I’m no psychic but I can vouch for the fact that most 3-year-olds share a common dream- rocking a tricycle like Batman rocks his Batmobile. Not to mention the satisfaction of watching your kid smiling uncontrollably when he/she hops onto the tricycle for the first time.
Feeling the pressure intensifying already? I get it. Children are way more fickle than we think. And to find a model that’s both aesthetically pleasing and completely safe for them could be way more challenging than you might have thought.
Then there’s the obvious consideration of the budget. As much as we want our children to drool over the tricycle, we don’t want to spend a hefty amount for something they’ll outgrow very soon.
Having taken into account all the key aspects, I have listed off 9 best tricycles for 3-year-old that satisfy all the requirements one can possibly think of. From cool aesthetics, robust, child-proof design, solid safety features to value pricing- these were key metrics I followed to the T while screening the products.
The following section includes the list and detailed reviews of my top 9 favorite tricycles for toddlers in the order of preference:
9 Best Tricycles for 3 Year Old Toddlers 2021
- 1.Schwinn Roadster Kids Tricycle
- 2.Fisher Price Harley Davidson Tough Trike
- 3.Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike
- 4.Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle
- 5.Radio Flyer Ride and Stand Stroll ‘N Trike
- 6.Radio Flyer Big Flyer Sport Trike
- 7.Little Tikes 4-in-1 Tricycle
- 8.Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle
- 9.Fisher-Price Rock, Roll ‘n Ride Trike
1.Schwinn Roadster Kids Tricycle
Roadster by Schwinn is a gold standard for every toddler tricycle. Its vintage bicycle-ish appearance makes it one of the most gorgeous trikes I have ever seen. Instead of the more common (and less durable) plastic, this one’s all metal. Classic chrome finish mustache-style handlebars with a bike bell and tassels are a nice touch too.
To ensure a safe and smooth ride without constantly making that annoying squeaking sound, it has got real inflatable rubber tires. Another major plus is the ingenious engineering of the trike.
Its extra-wide structure gives it a very low center of gravity, making it nearly impossible for a kid to tip it over. If your toddler is afraid of flipping his tricycle over while speeding up, and so are you, Roadster is the answer.
The extra-wide and large design also allows enough room for your child to grow into it. It should work just fine for kids from 3 to 6-year-olds or even slightly older kids as long they don’t exceed the trike’s max weight capacity of 60 lbs.
The only plastic element of this trike is the seat which is adjustable in 5 positions to ensure max comfort for your little rider.
My only legit gripe is with the plastic thing that keeps the pedal in place. It is kind of flimsy and may not hold up well for a long time. Thankfully, the pedals are very easily replaceable, so I’m not worrying about it too much.
2.Fisher Price Harley Davidson Tough Trike
Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson not only looks dreamy but also holds up well against all kinds of abuse toddlers might throw at it. The orange and black combination makes the tricycle very easy to spot from far, which is why parents love it just as much as kids.
It comes with simple and clear assembly instructions. Just have a hammer and a screwdriver handy and you’re all set for assembling the trike. Another standout feature of Harley is its ultra-comfy wide seats to give your junior a smooth and comfortable riding experience.
The large and sturdy wheels on this trike move are built to last and move steadily on the sidewalks and natural terrains. The wide wheelbase is almost impossible to tip over by a child. Kudos for the quality of the plastic used in the body as well. It appears to be highly durable and cute stickers on it don’t peel off easily.
It’s also equipped with grippy handlebars and big foot pedals to help your little one ride with ease. Mind you that your kid will have to be at least 38” tall to be able to reach the pedals. However, this doesn’t mean he will have to miss out on the fun.
Until he grows tall enough to reach the pedals, your toddler can just zoom it around the house with his feet and have the time of his life. He can even carry some snacks or toys with him inside the small storage compartment beneath the seat.
My only major issue with the product is with the design of the seat lid. It pops off with little to no force, making it a little tricky to put stuff inside it without spilling them everywhere.
3.Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike
The brains behind this adorable pink trike have an eye for detail. It’s an adult-controlled convertible trike with a push handle at the back. When you push the trike, the pedals lock which eliminates the risk of getting your kid’s feet scrapped by the edges of the pedals. Smart, isn’t it? When your infant grows old and confident enough to steer the trike independently, simply remove the adult steering handle and turn it into the grown-up trike.
There’s also a removable tray in the front for small toys and munchies. The only thing it’s missing is the additional footrest. It’s a shame that no place to rest those little feet when they are too small to maneuver the pedals. However, the trike makes up for this small glitch in more than one way.
Like all the top-tier tricycles, this one also has plenty of room for growth. Kids above 9 months to 5 years can comfortably fit into it. Your princess should be able to reach the pedals as soon as she is at least 33” tall.
Your baby will get the additional security of a wrap belt and a 3-point harness and a sunshade to keep her sweat-free in summer. I should also note that the seat has a high back support for optimal safety and comfort of infant riders.
There’s one annoying issue, though. The steering handle has a lot of play (meaning it’s kind of loose). If you push the trike too fast along the sidewalk, it will struggle to move straight. However, as long as you keep it slow, it won’t be much of a problem.
4.Schwinn Easy Steer Tricycle
The roundup of the best tricycle for a year old kids won’t be complete without the mention of this smartly engineered adult-controlled trike. It is equipped with a fairly long steering handle that makes it easy for a tall adult (say 5’7” to 5’10”) to push and steer the three-wheeler while speed walking.
The trike is big and wide enough to let your toddler grow into it and maneuver it comfortably till he is almost 5 years old. Your little one has to be at least 38” tall to be able to use the pedals but that doesn’t mean smaller kids can’t have fun with it.
Schwinn comes with an adjustable footrest that sits very close to the seat, allowing your junior’s feet to rest comfortably while you push it around. Another notable feature is the 3-point seat belt to prevent the kid from falling off.
The safety buckle is a bit difficult to hook and unhook at first. Be patient and observe exactly where the buckle latches. You will get the hang of it after a while.
Also, the seat is adjustable. It features two holes attached to the seat that allows you to swiftly move the seat up and down to ensure optimal comfort for your little daredevil. It sports two small buckets, one at the front and another at the back for carrying toys, snacks, and stuff.
Its wheels are made from hard plastic instead of the more sought-after air-filled rubber. Considering the price tag, I can’t complain much about it. The wheels steer and roll smoothly on both concrete and grassy terrains.
I just wish it didn’t rattle and squeak so much. The noise gets pretty annoying after a while. Oiling the moving parts might help to tone it down a bit. One common complaint about this tricycle is the wobbly and loose steering.
More often than not, the handle used for pushing around the trike won’t align with the front wheel. Same with the children’s handlebar. You will have to manually align them constantly throughout the ride.
While this doesn’t take anything away from the quality of the rider, it’s kind of annoying for the adult pushing the vehicle. Considering this won’t be an issue when your child is ready to ride the tricycle independently, I won’t regard it as a dealbreaker.
5.Radio Flyer Ride and Stand Stroll ‘N Trike
Designed for kids from 9 months to 5 years, this 4 convertible trike will make an excellent choice if you have two kids of different ages to entertain. The trike is equipped with a platform at the back for the older kid as well as a steering handle for the adult.
Its multi-position adjustable seat features a 3-point harness to keep the little rider stay put, no matter how fast he is moving. I loved the fact that the removable wrap-around tray has a tiny built-in cup holder, because who doesn’t get thirsty after an adrenaline-boosting trike riding session? It also has a canopy which would be functional as long as your child is not taller than 36”.
Overall, it’s a sturdy and comfortable convertible bike that both kids in your house enjoy at the same time. The ride is nice and smooth if you can ignore the constant clacking sound the front wheel makes. I am not a little put off by the steering. It gets loose every time you make a turn, therefore, requires constant re-tightening.
6.Radio Flyer Big Flyer Sport Trike
If your kid is a big fan of those rugged bikes he keeps ogling at on the TV, nothing would probably make him happier than receiving a Big Flyer Sport Trike. Apart from its no-nonsense chopper style design with retro chrome handlebars, this trike also stands out for its extra-large 16” wheels, which is not that common in tricycles.
The large front wheel combined with ultra-wide back wheelbase not only ensures superior traction on hard surfaces but also prevents the risk of tipping over. Your little rebel can safely go as fast as he wants to, thanks to the thick pedals that provide a great stability to the trike. It also features a flag for improved visibility and a detachable, height-adjustable seat, allowing the trike to adapt easily to the kid’s size.
The trike has plenty of room to comfortably accommodate 3 to 7-year-old riders with big torsos and long legs. I just wish the big wheels were made of rubber instead of plastic. The steering wheel tends to slip a bit on polished indoor floors.
7.Little Tikes 4-in-1 Tricycle
This nifty little trike can transform from an infant rider to a grown-up trike in a jiffy. It’s also possibly one of the quietest trikes on this list as the wheels are made from real rubber, instead of plastic.
While the footrests on the trike are not adjustable, the seat adjusts and locks into 4 positions to keep the rider comfortable. It also comes with the added security of 5-point which adjusts, buckles, and unbuckles in a snap.
34”-35” tall toddlers will be able to reach the pedals easily. You can even fold away or simply detach the footrests from the base when your child grows old enough to cruise around the trike on his own. The push-button for locking the steering (of both the push handle and front handlebars) is a nice little touch when you have to make multiple stops.
There’s a mechanism to even lock the pedals to prevent them from hitting the child’s leg in the push mode. Your bub will get plenty of storage space for his action figurines, comics, and snacks as the trike includes a basket both at the front and back.
The downside worth noting is that the adult push handle doesn’t properly lock in place. It will pop off easily if you try to lift the bike.
8.Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle
It’s the third Radio Flyer trike to grace this list of the best tricycles for 3 year olds, and that’s not just because I am in love with this brand. Like the previous two Radio Flyer entries, this one is also a robustly build trike with looks to die for.
The bold red metal frame with white accents will help you spot the tricycle from far away. Its vintage design is further complemented by chrome handles, chrome bell, and steamers.
For excellent traction and support on paved driveways, sidewalks, and cemented patios, it is equipped with a 12” big front wheel along with authentic rubber back tires. The controlled radius of the wheel helps taking sharp turns a breeze.
The double-decked rear step that allows little kids to climb easily into the seat is a superb touch. If your kid is around 33” tall, he should be easily able to take this bad boy out on a spin without any adult’s help.
Coming to the seats, they adjust seamlessly but it is made of metal which doesn’t really fit into my definition of “comfort”. And the seat post is also somewhat flimsy and might bend or break if a tall and heavy kid sits on it.
9.Fisher-Price Rock, Roll ‘n Ride Trike
My last entry to the list of the best tricycles for 3 year olds is another convertible trike from Fisher-Price. It is a stationary rocker for small kids, an adult-controlled trike, and a regular trike rolled into one unit. All you have to is extend the rocker base to turn it into an adult push handle.
Its comfy seat on it can be moved up and down to give your baby rider a snug fit. And to keep his feet away from the spinning pedals, it sports fold-up footrests, although it’s a bit smaller than I’d have preferred. The pedals are positioned high enough to be reached easily by a 3-year-old bub.
Despite being made of plastic, the wheels seem fairly sturdy and roll without creaking too much. Assembling the trike, however, is a bit of a pain since there are lots of loose pieces to put together, and the rear axle alignment is a bit off.
However, if you decide to skip stage 1 (stationary rocker) assembly and move straight to the pusher/grown-up trike assembly bit, the job becomes a lot easier.
Toddlers who ride tricycles are usually quick to develop the balance and coordination required for riding a bicycle in the near future. It’s also a safe way of introducing your little one to the wonders of outdoor sports without risking any injury.
And above all, your kid is going to love you for letting him taste the bliss of independence for the first time in his life. Before wrapping up, one last word of wisdom for you: no matter how lucrative the design is, the best tricycle for 3 year old is less about looks and more about comfort and safety.
However, models like Schwinn Roadster strike the perfect balance between both. This classic vintage-bike style tricycle sports real rubber wheels which makes it both easy and a lot of fun to scoot around. Steering it straight on paved rods is comparatively easier for adults and for so many special features, the price obnoxiously high either. I couldn’t have asked for more.