Coming from a family of racers, go-karts are one of my favorite subjects. That’s because my husband and six-year-old daughter race go-karts both at the club level and semi-professionally. Our weekends are packed with fun and excitement. But, I will say, it’s not always easy. From the time we get up in the morning for a driver’s meeting until we go to bed after performing go-kart maintenance, racing is almost a full-time job during the summer months.
But, it’s well worth it. The younger group of kids that race Kid Karts, typically in the age group of five to eight-year-olds, look so cute in their little helmets and race suits. The adults that are out there racing are all but reliving their younger days as they get ready for a race on the track. Racing is a good learning experience for teenagers as well. It teaches good sportsmanship, among other things.
Thankfully, the go-karts in this article aren’t made for semi-pro racing and are strictly for fun. However, these ride-on toys still promise tons of entertainment and your little ones will get the full thrill of going fast.
Whether your child is interested in professional racing or just wants to get out on the track and have some good old-fashioned fun, everyone has to start somewhere. Most of the racers we race with, including my husband and daughter, started in their backyards with different types of ride-on toys and go-karts for kids.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about these types of ride-on toys and everything involved with them, keep reading for more information about the best go-karts for kids, or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look for in a Go-Kart for Kids?
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Go-Kart for Kids
- Our Top Picks for the Best Go-Kart for Kids in 2021
- Best Go-Karts for Ages 1-8
- Best Go-Karts for Ages 8 and Up
- Safety Tips
- Are Go-Karts Safe for Kids?
- At What Age Can Kids Start Racing Go-Karts?
- What Surfaces Are Safe to Ride on a Kids Go-Kart?
- How Fast Do Go-Karts for Kids Go?
- How Do I Clean My Kid’s Go-Kart?
- What Other Maintenance Is Required?
- Verdict: Your Best Go-Kart for Kids
What Should I Look for in a Go-Kart for Kids?
Before you start your journey of searching for a go-kart for kids, you’ll want to consider several factors. This is for the safety of your little one as well as peace of mind for you. Certain features must be kept in mind when buying a go-kart. I have the criteria you should consider listed below.
Criteria #1: Is it age-appropriate?
Just because you’re ready for your child to jump into a go-kart, doesn’t mean your child is. Most manufacturers have a specified age range. This is something to think about since some go-karts are designed specifically for younger children while others are made for older children, teenagers, and adults.
Criteria #2: Is your child fully aware of safety precautions?
Before you let your children on their go-kart for the first time, they should be fully aware of all safety precautions. Start by dedicating a specific area in which your children are permitted to ride their go-kart. Make sure this area is free of debris like sticks.
Your children should also be wearing appropriate safety gear. This includes a DOT-rated or SNELL-certified helmet with a visor that fits snugly, but not too tight. They should have on long pants and a shirt or jacket to protect them from scrapes in the case of an accident. Gloves and boots are always a good idea.
Criteria #3: Does the go-kart have safety features?
Your kid’s go-kart should have safety features such as working brakes or a roll bar. An adjustable seat will allow the driver to fit in the go-kart safely. It should also have safety belts. Rubber wheels are also a must, not only for stability but also to be able to drive over different types of terrain.
Criteria #4: What is the weight capacity?
All go-karts have a certain weight capacity. This is for the safety of the driver and should be adhered to. Someone too light might easily lose control of the go-kart and someone that is too heavy could cause the go-kart to malfunction. Please keep this in mind when making your go-kart purchase.
Criteria #5: Do you have the proper safety gear?
This is just as important to your child’s safety. They should always wear a helmet. There should be no give-or-take on this. The same goes for clothing. While you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy a race suit, your child should wear jeans that fit them and a closed jacket. Shoes should also be tied tightly with laces tucked in. You don’t want any clothing to be able to get into the machinery. This could cause serious injury, even death if a piece of clothing gets stuck in the machinery.
Criteria #6: Does it have good safety ratings?
Do your homework. Read the reviews. Not only will this tell you what type of experience other parents and consumers had, but it’ll also allow you to check out the go-kart’s safety ratings.
Look for a go-kart with the best safety features and ratings. Does the go-kart malfunction? Are there problems with the batteries exploding? Do the engines often fail? Are there safety measures put in place in case one of these scenarios happens? These are all questions you should take into consideration.
Criteria #7: Will your child like it?
As with any other toy, you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on something your child isn’t going to like, or worse yet, use. A go-kart isn’t exactly cheap. Before you buy your child a go-kart, make sure it’s something they want. Try finding something stylish with a great design. Most of the go-karts on this list resemble the real thing, more than likely making your child the envy of the neighborhood.
Criteria #8: How tall is your child?
This is important because it can help determine if your child is tall enough to safely reach the pedals, brake, and steering wheel. If your child is too short, they may have a difficult time pushing the pedals all the way down or reaching the steering wheel. On the other hand, if your child is too tall, they might not fit comfortably in the seat and struggle to easily let off the gas or brake when needed.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Go-Kart for Kids
For this article, I have considered several factors for determining the perfect go-karts for kids. I’ve looked at not only my family’s experience but also that of several other racing families. I’ve also taken the time to read the product reviews to give me a better idea of the quality of the product and to see how each manufacturer handled any grievances.
Our Top Picks for the Best Go-Kart for Kids in 2021
Best Go-Karts for Ages 1-8
#1. Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart (Best Value)
Recommended age: 3 to 8 years old
Recommended weight limit: 81 lbs.
Maximum speed: 8 mph
The Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart is perfect for younger children. These go-karts come with features for safety, including a speed lock that parents control as well as three driving speeds that allow your child to get the hang of driving as they go.
This go-kart has an adjustable seat, allowing it to grow with your children. It also allows different drivers of various sizes to be able to use the go-kart.
Like the Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart and the Costzon Electric Go-Kart below, the Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart is electric. It comes with a 24-volt rechargeable battery system that allows for 45 minutes of ride time.
This go-kart comes with a parent-controlled speed lock that allows you to control your child’s driving speed.
Three Driving Speeds
The three driving speeds provide for all sorts of fun for your children. They can drive forward in three different settings: 2.5, 5, and 8 miles per hour. The go-kart will go in reverse at 2.5 miles per hour.
Your little one will get a kick out of learning to drift. With rubber tires on the front and extra-wide slicks on the rear, your children will find a new love for drifting.
Reviewers say this product is amazing. They can’t believe how much their children love this go-kart. It goes slow enough that parents don’t have to worry, but fast enough that smaller children get a thrill out of it.
#2: Costzon Electric Go-Kart (Best Low Cost)
Recommended age: 3 to 8 years old
Recommended weight limit: 55 lbs.
Maximum speed: 2 mph
I’d recommend not skipping over this go-kart just because it says it’s low cost. That’s because this is a great electric go-kart for children at a price that every parent will love. Your child will have a blast, and you won’t be breaking the bank to purchase it.
Designed to look like an adult go-kart, this even has a sporty-looking steering wheel. Your children are going to love feeling like a real driver in this go-kart.
Electric Foot Pedal
One of the pros to the go-kart features of the Costzon Electric Go-Kart is the electric foot pedal. This foot pedal allows your children to press the pedal to make it go, but it’ll automatically stop when your child lets off the pedal.
Seat with Safety Belt
This go-kart also has a comfortable and spacious seat with a seat belt for added safety and security.
Your child can control whether they want to go in forward or in reverse with the press of one of the two buttons that also include music and flashing lights. This feature makes the g0-kart easy to control for younger children.
Similar to the Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart, this go-kart is battery-operated. It comes with a 6-volt battery and charger. A full charge will take eight to 10 hours for a full charge with 60 minutes of continuous ride time.
One of the pros of this go-kart is the price. Parents say this go-kart is exciting and fun at a price they can afford. Their children love getting behind the wheel of this one.
#3: Hauck Lightning (Best Pedal Go-Kart)
Recommended age: 4 to 7 years old
Recommended weight limit: 120 lbs.
Maximum Speed: pedal-powered
The Hauck Lightning Pedal Go-Kart will give your younger kids the racing bug while providing an authentic racing experience.
This pedal go-kart has bucket seats, and like the Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart, they are adjustable. This way not only can multiple children use it, but it can also grow with your child. The high backrest keeps them comfortable for longer riding times.
Pedals and Handbrake
The race-style pedals provide a sturdy grip, and the handbrake controls both rear wheels for easy stopping power.
The rubber tires combined with the eight-ball style brake offer a better grip and smooth ride every time.
The Hauck Lightning Pedal Go Kart provides three-point steering for a quick and responsive steering wheel.
The Hauck Batmobile Pedal Go Kart is another great option for those superheroes wanting to save their neighborhoods from the Joker and other Gotham City villains. These pedal-powered go-karts offer the same features as the Lightning, but with a Batmobile-themed front panel.
Whether you choose the Hauck Lightning or the Hauck Batmobile Pedal Go-Kart, parents are raving about these pedal karts, saying it’s one of the best go-karts for kids. They also agree that this is a great go-kart for under $100. The pedal action is perfect for children in the four-to-eight age range that aren’t quite ready for a gas-powered motor but still want to get in on the go-karting fun.
#4. Berg Buddy Pedal Go-Kart BMW Street Racer (Best for Stability)
Recommended age: 24 months and up
Recommended weight limit: 110 lbs.
Maximum Speed: pedal-powered
Berg is known for making quality pedal go-karts. This one comes with the BFR-system, so your child has complete control of their go-kart at all times. The metal frame not only offers more durability but also provides stability to keep the wheels on the ground.
The Berg Buddy Pedal Go-Kart is designed to keep the wheels on the ground, even when going around sharp corners quickly.
This pedal-powered go-kart is made with a metal frame that can take a beating if your child hits something.
The BFR-system (Break, Freewheel, and Reverse) allows your kids to use reverse immediately after breaking to come to a standstill.
Adjustable Seat and Steering Wheel
The adjustable seat and steering wheel ensure your kids are in the ideal position every time for a safe and comfortable ride.
This pedal go-kart has received many five-star ratings for its quality. Kids have a great time riding around on this, and parents say it’s a great buy.
Best Go-Karts for Ages 8 and Up
#1: Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart (Best Value)
Recommended age: 8 years old and up
Recommended weight limit: 140 lbs.
Maximum speed: 12 mph
Watch your kid turn into a drift king and rule the streets in this go-kart by Razor. This go-kart is a must-have for children interested in both the drifting world and go-karts.
The chassis comes race-tuned and ready for some sweet neighborhood go-kart action.
Super Slick Wheels
Super slick rubber wheels will let your kid master their drifting ability. They’ll be throwing their go-kart around corners in no time.
The Razor go-kart comes with a spark bar that leaves a shower of sparks your child’s wake. It even comes with an additional cartridge. Your kids are going to have a blast with this go-kart.
This go-kart comes with a 24-volt battery system and chain-driven motor. This system allows for up to 40 minutes of continuous ride time. Your kids will have plenty of time to perfect their 180’s and fish tales while learning how to throw their go-kart through the corners.
The thumb-trigger acceleration control with variable speed and hand-operated rear brake help make this go-kart easy for kids to handle.
It comes with a bucket-style seat and shoulder strap for added safety.
Kids absolutely love this go-kart. There seems to be an issue with the battery sometimes not holding a charge, which the company covers under the warranty. Despite this, parents say it’s a great buy and tons of fun for their kids.
#2: Coleman Powersports Off Road Go Kart (Best Premium)
Recommended age: 13 years old and up
Recommended weight limit: 400 lbs.
Maximum speed: 15 mph
This gas go-kart is truly one of the best premium go-karts available. This is the one you want to consider if money is no object and you’re committed to buying the best of the best. Not only is this gas-powered go-kart fast, but it’s also designed with strict safety measures in mind.
Unlike the Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart, the Coleman Powersports Off Road Go Kart is powered by gas. It has a 0.95 fuel tank capacity that can run off of regular fuel from your local gas station. No need to find special fuel for this go-kart.
This has a 4-stroke OHV 1 cylinder engine with a 196cc engine in it. Your kids will have fun taking on the trails with the 6.5 horsepower all day while still being fuel efficient.
One of the pros to this go-kart is that it has an easy pull-start operation and torque converter CVT system that makes this ideal for any skill level of the go-kart driver.
The tires on these go-karts are low-pressure rubber tires for a soft, smooth ride on any terrain, every time.
A great safety feature of this go-kart is the four-point harness. This safety harness keeps your child safe behind the wheel in the case of an accident. The heavy-duty padded roll cage provides extra security and safety.
Another one of the pros of this go-kart is that it has two seats, so more than one child can ride at a time. No more taking turns. The only argument you’ll have to worry about is whose turn it is to drive.
You can worry less about accidents because this go-kart has a kill switch. This ensures a quick and easy power off in the case of an emergency.
The hydraulic foot-operated disc brakes give the driver reliable stopping power.
This is a solid, high-quality go-kart from a reputable company. It’s an excellent buy and provides hours of family go-karting fun.
#3: Segway Ninebot Electric GoKart Drift Kit (Best for Segway S)
Recommended age: 8 years old and up
Recommended weight limit: 220 lbs.
Maximum speed: 10 mph
If you own a Ninebot S or are in the market for one, consider the Segway Ninebot Electric GoKart Drift Kit. You’ll be able to get the full go-kart experience while reaching speeds of up to 10 miles per hour.
Similar to the Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart, this go-kart will turn your kid into a drift king. The handbrake and brake pedal can switch forward and backward, and with a steering ratio of 2.1:1, this go-kart allows for precision steering. Watch your kids as they get behind the wheel for some serious drifting action.
Fast Initial Acceleration
This go-kart can go from zero to 12 miles per hour in a matter of seconds. It’s definitely not for the weak of heart. If you’re looking for a quick takeoff, this is what you’re looking for.
This go-kart is collapsible. In fact, it’ll fit in the trunk of most cars, so you can take it anywhere.
Consumers love this product. This is a must-have go-kart.
#4. Razor Dune Buggy (Best Electric)
Recommended age: 8 years old and up
Recommended weight limit: 120 lbs.
Maximum speed: 9 mph
Razor has come up with the Dune Buggy go-karts. These go-karts offer variable speeds and pneumatic tires with a tubular steel frame and side roll cage for an exhilarating and safe ride each and every time.
350-Watt Electric Motor
Comparable to the Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart, the Costzon Electric Go-Kart, and the Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart, this is an electric go-kart. The high-torque, chain-driven motor is powered by a 24-volt battery system that allows for up to 40 minutes of continuous drive time.
The padded seat comes with a lap and shoulder seat belt and a tubular steel frame for added safety and security.
Thumb Trigger Acceleration
The thumb trigger acceleration allows for variable speeds while the hand-operated rear brakes offer great stopping ability.
The Razor Dune Buggy comes with 8-inch knobby pneumatic tires for a smooth ride over even the toughest terrain.
Parents say this is the go-kart you’re looking for. It’s so much fun and their children love it. It’s worth the money and perfect for seven to 10-year-olds.
Always wear a helmet.
This is the most vital (and possibly life-saving) safety tip I can give. Regardless of the type of go-kart your child is riding, they should be wearing an approved DOT-Rated and SNELL-Certified helmet. It’s important to make this a rule every single time the go-kart is taken out.
Wear proper clothing.
It’s just as important to make sure your child is wearing the appropriate clothing. If you don’t want to invest in a race suit (and most don’t), no big deal. Just make sure your child’s clothing fits well. Clothing should cover your child’s arms and legs, and there shouldn’t be any loose shirttails or baggy pants that can get caught in the machinery. Don’t forget to remind your child to tuck in their shoelaces and have their jacket closed, if they’re wearing one.
Make sure there’s a safety harness or seat belts.
Any good go-kart is going to have some sort of safety features like a harness or seat belt. Your children should be required to use these at all times. There should be no exceptions to this rule.
Be alert and use good judgment.
Since go-karts are so low to the ground, they aren’t visible to other vehicles’ rearview mirrors. Consider flashing lights or a flag if you’re not driving on a track.
Practice driver etiquette.
Basically, be a good driver. Go-karts travel in single-file, not next to each other or in groups. Be respectful and get out of the way if you’re going slower than another driver. It’s not even a bad idea to take a course or two on how to drive a go-kart before getting behind the steering wheel for the first time, so you can learn the rules of safe driving.
Always stay on the track.
Keep in mind that it’s illegal to drive most go-karts on streets or in public parking lots. The safest place for a go-kart is on a track, whether that be a dirt track or paved track. These tracks are usually supervised and staffed with employees that are ready to help in case of an accident or go-kart malfunction.
Are Go-Karts Safe for Kids?
A kids go-kart is safe, even safer than a tricycle, as long as you and your child follow all of the safety protocols. The go-karts on this list are perfect for those just starting out, as they don’t tend to travel at extremely fast speeds. They also give the young driver the opportunity to learn how a go-kart functions and handles.
At What Age Can Kids Start Racing Go-Karts?
Kids can start racing Kid Karts as young as five years old. Some go-kart clubs will even let four-year-olds go out on the track, with an adult supervising.
What Surfaces Are Safe to Ride on a Kids Go-Kart?
The best surface to ride a kid’s go-kart is going to be a smooth surface, like pavement. However, much like the Coleman Powersport Off Road Go Kart, some are made for dirt and trails.
How Fast Do Go-Karts for Kids Go?
Typical kids karts can reach speeds of up to 30 to 40 miles per hour while the go-karts for kids that we’re talking about on this list can reach a top speed of about 15 miles per hour, depending on the go-kart.
How Do I Clean My Kid’s Go-Kart?
This is going to depend on the type of go-kart.
If you have a gas-powered go-kart, you can power wash it from at least three feet away, but make sure you don’t get water in the air intake, muffler, or belt vents. Wipe down the rear axle and bearings. You’ll also want to wash the engine, chain, sprockets, and brakes. It’s best to just leave it outside to air dry, if possible, and always lubricate the chain when you’re finished.
If your go-kart is an electric or pedal go-kart, simply hand wash with a light detergent and let air dry.
What Other Maintenance Is Required?
If you have an electric or pedal-powered go-kart, no other maintenance is required aside from charging the batteries for the electric go-karts.
For gas-powered go-karts, you’ll want to change the oil every 10 hours of use and change the oil filter yearly, or as needed.
Also, if you have a torque converter drive system on your go-kart, like a Mid XRS, Mid XRX, or MudHead, the torque converter will need to be serviced regularly.
Check and service the brakes each time you go to the track.
You’ll also want to check the fuel line for cracks or bubbles in the line.
Verdict: Your Best Go-Kart for Kids
In case you missed it, here’s the breakdown of my list of the best go-karts.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Razor Ground Force Fury Drifter Kart. This is the best electric go-kart for its drifting capabilities, spark bar, and race-tuned chassis.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, choose the Coleman Powersports Off Road Go Kart. This is the best premium go-kart on this list. It’s also the best off-road kart that is gas-powered and has the most safety features.
If you want the best pedal go-kart, pick the Hauck Lightning. This is the best pedal-powered go-kart that gives kids an authentic racing experience while strengthening their muscles and coordination. There’s even a Hauck Batmobile Pedal Go-Kart option.
If you’re wanting a great low-price, choose the Costzon Electric Go-Kart. This is the best electric kids go-kart for the price.
If you’re wanting to add to your Segway S, choose the Segway Ninebot Electric GoKart Drift Kit. This is the best go-kart if you already have a Segway S or are planning on purchasing one.
If you’re looking for the best go-kart for younger kids, pick the Radio Flyer Ultimate Go-Kart. This is the best electric kid go-kart for younger children. The speeds are slow enough that parents won’t freak out, but fast enough that the little ones will have a blast.
If you want the best electric go-kart, pick the Razor Dune Buggy. These electric go-karts have a 350-watt motor with a long-lasting battery for all the fun and excitement your child is looking for.
If you’re looking for the best in stability, choose the Berg Buddy Pedal Go-Kart BMW Street Racer. This quality-made pedal go-kart sticks to the ground around even the sharpest corners.
Go-karts can be a ton of fun for kids of all ages. Whether you choose a pedal go-kart or gas-powered go-kart, they’re sure to be a hit with everyone from your young kid to your teenager.
This is also a chance to feel out if your child is interested in kid karts and go-kart racing. Take it from me, it’s too expensive to just be a hobby or to get out on the track only once or twice a year. You don’t want to go all out and just buy a kid kart on a whim. Start with one of these ride-on toys first. See if your child likes it. They may find that the go-kart is easy to use and they can handle it easily and appropriately. Let them develop their own driving skills and techniques. Who knows? Your child might just surprise you, and there’s only one way to find out.