After a few inches of snow falls, a day of sledding is a great way to enjoy some family fun. All that’s needed is a reliably warm jacket, maybe a good pair of heated gloves for that family member whose hands are always a bit cold, and a sled that suits your family’s needs.
When choosing the best snow sleds for winter fun, there are a few style options to consider. Read below to discover what you need to know before you choose one, and find out why these are some of the best snow sleds to keep your winters full of fun.
- BEST OVERALL: Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer 2-Person Snow Sled
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sportsstuff Classic Plastic Snow Sled
- BEST FOR ADULTS: Yukon Charlie’s Hammerhead Pro HD Sled
- BEST FOR KIDS: Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan Sled
- BEST TUBE: L.L. Bean Sonic Snow Tube
- BEST SAUCER: Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer Disc Sled
- BEST TOBOGGAN: L.L. Bean Toboggan and Cushion Set
- BEST INFLATABLE: GoFloats Inflatable Winter Snow Tube Sled
- BEST 2-PERSON: Franklin Sports Arctic Trails Double Snow Tube
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled
- ALSO CONSIDER: Geospace Original LED Ski Skooter
How We Chose the Best Snow Sleds
Snow sleds have come a long way from the wood and plastic boards of the past, with a growing number of fun options available. The classics are still exciting to use, but new designs also bring novel ways to enjoy the snow, so we included a good mix of both types.
To provide high-quality picks for different kinds of shoppers, we chose a variety of sled types, ranging from classic toboggans to novelty sled scooters. We selected well-made and highly rated picks to handle most every type of snow condition and to last through several snow seasons. The top picks on our list are also made for all ages, so shoppers can find a reliable sled whether they’re buying for children or for the kid inside of themselves.
Our Top Picks
This selection of recommendations covers a wide variety of designs so shoppers can find the best snow sled suited to who plans to use it and their speed preferences.
Flexible Flyer’s Screamer snow sled is a soft foam sled that’s well-built for two people. The base measures 47 inches long by 21.5 inches wide by 2 inches high 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, heavy-duty 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.
- Material: Polyethylene foam
- Product dimensions: 47 inches long by 21.5 inches wide by 2 inches high
- Capacity: 2 people
- Enough space to fit 2 people; great for kids as well as adults
- 250-pound weight limit; easily holds most people and resists heavy-duty use
- Soft foam handles are comfortable and easy to grip
- Can crease after heavy use; may not last several seasons
Get the Flexible Flyer snow sled at Amazon or Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Sportsstuff’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 users 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 is 35 inches long by 17 inches wide by 5 inches high and can fit up to two small adults.
- Material: Plastic
- Product dimensions: 35 inches long by 17 inches wide by 5 inches high
- Capacity: 1 adult (or 2 small adults)
- High-impact plastic construction stands up to relatively heavy use
- Molded plastic handles are sturdier than other options available
- Easy-tow lanyard makes transport easier up a hill
- Affordable compared to similar options
- May be too small for some adults to use
- May only be ideal for children to sled
Get the Sportsstuff snow sled at Amazon or Airhead.
Those who feel the need for speed might want to consider the Hammerhead Pro HD by Yukon Charlie’s. Unlike most sleds, it features stainless steel and leaf-spring steering handles at the front that allow the rider to twist and turn with precision while traveling downhill. The sled bottom has polycarbonate and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) skis for more accurate control while turning.
The 51-inch-long by 22.5-inch-wide 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 riders to pull it back up the hill.
- Material: Aluminum, polycarbonate, and HDPE
- Product dimensions: 51 inches long by 22.5 inches wide by 9.5 inches high
- Capacity: 1 adult
- Steerable, unlike most sled options; suitable for those who want a fast-paced option
- Sturdy aluminum frame is much more durable than plastic sleds
- Includes a carrying strap, which makes it easier to tote around
- 230-pound weight limit; ideal for most adults and children
- Bulky to carry; may become tiring if out in the snow all day
Get Yukon Charlie’s snow sled at Amazon.
Having the right sled so kids can enjoy zipping down hills is important. The Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme toboggan snow sled provides everything that kids love in a sled from an easy-to-grip pull rope to a slick bottom for speed and agility.
Made with heavy-duty slick-coated plastic, this aerodynamically designed sled can accommodate two children or one adult and one child at a time (fitting two average-size adults on may be tricky). This toboggan sled also has an IceVex cold-resistant treatment that resists the coldest of temperatures and two sets of dual reinforced handles for stability and grip while riding.
- Material: Plastic
- Product dimensions: 48 inches long by 18 inches wide by 5.5 inches high
- Capacity: 2 children or 1 adult and 1 child
- Lightweight and aerodynamic design is ideal for use by children; comes with grips and a pull rope
- Made with heavy-duty slick-coated plastic with IceVex color-resistant treatment for long-term use
- Comes in 3 different colorways to satisfy multiple users’ preferences
- Not suitable for use by those under the age of 3
- Some users have reported that the pull rope is a little flimsy
Get the Slippery Racer Xtreme snow sled at Amazon or The Home Depot.
While some prefer a toboggan or a saucer sled, others may prefer the safety and comfort of a tube. For these users, we selected the L.L. Bean Sonic snow tube. Originally made for commercial tubing parks, this option comes in both a regular and extra-large option for fitting children (ages 5 and up) as well as adults, and it also comes in four color options to suit users’ preferences.
Made with a 600-denier polyester top, a heavy-duty butyl rubber tube, a semirigid polyethylene base, and nylon straps, this top pick is made for durability and long-term use and isn’t too difficult for adults to pull uphill. Although, at 17 pounds, it may be heavy for some young children to carry back up the hill.
- Material: 600-denier polyester, butyl rubber, polyethylene, and nylon
- Product dimensions: 34 inches in diameter and 10 inches high (regular); 40 inches in diameter and 12 inches high (extra large)
- Capacity: 1 adult
- Very heavy-duty construction as it was originally made for use at tubing parks
- Comes in 2 sizes and 4 colorways to meet users’ needs
- Safer than some comparable options; suitable for very young children
- At 10 pounds for the regular size, it may be too heavy for small children to carry
Get the L.L. Bean Sonic snow sled at L.L. Bean.
Adults and kids alike can zoom down the hill with the Slippery Racer Downhill Pro. This classic saucer sled is 26 inches across to fit children and smaller adults. It features a raised, reinforced handle design that makes it easy to grip the sled even when seated. It’s also simple to carry when trudging back up the hill.
This saucer sled is made of heavy-duty plastic that is highly flexible to prevent cracking and breaking. The plastic is also coated with IceVex cold-resistant treatment, so it can tolerate very cold temperatures without becoming brittle. A slick-coated base provides a smooth surface for flying down the next snowy hill.
- Material: Plastic
- Product dimensions: 26 inches across
- Capacity: 1 person
- Handles are easy-to-grip and reinforced for added durability and minor steering capability
- Crack-resistant construction; can withstand some abrasions on dense snow and ice
- Can handle very cold temperatures; nonfreezing metal parts
- Handles may be too small for large hands
Get the Slippery Racer Downhill Pro snow sled at Amazon, Target, or Slippery Racer.
This classic toboggan sled from L.L. Bean looks like something out of a Christmas movie—and it’s sure to provide hours of family fun. It’s made of steam-bent northern hardwood slats, screwed together to create a traditional toboggan shape. Over the top lies a nonslip, woven polyester shell filled with 1.5 inches of insulating polyurethane foam. The natural wood and red cushion give this toboggan a charming look.
At either 72 or 92 inches long, this wooden sled is one of the best for family sledding and can comfortably fit two or four people. Since it’s made out of hardwood, it is sturdy enough to carry a few friends or family members down the hill. A tow rope makes it easy to carry the toboggan back up the hill for another ride.
- Material: Wood, polyester, and polyurethane foam
- Product dimensions: 72 inches long by 15.75 wide (classic); 92 inches long by 15.75 inches wide (extra-long)
- Capacity: 2 to 4 adults
- Attractive design provides a classic, timeless look
- Made of sturdy wood; ensures a long-lasting sled for several years
- Built-in insulated cushion makes for a more comfortable ride
- Tow rope makes it easy to pull this sled back up a hill
- Heavy to carry at 20 pounds; can be tiresome after a while
- Expensive compared to other sled options
Get the L.L. Bean wooden sled at L.L. Bean.
Don a winter hat and boots and tackle snowy hills in style with this flamingo snow tube from GoFloats. Made of raft-grade vinyl, this inflatable tube is a comfortable choice for shredding down snowy hills. Two sturdy handles provide stability and a comfy high seat prevents bottoms from touching the ground. This design makes for a more comfortable ride, while the flamingo head adds a bit of fun.
To prevent punctures, this sled is made from a thick and cold-weather treated material. In case of any mishaps, the snow tube includes a patch kit. A rapid-inflate valve helps inflate the tube in seconds, so it’s possible to get to the fun stuff sooner.
- Material: Vinyl
- Product dimensions: 45 inches wide
- Capacity: 1 person
- Cold-weather treated for speed and durability while still remaining safe for children
- Rapid-inflate valve helps it inflate quickly and easily
- Patch kit included with purchase for easy puncture repairs
- Difficult to steer and prone to punctures on tougher terrains
Get the GoFloats snow sled at Amazon or GoFloats.
Have friends who love to go sledding in pairs? Then the Franklin Sports snow tube may be just the ticket. This two-person inner tube with a 250-pound weight capacity is made for kids and adults with its 57-inch length and freeze-resistant, durable PVC construction that resists abrasions and slides down hills easily.
This 2.6-pound snow tube also has four built-in handles and can be deflated and stored in a small footprint during the summer months. Or, it can also be used as a floaty for the pool during the warmer months!
- Material: PVC
- Product dimensions: 57 inches long
- Capacity: 2 people
- Made for 2 children or adults; has a 250-pound weight capacity and dual handles
- PVC construction withstands punctures and abrasions; suitable for summer (pool) or winter (sledding)
- Can be inflated/deflated easily when not in use; will not take up a lot of space after it’s deflated
- Some users have reported limited durability compared to similar options
Get the Franklin Sports snow sled at Amazon.
While most think that “snow sled” equates to riding down a hill, some may have other uses for these toys/tools like hauling winter gear, materials, and hunting equipment. Those users can rely on the Shappell Jet ice fishing sled.
Made for hiking, fishing, and transporting supplies, tools, and firewood, this durable sled is made with a rugged polyethylene that resists warping and takes a beating. This sled also has a tow rope for pulling things around, and the molded runners on the bottom allow the unit to glide over ice and snow. Though this option is intended for tools, it is also suitable for pulling young children through thick or fresh snow.
- Material: Polyethylene
- Product dimensions: 54 inches long by 25.5 inches wide by 10 inches tall
- Capacity: 1 adult
- Designed for practical, heavy-duty use; suitable for towing hunting equipment, gear, and supplies
- Made with rugged polyethylene that resists dents and abrasions
- Molded runners and a tow rope allow for ease of use and mobility
- Not intended for use as a toboggan; may be able to support young children being pulled on flat surfaces
Get the Shappell snow sled at Amazon.
Looking to add more adrenaline to the sledding experience? The Geospace Original LED Ski Skooter is an amusing pick. This “ski scooter” combines a snowboardlike deck with a handle and is designed for stand-up sledding. It can be used for downhill sledding or along groomed snow paths as a scooter.
A grippy deck and sturdy handle with LED lights make for safer use. The sled is constructed from tough polyurethane, which flexes for a comfortable ride and prevents cracking. A foldable design allows for easier carrying and storage. With a weight limit of 220 pounds, both kids and adults can take advantage of this fun winter toy.
- Material: Polyurethane
- Product dimensions: 37 inches long by 9.75 inches wide by 31 inches high
- Capacity: 1 adult
- Nonslip board prevents any unwanted falls or injuries
- Foldable and easy to store or carry; should be easy to store when not in use
- LED lighting integrated; adds an additional element of user safety
- 220-pound capacity can accommodate most people
- Requires a learning curve to use
Get the Geospace snow sled at Amazon or Geospace.
What to Consider When Choosing a Snow Sled
There are a lot of details to consider when choosing the best snow sled. From type and weight limits to handles and safety features, here are more essential features and considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best snow sled for outdoor play.
Popular Types of Snow Sleds
The best sleds come in different shapes and styles, and they are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, and metal. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types of snow sleds.
Toboggans are classic sleds that are traditionally made of wood and feature a flat piece of wood that curls toward the rider 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 users shifting their weight from side to side while going downhill.
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 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.
They are less prone to cracking or breaking apart than a fully plastic sled and absorb bumps while gliding downhill. However, foam sleds don’t usually slide as fast or glide as smoothly as saucers.
Aptly named, steering sleds are designed so the rider can control 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 reinflated before each use.
The sled’s intended user is a very important consideration when shopping for a new snow sled. A toboggan or inner tube may be best for young children as these sleds are not as fast and are 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.
The type of sledding hill and snow can also dictate which sled type is best.
Powdery snow. When snow is powdery and fine, sleds with a greater bottom surface area like inflatable tubes will glide the best.
Compact icy snow. Sleds with tracks can be used for compact or icy snow.
Packed snow. Usually 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 are no longer than 35 inches for a single rider.
The weight of the sled 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.
When shopping for the best snow sled, the most common materials 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.
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.
The best sleds come with an attached pull rope, but not all have this. 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. 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.
The best sleds also include options with 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.
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 users can see what’s in front.
Young children should always have parental supervision. And lastly, sleds should never have more riders than they can carry.
Although there’s a lot of information on sleds that’s already been presented, there may still be a few lingering questions. Read on for answers to some frequently asked queries.
Q. What is the difference between a sled and a toboggan?
A sled refers to a vehicle or toy used to transport people or items, usually over snow or ice. A toboggan is a type of sled that features a long, flat-bottomed design with a curved front.
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. Should I wax my sled?
While it’s not necessary, waxing a sled can reduce friction and make it go faster.
Q. How do you store snow sleds?
You’ll want to dry off snow sleds after use and carefully store them in a dry place. Deflate inflatable snow tubes 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.
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