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7 Best Scooters for Kids and Adults

The “kick scooter” has been around for close to a hundred years now, starting as a homemade adaptation of roller-skate wheels to a wooden frame, deviating in the Eighties to complex tube-frame devices using BMX technology, and then settling on the “Razor scooter” pattern that kids know and love today. Along the way it’s found a place in the lives of everyone from urban commuters to off-road stunt riders. Today’s scooters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capabilities. We’ve examined the options to come up with the best choices for scooter-loving kids of all ages.

Choosing a Wheel Size

The first decision you’ll want to make is wheel size. Until recently, most scooters used a urethane wheel on ball bearings with a 100mm diameter. These wheels are cheap to replace, hard to damage, and available in a variety of materials to suit different terrain. The vast majority of “pro” scooters used at skateparks and in trick competition still use this size.

In the past few years, however, some scooter manufacturers have experimented with larger wheels. The benefits are easy to see: They roll faster, they’re less sensitive to cracks in the sidewalk and other terrain issues, and they can offer increased ground clearance which in turn makes the scooter less likely to scrape or grind during a turn. In particular, the 200mm wheel size can make for a very pleasant ride. The downsides: It’s not as easy to get replacement or upgraded wheels, and the folding models won’t be as easy to stash in a car or office.

To Fold or Not to Fold

Which brings us to the next question: Do you want a folding scooter? Chances are that you do. A non-folding scooter can be surprisingly bulky and won’t always be a good fit in a vehicle or even in a bedroom. The most common folding mechanisms are durable and time-proven, even for mild trick riding. And having a folding scooter means you’re more likely to take it with you, which means you’ll be more likely to use and enjoy it.

Riders who expect to “go big” at a skatepark or when doing street tricks, however, will want a scooter with a solid frame and a non-collapsing handlebar. They’re stronger, lighter, and less likely to crack under the pressure of enthusiast use.

Not all the Upgrades are Worthwhile

Your child might want a pro-level scooter like the ones they’ve seen on YouTube or at a skatepark, but be aware that many of the “custom builds” require regular and thoughtful maintenance in order to work correctly. Some scooters with a high-strength steel frame or handlebar can also be subject to rust inside their tubing that won’t be readily apparent but can still result in a failure. Don’t have a custom scooter built, and don’t choose a “pro shop” option, unless you really know how to maintain and repair it.

How We Selected

I’ve been racing on two wheels for 35 years now, and have worked in the bike business off and on since 1986. During that time, I’ve learned more than anyone would ever want to know about multiple generations of cycling technology. For this scooter test, I enlisted my son, who is a USABMX racer and downhill mountain biker, to ride a variety of different scooters. Over the course of a year, he and his friends rode (and broke) multiple scooters in every situation from heavy street riding to light skatepark use. In the course of this effort, I disassembled and examined multiple scooters to evaluate build quality, methods of construction, and various technologies for wheels and headsets. We then took this information and used it to evaluate both the scooters he tested and substantially similar items from the same manufacturers.

Best Big Wheel

Razor A5 Lux Kick Scooter

• Wheel size: 8 in.
• Rider weight limit:
220 lb.

With the A5 Lux, Razor almost singlehandedly got people interested in large wheels—and after riding the Lux, it’s easy to see why. This scooter is surefooted in urban traffic, easy to operate, and less prone to “fold-over” crashes, where the bar turns more than you expected, and it’s still able to fold into a usably small space. But this isn’t a scooter for smaller children, who may find it too tall to safely operate, and it’s not ready for the local skatepark.

  • Easy to operate in urban traffic
  • Not ideal for small kids and skateparks

The Compromise Choice

Razor A3 Kick Scooter

• Wheel size: 125mm (about 5 in.)
• Rider weight limit:
143 lb.

Not everyone likes the look of the Razor A5, but almost everyone knows that larger wheels bring significant benefits for daily use. Thus the middle-of-the-road A3, with 125mm wheels—not as large as the A5 but slightly larger than the average smaller-wheeled scooters. It’s great for older children or anyone who wants a bit more stable ride. And the price is right.

  • Slightly larger than average wheels

Best for Off-Road Use

Razor Pro RDS Dirt Scooter

Razor
amazon.com

$139.99

$122.40 (13% off)

• Wheel size: 200mm (about 8 in.)
• Rider weight limit:
220 lb.

This red rocket won’t be for everyone—it is heavy, tough to push, and expensive. But for the growing number of off-road scooter enthusiasts, it’s just the ticket for an entry-level ride. It doesn’t fold or stow in any way, and it’s sizeable, but that also makes it harder to break. Should you consider this for an all-around scooter? Only if your ride to work includes a dirt path.

  • Super sturdy
  • Can handle dirt paths

Best Value Scooter

Mongoose Trace Youth/Adult Kick Scooter

Mongoose
amazon.com

$39.99

• Wheel size: 100mm (about 4 in.)
• Rider weight limit: 
176 lb.

The classic BMX brand Mongoose has gotten increasingly serious about its offerings in both bikes and scooters. The Trace is an attempt to provide all the classic small-wheel scooter virtues at a killer price. We’d say it mostly succeeds, with a proven folding mechanism, high-quality wheels, and plenty of room on the deck for larger feet. If you want a wider handlebar and more usability on rough pavement, however, consider a large-wheel scooter.

  • Some users may want a wider handlebar

Best for Tricks

Dominator Sniper Complete Pro Scooter

• Wheel size: 110mm (about 4 in.)
• Rider weight limit: 
220 lb.

We love Dominator’s tough-as-nails, no-fold, conventional scooters—they have a well-earned reputation as an affordable way into the scooter-trick scene. The Sniper is an entry-level offering that still ticks all the boxes: a wide bar, rigid frame, in-your-face graphics. Easy to upgrade down the line by using pro-level scooter parts, the Sniper is a good way to find out if your child has a taste for the wilder side of scooter riding.

  • Easy to upgrade
  • Entry-level price, pro-level looks

Scooter With the Most Functions

Mongoose Expo Youth Scooter

Mongoose
amazon.com

$129.99

• Wheel size: 12-in. inflatable
• Rider weight limit:
220 lb.

The scooter craze of the Eighties combined BMX influence and a focus on bulletproof strength. The Mongoose Expo is an authentic re-creation of that vibe from a brand that was there the first time around. Compared to a modern scooter, this has heavy-duty frame tubes, a BMX-style handlebar, pneumatic tires, and brakes both front and rear. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s a durable way to cover major mileage—and for taller children, it will be more comfortable, as well.

  • Front and rear brakes
  • Able to cover lots of miles
  • Pneumatic tires can get flats

Quietest Scooter

Razor A5 Air Kick Scooter

Razor
amazon.com

$129.99

$116.00 (11% off)

• Wheel size: 8 in. inflatable
• Rider weight limit:
220 lb.

Razor’s entry into the street pneumatic-tire market addresses two of everyone’s least favorite aspects of scooting, namely ride quality and annoying rattles. The A5 Air rides on massive pneumatic tires that soak up bumps and imperfections, while an anti-rattle system keeps it quiet. Best of all, it still folds up for storage, unlike most of its competitors. Targeted explicitly at adults with ground to cover between the parking lot and the office, the A5 might also serve well for a child with a long ride to school.

  • Anti-rattle system
  • Pneumatic tires soak up bumps and imperfections
  • Pneumatic tires can get flats

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