Sleds are not only the perfect way for toddlers to exert energy while outdoors, they’re also a fun way to promote physical activity as well as social interaction. Sleds have been around for centuries, and although their designs may have changed their function has not.
The best sleds for toddlers today are all about fun and functionality, so keep reading to learn more about which styles consumers are buying the most!
Global market value of winter sporting goods
The winter sporting goods market has seen a steady increase in value in recent years and that’s set to continue over the next decade as more consumers look to maintain an active lifestyle during the wintertime. By 2023 its global market value reached USD 14.03 billion, with USD 2.84 billion coming from the US. That number is projected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% between 2023 and 2028.
E-commerce platforms have helped to play an important role in the market value’s increase as consumers are now able to shop online and have products that may not be available where they live delivered right to their door. Increasing exposure to winter sports on streaming platforms and television has also helped to drive interest among consumers who may not have had much of an interest in spending time outdoors in the cold weather before.
The 4 best sleds for toddlers
When it comes to the best sleds for toddlers, consumers are faced with a number of choices that go beyond what a traditional sled used to be used for. The material, shape, size, and overall safety of the sled will all be taken into account before the consumer purchases a sled for their child.
According to Google Ads, “snow sled” has an average monthly search volume of 33100. The most searches came in January at 110000 and between April and October 2023, there has been a 55% decrease in searches. Searches are higher in predominantly colder months.
When looking at the different types of sleds for toddlers, Google Ads shows that “wooden sled” and “plastic sled” come out on top with 3600 monthly searches each followed by “snow saucer” at 1300 and “inflatable sled” at 880. Keep reading to learn about the key features of each sled for toddlers.
1. Wooden sleds
The wooden sled is a timeless sled design that consists of a wooden frame and metal or plastic runners. They will often feature a rope on the front so that adults can both pull the sled along the snow and use it to steer when going down a hill with their child.
Wooden sleds are known for their durability and simple design and are a big hit with consumers who are looking for eco-friendly sleds. They’re less likely to tip over than other styles of sleds so safety is at the forefront of the design of classic wooden sleds. They do tend to be heavier though and are more likely to cause injury if a child falls on them so this is something that consumers will take into account.
Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, searches for “wooden sled” increased 21% with the most searches coming in December and January.
2. Plastic sleds
Plastic sleds, also referred to as plastic toboggans, are popular among consumers of all ages and are increasingly purchased for toddlers. The lightweight design makes the sled easy to maneuver on hills and the durable material means that it can withstand a lot of use in the winter and be easily wiped down.
The design is very simple, with a carved out seating area and a curved front, and most plastic sleds will be vibrant to make them more attractive to toddlers. Most plastic sleds will have a rope attached to the front both for steering and for parents to pull their children along in the snow.
Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, searches for “plastic sled” decreased 21% with the most searches coming in January.
3. Snow saucers
Snow saucers are a popular alternative to plastic sleds that are round rather than long, though they are still made of plastic predominantly. The simple rounded design of the snow saucer makes steering very easy and uncomplicated which is ideal for toddlers and the seating in the center also provides additional stability.
Toddlers will be able to use this sled without assistance on smaller hills – a positive for their overall development. This type of sled is usually available in different sizes so that children of all ages, not just toddlers, can take advantage of the design and it’s not uncommon for more than one child to fit inside a larger version of the sled either.
Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, searches for “snow saucer” decreased 39% with the most searches coming in January.
4. Inflatable sleds
The inflatable sled is one of the best sleds for toddlers with its unique and often fun design. Unlike rigid sleds the inflatable sled can be condensed when not in use and offers additional comfort when the toddler is seated.
These sleds will feature handles on the side for toddlers to hold onto and are controlled by leaning the body one way or the other rather than with a rope. Inflatable sleds are a fun way for toddlers to enjoy being outdoors without the worry of injuries that may be caused from heavier materials.
Google Ads shows that over a 6 month period, between April and October 2023, searches for “inflatable sled” decreased 45% with the most searches coming in January.
When consumers are faced with choosing the best sleds for toddlers, they’ll take into account factors such as the material, the durability, overall comfort, and the design. Styles such as classic wooden sleds, plastic sleds, snow saucers, and inflatable sleds are all growing in popularity among consumers thanks in part to e-commerce platforms making products more accessible as well as families wanting to spend more time outdoors as a way to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in their young children.