The 6 Best Tricycles for 1-Year-Olds in 2020

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Our Top 2 Picks for Best Tricycles for 1-Year-Olds

Best tricycles for 1-year-olds: XJD 3 in 1 Kids Tricycle
The perfect tricycle without a handle. Unlike a lot of other trikes, they can start riding on their own right away. Plus, it converts to a balance bike!
Costzon Baby Tricycle
Best tricycle with a handle
It’s a stroller AND a trike. The 6 different configurations grow with your child, and it’s foldable for easy storage and travel.

Shopping for your child’s first tricycle is so exciting! They’re growing so fast. Soon, they’ll be racing around the neighborhood like they’re trying to get E.T. home before the authorities get their nefarious hands on him.

There’s a lot to consider to make sure you get the right tricycle for your 1-year-old. We’ve searched the internet for the best tricycles for 1-year-olds, and these are our top picks that are parent- and kid-approved.

The Best Tricycles for 1-Year-Olds by Category

Best tricycle for 1-year-olds: XJD 3 in 1 Kids Tricycle

XJD 3 in 1 Kids Tricycle
Can be ridden in sliding mode, cycling mode, or two-wheel balance bike mode. May be too small for 2- to 3-year-olds, but it’s just right for 1-year-olds.

This tricycle is simple to use, and one of the few without a push handle that is rated for children as young as one.

With 3 different modes, your child can ride it from ages 1-3 in sliding mode, cycling mode, or convert it to the two-wheel balance bike mode. The handlebars and seat can adjust to accommodate growing children. 

Plus, it’s small enough to be able to use indoors or outdoors. Some reviewers even say their children ride it indoors on their hardwood floors without damaging them.

Many reviewers say that it’s too small for their 2- or 3-year-olds though. But if you’re looking for something for a 1-year-old, that won’t be a problem!

Key features
  • Converts to 3 different riding modes
  • Durable wide wheels designed to be quiet while riding indoors

  • Carbon steel frame
  • Soft handle grips for comfort
Pros
  • Different riding modes for different ages with adjustable handlebars and seat
  • Can be converted to a two-wheel balance bike
  • Small size ideal for 1-year-olds and small indoor spaces
Cons
  • The small size means it might be too small for children over 2
  • The pedals may be too hard to pedal
  • Even when adjusted, the handlebars are low
  • The directions are confusing, making it difficult to put together

Best tricycle with a handle: Costzon Baby Tricycle

Costzon Baby Tricycle
Has a nicely padded seat with a 3-point-harness that actually looks comfortable enough for kids to sit on for a while.

Convenience and practicality make this tricycle our top pick for the best tricycle with a handle. 

There’re a lot of tricycles similar to this, but the Costzon has key features like a foldable handle that sets it apart from others. So if you want to use it as a stroller on the go, you can easily fold and stow it in your car. 

It has features that you would expect to see on a stroller — like brakes for the rear wheels — that you don’t see on many tricycles with a handle. These features really take it from being just a tricycle with a handle to a stroller and a tricycle in one. 

There are 6 different settings for this tricycle, so it can easily work for your 1-year-old and grow with them up to even 5 years of age, according to the manufacturer. And while other tricycles with handles might technically be suitable for a 1-year-old, they don’t look super comfy. This one has a nicely padded seat with a 3-point-harness that actually looks comfortable enough for kids to sit on for a while.

A few critiques though are that the seat could be adjustable, the canopy larger or able to pull down more, and the footrests better if they were a little bigger so tiny legs could reach more comfortably. It’s also not clear how well it works indoors.

There are other tricycles that are similar to this, but this one had the most reviews. So it feels like the best bet based on others’ recommendations.

Key features
  • 6 different riding modes and configurations
  • Foldable
  • Includes extra storage bag

  • Safety brakes on rear wheels
  • Wheels work well on smooth or rougher terrain
Pros
  • Can double as a stroller for ages 1 and up
  • Many different riding variations
  • Rear brakes
  • Wide, durable tires
  • Assembly is fairly easy
Cons
  • If your child is a bit large or small for their age it may not fit them quite right (like a large 3-year-old or small 1-year-old)
  • Some encountered defects in their products, but customer service seems helpful

Best budget tricycle with a handle: Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike

The Radio Flyer is probably the most popular tricycle with or without a handlebar that you’ll see around your local parks and neighborhoods. And for good reason!

This trike doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as our top pick, but it’s more affordable and still has the most important features for usability.

It’s rated for children as young as 9 months and up to 5 years old, so you’ll be able to use it for quite a long time. Plus, if you really like the Radio Flyer and some of the extra features like a padded seat and more storage, there’s an “Ultimate” version which includes those at a slightly higher price.

One little detail kids love with this tricycle in particular is the small storage compartment on the back — the perfect place to stash a few toys and treasures. It can also be used inside.

By far the biggest failure of this tricycle is the lack of a footrest. That is the most common complaint from reviewers, and a pretty legitimate complaint in our book. You could purchase one separately from the company, but many complain that it isn’t very comfortable for their toddlers to rest their legs on.

Key features
  • 4 riding options
  • Removable snack tray and cup holder

  • UV canopy
Pros
  • Can be used for children as young as 9 months
  • More affordable, but still with lots of riding variations
  • Great for outdoor use
Cons
  • No footrest. Footrest that is sold separately isn’t well-designed
  • Seat is small, slopes slightly downward, and slippery. Your child may slide forward especially when riding it in stroller mode
  • Extra features like a padded seat cost extra
  • Parent steering handle comes loose and needs to be adjusted sometimes. Can be hard to control

Best splurge: Joovy Tricycoo LX Kid’s Tricycle

Joovy Tricycoo LX Kid's Tricycle
Pricey, but it can also work as a stroller for children as young as 6 months old, so you could save some cash by combining two products into one.

The Joovy Tricycoo is by far the most expensive on our list, but for great reasons. 

First, it can work as a stroller for children as young as 6 months old. So even though it’s pricey for a tricycle, it could save you some cash by combining two products into one. Secondly, it has the most riding options, including the ability to face the child towards the parent while riding. Finally, the seat reclines! So napping kids can be comfy while catching their zzz’s.

The handlebar and pedals are also free-swivel, meaning when the parent engages their handle for steering, the kid’s handle can be disengaged so they can pretend to steer while parents remain in control.

Beyond those essential features, it also comes in five different colors, has an ergonomic seat, and a storage compartment.

One complaint some parents have made is that even though the frame is very sturdy, some of the other parts, like the tires, aren’t of as high quality.

Key features
  • 8 riding options
  • 3 reclining seat positions
  • 180-degree rotating seat

  • Footrest and swivel pedals
  • Brake locks
Pros
  • Has the most position options of any tricycle on the list
  • Suitable for babies as young as 6 months old
  • Rear-facing option
  • Foot brake for parents
  • Easy to put together
Cons
  • The seat is not adjustable
  • Wheels are loud and not the best quality
  • Hard to steer
  • Brakes take some fiddling to lock

Best tricycle for twins: Baby Joy 4 in 1 Twins Kids Baby Tricycle

Baby Joy 4 in 1 Twins Kids Baby Tricycle
The twins can even play face-to-face while on the go with a rotating front seat.

Having double the children doesn’t necessarily mean you need two tricycles! 

We were so excited to see this twin tricycle that’s perfect for pushing your 1-year-old twins around and also works for them to ride together as a tandem tricycle up to age 5.

Plus, it has a foldable handle and canopy to easily stow away or in a car for travel. The twins can even play face-to-face while on the go with a rotating front seat.

The tires are rubber, wear-resistant, and have a dual brake function for safety. 

Besides the kids fighting over who gets to be in front, one downside is the handle could be a little longer, so you won’t worry about kicking the storage basket while pushing the stroller-trike. However, the basket is removable.

Key features
  • 4 riding options
  • Long UV canopy with window to see through
  • Storage basket

  • Dual brake function
  • Built-in steering
Pros
  • Two children can ride together
  • With the rotating front seat, children can play together while riding
  • Sturdy construction and wheels
  • Easy to put together
  • Folds up for easy storage and travel
Cons
  • The handle is a little short and not adjustable, making it easy to kick the storage basket while pushing

Honorable mention: Joovy Tricycoo 4.1 Kid’s Tricycle

If you’re a fan of our Best Splurge pick, or just of the well-loved brand Joovy, but aren’t ready to spend quite that much on a tricycle, this might be a great fit for you.

This tricycle has four stages to grow with your child from 10 months old, all the way up to 44lbs.

The seat is padded to keep little ones comfy and includes a large UV canopy. A few other nice extras are the footrests, cup holder, and storage basket.

The pedals can also be disengaged while the adult is pushing it with the handle.

Two complaints of note on this tricycle: The push handle can become loose or flimsy, and you have to watch that little ones don’t get their foot stuck between the footrests and the pedals.

Key features
  • 4 configurations
  • UV canopy

  • Cup holder
  • Storage basket
Pros
  • Large tires good for all terrain Padded seat for comfort Footrest
  • Cost-effective
  • Can rapid-fire
Cons
  • Loose handle when pushing
  • Child’s foot can get caught between footrests and pedals
  • Not foldable for easy storage or transport
  • Cup holder snaps off too easily for children with fidgety hands
  • UV canopy doesn’t stay in place easily

A Guide to Buying the Best Tricycle for 1-Year-Olds

What should you look for in a tricycle?

First and foremost, make sure it’s rated by the manufacturer for your child’s age. Most of the tricycles out there are not made for children as young as one year old. 

Then consider how and where you’ll be using it. Would you like to push your little one on walks? This means you’d need one with a handle. 

Also, where will you be going? If you mostly want to stay indoors or on flat pavement, then the quality of the wheels won’t be as important. But if you’ll be spending most of your time outside riding and might be on uneven ground or different types of terrain, you’ll want larger and more sturdy wheels.

All of the trikes on this list claim to adapt to growing children, so they’ll last them beyond the age of one. (Take note of buyers’ reviews though — some of the trikes may not hold true to this claim.) Some are even rated to be used up to 5 years old, or 44lbs! So if having your child’s tricycle last that long is important to you, check to see how long it can be used.

What is the best trike for a 1-year-old?

All of the tricycles on this list are great for a 1-year-old. It’s really up to you, your child, and your needs. 

Do you want a tricycle with a handle, or no handle? Would you like one that can take the place of a stroller? How long do you want to be able to use it?

Answering these questions for yourself will help you make a choice because the best trike for your 1-year-old might be different from someone else’s.

FAQ on Tricycles for 1-Year-Olds

What is a tricycle and why do you need one?

Tricycles have come a long way from when many modern parents were kids. A lot of them come with handles for parents to steer, reclining seats, storage baskets, UV shades and more. Some can be used as strollers for babies as young as 6 months old.

The main purpose of the tricycle though is to be a toy for your child that promotes physical activity and develops gross motor skills. With the added feature of a third wheel, they are a great preamble to a bicycle, and a chance for kids to develop their strength and balance before they’re old enough for their first bike.

What are the benefits of a tricycle?

Tricycles are so awesome that experts have even advised older adults to use them to develop muscle, and improve balance and stamina

The same applies for 1-year-olds and toddlers. 

Beyond just getting exercise and developing motor skills, children learn independence as well as other skills like hand-eye coordination through learning to ride a tricycle.

What types of tricycles are there?

On this list we have tricycles that come with a handle for parents to steer when children are too young to, and one that doesn’t come with a handle. 

The vast majority of tricycles suitable for 1-year-olds come with a handle because it allows parents to take little ones outdoors on walks and push them without worrying if their tiny legs can keep up.

Can a 1-year-old ride a tricycle?

It depends on the tricycle you’re getting. At this age, your 1-year-olds may not be able to reach the pedals, or have the strength to pedal even if their legs are long enough to reach it. This is why most of the tricycles that we recommend here double as strollers or have a push handle. They can then be converted to tricycles when your child has grown big enough to use it as one.

All of the tricycles on this list are rated by the manufacturer to be safe for 1-year-olds.

At what age can a baby use a trike?

One of the trikes on this list is rated for babies as young as 6 months old.

However, most of the tricycles are rated for ages 1 and up because that is around the age they might be able to start learning to ride it themselves. Younger babies will mostly use a tricycle with a handle as a stroller rather than really learning to ride.

At what age do toddlers learn to pedal?

Around one year old is when children can begin to learn to pedal and ride a tricycle. But remember that all kids develop differently. Some may be able to pedal as soon as their feet reach the pedals, while others might take until they are a few years old to start to pedal on their own.

Are balance bikes better than tricycles?

It depends on what your goal and needs are. Our pick for best tricycle for 1-year-olds can actually convert from a trike to a balance bake, so you don’t even have to choose. 

The two types really serve different functions though. A balance bike is to help children learn balance so that learning to ride a bike without training wheels will be easier. 

A trike, on the other hand, lets kids strengthen their legs, and uses different muscles and skills to ride it. Plus, with many of the trikes on this list, they can double as a stroller and be used for children who are too young to ride a balance bike.


Final thoughts

It’s so much fun watching your kids grow and develop. Getting them their first tricycle is almost like a rite of passage, marking their speedy development from a baby to a toddler ready to ride. Our picks for best tricycles for 1-year-olds will grow with your child for years of memories to come.

Need more bike suggestions for kids? Check out our list of best bikes for 4-year-olds.

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