So many different wagons to choose from but not sure which to go for? Whether you want to buy a ready made one or make one yourself, here’s all the information you need!
The small wooden wagon
Be warned they are much smaller than they look and will only fit one child. However if you have one child this is our favourite. It’s affordable, with large wheels that will go through mud, a ready made rain cover and sides that can be removed to pack into the car. You can also remove one side while it’s parked to turn it into a handy sofa.
Pros: Small, affordable, comes apart, no inner lining needed, comes with a raincover
Cons: Too small for large families, cheaper quality so won’t last as long as more expensive ones
Best For: One child
The Radio Flyer
We love the look of these Radio Flyers. They take up much less space in your car, and are light and sturdy, so great for moving your gear. However without a rain cover it won’t keep your child dry!
Pros: Small, lightweight, sturdy and stylish, built to last
Cons: More expensive, no rain cover, for one child only
Best For: One child, small cars
The larger wooden wagon
However please note that these are not tested safe for children to ride in unless they are modified and certified safe for children – check the small print if you are worried.
You can buy these with rain covers so they are versatile and look great! You can also get added features such as baby seats and side pannier, and they come in a range of colours.
Pros: Spacious, sturdy, rain cover, seat and lining available, best for two children
Cons: Takes up more space in the car, doesn’t comfortably fit more than two children
Best for: Two children
|Classic Wagon||With inside seat
|Pretty in pink!|
The garden trolley
A large garden trolley is the perfect thing for two or more children. With large pneumatic wheels and a tough frame they can take on pretty much anything. We have had three children sleeping in ours. It’s also fantastic for transporting your gear from the car. You will need to make a liner for it to keep your children comfortable, and make a rain cover too. However the frame is easy to attach to with cable ties and best of all, you can let your imagination turn it into more than simply transportation!
Pros: Incredible spacious, easy to adapt, the only option for large families, very good for transporting your gear
Cons: Needs some work to adapt, takes up more space in the car (although you can take it apart), can be heavy to pull
Best for: Large families, blinging!
A wagon is only as good as its accessories! We recommend making it into a home from home for your children – somewhere they will hang out, read, snack and sleep. A festival can be a busy, noisy place and having a little place where they are safe dry and warm can change your whole festival experience. We have tried festivals without a wagon (tired, whiny children) and with a wagon (happy, rested children) and believe me the festivals with our wagon have been far more fun and relaxing for us too!
Lining and cushions
Unless the wagon has a lining built in, you will need to put something in there for your children to lie on. We use an old foam sleeping mat, with an opened sleeping bag stretched over the top for comfort. Cushions and a blanket will allow the kids to rest and sleep while you’re on the go.
These days many wagons come with a rain cover, but make sure you check before you buy. It is relatively straightforward to make your own with either a small pop up tent or a piece of tarpaulin, although attaching them securely can be a problem. You’ll want to be able to remove the cover easily. We used plastic pipe of different sizes so the top arches can slot into the bottom pieces, so it can be removed completely. We cut up some pipe insulation to make the edges more comfortable.
Solar powered fairy lights will transform your wagon at night and make it easy to find. They are a must if you want to see the festival at night – it allows the children to play near you without getting lost. Remember to leave the charger out during the day to recharge them!
We use a string of 100 multicolour lights, which is plenty for a wagon, but if you have young children and are worried about them chewing on it you can get an LED rope, which is not so bright but much safer, easy to attach and allows for a more artistic decoration (you can make shapes with it).
You can also buy strings of decorative fairy lights which look gorgeous! Here are a few of our favourites:
A side bag
Any old bag will do – I had one which had already lost it’s strap so we attached that to the side. It’s a fantastic place to store the essentials – toilet roll, ear defenders, handwash gel and suncream!
My handy husband also found a use for our old plastic milk bottles; he cut two of them in half horizontally, and attached the bottom halves to the front of our wagon. These made drink holders for open drinks; very useful when we’re on the go.
Try strings of flowers or bunting if you’re not particularly artistically inclined – these are easy to wrap around the sides. One year we attached windmills to the front of ours, which caught a lot of attention! How about attaching a small kite on a stick, or a bubble machine on the back?
The only limit is your imagination!
But if festival wagons are not your thing, take a look at our general advice on carting kids round festivals.