Best Kids’ ATV: Safely Introduce Your Child to ATVing
Have fun and be safe with our top picks for the best kids’ ATV
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BY Rebecca Henderson / LAST UPDATED ON September 18, 2019
Exploring the world is part of being a kid. If you’re a parent or someone else who’s looking for a safe and fun kids’ ATV, check out this informative buying guide. We’ll show you what options are out there, so you’ll have a better idea of what to look for when searching for the best kids’ ATV.
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Benefits of Kids’ ATVs
- Enjoy the outdoors. Children can explore the outdoors in their own way on their terms. They can have fun creating new paths and finding new places.
- Teach your kids safe behaviors. Take this opportunity to teach your kids about safety and how to be careful while on and around their ATVs. Safe behavior while using any motorized vehicle goes a long way in preventing accidents.
- They’re safer than powered two-wheel vehicles. Balancing on a two-wheeled vehicle can be difficult for kids. Set them up for success by starting them out with a four-wheel drive vehicle where they can still have fun.
- Teach your children responsibility. There’s much more to owning an ATV than your child might realize. Seize the opportunity to teach them about maintaining a vehicle, so they can be better prepared for taking care of their own when the time comes.
- Customization. As long as you can take care of your ATV, you should be able to customize it. Customization includes paint jobs, grips, seats, body panels, etc. Show your kids that individuality is a good thing by allowing them to mix things up with their very own ATV.
Types of Kids’ ATVs
Like their larger counterparts, kids’ ATVs are often gas-powered. They’re equipped with a small combustion engine that requires as much maintenance as a passenger vehicle’s engine. Gas-powered ATVs are typically much louder than their electric companions. Even though they may be small, these gas-powered engines can last for a full day’s length of fun on any terrain. Gas-powered kids’ ATVs are higher priced than electric ATVs of the same size but are easier to upgrade when it comes to powertrain modifications.
Comprised mostly of plastic and a small 12-volt battery, these ATVs, such as Barbie Jeeps, aren’t the most expensive or well-built products on the market. However, this type of kids’ ATV is just one iteration of the electric powertrain. Some small ATVs have electric drivetrains supplanted into them, which more closely mirrors the setup you might find in an electric passenger car. Electric kids’ ATVs are typically lighter than their gas-powered siblings but won’t necessarily hold as much passenger weight.
Part of the larger Fisher-Price family, Power Wheels was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in New York. If your kid loves Jeeps, check out this Red Jeep Wrangler, complete with storage capacity, a winch, and seating for two.
Founded in 2000 and based out of California, Razor is a worldwide manufacturer of scooters as well as kids’ ATVs and motocross bikes. If you aren’t convinced that our top pick is the best choice for your kid, the Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike could be a great alternative.
Kids’ ATV Pricing
- $100-$300: Kids’ ATVs priced around $200 are going to be your standard entry-level ATV platforms. These ATVs are mostly powered by an electric drivetrain and are often equipped with rechargeable batteries. The quality of the various parts installed on these ATVs might not be as good as what you’ll find in the next price range.
- $400-700: This is a good price point for budgeting when it comes to quality kids’ ATVs. Here you’ll find both gas-powered and electric ATVs of various types and color schemes. The machines will also have sturdier metal parts as opposed to plastic.
- $700+: If you want your child’s ATV to match the caliber of the one adult’s ride, you’ll likely spend around $750-$1,000. This much money opens the door for performance parts, including higher-powered engines and all the fixings.
Built-In Safety Features
There’s a reason passenger vehicles come equipped with thousands of dollars’ worth of safety equipment. It’s the same reason manufacturers fit their youth ATVs with similar equipment, from an acceleration limit to simplified controls. Most kids’ ATVs have a maximum speed of five miles per hour. The best kids’ ATVs will ensure both a fun and safe time, so that you’re not worried about injuries or accidents.
ATVs should already be durable since they’re meant for off-road and off-the-map use. Kids’ ATVs, however, see a different kind of wear and tear. Whereas adult ATVs are built to withstand mud, dirt, water, and anything else the elements throw their way, kids’ ATVs are designed with grimy hands in mind. The best kids’ ATVs should hold up against any toddler’s destructive behaviors.
Because kids’ ATVs are typically electric, maintenance usually only consists of recharging the batteries. However, the best kids’ ATVs should be maintainable in a variety of ways. Cleaning kids’ ATVs should be as simple as a hose, soap, and a sponge. The batteries should be easily accessible for removal and reinstallation once charged. In short, you shouldn’t have to consult an owner’s manual to keep your kids’ ATV investment in working order.
Riding around on a powered ATV can be fun—for a few minutes. Then your kids will want to beep the horn, sing along to the radio, and/or rev the engine. The best kids’ ATVs will have built-in features that add to the overall experience. This could include things like working LED headlights, a trailer, working suspension, and more.
- Upkeep/Maintenance Costs: We talked about how easy it should be to maintain the best kids’ ATVs. But the cost of replacement parts or services over the lifetime of the ATV should be minimal as well. In general, spending more on kids’ ATV will get you a better unit, to begin with, but this is not always the case.
- Child’s Maturity Level: Beyond weight limit and age range, you should consider your child’s maturity level when purchasing a kids’ ATV. For instance, some kids’ ATVs are geared more towards a younger age range, while others are souped-up a bit to engage an older audience. Consider which ATV best fits your child’s age before making a purchase.
Best Kids’ ATV Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Reward your children for their good behavior by letting them take a ride on their ATV. It’s a time where they can have fun and be outdoors, so you should encourage them to get their chores done so they can enjoy some time on their ATV.
- Teach your children that any time they’re on their ATV, they should have adult supervision. This will cut down on any potential accidents that may occur. Adult supervision should also teach them to respect their ATV and the time they get to play with it.
- Tell your kids what they should do in case of an accident. Whether they’re the one operating the ATV or someone else is, your children should know to get help from nearby adults as soon as possible.
- Store your kids’ ATV in a garage under a cover when not in use. Make sure you drain out the gas tank or disconnect the battery (if you own an electric ATV) if you’re storing it for a long period of time. Place it on a sturdy platform or brace it with wheel chocks to prevent it from rolling away.
- It’s a good idea to slightly air down your rubber tires when storing it for a while. You don’t want to flatten them out so they get a low spot, but preparing for varying temperatures will allow the rubber to flex accordingly.
- Use your kids’ ATV as the subject of a science lesson. Whether you invest in a gas-powered unit or an electric ATV, explain to your children how the ATV works and teach them the difference between gas and electric power.
- Safety equipment is key to enjoying your ATV. Invest in a helmet to protect your child in case of an accident. If you’re going to be off-roading a lot, helmets with built-in eye protection are worth the money. You can also purchase elbow and knee pads, and the proper footwear can make a huge difference as well.
Q: How fast can kids’ ATVs go?
A: Most kids’ ATVs aren’t built to be high performance—they’re meant to operate at low speeds for a smooth ride. The three kids’ ATVs we picked for this informative guide won’t go much faster than five miles per hour. While some youth ATVs can go faster, your best bet for your little one is to invest in something slower.
Q: How much do kids’ ATVs weigh?
A: Most kids’ ATVs weigh around 300 pounds. The bulk of an ATV’s weight comes from the engine and all-terrain tires as well as the steel frame. High-quality ATVs will typically weigh a bit more since they usually include more suspension and fun gadgets on board.
Q: Do kids’ ATVs have a limited top speed?
A: As with the three kids’ ATVs we mentioned in this article, the engines typically include a speed limiter. You can find kids’ ATVs with an adjustable speed setting, but your best bet is to start low and go slow until your child feels comfortable and you feel safe about how they’re operating the ATV.
Q: What are the weight limits for kids’ ATVs?
A: Weight limits for most kids’ ATVs range anywhere from 80-120 pounds. If you plan on investing in an ATV for your child as a long-term purchase, consider buying one that has a higher weight limit so they can enjoy it for longer.
Q: Are most kids’ ATVs weatherproof?
A: Like adult ATVs and other UTV and off-road vehicles, kids’ ATVs can usually weather the elements fairly well. Keep in mind that plastic won’t stand up as well as steel or even aluminum.
Q: How long will electric ATVs typically run for?
A: You can likely expect electric ATVs to run for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the battery. Most electric ATVs come with a charger, so you can purchase a secondary rechargeable battery to have on hand. That way you can charge one as you use the other for longer runtime. The electric start won’t require gas, so it all depends how much juice is in the battery.
Q: What other safety features should I look for in a kids’ quad?
A: You should look for power lock brakes or disc brakes, a complete brake system, a kill switch, a high-speed lock-out, and a speed limiter to decrease the max speed. Coil shocks also come in handy if you plan on covering rough terrain.
Q: What other types of off-road vehicles, besides all-terrain vehicles, would be good for my child?
A: ATVs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to off-road vehicles. Your child might like to ride a dirt bike or dune racer instead. Tamer options include a scooter or kids’ four-wheelers that are meant for older children around the ages of 12-16. The Yamaha Raptor and any machines from Kawasaki or Honda are also decent options as well.
The John Deere Ground Force Tractor with Trailer won our top pick for the best kids’ ATV. It comes with a realistic design and many features.
Pinching those pennies? Choose the Best Choice Products 12V Kids 4-Wheeler ATV Quad if you’re on a budget but want to have fun at the same time.