The L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube has a hard-shell backside that minimizes drag, protects knees and bottoms from the exhausting ridges of an icy slope, and makes it sail sooner and farther than another mannequin we tried (aside from the almost similar Tube Professional Onerous Backside Snow Tube). Over 4 years of testing, the L.L.Bean snow tube has been profitable on each sort of snow we’ve put it on, from moist and gentle to frigid and crunchy. And because of the sturdy tow deal with, even the littlest youngsters have had no downside hauling the Sonic Snow Tube again up the hill. One caveat: It’s virtually inconceivable to steer, so it’s most secure on a wide-open, straight sledding hill. The Sonic Snow Tube is available in two sizes. We suggest the extra-large dimension for 2 youngsters or an grownup over about 6 ft tall. Sometimes priced over $150, it’s an costly sled. However it’s a sturdy one, as after 4 years of intense use, it has proven virtually no indicators of wear and tear and tear.
If the L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube is unavailable, or when you’re simply in search of a unique choice of tube coverings, we additionally just like the Tube Professional Onerous Backside Snow Tube. In nearly each means, the Tube Professional tube is similar to the L.L.Bean tube (in actual fact, Tube Professional as soon as made tubes for L.L.Bean). The Tube Professional mannequin has the identical exhausting backside, sturdy masking, good pull rope, and heavy-duty inner-tube because the L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube. It additionally is available in the identical two sizes. One distinction is that Tube Professional affords an possibility so as to add a foam pad to the underside of the shell (for a further price). It additionally sells a linking package to connect two tubes collectively. At first look, the Tube Professional mannequin is significantly cheaper than the L.L.Bean tube, however the firm is predicated out of Canada, and as soon as transport prices are factored in, the general funding is nearly the identical. However when you’re trying to purchase two, procuring on Tube Professional’s web site might find yourself being cheaper.
In some ways, the L.L.Bean Polar Slider DLX is the sled we’ve been ready for. Its design marries the pace, maneuverability, and portability of a plastic toboggan with a high-quality plastic that seemingly received’t shatter within the first winter. We’ve been essential of plastic toboggans for years, and that is the primary one which has actually impressed us. This sled’s high pace doesn’t match the snow tubes’. However as a result of it may be steered, you should utilize the Polar Slider DLX on a greater diversity of sledding hills. At round $100, it’s dear, however along with the sturdiness, it affords a pair rider-friendly prospers, such because the grippy and ever-so-slightly padded sitting space and the pull strap, which is less complicated to make use of than the straightforward rope discovered on most moldable toboggans. If the Polar Slider DLX Sled has a draw back (aside from the value), it’s the small(ish) dimension. We managed to get an grownup and a child (or two youngsters) on the so-called extra-large dimension, however that doesn’t depart any further room.
The Shappell Jet Sled is all about capability. Designed to haul gear out to an ice-fishing location, it’s boxier and deeper than the usual sled, and in our assessments it was able to becoming extra folks comfortably than another sled we’ve discovered. Greater than as soon as, we had it loaded with one grownup and 4 youngsters. In contrast with the opposite sleds we examined, the Jet Sled additionally felt safer: It by no means attains the race-car pace of the L.L.Bean sleds, and the excessive sides and huge entrance provide added safety and make it very tough to tip over. (A few of our guardian testers even relaxed their no-face-first sledding rule with the Jet Sled.) As a result of it’s so huge, this sled can also be nice for breaking in a brand new path on freshly fallen snow.
To offer your child or toddler a extra luxurious wood-crafted experience, strive the L.L.Bean Children’ Pull Sled and Cushion Set. It’s costly, however I’ve used mine by way of 4 youngsters (over about 10 years), and it’s nonetheless in nice form. Metallic bars beneath the wooden runners add sturdiness, and the facet rails defend a tot from tipping out—with out you having to take care of a fussy belt buckle.