Perhaps I’m just nostalgic but when I think of a wagon, I think of the classic red wooden wagon that could go anywhere – city streets, the backyard or real off-road in the nearby fields. Fast forward to 2011 and well, wagons aren’t quite what they used to be. Nope. Like everything else, they’re much fancier and most are plastic. Although many companies have traded the wood-slates for plastic, the wagons are still built to last and can go just about anywhere you want to pull them. Here’s a look at the ones that passed our pull test with the kids that are no longer making me cry for my old red wagon. Actually, now that I think about it…I did fall out of it a couple of times. Perhaps the safety standards that were in place with carseats at the time were the same as the wagons?
The SUV of wagons hands down is the Radio Flyer All-Terrain Cargo Wagon. It doesn’t have any fancy canopies or cup holders but it’s just what it promises — it’s a wagon. It has removable wooden sides for easy access in-and-out or for hauling large items and has extra large air tires with tread so it can literally go through the mud with no problem. Since it doesn’t have molded seats, the recommended age is 18 months and up. Additionally, it has a large turning radius you won’t tip the kids over and an extra-long handle which makes it much easier for Dad to pull around. We love pulling this wagon around the Farmers Market collecting fresh flowers, fruits and veggies and the shoppers are quite jealous!
The best-selling wagon according to Amazon.com and Toysrus.com is the Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon. More reasonably priced than it’s sister model, the Pathfinder Wagon is made of durable plastic for safety so in case a child should fall there are no sharp or rough edges to be concerned about. Additionally, the wagon has two built-in seats with safety belts for a comfortable and safe ride around the neighborhood. There is also four cup holders so you never have to wonder where they’re going to put their sippy cups and snacks. It also doubles as a regular hauling wagon when the kids aren’t up for a ride. Just fold down the seats and haul away. Great for city folks looking for a wagon to take the kids to the park and other local adventures.
If you’re looking for the Bentley of wagons, look no further than the Little Tikes Deluxe Ride and Relax Wagon. This wagon can not only hold the weight of children but also adults. The wagon includes two flip seats with seatbelts giving kids extra back support while riding in the wagon and the side flips down to convert into a bench seat where both adults and kids can sit and relax once you reach your destination. The wagon also comes with an umbrella that can be attached to the side of the wagon to keep the kids out of the sun. The best part about this wagon has to be the attached cooler on the back. What could be better than keeping drinks and lunches cold while on a picnic?! It also has cup holders but with the cooler, that is definitely a minor detail. Hands down the best wagon for families that like to go to the beach and park for all day outings and picnics.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “none of these work because I have more than 2 kids” — keep reading. Thankfully companies know that parents need multiple solutions to getting their kids from point A to point B. The Step2 Choo Choo Wagon could be the answer to your wagon dreams as you can add up to five “cars” to each wagon. Not only that but for some kids that have endless sibling rivalry syndrome, they each get their own individual car so there’s no need to share any space with their brother or sister. Each “car” comes equipped with its own seat, safety belt and cup holder. Now you’re thinking…“where do I put the stuff?” Each seat lifts up for storage access to put in food, towels or toys. This wagon also works wonders for the train-obsessed kid like my son — he’s all too eager to go for a ride in this wagon!
So tell me, where’s your favorite place to pull a wagon?