Unless you’ve been dwelling underneath a stone in the garden, you’re aware of the massive influx of “hoverboards” which have hit the market over the last few years. These nifty little transportation devices have taken the world by storm, while they’re not the hoverboards of our childhood dreams they’re definitely pretty cool little devices. Unfortunately, with so many recalls having happened in the past and the sheer number of them on the market it can be hard to figure out which is the best for you. Read on and we’ll show you five of the best hoverboards on the market, and then help you decide which is the best for your needs.
As far as hoverboards go, our pick is the brand-name Razor Hovertrax 2.0. It offers the most value for those not looking for a specialized device, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the low price tag and high overall quality of the board.
If you want to ensure you get a brand name hoverboard without spending a ton of cash, then the Hovertrax 2.0 is exactly what you’re looking for.
Top 5 Hoverboards & Balancing Scooters
|Name||Wheel Size||UL 2272 Certified?|
|SWAGTRON T1||6.5”||Yes||Check Price|
|Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard||6.5”||Yes||Check Price|
|TOMOLOO Hoverboard||6.5”||Yes||Check Price|
|EPIKGO Self Balancing Scooter Hover Board||8.5”||Yes||Check Price|
|SWAGTRON T6 Off-Road Hoverboard||10”||Yes||Check Price|
1. Best Entry Level Hoverboard
The Swagtron T1 is one of the best selling hoverboards of all time and the reason is simple: the price is right and it’s suitable for a wide variety of people. With a 250 watt motor that reaches a top speed of 6mph it can handle most people without too much difficulty. It comes equipped with 6.5” hard rubber tires which make it suitable for most urban terrain when combined with the motor as long as you keep off really rough roads and super steep inclines. It also comes in a wide range of differing colors, allowing you some level of customization in the look of the board when you get it. It charges fairly quickly as well, coming in at about two hours.
The range isn’t the best, but it’s appreciable at about twelve miles for someone of average size and enough to make a short commute if you’ve got the right streets for it.
The Swagtron T1 may not be the hottest, fastest, or slickest hoverboard around but it’s a solid choice for those who are looking to make a safe first purchase.
Pros and Cons
- Great price
- Decently powerful
- 12 mile range
- Comes in a few different colors
- Comes with a learning mode
- A bit slow
- Only good for flat, smooth terrain
2. Best Affordable Brand Name Hoverboard
Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard
Razor brought their mini-scooters to market a long time ago and they were among the first to start producing high-quality hoverboards for a decent price. The Hovertrax 2.0 is exactly that and it packs quite a bit of power, a 350 watt motor running up to 8mph, for a low price.
It also has fenders which will keep the 6.5” wheels safe from impacting curbs and other obstructions which can pose a problem when they can’t be climbed.
This hoverboard can support up to 220lbs of rider as well, making it ideal for most average sized people and it comes with a sweet little LED bumper display.
Pros and Cons
- 350 watt, silent running motor
- Top speed of 8mph
- Fenders on wheels
- LED bumper display
- Quick charge battery
- Low run time at sixty minutes
- Charger lacks durability
3. Best Integrated Speaker Hoverboard
While it’s only pushing 300 watts and about 7.5mph, this hoverboard comes with a pretty impressive little light set and an integrated Bluetooth speaker to allow you to enjoy your music while you’re taking a ride. It can also support a whopping 264lbs of rider, putting it up there quite a bit higher on the list for the heavier folks among us.
It’s got a nice response time as well, allowing you to stop on a dime once you get the hang of it. The usual two modes have a third mode added on “advanced mode” which allows for quicker acceleration and turning capabilities.
The Bluetooth speaker is going to be the main draw for the majority of people, but it’s still a serviceable hoverboard and has the necessary certifications to make it safe.
Pros and Cons
- Integrated Bluetooth speaker
- Bright and colorful LED lighting
- Twelve mile range
- Three modes of usage
- Holds 264lbs
- Fairly slow
- Limited to flat and smooth terrain
Best Hoverboard for Commuting
EPIKGO Self Balancing Scooter Hover Board
While it’s got a tough, off-road look this is actually one of the best hoverboards around for the average commute. The large wheels and respectable top end of 8mph is one of the main draws, but this thing will quickly conquer curbs and other small obstacles.
While it’s marketed as being off-road, you really want larger tires for a great experience there. If you just need to handle grass and the occasional patch of sand, however, you’re in good hands with this hoverboard from Epikgo.
The main problem here is the fact that this board is pretty big. It holds its balance amazingly well over rougher terrain because of it, but it also makes the whole thing pretty heavy.
For a daily commute or adventurous riding, this hoverboard is seriously worth a closer look. If you’re really interested in off-roading, however, you’ll want to take a look at the last option on our list.
Pros and Cons
- 8.5” wheels for conquering terrain
- Two 400W motors
- Great for climbing small obstacles
- 1 year warranty
- Ten mile range
- Heavy and large
Best for Off Roading
SWAGTRON T6 Off-Road
With 10” wheels and a powerful set of motors with a top speed of 12mph, the Swagtron T6 is one of the most powerful and capable hoverboards on the market. It’s also a fairly expensive option, but for some people the adventure will be well worth it. It has a 12 mile range as well, allowing you an impressive amount of run time while you’re on the road.
The big all-terrain tires can handle more than pretty much any other hoverboard on the market, however, lending it to the kinds of rides which you’d never dream were possible with most entry-level boards.
If you’re looking to maximize the amount of fun you can get out of a hoverboard and end up with one which will take you just about anywhere then you’re in good hands with the Swagtron T6.
Pros and Cons
- 10” wheels
- 12 mile range
- Can handle just about any terrain
- Supports up to 420lbs
- Bluetooth speakers
- Bluetooth speakers
- Not very portable
What is a Hoverboard?
While the name is evocative of the devices from our favorite science fiction movies, the reality isn’t quite as cool but they’re definitely a nice little piece of technology.
A hoverboard consists of two wheels and a central platform which contains a battery, motor, and the mechanics which are required in order to keep the whole platform self-balancing.
What this leads to is a platform that lends itself well to tricks, as well as being capable of some pretty quick transportation once you develop the competency to not drop yourself on your face.
Are Hoverboards Safe?
Hoverboards came out in 2015, but soon after they hit the market there were reports of them catching fire and exploding. Indeed, many of the models which were on the market were recalled within that year and some of the bigger retailers even warned customers who’d already purchased them that they were simply unsafe to have around.
The problem centered around cheap Li-ion batteries, which had a tendency to catch fire or vent(“explode”) at the drop of a hat.
It caused enough of a scare that some municipalities actually banned them from the roads, they couldn’t be taken on planes, and all sorts of exciting consequences came into effect.
The possibility has been greatly reduced since then, however, since nearly any battery which is produced for these transportation devices is going to be UL-2270 compliant. This generally means a safe battery, barring any defect from the manufacturer so keep an eye out for that label if you’re trying to get a great deal.
There were also some problems with the responsiveness of controls with some of the knock offs which have come about, so keep that in mind if you’re tempted to buy something which may look too good to be true. Honestly, this may be more dangerous to the user than the off-chance of a bad battery venting, since it can leave you in traffic or drop you on your head.
Other than that, there’s just the usual risks associated with any alternative method of transportation, primarily falling risks, which can be mitigated by being careful and a rider developing the skill necessary in order to use one properly.
If you’re particularly paranoid about your battery then make sure to charge it on concrete or somewhere else that it won’t cause any damage if it does vent or heat up too much.
What Wheel Size is Ideal?
When it comes down to it, this is the biggest consideration for most people. Hoverboards come in three general wheel sizes: 6.5”, 8”, and 10”.
6.5” are pretty much limited to flat, smooth, level terrain but they’re great for tricks. If your primary focus with them is on fun and skilled riding, then you may want to go with this size of wheel since it makes things a little bit simpler.
10” wheels on the other hand are able to conquer some pretty surprising obstacles, and with rugged tires can even handle some minor off-road action. For a personal transportation device this is the ideal size.
8” wheels are a happy medium if you want to manage both tricks and have a reliable transportation device, although it won’t go quite as many places at 10”.
The best way to decide which size is the best for you is to determine how you want to use your board before you make a final decision which one is the best for you.
Of course there’s more to snagging the ideal board than just picking a wheel size, these are complex electronic devices after all, so let’s take a look at what other qualities you’re going to need to make sure that you have the best experience possible.
Picking Out Your Hoverboard
There are a ton of different boards on the market, and even the cheap ones are pretty expensive. It really doesn’t make sense to just pick one and hope for the best unless you have a pretty much unlimited budget to work with.
You’re going to want to take a look at some of the distinguishing factors between the different models and work on figuring out which of them is ideal for you.
Most hoverboard models top out at around ten miles per hour, but some exceptional models can run up to thirteen miles per hour or so. This is pushing it a little bit for most novice riders, but if you’ve got a serious need for speed it can definitely be a boon.
How quick of one you want will depend largely on how you like to ride and if you’re a thrill seeker, most people will be happy at around seven or eight miles per hour: considerably faster than walking but not really pushing the limits.
We recommend topping out at about twelve miles per hour if you’re not experienced with riding these, though there are a few commercial models which go fifteen miles per hour or faster if you look hard enough.
The range of hoverboards is measured in miles. Particularly powerful batteries might allow you a twenty mile range which is pretty good if you’re looking to use one as a transportation device.
Keep in mind that the range estimates are usually made with conservative speed estimates as well, you may only get sixteen miles or so with a board rated for twenty if you plan on jamming the throttle to full at all times.
Your weight will also be a factor in how much range you can get. Lighter individuals will use less power to scoot around while heavier ones will require a little bit more.
Recharge time is also a factor here. If you decide to take a ride to a friend’s home which is on the outside of the range but it only takes an hour to charge back up you’ll be much better off than if you have to leave it to charge overnight and end up lugging the whole thing home.
This obviously isn’t much of a consideration if you’re just playing in your yard but if you’re using one to make a short commute each day you’ll want to factor it in.
Portability will be a function of the weight of the board for the most part, although wheel size will definitely play a role as well. Some boards are super light and easy to pack up and take in to work with you, others are pretty bulky overall.
As a general rule, if you’re over 220lbs or so you’re going to need to look for something a little bit specialized to haul you around. These boards do exist, but you’ll generally have to opt for something expensive with large wheels to support the extra weight.
Keep in mind that many hoverboards also have a minimum weight as well. This is to keep the self-balancing mechanism working, since too little weight might not activate things and it can be dangerous to ride them if you fall under the weight.
Most adults will be fine as far as the minimum is concerned, but if you’re buying one for a child then it’s important to pay attention.
The build quality of hoverboards varies widely. While some might seem cobbled together out of broken dreams and recycled plastic, others are put together strong enough that they’ll take a hit from a car much better than you are.
It can be hard to judge the build-quality of a hoverboard without actually getting a look at it in person, but look for higher-end materials and reviews which make specific note of the device being well put together. This will help you quite a bit in the long run.
Higher-build quality tends to come with a lot more expense, even if some of the other attributes of a board are lacking, but it’s also one of the key factors in being able to enjoy your purchase for a long time to come.
The pricing of a hoverboard can tell you a lot about it. Most of the viable commercial models are between $300 and $600 dollars. Any lower and you’re most likely looking at a knock-off which might be dangerous and will definitely be an inferior product, any higher and you’re looking at something which is made for those who are already experienced.
Most of what you’re paying for at the lower end of things is actually the battery, which is why there’s such a high “bottom line” cost, anything over that and you’re paying for vastly improved hardware.
Warranty and Return Policy
The warranty and return policy attached to your hoverboard are of the utmost importance.
There’s a reason for this other than the chance of breakage however: dangerous knock-offs still exist on the market and they’ll almost never have a warranty or return policy. Do not purchase a hoverboard as is if you want to be safe, no matter how good the deal seems at first glance.
Of course, warranties are always useful with any device. They might not be prone to breaking at the drop of a hat, but they can definitely break over time if something went wrong at the factory.
Return policies are equally important, because if you do end up with a knock off it’s not something you want to keep around.
Due to the battery powered nature of these devices there are a ton of extra little add-ons that can be found with them.
The most common of these extras is LED lighting, which adds a dynamic color scheme to your riding. Not really necessary, by any means, but the aesthetic touch is nice.
Another common add-on are Bluetooth speakers which will allow you to play music while you’re cruising around and can be a definite bonus for those who are going on a longer trip.
Legalities of Hoverboards
Keep in mind that thanks to the kerfluffle which surrounded the release of these transportation devices they’re in something of a legal grey area in many places. You’ll want to check your local laws before you decide to hit the town.
In almost any case you’ll be able to use them on private property but going down the sidewalk is where things start to get a little bit odd. In some municipalities this is outright illegal, but in other places like California they can be used anywhere you might ride a bike.
The issue of transporting them is also still somewhat contentious, so check before you decide to do anything drastic.
Finding the best hoverboard around can feel like a big task but as long as you’ve gone through our buyer’s guide you’re on the right path. All of our recommendations are solid, but there’s a stunning array of them on the market so don’t limit yourself too much. Get the right one and soon you’ll be cruising in style.