If you have the space available, our pick is the 10 foot long Step2 Up and Down Roller Coaster – not only for the thrill but also for the safety provided by footrests on the car.
The Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine Up and Down Roller Coaster is a little shorter at 9 feet long, but perfect for Thomas fans.
Radio Flyer’s Flyer 500 is a mixed bag in our opinion. It’s shorter which helps for smaller spaces and the whole thing packs into the base which is great for storage. However without footrests on the car it’s too easy for feet to become entangled in the front wheels.
Read on for all the details.
- Ages 2-5
- 10 feet long
- 50 lbs weight limit
- Footrests on car
- Ages 2-5
- 9 feet long
- 50 lbs weight limit
- Footrests on car
Before we get started there a few things to note about the roller coasters on this list. All of them have several important things in common, which include:
- being made for children 2 to 5 years old
- a weight limit of 50 pounds
- the ability to be used either indoors or outside
- and aiding in the development of gross motor skills, like balance and coordination.
However, there are also a few key differences when comparing the Radio Flyer 500 vs Step2 roller coasters that I should point out, including:
- variations in each roller coaster’s track length
- the style of the track for each roller coaster
- the design of each roller coaster’s riding car
- and the overall design of each roller coaster’s base.
These differences will be explained in more detail a little further on. So, keep reading to see which of these options is the right one for you.
Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster
The Up & Down Roller Coaster from Step2 is the second option I looked at. Right away it was easy to see why it is such a popular choice among parents and children alike. The up and down track design looks more like an actual roller coaster compared to the Flyer 500.
That isn’t the only great thing about this particular toy roller coaster. Other terrific features include:
- a 10 foot long track for a longer riding experience
- a snap-together design that allows for quick, easy assembly and disassembly
- 2 wide, non-slip steps that securely lock into both sides of the base
- a riding car that has both a high seat back and comfy footrests.
- the car sites securely in recesses in the track until its ready to go
With all those neat features it’s hard to find anything negative to say about this roller coaster. However, there are a couple of things to note, including:
- the inability to extend the track with additional pieces (would be a great feature!)
- and the fact that it is a little hard to store even though it comes apart well.
This roller coaster is a terrific choice to consider for the little thrill-seekers in your life. The longer, bumpy track is sure to excite them while the safer riding car provides you with peace of mind. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine Up & Down Roller Coaster
If you like the up and down styled coaster and your child like Thomas the Tank engine, you’re in luck. Step2 also make this Thomas the Tank Engine Up & Down Roller Coaster which is a similar size to the one above.
This particular option has several really neat features, including:
- an up and down styled track that is 9 feet long and resembles a train track
- 2 wide, non-slip steps on both sides of the base
- quick and easy assembly due to the track’s snap-together design
- recesses in the track to secure the car while climbing aboard
- and a unique Thomas the Tank Engine-styled riding car that includes a high back and footrests for safety
This set has the same drawbacks as the other option available from Step2. You can’t extend it and it is a little hard to store. However, this roller coaster also has its own unique shortcomings, which include:
- a complete lack of train sounds, which some kids may expect due to the look of the riding car
- the base may move slightly when the coaster is being used on hardwood or tiled floors. To avoid this you can simply place a small throw rug under the base
From the up and down design to the train-theme, it’s easy to see why this is a popular option. It’s safe design also allows your children to have hours of thrilling imaginative play experiences while keeping you worry-free. This is definitely the perfect choice for any little train enthusiast or Thomas the Tank Engine fan!
Radio Flyer’s Flyer 500
Radio Flyer makes a lot of great toys and their Flyer 500 coaster is a popular choice. I noticed right away that the track for this roller coaster is a little shorter than the Step2 coasters at only 6 feet long. However, that does make it a terrific space-saving option.
This particular roller coaster has a few other really neat features, including:
- a single downward-sloped track that allows for a fast ride
- 2 smaller racing tracks on the main track that are designed for racing small Hot Wheels and other matchbox cars
- a wide and sturdy attached step for safe boarding (1 side only)
- and it’s super easy to store since the riding car, coaster track and step all fit right into the base
However, just like any other product, this toy roller coaster also has its own shortcomings, which include:
- a lack of footrests on the coaster’s riding car. This means the rider needs to be able to hold their legs up on their own for the entire ride.
- and a shorter seat back, which may be a problem for kids that still like to lean back when seated.
Overall, this is a really fun option to consider, but in my opinion the minimum age should be higher that 2 years due to the lack of footrests.
The dual-purpose track and convenient storing capabilities are probably my favorite features about this kids’ roller coaster. Plus, due to its compact size once stored, it’s one of the only options available that can be transported easily. That means children can take the fun with them anywhere they want to. Definitely a nice feature for any toy to have!