The Best Wagons for Kids


Some toys will never disappear from the “top ten toys for kids” list, and wagons are one. Every parent can remember the fun they had playing on one as a child, and when their babies start to toddle around the house or pull themselves up, it’s only natural to want to buy the best wagons for kids on the market for them.

As with any kid gear product on the market, a responsible parent must make sure the item they buy for their child ticks all the right boxes; this is what this guide is here to do. 

Top Pick
Radio Flyer 3-In-1 Ez Folding Wagon

The wagon is easy to convert between its three riding modes – hauling, two-rider seating, and bench seating.

Types of Wagons

Wagons have been a staple family toy for many generations. This classic kids’ toy is a cute, little four-wheeled cart that you can use to ride in or carry a small cargo short distances. If your child wants to accompany you to visit someone on the street or pull toys around with them, the kids’ wagon is perfect for the job.

Wagons encourage kids to use their imagination. When your child has a wagon they can use indoors or outdoors, they can be anything they want to be inside: a train, a driver, or an ambulance taking toys to the hospital. A little wagon brings a new world of possibilities for your children.

There are many kinds of wagons available on the market: toy wagons, utility wagons, stroller wagons, etc. In this article, we cover two of the types mentioned above – utility and stroller wagons. Be sure to check whether the wagon you are purchasing is a utility or stroller wagon—each type of wagon has a different use. 

Utility Wagons 

Utility wagons are designed for transporting goods around; most of them cannot support a child’s weight due to their design. Unless the manufacturer declares the wagon as dual-purpose, do not let your children ride in a utility-only wagon. 

Utility-only wagons do not have safety features incorporated in their design. They tend to consist of a fabric basin supported by metal rods. They may have a more solid floor, but it is not capable of handling the weight distribution of a child. However, keep in mind these wagons are often designed to be collapsable, so just because they seem sturdy enough for a child does not mean it is. 

Unlike collapsible stroller wagons, utility wagons do not have a seatbelt or harness, convertible seats, higher and sturdier sides, a floor that can withstand the child or children’s weight distribution. 

Stroller Wagons

Stroller wagons are designed to carry, on average, one to three children at a time. Unlike utility wagons, stroller wagons are designed with safety and practicality in mind. 

Stroller wagons have foldable seats, seatbelts or harnesses, cup holders, and extra storage compartments. You can rearrange the seat positions, lay them flat, or have them upright, and you can reposition some of the storage baskets to a position of your preference. 

Some of the stroller wagons come with two handles – one designed like an actual stroller handle, and the other resembles the usual wagon handle. There is usually a cover or canopy attached to the stroller wagon to protect your children from the sun. 

Buying a wagon for your children is beneficial for both them and their parents. Having a wagon in the home will enable you to transport your kids around in the most enjoyable and safe way. They are buckled up on top of the wagon, watching the scenery pass by them from a trusted vantage point, and you can choose the speed at which you want to pull the wagon. There’s even room for a small bag of groceries if you’re going to take your child on a groceries trip.

If your family has more than one child, a wagon is an even better idea for a toy. It can be an all-access family toy, and you can teach your older child to pull the younger child around the yard safely. Wagons turn cleaning into a fun game by filling it up with toys lying around and towing them back to the toy box.

A Wagon Safety Checklist 

Anything with wheels has to be double-checked by the parent to ensure the safety features are operative. Kids wagon manufacturers take product safety very seriously, but this doesn’t mean you can skip being protective and cautious. 

When your child begins to want to play outside or has access to other people’s houses with outside facilities, it’s up to you to insist that the toys and wagon they use has the necessary safety features:

  • Seatbelts or harnesses ensure your child is strapped in and protected. Be sure to look at the wagon design and if it includes seatbelts. Remind your children always to wear the seatbelt when riding in the wagon and help them create a habit. Accidents happen, and a safety belt can prevent a very nasty head injury!
  • The wagon should be equipped with large, sturdy wheels that can be used on any terrain, indoors and outdoors, without damaging the lawn or carpet.
  • High-quality parts that have been assembled correctly. When your child is being pulled, it’s no time for the wagon to break apart.
  • The handle should be long and never pivot around unexpectedly. Ensure it is long enough for a parent to pull, so when pulling your child, the front of the wagon doesn’t catch onto your feet. 
  • Bumpers and axles are a good feature for your kids’ wagon to have.
  • Never overload the wagon. If they designed the wagon for only two kids, you might be tempted to squeeze in a third for convenience. Simply put – don’t. Each wagon is designed with a specific weight maximum. By exceeding this, you’ll put a strain on the wheel axles and risk breaking the wagon. You could also disrupt the wagon’s center of gravity, and it could topple over when being pulled. 
  • Always supervise your children. A wagon is the type of toy that can keep a child occupied for hours. Aside from just carting your child, they can also use their wagon to haul their toys and teddies around the house or garden. While it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your children while they play, extra supervision is needed when children play in a group. Falls are the leading cause of injury in young children and are more likely to happen when more than one child is playing with the wagon at the same time.


Note that utility wagons are not designed for a child riding them. If you are considering a utility wagon, consider purchasing one with dual purposes, or ensure it meets your family’s needs. These wagons are often capable of carrying your child.

What Type of Materials Are Best for Wagons?

Metal Wagons

Metal wagons are the archetypal kid’s wagon seen in movies and images all over the world. If your family prefers classic toys that are sturdy and hardy, then a metal wagon is for you. They are suitable for all kinds of terrain, except heavy snow and rainfall, sea air, or extreme heat. These climates will make a metal wagon rust and become dangerous to a child when the metal becomes too hot or cold.

Metal wagons do dent, and the paintwork can scratch, but many families love the patina created by this wear and tear, which adds to the wagon’s character.

Wooden Wagons

Wooden wagons are a classic wagon material. If you live in an area where the climate causes wood to weaken and splinter, you should try and get a wooden wagon model that is weatherproof painted.

Plastic Wagons

Plastic wagon models are top-rated for younger children and toddlers. It is the safest material for any climate as it doesn’t heat up too much in the sun or freeze and rust in the rain and snow. Plastic is lighter than metal or wood, making it prone to tipping over. However, because of the lack of sharp edges, plastic wagons don’t cause injury.

The drawback to buying plastic wagons is that they look generic, mass-produced, and tend to wear and tear, especially when used outside. If you don’t plan on turning your kid’s wagon into a family treasure or using it to transfer heavier items or passengers, the plastic kids’ wagon might be a perfect choice.

Material Wagons 

The fabrics used are heavy-duty and durable materials. It can handle dirt, weather, and the wear and tear that comes with use and children. 

Different materials are used for different wagons because it needs to withstand the use of the wagon. For instance, a utility wagon designed for the garden will probably be made from treat-resistant material to extend its lifetime.

Some stroller wagons have canopies to provide some shade for your child. Some of these canopies are made from UV-protected and resistant materials to provide extra protection alongside the shade.


Things to Consider When Buying Wagons for Kids



The most crucial factor that should influence your decision is the price. Like any family, working within a budget is good financial sense and a great thing to teach your children. When you know how much you can afford to spend on buying a wagon for your kid, you can look at the models and features within that price range.



Not all wagons can handle heavy weights pulled over short to medium-length distances. It’s essential to check the model you want to buy won’t break or buckle due to overloading. 

If it is a stroller wagon, you can look at the age range, if provided, the maximum capacity, or the number of children the wagon had been manufactured for. A utility wagon, on the other hand, is not necessarily designed to carry children. So, in this case, consider the maximum capacity it can handle. 

If your child is larger or taller than the national average (you can find this out from your nearest family healthcare provider), you must buy your kid’s wagon in a higher age and weight category. Consider what use the wagon is intended for besides pulling your child or their toys around the yard.

If your children’s age range is wider, say from 2 to 6 years, try to consider this when buying the wagon.



Some families love the toy designs of yesteryear, and some prefer toys that look futuristic. You are the best judge of what you want your child’s wagon to look like, so make sure the wagon design fits in with the rest of your aesthetic. 

If you are spending more on buying a wagon for your kid, it’s essential that they love the way it looks as well. Some of the design choices you can make are:

– Classic
– Advanced
– Futuristic
– Foldable
– Favorite cartoon character decals
– Metal or wooden
– Canopied
– 2-seater

It can take a bit of time to compare each wagon design and decide on a favorite. Keep in mind that the wagon can grow into a beloved family heirloom if you plan to buy one in the upper price range, so choose materials that will last longer.

If you have toddlers, it might be better to look at wagon models with higher side panels. This is a handy feature for smaller kids, as they can hold onto the sides. Many wagon models come with seat belts, so there is no chance of toddlers standing or clambering out when the wagon moves.

Keep in mind the terrain you’ll be using the wagon on. Every surface the wagon rolls over will impact the efficiency of the wagon’s ability to move smoothly. If your yard is full of long grass or the cul-de-sac in which you live is cobbled, you will have to buy a wagon specially manufactured for bumps, grass, sand, or tarmac. Wagons are wonderful toys for use indoors and outdoors, and while they might roll perfectly over carpets and wooden floors, ensure the one you buy can handle outdoor surfaces as well.

A good idea is to shortlist your chosen top three wagon models and then allow your kid to make the final choice between those three. If you buy the wagon online for a special occasion, check the delivery date and leave a margin for late deliveries.


Body Structure

The wagon frame is comprised of a flatbed and four sides. It’s where the “passenger” sits and where you can pile in toys and other items needed for transporting around. The sides should be high enough so that things don’t fall out and easy enough for any little passenger to hold onto.
When a wagon has a metal undercarriage, this usually means it will have a matching metal or wooden body frame. Some wagon models have adjustable body frame sides that collapse for easy transport and removable wheels that fold away and make the wagon more compact for storage.

Before buying, you should take a close look at the wagon’s specification, so you will know what it can pull and over which surfaces. If the wagon model you want to buy in your price range doesn’t have a metal undercarriage, this will affect the amount of weight it can carry and the surfaces on which it can roll.



The wagon undercarriage includes metal parts, usually made of steel. If you have ordered your wagon online, it will arrive in a flat pack and must be assembled using the nuts and bolts found in a plastic packet inside the box. You use them to secure each wheel to the wagon’s body, and you should do it according to the instructions for the wagon to carry its intended weight.



One of the more identifiable features of a kids’ wagon is the handle. Some are plastic, and others are steel. Depending on the design,  the handle can be folded back under the wagon body frame, locked into an upright position, or is built in a fixed position. 

If you plan on spending a lot of time pulling your child around behind you, it’s essential to make sure the wagon handle is long enough for you to hold comfortably without bending down. It might seem like no big deal to have a short handle on the wagon for the first few minutes, but consider a ten-minute walk to the store bending and pulling.

If you have an independent child who is more likely to be controlling the wagon themselves, a wagon with a short handle might be a better idea. Shorter handles maneuver better in tight spaces. A surefire way of getting the length you like is to choose a model with an adjustable or telescopic handle.

If the wagon model is wood or steel, the handle must be attached to the axle, not the body frame. Handles on axles turn the front wheels and make it easier to control the wagon.



Kids’ wagons come with two types of wheels: steel, plastic, or pneumatic. They all have their pros and cons and work better with different surfaces. It all depends on what you plan to use the wagon for. Indoor use requires a lighter wheel made of softer rubber, as these won’t scratch floors or drag on carpets. 

If your family loves the outdoors and plan on taking the wagon with you for trips to the beach or camping site, a sturdy all-terrain wagon pneumatic wheel is best. They are air-filled and roll lightly over many different surfaces. 

When your kids’ wagon is mainly used for tarmac or cement roads and sidewalks, a steel wheel covered with rubber tires is the best choice. 

Never let the price of the wagon make you compromise on any of the features mentioned here. If you are tall and plan on taking the wagon to the beach with you, don’t let a cheaper price wagon tempt you into settling for one that has a short handle and rubber-covered steel wheels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are wagons allowed at Disney Land? 

As of May 2019, stroller wagons are no longer permitted into Disney Land, and the size of strollers has been reduced. Disney has implemented this in an attempt to reduce congestion and ease the guest flow.

Which wagon can I take to the beach?

The best wagon for a beach would be a utility wagon. They are usually designed to carry loads over multiple terrains. You would have to do further research on the wagon model regarding if your child can sit in the dual-use utility wagon while on the beach.

Do wagons have brakes?

A wagon having a brake is not yet a standard feature. Having said this, some stroller wagon models have incorporated brakes into their design. When deciding on a stroller or utility wagon, further research will be required to determine if there is a brake present.

Final Thoughts

Some of the best wagons for kids on the market can fit two children inside; others are strictly for toys or gear. It doesn’t matter what design a wagon is; a child will be able to find a way to have fun with it, enough to keep them happy for hours.

The most respected kids’ toy brands have been in the wagon-making business for over 100 years. They each have a distinct appearance and features. If you choose your kids’ wagon carefully, it could become a beloved children’s plaything for many years to come.

Wagons don’t use batteries; they help develop imaginations, playtime, and responsibility in tidying up. The social skills and outside adaptability mean wagons will remain on Santa’s Wish List for at least another 100 years.

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