Winter is always a fun and magical time, and if you plan on visiting that nearby snow resort or toboggan hill, you better be equipped with the proper equipment. Sleds and skis are definitely fun, but neither of them compare to the sheer excitement and fun of sliding down a snow-laden hill on a giant inflatable donut. Well it’s not a donut, but a snow tube.
If you’ve never tried one before, then this is the perfect moment to buy one of these surprisingly simplistic inflatable devices since you’re going to have the time of your life! Below, we have listed 4 of the most amazing snow tubes that you can currently find on the market. Take a look at each of them and decide which one would be the best for you, based on your specific needs and budget. Happy snow tubing!
Bradley Heavy Duty Snow Tube
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The Bradley Heavy Duty snow tube is our top choice for multiple reasons. First, it uses a 600 denier polyester canvas top that is extremely tough. It is strong enough to withstand bumps against rocks at speeds exceeding 20 miles per hour, and the bottom is made from slick industrial grade vinyl. You can also use this giant 58” tube in the swimming pool, lake, and river. It is tough enough to withstand daily use and will easily accommodate two kids or one large adult male.
The patent-pending sewn in tow-loop and straps make sure that you enjoy a safe ride at all times, whether you’re climbing up the hill, or sliding downrange at dizzying speeds. These Bradley snow tubes are actually the same ones that are offered at the most premium snow resorts across the world, and you can rest assured of their quality since the inner tube frame is made from 100% butyl rubber which is the same type of tube used in trucks. It can maintain a tensile strength of 425 pounds in temperatures as low as -40 F. The rapid inflate/deflate valve means that there is no need to carry a valve stem remover kit at all times.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Flexible Flyer Hurricane Snow Tube
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Want to fit two people on the same tube? Well then, you better get a tube that is at least 55” in diameter. Well guess what, you can get one of the best multi-user snow tubes currently available on the market for less than half the price of some so-called “premium” snow tubes. The Flexible Flyer Hurricane 56” is the one were talking about. It features a seamless 18 gauge PVC tube.
The tube is attached to the vinyl bottom and the rest of the body with the help of cold crack-resistant adhesive. Cold crack resistant adhesive is capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -50 F without falling apart or cracking – which means you can rest assured that your new tube is not going to fail on you unless you plan on travelling to the middle of the Arctic.
Unlike the other snow tubes which use sewn-in fabric straps, this tube features glued-on plastic handles. Don’t worry, because these guys use industrial grade superglue. This stuff is strong enough to hold the fenders and panels of your car in place, so a couple of 50 gram plastic handles should not be a challenge.
Tube In a Box the Original Snow Tube
At first glance, this may seem like someone is trying to sell you the tube from a truck tire. But trust us, because this is actually a snow tube. Or for that matter, a pool float/swim tube, thanks to its massive size. By the way, there are multiple sizes to choose from, ranging from as small as 32” (kids) to as big as 68” (really freaking big). The tube is made from 100% latex-free commercial grade rubber.
The best thing about this type of rubber is the fact that it is extremely resistant to punctures (unless you poke at it with a needle), and it does not irritate your skin at all when in contact. The safety valve system stays tucked away inside the tube and will not constantly poke into you as you ride down the hill. UV protection on the inner layers ensures that sun-rays will not heat and cause the tube to expand unnaturally. Tube covers are sold separately and come in various sizes as well as colors/patterns.
Fat Tire Snow Tube
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Just like the name indicates, this tube does indeed look like a really fat tire. The bottom is made from super slippery and shiny vinyl (22 Oz.). This exact same snow tube is used by numerous snow parks in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden. The soft foam handles are really grippy thanks to their textured finished and grooved patterns. The inner tube has been made by RubberMaster, and is one of the best quality snow tubes currently available in the market.
The outer cover is easy to remove, and comes with an easily detachable 22 ounce vinyl bottom pad. Its outer diameter is 42”- neither too small, nor too big and clumsy. The smaller size makes this tube easier to maneuver when you’re sliding downhill, and it also lets you stop faster. Also, since the area of the bottom is smaller than most other models on this list, the Fat Tire tube is the fastest of them all (less area = less friction = more speed).
Choosing the Best Snow Tube for Adults
How do you make the right choice while selecting a snow tube? Well, before we answer that question the best way to begin would be to give you an idea of what could possibly happen if you choose the wrong tube.
Even though the basic underlying principle behind these tubes is simple – to provide a slippery surface for your body to slide on while protecting against bumps and shocks via a cushion of air, the type of material used in the construction of these tubes can vary greatly. Also worth noting is the fact that these are available in various sizes, just like pool floats. And, they carry different maximum load ratings depending on their size.
So if you were to put a 200 pound adult on a 31” tube that is designed for a 80 pound kid and send it sliding down a 300 foot hill slope at 60 miles per hour, the outcome could be pretty nasty. Some cheap snow tubes are made from inferior grade polyesters and rubber, which looks nice and shiny when you buy it from the shop, but goes pop in the middle of a downhill slide as soon as you ride over a slight bump on the way down.
Poor quality construction could also mean inferiorily sewn seams which will rip apart as soon as you put anywhere near as much load as they are rated to withstand. For example, if you buy a poorly manufactured tube that is rated to hold up to 220 pounds of load, it is highly probable that the seams could come apart even if you put 200 pounds of load on it. On the other hand, a top quality manufacturer will make sure that their snow tubes are capable of withstanding loads that are well above the specified maximum value.
Okay all that is fine, but which size should you look for while buying a snow tube for adults? And what materials are the best? Well, the appropriate size for the average adult male would be anywhere between 44” to 60”. As far as materials are concerned, most manufacturers use a blend of the following – nylon, vinyl, and PVC. They all use different types of stitching patterns for their seams and support latches/cords but you need to make sure that the maximum load rating and lifetime cycle exceeds that of the competition before you buy a particular tube from a certain manufacturer.
Look for 1000 Denier-nylon, or 600 Denier-polyester. Some manufacturers will use PVC inner tubes with a nylon shielding on top. The bases will typically be coated with a harder and more slippery substance compared to the rest of the body. Make sure the tow loops and secure straps are sewn in well enough, and pay attention to the load rating of the cords or cables used in the tow loops.