US company SmarTrike launched more than a decade ago and, while its products range from scooters to changing bags, it is most well known for its namesake trikes.
SmarTrike’s 5-in-1 model claims to be suitable for use from 10 months to around three years, by adapting as your little one reaches each different age and stage.
Unsurprisingly, it has five different stages starting with stage one’s adjustable recliner seat and detachable parent steering handle.
Mum or dad still control the trike during the next two stages, while at stage four the trike transforms by folding in the footrest and encouraging your child to learn to pedal.
The final fifth stage is when SmarTrike converts into a classic trike that a child from around two and a half can ride independently.
We tested the SmarTrike with our 21-month-old daughter Holly on walks to various locations around our local area, including the park, the high street and to the woods.
The RRP is £119.99, but it’s generally possible to pick up the SmarTrike for around £99.99 from most stores.
The SmarTrike recliner is available to buy from Toys R Us, Smyths Toys, and Early Learning Centre.
How long with the SmarTrike 5-in-1 last?
We think it is fair to say that the product will last up to the age of three years, however it may prove to be a bit uncomfortable for bigger children as the seat is quite small.
What do you think of the reclining seat, how does it work?
The reclining seat has two positions, upright or reclined, and it is easy to use.
The seat reclines enough to allow our daughter to lean back and get comfy. To recline the seat, there are two buttons which you have to press simultaneously while moving the seat.
What do you think of the footrest in stages 1-3, does it serve a purpose or get in the way?
The footrest is good for us, as our daughter is too young to use the pedals yet. It gives her the option of being comfortable for the journey and stops her from simply letting her feet hang down.
Without the footrests, the product would be a lot less practical for young children. It is excellent that the footrests can be folded away when not in use and once the child is old enough to pedal themselves.
Does it come with any other extras?
Yes, it does. The trike comes with an extendable canopy, safety bar, 3-point harness, storage bag, bottle/drink holder and toy phone, which our daughter loves to play with!
What do you think of the height of the trike?
The trike is 102cm high and a good height for both adults and children. The seat is high enough from the ground so that feet shouldn’t drag, and the handle is at a good height for pushing by an adult.
Myself and my partner are not the tallest people and we have the handle set at its highest setting, so there is a chance that for taller people (especially dads!) that the handle may not be high enough.
Is the handle easy to adjust?
The handle is well-designed, but you do have to use both hands. It is adjustable to five different height settings.
It can also be pushed down fully in order to make the trike easier to store. It is very easy to adjust, you simply press the button on the front of the handle and lift or push it to your desired height setting.
Is it easy to push the trike?
At first, we found it hard to adjust to pushing the trike, but once we got used to the ‘touch-steering’ it became easy.
The only downside is the front wheel tends to spin around at random times almost like a wheel of a shopping trolley and this can sometimes put a bit of a ‘bump’ in the steering.
Overall we feel that the steering is fine and accept that the design is intended to allow the wheel to spin.
Would you recommend it over a buggy?
We would not personally recommend the trike over a buggy. We feel the ‘safety-factor’ of a buggy is better and that a buggy is more comfortable for our little one when out and about on longer trips.
Is it comfy for your little one?
On shorter journeys, our daughter is perfectly comfy in the SmarTrike.
She gets excited when we tell her she is going out on her trike. On longer journeys and on warmer days she seems to get a little fidgety unlike if she is in her buggy.
Can you override your little one when steering?
We haven’t allowed Holly to steer the trike yet as she is too young, however, when testing the product around the house it appears that once the handlebars are engaged to allow your child to steer, you lose control over the steering unless you physically disengage the steering using the red lever above the front wheel.
We would be dubious about allowing our little one to steer when out on the high street or walking along the pavement. The steering when the handlebars are disengaged is easy, and you only need to apply gentle pressure on the direction you wish to steer.
How does it adjust between stroller to trike?
To adjust from stroller to bike you need to do three things;
- Engage the handlebars via the little red lever above the front wheel.
- Engage the pedals by pushing in the black circular disc on the side of the front wheel.
- Retract the foot rests so that they do not get in the way of the pedals.
This is an easy process which takes no longer than 30 seconds.
Does it handle all-terrains?
We have tested the trike on a number of terrains, including grass, pavement and rough gravelly ground.
It performed well on all, however on gravel the steering became quite difficult due to the front wheel rotating quite regularly.
Is it value for money?
We feel that the product is reasonable value for money, however it would benefit from certain parts being made from more robust material.
When we assembled the trike we found that one side of the sunshade does not clip on correctly as the plastic catch was bent, meaning that the shade does not clip on securely. Every time we adjust the shade it comes unclipped from the trike.
A decent value trike that has some great features for growing with your little one from their inquisitive baby and toddler stages through to encouraging your little one to learn to pedal by themselves.
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