Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Welcome to our big sledge test 2022. Here we present all the sleds we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best sled for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a sled.

Contents




The most important facts

  • In addition to sledging, you can also use a sled to transport children.
  • In general, sleds differ in the basic material used. In addition to wooden sledges, sledges made of plastic or aluminium are the most common.
  • The choice of the right sledge depends above all on the maximum load capacity and the size of the seat. Wooden sledges are best suited for several people, whereas plastic sledges are particularly suitable for children.

The Best Sledges: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a sled

What is the advantage of a sledge over a bobsleigh or a sliding plate?

Besides sledging, there are other ways to whizz down the hill, such as a bobsleigh or a sliding plate. In summary, a sledge offers you these advantages over a bob or a sliding plate:

  • More suitable for adults
  • Greater stability
  • Functional accessories available
  • Can also be used for transport
  • Promotes understanding of cornering

Sleds are more suitable for adults, especially because of their seat height. In addition, the high stability of wooden and aluminium sledges also speaks for this area of use. The variety of accessories means that there are countless possible uses.

In addition to classic sledging, the sledge can also be used as a means of transport for babies and toddlers. Since conventional sledges are not equipped with a steering system or a brake, you train your body feeling through active driving. This gives you a better understanding of how to negotiate curves.

What is the difference between a Davos sledge and a horn sledge?

The extended runners give the horn sledge its name. With wooden sledges, a basic distinction is made between a Davos sledge and a horn sledge.

The horns are perfect for holding on to and thus increase safety. They prevent slipping over the sledge and are therefore particularly helpful for children.

What is the difference between a sledge and a toboggan?

Colloquially, the two terms sledge and toboggan are often used synonymously, although there are serious differences in the way they are made and in their handling characteristics.

This means that the optimal area of use also varies considerably. Sledges are more rigid in their construction than toboggans.

In addition, the characteristics of the runners differ. This difference leads to different steering behaviour and speed levels.

Sled Sledge
Construction Rigid Flexible
Runners Flat Curved
Runner inclination None Slightly inclined
Support surface Large Small
Steering With the foot By shifting weight
Turning behaviour No tight turns possible Tight turns possible

Sleds have a rigid structure due to gluing or screwing. In addition, they have no runner inclination and stand flat on the runners. This means that the contact surface is larger than on a toboggan, which leads to lower speeds.

Steering is only possible with the help of the foot and thus results in a loss of speed. The rigid construction makes tight turns very difficult. (Image source: unsplash.com / Igor Cancarevic)

A toboggan has a flexible base frame because of rubber-bearing connections.

Due to the slight skid inclination of 10 to 25 degrees and the slightly curved skids, a toboggan has better cornering behaviour. Steering with the help of weight shifting and the good construction allow higher speeds.

How much does a toboggan cost?

Sleds come in all price ranges – from inexpensive children’s sleds to professional sleds. In summary, we think that these prices are absolutely reasonable if you love classic sledding and have found the right sled for you.

Plastic sleds, which are mainly used as children’s sleds, start at about 35 euros. They are therefore inexpensive sledges for small children and are ideal for independent sledging.

Type Price
Plastic sled ca. 35 – 70 €
Wooden sled ca. 50 – 150 €
Aluminium sled ca. 50 – 250 €

There is a wide range of prices for wooden and aluminium sledges. Wooden sleds are available for about 50 to 150 euros.

Sleds made of aluminium, on the other hand, are available for between €50 and €250. Depending on the load capacity, the material used, the size of the seat and the accessories included, the prices of sleds vary.

Can I rent a sledge?

Yes, you can rent a toboggan – at least in places with a toboggan run. Conventional sports shops that do not cooperate with a local toboggan run do not offer toboggan rental.

At a toboggan rental, on the other hand, you usually get professional toboggans and often have to ask specifically for a wooden toboggan. Depending on the toboggan run and the rental company, it is also possible to rent toboggans for two.

Which sledge is suitable for babies?

A wooden sledge and an aluminium sledge are suitable for pulling babies. You can easily convert both types of sled into a safe means of transport for babies and toddlers with the help of appropriate accessories. Plastic sledges tip over more easily, so they are less suitable for this type of use.

Which sled is suitable for children?

Plastic sledges are ideal for children because of their lightness. Children’s sleds must be easy to steer and just as easy to pull. Plastic sledges meet exactly these criteria. They are also inexpensive and easy to drive even in light snow. Therefore, a plastic sledge is particularly suitable for sledging for children.

Which sledge is suitable for adults?

Both a wooden sledge and an aluminium sledge are suitable for adults. A high degree of stability and load-bearing capacity are particularly important for sledges for adults. Both types of sled are fun to ride, but experienced sledders will have more fun with an aluminium sled.

Which sledge is suitable for two people?

A wooden sledge is best suited for sledging for two. This type of sledge is available in versions for two people. Since a load of up to 150 kilograms is permitted, wooden sledges are ideal. In addition, a sledge length of at least 110 cm is recommended for two people.

What accessories are available for sledges?

Every type of sledge can be made more functional with the appropriate accessories. The various components can be purchased individually or together with the sled. The following accessories are available:

  • Backrest
  • Child seat
  • Footmuff
  • Push bar
  • Push bar
  • Sledge rope
  • Wheels

A sledge backrest is especially common with horn sleds and Davos sleds. The semicircular wooden backrest makes sledging with children safer. This prevents them from slipping off the sledge. With the help of a child seat, toddlers and babies can also be transported easily.

The seats are usually made of plastic and have a belt. A footmuff is also suitable for transporting babies and toddlers. The fleece lining provides optimal warmth and is attached to the sled with straps. You can push the sledge comfortably from behind using a push bar.

The push bar also includes a backrest. The sledge can be pulled in the classic way with a sledge rope. A wooden handle usually makes it easier to hold on to. Wheels are a particularly practical accessory. They can be mounted in a few easy steps. This also makes it possible to ride on the road or on thin layers of snow.

Decision: What types of sled are there and which is the right one for you?

In general, there are three different types of sledges:

  • Wooden sledge
  • Plastic sledge
  • Aluminium sledge

The basic material of each of these types is different, which leads to individual advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the desired area of use and the importance of individual criteria, a different type of sled is best suited for you.

In the following section, we will find out which type of sled is best for you. For this purpose, we will introduce you to the above-mentioned types of sleds and present you with a clear overview of their advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes a wooden sledge and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Wooden sledges are characterised by their robust construction and wide range of uses. The classic wooden sleds include the Davos sled and the horn sled. This type of sledge is best suited for safely pulling babies and small children as well as for joint family descents.

Due to their high stability, adults can also use them for sledging without any problems. Models for two to three people are also available.

Advantages
  • High stability
  • Very good directional stability
  • Suitable for adults
  • 2-3 persons also possible
  • Sustainably produced
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to steer
  • High weight
  • No deep snow rides
  • Minor maintenance required

Due to the use of wood, this type of sled proves to be very stable and true to track. Due to its relatively high own weight, the sledge does not slip sideways and does not turn during the ride.

Consequently, however, pulling it up the mountain involves effort.

The classic wooden sledge is well suited for longer distances because it is slow to get going. Since the sledge digs itself into the deep snow, this type of sledge is not suitable for such use. (Image source: unsplash.com / Bao Menglong)

Wooden sleds are sustainably produced and very durable. You can also extend the longevity of your sled by regular maintenance at the end of the season.

In particular, the runners need to be checked for rust. With the help of the combination of wood and metal, there are now also foldable models. Wooden sledges are available in lengths from 80 cm to 130 cm and can be loaded with up to 180 kilograms.

As the sledge is difficult to steer, it is more suitable for adults and joint family descents. Children therefore find it difficult to ride the sledge on their own.

What distinguishes a plastic sledge and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Plastic sledges are characterised by their lightness and inexpensive purchase. This makes them ideal sleds for children. This type of sled is perfect for children to ride on their own. Due to the nature of the sled, it is rarely used by adults or more than one person.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Perfect children’s sledge
  • Little weight
  • Easy to steer
Disadvantages
  • Slips sideways
  • Less durable

Plastic sledges are easier for children to steer because they are lighter. In addition, they can be pulled uphill effortlessly. However, this type of sled tends to slide sideways.

This type of sled is more suitable for short slopes due to its lower stability. Its lightness also makes it fun to ride in very soft or little snow. Plastic sleds are cheap, but also less durable and not sustainably produced. The length of plastic sleds ranges from 85 cm to 105 cm. Some models can be loaded with up to 100 kilograms.

What distinguishes an aluminium sled and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Aluminium sledges are characterised by their easy handling and the very good driving characteristics associated with them. This type of sled is the best sled for frequent riders and experienced sledders. Due to the fast speed, an aluminium sledge is less suitable for beginners.

Advantages
  • Very high quality
  • Low weight
  • Good handling
  • Easy handling
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Somewhat expensive

Sleds made of aluminium are particularly high-quality models and therefore very durable. The sledge does not rust and is also well suited for experienced children. Due to its low weight, this type of sled is easy to handle. It slides very well in a wide range of snow conditions and gets going very quickly.

The models are usually designed as folding sleds and are therefore even easier to transport up the mountain. You simply fold the sled up and carry it up the mountain. Due to its lightness, it can be pulled up just as effortlessly. Aluminium sledges are somewhat more expensive to buy.

Due to the extreme manoeuvrability and speed, a less fast model is recommended for beginners. The length of this type of sled varies between 95 cm and 115 cm. The maximum load capacity is 110 kg.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and evaluate sleds based on these factors

To help you decide which sled is best for you, we have summarised the most important buying criteria. You can use these factors to evaluate and compare sleds. This will make it easier for you to decide which sled is best for you. In summary, the following criteria are important:

  • Sledge type
  • Number of persons
  • Maximum load
  • Item weight
  • Sledge dimensions
  • Type of seat
  • Size of the seat
  • Design
  • GS mark
  • Included accessories

In the following, we will go into more detail about the individual purchase criteria. This will give you a good understanding of the individual factors and enable you to evaluate their importance in the best possible way.

Type of sled

We have already described the different types of sleds in detail above. However, we would like to emphasise once again that the basic material used for a sled is the most important criterion when buying a sled. There are significant differences between sleds made of wood, plastic or aluminium.

If the sledge is intended for use by children, then a plastic sledge is the best choice. If you want to be the king of the sled as an adult, an aluminium sled is the perfect sled for you. If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy a family run together, a wooden sledge is the best choice.

Number of people

Sledging is not only fun when you’re alone. Depending on the size of the seat and the maximum load capacity, one or two adults can ride together. In combination with children, some sledges even offer space for three people. Wooden sledges in particular are ideal for sledging together because of their stability.

Davos and horn sledges even offer enough space for two adults. For two toddlers, the quality and also the space on a plastic sledge are usually sufficient. So first ask yourself whether the sledge should be suitable for several children, adults or a mixture of both.

Two adults need more space than two children and require greater stability.

Use by Suitable material Size
Children plastic 95-110 cm
Adults aluminium 90-95 cm
Families wood up to approx. 115 cm

Maximum load

As already explained in the section on the number of persons, the maximum load of a sledge is an important factor when buying it. Wooden sledges have the highest load capacity.

Thanks to the use of extremely robust wood, these sleds can carry loads of up to 180 kg. Sleds made of aluminium and plastic, on the other hand, can only carry a maximum of 100 kg.

Item weight

The weight of sledges varies from 3 kg to approx. 5.5 kg. However, the evaluation of the own weight is somewhat ambivalent. On the one hand, you should not ignore the additional weight, especially for pulling up.

Therefore, a plastic sledge is best suited for children. For all other uses, finding a compromise between lightness and stability is necessary. (Image source: unsplash.com / Cooper Le)

Here, even small differences in weight are enormously noticeable. In addition, lightweight sledges are easier to steer. Especially for children, the weight plays an important role. On the other hand, a high own weight provides more stability. Therefore, you need a sturdier sledge for family descents.

Sledge dimensions

A sledge always takes up space, whether for storage or in the car. Depending on how much space you have available, a folding sledge is also a good alternative. Sleds differ primarily in length.

Aluminium sleds are the shortest models with a length of approx. 90 – 95 cm. Plastic sleds vary in length between 95 cm and 110 cm. Wooden sleds add another 5 cm and are available up to a length of 115 cm. The various models differ in width and height by a maximum of 15 cm.

In summary, there is no one space-saving type of sledge. The dimensions vary depending on the area of use and the possible number of people.

Type of seat

Especially for regular sled rides, the type of seat plays an important role. Even after several minutes on the seat, you should still feel comfortable on the sledge. Basically, there are two different types of seats for wooden sleds. The batten seat is the classic variant.

It consists of wooden slats that form an even seat surface. The belt seat is woven from belts and is therefore the softer variant. The belt seat offers more comfort, especially for jumps and uneven stretches.

Did you know that the toboggan was first used by the indigenous people of Canada? “The Toboggan” was the means of transport for the Canadians, especially to brave the harsh winters with lots of snow.

The Europeans saw the advantages and integrated the Canadian toboggan, which had a length of around 2.1 metres, for various work purposes.

With plastic sleds, the seat is also always made of plastic. Aluminium sleds, on the other hand, are available with an aluminium seat as well as a belt seat.

With some types of sleds, the choice of seat is therefore automatically determined by the type of sled. In other cases, you should consider whether you prefer a soft or hard seat.

Size of the seat

The dimensions of the seat play an important role for comfortable sitting. Especially when there are several people on the sledge, it quickly becomes cramped and uncomfortable.

The smallest seat surfaces extend over approx. 50 x 30 cm and thus offer little space. Wooden sleds with slatted seats usually provide the largest seating area. With a maximum area of 81 x 27 cm, two adults can ride the sledge comfortably.

Design

Design plays an important role, especially with children’s sledges. The design can be divided into two main features:

  • The colour of the sledge
  • The shape of the model

Especially with wooden and aluminium sleds, the colour is usually determined by the material and not processed. Of course, you can also buy these sleds in different colours or purchase them yourself.

In contrast, plastic sleds come in all kinds of colours. In terms of shape, wooden sleds are basically divided into Davos sleds and horn sleds. Plastic sleds and aluminium sleds usually impress with their modern design. Plastic sleds in particular are made with rounded edges to reduce the risk of injury.

GS mark

The GS mark stands for tested safety. The manufacturer has his product checked by an external inspector. Tested sleds thus comply with legal requirements, which primarily relate to the safety of the product. When buying a sled, you should definitely look out for test marks. Among other things, the GS mark stands for a high-quality product.

Included accessories

Many sleds come with included accessories. Depending on the area of use, you can save money with the help of certain extras. You not only save money on the purchase of additional components, but also a lot of time. For the subsequent purchase of accessories, you again need valuable time for research and procurement.

Regardless of whether you need a pull rope for transport or for pulling up, it is always advantageous.

Especially when buying sleds for babies and toddlers, it is advisable to take a look at the components that come with the sled. There are many ways to make a sledge suitable for children. Especially in this point, a sled can stand out decisively and thus positively influence your purchase decision.

Facts worth knowing about sleds

Can I repair my wooden sledge myself?

Classic wooden sleds may need to be repaired from time to time. Broken runners, splintered wood or a broken batten sometimes occur with Davos or horn sleds. You can find suitable sledge runners in DIY stores or on the Internet. To remove the old runners, you need a screwdriver and a small hammer to loosen the glued runners from the wood.

This means that you can replace the sled runners yourself in a few easy steps. Small splinters on the wood can be quickly repaired by sanding. If the chipping is somewhat larger, you will need to use a filler. Liquid wood or wood filler is available in specialist shops.

A broken slat on the seat can easily be replaced with a new one from the hardware store. If the base frame is broken, repair is not advisable. In summary, small repairs can be carried out by yourself, provided you have some manual skills and the necessary equipment.

How can I make a rusty wooden sledge drivable again?

Rust on the runners can easily be removed with sandpaper. It is quite normal for rust to form on the sledge runners if they have been standing for a long time.

Depending on the thickness of the rust, it is best to work your way from coarse-grained sandpaper to fine-grained sandpaper. To avoid cross grooves, make sure that you always sand in the direction of travel. Finally, remove the rust with a soft cloth.

Can I make a wooden sledge faster?

In principle, a wooden sledge can be made faster. However, the cause of a slow sledge is usually the wrong driving technique. Rust-free runners are essential for a fast sledge. With the help of ski wax, you can also prepare the runners accordingly. It also helps to warm up the runners shortly before the start.

How do I steer a sledge?

You only need your feet to steer a sledge. By dragging one foot on the snow next to the sled, you make a turn. This means that you go to the left when you put your left foot in the snow and to the right when you use your right foot.

For optimal handling, the foot should be placed in the rear half of the sled. You can control the radius of the turn by applying pressure to the ground. By braking one side, it slows down and is consequently overtaken by the unbraked side. This creates the desired change in direction. Especially at the beginning, steering can be a bit unfamiliar. But no matter whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier, you should always wear a helmet.

What solutions are there if the sled pulls to the left/right?

If the geometry of the sled is distorted, it will pull to the left or right. An asymmetry is caused by an accident or incorrect storage. To find out where and how much the differences are, it is best to push a sheet of paper under both runners from the front and from the back until it sticks.

If the sled is intact, the point of contact is the same on both sides. If the wooden sledge is warped, you can work on the symmetry with the help of a file and chisel. By carefully bending an aluminium sledge, you can achieve an improvement.

What type of wood is used for wooden sledges?

Beech or ash wood is usually used for the construction of a wooden sledge. Beech and ash are very high-quality woods. However, ash wood is tougher and more resistant than beech wood. However, beech is often used because it is cheaper.

Image source: pixabay.com / 165106

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