Winter is our favorite time of the year. Especially when there is enough snow to actually play! But, sometimes our kids need a break from downhill skiing XC skiing and snowshoeing and all those activities that we prefer.
So, we do a lot of sledding.
There’s perks to living 1/2 block from the best and most-sledded hill in the area. And it’s even MORE enjoyable as the kids get older and can actually walk up the hill by themselves. We literally sled every day at some point. The perfect alternative when the playground is too full of snow to make movement very easy for little legs.
We also happen to try out a bunch of different sleds throughout the winter thanks to the pile that is left there for everyone to use, sleds others bring and our own collection.
This year we had the opportunity to try out two sleds from Sportsstuff. I am particularly fond of inflatable sleds because they tend to be a little more forgiving on fast hills, are easy to store (or use) in the water in the summer, and usually can hold more than one kiddo on them. Plus the round “donut style” ones are great for pregnant sledding.
We love that inflation is easy and safe and they stay pretty much sledding-ready all winter long. These have become two local favorites for sure – and tons of fun for all sledders!
And yes, we wear helmets sledding. There’s been WAY too may close calls not to. Do you??
I know it’s sometimes hard to swallow spending over $100 on a sled. I totally get it. And I would absolutely refuse to do so without the knowledge that a sled would stand up to years and years of use and abuse. The Descender is inflatable, but covered in a almost bomb-proof nylon cover which protects it from punctures and less-than-idea snow condition hazards.
Unique features of the sled:
- Works for both laying on and sitting on (with easy-grip handles for both positions)
- Molded rudders on the bottom of the sled keep it going where you want it to
- Side stabilizer wings help keep riders ON the sled
- For use with kids OR adults
While the sled isn’t intended to be used this way (though I claim that sled riding is totally open-ended and should have no rules), it’s a GREAT sled for kids to ride down on a parents’ back. We personally think it handles best when laying down, and it definitely zips down the hill.
Because of that nylon cover, the sled DOES tend to be a little heavier than others, but it’s still possible for kids aged 5+ to pull up a fairly steep sledding hill on their own. We also love how the sled tracks well enough that if kids don’t hold on to the handles, they’ll stay on pretty well. It also has a easy-pull rope that is just long enough to pull it back up, but not so long to get in the way.
While we love the Descender, the Gizmo is the sled that gets all the attention. Made specifically for kids, it does still have a high max capacity of 170 pounds (so, yes, adults have taken it down regularly also).
The kids love that it looks like a snowmobile. Adults love that it is so light that literally our 2 year old can pull it up the hill (because she’s stubborn like that).
All our kids ride it (even that 2 year old who is way too small for it…but don’t tell her that) and do so successfully.
Unique features of the Gizmo:
- Swiftex Directional Bottom
- Unique shape and design
- Super light-weight for easy riding
Now we just wish it came in a bigger adult size too!
Inflation of BOTH sleds (and really any inflatable sled):
- These sleds must be properly inflated to assure them working to their maximum potential
- Be sure to “top off” the air after they’re out in the cold for a bit and the air contracts
One of you lucky readers will win a Sportsstuff Gizmo sled AND an Airhead Double Action Hand Pump.
As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help! This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sportsstuff generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. If you’ve found this review helpful, you always appreciate you supporting us (see the top of the right sidebar for directions on how to make a donation for our efforts)! Thank you!
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