A hill that is covered in snow is begging for you to slide down it. You could opt for skiing or snowboarding, but that might set you back hundreds of dollars. The best snow tubes, on the other hand, might set you back the amount you’d pay for lunch. In return, you’ll be able to have family fun whenever the snow decides to come.
The Best Chart for Snow Tubes
Snow tubes must have some unique design features in order to work properly. You don’t want the bottom of the tube creating resistance on the snowpack below. You also want good hand holds and a tube that is lightweight in case you need to carry it back to the top of the hill. These top-rated snow tubes definitely make the grade.
|Bradley Heavy Duty Snow Tube with Cover|| 4.4 ||$$$$|
|Pipeline 3D MegaBlaster Polar Bear Cleartop Snow Tube|| 4.3 ||$|
|Flexible Flyer Hurricane 56 Inches|| 4.0 ||$$|
|Bradley Heavy Duty Snow Tube with Orange Cover|| 4.4 ||$$$$|
|Emsco Super Snow Tube|| 4.0 ||$|
|Snow Sliders Body Glove Double Trouble Snow Tube|| 5.0 ||$$$$|
|Tube In a Box the Original Swim and Snow Tube|| 4.0 ||$$|
|Flexible Flyer Aurora|| 4.3 ||$$|
|Tricam BT-45 Inflatable Swim and Snow Tube 45 Inches|| 4.3 ||$$|
What Are the Advantages of Using the Best Snow Tubes?
The primary advantage that a snow tube can provide you is speed. When you’ve got a good hill and a long tubing run, then you will feel the wind in your face. This is when snow tubing is such an addictive activity. If you’re planning to take your snow tube to a winter resort or organized hill, keep in mind that most sell tickets by the session, so you’ll need to plan to meet a specific time for this activity.
You’ll also find that the best snow tubes offer this additional advantages.
- They fit almost every size of rider. Unlike sleds, which need separate designs for children or adults, a snow tube can support virtually any size of rider. Because of the speed a snow tube can achieve, however, they may not be suitable for very young children unless an adult is riding with them.
- They are easy to transport and store. It only takes a few minutes to inflate a snow tube once you arrive at a hill. When in a deflated condition, you can fold up the snow tube to fit into the trunk of virtually any vehicle. That’s definitely something that a standard sled is unable to do.
- They offer multiple design options. If you want a snow tube that can fully support two riders, then there are several makes and models that can make this happen. Most tubes are circular in shape, but there are other options here as well. This allows you to get the perfect snow tube for your individualized needs.
Snow tubes are perfect for sledders who are always on the go… or sledders who might only make it out to a hill or slope once or twice per year. This is because they are lightweight, affordable, but still a whole lot of fun.
What Are the Prices of the Best Snow Tubes?
Entry-level snow tubes tend to be priced around $20. These models tend to have limited features and some may not have hand holds to stabilize your ride.
Most sledders are going to find a great snow tube for $40 or less. At this price level, you’ll receive a feature-rich snow tube that will glide consistently. Premium snow tubes are priced above this point, including larger models that seat more than one person.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
This is one of the best snow tubes to use for general sledding and sliding. It’s easy enough to take this snow tube with you to a large run or you can just use it in your backyard if you have the right hill. Hand holds allow you to stay stable while going at higher speeds, while a deeper than average sitting well helps to make sure you don’t become unbalanced for some reason. Gliding is excellent with this snow tube as well.
Sometimes you want to make a fashion statement while you are out on a public hill or tube run. This polar bear design will help you do just that. We also like this design because it gives you the option to go down a run headfirst if you prefer – or if the rules allow. Two sets of handholds make this a good snow tube for families with young children as well. Speeds were a little slower than average and the 16-gauge PVC is a little low, but otherwise this is a great value purchase.
This 56-inch snow tube gives you the experience you’ve come to expect from one of the top brands in the industry. The speed on this snow tube is good, the hand holds are placed in good positions, and you’ll receive a repair kit with your purchase. The 18-gauge vinyl is strong enough for most runs as well. Just remember to fill up this snow tube when you reach your preferred hill – filling it up in warm air and then going into a cold environment tends to cause this snow tube to pop.
Did you grow up using a toboggan? Or an extended sled? Then you’re going to love this fun inflatable. It incorporates the traditional toboggan length with the modern inflatable technology so that you and your best friend can race down a hill together. You can also safely go down a run head-first thanks to the design of this tube. It’s big, it’s durable, and you’re going to want more than one of these if you have a large family because everyone is going to be fighting over who gets to use it.
Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The old-fashioned snow tubes still do a pretty good job of getting you down a hill safely and with a decent amount of speed. The well in this particular tube is a little wide, so it’s better for adults than younger kids. Lie flat to avoid getting some butt burn on the snow as well, which will reduce your speed. There’s also a 250-pound weight limit that you’re going to need to follow for best results. As an extra benefit, this one works pretty well as a river float during the summer months too.
A Quick Guide to Snow Tubing
The best snow tubes prove that there are more ways to enjoy a snowy slope beyond snowboarding or skiing. It is an activity that has grown in popularity to the point where most resorts that offer skiing and snowboarding will also offer a tubing park. There are even dedicated snow tube parks that are popping up around the world right now.
In order to enjoy this activity, however, there are certain care instructions that are important to follow to make sure that your snow tube is able to successfully work as intended.
- Keep the inner tube deflated when not in use. Having a snow tube that is constantly inflated might be convenient for some households, but it will also reduce the life of the product. The consistent inflation places pressure on the seams of the tube, which will eventually cause them to burst.
- Always deflate the snow tube before entering a warm room. The warm air in the room will cause the air within the snow tube to begin expanding. When this occurs, it can become virtually impossible to find the valve stem so the air can be released. In rare instances, bringing a fully inflated snow tube into a warm room may even cause it to burst.
- Take the cover off of your snow tube during storage. If your snow tube comes with a cover, then it is important to store them separately. Otherwise moisture from the snow will become trapped between the inner tube and the cover, which will cause mold or mildew to begin forming.
- Make sure your snow tube is dry before storing it. You should never store a snow tube while it is still wet. This will affect the integrity of the product over time. Wipe the snow tube dry and hang the cover somewhere warm so that it can air dry for best results. Once you are certain the rubber inner tube is dry, then store it in a place that is dark and dry – especially for the extended off-season storage which may be required.
- Avoid sunlight whenever possible. If you have a snow tube that is lying out in the sun for an extended period of time, then the UV light will begin to degrade the integrity of the product. If it has to be outside, then flip the snow tube over so the bottom is exposed instead. This will give you the best possible defense. Never expose rubber inner tubes to direct summer sun light as this will degrade the tube very quickly.
Are You Anxious to Hit the Slopes?
Once you’ve taken these steps to manage the ongoing care of your snow tube, then you’re ready to hit the slopes. Here are some things that you’re going to want to know before you pull up to a hill and begin to inflate the best snow tubes you’ve just purchased.
- All tubing resorts will likely require you to sign a waiver. Snow tubing is a relatively safe winter activity. This is especially true when comparing it to certain skiing or snowboarding runs. That doesn’t mean that an injury won’t occur. For this reason, most resorts will require a release of liability waiver to be signed. Many offer the waiver online so you can print and sign it at home. This waiver from Bear Creek Mountain Resort is a good example of what you should expect to see.
- Most snow tubing hills run in specifically timed sessions. You will typically see either a 2-hour session or a 3-hour session offered by snow tube hill providers. This doesn’t mean you can just roll up, buy a ticket, and then have 2-3 hours of fun based on your schedule. Sessions begin at a specific time each day. If a 2-hour session begins at 3:30pm and you roll up at 4:30pm, your ticket will likely buy you 1 hour of snow tubing instead of two.
- Be aware of negligence clauses. Some waivers say that you agree not to hold a hill provider responsible for injuries that may occur due to their own negligence. This may not always be a legal provision to have included. If you’re concerned about the conditions of the facility you’re thinking about using, the benefit of having a snow tube is that you can go sledding virtually anywhere.
- You may need to pay cash for your tickets. You might be able to get your waiver online to go snow tubing, but most resorts don’t offer the ability to purchase tickets online. You’ll have to show up at the resort and tickets will often be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring cash in case credit/debit cards are not accepted.
- Always hook your snow tube to the lift or “magic carpet.” Many resorts have started to install lifts that will take you and your snow tube back to the top of the hill. You’ll need to hook your tube to the lift in most cases to stay in place. Don’t try to take any shortcuts with this process. The potential of damage or injury rises when the lift or magic carpet is not used as intended.
Are You Ready to Use the Best Snow Tubes This Season?
When snow begins to fall, thoughts begin to run toward Thanksgiving, Christmas, and good times with the family. We all have traditions that we follow during these months that make these experiences so special and memorable. This year, why not add snow tubing to your traditions?
The best snow tubes are highly affordable. They give you plenty of speed without compromising your control. You can store them without taking up much space and they’re much easier to transport to a hill than a sled or toboggan. Give snow tubing a try and we’re confident that you’ll be hooked, especially if you’ve used the snow tube reviews to find the best make and model for your needs.