If you have kids, you wind up with more sets of wheels than an auto body shop. Case in point: You need a stroller and once your child is mobile, you’ll want to get your toddler a ride-on toy followed by a tricycle. That’s three very pricey items, all of which require copious amounts of storage. If your garage, and budget, are both begging for mercy, get the Doona Liki Trike. This thing starts out as a stroller, converts to a push toy slash balance bike, and finally, as the name indicates, a trike.
We found this by way of cold, hard, eagle-eyed research, when we ran out of storage space, all of which was crammed with flimsy, plastic ride-on junk we didn’t want our kid using but that we’d gotten as gifts. Enter the Doona Liki Trike, from the same brand that gave parents the collapsible car seat stroller. This highly modular and folding wheeled toy can’t completely solve the outgrow and toss aside issue because it’s only meant to be used until from age 1 until your preschooler is 36 months old. But you get three years of use, and here’s the added bonus: This comes fully assembled, which is fairly priceless in the world of kids’ gear, most of which requires advanced engineering degrees to put together.
It achieves this relative longevity thanks to multiple conversion options. In its 10-month to 18-month old orientation, the Liki Trike is entirely parent controlled via a long, telescoping steering handle and a foot-operated brake. Your baby or young toddler is kept safely in place with a three-point harness and a padded bar that rings the seat at tummy level. Their feet rest on immobilized pedals and are shielded by a folding canopy. At this stage, the kid is along for the ride and, in the case of my kid, she loved it.
Then she got a bit older. We popped off the bar that wraps around the seat and removed the canopy, but the adults maintained control over the trike. She could propel herself forward, using the Doona as a three-wheeled balance bike. Or we could push her. Did I take off the parent handle behind the seat, you ask? No. Absolutely not. Her control is mostly an illusion.
When our daughter became a preschooler, we opted to give her more control: No longer will the pedals be immobile footrests. Instead, I recently re-oriented them so now she can provide genuine pedal power. I also unlocked the steering column, so now she can control where she goes. This is the final configuration, which Doona calls “bike mode.” (It’s still technically a trike, because it’s three wheels, but let’s let them slide on this one, cool?)
Once you switch to the final iteration, the Liki Trike is entirely kid-controlled and the backrest comes off as well. That means your plucky toddler is steering herself, pedaling herself, and in charge of making sure she is well-balanced and doesn’t fall off the thing. Doona recommends using this final setup once a kid is 30 months old (which is roughly 2.5 years old) but you can make the call based on your own kid.
And whether it’s time at last for your intrepid Liki Trike to be put away until the next baby comes along or if playtime is merely over for the day, you’ll be pleased to know the thing folds up small enough to fit into just about any closet or be stored on any shelf – when packed down, it’s just 12.5 by 23 by 9 inches. And in case you’re wondering, the Liki Trike is rated to support up to 44 pounds but weighs less than 15 pounds itself. It fits into airline overhead bins, so yes, you can travel with this thing.
It’s compact. It’s modular. And it actually looks like a sleek ride-on toy created by Tesla. Sold.
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