Parents know there are a million gimmicky toys on the market and it’s hard to wade through all of them to find the ones that are of good value and actually do what they’re supposed to do. Here at Vancouver Mom we want to provide you with honest reviews of the good, the better, the best and the not-so-great toys for kids. Today we’re checking out the 4 in 1 Smart Trike.
Testing the Smart Trike
We recently got our hands on the Smart Trike, which is designed for children ages 10 months to three years. It transforms from a parent-controlled trike, to a guided trike, to a training trike, to an independent classic trike. In the past we had purchased a rather garish looking Smart Trike that was near impossible to steer – or move, for that matter. We used it all of three times and then it took up precious storage space until we moved and donated it. We were skeptical about the new and improved Smart Trike but also knew we would be able to recognize the difference if the design was better.
The 4 in 1 Smart Trike is easier to steer because the front wheel can be released to turn freely while parents are pushing it. It is also useful for giving kids a feel for holding onto a handle bar as a precursor for the run bike stage. The 4 in 1 Smart Trike comes with a large storage pouch with a fixed, hard-bottom which is great for walks to the grocery store. The new design is aesthetically more pleasing than our old version, coming in a black and white or pink and white pattern.
The problem with the Smart Trike is the ergonomics are still not perfected. Having kids ranging from nine months to five years we were able to test it in all its various forms. The pedals for trike use were difficult for our three year old to use. Our kids also found that it was not as fun to ride on as a run bike, which they can move on freely and easily. Quite frankly the Smart Trike is a whole lot of plastic in a time where many parents are trying to find more durable, environmentally friendly products for their children. Finally, if you’re city-dwellers likes us, the trike takes up square footage that we can’t afford to giveaway to sort-of fun toys.
We think the bad outweighs the good on this one. Save yourself money ($169.99) and frustration and purchase a good stroller and run bikes for your kiddos instead. Make sure to let the grandparents, aunties and uncles know too. We’re all aware that sometimes ‘looks neat’ can outweigh the practical when gift buying.
Have you tried a Smart Trike and had a different experience? Share your tales of Smart Trike joy and sorrow in the comments.
Michelle Gadd is an urban dwelling, Vancouver housewife and mother of two rambunctious boys. She has a passion for discovering, and writing about, ways to engage kids in city culture. Michelle created www.elasticpantcity.com as an outlet to write about life, from parenting to city living, fashion to frugality, food to faith, no subject is off the table. Michelle invites readers to take a glimpse inside her life and be inspired by the beauty of art in the every day.