Which sled for winter fun is best?
Few things in childhood are more delightful than sledding on a winter’s day. It’s hard to top the sensation of racing down a snow-slicked slope on a lightning-fast sled. The best sled for winter fun is one that suits the conditions and provides years of snowy enjoyment.
For single sledders who want to fly down a hill with no obstacles, the Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer Disc Snow Sled is the best choice.
What to know before you buy a sled for winter fun
The style of sled you select has a lot to do with the type of snow you expect.
- Toboggans: With flat bottoms and raised sides, toboggans accommodate multiple riders. Steer by shifting body weight, and be ready for a fast ride on packed snow.
- Saucers: Saucers are designed for a single rider. They are lightweight circles that are challenging to steer or control. These are best for a straight shot down the mountain without trees or other obstacles.
- Hybrids: Hybrid sleds marry the best qualities of a sleigh with a saucer. Their shape recalls a toboggan, but they’re smaller and designed for a single rider. This provides more control and a slicker ride.
- Snow tubes: Snow tubes are inflatable and elevate the rider. These are usually best for a single person, but some are large enough for two people. However, they can pop on rough ground and offer very little control over speed or direction.
The materials of winter sleds affect their durability, speed and price.
- Plastic: Plastic can be very durable, but beware of cheap, thin versions. Hard molded plastic can be just as sturdy as metal or wood if cared for properly. These sleds vary in weight depending on which type of plastic is used.
- Foam: Foam sleds recall boogie boards. They are not common, as they do not provide a particularly fast ride. However, they’re very lightweight and easy for young children to tow back up the hill.
- Inflatable: For a bouncy, unpredictable ride, inflatable snow tubes and toboggans are a good choice. There is always the chance of puncture from a stray rock or stick, but otherwise, they are an excellent choice if storage space for winter gear is limited.
- Metal and wood: Traditional toboggan-style sleds are made of wood slats with metal runners. These are durable and can accommodate multiple sledders, but they are expensive and heavy.
The weight of a sled is important, as they need to be light enough for the rider to tow back uphill. However, a heavier sled means a more stable ride.
What to look for in a quality sled for winter fun
You’ll need something to hold onto when you go rocketing down the hill. Handles may not contribute to steering, but they can keep you upright as you fly across the snow.
Easy to inflate
Inflatable snow tubes should come with a dedicated pump or easy instructions for using a bicycle pump. This gets you out on the snow faster.
Whether it’s a strap or a handle, look for something to hold onto for the inevitable trudge to the top of the hill. Carrying a sled is a chore, and a tow handle lightens the load.
How much you can expect to spend on a sled for winter fun
The price of a sled varies, depending on the material and the size of the sled itself. Expect to spend $40–$100.
Sled for winter fun FAQ
Can adults use a sled?
A. It is only natural to want to join in the fun, but keep in mind the weight limit. Most sleds list a maximum weight on their packaging. This is for both safety in terms of speed and keeping the sled intact. If you have young children and want to accompany them, make sure the sled you choose can accommodate your combined weight.
Keep in mind that different types of snow impact how well your sled works when loaded. Fluffy snow may stop your sled in its tracks, while compacted snow might be like flying across glass, even at a fully loaded capacity.
Do sleds require special care?
A. Not really. Most plastic sleds can be hosed off as needed and stored for the season in the corner of a garage. Wood sleds may need a reapplication of paint or sealant to keep wood from rotting, but sledders usually outgrow the activity before that becomes necessary.
What’s the best sled for winter fun to buy?
Top sled for winter fun
Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer Disc Snow Sled
What you need to know: If your snow is packed and your kids are light, this is perfect.
What you’ll love: An IceVax coating on the saucer improves durability. Raised handles provide stability and allow for better maneuvering. This is lightweight, making it easy to carry back up the hill.
What you should consider: It sinks into fluffy snow, and isn’t big enough for adults or larger kids.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top sled for winter fun for the money
Sportsstuff Classic Plastic Snow Sled
What you need to know: This toboggan-style sled is made from impact-resistant plastic for better longevity.
What you’ll love: Built-in handles provide control going downhill, and an attached tow rope makes it easy to drag back to the top. The bottom is slick and works on different types of snow. It’s available in three sizes to accommodate solo or paired riders.
What you should consider: Even the largest size is still relatively small.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Snow Tube Sled for Kids and Adults
What you need to know: It’s a tube that can accommodate both kids and adults.
What you’ll love: At 47 inches, it is easy to inflate and comes with a patch kit when the inevitable puncture occurs. Strong polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is treated to withstand extreme cold. Ride in less than a minute using the three-in-one inflation nozzle and an air pump.
What you should consider: It deflates after each sledding session, so plan accordingly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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