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Zoom: Families on Sleds

Although rain is in the forecast I am sure we will have plenty more snow this winter for sledding. Read Katy’s sled review and decide which will be your choice ride.

Zipfy-1This winter we have been testing sleds on Suicide Hill in Barrington. These are the sleds we can heartily recommend, and quick descriptions of their features.

Zipfy Mini Luge
Functionality: Lightweight and easy to transport. The Zipfy glides easily, even on the merest incline–providing a thrillingly speedy descent down Suicide Hill, but also an amusing-enough ride on our almost flat lawn. Works on packed snow or fresh powder.
Best for: Solo riders who like to sit upright while sledding. Easy to ride and maneuver, but not easy for a child to ride on with a parent. Everyone from our tough-as-nails three-year-old friend to a two-hundred-something pound gentleman came back up the hill with huge grins.
How it looks: Bright red, with the curves of a Porsche and a distinctly stick-shifty looking handle. (Available in a rainbow of colors–including hot pink!)
Price: $40

For inspiration, you can find outrageous videos online in which people in the Alps race on Zipfys through slalom courses.

Slope Slider Sleds
Slope Slider-2Functionality: These are the most portable sleds we have seen–they’re just large enough to sheath the rider’s buttocks in frictionless plastic plus have a handle to give the rider something to hang on to as he/she careens down the hill. These work on packed snow, not fluffy new stuff.
Best For: A family with lots of sledders who each want their own–sold as a four-pack.
How it Looks: They resemble distorted beach shovels. Multi-colored four-pack includes bright blue, yellow, green, and red plastic in the approximate size of the average adult bottom. I should also mention that these look like they will not possibly work.
Price: Four-pack, $20
Note: According to L.L. Bean headquarters, these are currently out of stock by catalog and online, but are still available in many of their stores.

Sonic Snow TubeSonic Snow Tube-1
Functionality: This is a commercial-grade snow tube. It is very durable, and heavy, and large: it fills the entire rear compartment of a station wagon. Works well in all conditions: packed snow or powder.
Best for: Riders who love speed, spins, and the freedom to boing into things. We love the leash and handle–perfect for dragging it back up the hill, with or without a young stowaway inside. Big enough to accommodate more than one rider, and many positions are possible in this giant, comfy tube.
How it looks: Available in red or blue, it is almost four feet wide when inflated and arrives in a box that will make you wonder, “Who sent me a refrigerator?”
Price: $129

Flexible Flyer: Polar Flyer
Functionality: Easy to ride, maneuverable, and an excellent choice for parent and child to ride together. Polar Flyers are lightweight, bendable, and fit easily into most cars–even if only a cramped space is available.
Best for: Going head first on one’s belly, possibly with a child or two piled on top of an uncrushable parent.
How it looks: Bright orange or blue, about the size of a boogie board. Children who favor very gender-specific equipment and are girls might not want to use these.
Price: $29-$50, depending on size

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  • Come on, snow! Maybe kidoinfo could have a sledding convention after the next storm & we could all try out each other’s sleds.

  • Zipfy is definitely my choice! I have a pink one and LOVE it! So much fun and so fast….although you can totally control it, which makes it great for all ages.