8 Best Snow Tubes – Winter 2021 Review
Winter can bring some baggage with it, let’s just say that. Drivers need to be more alert on the roads, the weather becomes freezing, and all your driveways and sidewalks get packed with snow.
But, one of the reasons so many people get excited about the winter is to go sledding. Well, it just so happens that snow tubes are some of the best options when you go sledding.
Not all of them will be and you need to learn how to spot the phonies, so to speak. With the assistance of this guide, soon, you will be able to do just that. First, though, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market right now.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Heavy duty high grade rubber
Durable and robust
Long term tried and tested design
Fast and good stability
Good for the snow and river rafting
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST SNOW TUBES
1. Flexible Flyer
Heavy duty high grade rubber
Durable and robust
Long term tried and tested design
Fast and good stability
Good for the snow and river rafting
Only available in black
This tube is built from heavy duty commercial rubber and this means lots of stability and protection for adults and children. In terms of reliability, this tube is very unlikely to puncture and this is why it's so popular during snow season.Read more
Made from durable 100% commercially graded rubber, the quality and performance has stood the test of time and remains very popular because of it's durability, stable ride and levels of safety.
When snow tubing started to become popular, this design was the first choice for users because the heavy duty material used to make these is highly durable and not at all easy to damage. No damage means lots of continuous fun performance, safely. The rubber used in making this tube is smooth and friction free so high speed performance is easily achieved.
It is not overly heavy to carry, very user friendly in terms of portability.
You get choices depending on the age of the user. For teenagers and adults' there is the impressive 48-inch tube and for children the size friendly 32-inch tube.
Jet black and looking strong, no colors or imitation fun animal features; this looks like a heavy duty durable tube offering stability, safety, speed and durability because this is exactly what this tried and tested design gives for users.
There are many snow tubes available on the market and many of them are good. Heavy duty rubber tubes were first and the durability and stability of these tubes is beyond questioning. Years ago, people started using truck inner air tubes for rafting and snow sports. It seemed a logical choice because of the durability, stability and portability factors.
Manufacturers saw the huge potential, made a few alterations such as a shorter valve feature and the popularity of snow tubes increased with the passing of each year. This tube is a good investment and it is a design which is known to be very good.
2. Glintoper Winter
A fun design
Environmentally friendly materials
Good for adults doubling with children
Quick and easy to inflate/deflate
Safety grip handles
Some people prefer less color or/and no animal features
This Glintoper Elk gallops comfortably into being a highly ranked snow tube. The features are appealing and this is something which allows adults to double up with a young child safely or go it alone. The Elk looks good but it's also a safety feature and good for holding onto as the tube whizzes down a snowy slope.Read more
K80 PVC and PVC coated laminated-fabric is claimed to be friendly to the environment. This material retains good performance right down to a cold minus 40 degrees.
The environmental coating on the fabric has another good angle, it allows the tube to slide quickly over the snow. In terms of performance, this sled can carry multiple people and adds more fun to the fun of snow sports.
This will inflate very quickly with any standard electric pump; can also be deflated quickly for ease of portability. The valve has a double-lock design to stop the tube losing air.
The fun Elk snow tube has a diameter of: 45 inches which is an impressive size easily capable of carrying more than one person. Also available is the Unicorn design which is even larger at 49 inches.
Offered in a choice of Unicorn or Elf, this is a great design with features for safety such as grip handles. These are designed to be visually cheerful and add to the fun of snow tubing. Lots of color, features and fun.
This tube is a combination of fun, attractive design and colors, safety features and able to carry more than one person. For parents this means they can ride the tube with a young child. This tube is all about safety and lots of fun.
3. Tube In A Box
Improved safety valve stem
Multiple size options are available
It can be heavy
Does not come with an interior tube
Not just for sledding but this right here is one of the most popular models in the world because of its versatility. You have to buy the inner tube separately, which is a bit of a downer.Read more
Not only is this model made of commercial-grade rubber, but it is also UV-resistant which means it can withstand the rays of the sun.
There are no handles integrated and when it comes to performance, this is simply adequate when compared to some of the other models on this list.
If you get the monster tube, then you will have a huge hassle hauling it around. But, the other sizes are not too bad (though no straps are included).
Multiple sizes are available and if you wanted, you could go with the 68-inch model. If you and a bunch of friends want to have a good time, this may be the way to do it.
Overall, this is a pretty generic design; even though it is far from ugly. For just about everyone, this will do just fine.
To say the Tube in a Box is popular, is an understatement. When it comes to the tubing of any kind, this can get the job done extremely well.
4. A-DUDU Snow
Comes with a few accessories
High tolerance against colder temperatures
The handles are very small
Not the most durable option
If you are not willing to spend over 100 dollars, on a simple tube then there are more affordable options out there that are still generally high in quality. This right here is one such example.Read more
The good news is even though some buyers have seen small punctures form, most of the time they can be patched up. Also, this uses K80 to better tolerate colder temperatures.
The deeper and smoother bottom design allows this to gain some adequate speed down the slopes. However, the built-in handles are quite small and are not ideal for larger hands.
Being equipped with a three-in-one inflatable mouth and a double-locking valve, it is as easy as ever to inflate and deflate this bad boy.
Physical Size <
Despite the cheaper price, this is actually sized very well. It measures 47 inches in diameter and is suitable for both children and adults. Visual Style
Each separate color option (black, blue and white) has its own unique design. Each design is quite stylish and should turn some heads on the slopes.
Just understand what you are getting here and you should be satisfied. It is sized well, coated to handle colder temperatures and comes in a few different stylish designs.
5. GoFloats Winter
A repair kit is included
Much faster than ordinary sleds
Many cool design options are available
It has a tendency to develop small holes
Another option that is terrific for kids is this one right here and it is mainly due to the fun designs that are available. But, to ensure optimal performance, each design has been treated to handle cold weather.Read more
Though this is made of vinyl and said to be 100 percent thicker than the competition, various buyers have had issues with small punctures developing over time.
As opposed to normal everyday sleds, this should be faster. Adding on to this is the two built-in handles that manage to enhance the control.
While there's no tow strap integrated, GoFloats designed their model with a rapid-inflate valve. This is going to cut down on the inflate time for your convenience.
At 45 inches in diameter, this is large enough for adults to use (as well as kids). It is probably best suited for either one adult or two small kids.
Some very cool design choices are available. But, with options for a penguin, flamingo, polar bear, ice dragon, and unicorn, you can tell this is tailored to younger riders.
While not too many grown men will be sledding around with one of these, it sure is a fantastic design for the right demographic. Also, it is an affordable option for your kids.
Rainbow colors design
Good for adults and teenagers
Fitted with grip handles
Not for those who are looking for speed
This will certainly bring some appealing color to the snow slopes. This tube can carry a single person up to 250 pounds in weight. Made from heavy duty PVC with a good amount of durability. Fitted with grip handles for control and stability.Read more
Built with heavy duty PVC materials, this option has a nice level of durability and the material is effective down to a cold -25 degrees.
The performance capability is standard along with the tubes structural design; grip handles will give you some control. This can move quickly if you are experienced and know how to use snow tubes.
Not heavy, easy to carry, this inflates very quickly and also deflates quickly. No issues with portability. The overall weight is around a pound when deflated.
At around 39 inches diameter, this ring is designed at a comfortable size for either adults or children.
Rainbow colors, bright and cheerful, lots of visual appeal out on the white snowy slopes.
A standard size snow tube with a very attractive rainbow combination of colors. The size is good for teenagers, adults and should be ok for children. There are grip handles which mean safety and a fair amount of control. Durability is fine and this is easy enough to inflate, while portability is carry friendly.
7. Slippery Racer Grande
Coated with IceVex
Includes an interior seat cushion
Buyers have had issues with the outer tube ripping near the valve stem
The Grande XL is a model that is not cheap. This is in regard to the build quality and price. Although, some buyers have claimed the outer tube rips a bit too easily.Read more
Okay, so the tube itself has received some criticism for not holding up. But, this is made with a polyethylene base and is coated with IceVex (which is a cold-resistant treatment).
The polyethylene base also comes in handy when you are trying to gain some intense speeds. It is super slick and will ride the slopes incredibly well.
While the Grande XL is heavy to be hauled back up from the hill, this includes a high-strength pulley rope to help make it easier.
At 42 inches in diameter, this is not the largest nor is it the smallest model you will find. It falls right in the middle and is suitable for adults and children.
Slippery Racer designs their Grande XL in a multitude of colors and this only benefits you.
Some may feel the Grande XL is overpriced and this is somewhat warranted due to the slight durability issues with the tube itself. However, everything else is up-to-par.
8. Gemini Two-Rider
An adult can join and supervise a young child for safety
Colorful fun graphics
No need for a special air pump
Quick to inflate
Not for single riders
When young children first enter into snow tubing, safety is important and this tube design meets those needs. This is a good design, it's all about safety for children or friends double riding while having a lot of fun.Read more
Built from a thick durable vinyl with anti-freeze capability so that the material stays pliable and durable during cold weather.
Vinyl is smooth and this means very little traction while zooming over the snow quickly. This twin tube is fitted with safety handles for children to hold onto for extra safety.
Very light and folds down to a small size for easy carrying; these twin tubes do not need and special type of pumps and are quick and easy to inflate.
This twin design is 61 inches long and this means it can easily carry an adult and child, two teenagers and even two adults. Though not specifically meant for use by two adults, it is better to stay with the purpose of the design, an adult and a child.
Nice graphics and colorful, these are designed to look fun and they are fun.
Filling a niche in the market, this option is a good design and allows a parent to join a young child on a fun snow ride while ensuring adult supervision.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When you are riding down the slopes, the last thing you want is for your tube to puncture.
Can you think of anything worse than using your snow tube just a few times only to have it punctured after one of your rides? Clearly, this is something you want to avoid and the best way to do this is to assess the build quality of each and every single model you have any interest in.
But, how do you do that? Well, there are quite a few factors to keep in mind. Firstly, what are the main materials that are used? Common materials will be vinyl, rubber, polyester, nylon, and polyethylene. All of which are durable in their own right. But, you can assess the denier count of any fabrics to get an idea of how durable they are. For certain, the higher the denier count the thicker and tougher the material will be.
In addition to this, you can also assess the design of the seams and stitching. Ideally, look for models that are double-stitched to add a nice layer of puncture-resistance. Oh yeah, and most models should be coated to handle colder temperatures or implement materials (such as K80) that can better withstand extremely cold climates.
Not all models will possess the same speed and control so be sure to find the models that suit your preferences.
Even if a specific model is built to last, it may not be what you are looking for if it can’t perform. What some buyers will crave is a snow tube that can pick up insanely fast speeds. While other factors will come into play, such as the angle of the hill and the terrain you are sliding on, some models will simply be faster than others.
The main area of assessment here is the bottom. Look for bottoms that are super slick and even coated with anti-friction technology if all you want is top-end speed. Of course, if you want to go with the safer route (as snow tubes can be hard to control) look for a more textured bottom to minimize the speed (this is ideal if you are shopping for your children).
In regard to the control, you can look out for integrated handles as this can help a little bit. However, snow tubes, in general, can’t be controlled too much. Still, having handles to hold on to and to help turn it can come in handy from time to time.
Not only will you have to haul the tube back up the slopes but you will also have to haul it from home to the hill, in the first place.
There are two main reasons why it is crucial for you to pay attention to the portability of any type of sled, quite honestly. Firstly, you will need to haul it back and forth from your home to wherever you go sledding.
Secondly, once you have slid down the hill with your tube, you will need to haul it back up the hill. To make things easier on you when it comes to transporting them to the actual hill from your home, they will be inflatable. So, you can leave them deflated in the car and simply inflate them when you arrive.
With this in mind, pay attention to the design of the valves as you ideally want the most efficient inflation and deflation processes possible.
As for bringing them back up the slopes, this is where the weight comes into play. Without overcomplicating the situation, the heavier your tube is the harder it will be to pull or carry. Oh yeah, and speaking of which, with the larger and heavier models you should look for integrated tow straps. This can make things much, much easier.
It is simple; the tube needs to fit as many people as you desire.
One of the questions you need to ask yourself before you even think about buying a snow tube is who will be using it and how many people do you want to use it at the same time. Okay, so that is two questions but they play off of one another.
The main reason these questions need to be answered is it will help you determine what size you will need to buy. Not all models will possess the same diameter (which is the measurement to look for due to snow tubes being circular).
If you maybe want to sled with yourself and your children, you should look for larger models (probably over 50 inches in diameter).
However, for two children, you could probably get away with a mid-sized model (say 43 to 47 inches or so). It also depends on the individual people who will be riding.
Not to call anyone out but everyone is not made equal and two skinnier lads could probably make a mid-sized model work just fine (while someone with a bit more girth may need all the room to themselves to be comfortable). These are just some factors to keep in mind.
Who's to say you can't have the best of both worlds (a model that performs well and looks good)?
So, for a bit of fun, you can make this as important as you would like. If you really want to invest in a model that is stylish (according to your standards) then go right on ahead.
Yet, if you could absolutely care less, then do not make it a priority. Of course, with that said, never allow the visual style to trump other vastly superior attributes (such as the performance and the build quality).
Oh, and one last thing, if you are interested in selecting a model that is visually appealing to your standards then it helps when the seller provides you with several design and color options.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Due to the nature of snow sledding, you will always need to invest in a sled that can handle some abuse. As this guide is focusing on snow tubes, it means that the snow tube itself needs to be durable enough to handle the slopes.
Outside of assessing what types of materials are used for construction, you can also keep a few other factors in mind such as the quality of the craftsmanship and the cold-weather-resistance.
Unless you are aiming for complete and utter safety, you will probably not want a model that is incapable of delivering fun and enthralling rides. Some of you will be looking for the fastest models in the world as this can amplify the experience.
But, at the same time, it is ideal if you have some measure of control. So, look for models with integrated handles and super slick bottoms.
Other Factors to Consider
Arguably the worst aspect to any type of sledding is the trips up the hill afterward. Depending on how long the hill is, these journeys can be long and grueling.
However, this can be made a little bit easier if a tow strap is integrated into the tube itself. Also, nearly all models will be inflatable and this allows for easier transport from home to the slopes and vice versa.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can you use water tubes for snow?
The first snow tubes were truck inner air tubes which were already being used for water sports. People used them in summer on rivers and in winter on snow slopes. Manufacturers have taken this dual purpose into account.
In particular, heavy duty rubber snow tubes are very durable and puncture resistant and are fine for both snow and water sports. This is why the original materials and tube design remains very popular.
When buying a snow tube, look at the info given with the tube and if the tube is good for both water and snow activities, this will be stated in the product information.
q: Are snow tubes better than sleds?
This depends on what you want. Sleds are clearly much faster but newer snow tube designs are starting to resemble snow sleds and snow tubes are also fairly quick for speed.
If you are looking for speed, a sled is likely a lot faster when used in the right snow conditions. However, snow tubes can also move very quickly. Some people say there is more protection when riding a snow tube due to how we sit in the middle of the tube.
Snow tubes are durable but a very sharp object will penetrate most PVC tubes and even some heavy duty rubber tubes. This is not a problem for sleds at they are not air filled.
Really, there is not an argument for which is better because it really depends on personal preference.
q: How dangerous is snow tubing?
This activity requires common sense. Always choose snow locations that are either designated or populated by people doing snow tubing. Do not go to steep slopes in isolated locations. Snow tubes allow for a limited degree of control; unlike a snowboard or skiing, they are not easily steered. For young children, it is a good idea to choose a snow tube that can carry two people so that the child can be safely supervised.
With a good level of common sense, snow tubing is not dangerous.
q: How do you increase your speed?
Ah, and speaking of the devil. After what was just claimed you may be wondering why this is even being asked. Well, not all users will be overly concerned with their safety and if all you care about is speed, then there are ways you can go faster.
However, you do need to keep in mind that certain factors will also alter your speed. For example, if fresh snow is on the ground and the temperature is a bit warmer, the slopes will naturally be slower.
But, you can have a direct impact on your speed. Clearly, you need a snow tube that can gain incredible speeds but you can also adjust your technique. If you spread your weight across the entire base and get a running start, your speed will be enhanced.
q: Can you go tubing in the summer?
For the record, this is not alluding to if you can use these products during the summer in water (as that is actually the next question). No, this is literally addressing if you can go snow tubing in the summer.
Now, some of you may be scratching your head pondering the intelligence level of whoever asked this question. However, if you go to certain parks around the world, they will actually have an arena set up that will mimic a snow surface. That way, their customers can still enjoy the activity even when the weather increases.
Of course, you could always travel to other countries during the summertime if you need real snow (such as Chile or Argentina).
q: Will these tubes work as float tubes?
One of the best aspects of almost all snow tubes on the market is they are very versatile. Most, if not all, of them, will be suitable for summertime use in the water. Here is the deal, though.
With some of them, they will come with heavy-duty covers and these are more suitable in the snow. They may be a bit abrasive against bare skin (as you are bundled up in the winter). Thankfully, though, you can simply remove them and store them away for the non-winter seasons.
q: What PSI do you need to fill them to?
Most of you are probably aware that when you go to fill up any type of product with air, you do not want to overinflate it. No, you also do not want to underinflate whatever it is you are pumping are into but overinflating can also have serious repercussions (such as busted seams and popping).
Typically, for example with tires, the seller of a specific product will specify how much air needs to be added to their product (oftentimes with a recommended PSI). That then begs the question, what is the recommended PSI level for snow tubes?
With something like this, you will not need to pay too much attention to the PSI reading. Instead, you simply need to fill the tube until it has enough air. If it is hard as a rock then you probably have over-inflated it. But, there should also be enough air for it to perform correctly. After a while, you will get a feel for it.
q: Can they be pulled behind ATVs?
Even if you do not want to actually travel to a snow hill, you can still have fun with one of these tubes. How so? Well, it is really simple and all you need is either an ATV or a snowmobile. If you own one of these toys, because that is really what they are, then you can have some serious fun.
However, and this is critical, not all models will be suitable to be pulled behind one of these machines. If the tow strap has been integrated into the tube to handle this abuse (which should be clarified in the description) then go have fun and stay safe.