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Sledding vs. Tubing - How to Choose the Perfect Downhill Experience

Happy kid sledding

Sledding is a classic winter activity, but it’s not the only way to spend a day sliding down snowy hills. If you’re looking for a bit more thrill, there's another option out there... tubing! While both activities are fun for the whole family, there are some distinct differences that make each activity unique. Let's delve into the distinctions between sledding and tubing to help you choose the perfect snowy adventure for your family.

Equipment: The Sled vs. The Tube


Sledding is a classic and timeless winter tradition. Whether it's a traditional wooden sled, a modern toboggan, or even a makeshift creation from household items, sledding is a versatile and informal activity. Participants typically sit or lie on the sled and use their body weight and perhaps a bit of steering finesse to navigate the downhill journey. It's an activity that can be enjoyed with minimal equipment, making it accessible and open to creative interpretations.

There's also an option for more heavy-duty sleds! Check out A+ Outfitters for their Premium Snow Sleds.


On the flip side, tubing involves the use of inflatable inner tubes specifically designed for gliding down snow-covered hills. These tubes are equipped with handles or straps, allowing riders to hold on as they zoom downhill. Tubing often takes place in designated tubing parks or tubing hills, complete with groomed lanes and, in some cases, tow systems to effortlessly transport participants back to the hill's summit.

Informal Fun vs. Structured Adventure


Sledding is often associated with a more informal and diverse experience. Participants may choose from an array of sled types and often gravitate toward any snowy slope that catches their eye. Whether it's the backyard hill or a local park, sledding is versatile and adaptable to various terrains.


Tubing, on the other hand, tends to offer a more structured and purpose-built adventure. Many tubing parks are equipped with groomed lanes, ensuring a smoother and controlled descent. Some even provide amenities like tow systems, eliminating the need to trudge back up the hill after each thrilling ride.

You can easily look up tubing parks in your area, but to get you started, here are just a few places in the Upper Midwest: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota.

Hit the Hills!

Both sledding and tubing can create opportunities for families to come together and share the excitement of winter. (And did you know that both tubing and sledding have options for 2 people?) Whether you opt for the classic charm of sledding or the structured adventure of tubing, both activities are great options for winter family fun.

Friends snowtubing

So, get your snow pants on, choose your equipment, and hit the hills! You can book your next sledding or tubing adventure directly on, all from the warmth and comfort of your home.

What's your preferred downhill activity? Share it with us in the comments.


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