I’m an optimist.
Maybe you follow me on social media because my bubbly personality and glass-half-full outlook are just what you need to break up the monotony of your daily doomscroll.
Or maybe you’ve blocked me because I’m not what you need right now.
Either way, what matters is you’re here with me today to hear me declare that stupid COVID stole Christmas! (Or whatever December festivities you share with family and friends.) I mean, I have tried to maintain my hopefulness throughout this pandemic, and I know my experience has been especially privileged in many, many ways. But like many of you I am sure, not being able to spend Christmas with family—this year in particular not getting to cuddle my newborn nephew next to my mom’s perfectly decorated tree—has been the proverbial straw on my proverbial camel’s already overburdened back.
If you’re thinking that there’s no way I’m going to fill this blog post with melancholy complaints, you would be correct. In fact, this blog post is about how Alberta’s own Polar Stroller Skis saved my camel’s butt from sinking into a deep, dark winter of despair. Our Polar Stroller Skis helped us do the one and only thing we could really do with our kids over the holidays: get outside.
And what a fabulous outside we have had this December! By Christmas Eve, we’d accumulated close to 40 cm (more than a foot!) of snow. Once we dug out our driveway and sidewalk, we had enough to construct our very own toboggan track in our front yard.
Unlike in Montreal, where adorable little sidewalk-sized snow ploughs toodle along clearing all public pathways, in Calgary, homeowners are tasked with snow clearing responsibilities, which is a big cost-savings for the city, of course, but not awesome if your main method of transportation is a stroller. Naturally, a sled would come to mind as an alternative, but if you’ve ever tried to negotiate with toddler twins to share a sled without pushing each other off or fighting for who gets to be in the front, then just keep your unhelpful suggestions to yourself.
There are definitely some strollers that handle snow better than others. Three-wheeled, all-terrain buggies like my beloved BOB do a decent job in suburban snow situations, but our Joovy Qool has never claimed to be a stroller built for the snow, so asking it to navigate the bumpy, frozen hellscape of tire tracks and slush kicked up by passing vehicles when trying to cross the street is frankly asking too much.
Unless our entire walking route is perfectly and smoothy shovelled pavement, the only thing Qool about winter walks with our stroller is the temperature. (GET IT?! See, this is either why you follow me or why you’ve blocked me …)
Attaching our RX4 4-wheel Polar Stroller Ski Set to our Joovy Qool has meant getting the twins out of the house every day. Sure, they can walk, and sure, they do walk, but neither of them will walk the entire way to the playground or sledding hill, and carrying even one snowsuit-clad, 30-lb child is difficult, while carrying two is impossible. (See previous paragraph about the impossibility of a sled.) Over Christmas I’ve had my husband joining us on our walks, but he is usually up ahead with our older two kiddos. So instead of being stuck inside or stuck with 90 lb of stroller and kids in the snow, I’ve been gliding us to our local playground and sledding hill!
How do they work?
Out of the box, your Polar Stroller Skis are ready to attach to your stroller in a matter of minutes, no tools required. Simply adjust the brackets to fit each of your wheels (this is a one-time adjustment), then feed the two sturdy wire leashes through each wheel and secure it on the other side. All told, I’d say to put the skis on or take them off is a matter of no more than 90 seconds.
Do they actually work? And where?
Once your skis are attached, away you go on your adventure! Glide across icy or snowy sidewalks and roadways, walking paths and even snow-covered grass.
Bare concrete is a no-go, so if I have a neighbour who has very meticulously removed all traces of snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of their house, I tend to scoot over to the grass or even onto the side of the road. Because they’re easy to take on and off, I will often put them on only once I’ve passed the neatly shovelled portion of our street and remove them at the same spot on the way home.
Keep in mind that any terrain that would be impossible on a set of human skis is not going to work well for stroller skis either, so super deep, fresh, unpacked snow with nearly 100 lb of stroller and kiddos is just a recipe for sinking. You need snow that is at least somewhat tamped down by those who have trod before you to slide along with ease. Snow that has melted and frozen into a bumpy, brownish-green mess is also fair game for your Polar Stroller Skis.
There have been a few scenarios so far where I’ve thought even with the skis on, I wouldn’t be able to make it through, and I’ve actually been quite surprised. This stretch of pathway (yes, there is a path under there) seemed unconquerable. The snow was slightly tamped down by people who had travelled along on foot, but really it was a lot of fresh, unpacked snow. I thought I might have to carry each twin up to the top and then carry the stroller up—but we actually made it on the skis! It was hard work, as anything uphill tends to be when you have twins on board, and I really should add some snow grips to the bottom of my boots to help with traction, but by golly we made it!
My favourite terrain to cruise with our skis is a once-ploughed walking path that has since been coated with a light snowfall. It is as beautiful as it is easy. My least favourite terrain is anything uphill or slightly sloped. (This applies with or without stroller skis.)
My only wish for Polar Stroller Skis is something I’m imagining only Ryder (does he have a last name?) from Paw Patrol could create for me, which would be a voice- (or bark-) activated system by which I can shout “skis!” and have my polar skis magically deploy from my wheels in an instant, rather than having to put them on myself.
Who makes Polar Stroller Skis?
In the world of parenting gear, especially on social media, there are a lot of ambiguous and unscrupulous retailers out there marketing products just vaguely enough for your unsuspecting consumer to think they’re supporting a Canadian company and buying rigorously safety-tested goods. Many brands slap their cute logo on a product mass-produced overseas and pass it off as “high quality” and “shopping small.” Polar Stroller Skis is unambiguously Canadian and the opposite of unscrupulous. (Which, by the way, is “ethical” and “honest.”)
Polar Stroller is not just reselling skis: they are making them. Owners and parents Kelly and Glenn designed Polar Stroller skis with their combined expertise in engineering, manufacturing, children’s healthcare, winter sports and parenting. Their manufacturing facility is located in Leduc, Alberta, near the Edmonton airport.
Polar Stroller uses the highest quality materials for their skis. All components are corrosion resistant and meticulously chosen for their functionality and durability. Wheel brackets are made from strong but lightweight aluminum alloy. Galvanized nylon-coated aircraft cable attaches the skis to the wheels. The skis themselves are not flimsy plastic: they’re made with rigid and impact-resistant ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
Polar Stroller Skis are rigorously safety tested. Before reaching consumers, they have been max-load tested, drop tested, extreme-temperature tested and connection-strength tested, all by a third party. (I know, I’ve seen the test results!) Each set also comes with a wrist leash to attach to your stroller handles in case of a runaway stroller. The bright orange, highly visible colour of our RX4 skis helps keep other pedestrians safe on snow-covered pathways. Since the skis are long and stick out in front of the stroller, we don’t want them to be a tripping hazard! Each set of skis comes with a custom carry bag to transport them when not in use.
Which Polar Stroller Skis are right for us?
To ensure you choose the right set of Polar Stroller Skis for your family’s needs, reach out to them at email@example.com if you need guidance.
Polar Stroller sells their skis in sets of one, two, three or four depending on your needs. (They’re not just for strollers—they can be used on various wheeled mobility devices, bike trailers and gliding bikes!)
There are two different ski sizes, depending on what you’re pushing or pulling. Their regular Polar Skis are short and wide, 18″ x 6″. They will fit on both single and double-wheeled strollers with a wheel diameter of 4″–14″. Their longer, skinnier “RX” skis are 28″ x 3″ and will fit up to 22″ diameter wheels.
The full-length, RX skis were the right choice for our Joovy Qool because of the heavier weight load of twins. The length of the skis helps disperse the weight and prevent us from sinking. (A single child with the same stroller would do fine with the shorter, wider skis.)
Why do I need Polar Stroller Skis?
If you live in the lower mainland of BC and that’s where you spend your winters, you probably don’t. If you live anywhere else where you regularly get snow in the winter, and you want to have the convenience of your stroller (That storage basket! That 5-point harness to contain a thrashing child! That sweet recline and sunshade for winter wonderland naps!) but the wheels can’t cut it on your preferred terrain, then you need Polar Stroller Skis!
Where do I buy Polar Stroller Skis?
Shop at PolarStroller.com. Shipping is available worldwide and is free in Canada for orders over $100.
Find more info and figure out which skis are right for your wheels on Polar Stroller’s YouTube channel!
Where would you go on a Polar Stroller adventure?