The best way to cure your family of cabin fever? Go run around in the snow, all of you. The best way to do that for stir-crazy family members of all ages? Jump on a sled. It requires no special skill and need not be done on any specially groomed trails—the back yard or any patch of slanted hillside will do after a fresh snow. We've studied ratings and reviews to come up with the top sleds for every family member and in every type: disc, toboggan, racer, inflatable and more. See which one you'll want to enjoy this winter, below.
Our picks at a glance:
• Best for Families: EMSCO Sports Products 66" Family Fun Toboggan
• Best Inflatable: Funboy Inflatable Winter Sleigh Sled
• Best for Little Kids: Poolcandy Snowcandy Husky Snow Tube
• Best for Hauling Gear: Flexible Flyer Winter Trek Large Pull Sled
• Best Snow Tube: Bradley Multi-Rider Snow Tuve with 60" Heavy Duty Cover
• Best Disc Design: Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer Disc Snow Sled
• Best Child's Racer: Frost Rush Snow Sled for Kids with Padded Steering Wheel and Twin Brakes
• Best Toddler Sled: Flexible Flyer BCL-40 Premium Baby Sleigh
• Best for Speed Demons: Yukon Hammerhead Pro HD Steerable Snow Sled with Aluminum Frame
• Best Mini Luge: Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge Snow Sled
• Best Foam: ESP Series 52 in. Two-Rider Foam Sled
• Best Children's Bobsled: Gizmo Riders Stratos Snow Bobsled for Kids
1. EMSCO Sports Products 66" Family Fun Toboggan
Best for Families
When you've got a couple of adults plus two littles traipsing through the snow, you don't want any heavy metal or wood to bop anyone on the head, and you also don't want any sharp edges in case there's a tumble. That's the appeal of this minimalist toboggan that seats four persons—it's sturdy polyethylene, with edges that are rounded up to prevent snow from flying into it and soaking riders. Plus the bright green color is going to be visible to all eyes, even those behind fogged-up goggles.
2. Funboy Inflatable Winter Sleigh Sled
This is the IRL version of a cartoon sled, a comfy 69 inches long and 30 inches wide, with 15 inches of inflation between your bum and the cold, cold slopes. We appreciate the back and front bumpers for extra padding and the directional grooves on the reinforced rubber base for a nice straight path down the hill. Also, this is basically a readymade backdrop for social media. Careful though: It's big enough for two people but only rated for 250 pounds, so maybe stick to one adult and one child.
3. PoolCandy SnowCandy Husky Snow Tube
Best for Little Kids
Even the most cold-weather averse little one will bundle up to play with this inflatable husky outside. At only two pounds, even six year olds can carry it uphill themselves (plus, it's not too bulky at three-foot wide). The heavy PVC is going to stand up to the occasional stick or rock that juts up. Also great: parents can just deflate it for the spring thaw, then inflate again in summer to use as a pool floatie.
4. Flexible Flyer Winter Trek Large Pull Sled
Best for Hauling Gear
A couple of kids and an adult can climb aboard this 66-inch sled and zip down a hill having a great time. Or, one adult can load this up with firewood, ice fishing supplies or gear and drag it behind them over tree stumps, rocks and through snow drifts. The latter won't be as much fun, but at just seven pounds, this tote-bag-on-the-snow won't give you much resistance to getting back to the fire as fast as possible.
5. Flexible Flyer Metal Runner Sled. Steel & Wood Steering Snow Slide
Want an heirloom sled that will look as sleek hanging on the garage in the off-season as it does zipping down snowy hills? The Flexible Flyer is your model that's ready for a Ralph Lauren ad. The 48-inch size is small enough for kids to pull uphill, but large enough for most adults to enjoy winter sledding. Even though it's made of red-powder coated steel and wood, it weighs only 12 pounds and supports up to 250 pounds of squealing human. The forward-facing horizontal bar provides surprisingly agile steering with heels or hands—and bonus, it comes fully assembled.
6. Bradley Multi-Rider Snow Tube with 60" Heavy Duty Cover
Best Snow Tube
"Definitely commercial grade" raves one user. This is a blue chip version of the traditional "let's ride down the hill on a tire inner tube" spirit, which sadly often ends in a puncture. That's unlikely here, since the tube is thick rubber, and there are six colors of covers to choose from. The super-slick base glides right over the snow, and the 60-inch diameter of the tube (and weight allowances up to 500 pounds) means that large adults and kids can share the ride. And best of all, all that air in the tube means this is the smoothest ride going.
7. Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer Disc Snow Sled
Best Disc Design
The heavy-duty, flexible, slick-coated plastic here adds up to a durable construction, while the built-in dual molded handles allow you to steer this disc-style sled. Sold in a set of three (all the better for sharing with friends), Slippery Racer's special IceVex cold-resistant treatment protects its plastic from cracking in the coldest weather. “It really was ‘slippery,’” says one Amazon reviewer who “used it to saucer downhill on long, long snow-covered hills, and it even did well on a short 10-foot hill in front of the house.”
8. Frost Rush Snow Sled for Kids with Padded Steering Wheel and Twin Breaks
Best Child's Racer
This top-of-the-line aerodynamic racer holds up to 220 pounds, but its small frame (46 inches long, only 19.8 inches wide) means that it's best suited for an elementary school kid. They will best enjoy the gonzo capabilities of this racer, with its 90-degree turning ability and go kart-type steering design. It's under 14 pounds, so not a drag to lift in and out of the car, and the tow rope makes trailing it up behind you no sweat.
9. Flexible Flyer BCL-40 Premium Baby Sleigh
Best for Toddlers
You can tow your baby or toddler through the snow with their back safely leaning on this bentwood sled, made of Northern Maple with steam-bent backrest and runners. Ideal for babies 18 months to 4-year-olds. The wooden skis on the bottom are protected by steel runners underneath for crossing streets and patchy snow, and you can get an optional cushion pad to further protect your precious cargo. Basically, any picture of your child being pulled along in this is going to make you cry with nostalgia when they are older.
10. Yukon Hammerhead Pro HD Steerable Snow Sled with Aluminum Frame
Best for Speed Demons
The manufacturer of this high-end sled recommends wearing with a helmet, because it goes so fast, and user reviews bear that out. "We gave this a shot hoping it would be able to at least travel the shallow rise of our surroundings so we could go coasting with our kids," a Canadian owner said. "Boy, did it ever! I'm almost certain this thing could be fun on any hill that is steep enough to drain water haha!" The secret is the aluminum frame and highly engineered skis: polycarbonate up front and slick HDPE in the rear. While it's no bargain, the 230-pound weight limit means all ages can enjoy it, and bearing in mind the sturdy contruction, for years to come.
11. Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge Snow Sled
Best Mini Luge
Innovative design award goes to this tiny (just 21 by 16 inches) and lightweight (3.57 pounds) sled that's suitable for ages 5 to 75. You just sit on the anti-skid vinyl seat and lean back, using the center lever to steer as you speed downhill feet-first, like your inner Olympic contender luge competitor says you can. This is great for little kids that aren't quite courageous enough to speed downhill head-first on traditional sleds, and comes in eight fun colors.
12. ESP Series 52 in. Two-Rider Foam Sled
Foam sleds are super-popular because you get major sturdiness with minimal weight. This model weighs in at only 3.5 pounds but at 52 inches long, it easily accommodates two riders (although the large, easy-grip handles and flexible body mean it's maneuverable by a single rider, also). And that trippy starscape graphic makes us feel all ski-bum cool just looking at it.
13. Gizmo Riders Stratos Snow Bobsled for Kids
Best Children's Bobsled
Grandparents positively reviewed this steering wheeled bobsled for ages 3 and up; it's easy to snap pieces together, and the differential steering mechanism means that, since the skis don't angle the same, it's nearly impossible to flip over. And the large spring-loaded brake just under the steering wheel means that even on steep downhills, it stops quickly.
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