All-terrain RC vehicles let kids explore rocks, grass, slopes and sometimes even mud and dirt, but some models are a lot more impressive than others. It’s frustrating when you buy a car that calls itself all terrain only to find it can barely navigate a few pebbles in the driveway, but that’s avoidable! There are many all-terrain RCs that meet and exceed expectations, so we’ve taken a look at the 11 best all-terrain RC cars for rugged off roading so you can make a pick that will hold up.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Redcat Racing Shredder XTE

Best Overall RC for Toddlers

Upgrade Choice

Traxxas 1/10 Slash 4X4 (Platinum Edition)

How to Pick the Best The Best All-Terrain RC Cars

#1

1. Recommended Age

The age range a manufacturer recommends indicates whether your child will be able to easily and safely use a product. In terms of RC vehicles, recommended age usually refers to the ease or complexity of use. Easy cars with large controllers and simple functions are great and safe for younger children, while more smaller, more technically complex cars are an ideal pick for older kids. You don’t want your child to be frustrated or disappointed, so make sure to take a look at the recommended age range.

2. Size

RC vehicles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you’re trying to fit a vehicle into a small play space or make a bigger pick they’ll be able to spot easily from a difference, there’s something for you. If size matters to you, check the dimensions before buying so you’ll know what you’re getting.

3. Batteries needed

By their definition, RC cars require a power source. It often comes in the form of an included rechargeable battery for the car itself, while the remote for the car requires the buyer to bring their own batteries for operation. There are some variations to this rule, though – some RC cars actually need household batteries to run, and some kits include all the batteries you’ll need to run, making use out of the box simple. Knowing what you’ll need to have on hand takes potential frustration out of unboxing, as battery powered toys without batteries make for unhappy kids.

4. Colors

Color can make a world of difference to kids, especially if they have a favorite or are trying to create a theme. It won’t be hard to find what you’re looking for – just make sure the quality holds up to the aesthetics. Colors aren’t always a deal breaker, more an element of product knowledge (especially if there’s multiple options), but make sure you check them out if they matter to you.

5. Style

All-terrain RC vehicles can come in the form of cars, trucks, buggies and more. If your child asked for a specific type of vehicle or has a favorite, you might be in search of a particular style. If the vehicle style is important to your pick, make sure you verify what you’ll be getting.

6. Includes

Most RC kits include a car and remote, and many also include a rechargeable battery and charger. Some kits will also include manuals, accessories, obstacles or other toys, which may make them a more enticing purchase depending on your child’s age and play style. For the kits on our list, this is relevant because a few pics don’t come with a battery, controller or charger – take a peek to make sure you have everything you need.

The Winners

Redcat Racing Shredder XTE

Best Overall

A quality, detailed body combines with extra large luxury all terrain tires to create a truck that makes rugged adventures a cinch. Redcat Racing Shredder XTE front, rear and center differential offer a balanced ride, even over tough terrain. The fully waterproof electronics hold up well in rainy, snowy and muddy conditions. It’s notable that for this model, you’ll need to provide your own battery and compatible charger – this may seem unappealing at first, but it offers the opportunity to choose one that’s better and offers more power than some that come standard with other models.

Recommended Age: 14+ years
Size: 26.5 x 17 x 9 inches
Batteries Needed: 4 AA, 2 2S LIPO batteries not included, charger not included
Colors: Black and red
Style: Racecar buggy
Includes: Car, remote control

#2

Traxxas Slash 4X4 (Platinum Edition)

Upgrade Choice

Great for serious RC enthusiasts, TRAXXAS SLASH 4X4 very cool and very moddable all terrain RC street racing buggy is a standalone vehicle – that means you’ll need to provide the rechargeable battery, charger and remote control needed to make it go. That said, if your child is already a big RC fan, they may already have what they need to run this quality model. The ability to choose also means a custom model that runs with your desired power level, and this model can max at an amazing 60 MPH – real car speeds – in addition to its all terrain capabilities.

Recommended Age: 15+ years
Size: 22.4 x 11.7 x 7.6 inches
Batteries Needed: 8.4 volt battery not included, charger not included
Colors: Black and red
Style: Street racer buggy
Includes: Car

#3

Maisto Rock Crawler

Best Budget Buy

Lightweight but tough, Maisto Rock Crawler is a great first all terrain RC vehicle for younger users at a low price. The articulated suspension lets kids go off rode while car stays safe and ready to roll. It’s powered by 3 motors that give it some extra oomph, but the body is powered by AA batteries which can be expensive to continually replace – we’d recommend choosing NiMH rechargeable batteries for this and any toy where they’re usable, as they’ll save you a LOT of money. This car offers full function motion, but turns are a little abrupt and hard to finesse.

Recommended Age: 8 – 15 years
Size: 12.5 x 8 x 7.5 inches
Batteries Needed: 6 AA and 3 AAA batteries not included
Colors: Red and black
Style: Buggy
Includes: Car, remote control

#4

Redcat Racing Blackout XBE Pro

Redcat Racing Blackout XBE Pro features detailed all terrain tires, a brushless motor and 4 wheel drive that pair with full function mobility to provide a smooth ride on bumpy surfaces. It’s a great pick for navigating tight spots, because the controls are responsive and detailed and the vehicle’s body is longer than it is wide. The chassis is lightweight but durable, featuring waterproof electronics in a secure enclosure for safety in water, snow and mud.

Recommended Age: 14+
Size: 17.5 x 11 x 5.5 inches
Batteries Needed: 8 AA batteries not included
Colors: Blue or red
Style: Buggy
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#5

Everest-10 Rock Crawler

Cool and eye catching in bright lime green, Everest-10 Rock Crawler has a small body but awesome performance. It can reach speeds up to 30 MPH (a lot of manufacturers hesitate to quote a speed, but the average is 15 – 20) and has the capacity to perform all terrain stunts. The truck’s body is made of super tough, explosion resistant PVC, and the high quality anti skid detailed rubber tires are great in tricky conditions. This truck is fast and fun, but be careful at top speeds, because a 30 MPH projectile can cause injuries and damage.

Recommended Age: 8 – 12 years
Size: 8.3 x 6.7 x 8.3 inches
Batteries Needed: Rechargeable batteries included
Colors: Green and black
Style: Monster truck
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#6

Hosim Truck Spirit

Hosim Truck Spirit looks ready for all terrain action with a wide wheel base and heavy duty tires with anti skid features. The large tires are made of a sturdy and springy material that allows the truck to handle unexpected terrain changes with ease. It features 4 wheel drive and full motion functionality for maximum control, and the big truck has a metal body that’s shockproof and extra durable with a steel chassis that can stand up to the crashes and smashes of all terrain adventures.

Recommended Age: 8+ years
Size: 17.8 x 12.6 x 6.6 inches
Batteries Needed: 3 AA batteries not included
Colors: Black and red
Style: Monster truck
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#7

Traxxas 58034-1 Racing Truck

Kids can stand up to snow, rain and mud in this sporty and stately Traxxas 58034-1 Racing Truck feat with 2WD for all terrain performance. The waterproof electronics on the truck let kids navigate previously impossible terrains without fear of damaging their new favorite toy. The truck can be modified, so it’s a great pick for older kids who are gearheads and love a good project. It’s a well rounded truck that holds up to the elements well, but it’s worth noting that the charger that comes with it is a little bit weak, but other options are available online for a low price.

Recommended Age: 16+ years
Size: 22.4 x 11.7 x 8.4 inches
Batteries Needed: 3 AA batteries not included
Colors: Red and black
Style: Monster truck
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#8

Maisto Baja Beast

Maisto Baja Beast features a detailed body with a fun front bumper for pushing and a sleep and cool rear wing as well as Maisto decals on the body. Small and lightweight, it’s easy to handle but performs well outdoors, even in mud, sand or rocky ground. It’s not quite as crash stable as some of the other pics on our list, so it may be a better pick for more experienced users, but the large controller is comfortable to hold and simple to understand. Additionally, the play time is a little bit limited at 5 – 15 minutes, so try and start out with a full charge to max it.

Recommended Age: 5 – 15 years
Size: 14.3 x 9 x 5.7 inches
Batteries Needed: 8 lithium ion batteries not included
Colors: Grey, yellow and blue
Style: Racecar buggy
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#9

TOZO C1142 Sommon Swift

Cool and eye catching in bright lime green, TOZO C1142 Sommon Swift has a small body but awesome performance. It can reach speeds up to 30 MPH (a lot of manufacturers hesitate to quote a speed, but the average is 15 – 20) and has the capacity to perform all terrain stunts. The truck’s body is made of super tough, explosion resistant PVC, and the high quality anti skid detailed rubber tires are great in tricky conditions. This truck is fast and fun, but be careful at top speeds, because a 30 MPH projectile can cause injuries and damage.

Recommended Age: 8 – 12 years
Size: 8.3 x 6.7 x 8.3 inches
Batteries Needed: Rechargeable batteries included
Colors: Green and black
Style: Monster truck
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#10

Big and rugged, Traxxas Stampede Monster Truck is ready to tackle troublesome terrain. The cool red, white and black design with a Prographix paint job shines from a distance as kids make use of the truck’s chrome all-star wheels to navigate rough and wet terrains. The waterproof receiver built into the truck ensures that the RC will keep working, even when it’s out in the elements. This truck can be modified, with one suggestion being a change of pinion gear which enables wheelies and trucks, so it’s a great project truck for older kids who like building.

Recommended Age: 14+ years
Size: 16.2 x 12.8 x 9.5 inches
Batteries Needed: 4 AA batteries not included
Colors: Red and black
Style: Monster truck
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

#11

Traxxas 37054-1 Rustler

Traxxas 37054-1 Rustler offers all weather fun with spiked rear tires and waterproof electronics that keep the stadium truck running. The tilting wheels and durable suspension let this petite model make sharp turns and handle crashes with ease. It handles water conditions well, but it’s not quite as good at rough surfaces as some of the all terrain RCs on our list – this is forgivable in the face of it’s remarkable speed, maxing at 35 MPH with a full charge.

Recommended Age: 16+ years
Size: 17.5 x 12.2 x 7 inches
Batteries Needed: 4 AA batteries not included
Colors: Red, white, yellow and black
Style: Racecar buggy
Includes: Car, remote control, rechargeable battery, charger

Quick Decision

Redcat Racing Shredder XTE – Best Overall
Features front, rear and center differential for a smooth ride

Traxxas 1/10 Slash 4X4 (Platinum Edition) – Upgrade Choice
Has amazing speeds of up to 60 MPH, great for experienced users

Maisto Rock Crawler – Best Budget Buy
Lightweight, tough, great RC pick for younger users at a low price

RC Car for toddlers

RC cars for toddlers are great for engaging the senses and providing an important boost to hand-eye coordination, but there are so many out there differentiating between their features can be difficult.

Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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