You have a lot of different 3-in-1 smart trike options out there, but the Rito Folding Trike by Q-Play brings some convenience to mom and dad’s needs that others don’t: easy folding and takedown. It’s a small, but handy convenience that is just the start of the bonuses of the Rito Folding Trike.
What is a smart trike?
If you haven’t come across any of our previous smart trike reviews, or you might be shopping for one for the first time, it’s important to know what a 3-in-1 trike is. In essence, a smart trike or 3-in-1 trike is usually a multi-stage tricycle for children as young as 9-12 months and as old as the 4-5 range. This takes kids from sitting comfortably in a parental-controlled ride through to actually pedaling and steering themselves. The life cycle of a smart trike in your household is based on the different stages I’ll explain later in the review. Rito is a little different.
The Rito itself has a recommended age of 12-36 months according to the manufacturer’s labels and carries an upper weight limit of 25 kg (about 55 lbs). Any heavier and it can’t guarantee that it can handle the child’s weight. In my demo video, my daughter is riding it around the block comfortably at age 4, though she isn’t using any of the safety features outside of the front safety tether because she has outgrown them.
When you first assemble a smart trike, it will act more like a makeshift stroller. Parents will push a young child around with the handle on the back while they are tethered safely to their seat in a multi-point harness. The child has to do very little here. They just sit and enjoy the ride. The purpose of this step is getting them used to what it’s like sitting in tricycle and nothing more. The pedals and handlebars get locked in place since the child can’t use them and a foot rest drops down from the bottom bar of the Y-Frame.
Once your child is old enough to reach the pedals, you simply remove or adjust the foot rests so they’re out of the way (there’s a little hidden button out of the way that presses to click in place.) They likely do not have the coordination at this point to really pedal and steer. There’s a clip switch on the front wheels that allows you to disengage the pedals from the front wheel. This will give you control of the wheels but allow your child to learn how to pedal and feel in charge. You can also unlock the handlebars at this point if your child can reach them while you can still maintain control of the wheels. Watch the video and I’ll show you how to do this.
The last stage is the tricycle stage. When it’s time, you can engage the pedals, lock the handlebars to the wheels, hold onto the handle at the back and teach your child to steer. Once they’re able to move on their own, you can start to remove some of the other features like the parental handle and swing up the main safety tether. While a helmet isn’t optional, the safety tether might be in your eyes. My daughter still feels more comfortable with the safety tether clipped on, so I let her do it as you will see in the video. One big problem your child might run into (especially if they’re taller than average) is that you will absolutely have to move those footrests out of the way or else they’ll keep bumping into them with their feet while pedaling.
Assembling the Rito Folding Trike
As with all smart trikes, the Rito Folding Trike will come to you in pieces. Assembly is a snap and basically just requires about 30-45 minutes and following the instructions that come with the package. If you’ve put ever put a trike together, it’s basically no different. The majority of these things tend to come together the same way. The model I had for review came assembled, but here’s a video from the manufacturer that shows how easily it comes together. My video for this review will show you the convenience features. Speaking of which…
Convenience features are plentiful with Rito
One of the things I really like about multi-stage smart trikes are the different features that they offer at different stages. Rito is a fairly simple smart trike as far as they go. Bells and whistles are at a bare minimum. There’s a little storage area on the back end of the trike, but it won’t hold a lot. There’s no front storage basket or water bottle holder like I’ve seen others have. There is a canopy included which you can use for shade but can be clipped on and off fairly easily if you don’t want to use it.
Some other neat bonuses include a reclining seat that has a couple of different angled positions, brakes on the back of the device for parental guided stop and start and the parental handle control that can be adjusted based on caretakers height.
As I had mentioned above, the handlebar and the wheels can all be locked and unlocked depending on who is navigating the trike. I’ll quickly show you all of these in the video.
Everything in my opinion pales in comparison to the fact that this thing folds up so easily. If you take a look at the image on the right, you see how well it compacts and basically folds into something that you can sit beside, say, your golf club bag instead trying to jockey for space with the other bikes. With the push of two buttons and the release of the back handle, the Rito folds down so neat and compact that you can throw it into the smallest hatchback or the biggest SUV without an issue. That optional canopy shade can be taken with you or can be left at home depending on your preference. I pretty well left it off when my daughter rode, at her request.
With some smart trikes, you either have to take things apart completely, throw it the car in pieces and then reassemble it on the other side, or else you can do a partial fold for easy stow and go, but the presentation isn’t that neat and tidy. The Rito by Q-Play folds up pretty clean so that the first assembly is the only one. All you’ll basically have to do is remove the parental handle and the canopy when ready.
Why the Rito Folding Trike is one to watch
Smart Trikes in general can be pretty hit or miss. The ones that have a high percentage of plastic construction can feel a bit flimsy and the ones that are hard to assemble can often be hard to tear down or stow and go. The Rito Folding Trike is great because it’s got a metal frame and most of the plastic is reserved for the amenities. It comes together pretty easily and because it has push button folding and unfolding, reassembly is a thing of the past. The pedals are a close enough distance from the seat that your child won’t have to stretch their legs much and the option of an adjustable seat is even more helpful. Generally, the Rito Folding Trike feels like it eventually graduates more into an end stage tricycle to me than some of the other smart trikes I’ve seen. I am definitely impressed with this one top to bottom and would recommend it as a perfect gift, or smart trike pick up for your little ones.
My daughter quite enjoyed it. It’s taken her a while to coordinate pedalling a tricycle and now that’s she’s got it, she’s almost old enough to start on bikes with training wheels, so that’s probably where we’ll go next from here.
The Q-Play Rito Folding Trike is now available online at BestBuy.ca