Homemade Glissading Sled aka "Glissade Diaper Sled"

Not applicable
Glissade Diaper
Product Rating: 
35 mil Polyethylene Plastic
Cutting Plastic to Size
Leg Hole Cutouts in Glissade Diaper Sled
Holes for Waist Strap in Glissade Diaper Sled
Glissade Diaper Sled Waist Strap
Finished Glissade Diaper Sled

The original idea for the Glissade Diaper Sled came from jmjula4.


1. Obtain a sheet of 35 mil polyethylene plastic (Multi-Craft Plastics, Inc.) or similar and a nylon strap long enough to go around your waist.

2. Cut the plastic to approximately fit the width of your hips (I cut mine 17.5 inches wide)

3. Cut notches for your legs about 4 inches from the top. Keep about 3-4 inches of plastic between the notches.

4. Drill four evenly spaced, 1 inch holes in the top section above the leg cutouts. This is where the nylon strap will be threaded to hold the Glissade Diaper Sled around your waist.

5. Round off all corners so that there are no sharp edges. Attach nylon strap through holes drilled in previous step.

6. Put the sled on like a diaper, securing the strap around your waist. With your backpack on, have a friend measure where the end of your backpack hits the sled while you are seated. Cut the excess plastic off at this point.

7. Enjoy your finished Glissade Diaper Sled on your next mountaineering adventure. Simply roll it up and secure to your pack for easy portability.


Size: 35 inch x 17.5 inch
Material: 35 mil Polyethylene
Weight: ~11 ounces

In The Field:

I have used the Glissade Diaper Sled a couple times with great success. One of the biggest advantages is it allows you to glissade where you otherwise might not be able to due to poor snow or less steep terrain. Another advantage is your clothing doesn't get ruined and remains relatively dry. I have found (on packed terrain) that if I keep my feet flat on the ground in front of me (without crampons of course) I can use them to steer and less snow flies up in the air. I have also noticed that I get light bruising the following day on my upper thighs where the leg cutout notch on the sled hits. It's minor and worth the benefits the sled affords.

Use at your own risk. Mountaineering can be dangerous even for the most experience climbers. If you are not familiar with glissading or comfortable self-arresting with an ice axe, do not attempt to use the Glissade Diaper Sled.

See Eureka Peak, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens adventures where the Glissade Diaper sled was used.

Final Thoughts:

For under $10 to make and well under a pound in weight, the Glissade Diaper Sled is a great addition on most of my mountaineering adventures. I highly recommend it to experienced mountaineers.


Phil, Sun, 02/19/2012 - 08:28

Thanks for sharing this. I haven't blown out any pant seats yet taking the fast way down, but this desgn is exactly what I've been looking for. My objective - trim a few more ounces if I can. I also look forward to checking out the many other winter backpacking resources on this totally cool site. Bravo, Loomis Adventures!

jloomis, Mon, 02/20/2012 - 05:18

Thanks Phil. Please share your improved glissade sled when you get it done.

Gregory Lund, Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:55

I'm having difficulty finding the product you specify.
Could you be more specific?
Is it the: HDPE Sheet (Polystone G), High-Densisty Polyethylene (HDPE) Sheet (Polystone® G) from http://www.multicraftplastics.com/plastics/sheet/hdpe/hdpe_sheet.html?

Perhaps you live local and were able to get it cheap, but I can't seem to find it for a reasonable price.

I live near Mt. Rainier and plan to do some testing soon. Thus far a garbage bag is the best alternative, but of course I'm looking for something better.


jloomis, Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:26

I live close enough to visit Multi-Craft Plastics and always just ask for Polyethylene (HDPE) sheets when I go in. I think it was $5-$10 for a 3'x5' sheet the last time I went, but it has been a couple years. In any case they are reasonable.

Janet, Sun, 05/01/2016 - 22:22

This tutorial is really helpful! I was desperately looking for a way to save my snow pants while I glissade down Mt. Shasta. This looks like the perfect solution. I am curious to know, why did you make the sled so long? It seems like you need just enough material to cover your butt while you're sitting down. Does a longer piece of plastic serve a purpose? Thanks!

jloomis, Mon, 05/02/2016 - 19:56

Yes, the longer piece of plastic serves to protect your pack from scraping on the snow and ice. If you have a tiny pack that will not drag or do not care about your pack, then you can shorten the sled to save bulk and weight.

Ralph Daub, Wed, 06/14/2017 - 13:33

Awesome idea - thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to trying it out. :)

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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.