Over the last few years, I’ve noticed more and more kids – and adults – flying around on the human-powered contraptions known as scooters. It’s not been something that’s ever interested me personally – mainly because you look like a right dick when you’re an adult – but it’s something we’ve considered for Toddler L.
But, for whatever reason, we’ve held off getting her one. I think a combination of not knowing whether she’s too young, plus the fact that she already has a trike, a balance bike and two legs to help her get around, has made us wonder whether it’d get much use.
Just before Christmas though, SmarTrike got in touch to see if we wanted to review one of their recently launched scooters. With nothing to lose – apart from perhaps some skin on hands, knees and elbows – I agreed to take a look at their latest outdoor ride-on toys.
Toddler L already has a SmarTrike 5-in-1 Explorer Trike, so the brand is one that I not only trust, but have been impressed with since owing the trike. The scooters come in three models – the T1, T3 and T5 – and all do something slightly different based on the age of your kid. Due to Toddler L’s age, the T3 seemed the most appropriate, so we plumped for that one. Below, you’ll find my review of the SmarTrike T3 Scooter:
The product is described as:
smarTrike’s T3 2 stage purple scooter enables your little one to experience the freedom and independence only a scooter can provide. Outfitted with a TPR rubber footboard and hand grips, with PU wheels for a smooth ride, the Swiss designed scooter offers a smooth and secure riding experience for your child. Suitable for children 2 years and up, the T3 possesses 2 adaptable stages that help to improve your child’s scooter skills in a fun, innovative way.
Stage 1: Practicing and gaining confidence-lock function is enabled, preventing the handlebars from tilting allowing your child to feel secure while they learn how to ride, allowing them to gain the confidence they need to become a scooter master! Stage 2: Freestyle Riding Turn the T-lock to engage the tilting mechanism allowing your child to ride freestyle, and show off their new skills! Features include:
- Patented two-stage riding, Stage 1: Upright Forward Riding, Stage 2: More complex riding with limited tilting
- TPR rubber surface footplate
- Tilting handle bar
- Soft-touch rubber grip handles
- Easy-reach back foot brake
- Max user weight: 20kg
- Assembled Dimensions: L59.5 x W26.5 x H63 cm
The SmarTrike T3 scooter comes in a box, which although adds to the aesthetics and nicely shows off the scooter, it doesn’t really do much from a protection perspective. I did have a photo of the scooter in the packaging, but a broken hard drive means I’ve lost a lot of photos so you’re going to have to use your imagination a bit. Just picture a box with no front or sides which holds the scooter at the top and bottom.
The scooter does require minimal assembly – we’re literally talking seconds though. Once out of the box, all you need to do is remove a sticker which covers a hole on the front of the deck, then slot the handlebars into the hole. Although it was very, very simple, the sticker was a bit of a bugger and left sticky marks on the scooter which was mildly annoying. With that, assembly was complete.
I really liked the look of the SmarTrike T3 scooter. We’d chosen it in purple (other colours are available) and it looked better than I imagined. It’s a kind of two-tone look, with a dark purpley-blue base, wheels and grips, with light purpley-pink detailing, such as the SmarTrike logo, the trim and on the handlebar grips.
The handlebar frame is silver with SmarTrike branding, there’s a grey foot break over the back wheel and a little grey ‘T’ on the front which can be turned to lock the steering. In terms of the materials, the base is made of TPR, which is a kind of rubber and plastic hybrid which makes it sturdy but soft(ish). The handle are soft and very graspable, whilst the wheels feel are also plastic.
Over the last two months, Toddler L has used the SmarTrike T3 scooter a lot. It’s been her preferred mode of transport when we’ve been doing things locally – so, for instance, taking the dog around the block, going into the woods or heading to the park. It’s coped really well on all terrains and we’ve encountered no issues.
Something that really surprised me is how quickly and easily Toddler L took to the scooter. As soon as we got outside with it, she had one foot on the base and the other pushing her along. I expected it to take a bit of time for her to figure it out – just like with her balance bike – but this really wasn’t the case.
I can only imagine that she’s tried one at somewhere like nursery. Or, otherwise, she’s the next Dakota Schuetz (Google reliably informs me he’s a pretty famous freestyle scooter rider.) The below photo was taken on her first ‘scoot’. Skillz.
I think there’s a couple of things which help make it easy to ride. Firstly, it’s light – Toddler L has no issue moving it around, which surprised me. Secondly, the base is relatively wide, which makes it easier for her to get her feet in place. Thirdly, the three wheels provide a bit more stability than a two-wheeled version would. And, fourthly, the grips on the handlebars are easy to hold. I should know. Despite being comfortably three-times more than the maximum user weight of 20kg, I’ve had a few goes on it myself!
One of the selling points of the T3 scooter is the tilting handlebars – or, as they call it, the two stage riding. By turning the grey ‘T’ button at the front of the scooter, you can decide whether you want to be in stage 1 or stage 2. Basically, stage 1 locks the handlebars so that it goes in a straight line, whilst stage 2 enables you to steer by tilting the handlebars left or right.
We’ve used both modes, but on a day to day basis, stage 2 is better. If we’re going for a walk, there needs to be an ability to steer the scooter as you go around bends and corners – we don’t live near any Roman roads! However, stage 1 works well when you don’t want your kid to steer – so, for example, if she’s at the skate park or going down hills in a straight line.
The added bonus of the scooter is that it’s made our walks quicker. As anyone with a toddler knows, a 15 minute walk usually takes an hour. They’re slow walkers, become fascinated by things like the grass and drains, want to walk on every curb / wall and often have random tantrums.
With Toddler L on the scooter, she can either push herself with her feet or stand on the base and let me pull / push her – both speed things up. What’s more, it’s also made walks more fun and less boring, such as letting her ride down hills which she loves. Sure, I do have to sometimes carry it when she’s had enough, but that’s hardly a chore considering that it’s pretty lightweight.
All in all, the SmarTrike T3 Scooter has been a great addition to Toddler L’s fleet. I do have two suggestions though. Firstly, I’d love to be able to fold the handlebars towards the base. This would make it easier to stick in the car and when carrying it around when she’s decided she’s had enough. Secondly, the handlebars don’t adjust – as per the T5 version, I’d like to see the handlebars move up and down to cater for your child. At the moment, it feels like this could have limited usage if your kid has a growth spurt or is naturally tall.
The SmarTrike T3 scooter retails around the £49.99 mark, however I’ve seen it available for slightly more and slightly less than this. Without any research, this is probably what I’d have expected – and be happy – to pay. Having had a quick Goolge though, it seems like you can get a kids scooter from anywhere as low as £15 up to just shy of £100.
As with most things, the most basic models are cheaper, whilst the (generally) better, more complicated ones are a higher price. At £50, the SmarTrike T3 is pretty much in the middle of these extremes. For a good quality scooter by a reputable brand, I have no issues with the pricing and would be happy to pay this myself.
I’ve been really impressed with the SmarTrike T3 Scooter. It was simple to assemble, is well made, looks nice, has been hard-wearing, and most importantly, Toddler L loves it.
She took to it straight away – in fact, so much quicker than I ever imagined. Part of this is surely down to the design and thought that’s been put into the product, for instance, the two-stage riding which allows you to lock the handlebars or use them to steer.
All in all, I have nothing negative to say about the scooter and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you’re looking for a scooter for your kid.
The DADventurer Star Rating
4.5 Out Of 5 Stars
N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The T3 Scooter was sent to me by SmarTrike with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the product.
N.B. This post includes an affiliate link(s). For more info, read my Disclosure policy.