Walmart’s sled and toboggan buying guide will help you bring the whole family together for a day of snowy outdoor fun. Enjoy giggles and belly laughs as you slip and slide along snowy trails and hills!
One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to get outside and enjoy the snowy weather. Sledding and tobogganing are family-friendly ways of having fun in crisp winter temperatures. Enjoying peaceful walks while pulling small children on a toboggan along snowy trails might be your speed. Or, perhaps your family is at a stage where your kids want to pick up the pace as they race down a hill on a snow saucer sled! Walmart’s editors have put together a buying guide that will help you choose the best sleds and toboggans for family fun this winter.
Table of Contents:
- What is the difference between a toboggan and a sled?
- Sledding and tobogganing safety tips
- Sled and toboggan maintenance tips
What is the difference between a toboggan and a sled?
A toboggan is a long, narrow sled curled up at the front. Most toboggans have grooved bottoms to help them slide fast and straight. They’re also generally quite lightweight, which makes them great for sliding down snowy hills, and easy to carry back up and start all over again.
Some toboggans are equipped with railings along the sides to help keep the crew aboard. This double baby sled by JAB Recreational Products Inc is made of hardwood. Double curved back support and polypropylene pull rope make this toboggan ideal for strolls on snowy trails with your precious cargo.
A sled is a type of lightweight frame designed to glide effortlessly over snow and ice. Some have flat bottoms, while others feature narrow strips of metal or wood mounted on the bottom as runners.
A sled’s design determines how it moves, so you should choose a design that suits your preferences. Sleds with flat bottoms work well on soft snow, while sleds with runners are faster on hard, icy snow. If your sled has a grooved bottom, it will tend to go faster and slide downhill in a straight track. You can also opt for a snow carpet, which is an extremely lightweight, easy-to-carry sled with a flat bottom, and sometimes with handles.
Snow saucers are circular sleds. Shaped like a disk, they don’t have a hole in the middle for seating. Trying to steer can be a losing proposition. Just push off, hold on and enjoy the ride!
This 26-inch foam saucer sled by Disney has two large easy-grip handles for better control. This single rider sled has an extra slick bottom for an easy glide.
Not in the sled family but just as fun, inflatable snow tubes are designed for sliding, spinning and bouncing down snow-covered hills. Rectangular models will hold a straighter line and go just as fast. Both shapes provide a lively, bouncy ride, which is an exhilarating way to slide down the slopes.
If you have a little one that you’d like to introduce to winter weather fun, adding a protective cushion to your toboggan will help keep your worries at bay.
This red cushion by JAB Recreational Products Inc is designed to help keep little ones cozy and protected from the elements during outdoor fun. It is nylon covered with foam padding. Just tie it onto the toboggan and go where strollers won’t go.
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Sledding and tobogganing safety tips
- Ensure the trail is relatively free of debris and trees before sledding or snowboarding downhill
- If your child is using a saucer, sliding carpet or another snow sled that’s difficult to control, make sure that the sled is equipped with hand grips or levers
- When sledding downhill, children should wear a well-fitted helmet and toboggan hat for added safety and warmth
- Choose hills far from roads, lakes or ponds
- Dress appropriately. Make sure to keep warm when participating in outdoor winter activities.
- Before tobogganing, make sure that your hands are well protected. Wear a pair of insulated gloves so that you can have a good grip on the sled or the hand levers while keeping your hands warm.
Sled and toboggan maintenance tips
- Keep hand levers on sleds and toboggans well-lubricated
- If your toboggan or sled is equipped with runners fastened to the bottom with staples, you should remove staples that become loose and replace them with woodscrews
- Regularly wax the bottoms of your sleds and toboggans for better performance
- If your sled has easy-grip handles, check to ensure they are intact
If it’s your family’s first time sledding or tobogganing, be sure to start with easy outdoor trails and smaller hills. After a few minor wipe-outs, your whole crew will be ready for tougher trails and steeper hills. Enjoy winter weather and let the belly laughs ensue!
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Legal: This article is intended as general information. To be sure a product is right for you, always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.