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Best Hoverboards and Self-Balancing Scooters – Buyer’s Guide

It was only a few years ago that hoverboards were being lambasted for their safety issues as they wouldn’t stop catching fire. What was once an incredibly popular product soon began losing its audience, eventually disappearing for a short while.

That stayed true until the revival of the self-balancing scooter that came with the safety certifications. These motorized, self-balancing devices are fun recreational vehicles that can be a great mode of transportation, especially after a tiring leg day at the gym.

Hoverboards are now popular again, and Amazon rescinded its decision to cease their distribution once the safety certifications kicked in. These vehicles are no safer, more feature-packed, and more fun than ever.

Best Hoverboards and Self-Balancing Scooters

You’ll still need some help in choosing one though. The market is flooded with all types, some of great quality and others being cheap knockoffs. Being smart and knowing which brand is the best will allow you to buy the best possible product.

This guide is exactly for that. The hoverboards listed here are what we believe the best ones you can get in 2018. We also have a buyer’s guide at the end to help you out in your purchase decision.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Halo Rover

The Top of the Line Scooter

The Halo Rover is one of the most well-known hoverboards in the market. It’s famous for its incredible mix of range, speed, performance, and multi-terrain capability. It comes with just about everything you would want in a hoverboard

Save for the price and weight, there’s very little not to dislike about the Halo Rover. This has remained the premium choice in the hoverboard market for several years now, and seems like it will continue to do so.

Best Value

Best Value

SwagTron T1

The Trend Setter

The entire hoverboard industry owes a lot to the SwagTron T1, which was one of the first hoverboards to get the UL safety certification and revive the self-balancing scooter market. It’s still going incredibly strong right now, providing everything that makes a great hoverboard in a package that is affordable.

The SwagTron T1 has been with us for several years, and it’s one of the most popular hoverboards for its combination of reliability, affordable, and great performance.

Halo Rover

HaloRover

Specs:

  • Top Speed: 10 mph
  • Range: 10 miles
  • Load Capacity: Max 220 lbs
  • Charging Time: 1.5 hours
  • Weight: 32 Pounds

The nearly indestructible, mighty Halo Rover is one of the most well known hoverboards in the world, and for good reason. It has withstood the test of time and maintained its status as the top drawer self balancing scooter, the ideal choice for those who wish to buy one that can traverse any type of terrain and work in all kinds of environment.

This rugged beast is weighty at 32 pounds, which does make it difficult to tow, but this weight serves a purpose. With its giant 8.5” unbreakable tires, you can travel over all kinds of terrain without any issue. The ride itself is incredibly smooth, and the scooter packs enough power with its dual 400W motor to go up to speeds of 10mph on rough surfaces.

Not only is it great in performance, it is also packed with just about every feature you could want on hoverboards. It is app-controlled and features Bluetooth speakers to keep you entertained during your ride. Its sensors provide a smooth ride and ensure safety, which is further backed by its UL certification.

For such a premium product, you do have to pay a premium price. The Halo Rover will can set you back up to $1000, though there is a huge discount on offer at the time of writing this article. Halo Board takes a lot of pride in its product and has immense confidence in it, and they offer a 1 year warranty for the self-balancing scooter.

Pros

  • Safe and reliable
  • Performs exceptionally in any environment
  • Packed with features
  • Water resistant
  • Excellent build quality
  • Great speed

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

SwagTron T1

SwagTronT1

Specs:

  • Top Speed: 8 mph
  • Range: 12 miles
  • Load Capacity: Max 220 lbs
  • Charging Time: 1-1.5 hours
  • Weight: 22 Pounds

Many people would be amazed to see such an affordable hoverboard make it one of our top picks in a list filled with more expensive self-balancing scooters that have arguably more features. The reason for this is quite simple: the SwagTron T1 brings the complete package in a product that mixes affordability, performance, and reliability in one package.

The SwagTron T1 was one of the first UL-certified hoverboards in the market, which is a testament to its safety and reliability. This brought back the popularity and ease of availability of self balancing scooters as we know them, and SwagTron T1 was the torch bearer in the movement.

With the SwagTron T1, you get a 250 watts motor that allows it to handle up to 30-degree inclines, a range of 12 miles, and a maximum speed of 8mph. Its best feature though is its safety design. With the SentryShield system, the batteries don’t overheat, and the ABS outer covering protecting the internals is extremely durable and fire-resistant.

We feel the SwagTron T1 works best for most individuals looking to buy their first hoverboard. SwagTron is a proven brand name when it comes to hoverboards, and its brilliant T1 model offers the right balance between affordability and ease of use.

Pros

  • Safe and reliable
  • Great set of basic features
  • Good build and design
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform well on rough terrain
  • Not water resistant

Segway miniPro

SegMiniPro

Specs:

  • Top Speed: 10 mph
  • Range: 14-15 miles
  • Load Capacity: Max 220 lbs
  • Charging Time: 4 hours
  • Weight: 29 Pounds

The Segway miniPro looks a bit different from other contemporary hoverboards because of its knee steering bar. While this design choice may not be for everyone, it’s hard to argue against the benefits of incredible stability and comfort, among other fantastic features that sets the Segway miniPro apart from its competition.

The biggest one without a doubt is this product’s amazing battery life, which is almost unparalleled. The newer 2018 model (260) does come with inferior battery life (and thus range), but that is mainly a secondary, more affordable alternative to the flagship miniPro (320).

The battery on the Segway miniPro allows it to go very fast and very far on just one charge. Its 800W dual motors power impressive 10.5” tires, though they aren’t necessarily designed for rough terrain. That’s not to say the Segway is incapable of handling varied terrain though – far from it. It does a great job on most surfaces and is particularly great in lengthy corridors or pathways.

Segwy miniPro’s most iconic visual feature is its adjustable bar handle. Though it increases the overall footprint of the product, it is an extremely useful feature that makes handling the self-balancing scooter a breeze. It is very beginner friendly for this very reason, having a small learning curve.

The handle does have its downsides though; the miniPro isn’t as maneuverable as other hoverboards on this list because of it, making it less fun. It is also a costly product that’ll set you back quick a bit. The huge battery also makes it heavy, and it takes a lot longer to charge than other boards.

However, this board is designed for commuting fast and efficiently, which is what it does exceptionally well. Any list of top hoverboards without the Segway miniPro is incomplete.

Pros

  • Very safe and stable
  • Easy to use
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Handles varied terrain well
  • Excellent build quality
  • Great speed

Cons

  • Hard to turn due to the handle bar
  • Takes a long time to charge
  • Expensive

EpikGo All-Terrain

EpikGO

Specs:

  • Top Speed: 10 mph
  • Range: 10 miles
  • Load Capacity: Max 265 lbs
  • Charging Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Weight: 32 Pounds

The EpikGo self balancing scooter is one of the highest rated hoverboards on Amazon. It has even been selected as an Amazon’s Choice product, a testament to the functionality and reliability of the product.

This behemoth is bigger and more powerful than its competition, weighing at just over 32 pounds with extremely durable and sturdy all-terrain 8.5” tires with alloy wheels. The EpikGo’s key feature lies in the name and its tires. It is one of the best hoverboards you can buy for rough terrains.

Due to its heavy duty construction, it handles all surfaces without any hassle, and its performance at inclines is also admirable. It is also UL certified like all the products on this list, with an additional certification for battery safety. Additionally, the product also has IP56 rated water resistance.

The battery life of the EpikGo lasts around 2+ hours, which we consider excellent. It does have a reduced range though, primarily because its dual 400W motor needs a lot of juice to drive this beast of a hoverboard at fast speeds of 10 mph.

The EpikGo All-Terrain is meant for heavy duty use, so it has a much bigger footprint than a lot of other hoverboards. This also makes it slightly less agile than other hoverboards.

Having said that, this self-balancing scooter is reliable and tough, and its bulkiness and weight give it a lot of appeal. One of the bigger downsides though for us is that its price, it doesn’t come with any battery level indicators.

Regardless, this is still an incredible choice for users looking for a hoverboard that can handle all terrain types.

Pros

  • High quality and heavy duty construction
  • Can handle virtually all terrains
  • Great battery life
  • Water resistance is great
  • Great speed

Cons

  • Bulky, heavy, and not as agile
  • No battery level indicator

Razor HoverTrax 2.0

Razor

Specs:

  • Top Speed: 8 mph
  • Range: 10 miles
  • Load Capacity: Max 220 lbs
  • Charging Time: 1-2 hours
  • Weight: 27 Pounds

Razor made a name for itself with the scooter way back in 2000, selling over 5 million of them. They haven’t gone anywhere since, and have confidently stepped into the hoverboards market with the HoverTrax 2.0.

Razor claims this is one of the “smartest” hoverboards you can possibly buy. With its UL safety certification, this product is a true rival to the ever-popular Swagtron series of self-balancing scooters. At 27 pounds, it is lighter than most hoverboards on the market, but doesn’t skimp on features.

The reason for the 2.0 tag is that the original was pulled from the market amid the many safety concerns regarding hoverboards a few years back. The redesigned and reimplemented Hovertrax 2.0 meets all the safety requirements and standards though.

The lightweight design allows users to maneuver the board quite easily. Its ability to turn and ease of operation is the highlight feature of this smart hoverboard. The brilliant EverBalance™ technology is what makes it so agile yet stable, with incredible auto-leveling for easier mounting and a smoother ride than many of its competitors.

At 8mph and a range of just 10 miles, the HoverTrax sits at the middle of the pack when it comes to mobility and performance. It makes up for having decent performance parameters with its smooth ride and ease of use.

Pros

  • EverBalance feature provides a smooth ride
  • Reliable performance
  • Lightweight for a hover board
  • Great maneuverability

Cons

  • No Bluetooth speaker system
  • Not certified water resistant

Buyer’s Guide

    One of the most important things you’ll want to figure out before buying a hoverboard is what kind of terrain you’ll be using it on. Most hoverboards are built for a specific type of terrain. There are some specialist ones, but those are a lot costlier such as the Halo Rover or EpikGo all-terrain.

    You’ll get an idea of how a self-balancing scooter performs of rough terrain just by looking at its tires and their treads. Large tires with elaborate treads will give better traction, making them very useful on rougher terrain. However, such hoverboards are also heavier.

    Hoverboards with smooth tires and basic treads are designed for smooth pathways. These are the most common type, make the hoverboard lightweight, and don’t add to the overall cost of the product.

    For most individuals, the latter is the ideal choice. However, if your district has rough sidewalks, uneven terrain, and coarse pathways, you’ll want to invest in all-terrain hoverboards.

    The safety certification of a hoverboard is the most important aspect to look at. Any hoverboard without a UL certification should be dismissed immediately.

    The UL certification that you need to look for is UL 2272. This certification covers the entire hoverboard unit, not just the individual parts. Certain hoverboards will market an additional certification as well, such as the UL 2271 (safety certification for batteries). While this is certainly reassuring, the UL 2272 is generally given to a hoverboard mostly covers the battery safety as well.

    That said, never treat the battery as a guaranteed safe part of the hoverboard even if it has a certification. Only charge a hoverboard when you are nearby to keep an eye on it, irrespective of its safety certifications.

    You should also be very careful about buying hoverboards that have been recalled. Head over to CPSC and see if the hoverboard you want to buy has been recalled. If you own one that has been, stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer for a solution.

    The speed and range of a hoverboard isn’t always going to be what is written advertised. This isn’t false marketing at play – it is simply the fact that these parameters will depend on an additional variable that is not in the manufacturer’s knowledge: your weight.

    A heavier individual riding a hoverboard with a rate speed of, say, 10 mph will likely go at a slower rate. Similarly, the range and run time of the hoverboard is also affected by the weight. The motor needs more power to turn the wheels while it is under load, which means it will take more energy from the battery.

    Speed and range are generally great determiners of a hoverboard’s battery and agility. That said, they should always be taken combined. A hoverboard that can go up to 12 mph but only has a range of 5 miles is nowhere near as good as one that will go at 10 mph and give a range of 10 miles.

    Should charging time be a factor in my purchase decision?
    The charging time of a hoverboard is directly related to its battery capacity. Hoverboards with lower capacity will charge quickly, whereas those with a higher capacity (allowing for better speeds, range, and run time) will take a lot longer.

    You should make the decision based on the frequency of use and your weight (as more load will drain battery quicker) instead of the charging time.

    I’m getting one of the above listed hoverboards for half the price at a local retailer. Why should I spend extra by buying from Amazon?
    You’ve probably come across a fake. Unfortunately, there are many knockoffs of high quality brands that look exactly like the real thing. The reality is very different.

    They utilize unsafe, second-hand batteries, have poor quality gyroscopes and wheels, and are not UL certified. This only means one thing: they are incredibly unsafe.

    We highly recommend buying from either the company itself or a place like Amazon (make sure a reseller isn’t the one selling it). You can also choose to buy from a direct authorized dealer if you are confident about their legitimacy.

    Most of the dearer hoverboards will cost you good money; unless their official website explicitly mentions discounts, you should be skeptical of anyone offering one to you for a significantly reduced price.

    I find these things too difficult to ride, even though they’re self-balancing. What do I do?
    Almost all the higher quality hoverboards (and all 5 listed in this article) have a special learning mode that makes it easier for any individual to learn how to ride it.

    This mode restricts speed and acceleration to allow you to acclimatize to the hoverboard and get a feel for it. Once you do, you should switch to standard mode to get the best experience out of your self-balancing scooter.

    Why do I even need a hoverboard?
    You don’t. It’s a purely recreational gadget that is fun to use. We will never not recommend exercise and walking above using hoverboards for commuting. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t own one and have fun with it every now and then.

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