Easy to learn and perfect for those who are new to hoverboards. U.S.-based company provides reliable customer support.
Isn't as scratch-resistant as some other models.
Offers a stable ride and good self-balancing. Parents will appreciate the higher safety rating on the battery. Bluetooth sync capability that plays music from a connected smartphone is a nice bonus.
Battery life is a bit short.
Uses knees to steer rather than just the feet, adding to stability. Includes a beginner mode for those just learning. Latest update has removed annoying beeping at max speed.
Smaller battery reduces the transporter’s range by about 1.5 miles. Auto slowdown at 10 mph is jerky. Impractical to carry at 30 lbs.
Sturdy construction and aesthetically pleasing design. Razor is a prominent brand in the scooter industry.
You are paying for the brand name.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
A hoverboard is a motorized transportation device that has wheels at both ends. Because of the fluidity of motion and its quick response, however, it produces the illusion that the rider is floating on air. The hoverboard rapidly earned a reputation for being dangerous, but if you purchase a unit that complies with the UL 2272 safety standard, you won't have to worry about overheating.
Make sure the hoverboard that you are considering can support the full weight of the intended rider. Faster speeds might not be best for novice users, but long battery life will provide the most enjoyment for everyone. Additionally, it's important to realize that hoverboards with larger wheels and two batteries – one on each side – tend to offer the rider the most stability.
We've handpicked some of the best hoverboards available and listed them in this article. If you're ready to buy, try one of our recommendations. If you'd like an in-depth look at what makes a hoverboard great, keep reading.
Because of the controversy regarding hoverboards catching on fire, our top priority was to get to the bottom of the safety issue.
It's true that some hoverboards have posed a safety risk to consumers over the past few years. And for a while, retailers like Amazon stopped selling them because of the potential danger. But in 2016, the UL introduced a new voluntary safety standard (UL 2272) for hoverboards that addresses the risk. If you're in the market for a hoverboard, we strongly suggest that you buy one that complies with UL 2272.
All five of the products in our product list, above, are compliant with UL 2272. But we conducted a series of tests with an infrared thermometer anyway, to see if any of the hoverboards actually did heat up to abnormal temperatures during use or while charging.
Our analysis showed that none of the models generated enough heat to make flammability an issue.
When we took apart the hoverboards, we noticed something interesting.
The cheaper hoverboards — those in the $300 to $500 range — have only one battery (on one of the sides), while the more expensive models have two batteries (one on each side). Ironically, this disparity didn’t translate into considerable differences in battery life or charging times between units, but it did affect the stabilization of the boards.
The models with two batteries were much smoother and more balanced than the ones with only one battery.
From the minute we powered on the devices, we noticed some major differences between the models in terms of the stabilization technology.
Some cheaper models have a feedback loop that causes the machine to vibrate and move around erratically.
This makes it much more difficult to get on and off the board, because as soon as you have one foot on the ground, the board can begin spinning uncontrollably.
In this case, the best way to get on or off is to hold onto a stationary object such as a wall or chair.
While this issue wasn’t symptomatic on a smooth surface like concrete, it became a much bigger problem when going over slightly bumpy terrain such as the edge of a carpet, small sidewalk cracks, or minor potholes.
We also tested the boards for inclement weather conditions like rain and sleet. The board had no problems going over water, experiencing zero slippage even over relatively large puddles.
That being said, we would strongly advise not riding a hoverboard during bad weather, as there is the potential to get into serious danger by going over bumps and rough surfaces that are covered by rain or other debris.
In terms of handling, all of the boards were comparable. The only noticeable differences were the top speeds for each model. The more expensive models reached 8 mph, while the cheaper boards didn’t go past 6 mph.
The first thing you will notice as soon as you pick up your brand new hoverboard is the weight. These things are very heavy!
We were expecting them to weigh something like a normal scooter, but they actually weigh several times more — ranging from 15 to 26 pounds.
Most of the weight is concentrated in the lithium ion battery (located above the wheels on one or both sides of the board).
All of the models are nearly identical in terms of weight and design. Some of them are assembled abroad and others are made in the U.S. As such, the final products appear slightly different in terms of branding and polish.
Hoverboards may look light, but they are actually quite heavy to pick up, ranging from 15-26 lbs.
All of the hoverboards come with a built-in battery pack, charger, and an instruction manual.
The chargers were virtually identical between models, and the instruction manuals were similar, although a few had some spelling mistakes and some poorly translated English.
Some of the fancier models also come with nice add-ons such as a remote control, bluetooth speakers, and LED lights. While none of these features are essential, they are differentiators that may influence the buying decision for consumers who wnat to use their hoverboard daily.
Take your time during your first rides on this product. It can take several hours of usage to get comfortable maintaining your balance!
If you're in the market for a hoverboard, you should be aware that there are inherent risks involved with these machines. While the possibility of a fire is very limited to begin with, the chance is even lower if you purchase a board that is UL-compliant.
In the end, it comes down to personal preference. These things are an absolute joy to ride, and it’s no wonder they have become an international phenomenon.
If you have the risk appetite for it, you will be sure to have a lot of fun zipping through the street on the hottest toy in town!
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