Which sleds for kids are best?
As a child, few things compare to going to bed on a boring old weeknight, only to wake up the next morning to a flawless layer of crisp snow. When this happens, kids will want to snatch up their favorite sled and fly down hills with their friends.
Picking out the best sled for your kids should happen before the first snowfall of the year so they’re fully prepared. If you’re looking for something safe and fun, check out the Gizmo Riders Stratos Snow Bobsled for Kids. Get ready to watch your kids shred some powder.
What to know before you buy a sled for kids
It’s all a lot of fun until someone gets hurt. Keep the experience enjoyable and the injuries at bay by having your kids follow a few simple sled safety tips:
- Dress appropriately, including a waterproof hat, gloves and snow pants.
- Don’t sled down a hill with hazards at the base, such as a fence or street.
- Choose an obstacle-free hill to avoid crashing into something or tipping your sled.
- Take turns with friends, and don’t sled down a hill someone is trying to walk up.
- Keep your arms and legs inside the sled.
- If you fall out of your sled, move away quickly and pay attention to anyone else coming down the hill.
Types of sleds
Choosing the best sled for kids somewhat depends on what you want that sled to do. Different sled types perform better in different terrains and with different riders. If you want something to fit multiple people, go fast and have some steering flexibility, a toboggan may be your best choice. If you want something lightweight for one person, a saucer or snow tube may be ideal; however, these circular sleds offer practically no rider control. You can also go with a hybrid sled that’s in-between a toboggan and a saucer if you want a mixed experience.
Sleds are designed to fit different users. Something that works great for a teenager will be practically useless for a kindergartener, and vice versa. Check the weight limit on a sled before purchasing to ensure your child has a fun experience.
What to look for in a quality sled for kids
Safety should be your top priority when choosing a sled for kids. Have confidence that the sled is secure and durable so your child will have a safe ride. Easy-to-grip handles, steering capabilities and even brakes are all helpful for young children. Make sure there are no splinters or jagged edges. If you have a metal sled, make sure there is no rust.
Sledding is safest when a child is sitting upright with their feet facing forward, down the hill. While many daredevils will opt to go head first or backward, this isn’t recommended. Choose a sled design and size that allows for this safe seated position to avoid head injuries and collisions. Your child should fit comfortably to avoid falling out or tipping over.
Sleds come in a wide range of materials. Different materials have their pros and cons and some are more suitable than others for different types of terrain. If you want your sled to stand up to years of use and long days of fun, go with something durable.
- Plastic: lightweight, flexible and affordable, plastic sleds tend to be smooth and fast. They work well for both smooth and rough terrain, but they can crack under certain conditions or after a lot of hard use.
- Foam: similar to plastic, foam sleds are lightweight and typically affordable. The foam allows for a more comfortable ride than plastic but isn’t as smooth, so it will be slower. Foam can also disintegrate quickly under heavy use.
- Wood: offering durability and exceptional longevity, wood sleds give a classic look and a fun ride. Their biggest downsides are weight and cost. They aren’t any fun to carry back up the hill and will make a dent in your sled budget.
- Inflatable: typically made from vinyl, inflatable sleds must be filled with air before every sledding session. They are comfortable and lightweight. They perform well on deep, lightly packed snow when other sleds struggle. On the downside, they are ruined if popped or punctured.
How much you can expect to spend on a sled for kids
You can usually find a great, fast plastic sled for $15-$60, but some more complex sleds or snow tubes are $80-$115.
Sled for kids FAQ
What type of sled for kids is fastest?
A. A flat-bottomed sled, such as a toboggan, typically goes the fastest.
Are there sleds suitable for toddlers?
A. Yes. Look for pull-along sleds made for a toddler where they can sit safely, with a rope an adult can pull. Note that these sleds are not meant to sled down a hill alone.
What are the best sleds for kids to buy?
Top sled for kids
Gizmo Riders Stratos Snow Bobsled for Kids
What you need to know: This fancy Bobsled will provide a thrilling sledding experience for kids three years old and up.
What you’ll love: Featuring steering and brakes, this model is a great starter sled for your kids. With a no-tool construction and room for two, your child will enjoy hours out on the snow hill with their friends. As an added bonus, a strap makes towing uphill easy.
What you should consider: Some users say the quality of this sled is poor, especially for heavier riders, and some say the product came without all its pieces.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top sled for kids for the money
Airhead Classic Toboggan Snow Sled
What you need to know: With impact-resistant plastic and a couple of size options, this classic toboggan will give your kids an afternoon of speedy sledding at a reasonable price.
What you’ll love: Handles are built into the structure of this sled, so the rider has more control and maneuverability. It also includes an attached rope to make towing easy. This fast sled is great for more experienced riders.
What you should consider: This sled is much smaller than some consumers realized before purchasing and is best suited for smaller children.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Bradley Kids Commercial Snow Tube with Heavy Duty Cover
What you need to know: This deluxe inflatable snow tube is designed for adventurous children ready to fly down the slope.
What you’ll love: This snow tube has a padded floor cushion and a 6 foot leash to help improve the experience of going down and back up. With a heavy-duty bottom layer of slick RapidGlide anti-friction technology, you can expect a quick, exciting ride.
What you should consider: Some users complain that the tube is far too easy to pop for the price.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Abbey Ryan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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