Adult sledges for hiking in the mountains
The desire to go back up the slope to enjoy the sliding down has probably always existed. After childhood, it's best to find an adult sled if you want to continue to enjoy these sensations.
In fact, some animals themselves enjoy it. So
So without further ado, let's dive into the heart of the matter : what is mountain sledding ?
Like mountain skiing, mountain sledding is designed to move up and down in natural mountain areas.
Also known as hiking sledding, it allows you to practice the activity of hiking sled.
A sled for adults
Definition of the rando-luge
Let's start by defining for us and in the environment we are interested in what hiking and sledding is.
Hiking is the act of moving in the mountains driven by one's own muscular action. Thus, the fact of carrying out an ascent in mountain, even at a measured rhythm, requires an important effort which makes it possible to define the hike as an outdoor sport.
If the hike does not require a sufficient effort to solicit an adaptation of the body such as the increase of the cardiac rhythm and breathing, it will be then rather question of walk.
In France, the sled is commonly defined as a machine that slides, turns flat and goes in the direction of the greatest slope.
In our specific case of sledding, we need to steer to avoid obstacles. We can therefore redefine this sled as an equipment that allows its user to slide in a seated position close to the ground.
This definition includes handiskiing. I would like to point out that what distinguishes a sled from a touring sled is the special effort put into its design for touring.
Characteristics of the touring sleds
Here is a list of the main features of winter hiking equipment.
- a compact sled for easy transport
- to limit the effort required, a light sled
- a precise trajectory to avoid obstacles will be obtained thanks to a handy sled
- a sled with powerful braking that stops immediately in case of danger
- the lift of the sled that allows to practice in deep snow or powder
- a sled for hard snow that has an excellent grip to evolve safely
- the robustness of a solid sled that is irreproachable in the face of the conditions encountered and extreme use related to the wilderness environment
- multiple features that allow to optimize its use. For example, some sleds can be used to climb !
- Finally, the quality of the glide.
Therefore, arobust equipment, adapted to a large number of terrains and snow conditions is essential but not sufficient.
In addition, a gliding machine capable of making short turns and stopping instantly will give you that feeling of mastery and security essential to feed your confidence.
Finally, the size and weight are important points that also contribute to safety by limiting user fatigue.
To do this, some convertible sleds provide several uses. This allows to reduce the amount of material carried and to reduce the weight of the equipment.
In the end, all of these characteristics make your sledding trip more pleasant and memorable.
As you will probably have understood, the adult sleds are the most performing sleds on the market..
While this article covers all types of sledding equipment, you'll probably be happy to know that we're going to start with what we think is the best sled for rando sledding.
If you're in a hurry, the snow is falling outside your window, and you're itching to get out on the mountain, the first chapter will give you the answers to finding the best performing adult sled in 2022.
|Authorized on the ski slopes
|Maximum possible slope in very hard snow
|Excellent with a ski sole
|Carrying capacity in deep snow
|good up to 30cm of powder
|good up to 30cm of powder
|Cornering grip on hard snow (25° slope)
|Excellent with an edge grip
|Max user weight
|Ease of use
|weight carried on the way up
|Overall dimensions on the way up (cm)
|L 35 x l 30 x h 10
|L 110 x l 68 x h 26
|L45 x l 35 x h 10 + pompe L30 x D 6
|L 86 x l 36 x h 24
L 135cm, 100 mm at the skid
Backpack storage volume 35l
opening 24 x 23cm
In the 1970's, sledding took a leap forward.
At that time, some precursors are interested in the sled type Paret by going further than what already exists. They wanted to make this sled foldable, in order to optimize its size.
The first system is breathtakingly simple.
The second hiking model from this period is fascinating. I will present it to you without dwelling on it since it is presented in more detail in a dedicated article.
Although this model cannot be used with snowshoes, it is suspended, particularly strong with a curved, mechanically welded frame and folds away completely.
SNOOC adult sled
Definitely the best adult sled of our selection..
First of all, it is one of the few new sleds that is allowed on the ski slopes in France, but also abroad and as far as China! You might as well say that the playground is unlimited !
This ultra-compact winter sports equipment folds up to be easily stored for transport.
Moreover, it is a three-in-one solution since it allows you to go hiking, to go down off-piste and to evolve in the ski resort by using the ski lifts.
One size fits all, so the whole family can sled. The precision of the trajectories is excellent and the stop is immediate. The lightest in the backpack when climbing.
The most astonishing thing is obviously the quality of the sensations it provides. To be convinced, you just have to look at the pictures of the practice and discover the testimonies of the first users.
You can consult a complete file on SNOOC and its use. You should know that there are a large number of routes listed by SNOOC.
The feeling of sliding
Quick to get started
Authorized on the ski slopes
Accuracy of trajectories
2 in 1 for the ascent and descent
1 size only
Limited bearing capacity in case of deep fresh snow (+ 30cm)
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Adult sleds with two skis
The first idea that comes to mind is to mount a seat with one or more skids to slide on.
And as we are always looking for lighter, more practical and more comfortable we will discover some totally awesome sled creations.
The first one dates back to 1860 ! A folding chair in the style of the wooden deck chairs you know well.
The system is ingenious but probably not adapted to the descent because too fragile. It will probably be used more on the large frozen areas to walk in pairs, pushed by his partner.
Let's focus on our second find, which dates from 1897.
The first touring sled to my knowledge. This time mounted on snowshoe skis. The sled still has two runners on the descent, but these can be disassembled and used in an upright position like skis.
The sled is thus transformed into snowshoe skis (which the inventor describes in his presentation as a transformable snowshoe)
The interlocking binding system makes it possible to transform snowshoe skis into a sled and the sled into snowshoe skis in a very short time.
Three years later,
A small improvement is made to the previous rando-luge solution
This one brings a third possibility. In addition to transforming the snowshoe ski into a sled, this model can also be used as a downhill ski with a rigid frame that takes the calf of the user.
Since 1900, the general public has been able to use the same equipment for ski touring, ski sledding, snowshoeing and sledding.
Probably the best sled in existence compared to what was available on the market at that time.
Adult FAT sled
Its bearing capacity in deep snow
Its size and weight
Standard sleds, such as the Davos sled, are not included in this article, as they are generally used on groomed and specially prepared trails. Namely, they do not meet the definition we propose on the criterion of optimizing the sled for hiking in various terrains.
Nevertheless, you will find many routes prepared and adapted to these sleds in German-speaking countries. These routes, which are sometimes only accessible on foot, are of course great examples of sledding routes.
We have listed many of these adult trails. To receive information about them, subscribe to our newsletter and contact us.
Foldable wooden sled
An exception among the traditional sleds that seek to adapt to the rando-luge with a particularly successful work on space.
Unfortunately, the two-skate sleds are not very easy to handle and require very well prepared tracks. This is what you can find in Austria or Switzerland !
Adult plastic sled
Adult sled bucket
More recent, the Snolo model also seems to be designed for hiking. Quite bulky but definitely stylish. An all-carbon model at $3000 that despite its imposing stature, remains relatively light, weighing only 4 kg.
Comfortably seated in your cockpit, all that's left to do is hurtle down the slopes
Slim and sleek, this sled has been designed to be easily transported. The monoski folds inside the tub. The straps provided allow you to carry it like a simple backpack.
However, beware of stones and jumps. The fiber, and in particular the carbon fiber, do not support the shocks and resist rather badly to the abrasion.
The manufacturer has since developed the Scion model in a more shock tolerant plastic. The initial lightness is unfortunately no longer there.
Its design and conception
limited practice space
Adult sled from hypermarkets
We will make an exception following a magical meeting with Bruno Pratx, an atypical mountain guide from Briançon. He is a passionate and exciting guide who offers outings sledding in mountainous territory with plastic sleds.
I would like to point out that the sleds that were originally commercially available were modified to meet the requirements of his outings on wilderness routes.
its resistance (original)
The snow bodyboard takes you headfirst down the snowy slopes. Stored in a backpack, you just have to inflate it, once you reach the top, to enjoy an epic descent.
If it passes through a large number of terrains, it is not authorized on the ski slopes. Therefore, it is out of the question to use or cross a slope in the resort. The security of the slopes generally intervenes very quickly and the continuation of the descent is less pleasant !
Other adult sleds with the head forward exist, but they are not really optimized for sledding. Even if the sensations are there !
You can find them in our article The elongated sleds.
Feelings at ground level
maneuverability in very hard snow
The Sack Sled
The sled bag takes the opposite of space saving! Since the bag is essential for hiking in the mountains... the solution is to turn the bag into a sled.
This is a typical case of a sled with multiple features.
With high strength requirements, the hull must be particularly strong. In particular for support the weight of an adult, resistant to shocks, to abrasion and over time.
Be comfortable when descending as on the way up.
In 2005, this hiking sled that turns into a backpack was born and brings a real innovation in the adult plastic sleds.
Its pronounced bow is reminiscent of a boat's bow, which allows it to split the snow.
Its robustness ++ !
The shovel sled
Apple sled or buttock sled according to the name given by the manufacturer.
Although it does not particularly correspond to our definition of hiking sled.It must be recognized that his small footprint and its lightness deserve a few words.
Its use in off-piste terrain is however limited to a few specifically adapted itineraries. For example, well marked snowshoeing routes with pronounced edges so as not to leave the trail.
The back position does not make it easy to carry a backpack, which will tend to drag on the ground. You can put it on your legs and sheath your abs to lift your feet all the way down.
The comfort remains very rudimentary, the almost direct contact with the asperities of the ground can develop bedsores if you make one intensive use.
That said, for a low investment and almost no constraints, you can enjoy some fun passages in your winter hikes... So why deprive yourself ?
Shovel sledding... with two approach skis !
The shovel sled approach is a particularly interesting attempt to multi-functional sled.
The additional weight that the user carries in his bag is limited to the adapter plate.
Indeed, the shovel is part of the essential equipment for any mountain hike in snowy conditions. As for the skis, they ensure the displacement with the descent as with the rise.
Moreover, the lift of the two skis side by side must be interesting.
Should it be classified as a shovel sled or a two-ski sled ?
In short, an almost perfect attempt...
But to put on the skis, you need rigid or semi-rigid cramponable boots... not very comfortable, neither for the ascent nor the descent.
Anyway, according to its inventor, the maneuverability on both skis on the descent is not as conclusive as he hoped 🙂
A must in lightness
Motivation to do it yourself
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You can also consult our adult sled buying guide (coming soon)