I asked Julie to come and write this guest post since she has tested these skis for literally years now almost daily with snow on the ground. While we posted a review back in 2014, the skis have been updated since then and she has tested far more than we have been able. As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments and we will both answer!
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I started snowshoeing last year when my son was just shy of two and started looking around for a way to bring him along in his warm and comfy Chariot. Thule offers a ski kit with a tow attachment for the chariot, but at over $300, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on buying it. I briefly considered trying to make my own, but then I found the very affordable Polar Stroller skis! For a set of three, I paid around $125 and really felt more comfortable about the purchase, like I would use them enough to justify the cost.
We’re on our second winter with the Polar Stroller skis now and I really have used them a lot! They’re a little bit like using cross country skis. They work best in groomed snow or hard packed, icy snow. The skis are a little short and also the trailer and kid are heavy. It’s really just a beast to try and pull through deep powder. In the right conditions though, it glides nicely. I expected it to be a bumpy ride, but sometimes I think it rides smoother on skis than just walking down the a road on stroller wheels. I don’t have a fat bike, but I know people use two skis to pull a trailer behind their bike in the winter, and I imagine it would be smooth and comfortable for the passenger. Something to note, turning around or sharp turns… not smooth! Kind of difficult really.
My favorite thing about using the Polar Stroller skis as opposed to the Chariots ski attachment, is that they just clip on to the bottom of the tires. That means we can walk from our house and down the street using our wheels. When we get to the trail, I can just take the skis from their bag and pop them onto the tires and off we go. Then when we’ve finished and make it back to the street where I don’t need skis anymore, I just take them off and put them back in the bag and off we go!
The skis come with a carrying bag that has a long strap, which I’m able to dangle over the handlebars of the stroller. It’s super convenient. If I tried to do this with the ski attachment, then I would have to walk to the trail storing the bigger skis, take off the tires and find somewhere to store all three of them, then put the skis on and reverse when we finished. Kind of a lot of things to try to be carrying and just not an easy transition. The Polar Stroller skis make the walk/ski transition really easy and I’m able to do it quickly without waking up my sleeping kiddo.
Another great reason to enjoy having the skis clip to the tires, is that then all three wheels are on the ground and makes the stroller stable enough that I can push it or pull it! Not an option with the Chariot ski attachment. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to push it to the trail and then pull it after I get my skis or snowshoes on.
The big downfall, I would say, is that Polar Stroller does not come with a towing system. It’s a lot easier to pull it most of the time. It’s possible to make your own tow kit and harness, but I have just been using ropes, straps, the dogs leash… anything handy!! They’re not really very comfortable, but gets the job done.
If I’m climbing a hill or on a flat, I pull the stroller with a rope. If I try to pull it down a hill, then there is nothing stiff between me and the stroller to hold it back and then it runs me over or skis off beside me and off it goes. So basically if I’m going to go down a hill, I need to move to the back of the stroller and push it. This also means I really can’t cross country ski if there’s any chance we’ll be going down a hill, but that’s probably just good safe practice anyway… I’m sure we’d all just end up in a big heap on the way down, tow kit or not!
Polar Stroller skis come in different sizes and you can buy as many as your stroller requires, so really anyone can use them! We use them while snowshoeing or cross country skiing. My kiddo is nearly three now and still enjoys a nap in his Chariot while I’m out enjoying some winter sports, so in terms of longevity, they’re worth the investment. And he’s just so much warmer and happier riding in his Chariot than riding on my back, not to mention less chance of me wrecking and squishing him.
I highly recommend them! And I’m so grateful for the innovative mother who designed them, so that we can keep adventuring all winter long!
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