The 15 Best Sleds for Kids of 2022

The Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer is comfortable, safe, durable, and our top pick

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Best Sleds for Kids

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There is nothing better for a kid than a zippy sled and a cup of cocoa on a chilly winter day. While there are plenty of winter activities to help get your family outside, our perennial favorite is still sledding—but not all sleds are created equal. Before your family hits the snowy hill, it’s important to make sure you have the best sled for the occasion and for your family.

Reviewed & Approved

The Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer is a two-person sled that includes four handles and enough cushioned foam to protect against jostling. For a classic wooden sled, we recommend the L.L.Bean Kid’s Pull Sled and Cushion Set.

Before making your selection, consider your child’s age and size to ensure you choose a sled that fits their weight and abilities. It’s also a good idea to factor in durability for the long haul. You may be able to find plastic sleds as low as $20, but they are less likely to survive more than a season. Conversely, heavier wooden toboggans with metal runners will often last a lifetime, but the price tag will reflect that. Features like steering and brakes increase the safety of the sleds but will often increase the cost, too. We carefully considered height and weight recommendations, design and safety features, and sled materials when reviewing products.

Here are the best sleds for kids to enjoy a snowy winter day.

Best Overall: Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer 2 Person Sled

4.8
Flexible Flyer Snow Screamer 2 Person Sled

Amazon

Pros
  • Cushioned foam to absorb bumps

  • Durable materials

Cons
  • Not recommended for children under 5

If you’re looking for a versatile sled that screams downhill and doesn’t break the bank, take a look at the Snow Screamer. This double sled comes with four handles—two for each child—and a solid inch of foam. This means there is plenty of cushioning for the kids when they hit a bump or a jump. A durable lamination sits atop the foam, and the bottom is a crack-resistant hard plastic. Not only does that mean the sled is ultra-durable and tough to break, but it is also fast. For older children or adults, Flexible Flyer even recommends waxing the bottom for additional speed. 

There isn’t any steering or brakes, nor is there any string to pull the sled behind you. However, the 21-inch width makes it easy to tuck the Snow Screamer under your arm for transportation, and it weighs only 3 pounds, so it’s easy for kids to pull back uphill by themselves.

Price at time of publication: $55

Dimensions: 47 x 21.5 x 2 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Material: Foam and plastic | Weight limit: 250 pounds | Recommended age range: 5 years and older

Best Budget: Airhead Classic 2 Sled

Airhead Classic 2 Sled

Amazon

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • No brakes or steering

For parents who want to help their kiddo hit the hill without forking over a lot of cash, the wallet-friendly price tag on the Airhead Classic 2 sled is quite appealing. Constructed entirely with high-impact molded plastic, this sled doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles, but the 48-inch length fits two people, and it cruises downhill at a moderate clip.

Four contoured handles are carved from the side walls and are easily reachable by little arms. The easy-to-spot lanyard attaches to the front of the sled, allowing even the smallest child to pull this featherweight (just 3 pounds) back uphill. Vertical cut-outs along the bottom prevent swerving and help the sled stay on course, but there isn’t any steering. 

Price at time of publication: $22

Dimensions: 48 x 18 x 4 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Material: Plastic | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: 5 years and older alone; 3 years and older with an adult

Best for Toddlers: Flexible Flyer Baby Pull Sled Toddler Boggan

Flexible Flyer Baby Pull Sled Toddler Boggan
Pros
  • Extra supportive and stable

  • Adjustable safety strap

Cons
  • Doesn’t work in deep snow

Searching for baby’s first sled? Look no further. The Baby Pull Sled is a top choice for children under the age of 3 since the extra-high back hugs your child like a highchair, ensuring enough support so they won’t topple over. A single buckled strap loops around their waist, securing them to the sled so they don’t crawl out.

Flexible Flyer designed the sled with an abnormally wide base, lending bonus stability to prevent any tipping. And the extra-long lanyard is a boon for parents everywhere: no more bending over to pull your child around the backyard.

Price at time of publication: $40

Dimensions: 26 x 20.5 x 12.3 inches | Weight: 3.2 pounds | Material: Plastic | Weight limit: Up to 40 pounds | Recommended age range: 3 years and younger

Best for Older Kids: WOW Sports Bobsled

 WOW Sports Bobsled

Amazon

Pros
  • Steering

  • Durable construction

Cons
  • Heavy

If your kid is like my kid, they’ll love the unique design that puts them in the driver’s seat of this brand-new bobsled. Contrary to appearances, WOW makes this one easy to inflate via two valves that also work with an electric pump. More than 4 inches of thickness on the bottom allows your child to sit or kneel easily without worrying about jostling or bumps. The front shield does a decent job of keeping snow and wind out of your child’s face, too.

There isn’t an official steering wheel, but the two front handlebars combine with the bobsled design to act as guiding devices that gently encourage the sled in either direction. As for durability, the bottom is lined with heavy-gauge, cold-crack PVC (a hard thermoplastic) with heat-sealed seams that promise to keep your bobsled with you for years to come.

Price at time of publication: $90

Dimensions: 48.8 x 29.9 x 22.8 inches | Weight: 7.1 pounds | Material: PVC | Weight limit: 170 pounds | Recommended age range: 6 and up

Best Toboggan: L.L.Bean Toboggan and Cushion Set

LL Bean Toboggan

Courtesy of LL Bean

Pros
  • Durable materials

  • Fits multiple children

Cons
  • Difficult to transport

There is no toboggan better than this classic by L.L.Bean. Built with steam-bent northern hardwood and screwed together, the toboggan is designed to last for your child’s entire life. Due to the inherent strength of wood and the large amount of ground contact, this toboggan is one of the more stable sleds on this list. At a whopping 72 inches in length, kids will easily be able to fit a few friends. But there’s a caveat: That same length makes it tough to fit this sled into the back of a vehicle.

L.L.Bean includes a polyester cushion filled with 1.5 inches of foam, which is just enough to absorb the bumps on the downhill. A long lanyard attaches to the front of the sled, so it’s easy to pull uphill. Since there are no handles, the front child can also hang onto the lanyard during the downhill for added stability. 

Price at time of publication: $249

Dimensions: 72 x 15.75 inches | Weight: 14 pounds | Material: Hardwood | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: 4 years and older

Best Saucer: Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer

Slippery Racer Downhill Pro Saucer

Amazon

Pros
  • Extra-wide diameter for comfort

  • Easy-to-grip handles

Cons
  • Minimal features

  • No lanyard for towing

Once your little one is ready to spin, this Downhill Pro Saucer is a great option. The heavy-duty plastic is slick-coated, which means it’s extra slippery on the descents. The brand also uses a proprietary cold-resistant treatment on the saucer, allowing the sled to bend while resisting cracks in temperatures as low as 20 degrees. 

The 26-inch-wide diameter is perfect for one child to sit cross-legged while careening downhill. Two easy-to-reach handles (one on either side) are a comfortable distance for little arms to hang on to safely. There isn’t a lanyard, so kids can’t tow it uphill, but it’s light enough to tuck beneath an arm.

Price at time of publication: $30

Dimensions: 26 x 26 x 3 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Material: Plastic | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: 4 years and older

Best Snow Tube: L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube

L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube

Courtesy of L.L.Bean

Pros
  • Built for heavy-duty use

  • Rigid bottom protects knees

Cons
  • Heavy

The Sonic Snow Tube is a classic in our family thanks to the 600-denier polyester top fabric and the hard-shell bottom that makes this snow tube almost indestructible for kids. As an added bonus, that same rigid base protects kids’ knees from any bumps they may hit while easily sliding downhill at high speeds, including the early-season crunchy snow with jagged pockets of ice. 

Two nylon webbing straps act as handles on either side of the tube and are easy enough to grab, but don’t expect any steering capabilities. A sturdy tow handle also comes with the sled, but here’s the caveat: All these durable materials make a heavy sled to lug uphill. The Sonic Snow Tube comes in two sizes: regular and extra-large. We recommend the regular size for younger children who sled alone.

Dimensions: 34 x 34 inches | Weight: 10 pounds (regular size) | Material: Polyester, rubber, and plastic | Weight Limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: 5 years and older

Best With Steering: Gizmo Riders Stratos Snow Bobsled

Gizmo Riders Stratos Snow Bobsled

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Steerable

  • Brake system

  • Fits two children

Cons
  • Heavy

  • Longer assembly time

According to David Brooks, MD, pediatrician and chief of staff at Colorado’s Valley View Hospital, the ability to steer and slow down will always be beneficial features, making the Gizmo Riders Stratos an especially good choice if you know your child will be sledding somewhere with obstacles. Constructed with plastic, the car-like steering wheel is easy for kids to manage and works at a variety of speeds. While the spring-loaded braking handle is a bit clunky, it does add another level of safety since children can control their speed when needed. 

Gizmo coated the two-person seat with anti-slip treatment, so snow pants-laden kiddos don’t slide all over the place. The Stratos is heavy, but it does include a tow rope (which is retractable, so parents don’t need to worry about it getting caught beneath the sled during the descent). Because this sled is more complicated than a traditional plastic saucer, assembly is required to snap together all of the plastic pieces, but no tools are necessary.

Price at time of publication: $110

Dimensions: 38.6 x 22 x 9.06 inches | Weight: 8.5 pounds | Material: Plastic | Weight limit:  Not listed | Recommended age range: 3 years and older

Best Plastic Sled: L.L.Bean Polar Slider DLX Sled

L.L.Bean Polar Slider DLX Sled

L.L.Bean

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable

Cons
  • No handles

If you’re on a tighter budget but still want the high-quality build that comes with L.L.Bean sleds, consider the Polar Slider. Its 36-inch length is similar to other plastic toboggans, but it is lined with a thin foam pad that adds a bit more comfort and insulation to protect kiddos from the cold. It’s constructed with injection-molded plastic, which is known to be both strong and flexible while still maintaining a featherweight profile. There are no handles on the Slider, but a basic tow rope is attached to the front to help children cart it around. As with other L.L.Bean sleds, it comes in two sizes: regular (36 inches long) and extra-large (48 inches long). 

Price at time of publication: $69

Dimensions: 36 x 19 inches | Weight: 3.8 pounds | Material: Injection-molded plastic | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: 4 years and older

Best Foam Sled: Spyder Shredder Snow Sled

Spyder Shredder Snow Sled

Amazon

Pros
  • Fits an adult and a child

  • Turning capabilities

Cons
  • Foam is less durable than other materials

Versatility is the name of the game with the Spyder Shredder. Four handles—two on each side—and a bi-directional design mean that there isn’t a front or back to this foam sled. Regardless of how your kid throws it down, it’ll fly. Since it is 48 inches long and doesn’t have side walls, it easily fits an adult and child in multiple configurations: cross-legged, straight-legged, or however you want. 

Two vertical rails are built into the bottom of the sled, allowing kids to turn and carve into the hillside by gently leaning into the turn. It’s not as effective as a steering wheel, but it does give sledders more control than a basic smooth sled bottom. 

Price at time of publication: $90

Dimensions: 48 x 22.6 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Material: Thermo-molded foam | Weight limit:  Not listed | Recommended age range: All ages

Best Wooden Sled: L.L.Bean Kids' Pull Sled and Cushion Set

LL Bean Kids' Pull Sled and Cushion Set

 Courtesy of LL Bean

Pros
  • Cushioned seat

  • Durable and safe

Cons
  • Heavy

Keep your baby happy in this L.L.Bean Wooden Pull Sled. Like the toboggan (above), it’s crafted with northern hardwood to ensure quality construction. It’s pieced together with screws (rather than cheaper nails) to ensure long-term durability over the years and through multiple children. Safety is top shelf, too. Instead of minimal waist belts or straps to harness your child into the sled, the high side walls help prevent your kiddo from toppling out.

On its own, wood isn’t the most comfortable, so this wooden sled comes with a water-repellent foam cushion that lines the seat and back rails to add a little padding. A sturdy tow rope is included and is a generous length, so parents can easily pull the sled without bending over. As with other L.L.Bean sleds, this comes in two sizes: small and large.

Price at time of publication: $199

Dimensions: 31 x 14.5 x 13 inches (small) | Weight: 13.5 pounds (small) | Material: Northern hardwood | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: Not listed

Best Pull Sled: Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan Snow Sled

Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan Snow Sled

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Fits an adult and a child together

  • Reinforced handles

Cons
  • Susceptible to cracking

If you like the slick-and-quick nature of the Slippery Racer Saucer (above) but want it in a toboggan shape or would like two children to ride together, the Xtreme is your best bet. At 48 inches long, this sled is big enough to hold an adult and child, but the lightweight plastic construction means it is a featherweight at a mere 3 pounds—perfect to ride down with your kid and have them pull it back uphill.

Four built-in handles line the sides of the toboggan, and the slick-coated plastic construction ensures you’ll need them—this one moves quickly on the downhill! A convenient, built-in pull rope attaches to the front, so your kids can tow each other around until they’re tired.

Price at time of publication: $41

Dimensions: 48  x 18 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Material: Plastic | Weight limit:  Not listed | Recommended age range: Not listed

Best With Runners: Flexible Flyer Metal Runner Sled

flexible-flyer-sled

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Steerable

  • Durable construction

Cons
  • No cushioning

Flexible Flyers are classic sleds, and for good reason. The steel runners beneath the sled carve into the hillside like skis, allowing children to easily steer by dragging their hands in the snow or attaching a pull rope to the pre-drilled holes on the front and pulling on it to guide the direction. Once the loose powder is packed down, the steel digs in, and the Flexible Flyer is tough to beat for speed.

Crafted with birchwood and steel, this metal-runner sled is almost impossible to break and can withstand below-freezing temperatures with ease. The tradeoff is that it doesn’t come with any cushioning, so big jumps may feel jarring to kiddos. 

Price at time of publication: $153

Dimensions: 42 x 20.5 x 7 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Material: Birchwood and steel | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: 5 years and older

Best Ice Fishing Sled: Shappell Jet Sled

Shappell Jet Sled
Pros
  • Burly construction

  • Easily slides when fully loaded

Cons
  • Heavy

If virtually indestructible is what you’re looking for, this is the sled for you. Built for carting around gear and animals rather than children, the Jet Ice Fishing Sled is essentially an indestructible plastic bucket. The 10-inch-high walls are deep enough that you can pile a myriad of gear inside, like firewood, feed, or ice tools, and never worry about them falling out. For hunters, this makes the Jet indispensable since you can cart game animals out of the backcountry without loading them onto your backpack.

Vertical molded runners are carved into the polyethylene (tough plastic) bottom, allowing the sled to easily glide on snow, ice, dirt, and even gravel. Like a children’s sled, the Jet also features a built-in tow rope, but this one is thicker and stronger so you can easily schlepp heavy loads. Added bonus: Should you want to use this for a children’s sled, the additional length and height make the Jet feel safer than most other plastic sleds.

Price at time of publication: $60

Dimensions: 54 x 25 x 10 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Material: Polyethylene | Weight limit: Not listed | Recommended age range: Not listed

Best for Two or More Kids: Franklin Sports Arctic Trails Snow Tube and Sled

Franklin Sports Arctic Trails Snow Tube and Sled
Pros
  • High weight capacity

  • Very light for its size

Cons
  • No tow rope

Every parent knows kids will squabble over anything. The Arctic Trails Double Snow Tube solves this age-old dilemma with this 57-inch-long tube designed with two individual seats—no sharing required. Plus, each seat comes with its own pair of handles, so both children stay equally safe while zipping downhill.

Constructed with freeze-resistant PVC material, children won’t need to fret about destroying their toy on extra chilly days. There isn’t a tow rope, but the Double Snow Tube is one of the lighter sleds on this list, so there won’t be any problems getting it back up the slope. The 250-pound maximum weight is plenty for two kids.

Price at time of publication: $28

Dimensions: 57 x 35 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Material: PVC | Weight limit: 250 pounds | Recommended age range: 5 years and older 

How We Selected the Best Sleds for Kids

When choosing a sled for your child, there are a number of factors to consider. In order to find the best options, we researched dozens of sleds for kids sold online and at a variety of retailers. In doing so, we compared their value, craftsmanship, durability, type of sled, safety, sturdiness, and additional features. We also spoke with two experts about the importance of safety in sledding and sled features. We consulted with David Brooks, MD, pediatrician and chief of staff at Colorado’s Valley View Hospital, and with Mike Pleiss, lead designer for WOW Sports.

What to Look for in Sleds for Kids

Sleds have been around for years, so there are a multitude on the market. Here are a few factors for parents to consider.

Durability

The durability of a sled largely depends on the materials used in construction. When shopping, you’ll find sleds made from plastic, foam, and wood, as well as inflatable vinyl options. Typically, plastic sleds are the most affordable, but they also stand the highest chance of breaking. Inflatable sleds always run the risk of ripping, so it’s important to use these on an open hillside free from obstacles. Foam doesn’t slide as fast as plastic or vinyl, but it is very durable and can handle rougher terrain. Finally, wooden sleds are easily the most rugged of the bunch, as they are able to withstand any type of conditions thrown at them. However, this level of durability comes with a higher price tag.

Types of Sleds

There are five main types of sleds on this list: runner sleds, toboggans, saucers, snow tubes, and pull sleds. 

  • Runner sleds: These are the oldest design type and use metal-edged runners beneath the seating area to carve into the snow, just like skis. These are usually the fastest, but they are often heavy and can do some serious damage in a collision. 
  • Toboggans: Constructed from plastic or wood, toboggans are long and rectangular, often fitting two people. These sometimes include cushioning to increase comfort on the flat seating area, but the less expensive plastic ones do not. 
  • Saucers: These are circular and are almost always constructed from plastic. While they are tough to control, kids love them because they can spin in circles while cruising downhill. 
  • Snow tubes: Snow tubes may be the most comfortable sled out there since the inflation adds automatic cushioning. These aren’t as durable as other types of sleds, but they move quickly and easily cushion joints during bumpy rides. 
  • Pull sleds: Pull sleds are designed to be pulled across flat ground. These are often best for young children and toddlers who aren’t ready to go downhill.

Weight and Size

According to Pleiss, you always want to make sure the sled fits your child. “When we’re developing a product, we ask ourselves, ‘Do they have secure seating? Can they reach this handle?’” Be sure your child’s limbs fit inside the sled so they don’t risk dragging anything. It’s also a good idea to look at the sled’s weight in comparison with your child’s weight. Ideally, your kiddo will pull the sled back uphill on their own, so you need to make sure it’s light enough to do so.

Additional Features

Less expensive sleds are often bare bones, but as you increase the price tag, you will find additional features like tow ropes, steering capabilities, and maybe even braking. For wooden sleds, it’s always a good idea to factor in whether or not cushioning is included since that can also increase the comfort and safety of the activity.

Safety

Dr. Brooks notes that any sled with steering or braking will always be the safest option when compared to one that does not have those features. Additionally, pay attention to any weight limits or size parameters. If a sled is not built to hold two people, do not try to cram more than one child in there. 

Safety Warning

According to David Brooks, MD, pediatrician and chief of staff at Colorado’s Valley View Hospital, it’s imperative that parents remember the inherent dangers involved in sledding, noting that he sees frequent injuries such as head trauma and fractures. “It’s important to understand that sledding can be fun, but we need to take precautions,” Dr. Brooks says. Dr. Brooks recommends sledding in areas free from immovable objects like trees and cars and wearing a helmet. Sleds are shown to go 19 mph on average, so wearing a helmet can dramatically decrease the chance of a head injury. Some studies show that a bike helmet or hockey helmet is a better choice for sledding than a ski helmet, so keep that in mind when choosing protective gear for your child. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees, noting that sledding feet first or upright may prevent head injuries. The AAP also suggests using a sled with steering when possible and always checking your sled to ensure it’s free from splinters or sharp edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of sled is best for what snow?

    Plastic sleds are your best bet for rough terrain since they can handle icy edges and rocks better than other materials. Metal-runner sleds work very well on hard-packed snow because they carve into the snow and can reach high speeds. Like plastic, foam sleds can be ridden on rough terrain and can handle variable surfaces, but they won’t move as quickly as a plastic sled. Snow tubes (and other inflatable sleds) are also great on hard-packed snow but will often get stuck in deeper powder.

  • How do I steer and stop a sled?

    According to Dr. Brooks, the first thing you want to do is choose a sledding hill that’s open and doesn’t have immovable objects like trees or cars that can injure the rider. If you need to steer around another sledder, your can often use your body weight and lean in the direction you want to turn. This shifting of weight works well on sleds like toboggans and metal runner sleds but doesn’t work as well on saucers. If leaning doesn’t work, you can stick your hand out and drag it slightly behind you in the snow. This will make the sled turn toward that hand. If you need to stop on flat terrain, stick both your feet out into the snow. If you are still on steep terrain and need to stop in a toboggan, here’s a trick: Sit toward the back of the sled, put both feet flat on the ground, and pull the front of the sled sharply upwards. The sharper you pull, the quicker it will stop.

Why Trust VeryWell Family

Heather Balogh Rochfort is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, fitness, travel, and the outdoors. In 2017 she became a mother and immediately found herself entrenched in the beautiful-yet-demanding world of parenting. Since then, she has broadened her scope to include the gear, products, and experiences that go hand-in-hand with motherhood. She has written for The Washington Post, Outside, Parents, and more.

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Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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