At what point do you rid yourself of the bulky, rundown wagon you bought for your young child? For me, it’s four years and counting. That large red minivan has been collecting dust and taking up precious space in the garage for at least a year, maybe two. I’ve lost track of the time since he traded it in for something called a Ziggle, but I know that on the two occasions I’ve even thought about sending the old wagon off to a new home, he’s read my mind and thrown a pre-emptive, tear-filled counter-strike.
The solution, then, was either a late-night wagon vanishing act followed by several weeks of “What wagon?” or a replacement that would keep him happy and also justify its space in the ever-shrinking garage. At some of my son’s soccer games, I’d seen rugged wagons that looked like they came from a construction lot, but they didn’t look very comfortable. At least not something I’d expect my child to ride in on a long walk to the beach, and that’s before we get to the comfort of the poor sap pulling this thing (points to self).
Clearly, a lot of consideration goes into choosing the right travel wagon, just as we expect a lot of consideration to go into building one. That’s why I’m glad I got my hands on the WonderFold Wagon X2.
Does that Come with Wolverine and Cyclops?
WonderFold offers three series: the MJ puts the emphasis on the stroller aspect and is built tough for ages 6 months and up; the W is a deeper, multifunction stroller-wagon created for the urban grind; and the X series is all about packing up and hitting the road for a family getaway. The X2, then, is a two-seater while the X4 is wider and offers seating for up to four little ones. If the X2 is the station wagon, the X4 is the SUV.
Knock on wood, my excursions only require space for one right now, so the X2 is the right wagon for my garage. For starters, when we aren’t using it, this wagon folds up very easily and slips off to the side, where it’s not in anyone’s way. When it’s time to use it, it just takes a few quick snaps and it’s go-time.
It also serves us well on daily laps around the neighborhood, for those times when it’s next to impossible to get a four-year-old out of the house but dad still needs exercise. But the kiddo also really enjoys the comfort and shade, which is more important than the muscle work that comes with pulling it around (dad tip: put a kettlebell in the second seat for a little extra work).
Expand on the Comfort
When you think of compact, portable travel devices, it’s easy to make the assumption that comfort flies out the window. For example, my son hated the first travel stroller that we bought for him, so much so that we had to chase him around the Atlantis lobbies multiple times because he refused to sit in it. So, I was initially hesitant with the X2 because of its accordion-style body and a perceived lack of padding. Fortunately, looks can be deceiving.
That’s not to say this wagon is built for extreme comfort on long rides. The padding isn’t very thick at all, so if yours is an extended voyage around the neighborhood, beach or hotel property, then a nice, soft blanket should be included. However, for quick trips—like from the hotel room to the pool or beach—a child should feel like royalty.
What about the Space?
With one child, the X2 offers the advantage of fitting him comfortably along with a beach bag. Two kids will mean parents are stuck with the baggage (literally in this case, but I won’t rule out figuratively) but what matters is kids are comfy and safe, and the pull or push isn’t difficult.
In terms of safety, both seats in the X2 include padded straps for the youngest passengers, and the best security option also highlights my favorite thing about this wagon-stroller. In using the X2 as a wagon, the rear push bar features a very soft grip on the push handle, as well as push buttons for adjustable height (not to mention the zippered bag for keeping dad’s Skittles out of sight). The larger back wheels are connected to a step brake that eliminates the possibility of the wagon rolling away, or, more likely, an impatient child hopping out and trying to push his own chariot away.
Your child may be a tiny genius, but with the X2′s best security features, he or she won’t have the chance to become Spartacus.