If you are looking to get yourself a snow tube, it can be quite difficult to find something that is a good design that is going to hold you out for a while without popping on you. The thing about snow tubes is that once you get a hole in them and patch it, it is likely only a matter of time before the patch stops working and you either have to decide to re-patch the hole and get yourself a brand new snow tube. In order to stop you from having to do this as much as possible we have come up with a snow tube buyer’s guide as well as a list of our picks for the top ten snow tubes available on the market so that you can make a more informed decision as well as see some of the great options that are available for you to choose from.
One of the major factors that could affect your decision is the size of the tube. The larger the tube is, the more room you are going to have to be comfortable when you are sitting in the tube. The nice thing about getting yourself a nice, large tube is that if you get a large size it will also sit nicer on top of the snow and your weight will disperse more evenly resulting in the ability to travel a further distance. It is important to note that you don’t want to get too large of a tube so that you are unable to reach the handles on the unit as this may result in loss of control.
Compare: Snow Tubes
The most expensive tubes on the market, if you can afford them will offer the best durability. These tubes will be covered in a vinyl material that will help to protect the tube from being punctured by sharp objects and the tube will last you for a longer period of time as a result. You will also notice that the majority of these tubes are heavier and they are able to handle more weight thanks to the reinforced cover on the design.
One thing that should be, and is very important in your decision making is how the handles are attached to the tube and what the handles are like. In order to get yourself a quality tube, you aren’t going to want cheap handles without reinforcement as it is very difficult to be able to patch these areas on the tube. The best handles on the market will have the handles sewn into the cover that is reinforcing the tube and therefore the handle will put much less pressure on the tube itself resulting in the tube being more durable.
One material that you are going to find incorporated into a lot of the tubes on the market is PVC. In order to make sure that you buy yourself something of a good quality it is always a good idea to see if something like PVC is incorporated into the design so that you can have a better idea as to how well the design of the tube is reinforced. The higher grade PVC used in the design, the more durable the unit is going to be. Keep in mind that generally, the highest grade of PVC is going to be found on the more expensive units on the market when you are shopping around.
Depending on the tube that you purchase, one thing that you may notice a difference on is the type of valve that is used to blow up the tube. Especially if you are going to be transporting the tube back and forth a lot it is a good idea to look for a valve that works with your vacuum or your air compressor as you definitely are not going to want to blow this big of a device up by your mouth unless you want to have some pretty sore cheeks.
This is definitely one area of the tube that can be prone to wear and tear and is sometimes one of the first spots on a tube to pop a hole. Covers that go around the bottom of the tube offer the best reinforcement on the bottom of the tube and you will be less prone to popping the tube if you find one of these. Many tubes are designed in different ways and some tubes have a circular design with a hole in the middle which does actually help to limit the possibility of a hole being created as there will be less material rubbing up against the snow on a regular basis and your weight will be spread out on different areas of the tube rather than be sitting on one spot all the time.
The main and most important accessory that your tube can come with is a repair kit. It is important to realize that you may not get a repair kit for a really cheap tube, or a higher end tube as they are either built to try and prevent popping or they are too cheap of a price to include this within the deal. It can definitely give you a bit of peace of mind knowing that you do get a repair kit with your purchase, but it is important to realize that it isn’t the end of the world as you can use tape for a temporary fix while you order a repair kit online. One other thing that you may find incorporated into some of the higher end models on the market is some kind of a tow strap that you can use in order to take the tube up the hill with ease. It is important to realize that this is just a convenience factor and generally speaking you shouldn’t have too much of a problem carrying a tube up the hill as they are generally fairly lightweight in design compared to other types of toboggans.
One way to tell the quality of a tube is to check and see what kind of a weight limit it has. The thicker the tube is and the more reinforcement that it has in its design, the higher the weight limit on the tube is likely to be and generally the safer. It is important to make sure that you get a tube that is easily capable of holding your weight as getting close to the weight limit is generally not a good idea as this puts a lot more stress on the tube and it is much more likely to pop faster. If you start to look at the very cheap units some of the units will have age recommendations rather than a weight limit and it is important to realize that these two are linked. If the age restriction is for a four-year-old child then you won’t want to put an eight-year-old on the tube as it will likely pop or experience some other undesireable fate, due to the excess weight.
Best Snow Tube Reviews
If you have a fairly high budget range, but you don’t want to go quite to the top end then this could definitely be the tube for you. This tube is available in 12 different design options in order to suit your personal preferences and is 42 inches in diameter when inflated. The tube is covered in a canvas material in order to reinforce the unit so strong that it has a tensile strength capable of supporting 425 lbs. This unit has the handles sewn into the cover in order to provide great durability and it even has a sewn in towing strap for your convenience when you are going up the hill.
- 12 different color options available to suit your preferences
- 42 inches when inflated to allow for you to have plenty of room
- Sewn in handles and tow strap for convenience and durability
- 425 lb tensile strength
- Price tag is definitely steep on this unit, but not quite top of the line
- No reinforcement patches for peace of mind
If you are looking to get a top of the line tube then this is a great option for you. This tube is massive at 50 inches diameter when it is inflated and is quite capable of holding up your body weight thanks to having 425 lb tensile strength. This tube has eight different color options that you can choose from, which is definitely a lot for a tube at this high of a price. The tube has a very strong 600D polyester cover on it which helps greatly in reinforcing the design of the unit. On this unit you will find nice sewn in handles and you will also find a tow strap sewn into the design of the unit allowing you to be able to easily bring the unit up the hill as you need.
- Massive size is great for accommodating adults and larger kids
- Eight different color options to choose from at the checkout
- 600D polyester canvas reinforced design offers some great durability
- Tow strap and sewn in handles are located on the canvas rather than on the actual tube
- Can perform well in temperatures as low as -40 F
- High price tag will definitely be out of reach for some people
If you are looking to buy yourself a cheap tube then this could definitely be a great option for you. This tube is available in a 32-inch size great for smaller children as well as a 45-inch size which is great for adults. The nice thing about this tube is that it is made so that it is fully capable of being used on top of the snow in order to provide for a fast toboggan ride as well as on the water as a flotation device. The unit has a 250 lb weight capacity which is not bad considering it isn’t covered in a vinyl or canvas material and it has a rubber coated valve design which is ideal for keeping water and snow out and keeping air in. With your purchase, you even get a one-year limited warranty on the unit to give you some peace of mind.
- Available in a 32 and 45-inch design
- Can be used in the pool or on the snow
- Rubber coated valve for holding in air and keeping other things out
- One year limited warranty on your purchase
- Low price tag is very appealing
- No canvas material covers the unit
- Middle of the unit is hollow which some users don’t like
If you like hollow tubes and want something simple and available in a huge variety of sizes then this could be a product that you may be interested in. This tube comes available as large as a 68-inch size and comes as small as 36 inches in size in order to suit your personal needs. This tube is made out of a vinyl material and is built to be tear resistant as well as resistant to UV rays so that the sun won’t ruin your tube. There is a simple rubber valve on the tube in order to blow it up and it is built so that it isn’t very noticeable and so that it won’t rub against you when you are using the tube.
- Rubber valve helps to keep air in and other things out
- Can come in a variety of sizes that range from 36 inches to 68 inches
- Can be used in the pool as well as in the snow
- UV ray resistant so that the tube doesn’t pop from the sun as easily
- Price can be high when you get into the larger sizes
- No repair kit included
If you want to get yourself something really cheap then this snow tube could be a good option for you. This tube uses 16 gauge PVC in order to reinforce the tube in order to make it more durable. There are two grab handles on the unit which are quite large and allow someone with wide hands to be able to grip onto the unit. This isn’t the largest unit on the market at just 32 inches, but it will hold one rider without issue. To give you some peace of mind since this is a fairly cheap product, you do get a repair kit with your purchase in case you happen to puncture any holes in the product.
- Made out of 16 gauge PVC
- Large handles are easy to grip
- Regular simple rubber valve makes it easy to inflate and deflate
- Repair kit is included with your purchase
- Only 32 inches round
If you have an average budget but still want to get something with a cover for extra reinforcement then this tube is a great option for you. The cover used on this tube is made out of polyester 600D which offers great protection from both friction and pokes. The bottom of this unit is coated in plastic in order to allow for even more durability and allow you to be able to sled on some rougher terrain. The handles on this unit are situated towards one side which is ideal for comfort. Another thing you will like about this sled is that there are two design options to choose from at the checkout. This sled has a satisfaction guarantee to give you some peace of mind about your purchase as well which is a great feature to have considering the price of the unit.
- Has a 600D polyester cover
- Bottom is coated in plastic for extra durability
- Handles situated towards one side and are padded for comfort
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Two design options to choose from
- No size ranges available, just the 48-inch unit
Used by professionals (snow parks) in Scandanavia, Canada and right here in the USA, Fat Tires are a well-known brand, and for good reason! With a super slick vinyl bottom, tough exterior and a foam cushion for comfort (made specifically for tiny tykes’ bottoms’ as they fly down the hill), this model includes the best quality inner tube rubber on the market. This tube is made to last, so you won’t be throwing away cheap tubes that clog your local landfill. The outside diameter is 42″, and it’s covered with the same 1000-denier nylon shell used in other commercial models. Fat Tire makes a bold claim, and I’m not sure I can verify (or deny) it! Here’s a quote from the company!
“The fat tire snow tube features the Xutte 22 oz. vinyl bottom that makes it go faster and farther than any tube on the planet.”
The top shell is durable 1000-denier nylon and it’s water repellent, UV protected and even mildew-resistant. Everything is double-stitched for strength and longevity while sporting soft foam grip handles and a leash for the return uphill. It’s not rated as a towable tube (behind motorized vehicles), so that’s my official disclaimer ….
My last bit of encouragement (which comes from some reliable sources!) is that this tube is a teensy-weensy bit faster than most would expect from a big, fat inner tube! Some users reported that they had to start lower on the hill to avoid dangerous speeds!
- Really fast
- On par with the toughest tubes on the market today (used by resorts and snow park operators)
- Price, price and, well, price
If you want to get a well-reinforced tube for a cheap price and the ability to hold a lot of people then this could be a tube that you might be interested in. This tube is actually capable of holding three people at one time. The tube is made out of 18 gauge PVC and is designed to have a smooth bottom in order to improve the speed of the unit. This unit is 60 inches in size which is quite large but doesn’t give a lot of room when you get three people on top of the unit. The manufacturer does recommend that you be at least four years old to use the unit which is something to keep in mind. To give you some peace of mind a repair kit is included with this purchase as well in case you encounter any popping problems.
- Six handles on the unit allows for three riders
- Large 660-inch surface area
- Low price tag
- Comes with a repair kit
- Made out of 18 gauge PVC which makes the unit quite durable
- Hard to control the unit with three people
- Can be squishy with three people on the unit
This tube is arguably the king of all tubes on the market! It’s so NOT CHEAP in more ways than one! It’s super duper commercial grade, and very heavy-duty. It has a slick-coated hard shell polyethylene base which absorbs impact and gives you a really smooth sliding surface. It has a coating of a proprietary (exclusive) cold-resistant treatment called ICE VEX, and it’s great for ages 4 to adult. The Slippery Racer Grande XL is used all over the world in fun parks and resorts. These 42-inch X-Large tubes are able to take a licking and won’t break or deflate even in the toughest conditions. Double-stitched handles round out this high-end tube. I mentioned it wasn’t cheap on several levels, and of course, as you might guess, the price tag is the other area where it’s NOT CHEAP! In this case, you’ll get what you pay for!
- The toughest tube we’ve seen!
- Heavy duty handles
- Built for commercial use
- includes an inflatable seat cushion
- Price tag is very steep on this unit
- Unit is fairly heavy
The Bradley is a favorite for lakes, rivers and pools, not just snow tubing! It’s made of super heavy-duty industrial vinyl with RapidGlide Technology, and it features sewn-in handles. It’s made in the USA, so we’re a big fan already! Of course, we’re blessed with tow straps to make our job of towing uphill as easy as possible. Once you’re done on the slopes, use the quick inflate/deflate valve stem remover kit right in the valve cap! We have a variety of colors, so there’s something for everyone. This Bradley is the toughest of all the Bradley line and includes 1000 denier heavy duty industrial vinyl which is a tougher (and higher number rating) than other Bradley models.
- Toughest Bradley you can get
- Inflates and deflates easily for your convenience
- Easily fits an average-sized adult with a 10-year old kid!
- Big tube so it doesn’t work well with smaller kids, and may have a tough time making down a small hill
- Not the fastest tube on the hill
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
Hopefully after reading out top ten list of the best snow tubes on the market, as well as our buyer’s guide you have learned some things about snow tubes to help you make a more informed purchasing decision. Always try and think beforehand as to how many people you need to fit on the tube as well as a budget that you want to spend as these units do really start to go up in price. Best of luck in your search and happy tubing!