Polar Stroller Ski Review (The Fat-Bike Version)

Polar Stroller Review

Even though we live in a snowy climate, our family does our best to continue biking year-round.  Yes, we ski too, but our first love will always be cycling.  We add lights to our bikes for early evenings, bundle the kiddo up in the Chariot, and yes, even put Polar Stroller skis on it to keep on keeping on.  We just can’t quit!

I first saw the Polar Stroller skis being used by the always-active family over at Tales of a Mountain Mama.  My interest was piqued!  Polar Stroller skis were designed and created by a Canadian family for use on strollers.  I’m not big on strolling, but I am big on biking, and these skis have an “off-label” following for use with fat bikes.  The owners of Polar Stroller often share photos of themselves pulling their son on a Weehoo trailer-cycle mounted with a ski.

As it turns out my hopes for the Polar Stroller skis were not misplaced.  We’ve used two skis for a yurt overnight-er with the Chariot, and have had some fun Saturday afternoon fat bike riding with the Weehoo.  We even went way “off-label” and used one of the skis to create a ski-bike for my son (read more about that below).

If you love fat-biking AND love biking with your child, the Polar Stroller skis are a must-have.


Review in a Nutshell

Pros:

  • Mounts quickly and easily to tires
  • Comes with a bag for storage/carrying
  • Usable on multiple brands of trailers/trailer-cycles
  • Cheaper than Chariot ski kit

Cons:

  • Skis sink in powder conditions
  • If skis get caught, they will “flip” the wheel  (if your trailer has a brake, this can be prevented)

Buy:

  • 3 Wheel Chariot/Bike Trailer Ski Set: C$165
  • This Canadian company WILL ship to the U.S.
  • Shop at polarstroller.com

Detailed Review

Easy Installation

Of course I waited until about 20 minutes before we were leaving for a weekend yurt trip to attempt to install the Polar Stroller skis onto our Chariot.  Fortunately, the installation was quick and uncomplicated.  No tools required.  The trailer tires sit in a cradle, and some simple wires secure the tire to the ski.  Easy, and we’ve had no issues with the skis staying secure on the wheel.

Polar Stroller installation

Storage Bag

I was surprised and excited when our Polar Stroller skis showed up with a really nice storage bag.  Considering that (a) you’re only going to use the skis a few months of the year and that (b) you’re likely to be driving to your fat-biking destination, the bag provides a place to both store and carry the skis.  Not a huge selling point, but it goes to show the amount of thought and detail put into the product.

Use with multiple brands of trailers

The Chariot ski kit is great, BUT not everybody has a Chariot.  There are other great bike trailers out there that were previously unusable in the snow.  The Polar Stroller skis work on the Thule Chariot as well as Burley trailers, Croozer trailers, and even the Weehoo trailer-cycle.  I like the Polar Stroller skis because we can use them on our Chariot AND our Weehoo.

Using the Polar Stroller skis  with a fat bike

Fat Biking with Child

To tow your trailer or trailer-cycle with the Polar Stroller skis, you will want to attach the skis with the wheels still attached.  Connect the tow arm to your fat bike as you would your regular mountain bike.  If your trailer connects to your rear axel, you may need a converter.

The skis work best on GROOMED snow.  In softer or deeper snow, the trailer will sink.  This isn’t surprising, of course, and we are lucky to have plenty of groomed and tracked trails near our home.  We even took the Chariot on a “singletrack” trail that wasn’t quite wide enough for it, and it performed fabulously.

The one (minor) issue with the skis is that there were a couple of times that we would hit a pothole, and the entire ski would flip over, the wheel would rotate, and then the ski would land back flat on the ground.  Not a huge deal, the trailer never flipped, but it was momentarily jarring.

Edited to add: If your trailer has a brake, lock it to prevent the wheels from rotating. Evidently, I missed this step in the instructions.

While we ride, I like to put the kiddo inside a sleeping bag and give him a thermos of hot cocoa to keep him warm.  For this reason, we’ve also preferred using the Chariot to the Weehoo because it’s easy to keep him cozy warm inside the trailer.  Unfortunately, the Chariot is also a little “boring.”

High quality construction

The Polar Stroller skis are well-made, and I’ve been impressed by their durability.  They are made of ABS, a strong, hardwearing plastic material, and  it seems that they will hold up well over time.  The bindings are metal alloy which means they won’t rust.

As always, I’ll update this review after we’ve used them for a year or two or if anything changes.

Kit Options

Because the Polar Stroller skis are meant for use with so many different products and activities, there are a number of different kits to accommodate them all.  If you plan on using the skis for strolling, you will need a kit with 3 or 4 skis depending on whether you are using a jogger or a traditional stroller.  If you are using with a trailer, you’ll need two; and if you are using it with a Weehoo, you’ll only need 1.  The skis also come with different sized bindings for different sized wheels.

Comparison to Chariot ski kit

Chariot Trailer with Polar Stroller Skis

I have not personally used the Chariot skis, but I do have other mom friends with them, so I’ve been able to compare.  The Chariot skis are longer, while the Polar Stroller skis are fatter.  Which is better? I’m not sure.

While the Polar Stroller skis attach directly to the wheels, the Chariot skis attach to the chassis after you’ve removed the wheels.  One important note is that the Polar Stroller skis are also significantly cheaper than the Chariot ski kit, and like I’ve previously mentioned, they are usable on MULTIPLE child carriers.  For the price and the versatility, the Polar Stroller skis come out on top, in my book.

Here’s how the two products stack up.

Polar Stroller SkisChariot Ski Kit
PriceC$165 (about $125 USD as of the time of this post)$300
Intended UseStrollingXC skiing
Useable for fat biking?YesYes

Polar Stroller Skis on a Kids’ Bike

While this is probably NOT an approved use of the Polar Stroller skis, we also used one of the skis to modify my son’s Pello Romper into a “snow bike.”  By attaching the small ski to his front wheel, and letting out pressure in the rear tire, he is still able to pedal.  This setup provided endless entertainment over our long holiday vacation in snowy Idaho.

Polar Stroller Ski on Kids Bike

Bottom-Line

If you want to be able to tow your child with your fat bike, I highly recommend the Polar Stroller skis.  Consider these skis if you have a brand of trailer other than a Chariot, you want to use the skis on multiple trailers, or you want a more affordable option.


Kristen

Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

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