Who doesn’t have fond memories of dragging their sled outside to use on a snow day from school? Your skin would be stinging with the cold and your clothes would be soaked, but your parents still couldn’t get you to go inside. It was too much fun to trade in for the warmth of your house or the promise of hot chocolate.
Sledding is still a cherished kids’ activity in the winter. But you need the right equipment. The best snow sleds for kids and toddlers are those that are affordable, durable, and safe.
Need some help picking out the best sleds for kids? We’ve put together a list of our 15 favorites for children of all ages.
How Old Does A Kid Have To Be To Go Sledding?
If you’re pulling your child around your flat backyard — even young toddlers can get in on the fun. Just make sure not to go too fast — which you probably won’t want to anyway since you’ll be the one dragging that sled around.
Children ages 5 years and younger should only be going downhill with an adult accompanying them on the sled (1). The hills should still be fairly small though.
A child older than 5 years should be under the supervision of an adult until they are old enough to be sledding safely on their own. The age for this will vary from child to child. Keep supervising them until they can be trusted to follow the safe sledding guidelines below.
And, keep in mind, if you’re child isn’t old enough to be outside at a public area, like a park, by themselves, you’ll need to stick close by to ensure their safety from normal threats like stranger danger.
How to Choose the Best Sled for Kids
To choose the best sled for kids you need to consider:
- The recommended age range for each sled: Is the sled suitable for your child this year, and if it’s durable, will it be suitable in subsequent years?
- Your preferred style of sled: Are you looking for a snow tube, a sled, or a toboggan style item?
- Your child’s ability to control a sled and respond to potential dangers: Different sleds have various steering mechanisms. Ensure you choose one that your child will be able to use safely and comfortably.
The Best Kids Sleds of 2020
Here are our top kid’s sled picks on the market:
1. TSL Sleds Kid's Pull Sled
An excellent introduction to the outdoors in winter, this TSL pull sled is recommended for ages 3 years and under.
It has a wide footprint for added stability. Even when you have a fidgety toddler the TSL stays upright, keeping your little one out of the snow.
- The three-point harness holds your child safely in place.
- The high back and sides provide an excellent seating position.
- The sled has molded outriggers for greater stability, which is a good feature for sleds for toddlers.
- The stable design means that the sled can be difficult to pull in deeper snow.
- Some parents said the colors didn’t appear to be the same shade as was shown online.
2. The Flexible Flyer, Metal Saucer Sled
This product, recommended for 5 years and over, is a simple dish-shaped sled made of coated steel. It’s durable and hardwearing.
Even if it hits a hard obstacle, any dents can be hammered out.
- The size, shape, and weight make this sled easy to store and transport.
- Rope handles minimize the possibility of trapped fingers.
- It can also be used on sand slopes, which is handy for summer vacations.
- It would be difficult for an adult and child to use this together.
- It can be quite cold using metal on the snow or ice.
3. Slippery Racer Downhill Xtreme Toboggan
The Slippery Racer is recommended for 5 years and over.
It’s a good choice for families with children too young to sled alone, but too large for baby and toddler sleds.
- A great size for an adult and a child to ride together.
- The flexible body minimizes the chance of the sled cracking or breaking.
- A special coating prevents ice and snow build-up.
- Some reviewers complained the sled was slow.
4. Flexible Flyer Baby Pull Sled
This is a great baby sled for pulling your little one along behind you when walking in the snow.
It accommodates children 3 years and under with a maximum weight of 40 pounds.
- The high back provides plenty of support for babies and toddlers.
- A lap belt allows you to secure your child in the sled.
- The wide base makes the sled stable.
- Some reviewers complained that this sled sank into deeper snow because of its wide base. However, the listing does clearly say that it is for use in 4 inches of snow or less.
5. Lucky Bums Torpedo Sled
This simple plastic sled has a cool, funky design which places your butt on one section and your feet on another.
It’s a good choice for parents who occasionally want to join in on the fun. It’s designed for those 6 years and older.
- It’s lightweight and easy to transport.
- Large enough for adults to try out.
- Fast enough to be fun, but not so fast it’s dangerous.
- It doesn’t have a rope for towing — although it does have a hole for you to put one in yourself.
6. Best Choice 53-inch Kids Sled
This traditional style sled combines wooden slats and metal rails to provide years of downhill fun.
It’s suitable for ages 6 years and older.
- Has a timeless, classic look.
- A handlebar makes it easier to steer, giving greater control
- Sturdy construction.
- It must be assembled at home and some reviewers complained that it was tricky for them.
7. Goplus Snow Racer
With a wide base, large seat, and central ski controlled by a steering wheel, this unique sled is a solid choice for those 4 years and older.
This sled can hold up to 225 pounds.
- The wheel provides easy steering.
- Two foot brakes can gently slow the sled.
- The removable rope makes for easy adult towing.
- Some reviewers complained the assembly instructions were not very clear.
8. Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge
Basically a seat with a stick to hold on to, this mini luge is a good pick for the more experienced sledder.
It’s made for those 5 years and older.
- Speedy on compact snow.
- Reviewers report this is extremely durable.
- Quirky design and available in lots of colors for the kid who likes to express their style.
- The smaller footprint of this sled means it does not perform well in fresh, powdery snow.
9. ESP 66
When you have multiple younger children, you can take them all on this four-person super sled.
It’s recommended for ages 5 years or older, or even younger children who are accompanied by an adult.
- Large enough for up to four people.
- Lightweight and thin, so it’s easy to store.
- Durable and can carry over 300 pounds.
- Lightweight plastic also means it can be prone to cracking with heavy use.
10. Sled Legs
These unique wearable sleds attach to your shins. You then throw yourself onto the snow, knees first, and slide away.
It’s a lot of fun for those 7 years and older who are at least 4 feet tall.
- No need to carry a sled uphill.
- Comes in two sizes for kids and adults.
- The molded interior foam makes these comfortable.
- Not everyone feels comfortable with these wearable sleds — they can take some getting used to.
11. A-DUDU Snow Tube
This heavy-duty, two-layer snow tube will carry up to 500 pounds.
It’s recommended for those 7 years and older.
- It only takes a minute to inflate.
- Reinforced grip handles.
- The bottom has an additional plastic layer for less friction and more durability.
- Not the fastest on the shallower angle hills.
12. Yukon Charlie’s Hammerhead Pro
The lightweight aluminum frame of the Hammerhead Pro makes for an extremely fast ride down the hill.
Due to its speed, it’s only suitable for those 9 years and older.
- Heavy duty enough to be used for pulling supplies to a cabin.
- Padded strap for easy carrying included.
- Amazon refurbished models are available to reduce the cost.
- Must be used while wearing a helmet as this sled is designed for you to travel headfirst.
- It isn’t budget-friendly.
13. Vipernex 50
These molded foam sleds come in a pair and will carry two kids or one adult and one kid.
They’re suitable for those who are 5 years and older.
- The foam construction makes these sleds easy to store and transport.
- Durable and are meant to last for years.
- Two sleds reduce the chance of the kids fighting over one.
- The plastic ring around the hole for the rope can pop out from time to time, although this does not affect the ride or the usability of the sled.
14. Aqua Leisure Pipeline SNO Air Penguin
If you don’t have a lot of storage space, this one can be easily stored when not in use.
It’s a simple inflatable baby and toddler sled, with a backrest for added comfort.
It’s best for those between the ages of 1 year and 3 years.
- Large enough to accommodate a child of up to 3 years who is wearing a thick snowsuit and large boots.
- The rough underside makes this a slow sled — great for babies and toddlers.
- It can be inflated quickly and deflates for easy storage.
- It does not have a safety strap so your child must be able to sit unaided.
- It isn’t meant to last for years.
15. Flexible Flyer BCL-40 Premium Baby Sleigh
This premium baby sled is handmade from hardwood with metal skis on the underside of the runners.
It has a retro, classic look that may appeal to parents who are trying to recreate their childhood memories.
It’s best for children 18 months to 4 years old.
- Elevated riding position and high, curved backrest keeps your little one dry and secure.
- Padded liner is available for additional warmth and comfort.
- It’s shipped fully assembled, so it’s ready to go straight out of the box.
- The back blades are sharp, so keep your child’s hands away.
- Some of the wood can feel rough — you may want to give it a quick sanding.
Sledding Safety Tips for Kids
These safety tips apply to children and adults alike.
- Consider having your child wear a helmet when sledding (2).
- Do not go sledding if the outdoor temperature is less than -16 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature at which exposed skin can freeze.
- Dress warmly.
- Do not sled on a slope with an angle of more than 30 degrees.
- Only sled on a snowy slope. Do not sled on an icy hill or on frozen lakes or rivers.
- Choose a hill with a wide, empty area on which to sled. Do not sled in areas that have trees or other obstacles around which you must steer.
- Keep your arms and legs within the boundaries of the sled.
- Always go down the hill either sitting up or kneeling. Do not go down the hill headfirst or whilst lying flat on your back as this increases the possibility of spinal injuries.
- Do not sled in the dark.
Get Out There
Summer isn’t the only time of year for taking pleasure in the outdoors as a family. Snow is nature’s invitation to get outside and enjoy yourself, so it would be rude not to!
No matter how old your children are or how much experience they have in the snow, there is a kid’s sled out there to suit your needs.
So bundle up, grab your kids and a sled, and throw yourselves down a snowy hill. You’ll all love the thrill and the bonding you’ll experience.