Which bobsleds are best?
There’s a wide variety of recreational sled and sleigh products with features borrowed from bobsleds, the high-speed vehicles so iconic in international winter sports. Adults and kids who are fans of competitive bobsledding will relish the rugged designs and steering mechanisms of these “bobsleds.”
The Yukon Hammerhead Pro HD Steerable Snow Sled is top-of-the-line when it comes to durability and precise control, though the features of other bobsled-style products may be more desirable for customers interested in team sledding, child safety and other variables.
What to know before you buy a bobsled
The difference between competitive and recreational bobsleds
The competitive racing bobsled, also known as a bobsleigh, is a large sleigh with steel legs called runners, an aerodynamic outer shell and room for two to four athletes. These precision-engineered vehicles are steered down twisting tracks of ice during the Winter Olympics and other high-profile winter sporting events. Recreational bobsleds, in contrast, are much smaller, don’t have an outer shell and are designed for smaller, more natural slopes.
The difference between recreational bobsleds and other sleds
The main difference between recreational bobsleds and classic toboggans or saucer-type sleds rests in how they’re controlled. Recreational bobsleds frequently come with a steering mechanism that can turn a pair of front-mounted runners left or right. Simpler sleds with no mechanism change directions when their riders shift their weight back and forth. Recreational bobsleds are also generally more expensive due to their moving parts and sturdy materials, but can be more precisely steered.
Safety tips for recreational sledding during wintertime
When taking a recreational bobsled out to the nearest park, hill or shallow basin, survey the terrain for possible safety hazards, such as hardened patches of ice or snow, obstacles such as rocks or trees, streets or bodies of water. Also be sure to dress for the winter weather, wearing warm layers beneath waterproof outer coats and trousers.
What to look for in a quality bobsled
When blankets of snow cover the earth, the hills and slopes of public parks swiftly become littered with the broken fragments of cheap plastic sleds. To keep this from happening to your bobsled, make sure to purchase one with the toughest base material you can find, be it metal, sturdy wood or some kind of reinforced polymer.
Reliable steering and braking mechanisms
Conventional sleds such as saucers or toboggans can be safely ridden only on shallow slopes or large slopes free from obstructions. If you’re looking to sled down a large slope with potentially hazardous obstacles, it’s important that you have a way to deftly steer your sleigh or bring it to a halt in an emergency. Look for bobsled-style products with steering or braking systems that will stay functional no matter how fast the sled goes.
Room for adult and kid passengers
When purchasing a recreational sled, it’s generally good to make sure it has the room to accommodate at least one adult and one kid. Children interested in emulating the antics of bobsled racers will enjoy riding a sled with room for multiple people. These kinds of two-person sleds also give adult guardians the option to ride down slopes with their kid and keep them extra safe.
How much you can expect to spend on a bobsled
Competitive bobsleds used for winter athletic events can cost between $30,000 and $80,000. Sturdy recreational sleds with the steering systems and multi-person capacity of bobsleds range in price from $100 to $200.
When was competitive bobsledding invented?
A. According to the official Olympics website, the modern sport of bobsledding was invented in the 19th century by Swiss athletes. They created the first bobsleds by combining multiple flyer sleds together, then adding a steering system and an outer protective casing.
What materials are bobsleds made of?
A. Modern bobsleds designed for winter spots are made of steel, fiberglass and other light, strong materials. Recreational sleds, in contrast, are frequently made of tough plastic, resin, steel, aluminum or even wood in the case of more old-fashioned models.
What are the best bobsleds to buy?
What you need to know: This precision-engineered aluminum frame sled is an excellent option for winter sledding enthusiasts of all ages.
What you’ll love: Made from aluminum and polycarbonate material, with a steel leaf-spring steering system, the Yukon Hammerhead is a durable sled with the maneuverability and reliability needed to tackle challenging slopes.
What you should consider: This sled is on the expensive side and can’t easily be disassembled for storage.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bobsled for the money
What you need to know: This sled has a top-notch steering system that gives users excellent control on winter slopes.
What you’ll love: The sled comes with a steering wheel that controls its front runners and a central metal handbrake for emergencies. It also has a tow line for ease of transport.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have the room needed to hold two riders.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The fun features of this stylish bobsled make it a great product for kids age 3 and up.
What you’ll love: This bobsled-style product has steering and brakes similar to those on competitive bobsleds, plus space for two riders. These features make it a fun, controllable ride for kids trying to emulate the exploits of Olympic bobsledding teams.
What you should consider: The price of this sled is fairly high compared to equivalent kids sleds.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Coleman Gailloreto writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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