The 10 Best Go Karts for Kids in 2021

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on August 10th, 2021

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When your child is itching to get behind the wheel with years left to go ‘til their drivers’ test, options are slim. One way to satisfy their need for speed is a go-kart, but finding one that’s affordable, safe, and can be used safely in your available outdoor space is a serious consideration.

Whether it’s pedal-powered options for younger users or legitimate gas or electric-powered karts for the big kids, we’ve assembled a handful of safe, fun go-karts worth gifting — give it a spin.

Powered go-kart pros and cons

There are various pros and cons to take into consideration when purchasing a go-kart for a child. How old is the child? What kind of terrain will they be driving on? Will the go-kart be used by more than one child? These are just a few of the questions parents should ask themselves.

Related: The 9 Best ATVs for Kids and Teens (2021 Reviews + FAQs)

While an electric-powered go-kart is quieter and can be driven in town, it must always be fully charged before driving, and the driving distance is limited. In contrast, while a gas-powered go-kart can drive off-road for further distances, it is noisier than an electric one and cannot be driven in town. Both types of kart have their positive points and negative points. It basically all comes down to exactly how your child plans on using their go-kart, and which responsibility they (and you) would prefer having.

Our top picks for the best go-karts for kids

Best overall

Our opinion

Power: Pedal-powered
Dimensions: 45.3 x 25.6 x 24.8 inches
Recommended age: 3 to 8 years
Weight limit: 150 lbs.

This pedal-powered Berg Buddy Pedal Go Kart (check price on Amazon)is ideal for those kids who are just learning how to pedal. It has an adjustable steering wheel so it can easily grow with your child and a BFR hub which enables the driver to come to a complete stop when they stop pedaling. This system also has a reverse backpedaling. These extra pedaling functions make for an easier to ride and safer go-kart.

The kart comes with pneumatic tires for a more controllable ride, and sealed bearings. It has a powdered coated tubular steel frame for extra strength and a swing axle for a better ride on uneven ground.

What we love
  • The forward, reverse and brake pedal functions are a great feature to this go-kart
  • The steering wheel can easily be adjusted for a child as they grow
Watch for
  • The kart is heavy which could make it hard to ride for younger kids

Best off-roader

Our opinion

Power: Pedal-powered
Dimensions: 34.8 x 19.9 x 19.9 inches
Recommended age: 2 to 5 years

Small enough for children to enjoy both outdoors and indoors, the Berg Buzzy Go-Kart Toy (check price on Amazon) can drive both forward and in reverse. It also has EVA tires, which are foam styled tires. They are lightweight and low maintenance tires that won’t damage floors, which makes them suitable for inside driving.

This go-kart features unique BERG Buzzy decals with added cool Italian chic and style. The pedals can be re-positioned according to the child’s age and size, so it will grow with them for a while without needing to be replaced. With its price, this kart is a great choice for parents on a budget.

What we love
  • A young child can ride this kart inside on those rainy days, so their fun won’t be spoiled
Watch for
  • As it can be used indoors, we recommend you clear a large enough space that walls and furniture don't get damaged during ride time

Best electric go-kart

Our opinion

Power: Gasoline powered
Dimensions: 74.81″ x 49.22″ x 51.18″
Recommended age: 12+
Weight limit: 220 lbs

Another cool two-seater, the X-Pro youth dune buggy (check price on Amazon) looks like a slick, kid-sized version of the real thing. It’s a premium pick, featuring independent seats rather than a bench and a roll cage that will protect them in the event of an accident. The dual top lights add some razzle-dazzle, but they’re not all form, as both they and the headlights are operational. Textured pneumatic rubber tires offer a smooth ride that holds up to rough terrain, and this pick comes with both X-Pro gloves and secure goggles to keep them safe and comfortable while they cruise.

What we love
  • The roll cage design is extra secure, sheltering kids in the event of a rollover accident
  • Dual shocks, an excellent suspension and textured pneumatic tires offer kids a ride that’s nice and smooth
Watch for
  • It’s gas powered, so be sure to keep the tank full so they can enjoy a ride
  • Some assembly is required

Best for budget

Our opinion

Power: 350-watt electric motor
Weight limit: 120 lbs.
Recommended age: 8 and up
Maximum speed: 10 MPH
Seat: 1 Seater

Razor Dune Buggy (check price on Amazoncan reach speeds up to 10 miles per hour with its 350-watt electric motor. It is a durable kart thanks to its tubular steel frame, and 8-inch knobby pneumatic tires allow it to tackle rough terrains with ease. It is also equipped with a side roll cage, and a seat belt for added security.

With its red frame and black base, diamond plate floorboards, and padded bucket seat, it has a classic go-kart aesthetic. Its reduction drive is designed for off-road driving and lower torque climbing, which makes this an excellent electric go-kart for kids who love adventure.

What we love
  • Its maximum speed is fast enough for kids to have fun, yet slow enough for safety
Watch for
  • Kids may outgrow this one faster than desired with its weight limit of 120 lbs

Best gas-powered

Our opinion

Power: Gasoline-powered
Dimensions: 58″ x 35″ x 43″
Recommended age: 13+
Weight limit: 176 lbs

When they’re ready to graduate to a kart with serious speed, the TrailMaster MINI XRS (check price on Amazon has it to spare. This go-kart can peak at maximum speeds of over 25 miles per hour, but durable front and rear suspension combine with hydraulic disc brakes to offer kids a ride that’s both smooth and safe. It features safety belts, which will put parental minds at ease during their cruises, and it’s a dual-seater, so siblings and friends can share the ride. The seatbacks are also adjustable, helpful for growing kids who need a little more room(or a little less).

What we love
  • It’s a go-kart with two seats, which means that siblings or friends can take a ride together in style
  • With top speeds over 25 MPH, there’s no shortage of thrills with this pick
  • Safety belts and a utility rack offer both security and convenience to riders
Watch for
  • Because it moves quickly, riders should be older, a little more experienced and outfitted with appropriate safety gear at all times
  • It’s gasoline-powered, so make sure the tank is full to avoid disappointment when they’re ready to ride

Best for drifting

Our opinion

Dimensions: 41 x 28.5 x 11 inches
Weight limit: 140 lbs.
Recommended age: 8 and up
Maximum speed: 12 MPH
Handlebar: Spark bar

This low riding go-kart, Razor Ground Force Drifter Fury Ride-On (check price on Amazon) is designed for some serious road drifting. With its race-tuned chassis, low profile cast-aluminum wheels, steel construction, and upgraded rear axle, riders can maneuver through tricks with ease.

It has thumb trigger acceleration control and hand-operated rear brakes. The electric-powered motor can hold a charge up to 12 hours, and reach a speed of 12 MPH. The Drifter also has a spark bar for emitting a shower of sparks from behind.

What we love
  • Kids that are already experienced with go-karts and are looking for a way to up the ante will find this one has a little something extra
Watch for
  • The child rides low to the ground and on small wheels so wearing the correct safety gear is a must

Most stylish

Our opinion

Dimensions:  47.6 x 28.3 x 28.3 inches
Recommended age: 4 – 12 years

For those of you with slightly older children–around the 4 to 12 range–there’s the Hauck Sirocco Racing Go Kart (check price on Amazon). This is a pedal-powered go-kart that keeps children low to the ground to keep them from serious harm should they fall off. The pedals also allow the children to control their speed instead of riding at a set speed as they would in electronic go-karts. The seat is ergonomically designed to help provide a more comfortable ride for children. You know what that means–more fun for a longer time.

What we love
  • Comes with fun graphics on the front and a great looking design for the added cool factor your child will be sure to love
Watch for
  • Durability can be an issue with this kart

Best for motion

Our opinion

Dimensions:  47.6 x 28.3 x 28.3 inches
Recommended age: 4 – 12 years
Weight limit: 120 lbs.
Maximum speed: 8 mph

If you want to give your older child something that they will love, the Razor Crazy Cart Shift (check price on Walmart is the way to go! This is a thrilling ride that allows the child to go up to eight miles per hour and control the cart in an almost “Fast and the Furious” manner. It’s one of the easiest go-karts to maintain and keep fully operable. 40 minutes of battery life also gives them a good amount of time to play.

What we love
  • It gives children full control of their motion allowing them to drive forward, backward, and diagonally with ease
  • The battery lasts up to 40 minutes allowing a long ride time
Watch for
  • The older child might be keen for more speed than this kart can give

Best pedal-powered

Our opinion

Dimensions: 44 x 21 x 22 inches
Recommended age: 4 – 8 years
Weight limit: 120 lbs.

As your child grows older, the tendency of them wanting to get bigger, more complicated toys grows with them. We all have had this experience as parents: having to talk to your child about the complications that can arise when using machinery. However, it doesn’t have to be this way—sometimes the more complicated, larger toys can also be intuitive and safe, something that this Hauck Batmobile Pedal Go Kart (check price on Amazon demonstrates quite well.

This being a pedal Go Kart, you can also use it as a stepping stone to teaching your child how to ride a bike, as some similar principles can be applied without having to worry about balancing it. Plus it’s a Batman theme, which kids adore.

What we love
  • Pedals make it easy for any kid to use
  • Begin teaching your child how to ride a bike
  • Impressive Batman theme
Watch for
  • It's quite small; children on the older end of the age range may find it uncomfortable

Best for safety

Our opinion

Dimensions: 25 x 46 x 15 inches
Recommended age: 3 to 7 years
Weight limit: 68.7 lbs

If you’re a parent looking for something to step up from the aforementioned Go Kart in terms of complexity, this Power Wheels Dune Racer (check price on Walmart is for you. By using this product, not only can your child have their first experience with driving a motorized vehicle of sorts, but they can also bring a friend along for the ride in a passenger’s seat!

Though some parents might feel hesitant to give their kids a motorized vehicle toy, this product is built to be incredibly safe and intuitive, coming with an accessible learning curve and making this the safest go-kart on the market.

What we love
  • Motorized vehicle
  • Power lock brake system
Watch for
  • Girls may not be so keen on the design

What is a go-kart

A go-kart is essentially a small, open-air, 4-wheel vehicle designed with kids in mind. They come in a range of styles, sizes, and types, ranging from beginner to expert in difficulty.

The most simple type of kart for kids is a simple pedal-powered kids go-kart. It relies on their strength to propel them forward, ultimately giving them speed control and making it a safe go-kart for the backyard and for exploring the neighborhood. Depending on how brave you’re feeling, most pedaled picks can even be used inside. They usually require less in the way of safety features – though helmets and other gear are never a bad idea – and are designed to be safe and easy for younger kids to use.

Related: The 9 Best Hoverboards for Kids in 2021

As kids get older and look toward picks that have a bit more oomph, it’s up to parents to choose between electric-powered and gas models. Electric go-karts are quiet, and charging them is a lot cheaper than replenishing the gas supply of more powerful karts, but they’re also significantly less powerful than their gas-powered counterparts and are often plagued by short drive times that require long periods of recharging.

On the flip side, gas-powered models are powerful – think real-deal 4x4s – so they move at top speed, can handle rough terrain and run for longer periods of time than electric karts. That said, gas isn’t cheap, and karts this powerful require serious safety gear, knowledge, and preferably experience with less intense go-karts.

A child rides a go-kart

What to consider when buying a go-kart

#1 Pedal powered vs gas/electric

As we have established, we consider pedaled karts to be the best picks by far for younger users. They’re especially great around age three, when toddlers begin to be able to pedal and develop the strength to use safe bikes. Since kids control the speed and there’s no motors, they’re far less likely to get hurt than they would be on a more powerful pick. The risk of tipping is minimal on smaller pedaled picks, making them even safer for little riders.

Electric go-karts add a bit of actual power to the riding experience. They’re far less tame than their pedaled counterparts, often offering speeds around 10 MPH. This means that while they’re more powerful than karts for younger kids, they’re also not traveling outrageously fast, so safety gear can seriously minimize safety risks. Electric go-karts tend to have quiet motors, making them less of a nuisance in public places than gas picks. They’re an excellent intermediate step between pedaled karts and more powerful gas go-karts, giving kids experience with handling the combination of speed, motion and vehicle control.

Gas go-karts are the final evolution when it comes to go-karts for kids and adults. They’re typically designed for older users, but some picks are safe for younger proteges whose parents feel confident in their abilities. Their speed varies by model, but it’s not unusual for them to exceed the 20-25 MPH range, so safety gear and serious caution are absolutely essential. Helmets, elbow pads and knee pads are all wise investments to pair with a gas go-kart, which offers a great deal more off-road capability than its tamer counterparts.

Related: The 6 Best Kids Wagons to Buy in 2021

#2 One vs two seats

Is there more than one child in the home? If the answer is yes and you have no plans to purchase more than one go-kart, then you’ll definitely want to get a 2-seater. This is also an option to consider if there is an older child who can safely drive the kart while a younger sibling enjoys a ride as the passenger. Another thought to consider when trying to decide between a one-seater or two-seater is your child’s friends. I can’t remember how many times my children invited friends over for the weekend and they would end up having to share toys or take turns. If you have a two-seater then you can easily accommodate them both. They’ll both get to enjoy the ride and their only conflict may be who gets to drive next.

#3 On-road vs off-road

For a lot of kids, having their very own go-kart means one thing – a chance to go off-roading. Gas-powered go-karts are an excellent choice for exploring rougher terrain. They’re better at handling sloping ground and sharp turns, and they’re also better at covering longer distances than electric go-karts. That means they’re ready to go for most adventures, but, and we can’t say this enough, safety training and gear are a must.

Staying on-road certainly has its advantages too, especially for younger, less experienced riders. Pedaled go-karts are quite literally as easy as riding a bike, and some streamlined models are fun even for slightly older riders. Zippy electric models pick up more speed than pedaled karts, but we can’t in good conscience recommend them for off-road excursions. Their less powerful motors make tackling challenging terrain difficult and less safe, and they’re less adept at covering long distances due to short run times. They’re great picks in the neighborhood, however, and their low-noise motor will keep the neighbors happy.

Kids go-kart FAQs

Are go-karts safe?

Go-karts are considered a safe vehicle for children when operated properly, and they are riding in the right go-kart for their age and size. Parents with young children may opt for a pedal go-kart to begin with. Older kids will undoubtedly desire a larger model that is powered by either gas or electricity. While both types are generally designed to keep the driver safely snug within the kart with a roll cage or side guard, and safety belts, it is still recommended that the child wear protective gear such as a helmet.

When is my child old enough for a go-kart?

While this question is highly subjective and should ultimately be decided by your assessment of your child’s abilities, children can safely begin to use pedaled go-kart models around age three. Go-karts for toddlers and younger kids are not much different than other four-wheeled bikes for children, requiring minimal balance capabilities and allowing maximum control.

Around age eight, parents may begin to consider introducing an electric go-kart or safe, small gas go-kart to their child. As we’ve noted, the best way to ensure that your child stays safe while taking this step is to use proper gear and make sure to adhere strictly to any height and weight restrictions provided. Models designed to be safe for younger riders may have speed throttles that more powerful karts do not, so look for one with speeds and safety features you feel good about.

Are any accessories essential?

Powered go-karts come with many accessories. First and foremost are the safety accessories that parents should look for. These include side guards, roll cages, seat belts, speed limiters, kill switches, headlights, and horns. There are also other accessories that go-karts may include that are simply just to enhance the riding experience. These can include an electric start vs a pull-start engine, padded seats for comfort, transmission reverse, and pneumatic tires.

These are the accessories that we recommend you get:

  • Side guards: These handy panels prevent injuries if a collision happens by minimizing side-impact experienced by the driver
  • Roll cages: Usually made of steel, these cages encompass the top of a go-kart and ensure that if it rolls over, the impact will be on the cage, not your child
  • Speed limiters: As we mentioned, speed limiters or throttlers are present on some models and can be used by parents to control their child’s speed while using their kart
  • Kill switches: These switches allow riders to shut down the vehicle’s engine immediately without having to leave their seat, which is especially important in an emergency situation
  • Headlights and horns: Being visible and audible are both essential, especially when riding in places where other people may not expect to encounter a moving vehicle

Wrapping up

While many of these go-karts have their own unique qualities that make them a good choice, we decided that the PowerSportsGalaxy 110cc Pre-teen 2-seater Go Kart (check price on Amazonis our choice for the round-up award. The first thing that makes this kart stand out is the fact that it is a two-seater. This will come in very handy in a family with more than one child, or for when that child has friends over.

It also has all the safety gear to make a parent feel confident and relaxed while their children are driving. From its padded roll cage, seat belts, headlights, and extra-durable tires to its reliable engine, speed limiter, dashboard kill switch, and reverse capabilities, this two-seater go-kart offers a safe ride and plenty of fun.

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Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on August 10th, 2021

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family on their go karts and quads together
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