A few weeks ago we met with some other homeschool families for a picnic and a swim. Two of them had a kids wagon to haul their kids and stuff. So easy! I was struggling with lots of bags with super soakers and other toys, towels, a large picnic blanket. I’m sure you’re getting the picture… Ever since I’ve been thinking about getting a kids wagon of our own and I’ve done a lot of research into the best wagon for kids. I’ve compiled all my research into this comprehensive buying guide for kids wagons so you can benefit from the work I’ve already done. As busy parents, we really don’t have time to reinvent the wheel, right? So what’s the best wagon for kids? Let’s take a look at the different kids wagons on the market today and all the pros and cons!
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- 1 What is a kids wagon?
- 2 Why do you need a kids wagon?
- 3 Best wagon for kids comparison table
- 4 Top rated children’s wagon brands
- 5 How to choose the best kids wagon for you
- 6 Best beach wagon with big wheels
- 7 Best folding wagon (with canopy)
What is a kids wagon?
Beach wagon, folding wagon, collapsible cart, outdoor wagon, all-terrain kids wagon, there are so many different types of children’s wagons. Basically, a kids wagon is any type of push wagon or pull wagon that will allow you to transport your kids. Some wagons for kids to ride in are 2 seater wagons that have little storage space, but there’s also the larger 3 seat wagon or 4 seat wagon. A basic cheap kids wagon will set you back approximately $60. Higher end wagon models can cost up to $300. There are wagons that are purposely built to transport kids, but a foldable wagon generally is multipurpose. Besides carrying your kids, you can also use it for shopping, gardening or transporting your beach or camping gear. You can easily fit a portable wagon in a standard car and it’s great to bring for days out or on road trips.
Why do you need a kids wagon?
When your kids get past the age where they want to sit in a stroller, a kids wagon is a wonderful alternative. Whether you get a collapsible wagon or a children’s wagon made of wood or metal, wagons for kids to ride in are perfect if those little feet get tired of walking. A wagon is also the perfect place to store some of the heavier things you don’t want to carry. Get a children’s all terrain wagon for walks on rougher surfaces or a nice beach wagon if you love going to the beach with your kids. Pick a foldable wagon and you can even take it with you on holiday. If you’re traveling parents, also check out our toddler travel bed guide.
Are wagons allowed at Disney?
A burning question for lots of parents visiting a Disney theme park: ‘Can you bring a wagon to Disney?’ For those parents visiting Disneyland or Disney World it’s important to know that wagons are not allowed. Some blogs mention that push wagons are allowed inside the parks, but they’re not. The regulations clearly state that you can only bring a stroller, not a wagon. At Euro Disney or Disneyland Paris they do allow kids wagons if they’re smaller than 92 x132 cm (36.2 x 52 inch), but some areas may be restricted.
Best wagon for kids comparison table
Top rated children’s wagon brands
In 2017 the American brand Radio Flyer celebrated its 100th birthday. The first Radio Flyer wagon was the iconic little red wagon most Americans remember from their childhood. It’s still in the collection today as the Big Red Radio Flyer Classic ATW. The brand has seen many innovations and creative designs over the centuries and continues to produce some of the best wagons for kids to ride in. Besides wagons, Radio Flyer also produces bikes, trikes, and scooters for kids.
While not having such an impressive history as Radio Flyer, Step2 is the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys. This Ohio based company started in 1991 and as grown from 5 to its current 800 employees. It’s the companies mission “to be the leading innovator of children’s products that build imaginations and enrich the family’s celebration of childhood.” The Step 2 kids wagon is a favorite in many households all over the world.
This iconic American brand hardly needs an introduction. Who doesn’t know the awesome Cozy Coupe® Car? With their kids plastic wagons they aim to “take the classic little red wagon to the next level”. The durability of Little Tikes toys and products is legendary and their wagons are no exception. A Little Tikes wagon is robust and built to last.
Other kids wagon brands
There are numerous other brands that produce wagons for kids to ride in. Such as the Hauck Eco wagon and the EasyGo wagon. The Mac Sports folding wagon, the Ozark Trail folding wagon and many other fold up wagons are really meant as utility wagon or sports wagon, but are great to haul kids as well.
How to choose the best kids wagon for you
The best wagon for kids isn’t necessarily the most expensive. You have to determine which wagons fit your budget and which of these is the best-suited wagon for your family. The prices for kids wagons vary a lot. You can buy a relatively cheap plastic two-seater wagon for around $65. A folding utility wagon, which is great to transport both stuff and kids, is often not that expensive either. At the higher end of the range prices for kids wagons can go up to $300.
Uses of a kids wagon
Next step is to decide what you will be using your wagon for. Will it be solely a kids wagon to pull your kids along if they’re tired? Or do you want it for other things? For instance, so you’ll be able to bring more stuff when going to the beach, going camping or shopping? Do you want to use it around the garden? Is it also a toy for your kids to play with when you’re not using it? The way you intend to use the wagon combined with your budget will largely determine what type of wagon you should get. There are also so-called 3-in-1 wagons that can serve as kids wagon, cargo wagon and bench.
Collapsible, foldable or fixed & materials
Once you have decided on budget and use, you have to decide if you want to have a fixed, foldable or collapsible wagon. This will have an impact on the materials you can choose from. The options for the primary material: plastic wagon, canvas wagon, wooden wagon or metal wagon. Plastic, metal or wooden wagons are generally not collapsible or foldable, although there are wooden wagon models where the sides can be taken off for storage, such as the Radio Flyer Town & Country Wagon. The Little Tikes Fold ‘n Go Wagon is the only plastic wagon we’ve seen that’s foldable.
If you’ve decided on a collapsible folding wagon for kids, you have the option of a specific kids wagon such as the Radio Flyer EZ Fold Wagon or a more universal folding utility wagon or a folding sports wagon. The latter might be better affordable if your budget is limited.
Terrain & tires
Will you be using your wagon mostly on flat surfaces, such as sidewalks and pavement, or are you looking for a beach wagon or all terrain wagon? If the latter, it makes sense to pay a bit more attention to the tires. Are they rubber or air tires? While air tires might puncture, they’re also more comfortable on the beach or for camping trips. You could also look for an all terrain folding wagon with big wheels, such as the Mac Sports Collapsible Folding Wagon.
Wagon with canopy or without
How sunny is it where you’ll be using your wagon? Do you require a wagon with a canopy? Some kids wagons come with a canopy included, for others it’s optional and sometimes there’s also a universal canopy or large umbrella available that fits (such as the Sport-Brella Versa-Brella). If you want a canopy, it’s usually cheapest to get a wagon with canopy included. You can either get a folding wagon with canopy or a plastic wagon with canopy. For the metal and wooden carts canopies aren’t usually available, but you can see if you can fit the universal canopy. For some models, such as the Radio Flyer EZ Fold Wagon, it’s extremely easy to remove the canopy if you don’t want to use it or for storage. Check the kids wagon reviews below to see if this is also the case for the model you’re looking at.
Before buying a wagon for kids to ride in, check the weight limit. If your kids are a bit older an heavier or if you want to transport more than two kids, not all wagons will do. The Step2 Wagon for Two for instance is a two-seater wagon with a weight limit of 37lbs (17,2kg) per seat. Our recently turned 5-year old is way too heavy for this wagon. For families with three or more kids that don’t require belts to keep them secured, a sports wagon or utility cart might be more suitable. The Beau Jardin Folding Utility Cart has a weight limit of 300lbs (136kg) and can easily carry up to 4 kids weight wise.
Weight & dimensions
There are numerous instances where the weight and the dimensions of your kids wagon may be a consideration. For instance, if your house isn’t too big and you don’t have a garage or storage shed or you live in an apartment. Or if you want to be able to easily transport your children’s wagon by car for days out or road trips. In these instances, a lightweight folding wagon, also called a collapsible wagon or a folding cart is the best choice.
There are a number of additional specifications that might affect your decision. If your kids are still young and/or active you might want a wagon with seatbelts, such as the Radio Flyer EZ fold wagon. Depending on your intended use storage space and cup folders may also be a consideration.
Best beach wagon with big wheels
This MAC Sports beach wagon is our choice for the best folding wagon for beach use. Its large wheels make this an excellent all-terrain beach wagon. Two things are important when considering wagons for beach use. Your collapsible beach wagon should fold small enough to fit in your car, with enough space left for your gear (and obviously your kids). And it should have big all-terrain wheels so pulling it on the beach is a breeze. This MAC Sports folding wagon definitely qualifies on both counts. It’s very easy to transport in the included carrying case and setting it up takes seconds. Folded this heavy duty MAC Sports wagon is approximately 31.5 x 21.4 x 9.7 inch (80 x 54 x 24,5 cm). Pull wagons with big wheels are excellent for a day to the beach, but also perfect for outdoor sports events, picnics in the park or camping trips. Apart from that these foldable wagons are also great to use around the house as a folding utility garden cart or to carry your groceries inside.
While this sturdy MAC Sports all terrain collapsible wagon isn’t specifically meant as a beach wagon for kids it has a roomy interior (36.2 x 21.4 x 24.6 inch or 92 x 54,5 x 62,5 cm) and can easily carry your kids along with your gear. This excellent foldable beach wagon is built with a heavy duty frame and durable 600 denier easy to clean fabric and can carry up to 150 pounds. Two mesh cup holders will keep your drinks secure. This folding beach wagon is ready to go in seconds.
If you have a large car and prefer a collapsible beach wagon with air tires, you could consider the Amish made Berlin Flyer Sport Wagon or the Radio Flyer Beach Wagon. These look a lot more like the traditional kids wagons many of us remember from our youth. For both these wooden wagons for kids, the side boards are removable for easy transport, but they’re much larger than a fold up beach wagon like the MAC Sports wagon.
Best folding wagon (with canopy)
The Radio Flyer EZ Fold wagon with canopy is a foldable 2 seater wagon. This collapsible wagon with canopy is perfect for a day out with the UV blocking canopy providing the necessary shade for your little ones. The easy one hand fold makes it a breeze to set up or store this foldable red wagon. With a weight capacity of 120 pounds the Radio Flyer folding wagon is perfect to transport two kids age 1,5 and up.
Unlike many other collapsible children’s wagons, this is a folding wagon with canopy and seats. It’s specifically made to transport kids and has proper seat backs, with seat belts for added safety. Of course you can also use it to transport your gear, but it has a less spacious interior than for instance the MAC Sports foldable wagon. It has four cupholders, two inside the wagon for kids to use and two at the front near the handle for the parents. This lovely red Radio Flyer foldable wagon weighs 24 lbs and can easily be stored in the trunk of any car. The quiet ride tires make it very easy and comfortable to pull this folding wagon for kids. You don’t have to worry about getting it dirty either. This Radio Flyer collapsible wagon is made of DuraClean fabric that is extremely easy to clean. It takes seconds to remove the canopy if you want to use it without on days when it’s not so sunny and for easy storage.
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