Okay, so how many of you just now got flashbacks to the Back to the Future trilogy and Marty Mcfly? For buffs of the iconic franchise, you know that hoverboards were featured in the future timeline of that era (which happened to be 2015). However, the best hoverboards we have today are much, much different.
While the ones in the trilogy were pretty much-floating skateboards without wheels, the versions you will find on the market today are motorized transportation devices that do resemble skateboards somewhat.
All joking aside with the references to the Back to the Future trilogy, this type of technology is quite advanced and has come a long way over the years. The market is filled with several fantastic choices but what does it take to buy one? That is the most important question of them all, is it not?
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8.75 hrs of research
The surface area is much larger than other models
The solid rubber tires offer all-terrain performance
It is UL 2272 certified
- RAZOR HOVERTRAX 2.0
- SEGWAY MINIPRO
- SWAGTRON SWAGBOARD VIBE T580
- SWAGTRON SWAGBOARD PRO T1
- CHO SPIDER WHEELS SERIES
- CHO ALL-TERRAIN
- GOTRAX LED
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST HOVERBOARDS
The surface area is much larger than other models
The solid rubber tires offer all-terrain performance
It is UL 2272 certified
It can take a while to get used to
No one said this technology was going to be cheap and that is perfectly exemplified here. And, even though this device lacks many additional features, it remains the standard- bearer because of its performance.Read more
Many users have claimed that this can take a while to get used to. But, it has been UL 2272 certified and it has also passed over 150 tests regarding safety regulations.
On a single charge, the dual 400-watt motors can last for right around 10 miles and can climb up slopes as steep as 18 degrees. Also, this only takes two hours to charge.
For the record, there are LED lights that are integrated into the front which allows you to use this at night. Of course, it would be nice if you were indicated of the remaining battery life.
While some models out there are equipped with advanced features such as Bluetooth technology, this is really devoid of any additional features.
In addition to the aluminum alloy body which holds up to moderate abuse, this entire model is IP56 rated to handle moderate amounts of dust and water.
Even though you are going to pay for this bad boy, it will be worth every penny thanks to the overall build quality and the superb performance.
2. RAZOR HOVERTRAX 2.0
It auto-levels for enhanced safety
The build quality is tremendous
A training mode is equipped
Blazing speeds can’t be achieved
From top to bottom, you could argue that there is not a more impressive design on the market right now. The Hovertrax 2.0 is simply a model of consistency that deserves admiration.Read more
First off, this is UL approved. However, this is also a new and improved design that sports superior stabilization for enhanced safety.
With a maximum speed of six miles per hour, you will not be breaking speed records with the Hovertrax 2.0. But, the silent dual hub motors are nice and the built-in battery can last nearly two hours on a single charge.
On top of the LED lights that are integrated, this is also equipped with a training mode which will limit the top speed and acceleration. Additionally, this board will auto-level itself for enhanced smoothness and safety.
No speakers or Bluetooth functionality is integrated here but for the most part, it is not too big of a deal.
This is built to last, let’s just say that. The frame is made out of steel and the body is made out of shatter-resistant polymer. Oh, and this is also equipped with fender bumper protection.
The Hovertrax 2.0 is about as good as it gets, period. It is also not outrageously priced, which is simply the icing on the cake.
It is safety certified
Backed by a one-year warranty
It is equipped with a wireless speaker
The pairing of your Bluetooth device is meant with a loud sound
Is it crazy to believe that this type of device could actually sport Bluetooth technology? Well, along with several others, this hoverboard has exactly that and also is equipped with a wireless speaker.Read more
No matter if you are standing on this or not, it is designed with self-balancing technology that allows it to balance itself automatically. Oh, it is also UL certified.
At its peak, this can handle slopes up to 10 degrees and reach speeds of up to eight miles per hour. As for the battery, it is rated to last up to eight miles on a full charge.
For whatever reason, when this pairs with your Bluetooth device it makes an obnoxiously loud noise. On the plus side, there are LED lights integrated in the front that can be used as headlights.
As hinted at, this is equipped with Bluetooth functionality. For the record, this is primarily used for the built-in speaker as you can play music from a connected smart device.
Not only can the wheels work on thicker surfaces (such as thick carpet) but the overall build quality is solid as a whole.
The addition of the Bluetooth speaker may put this over the top for you. Then again, it is stellar in its performance and built which should be the most compelling reasons to buy it.
4. SEGWAY MINIPRO
Designed with precision sensors
It is compatible with Bluetooth devices
Built with an 800-watt dual motor
Some control issues can cause accidents
The miniPRO is dubbed as “the next evolution of personal transportation” but it really is a hoverboard at heart (no matter what the manufacturer claims). In spite of some safety issues, it really is a fantastic “vehicle”.Read more
Let’s get to the good news; this is UL 2272 certified and designed with precision sensors. However, various users have reported that some control issues can lead to crashes.
The miniPRO is powered by Ninebot technology and boy can it perform. It can reach top speeds of 10 miles per hour and can last for up to 14 miles on a single charge.
For whatever reason, this will allow you to exceed the maximum speed only to purse to beep at you for doing so, Looking past this, this is equipped with customizable LED taillights and automatic headlights.
With the power of the accompanying app, you can control all sorts of features here. You can alter the speed, customize the lights, run vehicle diagnostics and also enable the anti-theft alarm.
Thanks to the combination of the 10.5-inch pneumatic air-filled tires (with military-grade shock absorption) and the aircraft-grade magnesium alloy frame, this can overcome some abuse.
If not for the slight safety concerns, the miniPRO could have topped this list. It may be the most advanced design on the market and that really, really is saying something.
5. SWAGTRON SWAGBOARD VIBE T580
It is Bluetooth-enabled
It holds a UL certification
You can check the battery life at a glance
The integrated speakers are not the best
The wheels do not handle bumps in the road very well
The Vibe T580 is another version of the Swagboard and it is also well-designed (hence its appearance on this list). Of course, it is also more suitable for flat surfaces.Read more
Due to the fact that this has passed strict testing set out for both electrical performance and overall safety, you can count on it being safe.
Stellar would be the best word to describe the performance of the Vibe T580. It can achieve a top speed of 7.5 miles per hour, climb slopes up to 30 degrees and last for up to eight miles on a single charge.
What is really nice about this hoverboard (outside of its integrated LED lighting and battery level indication) is it is programmed with three different operating modes (for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders).
Via the app and your compatible smartphone (when synced with this model), you can change modes, check the batteries, play music with the integrated speakers (which are not that great), and access a map function.
The IPX4 rating of this bad boy enables it to handle small splashes of water. And, the durable casing adds much-needed protection. However, the included tires do not handle uneven surfaces very well.
Most of you will be compelled by this option because of the smartphone functionality it brings along with it. Hey, there is nothing wrong with that but just know that the Vibe T580 excels in other areas also.
6. SWAGTRON SWAGBOARD PRO T1
Designed with a smart battery management system
Built with an upgraded 250-watt motor
It includes two different operating modes
It scratches much too easily
With a name like the Swagboard Pro T1, it is safe to assume a lot from this model. As you can see from its high placement on this list, it is more than deserving of its rather boastful name.Read more
As with so many other models out there, this is UL 2272 certified. It passed numerous electrical safety tests and is also equipped with a learning mode for novices of the technology.
The 250-watt motor is not the most powerful out there but the integrated battery of the Pro T1 is very, very good. It can charge in only an hour an can last for up to 12 miles.
In addition to the two riding modes and the LED headlights, also built-in to this is a battery management system. This provides all sorts of protection such as overheating, overvoltage and overcharging.
This entire design is advanced, quite frankly. Of course, there really are no extra or advanced features to speak of.
The physical build quality is great as the frame is flame-resistant and the outside is protected by a hard shell. However, in spite of this, this scratches too easily for many people’s likings.
If you really want to avoid a hoverboard that can only last a half-hour or so, then you may be very interested in this option. It is one of the best, let’s just say that.
7. CHO SPIDER WHEELS SERIES
There are a few different colors to choose from
The build quality is impressive
A wireless speaker is built-in
The battery life is severely limited
Even though this next model is quite good, it exemplifies the one major limitation that most of these devices have. That is, of course, being the limited battery life.Read more
Thanks to the self-balancing technology that is employed here, you are less likely to fall. Additionally, this board has been UL 2272 certified.
For certain, the battery life of this model is the most disappointing aspect. Most users only get around 20 to 30 minutes out of a single charge.
Even if you want to ride this at night, you can because of the built-in high-intensity LED headlights.
Though you should not expect Bose-type quality from the built-in speaker, it is sure nice to have. As for its connectivity, you can sync your Bluetooth devices with it.
The construction is high in quality overall. Also, the wheels are 6.5 inches in size for those of you who are interested.
Due to the fact that you can really only enjoy this in short bursts, it is better served as entertainment rather than as a feasible means of transportation. It is definitely a fun device, though.
It is available in five different matte colors
It features a built-in Bluetooth speaker
Designed with non-slip, sturdy rubber tires
The battery life is pretty brutal
Thanks to the built-in wireless Bluetooth speaker, you can enjoy some nice tunes on your ride. Of course, that ride will still be limited in its length due to the integrated battery.Read more
Yep, this is another model that has been UL 2272 certified. It has passed extensive testing to validate its secure and authentic operation.
This is not a beast by any stretch of the imagination as its maximum speed is six miles per hour. Also, the integrated battery is not the best and is advertised to last for 45 to 75 minutes (though many users have reported they have received nowhere near that time).
On both the wheels and fenders, there are long-lasting LED lights integrated. As you may have expected, these can be used as headlights during nighttime riding.
Via the built-in Bluetooth speaker, you can enjoy tunes while you are riding. Again, however, do not expect utterly superb sound quality from it.
With a weight capacity of 165 pounds, this is clearly not optimized for larger users. That said, the 6.5-inch sturdy rubber tires will offer smooth rides on appropriate terrain.
If you are looking to get your feet wet with this type of technology, this option may be perfect for you. It is an affordable design that will provide short bursts of entertainment.
9. CHO ALL-TERRAIN
Sports LED headlights
It is UL certified
Features off-road tires
It can be scratched a little too easily
A few buyers have complained about the app
As with so many other models on the market, you can take comfort in knowing that this meets UL 2272 standards of quality charging and performance. And, speaking of performance, this bad boy can perform all right.Read more
For both quality charging and electrical performance, this has met UL 2272 standards. As you know by now, this is pretty much the industry standard for certification.
With a two-hour charging time, the battery that is rated to handle up to 13 miles per charge, and a maximum speed of 8.5 miles per hour, this can perform with the best of them.
This unit is not overflowing with features but if you have any interest of riding at night, you will appreciate the integrated LED headlights.
For the record, this can connect to an accompanying app but a few users have noted their frustrations with it. Also, an onboard wireless speaker can provide tunes while you ride.
No, this is not built to handle roughhousing that is for sure. The body gets scratched way too easily and the tires do not deal with bumps on the road well at all.
There really are many reasons to opt for this option. With that said, there are also some slight hiccups present. You just have to take the bad with the good.
10. GOTRAX LED
Features a self-balancing mode
Several color options are available
It meets UL 2272 safety standards
Many users have complained about the battery life
Constant beeping has been documented as an issue
This is actually one of the more popular options out there and it has satisfied hundreds of buyers around the globe. It is not without its hiccups but it is impressive overall.Read more
In addition to the UL 2272 certification, this is also designed with a self-balancing mode which helps you to avoid falling when you are riding.
Let’s just say the performance here is a bit limited. For starters, the 400-watt dual motors can only achieve a maximum speed of seven miles per hour (which is still not bad). But, the battery is only rated to last 2.5 to 3.5 miles on a single charge.
A common complaint amongst users, for whatever reason, has been that this can beep like crazy. As for physical features, this is equipped with two LED headlights and color LED lights on the wheels.
There really is not too much to speak of here. This is devoid of a Bluetooth speaker so if that concerns you, take note of it.
In spite of the fact that scratches appear on the body too easily, this can support anyone who does not exceed 200 pounds in weight.
Many former users have had positive things to say about this hoverboard so you can always take comfort in that. If you can accept the limitations of this design then you will be able to get great use out of it.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This is all about the safety folks. Specifically, look for UL 2272 certification.
What you need to realize from the word go, is this section is not referencing safety in regard to falling or injury (even though that can come into play). Instead, this all comes down to the electrical components of hoverboards and how, back in the day, they would be known to catch fire. Clearly, you do not want to mess around with a model that poses this risk.
Thankfully, modern models are less prone to this as long as they have been certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratories. This is an organization that tests electrical equipment to gauge the quality and safety of the integrated components.
In specific, what you are looking for is UL 2272 certification as this is the standard for the electrical systems of hoverboards. Basically, when a model sports this certification then you know it has been tested extensively for safety. Now, moving forward, this type of transportation device is also referred to as a self-balancing scooter. This “self-balancing” is an important word as systems with this type of technology will be easier for you to balance on, clearly.
The performance-end of things is very, very important. What to look for is both speed and power.
When it comes to the performance, there are two major factors to consider and each of these factors can be broken down into subsections.
The first of which is the integrated battery. Clearly, hoverboards need to be powered by some means and this is typically done with an integrated battery. However, as you may have noticed throughout this guide, these devices can be quite limited in this respect. Even higher-end models may only get two to three hours of runtime on a single charge. Yet, there are those models that will only get around 30 minutes. Also, for the record, most sellers will rate their battery based on distance (usually in miles) rather than time.
The other sub-factor with the battery is how long it will take to charge. You can except most models to take right around two to three hours to charge (but there will be exceptions).
Now, what also dictates performance here is power. For starters, how fast do you want the model to travel? While you can’t achieve rip-roaring speeds with them, some can travel up to 13 miles per hour (which is not bad). Furthermore, do you plan to ride up slopes? If so, ensure that the model you buy can handle the degree of the slope (as it will need enough power to get up it).
Do not overlook some of the features as they can also come into play.
For such a high-tech device, there are really not an overpowering amount of features that you need to look for. But, there are a few so let’s take a look at them.
To begin, most options on the market will be equipped with LED lights. No, these are not for show as they are actually implemented on most systems for safety. When your visibility is low (such as at night or in the early morning), LED lights (which are typically located at the front) can be used as headlights to allow you to be seen. Of course, you may want to take extra precautions to ensure you can be seen as these lights will naturally only emit a limited area.
Past this, some options will have programmable modes for you to choose from. These are typically not too advanced but can feature different operating modes based on your skill level. For example, there may be a training mode that will limit the device’s top speed and acceleration. Oh, and lastly, you may want to look for models with battery management systems or any level of protection for the battery (to prevent overheating, overcharging and such).
No, this is not a mandatory section but it can make a difference.
If you want to be honest for a second, hoverboards themselves are advanced gadgets. But, this section is not here to generalize them as, instead, it is focused on Bluetooth technology.
Would you believe that something like this could actually be synced to your smartphone? It is crazy when you think about it but some models out there will come with accompanying apps that can be used to access additional features (such as the remaining battery and different operating modes). But, most notably, some of them will come equipped with an integrated Bluetooth speaker or speakers.
As you may have guessed, with these, you can then play music straight from your synced smart device. But, do not expect Bose-like quality from them as that is just not going to be the case.
Of course, is Bluetooth a necessary technology for hoverboards to have? Honestly, the answer is no as many of the options on this list lack the wireless technology. In this case, Bluetooth functionality is merely a luxury that is not mandatory in the slightest.
Look, accidents may happen so look for a model that is well built.
Some people look at these as toys and while that may be accurate, they should not be treated as toys. This is expensive technology and it needs to be treated with care. But, you can also do yourself a solace by selecting a model that is built to handle accidents and mild abuse. Really, what you want to steer away from is cheap plastic.
Ideally, look for the frame and body to be made up of high-quality metal such as aluminum or magnesium alloy (or even high-strength and shatter-resistant polymer). They should be able to crash now and again without breaking (depending on the severity of the crash, of course).
But, what happens if you get caught in an unexpected rainstorm? Some models are IP rated to handle moderate amounts of rain and while many are not waterproof, some are at least water-resistant. Oh, and you also do not want to forget about the tires. If you want to traverse on rough or rugged terrain, you will need to look for tires that can handle it.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A few years ago, this type of technology could not be trusted as the electrical components that were being implemented were not safe enough. Thankfully, most modern hoverboards will be UL 2272 certified for ultimate safety and performance. It has come to the point where you may want to avoid any models that do not have the UL certification, quite frankly.
When it comes down to it, the performance all comes down to the power and battery of any given model. Both of them are crucial but both of them are quite different, as well. When you talk power, you are really talking about speed and the slopes that the specific model can handle. For the battery, it all comes down to its charging time and longevity for single, full charges.
While there are not an overabundance of features that you will need to concern yourself with, the few that you do can be vitally important. This all begins with LED lighting as if you are going to be riding in low-light conditions, you need to be visible to the public. Of course, some systems out there will be programmed with multiple operation modes and this can be ideal if your child wants to ride on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can they catch fire?
This alluded to earlier but in the past, this type of technology was known for catching on fire. As you may have expected, this made customers wary about buying one because wouldn’t you? Even nowadays they could still catch fire but the chances are reduced if they are UL 2272 certified (as this sort of thing will be checked). The main thing for you to do is to not be careless when you are charging the battery.
q: Are they allowed on planes?
Even with all the advancements that have been made with this technology and even in spite of all the safety precautions and certifications, hoverboards are banned on planes. Most airlines will simply not take the risk and when you think about the past, you can understand this to a degree. Of course, just for your own peace of mind, you can always call your airline and check directly with them.
q: Can you ride them on carpet?
The importance of the design of the tires was documented earlier. But, in general, can they handle carpet riding? After all, you may just want to cruise around in your home for a little while to test the waters. Well, not all models out there will be optimized to work on the carpet because the tires need to have an ample amount of grip. You see, if they don’t then they will probably not move due to the lack of friction between them and the carpet.
q: What about in grass?
Alright, so with carpet out of the way, what about grass? Answering this question as is can be tough as some clarification needs to be made. After all, are you talking about fine cut grass or grass that is almost up to your knees? For the latter, most models will not be designed to handle such terrain. But, for fine cut grass, the chances are better that your tires will be able to handle it. And, generally speaking, if all you are worried about is this type of grass, do not lose sleep over it as most models will be able to handle it.
q: Can they be charged overnight?
What this all comes down to is whether or not the system has built-in overcharging protection. This is key because if the model you pick lacks this, you should probably avoid allowing it to charge overnight. As was discussed before, hoverboards typically only take a few hours to charge so if you allow them to charge for 7 to 10 hours, you will overcharge the battery (which is never good). Again, though, this will be much less of an issue if the battery is protected against overcharging.
q: Okay, so what happens if the battery overcharges?
Alright, so to follow up on the previous question, what happens if you are careless and you do accidentally allow the battery to overcharge?
In drastic situations, the battery could actually explode, overheat, or even catch on fire. You also do not want the battery to puncture as these issues can also persist. Now, let’s also point out that the battery is probably not going to explode if you overcharge it for an hour or so. But, if left unattended for long enough without overcharging protection, it could cause serious and irreplaceable damage.
And, it is just a guess, but this will also probably void any warranty that is included.