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.
This 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!)
For inspiration, you can find outrageous videos online in which people in the Alps race on Zipfys through slalom courses.
Slope Slider Sleds
Functionality: 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 Tube
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?”
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