The 10 Best Snow Tubes

Updated April 24, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. What are some of your favorite things about winter? Even if the list is short, it should include getting to zoom down icy hills on one of these awesome snow tubes. Our selection includes budget-priced models good for smaller kids as well as highly durable ones that even adults can enjoy (if you have the heart to tear it out of your child's hands, that is), and everything in between. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best snow tube on Amazon.

10. Aqua Leisure

The Aqua Leisure isn't as durable as most of the others on our list, but its low price point means you can buy one or two backups for when it springs a leak. It's best for smaller kids who won't put a lot of stress on the seams, which will allow it to last longer.
  • good for families with multiple kids
  • cool blue printed graphics
  • only inflates to 32 inches
Brand Aqua Leisure
Model AW4149
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. GoFloats Toboggan

Available in flamingo, penguin, unicorn, and polar bear styles, the GoFloats Toboggan makes the perfect winter gift, whether it's for yourself or a loved one. Its whimsy is matched by practical features: it's treated to withstand cold weather and inflates quite rapidly.
  • weighs just five pounds
  • large enough for adults
  • seams are a bit weak
Brand GoFloats
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Tar Tube in a Box

Whether you are looking to hit the slopes or for a leisurely float down a river, the Tar Tube in a Box is a good choice. It has a great low price, comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 36 to 68 inches, and is available with or without a colored cover.
  • made of commercial-grade rubber
  • safety valve won't poke you
  • no handles to grab onto
Brand TAR
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Chanvi Air Sled

With its holiday graphics and bright colors, the Chanvi Air Sled will certainly catch everybody's attention as you fly past them down a hill. It has two handles to grab onto and a 180 pound weight capacity, suitable for most kids and smaller adults.
  • choice of two designs
  • made of sturdy 16 gauge pvc
  • small valve makes it slow to inflate
Brand Chanvi
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. ClearCreekTubes Combo

Manufactured in Denver, Colorado, the ClearCreekTubes Combo comes with a sturdy rubber inner tube and a handmade cover that fits snugly. It's available in myriad color combinations, and each one has a reinforced vinyl bottom to keep you going on run after run.
  • canvas upper section is uv-resistant
  • cover can be used on other tubes
  • a bit slower than some models
Brand ClearCreekTubes
Model pending
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. A-Dudu Super Big

Just as at home on the slopes as in the pool, the A-Dudu Super Big has a 47-inch diameter and can support riders up to 250 pounds. It can tolerate frigid temperatures down to -40 degrees without the material cracking, and it has sturdy hard plastic handles.
  • handles large enough for gloved use
  • comes with a patch kit
  • can be inflated with a hair dryer
Brand A-DUDU
Model pending
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Fat Tire USA

The Fat Tire USA has a vinyl bottom that's specially engineered to make it not only incredibly durable, but super fast and slick as well. It also features a stitched-on leash for pulling small kids around or dragging it back up the hill.
  • nylon top is resistant to mildew
  • comfortably cushioned handles
  • manufactured in the usa
Brand Fat Tire USA
Model Fat Tire Snow Tube Blue
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Jasonwell Reindeer Toboggan

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer may pull Santa's sleigh, but did you know he has a cousin who actually is a sleigh? That's right, the Jasonwell Reindeer Toboggan is here for you to ride on down a hill, or just to pose with for pictures, if you so choose.
  • also comes as a flamingo
  • wide valve for rapid deflation
  • phthalate-free pvc material
Brand Jasonwell
Model pending
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Slippery Racer Grande XL

The Slippery Racer Grande XL has a hard polyethylene base with a slick coating that provides a fast run down any hill while protecting your underside. It is durable enough to withstand impacts from rocks and other debris, greatly reducing the chance of a puncture.
  • soft nylon handles
  • internal seat cushion
  • detachable tow rope
Brand Slippery Racer
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Bradley Winter Sports Sled

The Bradley Winter Sports Sled includes a slick cover with an industrial-grade vinyl bottom that can handle sliding across sharp rocks and ice without puncturing the rubber within. It's not just for winter either, as it can also be used as a raft in lakes and pools.
  • towing loop sewn into cover
  • available in a rainbow of colors
  • oversized for fun and comfort
Brand Bradley
Model pending
Weight 12.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

How to Protect Your Snow Tube From Slow Leaks (& Other Damage)

The majority of snow tubes have been designed with a durable liner, which is good. But this is not to say that a snow tube isn't above the occasional puncture. Fortunately, there are precautions that you can take to avoid placing your tube in a compromising position. For starters, don't over-inflate your tube to an extent that it's just waiting to burst open. Use an air pump's pressure gauge to determine when the inner-tube is nearing its capacity, then confirm the tube is full by ensuring that there aren't dead spots.

By and large, it makes more sense to sit inside of a snow tube than to lie on top of it. Winter jackets are designed with several hooks and zippers, any of which could penetrate a snow tube, especially if that tube's owner is running up and jumping onto it at the beginning of every ride. When choosing a hill, do your best to avoid any slopes that might be lined with protruding - or even camouflaged - objects (i.e., twigs, stones, or shards of glass). Whenever possible, sled down a path that's already been smoothed over via other inner-tubes and toboggans.

Whenever you're done using a snow tube for the day, be sure to wipe, or even hose down, the bottom of it. In addition, try to store the snow tube along a smooth, flat surface. Cramming a snow tube in between several sharp objects can cause minor tears when you go to pull it back out.

If you plan on using a snow tube in the ocean or on a river during the warm-weather months, make it a point to avoid any jagged rocks or shells, especially in shallow waters. Lay a beach towel over any tube that is not being used to ensure that the midday sun doesn't cause it any damage.

How To Ride Safely & Responsibly On a Snow Tube

If you live near a sledding hill or a ski resort, snow tubes can be a lot of fun. But these tubes are also unique in that they do not feature safety belts or brakes. The good news is that if you ride responsibly, you will not have a need for either one.

In the event that your snow tube is speeding toward an obstruction, your best course of action may be to pull up on one side of your tube, causing it to veer wide, or topple over. The alternative is to simply fall back until you slide off of your tube. This option should only be attempted if there is nobody behind you and you are wearing a helmet.

An effective sledding hill operates based on a social contract. All of the sledders need to be considerate of one another. They need to avoid arguing and help each other up. Sledders need to use the far edges of the hill when they're heading back toward the top. And they need to wait their turn instead of speeding down less than a second after someone else has launched.

Snow tubing should be done during the daytime, or, at the very least, you should seek out an area that has ample light. You should avoid tubing on a hill that empties out onto a street, a frozen body of water, or a parking lot.

Any tube that is full of air and smooth across the bottom should glide its way straight down a hill. Leaning back with your feet facing forward should provide an even more dynamic ride.

A Brief History of The Snow Tube

According to one legend, snow tubing existed as early as the 1820s, at which point daredevils were riding roughshod across the white-capped Alpine Mountains. This account seems dubious, however, especially given pneumatic tires and air mattresses weren't available until the 1890s. A more widely-accepted explanation maintains that World War One G.I.s discovered tubing while experimenting with the scrapped tires from their vehicles.

American G.I.s were known for chaining a rubber tire to the back of a military jeep. This jeep would, in turn, be used to whip the tire - and any attendant soldiers - around. G.I.s were also known for using a tire's rubber inner-tube as a flotation device. Manufacturers got wise to this idea during the 1920s. They began designing inflatables and life preservers for use in oceans, pools, lakes, and rivers.

Snow tubing became an outgrowth of all this, although not until the 1970s. Prior to that consumers were more inclined toward the traditional braking of a toboggan. Snow tubing gained initial notoriety thanks to skiers who had taken to riding tubes along the black-diamond slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The response was so immediate that Colorado ski resorts began renting tubes out to the public.

By the mid-1980s, snow tubing had evolved into an alternate form of sledding. The American public came to appreciate that an inflatable tube provided a lot more cushion than a wooden toboggan. Since then, snow tubing has gone on to become an even more popular form of recreation. Today, there are high-elevation ski resorts that offer snow tubing, year-round.

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Last updated on April 24, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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