Inflatable sleds are blowing up right now (literally and figuratively) — here are 8 top models for you and your family

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Sleds go fast, especially the best ones, so it’s essential to wear protective equipment like a helmet, just like if you were riding a bike.

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How to find the right snow tube for you

Winter is coming, and with it comes thick snowfall in many parts of the country. And nothing says “wintertime fun” like racing down steep, snowy hills at (reasonably) high speeds. While there are several types of sleds to choose from, inflatable snow tubes are consistently recognized as some of the most fun and effective.

Different types of inflatable sleds

The only kind of inflatable sled that’s consistently effective is the snow tube. You might run into some “inflatable toboggans” or other unconventionally shaped blow-up sleds, but all research indicates that pretty much only classic inflatable tubes have the seam strength to make it down the hill more than a few times.

With that said, there are basically two kinds of snow tubes: cheap ones and fancy ones. The cheap ones are quite inexpensive and, as long as you’re careful with them, should last for several sessions at the very least. Indeed, plenty of kids have used the same low-cost inflatable sled for more than one year without issue. Cheap inflatable sleds rarely have reinforced bottoms or many interesting features, but they usually have handles.

However, the fancy inflatable sleds offer a few critical improvements over the cheap ones. Typically, high-end snow tubes feature a two-layer construction that includes a highly durable butyl rubber inner tube and a cover made from cloth, plastic, nylon or some combination of wear-resistant materials. In addition to preventing punctures and tears, the resilient cover also reduces friction. It helps you reach higher speeds, especially if the bottom has a hard plastic layer, as the premium models offer. Such high-end snow tubes usually have secure handles made from nylon webbing and a similarly durable tow strap.

If you decide to invest in a premium two-piece snow tube, you can expect it to last for years with proper care. In the unlikely event that the inner tube does pop, it’s easy as pie to replace. If you’re unable to source your own, some brands offer thick, puncture-resistant butyl-rubber inner tubes marketed specifically for sledding and river or lake tubing.

The best inflatable sleds right now

Flexible Flyer Heavy Duty Snow Tube

Flexible Flyer Heavy Duty Snow Tube

This manufacturer is about as famous as it gets when making sleds. This one’s as durable as they come and has a hard plastic bottom that lets you reach impressive speeds.

Sold by Amazon

Rigma Snow Tube

Rigma Snow Tube

Here’s another high-end sled with a separate inner tube and cover that work together to last for years of regular use. It can hold more weight than just about any other, so it’s great for kids and adults.

Sold by Amazon

Bradley Commercial Snow Tube

Bradley Commercial Snow Tube

Bradley’s most popular snow tube offers the two-piece construction that most sledding enthusiasts love. The bottom is coated with slick PVC that gives you plenty of speed while also offering more control than hard plastic bottoms offer.

Sold by Amazon

Bradley Multi-Rider Snow Tube

Bradley Multi-Rider Snow Tube

It’s got all the same features and construction quality of their single-person model, but it measures 60” across, so it’s great for a pair of kids. If the inner tube is ever damaged, Bradley sells a drop-in 60-inch replacement.

Sold by Amazon

Zangeroi Inflatable Tube

Zangeroi Inflatable Tube

Once assembled and inflated, it supports riders up to 250 pounds thanks to a thick butyl-rubber tube and resilient Oxford cloth liner with a slick vinyl bottom.

Sold by Amazon

Jasonwell Snow Tube

Jasonwell Snow Tube

Made up of a single layer of reasonably durable material, this one’s about as simple as they come and about as affordable, too. It also comes in two fun designs.

Sold by Amazon

GoFloats Kids’ Tube

GoFloats Kids’ Tube

Available in several bold designs covered with bright colors and fun animal heads, this snow tube is sure to put a smile on a kid’s face the next time there’s a snow day.

Sold by Amazon

Liketure Sledding Tube

Liketure Sledding Tube

A low price, 47-inch diameter and reasonably durable construction make this ideal for adolescents and adults who only do occasional downhill sledding.

Sold by Amazon

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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