Best Deer Sleds 2018 โ€“ Reviews And Top Picks

Deer Sleds That Won’t Leave You Fatigued

Hauling all your belongings to and from an area outdoors takes lots of preparation and work. You must ensure that all items are packing accordingly, tools in possession, and clothing attire is appropriate. If you need to take such things with you or simply need something that will keep your game or fish clean and free of debris, a deer sled is one of the best products for achieving this. Most are made from polyethylene, a dense plastic that’s scratch resistant and able to withstand a large amount of pressure and weight without breaking. There are lots of other uses for the sled that could take place in your yard as well, so be sure to look at the buyer’s section when you’re done with the reviews.

The comparison chart below shows that most of the sleds have a lot in common, but there are some distinct contrasts, especially in the colors and rope placement. Use it for a quick reference point to go back to in case you need a brief reminder on what you’re getting in the box.

Name
Material
Color
Buoyant
Crosslinking
Price
Name
Material
Color
Buoyant
Crosslinking
Price
โ„–1
Polyethylene
Beige
Yes
No
โ„–2
Polyethylene
All Terrain Camo
Yes
No
โ„–4
Polyethylene
Black
Yes
No
โ„–5
Polyethylene
Black
No
No (has separate straps)

The Beavertail Sport Sled is beige in color and comes in three sizes. If you’re planning on pulling a lot of items on the sled, you’ll want to stick to the larger version. But you could get away with the smaller sleds, especially if your primary use will be pulling simple catches such as fish or small birds. It also goes smoothly over rocks and snow, so take it with you for any hunting or fishing trip to keep your items in one place that you won’t get wet (until it’s time to trade it for your prize).

Material
Polyethylene
Color
Beige
Buoyant
Yes
Crosslinking
No
PROS

In addition to snow, drags over rocks and mud easily;

Buoyant enough to stay afloat if dragged over creeks;

Capable of hauling medium-sized elks and other heavy gear with no fatigue.

Cons

The nylon rope included with the product may break over a short period of time;

Uncomfortable to grip unless modifications are made to the handle.

The Shappell Jet Sled 1 is another great option that’s painted over a nice woodland camo. It blends well during the fall but travels so well, you may find yourself doing yard work such as hauling firewood and tools outside your residence. If the rope is not adequate for what you’re intending to pull, just replace with 550 cord so the area that meets the rope will hold up longer without needing an early replacement. Regardless, the rope it comes with is fine if you wish to stay with what’s available, however. If you need something that floats, you should be able to manage with this sled. Just make double sure that you’re not overloading anything.

Material
Polyethylene
Color
All Terrain Camo
Buoyant
Yes
Crosslinking
No
PROS

Plastic holes on the housing allow room for customization of hauling preferences;

Increases the amount of gear that’s capable of being carried when fishing/hunting;

Scratch resistant bottom and surface can be dragged over rough terrain and remain in good condition.

Cons

The camo pattern may not blend well with everyone’s environment and/or other outdoor equipment;

Although it floats, does not remain stable enough to keep weighted materials from getting wet (must be balanced).

At first glance, the Terrain Deer Drag Sled looks wider and a bit shallower than the other sleds shown. But can hold about the same capacity as the larger versions of what was reviewed. It’s a light brown colored product that’s advised for people who need to pull something that won’t fall out of the center during transport. The rope that’s included forms a shoelace-like tie, going through 10 holes in total. As you pull at the sled during movement, the rope becomes tighter over your load. It’s a good feature to have when moving along inclines and other uneven surfaces.

Material
Polyethylene
Color
Brown
Buoyant
No
Crosslinking
Yes
PROS

There are ten holes in all that tightens around items when they are carried, lowering the chances of items falling out the sled;

The construction is made to minimize drag when large size items are moved (over 200 lbs);

Does not warp or crack when sled down an incline.

Cons

When moving items that are heavy but numerous, the sides may fold and flip the sled over;

Plastic is thin and may break at the bottom if hit by a hard object.

The Shappell Jet Sled might look rudimentary in appearance but carries the same standards as the others shown. It’s black, so if you tend to buy items in a darker color, it will look well when paired with any equipment. Floatation works very well here, with a lower base that’s capable of carrying a person over a shallow body of water without sinking. Those in possession of an all-terrain vehicle will are also in luck. Just tie it down in the back and use the sled as a makeshift tow.

Material
Polyethylene
Color
Black
Buoyant
Yes
Crosslinking
No
PROS

Suitable for use at moderate speed with four-wheeled vehicles such as ATV’s;

Can travel over small ponds without sinking;

Pulls over bumpy ice without becoming stuck.

Cons

May cause stress in the plastic portion where the rope meets the sled;

The thin rope digs into the hands when being pulled.

The Dead Sled is the final product featured. While the name is amusing, the features found here shouldn’t go unnoticed. It’s a little different from the others, having no side portions that separate objects from the ground. It’s a lot thinner than what you may have used before. So if you don’t want to break it early in its travel, you must keep the loads moderate at best. If it gets too heavy, the tips could warp and break, particularly if you’re not paying attention to the ground being traversed over during the pull. And it’s advised that you get a better rope than what given here; the risk of it breaking are high.

Material
Polyethylene
Color
Black
Buoyant
No
Crosslinking
No (has separate straps)
PROS

Lightweight construction doesn’t add pounds to the weight over heavier items being towed;

Tie down straps keep objects from leaving the edges;

At medium weight, does an effective job at traveling over long distances.

Cons

The rope’s stitching may tear quickly, may require a replacement;

Travel over hard surfaces such as ice and snow may damage the bottom;

In icy/muddy conditions, debris may accumulate on the left and right corners of the sled, getting items dirty and wet in the front.

Buyerโ€™s Guide โ€“ How to Choose a Deer Sleds

Check out the tips below to help you find the right sled for your next outdoor event. When you’re finished reading, you should have an idea on what you looking for, and the product(s) that come closest to what you have in mind.

Pulling

Pulling a sled might seem like something that you wouldn’t need to give any thought over, but you must remember that you’re probably going to be hauling weight that’s considerably larger than your own body mass. Before even attempting to find a sled, understand that it’s a manual job. Pulling is required, which means you’ll either have no problem doing it, need frequent breaks in between hauling, or are unable to use a sled at all. There are no automatic features here. Yet, since you are here, you’re probably already aware of this demand.

Weight

An empty sled is probably the easiest object you’ll carry around but can become a little more difficult depending on what you hauling. Most deer sleds can withstand weights in the hundreds of pounds range or higher, so capacity isn’t an issue, so long as you consider the terrain your pulling in. This means regions with steep inclines, hills ravines, and knolls will necessitate better planning on what items you plan on carrying in the sled itself. Look for versions that are ideal to move up slopes of various sizes but won’t break the rope or break underneath the part that touches the ground.

Reliability

As shown in the last section, some sleds perform better in different types of geography. For example, a sled that doesn’t have sides but has a long shape may break apart when traveling over rocks, but have no trouble carving through ice or snow. Look at the materials used in its construction, then find out if there’s anything you mind need to do in order to make the sled better. Some users even drill more holes or add handlebars to the ropes to make it easier on the arms when pulling.

Mobility

Although not always the case, speed could be another concern. Deer sleds are much faster you operate when they are built in a way that requires few adjustments when it’s being pulled. The more stops you have to make during your hiking, sledding, or float, the quicker you can get whatever is inside to the destination you are heading to. Find one that you know won’t bog you down from faulty construction or tip-overs.

Floating

Did you know that most deer sleds can float? Obviously, this doesn’t describe all of them, and under no circumstances should one be paddled over a deep river or other bodies of water that’s deeper than a creek or pond. But when packed carefully, they can tow items across shallow waters and keep your catch or belongings clean and mud free. Some are even buoyant enough to carry you if needed. If you do intend to use the sled for this, bring a paddle with you and be careful to balance the weight distribution at the bottom portion. That way nothing will tip over and sink.

Other Uses

Deer sleds can also be used for recreation or simply yard work around the home. Many families buy them to pull their children in when winter starts and the snowfall begins. Speaking of winter, taking your sled on the water during ice fishing is a great way to tow your auger or tools needed for such an event. Most of them are big enough to withstand the weight of multiple pieces of firewood. The smooth surfaces below make it quite painless to move to a different located when the distance is short.

Conclusion

After you have chosen the deer sled you want, compare it to the top two on the list. In case you skipped that part, they were the Beavertail Sport and Shappell Jet Sleds. They can be customized or used entirely on their own and remain solid transport devices that help carry around your outdoor belongings. But if you fancy the other three, you’ll be happy to know that it’s definitely not a race to the bottom, whereby each sled will get you through a successful hunt or task without a headache.

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By Chris Hayes
about author

My name is Chris and I am a hunter, outdoorsman, survivalist of 36 years old from Bosie, Idaho. Being a participant of Ihea-USA, I like big game hunting most of all, especially hunting white-tailed deer. Except hunting, Iโ€™m also keen on fishing and gaining new knowledge how to survive in the wild nature. As a professional hunter, I do not stop improving upon own hunting skills and testing new gear, equipment, hardware and weapons. I write articles to share my experience and knowledge with the readers who motivate me for more. For any additional information contact me at [email protected]