All terrain vehicles or ATVs for short are a great way to explore the great outdoors as a family and pursue adrenaline filled adventures. In recent years, the ATV market has exploded in popularity; in particular the 4X4 market has seen a flood of new models designed specifically with kids in mind. These models allow kids to ride free in the open air, go fast and experience true independence, arguably incomparable too any other kids toy.
However, as parents, one thing’s for sure, although we want our kids to be able to enjoy themselves and have their own freedoms, we also want to ensure they are safe and secure, especially when riding a motorized vehicle, such as an ATV. For this reason, it’s important to be well equipped with the right knowledge about kids 4 wheelers, which will enable you to select a model that will provide maximum safety and all of the necessary features for a smooth ride.
Are Kids ATVs Safe?
All moving vehicles have obvious hazards such as potential collisions with other objects, but the hazards associated with adult ATVs are largely diminished with youth models that have been designed with smaller riders in mind. For example, kids ATVs are much slower than adult versions, typically averaging a few miles per hour. They are also equipped with a range of safety features such as remote shutoff, allowing parents to easily cut off the power at any point.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission as also released a set of helpful guidelines to help you keep your child as safe as possible when riding an ATV. This includes obvious things such as wearing the correct safety gear, but also things some parents may be unaware of such as where and where not to drive. It’s certainly worth checking out before making a purchase.
What to Look for in the Best Kids 4 Wheeler ATVs
Childs Age – The majority of ATVs have been designed with a specific age group in mind. This is often reflected in their design and maximum weight capacity. ATVs for smaller kids are often much slower, battery operated and have safety features such as remote shut-off, providing anxious parents with peace of mind. On the whole, the models targeted to younger riders look more like toys or normal power wheels, but they are a great way to get them into driving and build some confidence. Models for older kids are often more substantial, faster and sometimes gas-powered and resemble adult versions.
Safety Features – Probably the number one concern for parents looking to buy an ATV for their child is safety. First and foremost, it is essential to take good notice of weight, height and age recommendations provided by the manufacturer. You also ought to read all safety warnings and ensure you operate it as instructed. It goes without saying that children should be accompanied by an adult and be wearing the necessary safety gear at all times.
Prior to riding it’s a good idea to check the terrain you plan on making your journey through, and ensure that it is safe to ride on. It’s also a good idea to secure a model with a variety of speed options and parental controls, this will allow you to start off on a slow speed and once they have built up some confidence, increase it as required.
Intended Location – Before making a decision on which ATV you want, have a think about the location you intend to use it. If you are using it in a yard or simple paved area, then your average kids ATV will probably suffice. However, if you intend on using it on more extreme terrains you will probably want to consider a more robust design, such as those with tyres with a substantial tread for maximum grip.
Our Top Picks
Power Wheels Kawasaki KFX
If you are looking for an ATV perfect for kids just starting out, then the Kawasaki KFX is the perfect vehicle to get beginners to start building some confidence behind the wheel. At speeds ranging from 3 and 6 mph, it will provide a fun ride for kids without any potential for them to zoom off before you can aid them. Better still, this model allows parents to set the preferred speed for maximum peace of mind.
You might be thinking, it’s just like any other kids power wheel vehicle and you’d be wrong. The Kawasaki KFX is fitted with a Power Lock brake system and a set of four tires with Power Wheels’ patented Monster Traction that enable easy navigation over the roughest of terrains.
The handlebars are large have good grip, while there are separate pedals for forwarding drive and reverse, a great combination to foster good hand-eye coordination and navigation. Note that this model is recommended for kids above the age of 2 and will need to be charged for at least 12 hours before the first ride.
The Power Wheels Dune Racer
Equipped with 2 seats, the Dune Racer is ideal for kids who might find riding alone a little daunting, or for those who might be more encouraged to ride with friends or siblings.
Consisting of a solid steel frame, metal sidebars for support and a Power Lock brake system, and wheels featuring the Monster Traction-tread, this ATV is built to last and to handle the toughest of environments. It not only looks the part, but it actually provides a good amount of stability for a safe ride over mud, woodlands, asphalt, and grass.
The speed of this 4 wheeler racer can be adjusted and controlled easily by parents thanks to the lockout system, allowing you to select to different settings – 2.5 mph and 5 mph. Forward drive is controlled via a foot-controlled pedal and navigated with an easy to use the steering wheel. It also features a very useful under hood storage area, perfect for storing snacks and toys.
This ATV is recommended for kids above the age of 2 and up to the age of 12. As standard with many kids 4 wheelers, it needs to be charged for at least 12 hours before first use and moderate assembly is also required.
Razor Dirt Quad
Once your kid is primed and ready to do some proper exploring outdoors, then they will require something a little more powerful, which is where the Razor Dirt Quad steps in. One of the best kids 4 wheelers, suitable for those aged 8 and up.
The Razor comes fitted with a 24-volt rechargeable battery, allowing 40 minutes of continuous riding between each recharge. For the size, it a powerful ATV with a high torque motor and gearing system, allowing multiple speeds to be achieved. That, matched with Droop travel rear suspension, coil shock absorbers and shatter-resistance plastic fairings provides a vehicle that can provide one hell of a ride, whether that is gravel, wet grass or dirt roads.
Since safety is a big priority for parents, many are on the scout for ATVs with additional safety features. For that reason, the Razor made our list due to the hand-operated rear disc-brakes, set of robust pneumatic tires with a premium tread. These all make for a drive with better control through a variety of terrains.
Just like other models, the Razor does need charging for at least 12 hours before first use. Moderate assembly is also required.
Go-Bowen Gobi 350W Electric ATV
This is another electric model, recommended for kids between the ages of 6 to 8 and can reach speeds of 5 or 9 mph, controlled by the parental control settings. It is most appropriate for kids who want to go a little faster than some of the more playful looking models and is probably best for those who have some previous experience using a motorized vehicle.
Powered by a hefty 24-volt battery, it has a relatively good 6-8 hour charge time and can run between 1 and 1.5 hours between each recharge which is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the Go-Bowen. Obviously, this is an estimate and also depends on other factors such as rider weight and terrain conditions.
It has the usual automatic shutoff feature for added safety, yet rather than being remote it is positioned near to the foot pedal and so controlled by the foot, which might not make some parents happy.
TaoTao ATA-125D TaoTao Kids Gas ATV – 110 CC
This ATV is best suited for older kids and ones that are ready for a more serious riding experience. Since it uses gas as opposed to being battery powered it does have more power and is capable of reaching high speeds (up to 20 miles an hour).
Since it’s designed for kids, it does come with a built-in speed limiter that allows parents
to control and change the speed as required. For instance, when your child is first starting out you may prefer to use the lowest speed setting, and then gradually increase it over time as they build experience and become more confident with the controls and steering. It also has a remote shutdown setting, allowing you to easily shut it off at any point from a distance.
Take note though – certain stares don’t allow gas-powered ATV vehicles to be registered and used; this includes California, Texas, Hawaii and Arkansas. Therefore, ensure you check your state’s rules before you make any decision. Of course, you can always opt for a battery-powered model if you don’t have the time or just want to make a more straightforward purchase.
The Different Types of ATVs
All Terrain vehicles come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have many names including quads, four wheelers and quadricyles. In the media, they are often portrayed as dangerous and many videos have made the rounds on social media showing them falling over edges and making flips.
For these reasons, they are often associated with danger and something no sane parent would allow their child to ride.
It’s true that the adult ATVs, often gas-powered and more hazardous than other off-road vehicles. Often requiring a good amount of safety gear to be worn and taught courses to be attended, yet the reality is that they are no more hazardous than any other motor vehicle.
Thankfully, however, and perhaps a huge relief too many parents, is that the best kids ATVs come built for a wide range of ages and skill levels, even ones for young beginners, off-road ready and even the professionals.
The bottom line is that if you’re are like most parents and simply looking for a beginner without much experience, then an electric, battery-operated, low-to-the-ground style ATV is probably your best bet. However, if they have some experience and are all ready to make the transition to a one with more power and speed, a gas model is ideal – these are typically advised for kids above the age of 10.