The Best Snow Sleds for Outdoor Play

Have fun outdoors this season with some of the best toboggans, tubes, saucers, and more.

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Best Snow Sleds

Photo: amazon.com

When the snow starts to fall, a day of sledding is a great way to enjoy some family fun. All you need is a reliable heated jacket, maybe a good pair of heated gloves, and a sled that suits your needs. When choosing the best snow sleds for outdoor fun, there are a few options to choose from. Read on to learn how to make your sled search an easy one.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Airhead Classic 1-2 Person Snow Sled
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Flexible Flyer 611 Flying Carpet Roll Up Snow Sled
  3. BEST FOR ADULTS: Yukon Hammerhead Pro HD Steerable Snow Sled
  4. BEST FOR TODDLERS: Flexible Flyer Baby Pull Sled
  5. BEST TWO-PERSON: Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer 2 Person Sled
  6. BEST SNOW TUBE: A-DUDU Snow Tube
  7. BEST SAUCER: Flexible Flyer Metal Snow Disc Saucer Sled
  8. BEST TOBOGGAN: Flexible Flyer Metal Runner Sled
Best Snow Sleds

Photo: amazon.com

Snow sleds come in all different shapes and styles and are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, and metal.

Toboggan

Toboggans are classic sleds that are traditionally made of wood and feature a flat piece of wood that curls at the front. Today, toboggans have been modernized to be sleeker and are often made of plastic. They are still rectangular in shape and can seat one to two people. They usually have a rope to hang on to at the front and can be controlled by shifting your weight from side to side while going downhill.

Saucer Sled

A more modern sled, saucers are circular sleds that have a slightly concave bottom. They are typically made of metal or plastic and fit one person. They are designed to glide on top of snow smoothly and they can travel downhill fast. Their shape makes them harder to control and direct than toboggans. Saucers are great for all ages, but especially for those who like to go fast.

Foam Sled

Foam sleds are cut from a thick piece of firm polyethylene foam that’s a bit softer and more pliable than a classic plastic or metal sled. The bottom often has an attached piece of thin, hard plastic that withstands rocks and ice better than the foam would. They are less prone to cracking or breaking apart than a fully plastic sled and absorb bumps while gliding downhill. However, foam sleds aren’t usually as fast or glide as smoothly as saucers.

Steering Sled

Aptly named, steering sleds are designed so the rider can have control over where they travel. They often have handles that connect to moveable tracks on the base of the sled. These tracks allow for precision turning while going downhill.

Inflatable Snow Tube

Inflatable snow tubes are made with high-quality vinyl that must be inflated before use. They’re often circular and are generally much thicker than other sled types. This extra thickness provides added cushioning that better absorbs bumps and masks the feeling of rocks while sledding. The cold air may deflate snow tubes somewhat quickly, so they sometimes need to be re-inflated before each use.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Snow Sleds

The different style isn’t all that should be considered when choosing the best snow sled. Here are more essential features and considerations to keep in mind.

User

Who will be using the sled is a very important consideration when shopping for a new snow sled. A toboggan or inner tube may be best for young children as it’s not as fast and is easier to control. However, adults may wish to use a steerable sled or something that can travel faster, like a saucer. Softer options like inner tubes and foam sleds absorb impact for those who don’t enjoy rough, bumpy rides. A two-person sled with a pull rope is convenient for family outings in the snow and makes it easy to tow children around or to ride downhill together.

Terrain

The type of sledding hill and snow near you can also dictate which sled type you choose. When snow is powdery and fine, sleds with a greater bottom surface area like inflatable tubes will glide the best. Sleds with tracks can be used for compact or icy snow, and saucers perform best on packed snow.

Size and Weight

It’s also necessary to consider the size and weight of a sled. Adults and multiple passengers will require a bigger, longer sled with a larger weight capacity. Children’s sleds are usually shorter and measure no longer than 35 inches for a single rider. The weight of the sled also dictates how easy it is to pull the sled uphill in between uses. For example, a toboggan that weighs 15 pounds may be too heavy for young children to pull back uphill.

Material

When shopping for the best snow sled, the most common materials you’ll come across are plastic, foam, metal, inflatable vinyl, and wood. The material also plays a significant role in the weight of a sled. Plastic and metal will usually travel faster downhill, whereas foam and inflatable vinyl sleds provide a more comfortable ride that absorbs the shocks of bumps and hard chunks in the snow.

Bottom Shape

There are different types of bottom shapes too. Some sleds feature flat and smooth bottoms that slide best over flat surfaces. Sleds that feature a ridged or railed base provide a bit more control and help keep the sled on track in the rider’s desired direction.

Pull Rope

Many sleds come with an attached pull rope, but not all. Ropes are a great added feature that make it easier to pull the sled back to the top of the hill without having to carry the full sled in your arms. A pull rope also makes it possible to tow riders around for a sleigh ride. Some sleds are designed with a rope that can also be used to steer while going downhill.

Handles

Most sleds also include handles. Handles can make a rider feel more safe and secure in the sled and offer stability. They can also help with direction control. Handles are especially recommended for younger children to ensure they stay seated and don’t fall off as the sled is moving.

Safety

When using a snow sled, it’s imperative to follow a few safety rules to avoid getting hurt. The number one rule is always to sit or lay facing forward and to never stand up on a sled. This helps avoid serious brain injury and ensures you can see what’s in front of you. Young children should always have parental supervision. And lastly, sleds should never have more riders than they can carry.

Our Top Picks

This selection of recommendations covers a wide variety of designs, so you can find the best snow sled suited to who plans to use it and their speed preferences.

Best Overall

Best Snow Sleds Classic
Photo: amazon.com

Airhead’s classic toboggan snow sled is an excellent choice for families, couples, and friends looking to hit the slopes. It’s made from high-impact plastic that can withstand icy bumps and rocks and has molded plastic tracks on the bottom of the sled to help you control the direction of movement. On the side, there are two pairs of handle holes, as well as a pull-rope tied to the front. This sled measures 47 inches by 18 inches by 6 inches and can fit up to two adults.

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Snow Sleds Flexible
Photo: amazon.com

The Flying Carpet Slider by Flexible Flyer is a roll-up snow sled that won’t break the bank. Made from super lightweight and thin linear polyethylene, this 36-inch by 18-inch sled weighs only 0.8 pounds and is easy for kids to carry and use. The material is flexible and features soft, rounded edges with a flat bottom for increased safety. It’s also designed with two handle holes on the front of the sled. This snow sled can fit one adult or one child and is best for kids ages 4 and up.

Best For Adults

Best Snow Sleds Yukon
Photo: amazon.com

If you feel the need for speed, consider the Hammerhead Pro HD by Yukon. Unlike most sleds, it features stainless steel and leaf-spring steering handles at the front that allows the rider to twist and turn with precision while traveling downhill. The sled bottom has polycarbonate and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) skis for more accurate control while turning.

The 51-inch by 22.5-inch frame is made from durable powder-coated 6000 aluminum that can carry one adult, 13 years and older, who weighs no more than 230 pounds. This sled also comes with a detachable nylon carrying strap for pulling it back up the hill.

Best For Toddlers

The Best Snow Sled for Toddlers: Flexible Flyer
Photo: amazon.com

Designed with little ones in mind, Flexible Flyer’s Toddler Pull snow sled can seat a young child of up to 3 years of age, weighing 40 pounds or less. The seat of the sled is set deep with high walls and has a lap strap to ensure your child stays safely seated. On the bottom, molded ridges can travel through snow up to 4 inches deep.

This pint-size snow sled is made from crack-resistant high-density polyethylene that measures 26.5 inches by 20.5 inches by 10.5 inches and has a wide base that keeps it upright during play. There is also a long tow rope connected at the front, designed to be comfortable for adults.

Best Two-Person

Best Snow Sleds 2Person
Photo: amazon.com

Flexible Flyer’s Screamer Snow Sled is a soft, foam sled that’s well-built for two people. The base measures 47 inches by 21.5 inches by 2 inches and has two sets of soft foam handles on each side. This sled is best suited for kids ages 5 and up and can hold up to 250 pounds.

The Screamer Snow Sled has a flat bottom and is cut from 1-inch thick polyethylene foam that cushions against rough surfaces. For extra durability against the cold and snow, the top is laminated to seal out moisture, while the bottom has a slick, crack-resistant hard plastic bottom for extra speed. This sled does not have a tow rope but at only 3 pounds, it’s lightweight enough for kids to carry uphill.

Best Snow Tube

Best Snow Sleds DUDU
Photo: amazon.com

A-DUDU’s Inflatable Snow Tube is constructed from thick 0.6-millimeter laminated PVC vinyl that makes it extremely durable compared to other inflatable snow tubes. For quicker fill-up, this snow tube has a large valve that can take in more air at a time and can inflate in seconds when used with an electric air pump. To help prevent rapid deflation, the tube is made using a seamless bonding technique and has a double-lock valve.

The middle seat is about 12 inches wide, and the bottom has two layers to better resist scratching and tears. This inflatable tube has double-reinforced safety handles and can bear up to 500 pounds, and comfortably seats a single rider.

Best Saucer

Best Snow Sleds Metal
Photo: amazon.com

Constructed from heavy-gauge steel, this Flexible Flyer snow saucer provides lasting durability that may dent but won’t crack or split in the cold against hard surfaces like plastic does. This saucer has a 4-inch tall concave bottom that spins and slides well on top of snow and measures 26 inches in diameter to seat a single rider comfortably. On the sides, built-in rope handles make it easy to hold on while you’re flying down hills. One thing to consider is that this sled weighs 6 pounds and does not have a pull rope, so it may be too heavy for young children to carry uphill.

Best Toboggan

Best Snow Sleds SteelWood
Photo: amazon.com

Styled after traditional toboggans, this vintage sled features an attractive birch wood seat that’s attached to a set of bright red powder-coated steel runners. At the front of the sled, a steering bar attaches to the runners which allows for turning control with your hands or feet. A rope that’s not included can also be attached to the front for steering control and towing. The base of the sled measures 60 inches by 20.5 inches by 6.5 inches. It does weigh a hefty 14 pounds, so it is best suited for adults or under parental supervision and assistance. It can accommodate up to 250 pounds, ideal for an adult and a child riding together.

FAQs About Snow Sleds

The most common questions about snow sleds are answered here.

Q. Is sledding dangerous?

If proper safety precautions are followed, sledding can be a safe and enjoyable pastime. Never attempt to sled down hills that are too high or steep for your skill level, and always remember to sit down, face forward, and supervise children.

Q. How do you store snow sleds?

Snow sleds should be dried off after use and carefully stored in a dry place. Inflatable snow tubes should be deflated before storing.

Q. How long does a snow sled last?

A snow sled can last for a few years but it depends on how often it’s used, the material it’s made of, and how it’s stored. A wood or metal sled will last much longer than an inflatable or a plastic sled.