The Best Sleds for Everyone: Our Winter 2020 Reviews

The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020

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You’re never too young or too old to go sledding. You don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to enjoy the feel of the wind on your face and the glistening of the snow as you glide down a hill. And no matter your age or what you enjoy most about sledding, there’s a sled for you. We’ve rounded up and reviewed our top picks for this winter’s enjoyment so you can choose the right fit from the best available sleds and get ready for the snow.

PRODUCT FEATURES
Airhead Classic - The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020Airhead Classic
  • Light weight
  • Fits two people
  • Classic design
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Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer - The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer
  • Foam innerlayer
  • Thin design
  • Holds up to 250 pounds
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Flexible Flyer Metal Runner Sled - The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020Flexible Flyer Metal Runner Sled
  • Sturdy construction
  • Large size
  • Steer bar for feet, hands or rope
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Stiga Snowracer King Size GT Snow Sled - The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020Stiga Snowracer King Size GT Snow Sled
  • Steering wheel
  • Brakes
  • Ability to ride backwards
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EMSCO Group Infant Boggan - The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020EMSCO Group Infant Boggan
  • Seatbelt
  • Back and side support
  • Tow rope
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Flexible Flyer Wooden Sled - The Best Sleds for All Ages: Reviews for Winter 2020Flexible Flyer Wooden Sled
  • 18 months-4 years
  • Sturdy construction
  • Tow rope
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Why Trust Us?

I’ve never been skiing or snowboarding. But I have experienced the endorphins that come from sledding down a hill. In fact, my favorite childhood memories involve sledding. I fondly remember climbing the small hill in my yard and using my disc sled to speed down the hill. I’d sled down my driveway before my father had a chance to pull out the snow blower. Even though I’ve never been a thrill seeker, I always enjoyed the time I spent on a sled.

Although I don’t go sledding nearly as much as I used to, I still love it. So, writing about the best sleds is something near and dear to my heart. We’ve looked at all the newest sleds available, and picked a handful of sleds that could be perfect for you and your family. Check out our top picks and see which sleds would work for you.

What Should You Look for in a Sled?

twin kids sledding on wooden steel runner sledRemember the old days of taking a garbage bag and heading to the neighborhood hill? Those days are long gone. Today, there are tons of sleds available and choosing one can seem overwhelming. With a variety of designs, styles, and brands on the market, how can you know which sled is right for you?

Instead of blindly choosing a sled and hoping it works, you should know what to look for. Consider all of the following details before you add a sled to your cart:

Number of People

If you have multiple kids, you may want a sled that is for at least two people. Otherwise, the kids could end up fighting at the top of the hill. In addition to considering how many people will fit in the sled, think about how comfortable the ride will be for two people.

Weight Limit

Not all sleds are intended for adults. If you plan on having an adult use your sled, make sure they’re within the weight limits of the sled. While some sleds are only for kids, others can fit adults of all sizes.

It’s important not to exceed the weight limit of a sled. What’s the worst that can happen? The sled could fall apart, or you could fall off it. If you tempt fate and exceed the weight limit, your sled may not last very long.

Comfort

While you won’t be sitting in your sled for hours at a time, you should still look for a comfortable sled. Just think about all the jarring that happens during a sled ride. If the sled isn’t comfortable, you could end up with an injury. To avoid bruises, bumps, and injuries, choose a sled that’s comfortable.

Generally, inflatable sleds are much more comfortable than traditional ones. The tube is bouncy, which cushions you as the sled hits bumps. An inflatable sled also gives the rider some back support, which is lacking in disc sleds.

dad daughter selfie while sledding in snow

Control

Do you want to be able to control your sled? If so, your options are limited. There aren’t many sleds that give the rider control over where they go.

Some sleds have handles that allow you to pull the sled in different directions. However, these sleds don’t let you stray far from where the sled wants to go. For total control, you need a sled that has a form of steering. These sleds tend to be expensive, but they let you go where you want to go.

Another form of control is the brake. If you want ultimate control of your sled, it needs to have brakes. Find out how the brakes work and whether or not they are effective. When you’re careening down a hill, the control given to you by brakes is a major asset.

older man sledding on hill on flexible plastic toboggan

Speed

If You’re an adrenaline junkie, you probably want a sled that goes fast. However, not all sleds are designed for speed. As you shop around, look for the best sleds for your speed needs. Young, timid kids might not do well with a fast sled. On the other hand, you might want a sled that can rival the speed of a car on a highway.

There are several factors that can affect the speed of a sled. First, there’s the material of the sled’s body. If it’s made with plastic, the sled could make you feel like you’re flying. Innertube sleds tend to be less fast, but can still get you moving.

Durability

Unless you buy your sled from a dollar store, you want it to last. After all, the best sleds aren’t cheap. They should last for much longer than a few days. To make sure your sled lasts, you should ensure that it was made with durable materials. It doesn’t need to be durable enough for dog sledding, but should last.

Although sleds are simple, they do have some moving parts. The handles tend to be one area of weakness. If you buy a sled with handles, make sure they won’t come off at the slightest pull. Another area of weakness is the body of the sled. If it’s an inner tube and has no cover, the tube could puncture. A traditional sled could crack or show scratch marks.

Aesthetics

Sure, looks aren’t everything. But they do matter, and you probably want your sled to look good. There are plain sleds, and there are ones with stunning colors and designs. If the aesthetics matter to you, shop around for a sled that has the right appearance. Just avoid making the mistake of choosing appearance over functionality. Your sled needs to look good and work at the same time.

Top Sleds

Best Overall for Kids

Airhead Classic Sled
    A classic disc sled, this product is great for people of all ages.

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This sled has the classic disc design. Although it might be traditional, this sled ranks as one of the best sleds for kids. Made with high impact plastic, it can withstand use and abuse. With plastic handles, your kids can steer the sled down a hill. The controls may not be perfect, but they do give you some power. The slick bottom makes this sled surprisingly fast.

Ideally, this sled is only for one person. That said, you may be able to fit two people on it.The total measurement is 25x25x25”. While it may not be as large as some other sleds, its small size comes with some benefits. Due to its light weight, this sled is easy to carry up hills. Additionally, you can load it into the smallest of cars and fit multiple sleds in one vehicle. If you’re looking for a small but durable sled, this Airhead Classic should be your top pick.

Fastest Snow Sled

Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer
    If you’re looking for speed, this double sled is a great choice.

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If you’re looking for speed, this double sled is a great choice. It’s extremely light and a small child could handle carrying it up a hill. On the sides of the sled, there are four separate handles. Two people can comfortably fit and still hold on to the sides. Made with a thick foam inner layer, the sled absorbs the shocks. It gives you a shockingly smooth ride, even when you’re going over bumpy ground.

The bottom of the sled is plastic, which makes it extremely fast. Instead of digging into the snow, the material glides over it. You can pick up even more speed if you wax the bottom of the sled. Both children and adults can safely use this product, as the sled holds up to 250 pounds. Anyone five or older could use this sled to pick up some serious speed. It’s a great sled for adrenaline junkies.

Best Vintage Design Sled

Flexible Flyer Metal Runner Sled
    This classic design is perfect for sledders of all ages.

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This classic Flexible Flyer is the type of sled some people envision as “a real sled” from their younger years or classic films, and there’s a good reason: Flexible Flyer has been making sleds like this one since 1889. But that’s not the only reason the design has persisted for all this time; its powder-coated steel runners, durable wooden and steel construction, steering bar, and two available sizes (both large enough for an adult) mean this is a sled built to last and to grow with its owner.

At 48 or 60 inches long and just under 15 pounds, the Flexible Flyer is larger and heavier than most modern sleds. But its durability, functional good looks, and nostalgia factor can’t be ignored. This sled is especially popular as a gift from grandparents to grandchildren and as a photo prop, but mostly it’s popular because it’s fast, sturdy, big enough to hold a couple of people, and can be steered a number of ways (by hand, foot, or pull rope), meaning it works for just about every sledding scenario.

Best with Brakes and Steering

Stiga Snowracer
    When you want ultimate control of your sled, the Stiga is the way to go.

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When you want ultimate control of your sled, you need a product with brakes and steering capability. The Stiga Snowracer has both of those features, and much more. It’s a two person sled that features a unique design. The sled is made with a durable steel frame and has a shock absorber above the front driving ski. As the ski travels over irregularities in the ground, you can enjoy a smooth ride.

The front ski has a curved shape, and that’s what allows the sled to travel quickly through the snow. On the back of the sled, there are three fins that provide stability. The sled can handle high speeds. To change course, all you need to do is twist the steering wheel. Perhaps the most unique feature of this sled is the twin tip. If you’re in the mood for a rush, you can go down a hill backwards.

Best Snow Sled for Babies

EMSCO Infant Boggan
    If you have a young child, this baby snow sled is just what you need.

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If you have a young child, this baby snow sled is just what you need. The sled has a seat with a high back, and that gives your little one enough support to remain upright. With a wide base, the sled is highly stable. It won’t wobble around, and provides a comfortable ride.

This product features foot support rails and a seat that’s far from the snow. As a result, your little one won’t be too cold. Thanks to the built-in seatbelt, the sled has enough security to keep your baby in the seat, and not on the ground. You can adjust the seatbelt to fit your baby.

Instead of pushing your little one down a hill and saying goodbye, you can take advantage of the long tow rope. Pull your baby in the snow until they’re comfortable with the motion, and then you can advance to pushing them down small hills.

Best Sled for Toddlers

Flexible Flyer Wooden Sled
    If you love traditional sleds, you’ll love the wooden structure of this sled. It's great for toddlers who can sit on their own.

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If you love traditional sleds, you’ll like this Flexible Flyer toboggan. It’s a wooden sled designed to carry toddlers through the snow and down small hills. Made to resemble the classic toboggans from decades past, this sled will bring back some memories.

The Flexible Flyer is made by hand with Northern hard rock maple. When your toddler sits in the sled, they can get support from the back rest. They’ll stay upright and dry as you pull them in the sled. And pulling them is easy, as there is a rope attached to the sled. It’s perfect for children between the ages of 18 months and four years of age. With a weight limit of 50 pounds, the sled is hard to outgrow.

If you want to make this sled more comfortable, you can buy fitted padding. In addition to keeping your child comfortable, the padding also prevents cold air from making your child cold.

How We Made Our Decision

kids sliding near fence as dog pulls Choosing the best sleds took some research. After all, most sleds are pretty similar. It’s the little features that make one sled stand out from the rest. Before we could make our choices for the top sleds, we needed to think about what mattered to us. As we contemplated, we realized that there is no single sled that could earn the ranking of top sled. Instead, we needed to split the sleds up by category.

To pick a winner for each category, we considered several factors. The value, appearance, and quality of the sled all mattered in the decision-making process. If a sled was lacking in any way, it didn’t make it to our list. We picked only sleds that were built to last, and sleds that came with all the appropriate features. A sled for babies needed to have support, whereas a sled for speed needed to have a slick bottom.

Conclusion

Who was our big winner? It’s impossible to say which sled was the best, but there was one sled that really caught our attention. The Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer really shined. Large enough to fit two people, it’s great for families. With a foam inner-layer, the sled also offers serious comfort. Your joints and bones won’t ache with every bump. The light weight and small size of the sled also make it a prime choice. Whether you want a sled that offers comfort or speed, the Snow Screamer will satisfy you. Practice sled safety, and have fun.

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