For infants, the car seat is recommended, but the wagon is the best for toddlers and kids between 12 months and 5 years. The wagon provides only basic safety features for older children, so most parents use it to carry groceries or laundry. We’ve put together our list of the best wagons for toddlers – check them out!
With its wide tires and three-wheeled design, the Wagon for Infant is a perfect fit for your child from 12 months to 5 years. Its detachable seat can provide comfort and safety for your infant or toddler, while soft padding makes sure that their ride on the go is fun and enjoyable.
We know that your child is precious and you want to provide your child with the best possible protection, which isn’t always easy when they are seated in a wagon. We have designed our wagon system with a removable seat pad that allows you to use our portable restraint system (included) in any situation. This includes all of our wagons except for the Cruise model.
This wagon for infant is the perfect way to give your baby a ride during outdoor activities—and it’s also great for use at home. This wagon includes a removable seat pad and removable canopy, which can be used while they’re still in their infant car seat or as your child grows up. Use our Wagon Front Adapter to securely attach any Britax infant car seat.
Wagon for Infant and Toddler
I always say that there’s no one fits all, or this is the best of the best item because I think it depends on what are your needs, lifestyle, budget and preferences.
Before my second son was born I had certain expectations about a double stroller I wanted to get and I tested a ton… just to find out that there’s really no stroller that’s perfect overall and every single one has some cons.
A wagon is pretty useless because you don’t want to keep pulling it non-stop – you need to think about a stroller wagon that you can push and pull. But, I’m not going to tell you that a stroller wagon is better than a double stroller. It depends on your life situation and most importantly on your kids and for some families certain things will work better or not work at all.
Double Stroller vs Stroller Wagon: Things to Know Before You Buy
Table Of Contents
- Double Stroller vs Stroller Wagon: Things to Know Before You Buy
- Alternatives to Double Stroller or Stroller Wagon
Do you need a double stroller with a baby and toddler?
You need something for the kids to ride on. Don’t make my mistake and listen to more experienced parents when it comes to it.
Flying with a BabyPlay Video
Before my first son was born everyone was telling us we’ll need two strollers: one for home and one for travel. We thought it was completely unnecessary because why have two… 3 months and lots of frustrating situations later when traveling with a baby, my husband was the one who ordered the travel stroller.
When the second baby was born we thought “do we really need a double stroller when the toddler can walk?”. After endless situations that 10 minutes in the toddler started to extend his arms yelling “carry me daddy!” we realized that yes, we very much need a vehicle for both kids.
- If you have a newborn – no need for a stroller wagon just yet
- If you have twins – easiest solution: double stroller at first, then you can add a wagon after they turn 1
- If you have one toddler – standard stroller or tricycle is best, no need for a stroller wagon
- If you have a newborn & toddler under 3 – double stroller until the baby can sit on their own, then switch to a stroller wagon if you wish
- If you have a newborn & toddler over 3 – might get away with a single stroller and buggy board, then get the wagon for longer trips once the baby can sit independantly
- If you have multiple kids – get a wagon when most are toddlers and babywear the newborn until he/she can sit comfortable (about 9 months)
However, most importantly, you don’t NEED a stroller wagon. You need A vehicle to transport your children, that’s all. A stroller wagon can be helpful, but if you don’t have the funds or feel like you won’t get too much use out of it, then don’t get it.
I really hate when parents are being talked into various “must-have items” because everyone wants them and celebrities promote them and in reality, and while some might be convenient to use they’re not necessary at all (eg. Doona, Baby Breeza milk machine, or Uppababy Vista stroller). I feel like I’m the worst salesperson by saying it, but that’s the truth.
Who can use a Stroller Wagon?
In general, wagons are used for toddlers and kids between 12 months and 5 years. Most wagons don’t have comprehensive safety protection for younger infants.
However, there are some stroller wagons, that are designed for babies as young as 6 months. Yet, I’d still tell you to wait till the baby is slightly older – I explained it why in my specific wagon review as this one is often recommended for smaller infants.
Portability issues with both
Portability and folding mechanism depend on the brand. Some fold great, others are giant monsters.
The majority of strollers can fold down and fit in a bigger car – I’m underlining a bigger car because for example, good luck stuffing a double Bugaboo Donkey into my Tesla, on top of shopping.
Some stroller wagons are gigantic when folded and won’t fit into smaller cars. We have one of the most portable wagon strollers and when I was debating bringing it on my trip my husband pointed out that there’s no way it can fit in a trunk of a taxi along with a suitcase. Or bring up the stairs frankly unless two people are involved.
Wagons are not the greatest for travel, public transportation, or long city trip when kids still nap. Most parents agree that they could never get away with just the wagon and no stroller.
Strollers can be used for sleeping
Wagons are really just for sitting, because most seats don’t even offer a recline. While I saw parents converting Keenz wagon and Evenflo Pivot to a sleeping bassinet, it only works if one child sleeps and the other one walks. If you want both to nap, it’s not really possible.
Not every wagon stroller or double stroller can hangle all terrain
Wagons are commonly recommended because they’re claimed to be easier to push and drive on all terrains. I recently read a review of someone who complained their wagon didn’t ride on the sandy beach – of course, it won’t, it’s not an ATV.
Not to mention, if you load an already heavy wagon with multiple kids, cooler and other stuff, you’ll be pushing a huge amount of weight which isn’t easy even on the flat surface.
Quite frankly, it’s much easier to push a double stroller like BOB than any stroller wagon. My wagon rides on all-terrain vs my Zoe double stroller does not, but if I compared a Radio Flyer stroller wagon to any stroller with big wheels it will naturally perform terribly.
Safety features: is stroller wagon safe?
There are many kids’ wagons and stroller wagons on the market, and many have no straps. Get yourself one with a strap for sure.
While most wagons say they’re suitable for 6 months plus, just like the stroller seat, it’s not entirely true. Even buckled in I just don’t feel like there is enough support for a child. In fact, my 10 month old who has been sitting independently unsupported for months now lost control recently and smacked his head into the snack track on my wagon recently.
Comfort of the kiddos
One of the top arguments in favor of stroller wagons is that kids can self-board it. It’s true for some because they might have a zip-door or folding entryway, I’m yet to see any toddler having issues self-boarding a regular stroller as well.
While I enjoy my own wagon, I must say that my toddler has more issues getting into it than he has when it comes to getting into the double stroller. He can still do it though, but he’s basically as high as 4 year old so I guess a standard size 2-year-old wouldn’t be able to do get into the wagon unassisted.
It’s definitely hard to keep an eye on kiddos in a wagon, so it’s more likely kiddos will poke each other, throw things out, or rummage through all the snacks. Even when one is a baby, trust me.
Lenght of use
Both strollers and wagon strollers can last throughout toddlerhood. Strollers usually last from the newborn stage to 3.5 years, then seats become small and less comfortable. Many kids are not interested in sitting in a stroller – my own child hated the stroller even under 2 years of age and would only accept a tricycle, but he still needed something when he had done enough walking.
Wagons can last from 12 months to 5 years so technically they can be used longer. However, at this age, most parents transfer their stuff in it at this point. I personally wouldn’t want to encourage my 5 year old to ride in a wagon instead of walking or using a bicycle.
Stroller wagons are acclaimed for storage. If you head to a park (well, unless it’s Disney as stroller wagons are banned from Disney World parks) you’ll see families dragging their giant coolers and toys on top of a wagon. The thing is… it’s not entirely true.
If you look at any wagon carefully you’ll realize there’s not much storage if two kids are sitting in it! Some have an extra basket, but they’re fairly small. In a double stroller, there’s normally a space underneath but most wagons just have small pockets.
Alternatives to Double Stroller or Stroller Wagon
I’ll be very real: the vast majority of my European friends don’t have either unless they have twins. Most parents use two separate strollers for two kids because any other option isn’t very practical.
It’s basically one parents = one kid on a stroller. What if you’re a stay-at-home mom, or lucky to get long maternity leave?
Usually with 2 kids, baby starts in our single stroller, and then when my toddler gets tired, you put the baby in a carrier and the toddler gets in the stroller. But, wearing one kid while pushing another isn’t always easy, especially when we’re walking on hills so I don’t see it as a solution for longer trips and this option is not for everyone.
Another option is to teach your toddler how to ride something before the sibling is born. Various parents opt for a scooter or balance bike, as those two provide entertainment and a spot to rest. Plus, it will give your toddler a head start in terms of balancing skills.
Wagons are good if you mostly drive somewhere, then walk around. If you take public transit or are out long enough that kids needs a nap, a stroller is probably the answer.
Wagon for Baby Girl
Ever wish you could wave a magic wand and combine two of your favorite baby products? Meet the stroller wagon, the stroller + wagon hybrid that’s created a whole new category of baby gear.
Stroller wagons—the perfect combo of the traditional stroller and the classic wagon—offer families yet another way to get out and about with little ones along for the ride. They come in many different styles and configurations and a range of price points, and most can tackle many different types of terrain.
There are a lot of features to think through if you’re considering purchasing a stroller wagon, so it’s helpful to do some research before you buy.
In This Article
- What Is a Stroller Wagon?
- Can Infants Ride in Stroller Wagons?
- Are Stroller Wagons Worth It?
- What Is the Best Stroller Wagon?
What Is a Stroller Wagon?
A stroller wagon is a hybrid of two popular pieces of baby gear: a stroller and a wagon. Featuring the push and maneuverability of a stroller alongside the fun and functionality of a wagon, stroller wagons offer the best of both worlds.
Most stroller wagons have large wheels and a fairly robust suspension system and are designed to handle both smooth and rough terrain. Most feature both push and pull functionality and, unlike traditional wagons, stroller wagons either fold or break down in some way to make them more compact for portability.
Stroller wagons seat a minimum of two children and, depending on the brand and model, sometimes up to four. Seating configurations vary; some stroller wagons can accommodate infants (with the addition of an adapter and an infant car seat) while others work only for older babies and toddlers.
Many stroller wagon brands offer lots of different accessories to customize your ride. From canopies and cup holders to padded toddler seats and even bassinet attachments, there are plenty of add-ons to help you create the stroller wagon that’s perfectly suited for your family’s specific needs.
Can Infants Ride in Stroller Wagons?
It depends. Since younger babies can’t sit up on their own, infants can’t ride in a stroller wagon unless the wagon accommodates an infant car seat somehow, usually through the use of adapters that either come with the wagon or can be purchased separately.
Some stroller wagons offer multiple adapter options for different brands of car seats. Others only accept car seats from the same brand, while others don’t accommodate infant car seats at all.
Be sure to check the exact configurations and car seat compatibility before purchasing a stroller wagon if you’re hoping your infant will be able to hitch a ride.
Are Stroller Wagons Worth It?
A stroller wagon isn’t a must-have baby item. But there are certain families that would get lots of use out of one or specific circumstances where owning a stroller wagon may make your life a little bit easier.
A stroller wagon may be right for your family if:
- You love the outdoors. Most stroller wagons are built for tackling not just sidewalks but all types of terrain: sand, gravel, dirt, grass etc. If you live near a beach, a lake or a trail or you regularly find yourself on outdoor adventures with your kids in tow, a stroller wagon may be for you. (A jogging stroller is another idea to consider here too.)
- You have a big family. Ever try pushing three kids in a stroller or—gasp—even four? No thanks. A quad stroller wagon is our favorite way to get around with three or more kiddos and all the stuff that comes along with them. (It’s also the best way to get looks of awe and astonishment from passersby, which we also love.)
- You have a baby and an older child. Do you have a baby and an older child who’s past the stroller stage but not quite down with walking independently one hundred percent of the time? What about a big sibling who does lots of sports and activities on weekends and a little sibling who needs to come along for the ride? A stroller wagon that accommodates an infant car seat can be a good solution for both of these scenarios. It provides fun, easy seating for a big kid, lots of storage and a spot for the little brother or sister to chill.
- Your kids fight the stroller–but don’t love to walk, either. Kids staging a stroller protest (but then complaining about walking)? A stroller wagon is a fun way to shake things up and convince your little ones to come along for the ride.
- They’re fun! It sounds simple, but it’s true. Taking a stroller wagon for a spin to the park, the farmer’s market or even just around the block is an easy way to change things up from the regular stroller or carrier routine. It makes getting out of the house with your little ones feel more like an adventure than something to check off of your to-do list.
Can you take a stroller wagon on a plane?
Each airline has its own specific rules around traveling with a stroller, so it’s tricky to find an exact answer to this question.
Through our research and experience, most strollers, including stroller wagons, must fit a specific set of criteria to be checked at the gate before boarding the airplane. American Airlines, for example, specifies that in order to gate-check a stroller, it must fold and be under 20 pounds. Jet Blue, however, doesn’t state specific requirements, only that a stroller does not count toward carry-on or checked bag allowance and may be checked when you arrive at the airport or gate-checked at the jetbridge.
Is it advised to roll up to the gate with a 50-pound four-passenger stroller wagon and expect to slip right on by? Likely not. But if your stroller wagon meets your airline’s requirements (and if you happen upon friendly gate-check agents that day), it may be an option.
We recommend always reaching out to your airline first to discuss their stroller policy before packing your bags.
Does Disney allow stroller wagons?
Disney theme parks and water parks have very specific rules around what types of strollers are allowed and which aren’t—and stroller wagons don’t make the cut.
Strollers larger than 31” in width and 52” in length are not permitted, and neither are stroller wagons.
What Is the Best Stroller Wagon?
When choosing a stroller wagon, consider your family’s needs, the type of environment you live in and how you’re most likely to use your wagon.
These are the features to think through before deciding what the best stroller wagon is for you:
- Wheels and suspension. Most stroller wagons have large wheels and cushy suspension systems, but some more so than others. Think about where you’ll be using your stroller wagon the most—sand, grass, sidewalks—and make sure the wagon you choose works on that type of terrain. Pro tip: not all stroller wagons perform well on sand, so if you’re hoping to use your stroller wagon at the beach, do your research and choose carefully.
- Size and portability. All stroller wagons are big, but some are really big. And while all stroller wagons fold, some are much more portable than others. Measure your trunk against the stroller wagon’s folded dimensions to ensure it will fit, and check the weight so you know what you’re up against if you’ll be lifting it often. Check to see if the wheels pop off for easier storage. Research folds to see what feels easiest to you.
- Infant compatibility. As mentioned above, not all stroller wagons accommodate infant car seats. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, be sure to research which stroller wagons are compatible with which infant car seats.
- Cost. Stroller wagons don’t come cheap. If you plan on using your stroller wagon a lot, or if budget isn’t a concern, you may be able to splurge. If not, a less expensive stroller wagon may be a better choice for you.
- Durability. Do you want a wagon you can take outside and hose down if (when) it gets dirty? Will you be using your stroller wagon for years through multiple children, or just for a year or two? Factor all of these things in when choosing a stroller wagon that’s more or less durable.
- Accessories. Want to customize your ride? Some stroller wagon brands offer tons of extras like canopies, cup holders, a snack tray, custom sidewalls, extra storage…the list goes on.
How We Chose Our Best Stroller Wagons
We chose our best stroller wagon picks through our own research and expert insight and from real Babylist user reviews.
Best All-Terrain Stroller Wagon
- Tackles any terrain, even snow and sand
- Compatible with many infant car seats
- Tons of custom add-ons
What Our Experts Say
The Veer Cruiser is the stroller wagon that started it all. This high-end cruiser with oversized tires and front-wheel suspension is the best all-terrain stroller wagon. You can push or pull it on anything from pavement, grass, and gravel to snow and even sand. That’s not the case for all stroller wagons, so if you hope to use your wagon on the beach, on a gravel path or just about anywhere else, the Veer is one of the best options.
The other Veer standout? Customization. There are tons of add-on accessories, including custom color canopies and sidewall kits, a nap system, a comfy toddler seat, a storage basket and so much more. The Cruiser holds two riders up to 55 pounds each and is compatible with an infant car seat (adapters sold separately for most major brands), so even the littlest family member can hop on for a ride. And it folds flat so it fits in most trunks when broken down.
What’s Worth Considering
The Cruiser is expensive, especially when you start adding on extras. You’ll need to take off all of the accessories when folding it. It pulls easily, but navigating tighter turns while pushing it does take a bit of effort (and practice).
What Babylist Parents Say
“It has been great to load up with a picnic and take to the botanic gardens for the afternoon or throw our lawn games in and stroll down to the park on the weekends. We currently have the car seat adapter because our little one is only 2 months old but I can already tell that we are going to be using this a lot longer than our stroller.” -Whitney
|Folded Dimensions||37″L x 20″W x 14″H (wheels removed: 37″L x 20″W x 8″H|
|Age and Weight Recommendations||0-5 years; each passenger seat can hold up to 55 lbs and 45”|
Best Affordable Stroller Wagon
- More affordable price point
- Comes with lots of accessories
- Folds like a stroller
What Our Experts Say
Not looking to drop a small fortune on a stroller wagon? The Evenflo Pivot Xplore is a solid option that comes with lots of accessories and won’t set you back quite as much as other stroller wagons on the market.
This two-person ride has large tires that work on all types of terrain and the wagon boasts a flip handle that takes you from push to pull in seconds. There are several key accessories included, so you won’t have to shell out extra money for canopies, a snack tray or a storage basket, a nice perk. And the fold on the Xplore is also worth a shoutout. It folds more like a stroller, and you can leave all the accessories on when it’s time to pack up unlike with some other stroller wagons, a major perk.
What’s Worth Considering
The Pivot can accommodate an infant car seat, but only if Evenflo makes it. This stroller wagon can handle sand, but not as well as others. There aren’t a ton of accessories available.
What Babylist Parents Say
“This is such a great wagon! It has definitely become one of our go-to strollers/travel systems. We used it with the infant seat attachment when my son was a newborn and it was very sturdy. My son now sits in the wagon and loves being in it. It folds down to a great size and doesn’t take up the entire trunk. I love the push and pull options of the handle.” -Jessica