4-stage trike adjusts as your child grows, accommodating babies from 10 months and up with a max weight capacity of 44 lbs.

This tricycle model has high safety ratings, as it includes removable armrests to support and surround even the youngest of babies. It also has a large UVF 50 canopy that provides maximum sun protection. It has a built-in cup holder and rear storage basket allowing you to carry all the necessary items you need for a day out at that park.

SmarTrike — Zoom 4-in-1 Baby Tricycle

SmarTrike is the only push trike that has effortless touch steering. You only need the slightest touch of the hand and the trike intuitively move in the direction you want it to go. There is a red button located on the front wheel mudguard that allows you to twist the wheel 180° and switch who’s in control of steering.

This superiorly designed baby tricycle is specially designed to help your little one develop proper motor functions and confidence while stimulating a healthy curiosity. There are a variety of safety features including a 3-point Y harness, a sun protection canopy, safety bar, and non-slip pedals. It includes a storage bin on the back wheel bars for your convenience.

Costzon — Baby Tricycle, 6-in-1 Foldable Steer Stroller

This amazing 6-in-1 tricycle by Costzon can be used as an infant tricycle, steering tricycle, learn-to-ride tricycle and a classic tricycle that can adjust to fit your child at various stages of growth. You simply have to disassemble the awning, guardrail and rear-push rod and adjust according to the height of your child. It has a 3 point harness that will ensure your baby stays safely fastened in the seat as they move about.

The tricycle has a foldable design and quickly becomes smaller in size for easy carrying and storage. The large and handy storage bags in the back can hold a number of your baby’s accessories including diapers, spare clothes, snacks and more. This tricycle is made with a sturdy steel frame, giving it an exceptionally stable structure and strong load-bearing capacity.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Kids Tricycles

In the old days, when tricycles first appeared on the market, they were simply tiny, three-wheeled bikes. There was nothing special about them, and while they carried out their purpose just fine, they were not as well-made or as comfortable as the ones you find in North America today. Since the selection is wide and finding the perfect tricycle is not always easy, in this section we’ve taken the time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions amongst consumers to help guide your search.

Tricycles enable your child to hone and improve their psychomotor skills.
(Source: Deyymos: 77341335/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages of giving your child a tricycle?

There’s no doubt that kids tricycles can provide your baby with endless hours of fun, whether that be alone or when they’re playing with their friends or siblings. However, many parents and child caretakers are unaware of the massive benefits these toys can have on development. Enabling kids to play, move and explore the world around them using their own bodies is crucial in regards to how well they develop their muscles, their coordination, balance, personal autonomy and much more. Check out the list below to learn about the various benefits tricycles can offer your child:

  • Strengthening of the cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular systems
  • Development of spatial orientation
  • Improved attention
  • Increased autonomy and safety
  • Release of energy and improvements in quality of sleep
  • Development and honing of psychomotor capacity and balance
  • Enhanced social relationships

The best thing is that all of this happens automatically, as if by magic, while your baby is having fun playing with their friends and family. Without a doubt, these are the main reasons why many pediatricians recommend that parents buy their babies tricycles during the first years of their life.

foco

Tricycles will serve to encourage your child to play outside and have fun while contributing to the proper development of many skills.

At what age should I introduce my child to a tricycle?

Every child is unique, and they all grow and develop and different rates. Some grow and begin to walk early, while others may take a couple of years. Because of this, there is no universal standard that dictates what age kids can start to play with tricycles. The biggest indicator that your little one is ready to use a tricycle, is that their hands and feet can comfortably reach the pedals and handlebars.

If they are too young or small, and their limbs are not long enough to allow their feet to properly reach the pedals, they can easily become frustrated. Not to mention, this increases a child’s risk of falling and becoming injured. We don’t want to discourage them from learning how to ride a tricycle, nor do we want to put them in harm’s way. Generally speaking, most babies should not use tricycles until they’ve reached the age of 10 months.

Mayka GonzalesPhysiotherapist and Osteopath – Specialized in Pediatrics

“I often recommend the use of tricycles to my patients, friends, and family. This is because there are countless benefits in the areas of cognition and gross motor skill development (agility, strength, speed, and balance that children acquire).”

Just remember that during the first months of use, when your child is still very young and unfamiliar with their new toy, your fundamental role as a parent is to be right by their side accompanying and teaching them how to ride it. This not only strengthens their self-confidence but ensures a reduced risk of injury as they slowly develop the ability to ride it on their own. Next, we list some general advice and things to keep in as you begin to teach your baby how to ride their first tricycle:

  • Show the tricycle to your baby before they begin to ride, this will help them feel safe and comfortable with their new toy.
  • Always accompany them on walks. At first, you can help them to gain momentum by pushing gently on the parental handlebars, this also helps provide slight guidance as you navigate parks, sidewalks, and neighborhoods.
  • Use the tricycle in places like your backyard, parks or gardens, places where you know your baby will feel comfortable and can observe the surrounding landscape.
  • If at any time they fall, immediately encourage them to get back on and try again, avoid making a big deal in order to prevent them from developing a fear of tricycles.

What types of kids tricycles are there?

With the discovery of all the potential benefits that tricycles can offer a child, companies are starting to revolutionize and individualize the tricycles they produce. In the last few decades, an enormous variety of different models and styles of tricycles have emerged. While they all are built with the standard 3-wheel design, there are still a few distinguishable features amongst the different kinds. Broadly speaking, we can categorize all tricycles into three separate categories:

Conventional tricycles Evolutionary tricycles Pedal-less tricycles
Durability One or two years Up to 5 years Two to three years
Adaptability Adjustable seat and handlebars. Multitude of adaptable and removable pieces. Removable pedals.
Main advantage Ideal for transitioning from ride-on to traditional bicycle. Can also be used as a trolley during the first few months. Favors and encourages balance development.

The main features that differentiate the types of tricycles are durability, adaptability and intended benefits. The choice of one or the other will depend on what you’d like to use it for and what will prove to be most beneficial and fun for your baby. If, for example, you want a tricycle that can adapt to the different stages of growth of your child, enabling you to use it for a number of years, your best option would be to go for evolutionary model.

Are kids tricycles safe?

This question may seem silly, as kids tricycles are built and designed specifically for use by young children; however, we should never assume a toy to be completely risk-free. Tricycles have the potential to be dangerous for two reasons. As with any product, there’s always the possibility of poor design, bad quality materials, and careless manufacturing. It’s always a good idea to double-check that the particular brand or model your interested in has been approved and meets certain safety regulations put out by third-party organizations.

Similarly, even if the product itself has been made well, there is always the risk of poor assembly upon purchase. While parents cannot 100% prevent children from falling as they play, it is within their power to reduce the risk of injury as much as possible. By not only making sure that the tricycle is properly assembled, but also knowing it’s designed in and out to avoid improper use and malfunctioning. Below are some of the general guidelines one should follow to decrease any risk of injury:

  • Choose a tricycle model that is appropriate for the age and size of your child. Making sure they can easily reach the handlebars and pedals is key.
  • Teach your child how to properly use it, especially as they grow older, this helps reduce their risk of losing control, crashing or falling off.
  • Its best to use protective equipment, especially in the beginning; such as helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. This is crucial once the child starts to use the tricycle on their own and without as much direct supervision.
  • Parental surveillance should be constant.
  • It is essential to keep the tricycle in good working condition.

What accessories should I buy with a kids tricycles?

Although accessories for kids tricycles are not necessarily required since it will carry out its purpose just fine on its own, there are some accessories that can be very useful and make the whole experience both safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved. For instance, purchasing a tricycle that has a built-in parental handlebar allows the baby to use it at an earlier age and can allow parents to guide their child much more easily. Another accessory that is not essential, but is sought out by a majority of parents, is the safety belt or harness feature.

This prevents the baby from losing balance and falling off, allowing the baby to develop more confidence and increase the overall safety of the tricycle. Hoods are also an amazing added feature that isn’t necessary but can make a huge difference. These are extremely helpful if you and your baby will be using it outside in particularly sunny states or sunny times of the day. It’s important to keep your baby protected from the harsh UV rays, especially during the early years of life.

Where are the best places to play with kids tricycles?

Kids tricycles are great because they can be used in a multitude of different environments; whether that be down a hallway, on the sidewalk, in a park or on a patio. Because the options are near endless, perhaps it is better to discuss where one shouldn’t allow their child to play on tricycles. The answer can be quite simple, nowhere that you already considered dangerous for your child.

This includes places like streets with a lot of cars, places with unstable surfaces, busy pedestrian avenues, busy walkways or rooms with a lot of sharp corners and edges. Your child will not be able to efficiently and smoothly ride around in any space that has uneven ground. Whether that be broken down concrete, an area around stairs or streets with potholes. This is important to keep in mind as they start to use their tricycle more independently.

Until what age can my child use the tricycle?

There is no fixed age to stop using kids tricycles, your own child will be the one to ask you to learn how to ride a bicycle when they are ready to move on. This is the ideal time to park the tricycle once and for all, even if the first bike you are going to use also has the trainer/support wheels. The timing for this will heavily depend on when the child learns to ride a traditional “big kid” bike.

You can continue to use the tricycle even as your child begins to transition to a bigger bike with training wheels, as this will feel familiar and comfortable to them. Once they’ve learned how to ride a bike with or without training wheels confidently, it’s more than likely time to set the tricycle aside for good. This usually happens around age 5.

Keep in mind, that if you or your child is planning on using a tricycle up until the age of 5 or 6, you should make sure that the tricycle you have purchased can still accommodate their height and weight. Many tricycles are small, and often they either cannot bear the weight of a young child, or the kids’ knees will start to collide with the handlebars. This is not only uncomfortable but can increase the risk of falls.

Make sure the tricycle you choose meets up to the safety regulations of ATSM, a third-party safety standards organization in the U.S..
(Source: Patibutkan Singsoot: 21374196/123rf.com)

Are there safety regulations for kids tricycles?

As with all children’s toys, tricycles are subject to design regulations, which are in place to reduce the risk of injury. It’s important to make sure the products are stable, well-made and non-toxic. According to certain standards, tricycles must meet certain safety requirements that have been laid out the ATSM International Consensus Committee.

Today, these standards are laid out by each state and local jurisdiction, school boards, as well as by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Checking for their mark of certification will give you 100% assurance that whatever tricycle you choose, will be safe for your child.

Purchase Criteria

Once we’ve sufficiently educated ourselves on the different models, design advantages and distinguishing features of the various kinds of tricycles, it’s important to then take into account a number of other factors before making your final purchase. Below you’ll find a shortlist of the main purchasing criteria that can serve as your guide for choosing the perfect tricycle.

Child’s Age

Age is a very important factor when it comes to the use of kids tricycles. First and foremost, it’s important that your child has reached the minimum age, weight, and height recommended by the manufacturer, in order for them to safely handle and ride the tricycle of choice – otherwise, safety will become a big concern. It’s also a good idea to search for a tricycle that can adapt to the child’s current stage of development.

Making sure it can accommodate them for the amount of time you desire as they grow. If you fail to take this into consideration before making your purchase, you risk your child becoming bored, underwhelmed or incapable of properly using the toy. As mentioned before, there are a number of evolutionary tricycle models that can transform and adjust to your baby as they grow, allowing you to use them for years.

Quality

The durability of the tricycle and the safety of your child will depend primarily on the quality of the tricycle. In regards to quality, the biggest factor is the materials used to make it. We not only want to make sure the materials are durable and long-lasting but that they are also non-toxic for your baby.

Models made of metal have always proven to be sustainable and strong. With these, the main structural components are made of a reliable metal, the pedals are made of some sort of anti-slip material and the wheels are made of strong rubber. If it meets all these basic criteria, you can almost guarantee it is high quality and reliable tricycle.

Safety

Safety is arguably the most important aspect to consider when shopping for a tricycle. It’s pretty well-known that once your child learns how to ride it, they will test their speed limits, going as fast as the tricycle will allow. We all know that the faster children go, the higher the risk of falls and injuries. Choosing the safest tricycle possible will not completely eliminate the occurrence of falls, but it can help you decrease how often that happens.

The most important elements to increase safety in tricycles, are ensuring that the tricycle you purchase follows the proper safety and design regulations, that it is made of reliable material and that it fits the baby appropriately. It’s always a good idea to take extra precaution and purchase safety equipment like helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads.

Assembly

Make sure you buy a tricycle that fits your willingness to assemble it. Some tricycles come already 100% assembled, while others require that you follow an instruction manual to properly piece it together. If the tricycle requires a more complicated assembly, and you don’t follow the instructions correctly, you risk your child getting into an accident due to poor assembly. This is even more relevant with portable and adjustable tricycles that need constant disassembly, reassembly and maintenance.

  • The assembly instructions should be precise and clear.
  • The tricycle should be easy to use for both the child and parents. Parents should be able to easily assemble, disassemble, adjust or break down the tricycle with ease.
  • Built-in accessories. Things like a steering lock, parental handlebar, pedals or wheels should all be manipulated and adjustable for parents.

If the tricycle of your choice meets all the above recommendations, using it will be a breeze; safer and more enjoyable for both you and your child. The most important thing is that before the first use, you assure that the tricycle has been put together 100% correctly.

Design

This section merely refers to individuals preferences and desired features. Earlier we mentioned the different types of tricycles that one can find on the market. Once you’ve narrowed down the model that you believe will be best for you and your child, all that is left is to decide which added features you’d like included as well as preferred aesthetics.

This can mean choosing certain shapes, colors, handlebar style, and material, whether it includes storage units and more. Amongst the countless varieties available, the most important thing is that your child has a tricycle that they feel safe and comfortable riding.

Summary

Kids tricycles have become the ideal companion for kids as they learn to walk, run and explore their freedom in the outside world. With them, children not only get good exercise but can develop proper coordination, motor skills and spatial awareness all while moving at what seems like for them, the speed of light. In order for these toys to have the most positive effect on your children, it’s essential that we use them responsibly and safely.

In order to do this, we must take into account a number of factors including design, model, size, build, and safety features. Always make sure that the model you buy has assembly instructions that are easy to follow. With all of this in mind, there’s no doubt that purchasing a tricycle for you and your child to enjoy can create unforgettably amazing moments. With so many models on the market, there’s no reason you won’t be able to find the perfect one.

If you liked our guide to kids tricycles, share it on social media and leave us a comment with your thoughts.

(Featured image source: Irina Schmidt: 102657705/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Topaz Gomez Obstetrician
Topaz is an obstetrician by profession and a mother of two sons. She knows a lot about the education of small children. Besides her work in the hospital, she likes to take care of the children of friendly parents and works as a blogger.