The 7 Best Snow Scooters
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in December of 2016. Yes, the winter can bring some uncomfortably cold weather, but it can also come with snow. That means you and the kids can scoot down the slopes or neighborhood hills on one of these nifty ski scooters. They are a good way to introduce children to winter sports, and are also available in models tough enough to accommodate adults. We ranked them by their handling and durability. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 08, 2020:
If you've got a youngster who's interested in snowboarding, but you or they are a little apprehensive about it, these scooters are a nice intro to the sport. They have to be ridden safely, however, so whether its a child or an adult scooting down the slopes, please wear all the appropriate protective gear, especially a helmet. These early years are when safety habits are formed.
Speaking of safety, we wanted there to be a baseline of durability in the models offered on our list, especially if they make specific claims about weight capacity. The dual runner models like the Railz Original Youth Kick or the Stiga Kick Bike are usually the more durable choices, even if they do have more moving parts that could theoretically break down with heavy use. Ultimately, it's more about construction materials here, and their aluminum frames hold up much better than the plastic models out there.
Dual runner models also add a lot of control, especially at high speeds, as you can create sharper turns with the handlebar connected to the front runner than you can just shiting your weight on what are essentially kids' snowboards with vertical handles on them. And if you really need something with speed and stability that's built undeniably for an adult, check out the electric option in our special honors section.
Sniejik Electric Motorized Snowboard Whether your body weight isn't enough to get going at the speeds you'd prefer, or you predominantly need to traverse level snowpack, this unconventional approach will get the job done. It rides more or less like a normal snowboard once you get use to the fact that you're moving on a giant tread like a tank. The company offers models with seats, as well, in case you think you'd get tired of standing. It can reach speeds approaching 25 MPH with a cruise control option at 5 MPH if you want to crawl along and enjoy the scenery, but the experience will cost you a pretty penny. sniejik.com
What Exactly Is A Snow Scooter?
Simply taking a wheeled scooter outside after a heavy snowfall isn’t going to get you very far.
When you first hear the term snow scooter, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s something a little more intimidating than it really is. You might picture a kind of powered snowmobile, like a Vespa or street scooter designed to tackle the frozen tundra. You’d also be forgiven for thinking that this would make a terrible and rather dangerous present for a child. Fortunately, snow scooters are both much simpler, and much safer than this.
The snow scooter is modeled after the two-wheeled children’s kick scooters you’ve probably seen some youngsters use to get from point A to point B when the weather is nice. They have a small, thin deck, soft rubber wheels, and a vertical pole positioned over their front wheel to act as a steering mechanism. In addition to being rather durable (most are made from lightweight metals), they’re also very safe to use, especially the ones that are equipped with brakes over their back wheels. Even without brakes, though, most kids can just hop off their scooters, even at relatively high speeds, and be fine.
If you’ve ever driven on ice or heavy snowpack, however, you know how difficult it can be to control a wheeled vehicle in such wintry conditions. Simply taking a wheeled scooter outside after a heavy snowfall isn’t going to get you very far. Instead, the snow scooter removes the wheels from the equation entirely, and replaces the metal deck with something even lighter. That deck, which is usually made of plastic, is modeled after skis and snowboards, its width often landing somewhere between that of either.
How To Choose The Best Snow Scooter For Your Child
Most standard street scooters have a fixed back wheel and a rotating front wheel that’s controlled by the direction of the vertical steering column and its attached handlebars. Turn the handlebars to the right, and the scooter turns right. To the left, it turns left. Not all snow scooters are made this way, however.
About half the snow scooters on the market have similar decks, but with a pair of small runners in place of wheels, providing the same kind of articulation up front that you would have on a street scooter. The other half use solid runners as their decks, and the only way to turn them is for your child to shift his or her weight in the direction they want to go.
If your kids want to use their snow scooters to zip around a relatively flat neighborhood, then an articulating model is probably best.
The dividing lines here are primarily between age groups and terrain. The youngest children would do well on a fixed scooter, as their motor skills don’t lend to much beyond traveling in a straight line, and they might find an articulating model too tough to even get moving. Slightly older children would do better on a snow scooter that they can steer with an articulating deck. These models are often a bit slower, however. The oldest kids who have a bit more control over their gross motor functions can enjoy the challenge of steering a fixed-deck snow scooter. Like a good snowboard or set of skis, however, these models can get pretty fast.
That notion of speed lends us to the terrain issue. If your kids want to use their snow scooters to zip around a relatively flat neighborhood, then an articulating model is probably best. They’ll have an easier time dodging a variety of obstacles if they can turn their scooter on a dime. If, on the other hand, your child wants to use his or her snow scooter like a snowboard with its handle there as an added balancing tool, they’ll want something fixed that can gain as much speed as possible when racing downhill.
Once you’ve decided between a fixed and an articulating snow scooter, you can focus on the other practical and not-so-practical differences. Weight capacity and deck size will matter if your children are unusually large or small. After that, you can focus on things like color and style, making sure that you’re getting something your little one will be proud to show off around the neighborhood.
A Few Words About Snow Scooter Safety
Snow is soft. Kids play rambunctiously in it all the time, so you might not be too concerned about your kid’s overall safety when playing out in the stuff, even if he or she is out on their snow scooter. We’re here to warn you, however, that there are some significant perils to playing on a scooter, but that with a little care and forethought, your kids can be safer than ever.
This means a hat, gloves, and a coat, but it also means enough layers of clothing underneath that they won’t get too cold if they’re out past dark and the temperature drops.
For starters, they have to wear a helmet when they’re out on the scooter. It may seem silly given the softness of snow, and you’re kids will certainly resist the request, but it’s vital that they comply. Some of these scooters can get pretty fast, and if your kids are going downhill in a park, for example, they could very easily lose control and end up crashing into a tree at high speeds. Even if they’re just moving slowly along a snowy sidewalk, a helmet is a necessity. All it would take is one large rock hidden in the snowpack for your kid to fall and bang their head dangerously hard. Something as simple as a helmet will protect them greatly.
Make sure your kids have proper footwear, as well. A good pair of boots is essential, even if they’re only going out for a little bit. The conditions on sidewalks and slopes can get icy fast, and moving on these scooters requires that your children push off with their feet. One little slip could send them tumbling if they don’t have a good bit of rubber beneath their feet for traction.
Finally, make sure they’re properly layered before they head out. This means a hat, gloves, and a coat, but it also means enough layers of clothing underneath that they won’t get too cold if they’re out past dark and the temperature drops. Something moisture-wicking would be ideal as a base layer here, as it’ll keep them drier.