Updated February 2019
It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Or at least, it would be easy if it weren’t so damn hard to schlep all our kids’ stuff to the beach/park/playground for every. single. outing.
Strollers with decent storage usually do the trick, but when it comes to going to the beach or park for a few hours, kids’ wagons will hold a lot more stuff … not to mention, most bigger kids who are too cool to sit in a stroller are more than happy to take a ride in a wagon (this is usually the 2.5 and older crowd).
Kids’ wagons come in two main styles: the traditional kind, like Radio Flyer, that you pull behind you, and a new breed of high-end kids’ wagons which you can push like a stroller or pull like a wagon. These new stroller/wagon hybrids are essentially strollers for kids who hate strollers: haha, fooled ‘em!
Whether you’re looking for a simple, no-frills wagon to lug your little ones to the playground with, or a fancier stroller/wagon hybrid to cart them off to the beach or even along rugged trails, we’ve put together a list of our favorite kids’ wagons for the upcoming summer season. Here they are, in order of price (from lowest to highest). Enjoy!
Regular Wagons (the cheaper “pull around” kind)
Step2 All Around Canopy Wagon ~ $ 99 ($83 on Amazon)
Step2’s All Around Canopy Wagon features “whisper ride” wheels that move quietly across pavement (unlike some cheaper plastic wheels, which sound like a mack truck roaring down the street). It has seating for two kids, seatbelts, 6 cup/snack holders, and storage underneath the seats. It’s easy to pull, has seats that flip forward into a bench seat or table, and comes with a canopy for sun protection.
The only downside parents find with this wagon is that it can be challenging to assemble. Additionally, it doesn’t fold up for easy storage in your trunk or garage.
For a basic wagon to pull kids around in, this basic wagon will do the trick— though note that the small plastic wheels won’t do well on rougher terrain or sand; for that, you’ll want a wagon with all-terrain wheels (below).
Little Tikes makes a very similar wagon: the Deluxe Ride & Relax Wagon. This wagon has an umbrella (instead of a canopy) to create some shade for your wee ones. It also has seating for two (including seatbelts), several cup holders, and storage beneath the seat.
This wagon also has small plastic (quiet) wheels that won’t do well on sand or rough terrain.
Two distinct features of the Little Tikes wagon are 1) one of its sides can flip up and over to create a bench seat with a taller back (see above), and 2) it comes with a cooler compartment that attaches to the back of the wagon to keep drinks and snacks cold on outings. Note that the bench is stable enough to support an adult and a child (see below). Give this man a beer!
As an upgrade to their traditional wagon, the Radio Flyer EZ Folding Wagon has air-filled “all terrain” tires designed to handle rougher terrain more easily. That said, the tires are still medium-sized and aren’t going to magically move a heavy wagon across the sand for you without some effort on your part: heave! Ho!
This wagon can hold two kids (or one kid + beach gear). Its seat cushions wipe clean pretty easily, and it has two external cup holders and a very easy one-hand fold. To fold, simply pull up a handle in the center of the seat and it collapses into a rectangle. The ability to fold up this Radio Flyer compactly (to throw in your trunk or whatnot) is a unique feature among this group of basic wagons.
The EZ Folding Wagon has zippers that can undo one of its sides, so you can also use this wagon as a bench seat once you get to your destination (see below). Radio Flyer now makes a version of this wagon that comes with a sun canopy (sweet!), but also has the regular ol’ plastic wheels.
Other downsides: the handle has no grip and feels a bit slippery, and the magnet designed to hold the handle upright is too weak to hold it fully extended, so it will come crashing down.
Note that none of these basic wagons has a parking brake, so if you park it on a hill… watch out.
If you don’t need a beach wagon that folds, Radio Flyer also makes the Radio Flyer Ultimate Comfort Wagon ($158 on Amazon), which has plastic sides, air tires, and a UV blocking canopy.
If you prefer your kids’ wagons with a “vintage” look, Radio Flyer also make the classic All-Terrain Steel & Wood Wagon ($135 on Amazon), which lacks a canopy and the outer storage pockets of the others, but gets points for its simplicity and ruggedness. Melissa has this wagon and is very happy with how it handles on sand – and how much beach gear she can cram inside it!
Hauck Wagon ~ $199
The Hauck Wagon, because it lacks seat belts, is intended for your older kids who don’t need to be strapped in when going for a ride (they recommend ages 3 and up). It’s made with a foldable steel tube and a hand washable fabric that’ll fit in the trunk of any average sized car.
The wide foam wheels are made of a durable rubber, and it includes a removable sun shade. The Hauck wagon weighs 37 lbs (5 lbs more than the Radio Flyer E-Z Fold Wagon, for reference) and can schlep up to 100 lbs of weight.
Hybrid Kid’s “Stroller-Wagons”
Stragons? Yes, let’s go with stragons.
These luxury hybrid wagons are the newer generation of stroller-wagons – and they are super cool!! They are much pricier than the Radio Flyer-type of wagon and have the high end features you’d expect in a luxury double stroller.
Keenz 7s Stroller Wagon ~ $ 389
Warning: Stock goes in and out for this wagon.
Keenz is a company out of Korea that first brought the luxury wagon/stroller to the market in 2016.
The Keenz wagon has everything you need, including a large attached cooler that can hold a full 12-pack of… whatever you desire. I love the generous sun canopy (shown above – though the canopy is a little bulky and awkward). This stroller/wagon is very well built and pushes easily.
My girls love sitting in the Keenz and being pulled around – even at the age of 5 or 6! The weight limit is 110 lbs, so it can hold quite a bit of humans and gear. The bottom is soft and my girls love buckling themselves in (don’t ask).
It’s one of the only wagons with 5-pt harnesses (instead of 3-pt).
I’m a huge fan of the high-quality tires, the adult cup holder, the faux leather handlebar… everything is very upscale on this wagon. It folds down nicely into a square-sized package that will fit into most trunks. I wouldn’t call it “small,” but it takes up FAR less room than a side-by-side double stroller.
The weight is 29 lbs without the canopy (and 32 lbs with), so it’s very comparable to a regular double stroller.
All in all, I think the Keenz Wagon is pretty dope. Kids who hate strollers will love riding around in it, so it’s a great tool for managing older toddlers and gear.
Veer Cruiser ~ $ 599
If your family’s the adventurous sort, you may be more interested in kids’ wagons you can take off-roading. Like the Keenz Wagon (above), the Veer Cruiser is a newer “stragon” you can either push in front of you or pull behind you.
Please see also: Full Review of the Veer Cruiser.
The 32.5 lb Cruiser is the lovechild of a premium stroller and a very rugged wagon. It comes standard with large, knobby tires that roll right over rocky ground and rough terrain. Its foot brake is simple and sandle-friendly (for those beach trips!). It has generous suspension for a smoother ride for your kiddos, a performance grip handle with an adjustable height, and loads of storage spaces and cup holders.
You can accessorize with the roomy storage basket if you need additional space to put beach toys, camping gear, snacks, and the like. Basically, it can hold everything you need for a day out with the kids.
The Veer’s long list of premium features include two cup holders, a snack/drink tray (shown above), and vented passenger seats with 3-point safety harnesses. These seats are meant for your older kids who can sit up well on their own (approx. 1 year and up).
But wait: this is very cool…. for newborns and infants, you can do two things: turn the bed into a bassinet (for 1 child) — or, you can attach an infant car seat, which allows you to use it with a baby and a toddler. Yep, the Cruiser really functions as a double stroller for the parents and a wagon for the kids at the same time.
The Cruiser’s handle and sides fold down (and the wheels are removable) for more compact storage and fitting it into your trunk (for reference, it will fit in the back of a Camry with the wheels still on).
Again, see our Full Veer Cruiser Review for further details.
There you have it: our top picks for kids’ wagons for 2018. Happy Wagoning!