Compare prices and features of sledges and toboggans
With a proper winter, a sledge is excellent fun for everyone, and handy for bringing home the shopping (or even a small child) when the pavements are piled with snow and the roads too treacherous to drive along.
But there are sledges, and sledges, from the dirt cheap to the designer expensive, so look at our tips first to maximise your fun.
Top tips for choosing a sledge
Start off by thinking about what to do with it for the rest of the year. How much space have you got for storage? The traditional sledges with runners take up a lot more space than the moulded plastic types, and are heavier too, so lifting them up into the loft or keeping them on top of a wardrobe are not always practical options.
Falling off them
The moulded plastic tray-type sledges keep you close to the ground, so you can’t actually fall off them, rather roll off them, and there’s nothing that will damage your fingers either. The traditional runner-style toboggans are higher off the ground, so you can fall off them, or tip over the whole sledge, and the steel runners could injure your hands too.
Timber toboggans and plastic designs on runners or skids provide insulation and can cut through snow, unlike the plastic trays that just separate you from the snow, but can’t keep you backside warm, or cushion bumpy ground. .
Steering and stopping
Feet are the traditional steering and braking accessories, along with leaning over to shift your weight, but some sledges now boast steering wheels (not sure how effective these are), brake levers (that move a claw down into the snow and steerable skids.
Judging from what we’ve seen on the slopes and our own experience, the saucer styles go where they want, and those plastic seats with a handle that you straddle also have a mind of their own.
Who and how many?
There are sledges with a raised seat plus a seat belt for toddlers, sledges for youngsters, sledges for adults and sledges for two riding tandem.