A good scraper will effectively remove snow and ice from your car’s mirrors and windows for safety.
The Hopkins SubZero is our top choice thanks to its flexible blade, built-in squeegee, and extendable handle.
On far too many frigid winter mornings, scraping snow and ice off of your car is an unavoidable chore. Fortunately, ice scrapers and snow brushes allow you to remove the top layer of snow and then chisel away at the ice coating the windows.
For areas that see huge volumes of snow, you might need a larger snow broom type or find it necessary to invest in a snow cover.
I own four different snow scrapers and while that may sound excessive, it meant I knew what to look for when rounding up the best car ice scrapers and snow brushes below.
Here are the best ice scrapers and snow brushes of 2021
Cons: The ice-crushing teeth are located opposite from the scraper, so you’ll have to flip the tool if you’re crushing and scraping
Winter is unpredictable — one morning you might have a light dusting of snow on your windshield, and the next you could find yourself cracking through ice just to be able to see out of your car. That’s why the Hopkins SubZero Ice Crusher is our favorite, versatile tool. It combines ice-crushing teeth, a flexible scraper blade, a heavy-duty broom, and a squeegee head to make quick work of clearing everything from frost to heavy wet snow.
While the SubZero is 51 inches while extended, it collapses into a 32-inch unit, making it easy to store. It features a soft foam grip and weighs less than half a pound — both important details that lessen arm strain when you’re chipping away at stubborn ice.
The best car brush for deep snow
The Auto SnoBrum will help you clear snowdrifts without scratching glass, auto paint, or vinyl wraps.
Pros: Ideal for heavy snow load removal, gentle on paint, long pole provides great reach
Cons: Insufficient for stubborn ice
The Auto SnoBrum is particularly great for clearing off deep snow because of its telescoping handle that can extend from 26-inches out to 46-inches in length, giving users of most heights (and arm lengths) easy access to the entirety of the windshield, hood, and even the roof of most vehicles.
The foam head is sturdy enough not to bend or buckle even as you push against heavy snow load, yet gentle enough not to scratch the exterior of your car — that includes auto paint, window and windshield glass, and even those more delicate vehicle vinyl wraps.
Here’s the catch: This is not a true ice scraper, so for thick, stubborn layers of ice, you’re going to need a different tool with a harder edge. But for snow alone, the SnoBrum is ideal.
Pros: Reduces effort needed to loosen ice, long power cord, power indicator light
Cons: Rather flimsy plastic housing
There is no magic bullet when it comes to removing ice from your car’s windshield, but Perfect Life Ideas’ Heated Snow Ice Scraper measures up. The heat it generates melts the ice so you’ll spend less time scraping. The unit plugs into the DC outlet (otherwise known as the cigarette lighter) in your car and features a 12-foot long cord that should allow access to all of the windows of your vehicle. Ford Excursions and Chevy Suburbans are possible exceptions, however.
Beneath the scraper, a simple heat coil quickly warms up the tool, helping you to break up and remove ice so you’ll exert less force.
Check out our other guides to car accessories and snow gear
When winter is in full swing and snowstorms are frequent, it’s time to pull out the right tool for the job – the snow blower. This type of snow-removal equipment clears snow quickly with minimal effort, making it a must-have for anyone who lives in a place where snowdrifts are common.
To find the best snow blowers, we researched and combed through hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of models. Our guide features throwers that have a track record of performance, durability, and, ease of use. If you’re not sure where to start, jump to the bottom of this guide to read up on what to consider when buying a snow blower.
Pros: Electric start, moves at your pace, handles wet snow well, two-year full warranty
Cons: May have trouble with uneven surfaces
There are a few features that make the Toro Power Clear 821 QZE Gas Snow Blower stand out. It has an electric push-to-start button, which helps contribute to its simplicity, and it also has a powerful engine that allows you to easily slice through even the thickest snow.
Its powerful engine allows it to send snow up to 40 ft away. The self-propelled power system moves the snow blower at your walking speed, while also keeping it in constant contact with the ground. A quick-shoot trigger switch allows you to adjust the chute direction and angle. The clearing width is 21 inches and the snow cut depth is 9 inches.
The snow blower is also very lightweight at only 96 pounds. It is specifically designed to be easy to store; the front handle folds down to lessen the amount of space it takes up in your home.
Customer reviews note that the equipment is easy to use, lightweight, and easily storable, and the snow blower is adept at removing both heavy and wet snow.
Pros: Affordable, lightweight, no need for gas, easy to assemble
Cons: Clogs if the snow is too wet, have to mind the cord (not included)
The WEN 5662 Snow Blaster Electric Snow Thrower is an electric, single-stage blower that relies on electricity provided by an extension cord. So, if you have a long driveway, this may not be a reasonable solution. But, for small jobs, it can be great with its 18-inch clearing width and 13.5-amp engine that is supposed to clear 490 pounds of snow per minute. The thrower only weighs about 39 pounds and is backed by a two-year warranty.
The WEN can handle even large snow piles with ease, and it’s quieter than a gas model. It’s compact enough to store in a small garage or shed, and it’s effective at clearing deep snow in one pass. If the snow is too wet or heavy, however, this machine tends to struggle, and the chute can get clogged. One annoying feature may be the safety switch that requires resetting when it turns off.
Pros: Compact, lightweight, easy to maneuver, self-propelled, two-year full “Guaranteed to Start” warranty
Cons: Not meant for heavy snowfalls, manual chute adjustment
At 87 pounds, the Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Blower is incredibly light for a gas-powered snow blower. This, along with the Power Propel self-propel system, make this single-stage unit easy to move around.
Another cool feature is the Toro “Guaranteed to Start” warranty, which states that the blower will start on the first or second pull every time in the first two years. If not, the company will fix it for free. The hard-plastic body has a 21-inch width, and the tough plastic auger makes constant contact with the surface for efficient clearing.
Though this model may have trouble with larger quantities of snow, it’s maneuverability makes it great for tight driveways and regular maintenance. It also won’t get clogged or bogged down by heavy, wet snow thanks to its tough auger. Be mindful, however, if you have any gravel paths or rocky terrain as single-stage snow blowers can throw rocks and other small objects that may get pulled in.
Pros: Runs quiet, no need for gas, features headlights, easy to assemble and store, lightweight
Cons: Not self-propelled, only runs for about 30-45 minutes at a time (but charges quickly)
For a battery-powered snow blower, the EGO Power+ Snow Blower can do a lot. It has a 21-inch clearing width and can handle snow up to 10 inches deep.
There are also two bright LED lights that will help you clear your drive before taking off for work in the morning. The SNT2102 comes with two 5.0 Ah batteries. The batteries last up to 45 minutes, and the charger takes 45 minutes to charge each battery. So, you may want to consider picking up extra batteries if you have a lot of area to clear.
Because it’s battery-powered, it’s much quieter than its gas counterparts. You also won’t have to deal with fumes or refilling the tank. The push-button start is also quite the luxury for those accustomed to yanking pull cords to no avail season after season.
Pros: Won’t take up much space, clears moderate snowfall with ease, thin enough to use on steps, throws snow up to 20 feet
Cons: Must remain plugged in, can’t handle deep snow, can’t direct where snow is thrown
The Toro Power Shovel is a wonderful snow-clearing tool for a variety of applications. If you live in an area that receives only moderate snowfall a few times a year, it might be the only snow blower you need. It handles snowfall of up to six inches with ease, plus its small footprint makes it agile enough to clear steps — something a full-size snowblower will never be able to do. That ability alone makes it worth its pretty affordable price tag, in our opinion. If you have a full-sized blower, consider adding this one to your toolkit for detail work.
Its small size also makes it easy to store, and it’s electric so you don’t have to worry about keeping a full gas can around or being caught without when an unexpected storm hits. Being tethered to an outlet can be limiting, though, so make sure to invest in a good weather-safe extension cord. We don’t recommend clearing large swaths of snow with this machine, so a good 100-footer should do just fine.
The Power Shovel has a strong auger that can move up to 300 pounds of snow per minute, throwing it up to 20 feet. One downside to this compact machine is that it throws the snow directly out in front of you, and there’s no way to direct the snow elsewhere. We suggest strategically determining your snow clearing path so you don’t end up accidentally reburying the stairs you just cleared.
What to consider when buying a snow blower
When buying a snow blower, you should first consider where you want the power to come from. There are three main sources: gas, corded electric, and cordless electric or battery.
Gas snow blowers are the most popular, most powerful, and most expensive option. They also typically need more maintenance than the other two options.
Corded electric blowers are generally the least expensive and don’t pollute, but just like a corded lawnmower, you have to mind the cord as you work, and it’s not recommended for longer driveways due to the inherent cord-length limitations.
Battery power avoids the cord problem, but batteries only last for so long before they need to be recharged. You can buy extra batteries so that you have enough to complete your job, but they are usually quite expensive.
Snow blowers are either single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage.
A single-stage snow blower (also referred to as a snow thrower) has an auger that moves very fast and sends the snow flying out of the chute in one step.
Two-stage blowers have augers that feed the snow into the chute where a propeller throws the snow.
Three-stage blowers have augers that feed the snow into the center where it is chopped up and fed into the propeller.
Snow blowers with multiple stages tend to cost more, but they can also handle heavier-duty jobs and throw the snow farther.
Some people think that a full tank of gas and keys are the only things needed to drive a car. Sure, you can sometimes get away with being underprepared, but not during the winter. Factors like snow, ice, and freezing temperatures make winter driving a lot more demanding than normal.
You should always be prepared for typical accidents that could potentially happen on the road at any time, but during the winter we’re also tasked with shoveling snow, scraping ice from our windows, making sure our tires have good traction, maintaining safe tire pressure, and more.
Whether you’re taking a spirited drive for fun or traveling from point A to point B, there a few things that everyone should keep in their car at all times during the winter.
No matter what year, make, or model your car is, it should come with basics like a tire iron and jack, but those two items alone won’t cut it. If you end up with a dead battery or a car that’s stuck in the snow, you’ll want to have a few other things on hand.
It goes without saying that shovels are useful during the winter, but having one specifically dedicated to your car is a wise move. If you’ve ever had to dig your car out after a snowstorm or gotten stuck along a snow-covered road, you know how convenient it is to keep one in your trunk.
When choosing a shovel to store in the car, people often resort to a cheap mini shovel for the sake of saving space, but it’s bound to break. Or they opt for a full-size shovel that will take up their entire cargo space for better efficiency.
With a DMOS Collective shovel, you get the best of both worlds. Made in the US using aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, every DMOS shovel features serrated teeth for breaking ice and a collapsible handle for easy storage.
Choose the Alpha Expedition for a full-sized shovel or the Stealth for an even more compact design. You’ll never have to buy another shovel again, and it will fit your trunk perfectly.
A snow and ice scraper is easily the most used tool for drivers during the winter. Keeping one handy will allow you to efficiently clear off your windows and lights before driving. The Snow Angel features an extendable telescopic arm, so it’s easy to store and won’t take up a lot of space when not in use.
A dead battery is one of the most common car issues, so jumper cables are a must-have. Whether you accidentally left your lights on or cold weather drained your battery, this will bring your car back to life. EPAuto uses thick 4-gauge cables for solid and reliable conductivity.
Keeping a flashlight in your car year-round is a good idea, but with less daylight during the winter, it can be especially useful. Sure, your smartphone has a flashlight app on it, but it’s not as useful as a real one. Whether changing a tire or jumping your car, you want something that shines bright and is durable.
The Outlite A100 has a bright light with an adjustable focus and five modes, including a disrupter strobe and SOS function. It’s also waterproof, so you’ll be able to use it in all weather conditions.
Even if you have the right gear, tools, and knowledge to get out of a mishap, freezing cold hands can really keep you from getting the job done. Disposable hand warmers heat up in seconds and last for hours. They can help you keep your hands warm while you’re changing a tire, jumping your battery, or waiting for help to arrive.
Running out of gas can be a major headache at any time of the year, but it’s definitely worse in the winter. You don’t want to store fuel in your trunk, but keeping a small gas container in your car can save you from a tow. Just walk or take a cab to the nearest gas station and fill this can. With a capacity of just over two gallons, it will hold enough gas to get you to a gas station where you can refill your tank.
You probably already own a battery pack for keeping your electronics charged on-the-go, but having one that’s always in your car is important. It can be the difference between making a quick call for help or being stranded for hours. The NOCO Boost Plus GB40 acts as a charger flash, LED flashlight, and even has a plug-in to jumpstart your car.
If your tires don’t have good tread, you absolutely want to replace them before winter comes. Driving in wet, snowy, or icy conditions with bald tires is extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be done. Go for a quality set of all-season tires, or opt for a set of snow tires to run on your car during the winter months. In addition to the tires on your car, it’s important to keep a spare that’s in solid condition.
Whether your tires are brand new or used, cold weather can cause a loss of tire pressure. Since keeping the correct tire pressure is important to driving safely, an air compressor is a convenient way to maintain good tire pressure at all times. The P.I. Auto Store Air Compressor plugs right into your car’s 12-volt power outlet and features a gauge to let you know you’ve reached the correct PSI.
You never know when you’ll need a first aid kit, so keeping a small one in your car is always smart. The Swiss Safe 2-in-1 is a packable case that’s easy to store or carry. It includes a 120-piece kit and a smaller bonus 32-piece kit.
Even if you’re not a mechanic, having a basic tool kit can save the day when simple fixes need to be done. The Apollo 56-Piece kit includes everything you’ll need for basic repairs — a wrench, sockets, Allen keys, pliers, a screwdriver, zip ties, and more.
Have you ever been stuck in the snow and your tires just keep spinning and spinning, no matter how much gas you give it? Even with new tires, certain cars can still lose traction, but luckily there’s a solution: cat litter. Simply spread the litter underneath the tires lacking traction, and you’ll be able to drive out of the slippery snow and ice.
Being stranded isn’t fun at any time of year, but during the winter, it’s more than an inconvenience. Going from driving in a warm car with heat to breaking down and losing power is never a good feeling — and can even be dangerous.
In the event that you do have to tough it out inside your car for a few hours or even overnight, you’re going to need a blanket to stay warm. You don’t need a full comforter set, but a fleece blanket provides warmth and won’t take up too much trunk space.
When you think of “winter boots,” it’s likely you think of thick-soled, lace-up boots that are perfect for stomping through the snow. But anyone who has lived in the suburbs or a major city knows that not everyone needs winter boots that are so technically-focused. The most important things in a winter boot are style, warmth, comfort, and its ability to protect your feet from the elements.
After all, we know that not everyone needs heavy-duty boots that can take on sub-zero temperatures and six-foot snowbanks, but we also know that there are plenty of people who are looking for a great pair of snow boots who won’t be satisfied with a cute pair that can’t handle more than a light flurry. And with the unpredictability of winter storms, you may find you need one of each type. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our top boot picks, below.
Updated on 1/5/2020 by Maria Del Russo: Updated prices, links, and sizing information. Added the LaCrosse Women’s Alpha Thermal Boots as our best slip-on snow boots pick. We’re currently in the process of testing more boots for this guide, so make sure to check back soon.
The best winter boots overall
The UGG Adirondack III Boots are super cute winter boots that can handle extreme cold and deep snow without any problems.
Pros: Waterproof, pure wool lining, made for very cold temperatures, good traction, Vibram sole
Cons: None to speak of
Sizing options: 5-12
UGG makes super stylish boots, and the Adirondack III boots are made for intense cold and tons of snow. With these boots on your feet, you’ll be ready to brave anything winter throws at you.
The boots are made of waterproof leather and they have a super cozy insulating wool lining that’s as fuzzy as it is warm. You can roll the tops down to expose the wool for style, or flip them back up to keep more of your ankle and lower calf warm.
The Vibram outsole is strong and provides great traction on icy surfaces, plus, these boots can handle extremely cold temperatures as low as -20°C, which is -4°F. You can buy the Adirondack boots in a few different colors, including white, black, and brown.
When I first put an older version of these boots on, I was impressed by how light, warm, and cute they were. By all rights, they should be clunky, but they’re not. UGG’s boots look cute enough to pair with skinny jeans or leggings all winter long in even the snobbiest of cities.
These boots are tough enough to handle rural areas with tons of snow, too, so you really can’t go wrong with them. In my mind, they’re the perfect boots for just about everyone. The only downside is the high price, but they’ll last you for years. After a full winter of use, mine are still going strong.
The best tall winter boots
The Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots are absolutely perfect for stomping through snowbanks and tackling intense winter conditions in style.
Pros: Tall boots, extra warm, rated for cold temperatures, good grip, comfortable, many color options
Cons: None to speak of
Sizing options: 5-11
When the winter winds blow up a crazy snowstorm and you have 6 feet of snow to contend with in sub-zero temperatures, you need some serious winter boots that will keep more than just your feet warm. Sorel’s Joan of Arctic Boots are just the ticket.
These boots are nearly a foot tall, so they’ll keep your entire calf warm and dry even in deep snow. The suede leather shaft is fully waterproof and a faux fur cuff finishes the boots off in style. They lace up from a sturdy vulcanized rubber section that covers your toes and keeps them dry.
Sorel says these boots can handle temperatures as low as -25°F or -32°C. The tread on the bottom is grippy and good for ice and snow. You can even get them in a number of different colors and styles if faux fur isn’t your thing or you don’t want leather.
When I first took them out of the box, I thought these boots would be super clunky and bulky, but looks are deceiving. Once they were on my feet, they looked great. I can easily see these boots being perfect for both the city and the country because they are super stylish yet rugged enough to take on serious snow.
Pros: Easy to slip on, waterproof, insulted down to -40°F, reliable outsoles to prevent slipping, lightweight, comfortable footbed, wide calf
Cons: Potentially too warm to wear at a restaurant or office
Sizing options: 5-11
All of the boots on our list will keep your feet warm and dry in snow and slush alike. But if you have to trudge through calf-deep powder to shovel your car or just run to the mailbox in wintry conditions, it’s a serious pain to lace up your heavy-duty boots. LaCrosse’s Women’s Alpha Thermal Boots are ideal for winter activities where function is the driving factor. The upper is made from thick, waterproof rubber and neoprene for keeping snow, ice, and rain out up to your knees.
Without laces, these boots offer protection against the element for people whose dexterity might be limited — or when you’re running out the door to ski or grocery shop. The soft, neoprene upper has an adjustable gusset to expand or size down for varying calf size.
The inside is lined with fleece to keep your feet warm down to a whopping -40°. The boots are outfitted with a seriously grippy, thick-lugged outsole which helps minimize slipping on ice and keeps snow from clumping underfoot. At $160, these boots aren’t a budget pick. But their versatile design and the durability of everything LaCrosse makes mean one pair will last years. — Rachael Schultz
Pros: Lightweight, very warm, rated for low temperatures, relatively affordable
Cons: A bit bulky, not the most attractive boots you’ll ever see
Sizing options: 5-12
When you think about tough gear that’ll last you through an epic snowstorm, chances are, Columbia comes to mind. The company’s coats, boots, shoes, and other gear are known for being of the highest quality. Columbia’s Bugaboot IV Winter Boots are no exception.
I tested an older version of these popular and very highly rated winter boots and came away impressed by how light and toasty warm they were. By the look of them, I expected these boots to be as heavy and awkward to wear as the old winter boots I used to wear to survive the brutal winters in upstate New York (right across from the Canadian border, so we’re talking 6 feet of snow and -30 windchills here). Imagine my surprise when they turned out to be light and nimble like a good pair of hiking boots.
The secret is in their design: Columbia used a mix of waterproof leather and textiles on the uppers to keep out all the snow, slush, and wet of winter without adding any unnecessary weight. The 200 grams of insulation inside keep your feet piping hot, too. These boots are so cozy that Columbia says they can handle temperatures as low as -25°F or -32°C.
Of course, it’s not just the uppers that keep these boots light, it’s also the special Techlite midsole and the Omni-Grip outsole that keep the weight down. Both are lightweight and specially designed for great comfort, stability, and traction on slippery surfaces.
These are the kind of boots I’d want on my feet during the cold nasty winters in snowy climates. They’re perfect for walks through the snowy woods, shoveling out your driveway, and heading out to the grocery store. They obviously will not win any beauty contests and those who have more mild winters or live in cities where style is more important than strength won’t need tough boots like these.
However, for anyone who needs a super warm, waterproof, stable, and lightweight pair of winter boots that are ready for action, these are the ones I’d recommend.
Pros: Slight heel, good traction, waterproof, slim, comfortable, warm
Cons: Not as rugged or warm as some
Sizing options: 5-11
If you don’t want to wear clunky winter boots all the time, you may want a lighter, slimmer pair for days when there’s less snow on the ground. These Slimpack Lace II boots from Sorel deliver. They have the distinctive duck boot design you see on many winter boots and rain boots, but Sorel adds cute little design elements like wool accents and fun laces to make them stand out.
The full-grain leather upper is fully waterproof as is the vulcanized rubber part that wraps around the lower part of your foot. You can splash in the rain or stomp through slush puddles in these boots without getting wet. The wool felt collar around the top of the boot adds warmth and style to the basic boots. Inside the boots, there’s a nice microfleece lining that will keep your feet warm but not sweltering.
These are comfortable, breathable boots that Sorel says are best for heavy rain instead of snow. However, if you wear them with a nice thick pair of socks, they are perfect for cold winter days and a few feet of snow. The waterproof construction and the grippy outsole offer good traction on ice.
These boots even have a little heel that’s just under two inches, which I appreciate as a 5-foot-2 lady. I love these Sorel boots and I wear them whenever it rains. In the winter, I wear them on days with light snow because they’re both nice-looking and practical for the city streets.
If you need heavy-duty winter boots for extreme cold and snow, check out our other more rugged picks.
Pros: Warm, comfortable, good traction, rated for very cold temperatures, higher rise
Sizing options: 5-12
If the other Columbia boots in our guide are just too clunky and rugged for your tastes, you’ll love these Heavenly Omni-Heat boots. First things first: These boots look way cuter in person than they do online. When I put an older version of these boots on the first time, I knew I could easily wear them with skinny jeans or a dress and tights in the city without shame. Columbia has a bunch of fun colors, too, so you can buy the pair that’ll look best with your style.
Believe it or not, these boots are just as warm, waterproof, and comfortable as the chunkier Bugaboots. The waterproof woven textile uppers hit your leg mid-calf and boast a cute faux fur lining that peeks out at the top and along the sides where you lace the boots up. They’ll keep your feet and legs warm even in a foot or two of snow.
Columbia’s Omni-Tech waterproof seam-sealed membrane keeps water, slush, and snow out of your boots while the 200 grams of insulation inside keep your feet and legs super warm. Just like the Bugaboots, these can withstand temperatures as cold as -25°F or -32°C, thanks to the Omni-Heat reflective lining.
These boots will fare just as well on the snowy city streets as they will in the driveway shoveling snow or out walking on snowy paths. I consider these boots to be the perfect stylish alternative for colder climates where you still need serious boots.
Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boot ($79.95): Although it isn’t technically a winter boot, this stylish boot does an amazing job at keeping your feet dry and supported. It has amazing cushioning, and grippy outsoles to keep you sure-footed in the most slippery conditions.
Doc Marten 1460 Collar ($169.95):With their thick, rubber soles and amazing traction, Doc Martens are an ideal winter boot for people who aren’t traipsing over snowy cliffs. They’re not the boots you want to take on a hike through the woods, but they’re perfect for those who live in the city and just need a sturdy shoe to get you to and from the subway. The shearling adds a nice touch, although you’ll want to wear thick socks with these on particularly frigid days.
Timberland 6-inch Premium Waterproof Boots ($170): These boots have light PrimaLoft eco insulation to retain warmth and are made of responsibly sourced, waterproof leather on the outer. The footbed is comfortable, shock-absorbing, and has great traction on slippery surfaces. I bought these for slushy winter weather when I lived in New York City, but they’re still my go-to boots after a snowstorm in my new home of Colorado. — Rachael Schultz
A proper snow sled is an entertaining (and exciting) way to spend a snow day, no matter if you’re playing hooky from work or just looking to pass some time on the weekend.
The best sleds should all have these three things in common: Enough surface area for one to two people to ride comfortably, a design that allows a smooth (and fast) ride, and some form of steering wheel or rope for added stability.
Sledding is a winter pastime that’s as thrilling as it is fun. Not only is it a popular recreational activity for people of all ages but variations of sledding (i.e. the luge, skeleton, and bobsled) are beloved Olympic sports. Regardless of whether you’re gunning for a gold medal or just want to see how fast you can go careening down a snow-filled hill, you’ll always need that one thing that gets you from Point A to wherever you land on Point B: A sled.
But not all sleds are created equal, and you don’t even need a genuine, by-the-book sled to get downhill. In addition to those classic metal and wood sleds, you can also use a plastic toboggan-style sled, an inflatable intertube, and even a round saucer (and who hasn’t just used a garbage lid?).
If you crave the thrill of downhill snow sledding but aren’t sure which sled variant is best, we have you covered: The following guide includes some helpful tips and info on the best sleds for a range of use cases. With one of these sleds, you’ll be able to turn any normal snow day into a snow sled day. They’re also suitable for use with your kids.
Updated on 12/23/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the introduction for relevancy, revised the copy for each pick, checked the availability of all recommended sleds, and updated the prices and links where necessary.
Pros: Fast on most types of snow, fits adult and child, durable plastic body
Cons: Bottom scratches and loses slickness over time
The Slippery Racer Downhill XTreme Toboggan Snow Sled is the closest adult-sized approximation to the sled I used as a kid. It has the classic plastic toboggan shape with a few upgrades I would’ve been glad to see as a kid but that is certainly enjoyable today.
These include cutout handles for a secure grip and easy carrying, a proprietary IceVex cold-resistant coating that helps prevent cracking and scratching, and construction using such a durable yet flexible plastic that the sled can bend to 90 degrees without breaking.
The bottom of the 48-inch long Slippery Racer toboggan is smooth and slick, helping it to glide over all sorts of snow, from soft, fresh powder to heavier, wetter packed snow. The sled features a slight taper toward the front that increases its dynamic performance and also serves to accommodate a smaller rider during an adult-child tandem ride.
While you should always avoid rocks, trees, and other solid objects during a sled ride, should you endure an impact with some such obstacle, know that the sled can take the abuse without breaking. That’s backed up by a yearlong warranty Slippery Racer throws in with each purchase.
And while the Slippery Racer Downhill XTreme Toboggan is an adult-sized sled, it’s also more than suitable for kids. The site ToyTruckToys.com recommends it for kids over the age of four, calling it a “beginner to intermediate” sled.
Best inflatable snow tube
The A-DUDU Inflatable Snow Tube gives a swift, comfortable ride down the hill, and its air-filled design cushions riders against the jolts and bumps along the way.
Pros: Smooth and comfortable ride, supports up to 250 pounds, easy to store when not in use
Cons: Requires inflation prior to use, cannot be steered or controlled
One of the best things about an inflatable snow tube is the fact that when it’s not being used, it can be deflated, folded up, and stored in a cabinet or drawer. That makes the A-DUDU Inflatable Snow Tube a great choice for the apartment-renter for whom free space is at a premium.
This tube can zip riders up to 250 pounds down a snowy hill at great speed. The A-DUDU Inflatable Snow Tube measures 47-inches in diameter, easily supporting larger, taller adults, and is suitable for use by two kids at the same time, provided they’re ready to share those handles.
The rugged PVC exterior of the tube resists tears and punctures and resists cracking even in temperatures as cold as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The tube inflates quickly by mouth or with an air pump and stays sealed shut thanks to a double-locking valve.
Snow tubes might be nearly impossible to control, but they do absorb many of the bumps and jumps along the way, thanks to that huge cushion of air. And besides, less control means more excitement.
Pros: Steering bar controls direction, beautiful classic style, last for years
Cons: Rather expensive, greater risk of injury than with other sled types
You could easily be forgiven for buying the Flexible Flyer Steel Runner Sled as a piece of faux-vintage decoration. It would look great beside the fireplace, above the mantle, or among the collection of wacky tchotchkes on the wall of a casual dining restaurant. But where this sleigh-style sled truly belongs is flying down a snowy hill at high speed.
Though a wood and steel runner sled may look antiquated, there’s a reason they’ve been produced since the late 1880s: They flat-out work. While not suitable for use on fresh powdery snow, in the right conditions, this sled is as fast as almost any modern option while also allowing you to control your ride. With a flexible steering bar at the front of the sled, you can steer right or left and enjoy the ideal route down, avoiding obstacles and people and hitting jumps and drifts, if that’s your thing.
The sled is recommended for ages five and older and can accommodate most adults. I’d probably recommend you wait until the kids are a bit older than five, personally, as the chance for injury is a bit higher with this sled than with a plastic toboggan or inflated snow tube. Wood and steel just hurt more than plastic.
Pros: Works on most types of snow, built to last for years, suitable for wide age range
Cons: Impossible to steer
If you’ve seen the classic comedy “Christmas Vacation,” starring Chevy Chase, then you know a flying saucer style sled can potentially lead to a tragicomic tableau. Skip the extra grease on the bottom, and you should be able to enjoy this saucer without quite as much risk of personal injury as Chase’s Clark Griswold while still having lots of fun this winter.
The lightweight but virtually indestructible Lucky Bums Powder Coated Metal Saucer is fun for kids and adults alike thanks to the simplicity and durability of its design. Even a smaller child or a larger adult should be able to fit on this sled thanks to its 25-inch diameter. You’ll just have to sit cross-legged, of course. And despite being made of metal, the saucer only weighs six pounds, so even a younger child can carry it back up the hill.
You can’t steer a saucer — that much is important to know going in — but they also tend to work well on all sorts of snow, from slush to ice to powder to those perfect large, downy flakes. While a runner sled bogs down on lighter, fluffier snow and a toboggan can sink into slushier snow under a larger rider’s weight, this smooth disc will slip along over all sorts of wintry precipitation with ease.
If you prefer mittens as your hand-warming method of choice, check out our guide on the best mittens.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
The first official day of winter is on December 21, but with freezing temperatures and snowstorms already here, it’s safe to say the season started early this year. If those cheap knit gloves you’ve had for ages are looking a little worse for wear, it’s time to consider picking out a dependable pair of winter gloves.
Winter gloves come in many varieties, including thermal, waterproof, and tech-friendly, so it’s important to pick out a pair that fits your intended use. Whether you’re planning a fun ski trip, taking work calls for long hours in the elements, or you just need something warm enough to handle quick trips outside, these are the gloves that will keep frostbite at bay.
We did the research to find the best winter gloves you can buy to keep your hands nice and toasty for this year’s winter and for many more winters to come.
Pros: Affordable, warm, true to size, waterproof, unisex, good grip
Cons: Fingers of gloves may be slightly too long for those with small hands
Sizing options: S-XL
The Ozero Thermal -30°F Suede Leather Winter Gloves feature five layers of materials to keep your hands warm and dry in below-freezing temperatures. The outer layers of polar fleece and waterproof TPU provide thermal retention and moisture-wicking, while the middle firm sponge layer keeps the shape of the glove intact.
The inner layers include Heatlok insulated cotton and TR thermal cotton, which both ensure your hands stay warm — even when the temperature drops down to -20°F. The gloves also feature a windproof cuff at the wrist that prevents cold air from creeping inside.
The deerskin suede leather gloves are made with a solid grip, so they’re the perfect winter accessory for partaking in cold weather activities or even just driving on a brisk winter morning. The gloves come in sizes small to extra large, so they should fit hands of all sizes.
Cons: Slightly too bulky for working outside with small materials
Sizing options: S-XXL
There’s a reason why the clothing brand Carhartt is synonymous with durable outdoor apparel, as it has been producing high-quality outerwear and accessories since 1889. Carhartt’s Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Gloves are no exception to the rule.
The gloves are made with a long-lasting polytex shell that features a FastDry lining to wick away moisture as you use them, so you can say goodbye to sweaty palms.
One thing to keep in mind: Some users say they aren’t the most practical option if you plan on working outdoors in cold temperatures, because they are too bulky to pick up small items such as nuts and bolts.
Pros: Tech-friendly, warm, good grip, variety of colors to choose from
Cons: Not waterproof
Sizing options: XS-L
If you want to be able to check your phone without removing your gloves, try The North Face Etip Gloves. These tech-friendly gloves are perfect for those who still like to stay connected while enjoying the great outdoors.
Your hands will stay warm and toasty as you scroll through Facebook, thanks to the gloves’ five-finger touch capability. The gloves also feature extra silicone grip on the palm, so your hands won’t slip as you scroll, ski, or shovel.
The sturdy gloves use a lock clip system, so you can store them together and you’ll never have to worry about losing one. There are several colors to choose from including purple, gray, and pink.
Pros: Unisex, great for outdoor activities, warm, affordable, tech-friendly
Cons: Not waterproof, not long enough for some
Sizing options: M-XL
If you like to stay active outdoors even in the wintertime, you need to find a pair of gloves that will not only offer warmth but also dexterity. Look no further than the Vbiger Winter Warm Touch Screen Gloves. These gloves are designed for winter outdoor sports like snowboarding, skiing, climbing, running, and more.
The gloves are made with windproof, fast-drying, and breathable materials to keep hands moisture-free. They also feature anti-skid palm patches for a better grip. The slip-on cuff fits comfortably on the wrist without inhibiting movements.
The thumb and pointer fingers feature a sensitive touchscreen function to allow you to track your outdoor workouts on your phone, though sadly, they’re not waterproof, so if you get your cardio from competitive snowman building, you’re out of luck.
While the gloves are made to be short and cut off on the wrist to allow for increased mobility, some buyers are hoping the brand will come out with a longer pair to keep wrists warm as well.
The padded spandex back and neoprene knuckle pad offer cushioning for extra comfort, while the terrycloth panel on the thumb allows you to wipe sweat from your brow as you work. The flexible gloves have the full range of dexterity that you need when you are on the job. They are also touchscreen-capable on the thumb and index fingers.
Cons: These gloves are warm enough for city life, but certainly not suited for the Arctic Circle
Sizing options: One size fits most
Just because the weather has taken a turn for the worse doesn’t mean that your sense of style has to do the same. Il Caldo’s Thick Winter Drive Gloves are not only extremely warm, but also quite elegant.
Lined with both cotton and wool, these gloves are surprisingly warm and fantastic at insulating your hands against the snow and wind. There are a number of different styles available, but all feature unique details that allow these gloves to stand a cut above the rest when it comes to aesthetics. Whether it comes in the form of faux fur lining or the touchscreen finger tips, the Il Caldo offerings combine form with function.
Thanks to the wool and cotton construction, you can run these gloves through the wash without worrying about ripping them to shreds. I was pleasantly surprised to find that even after a few cycles, these gloves did not shrink, nor did they lose their ability to keep my hands cozy. The gloves also feature touchscreen tips, though, like many other gloves, this functionality is somewhat touch and go (no pun intended). — Lulu Chang
Best Gore-Tex gloves
If you’re looking to survive subzero conditions with all your fingers intact, Burton Gore-Tex gloves are the way to go.
The best invention of the last few decades may just be Gore-Tex. The waterproof, breathable fabric has the unique ability to block liquids while allowing water vapor to pass through, making for a dry, comfortable environment. When it comes to keeping your hands cozy and protected in seriously harsh conditions (wind, snow, sleet), one of the best options is the Burton Gore-Tex glove.
Pros: Incredibly warm, waterproof yet breathable, Sticky Icky palm technology allows for great grip
Cons: None to speak of
Sizing options: S-XL
Gore-Tex makes up the membrane of this glove, which ensures that it’s waterproof, but Burton also includes an integrated Thermocore layer of insulation for extra warmth. The outside of the glove is made from a double layer of DryRide Ultrashell fabric, which is windproof and waterproof, but will still let your hands breathe.
If you’re looking to do work in these gloves, that’s possible too thanks to the Sticky Icky technology in the palms that allow you to grip onto ski poles, shovels, or your significant other’s hand.
One of my favorite things about the Burton Gore-Tex glove is that it’s essentially three gloves in one. The fleece liner on the interior of the glove is removable, which means that you can either wear just the fleece, just the outer shell, or put them both together for days when it’s especially chilly out. If you opt to wear the fleece on its own, you can take advantage of its touchscreen technology (though to be fair, I’ve often had trouble using my smartphone without fully de-gloving).
Sizes are available from extra small to extra large, so folks of all genders will be able to buy and enjoy a pair. — Lulu Chang
Check out our other buying guides for cold-weather gear
Whether your dog has short or long fur, a slender or thick build, a warm, water-resistant dog coat is a winter necessity to keep them comfortable and protected during daily walks and outdoor play.
Dog snow jackets come in all shapes and sizes, so we evaluated the many options to help you make the best choice for your dog.
With a waterproof but breathable outer shell and thick fleece inner lining, the Hurtta Summit Parka is our favorite dog coat for winter. It fits snugly for warmth but doesn’t impede freedom of movement.
Some dogs were bred for cold weather and would be perfectly happy if every day were a snow day. For other dogs, winter is a time to stay curled up on the couch, ideally snuggled under a blanket with their favorite human. Either way, if your dog doesn’t have a winter coat to keep them warm while outdoors, you’ll want to buy one for cold, snowy days.
When shopping for dog snow coats, there is a variety of factors to consider. Some coats offer full-body coverage, including sleeves for the legs while others are designed more simply to keep the trunk of the body warm and protected. Breeds with short hair or slim builds may require extra insulation while long-haired breeds need a little extra space inside the jacket for comfort. You’ll also find that there are differences in the quality of materials used for dog snow jackets and a variety of add-ons like adjustable straps, reflective striping, and pockets.
Snow jackets for dogs are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The best winter coat for a slender breed like the greyhound might be significantly different from the ideal jacket for a miniature breed like the chihuahua. We’ve researched dog coats to determine the best choices for the full range of dog breeds and sizes. Below are our top picks.
Prices and links are current as of 12/15/20. We are currently working on an update to this guide and are considering a variety of new brands and styles.
The best dog snow jacket overall
With a waterproof but breathable outer shell and thick fleece inner lining, the Hurtta Summit Parka fits snugly to retain heat but doesn’t impede freedom of movement.
The Hurtta Summit Parka is built to last, well-insulated, and designed with comfort in mind. It is fleece-lined, and the outer shell is coated with Hurtta’s Houndtex, which is designed to be waterproof and dirt-repelling but breathable.
The jacket covers the hindquarters more than most coats, and the back, belt, and collar are adjustable to ensure a snug and secure fit for any breed without sacrificing freedom of movement. This snow jacket is easy to put on and take off, and it features reflective safety stripes to ensure nighttime visibility. It is available in four color options and lengths from 8 inches to 32 inches.
Named their top pick for winter hiking jackets for dogs, Outdoor Dog World said the Hurtta Summit Parka is an “excellent coat for extreme cold temperatures.” They added that the full-coverage design protects all of the major muscle groups while keeping the chest and abdomen warm as well. Whole Dog Journal also reviewed this jacket favorably, highlighting its lightweight design, soft fleece lining, and high-neck collar for added warmth.
Pros: Withstands extreme conditions, waterproof outer shell, soft fleece lining, adjusts for a snug and secure fit
Cons: Significantly more expensive than some brands, measurements required for optimal fit
The parka’s outer shell is made from a durable 300 denier material (the middle range of fiber thickness) that provides waterproofing but is lightweight. While many dog jackets are lined with with fleece for warmth, these plush materials tend to absorb water. In lieu of a fleece lining, this jacket has a polyester fiberfill and polyester inner lining to keep it dry even in heavy snow.
The coat is available in orange or yellow, and they offer 10 sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your dog. It also has an adjustable belly strap to achieve a fit that provides additional warmth and coverage.
Pros: Lightweight, waterproof design; made from durable 300 denier materials; reflective stripes for nighttime visibility; adjustable belly strap adds extra coverage and protection
Cons: Not as thickly insulated as some jackets, closures can get dirty and may stick to other materials, sizing can be tricky for some breeds
The best dog snow jacket for slim breeds
With a full-coverage style designed specifically for slim and slender breeds, the Hurtta Quilted Overall Dog Coat is water-repellant, insulated, and adjustable.
It can be difficult to find a well-fitting coat for dogs with slim builds. Even if the jacket has adjustable closures, it may not fit tightly enough to protect the dog from the elements and keep them warm. Breeds like greyhounds and Chinese crested not only require a dog jacket that is designed to conform to slender body types, they also need extra protection from the cold because they typically don’t carry a lot of body fat.
It features a full-coverage design constructed from soft, comfortable materials for protection from wind, water, and harsh weather. This jacket comes in nine different sizes and is highly adjustable to ensure a snug and secure fit for every dog. It is insulated for warmth, water- and dirt-repellent, and has reflective stripes for visibility.
Pros: Designed specifically for slim and slender breeds, full-coverage for maximum warmth and protection, water-repellant and insulated, available in partial-coverage as well
Cons: Some dogs take time to adjust to the full-coverage design, measurements required to find the right size, not completely waterproof
The Ruffwear Vert Waterproof Dog Jacket is made of a breathable nylon shell that is waterproof and protects against the wind. It has a fold-up oversized storm collar for an added degree of weather protection with leg loops for a snug and secure fit. This jacket comes with a fleece lining that also has a water-resistant finish to extend the life of the jacket.
Overall, the Ruffwear Vert offers good coverage with a slightly roomier fit ideal for hard-to-fit and active dogs but still has convenient features like side-release buckles and a leash portal. It’s available in red or blue and six sizes ranging from XXS to XL. Because the side-release buckles are tucked into the lining, they can be tricky to use in some cases.
Pros: Breathable nylon shell, waterproof and windproof, fold-up oversized storm collar for extra protection, leg loops for a snug and secure fit, six sizing options
Cons: Side release buckles are tucked into the lining, fairly pricey compared to other brands
When it comes to dog clothes and accessories, finding the right fit for small dogs can be a challenge. If you’re looking for a snow jacket specifically designed to fit miniature and small breeds up to 25 pounds, we recommend the Gooby Padded Cold Weather Vest.
The vest features a lightweight, padded design that keeps your dog warm in cold weather and dry in the snow. It comes in five different sizes with chest measurement up to 23 inches and has a convenient zipper closure located on the back so you don’t have to worry about getting your dog’s fur caught while putting it on or taking it off. The jacket is cut to enable your dog to do its business without getting the material dirty, and it is comfortable enough that most dogs don’t find it a struggle to wear.
Pros: Lightweight, padded design; zipper on the back protects fur; water-resistant, machine washable; designed for dogs up to 25 pounds