Kids are almost universally drawn to snow like a magnet. At the fall of the first flake, your grandkids will be squirming to get outside to make snow angels, throw snowballs, and of course soar down the hill on a sled. Make sure you are prepared for such a wintery event and have a sled ready to go when the need arises using our handy guide.
Sleds come in a variety of shapes and types, so the process of choosing the perfect option may seem daunting, but is navigable when armed with the necessary information. The TravelAwaits team has taken the guesswork out of the equation and we have recommended our top picks for you to enjoy with your grandkids. From tubes to discs to traditional sleds, make sure you have the best fit for your house.
The Best Snow Sleds
Glide down the snow on a pocket of air with the A-DUDU snow tube. In response to customer reviews, they updated their tube in 2019 to include an additional layer on the base of the tube to protect against additional wear on the sledding surface. The sled’s bottom has a small hole to release trapped air between the layers during inflation, and it’s not a defect. However, it is important to note that some users have claimed that the additional layer slows down the tube, so keep that in mind. One other concern is that while a child's gloved hands fit nicely in the hand holds, adults may have difficulty getting their larger hands to fit nicely. The tube is great for young kids and sufficient for an adult/child tandem ride as well.
- Comes with a storage case for off-season
- Dual bottom layer to protect from punctures
- Can also be used in water or on sand
- Handles are small and hard to grip with thick gloves
- Two-layer bottom
- Double locking air valve
- Reinforced grip handles
- Brand: A-DUDU
- Size: 47-inch diameter; 12-inch-diameter middle seat
- Weight: Not listed
The Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan is made from high-quality plastic for hours of sledding fun. Designed to be flexible to reduce damage caused from normal wear and tear, it can easily fit two children. An adult will fit with a child, however it is a tighter fit. With three colors to choose from, your grandkids will glide down the hill in style in this lightweight sled!
- Big enough for two
- Can accommodate adults
- Tight squeeze for an adult with a child
- Pull rope
- IceVex cold-resistant treatment
- Brand: Slippery Racer
- Size: 48 x 18 x 5.5 inches
- Weight: Not listed
This single-person sled is great for the kids but unlikely to fit an adult. However, Airhead also has a two-person sled option if you intend to sled with you grandkids as the two-person style is more likely to work for an adult. The single-child option is great if you have smaller children. The lightweight construction makes for an easier trip back up the hill after a good run.
- Great for younger kids
- High-impact plastic construction
- Tight squeeze for older kids/teens
- Pull rope
- Brand: Airhead
- Size: 35 x 17 x 5 inches
- Weight: 1.25 pounds
The iron frame of the Goplus snow racer sled makes it a sturdy choice for your grandkids. Its triangular shape will reduce friction and allow for more speed. If the speed becomes to much, the sled comes complete with foot brakes to reduce speed as needed. For a non-traditional approach to sledding that will give the kids the feel of driving a go-cart, go with the Goplus!
- Triangular structure for reduced friction
- Great for younger children
- Foot brakes for controlling speed
- Requires assembly
- Steering wheel
- Double foot brake
- Pull rope with carabiner attachment
- Brand: Goplus
- Size: 44.5 x 20 x 16 inches
- Weight: 13 pounds
If you are looking for an alternative to a sled that is easy to store and pack in the trunk of a car, then look no further than Sled Legs. Simply strap the sleds to each leg and ride down the slopes on your knees! The wedge-like shape of the foam near the back is designed to keep your toes from dragging behind you while providing a shock absorber to protect the knees. They come in two sizes, adult and child, but both are designed for riders over 5 feet tall and up to 250 pounds.
- No sled to lug up the hill
- Easily stored and transported
- Easier to “steer” than most sleds
- Do not fit children under five feet tall well
- ABS plastic with interior foam molding
- Leg straps
- Brand: Sled Legs
- Sizes: Adult and Child
- Weight: Not listed
Snow Sled Buying Guide
In the world of downhill sledding, there is no right or wrong sled type to choose. Many factors go into deciding what type and size of sled to purchase for your specific needs. Here are a few important factors to consider when choosing a sled for your home.
The material that a sled is made from will determine its speed, flexibility, and durability. Common materials include metal, plastic, and inflatable materials, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
Metal is by the far the most durable and often comes in the form of a saucer or as runners on a wooden-framed sled. While metal provides durability, metal sleds are often heavier, and more expensive, and may struggle in thicker snow. Younger children may struggle to pull these back up the hill on their own.
Plastic sleds are less durable but far cheaper to manufacture. They are lightweight and much easier for young children to manage on their own. After repeated use, they are more likely to become brittle and break, requiring replacement more often.
Inflatable materials provide more insulation from bumpy terrain, similar to how a tire absorbs some movement while on the road. Inflatable sleds and tubes are often less expensive than other options as well as lightweight, and provide a since of “flying” over the snow. However, inflatable tubes are also likely to split or pop overtime and with enough pressure or if punctured by an unseen rock or stick.
It is important to know the age and number of children you hope to entertain as well. Find a larger-size sled if you intend to sled with your grandchildren to ensure there is adequate space for both an adult and a child. Even sleds that claim to be large and made for two can be tight for an adult, so ensure you read through reviews to make sure your questions get answered. Additionally, the heavier the riders, the sturdier the material needs to be to avoid damage in case of an impact or puncture, with metal and thicker plastics working well for older children and adults.