If there is a product or a hack that makes this parenting gig easier, we’re all for it. That’s why we’re falling hard for stroller wagons. These sweet rides will serve your family long after your kids can walk, for toting kids, park gear, pets and more. Read on for the best reasons to invest in a stroller wagon.
1. You don’t have to rush home for nap time.
A wagon lets your sleepy one curl up or spread out for a deep slumber. The Larktale Caravan Stroller/Wagon ($399.99; shown above) has padded seats that individually recline for each rider’s comfort. Flip down the seats for a flat base where kids can stretch out.
2. It holds multiple kids.
There is no need to head up a caravan of strollers when spending a day out and about. Whether you have a large family or a friend group of kids to tote around, stroller wagons like the WonderFold X4 Wagon ($399.99) and the School Bus ($799) can hold up to 4 kids.
3. You’ll give your back a break.
If you’re wearing all the babies (and carrying all the gear), take a break and let a wagon do the work. A stroller wagon has room for kids and deep pockets for necessities. Plus, the push/pull system makes maneuvering the unit easy on your core muscles.
4. It folds flat.
If you have a double stroller, or even just a full-size stroller, you’re intimately familiar with the lack of free trunk space you have once these monstrosities are loaded into your car. Stroller wagons usually fold flat and take up less space, leaving room for that cooler you want to tote in your can-do-all wagon.
photo: Chelsea Jean Photography
5. It can handle rough terrain.
If you find yourself carrying your stroller (and your child in the stroller) over grassy patches and rocky paths, consider a wagon that can handle off-roading, like the Veer Cruiser ($599; shown above) or the Evenflo Pivot Xplore All-Terrain Stroller Wagon ($299.99). Bring it to the beach, the park, the nature trail, wherever your adventures take you. Pop the Veer Misting Fan ($49) into the cup holder on your Cruiser—or any wagon with a standard-size cup holder—for cooling comfort on long, warm rides.
6. It can haul more than just kids.
A wagon makes it easy to tote all of your baby stuff along with anything else you may need for the day. Going to a park? Bring a cooler filled with food and drinks for the family. Headed to the beach? Pile all of the beach toys, chairs and boogie boards in these double-duty cribs-on-wheels. Some even have cupholders to carry your beverages.
7. Your big kids can use it too.
If you have an older child who still gets tired on all-day outings but is too leggy (and heavy) for a stroller, consider a wagon. While most strollers max out at 40 pounds, a stroller wagon’s seat can hold kids 50 pounds and up. Most top out at 65 pounds, but the overall capacity of these heavy-duty units starts at 100 pounds so even kids who no longer fit in seats can still take a rest.
8. It’s easy to clean.
Due to the wagon’s boxy design, there aren’t many hidden spaces for goldfish and raisins to hide. Some wagons have extra padding to make the utility design more comfortable, but these cushions can usually be tossed in the wash for easy cleaning. You can even hose down the models meant for rugged terrain. Yes, you read that right: You can take your hose to the Keenz wagons—no spot cleaning here.
photo: Radio Flyer
9. It provides a place for adults to rest.
Wagons like the 3-in-1 Tailgater Wagon by Radio Flyer ($149.99) feature a drop-down side so anyone (yes, we’re looking at you, tired parents!) can grab a seat. Take this wagon to a kids sporting event or pull it along at your next outdoor adventure and you’re guaranteed a dry, elevated seat for those who don’t want to criss-cross applesauce on wet grass. Plus, there’s a stow-away cooler caddy to hold a cooler, folding chairs and more.
10. Kids can self-board.
Older kids will love to hop on and off the stroller wagon as the mood strikes them, but some wagons even have a zip-door entry so younger kids can self-board, making trips on the go easier and faster. Brands like Wonderfold make it easier for kids of all ages and abilities to enter the wagon on their own (but the zipper deters stealthy kiddos from exiting without some assistance).
11. It offers sun protection.
Wagons have canopies that stretch horizontally to cover the entire unit, which means your baby’s delicate skin isn’t in direct sunlight. Some models, like the Jeep Wrangler Stroller Wagon ($299), have pull-down shades for complete coverage, making them perfect for sunny strolls and wagon naps.
12. It’s useful long after your kids have outgrown it.
There will come a point when your child will no longer fit in the wagon (sniff). But the wagon has lots of life and purpose left in it. From camping trips to picnics in the park, wagons are the Giving Tree of strollers, holding all sorts of gear and tools. Kind of like wipes, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers