Winter is here! Are you ready for the first snowfall yet?
Unlike Charles Foster Kane, I never had my own sled growing up. I wanted to make sure my little girl didn’t grow up without one, so I made sure to look into buying one before both of us got too old.
The bad news is, just as any product that’s made out of plastic you’ll see Amazon and Walmart littered with cheap China ripoffs. The good news is, there are American brands that are sticking to making these things in the USA. I detail them below.
If you’ve ever grabbed a garbage can lid or a piece of cardboard to do your sledding on, upgrading to one of these will change your life. It’s sold under different names; on Amazon it’s sold as Lifetime Sled – Snow Works. On Walmart it’s sold as Super Saucer – Snow Works. Same as on Toynk.
The manufacturer of these sleds is Alpha International, based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. What’s phenomenal about this company is that while it would have been so easy to outsource to China, they make all their sleds in the USA.
Another company that has managed to keep its products made in the USA is Flexible Flyers, an iconic American brand.
Flexible Flyers does make a classic sled that is reminiscent of Citizen Kane’s “Rosebud”, complete with steel runners and solid wood construction. It’s been sold since 1936.
But it also makes more modern sleds, including:
- Flexible Flyer Flying Saucer Snow Sled – A giant round disc sled reminiscent of the Super Saucer. Made in the USA.
- Flexible Flyer Lightning Snow Sled (pictured to the right) – Three long sleds shaped like tobaggans made with strong resin plastic and a hard plastic bottom. Made in the USA.
- Flexible Flyer Winter Heat Snow Sled. Steerable sled with easy-to-use hand brakes. Made in the USA.
- Flexible Flyer Snow Boat Sled – Holds 2 riders to allow a parent and child to sled together. Made in the USA.
- Flexible Flyer PT Blaster – A sled for serious downhill sledders, complete with runners and a fully functional steering wheel. Made in Canada.
They also have adorable baby sleds.
These were—and are still—made in Taiwan. As it was explained to me, these snow tubes were actually designed for commercial snow tubing parks, but L.L. Bean decided to sell them to anyone. They’re solidly built, and inflate and deflate so it doesn’t take up a lot of space, and is both easy and comfortable to ride with two strong handles you can use to control the sturdy tube.
If you’re interested in more of a traditional sled, L.L. Bean confirmed to me that the Polar Slider DLX Sleds and the Sonic Snow Saucer DLX are also made in Taiwan. Another one of their best sellers, the Kid’s Pull Sled and Cushion Set, is made in Canada.
Do you know of other sleds worthy of mention here? Let us know in the comments!