Best Baby Walker
The nostalgic look of the Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon harkens back to a simpler time and is part of what makes this walker so attractive. The Radio Flyer is a sturdy, thoughtfully designed walker with ample room for all of baby's treasures or a sibling to share in the fun. The wood-slatted sides are removable, and the front has a plastic bumper to prevent damage to your walls or furniture. We love the look and feel of this primarily wood option, and the design seems like one children can use well past the toddling time. This walker includes a resistance tensioner that limits the forward movement of the wheels. You can adjust this tensioner as your child masters walking, and the wheels are foam filled plastic with no discernable slipping problems in our tests.
This wagon has an involved assembly with more parts and setup than a majority of the competition. Still, construction isn't challenging if you follow the instructions. If you like building, you might even enjoy putting this wagon together. Also, this pusher makes an audible clicking noise when you use the tensioner. This sound will likely be intriguing to little ones, but we suspect most parents will dislike it droning on and on. As your child masters walking, you can remove the tension and stop the clicking. Overall, we think the Flyer has some attractive features, and we believe little ones will use it to move and store toys for years after they learn to walk, making it a useful and fun addition they'll use for years.
With many of the wood walkers coming in with prices over a hundred dollars, the Brio Toddler Wobbler is a budget-friendly option with impressive quality and attention to detail. This simple little wagon has an adjustable handlebar, axel wheels, rubber on the tires, and a tray for treasures. We like the tension screw that acts as a brake to slow the walker for first-timers and the basic design that leaves the imagination to use it as it will.
This walker has bright red paint that can transfer to baseboards, walls, and other furniture. Also, despite the two-position handle feature, it is still somewhat tippy, so you may want to monitor younger or unstable toddlers just learning to stand. Some users remark that the wagon moves too swiftly, while we didn't experience this, we encourage parents to familiarize themselves with the rear wheel tension screw to help slow the rig down. This walker isn't the flashiest in the group, but it is a high-quality walker for a reasonable price, and little ones will appreciate the ability to move their belongings as they stroll for years after they master walking.
If quality and high-end are the names of your game, look no further than the HABA Walker Wagon. This classic looking walker reminds us of something grandpa would build, and the quality and craftsmanship of the materials and attention to detail shows just how much he cares. This all-wood option uses non-toxic stains to avoid chipping paint or unsightly scratches. It feels sturdy and durable and looks like an heirloom you'll be proud to pass on to the grandkids. We like that this walker doubles as a chair and can carry small treasures. Plus, the rubber wheels prevent sliding, and the front brakes stop little ones from going too fast. In our tests, we saw older siblings enjoying the chair portion while letting younger siblings push them around. The HABA is a parent favorite.
This wooden walker is the most expensive in the group, which could be a deal-breaker for those with tighter budgets. However, you do get what you pay for with this quality walker, and we think generations of little ones will enjoy what it has to offer. So whether you pass it down from sibling to sibling or from child to grandchild, we think you'll get your money's worth with this option if your budget allows.
The cool-looking Skip Hop Kids 3-in-1 is a versatile walker with three distinct variations for different ages and skill levels, possibly creating a longer lifespan and bang for your buck. This little scooter is first a push walker with a carry bin for moving treasures from place to place while learning to stand and walk. It then converts to a sit on scooter reminiscent of tooling around the Italian countryside. Finally, it changes into a standing scooter for older children who are ready to roll a little faster. This 3-in-1 walker is the most versatile in the group and is suitable for a more extended age range than most of the competition. It features a working headlight, includes sound effects, and plays melodies for even more interactive fun. We like that the seat converts to a bin and is removable for increased activity fun.
With an age range of 1-4 years, this walker is not the best for first-time standers or toddlers who lack coordination. We encourage parents to keep the one year lower limit in mind before choosing this option for younger babies, as there tipping could be possible for younger babies when they push on the handlebar when dismounting the seat. We believe parents and children alike will enjoy this unique walker, and we love that it has multiple uses to keep the fun going long past the toddling years.
The VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is an ultra-interactive baby entertainment machine. With all the bells whistles, lights, and buttons you can think of, this walker does almost everything but make fries (only kidding). It does, however, draw the attention of toddlers and keeps it longer than the competition, which could be a lifesaver if you're a busy parent who needs a breather. In our tests, this was a baby favorite with the removable faceplate and melodies with adjustable volume. We like that the wheels are slip-resistant, and it has an adjustable brake to limit the speed in which baby can travel.
This walker is totally plastic, which isn't our favorite, but it does feel sturdy compared to the thinner plastic competition. Also, we suspect the noises and lights will grow wearisome over time, and some parents will long for a quieter playtime, but you can turn the volume down or off if you desire, though this may be frustrating for little ones who are used to the constant noise. Overall, it is hard to argue with a baby's favorite walker, and we think most babies will find it to be an enduring favorite even if parents long for a more nostalgic (and quieter) wagon option.
The Hape Wonder Walker is a wood walker with a taller design that includes several interactive stations with moving parts, gears, and balls strung on elastic. We like the craftsmanship and overall home made feel of this durable walker and enjoy that it isn't the usual plastic activity fare or dull wood wagon. This product also has slip-resistant wheels, and rounded edges to avoid injuries should little ones take a tumble during use. Our tot testers found this option more engaging than the basic wood wagons.
This option has no brake or adjustable resistance of the wheels, which could cause the walker to potentially move too swiftly for "new to standing" little ones. Also, the wheels squeak in a high-pitch whine we suspect will feel like nails on a chalkboard for some parents. We aren't sure if this will get better over time or if a little oil would help, but several users report the same sound, so it seems to be some kid of design flaw. Those issues aside, we adore this lovely little scooter and its ability to engage little ones without going over the top by overstimulating babies with flashing lights and repetitive/annoying sounds.
The Janod Crazy Doggy Cart is a whimsical pushcart little ones in our tests really enjoyed. This adorable dog head design comes with floppy felt ears, a simple bell collar, and a carry tray for all your baby's treasures. We like the color, design, and cute dog-shaped head, as well as the rounded edges, through axle design, and rubber edged wheels to prevent slipping and faster speeds.
This walker doesn't have a brake, so new walkers could potentially end up moving too fast. The pointy nose of the dog could also potentially damage drywall or other furniture if your little one crashes or intentionally rams the face into stationary objects (think dents in your stainless steel appliances). Also, some users report missing parts in their box (we did not), so we recommend opening your box and assembling the walker immediately so you don't miss the return window should something be missing or ill-fitted. Otherwise, we think this cute little dog might be the ticket for canine loving friends who will value the pure cuteness of it.
The Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker is a cute, inexpensive, plastic walker with an eye-catching black and white zebra. It features baby-centric interactive accessories that include the ABCs and 123s. This walker includes music, lights, and textures to keep toddlers busy and provides volume control and an off button for parents who may grow tired of the repetitive strains.
The Zebra does not come with a brake or resistance for the the wheels, and some testers feel it moves too fast for younger babies learning to stand. This product's plastic is thin and sort of flimsy. During testing, it flexed under pressure and could potentially break under duress. While we suspect the lower price and cute face will attract many parents, our little tester didn't find it as engaging as the competition, and the quality is disappointing. We think parents should consider other contenders first unless they love Zebras and can't walk away from the happy equine.
The cossy Baby Walker has an adorable fox face and includes several real wood blocks in fun colors and shapes. We like the wood construction and cute face and think it is likely a shoo-in for forest themed nurseries. This walker has an easy to clean plastic handle and rubber on the wheels to prevent them from slipping as little ones pull themselves up.
The cossy has no brake, and some feel it moves too fast for new walkers. Also, some users experienced problems with poor hole alignment, chipped wood, and faulty screws, so you'll want to open your package when you get it to ensure your walker is good to go. While we like the blocks and the design, we worry the quality issues and limited customer service could result in disappointment for toddlers and parents alike.
The Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator looks pretty cool on first blush with moving alligator heads, and bright, eye-catching colors with a basic design and wood construction parents will like. It comes with spinning blocks, rubber wheels for slip resistance, and a design that prevents most back tipping.
Unfortunately, this walker is shockingly boring as the walking baby can't see the action of the moving heads while using the walker, making them sort of useless. They also don't make any noise as they have felt padding, and while this might be a relief to parents, it once again fails to intrigue little ones who may not even notice the best part of this walker without the clacking sound. Also, the gator heads fill the space that might otherwise be open for toy storage, so the walker serves no purpose other than giving little ones something to steady themselves while walking. Our little testers were fairly unimpressed and chose the other wood walkers over this option.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our BabyGearLab team has been assembling and testing baby gear with over 20 years of combined experience. This review team includes Abriah Wofford, Senior Review Editor, who was responsible for product selection, testing, and assessing baby engagement with each walker. Abriah is one of 7 siblings and has extensive experience as a nanny and tester of baby gear. Assembly master, Bob Wofford, Senior Review Analyst and father of seven, put each walker together and scored products with a keen eye for quality, durability, and longevity. Bob has been assembling baby gear for over eight years and has put together more equipment than just about anyone. Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor and mother of two, rounds out the team helping to assess the award winners and product ranks using the test data and her six years of experience as a guide.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested 10 top baby walkers in this review to determine which options are the best for specific goals and budgets. We used each walker with little ones of different ages to assess baby interest, quality, and ease of assembly.
As expected, little ones like lights and sounds and bright colors. So it isn't surprising that our testers made a beeline to the plastic walkers with interactive features like the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker and the Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker. Over time, they preferred the V-Tech as it has more going on and seems to respond to baby's touch more than the Learn with Me. However, parents might not be interested in hearing repetitive sounds that often continue when no one is near the walker. This reality could mean that you'd prefer something quieter, but you still want the walker to be exciting and interactive.
We liked the Hape Wonder Walker, which has several small interactive features that intrigued our little testers. It also features a tray for storing treasures to push from place to place. The bucket/seat on the Skip Hop 3-in-1 makes this walker more versatile, giving children the option to use it as a bucket, a place to sit, a carrying device, and more. The cute design of the scooter offers more versatility than any other walker in the group. The Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator is a surprisingly dull option. While the moving alligator heads look like a winner, toddlers pushing the walker can't see them moving, and there is no tray for carrying toys and other treasures, making this walker nothing more than a large push device.
The quality of the walkers is somewhat all over the place. Some of the wood options are very well-built. They have excellent attention to detail using non-toxic materials, like the HABA Walker. Alternatively, others use plastic with rougher edges and nooks and crannies for spit-up and snacks to hide in, like the Fisher-Price Zebra Walker. In our tests, we didn't have any trouble with quality perse, our kits came ready to assemble with holes in the right spots and functional screws, and none of the walkers broke or failed during testing. However, there could be potential quality issues, as it feels relatively flimsy.
Besides the HABA, the Radio Flyer, Hape, and Brio walkers, all impressed with varying levels of real wood construction, chipless paint, and attention to details like rubber on the wheels and brakes or resistance devices that help keep baby moving at a reasonable and safer pace. Each of these products feels like it will last through multiple children and impressed us with the attention to detail and overall design choices that speak to potential longevity and ease of use. It is easy to see how the Radio Flyer will remain a family favorite over the years, well past the toddling, learning to walk phase, and the product's quality indicates it will last as long as you need it.
Some of the plastic options were less impressive. The Fisher-Price Zebra is thin plastic that has a significant flex when pushed on and feels like it might break under regular use. The V-Tech is also plastic but feels significantly sturdier and well put together than the Zebra. In our research, we found reviewers remarking on the poor quality of the cossy Baby Walker and the Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator with comments about chipping particle board, flaking paint, and misaligned holes. We didn't experience these issues with either product, but it is worth mentioning as multiple users remarked on the same problems for each.
Ease of Assembly
Some of the walkers were easier to assemble than the competition, while others could be a hassle if set up isn't in your wheel-house or you hate reading directions. The longest and most involved is the Radio Flyer Walker Wagon. This walker has the most parts in the group, it feels like you built a kit as opposed to putting together a toy, and while easy to do and the instructions are useful, if building isn't your thing, you aren't going to like it. Luckily, it is a one time proposition, and it's unlikely you'll need to build it twice. The Fisher-Price Zebra is next up for difficulty with lots of parts and more screws than most of the competition. While not hard to assemble, your hands and arms will get tired. The HABA requires a hammer and a wrench you supply yourself, and while not a challenge, it does feel more like building a toy from scratch than assembling a kit. The Skip Hop Kids 3-in-1 requires the ability to follow instructions as you will end up doubling your efforts if you don't. The assembly is not intuitive, and if done out of order, it will not work.
The easiest products to assemble include those with fewer parts, a couple of screws and included wrenches. These walkers include the Brio, cossy, Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator, and the V-Tech. A somewhat universal issue with many of the walkers in this review is extremely long screws that take forever to turn and will result in a tired hand and forearm. We aren't convinced they need to be this long, and it extended the assembly time for some products significantly.
Some users report trouble during setup with misaligned holes or faulty screws, specifically with the Hape Wonder Walker, the Janod Crazy Doggy Cart, and the Chomp & Clack Alligator. So we recommend putting your walker together right away in case you need to return it for any reason.
Testing baby walkers and listening to little ones' honest opinions on which features are exciting and which choices are boring is more fun that we should probably have at work. This review includes an inside look at the ease of assembly, quality, and interest level using real toddlers to determine which walkers are truly standout options. We think there is something for everyone in this roundup of great products. Whether you're hoping for something to span multiple age groups, an sturdy heirloom to pass down to the next generation, or a gadget with all the bells and whistles, this group has the details you need to select a winner for your baby and budget.
— Wendy Schmitz