GoodGuide Ratings: Outdoor Toys and Sporting Goods

Now that the skis, skates and sleds are packed away, it's time to pull out the warm-weather playthings for fun on the lawn, beach and elsewhere. But how do you know just which ones to choose when you're shopping for summer fun?

GoodGuide recently reviewed and rated more than 150 outdoor toys and sporting goods. The Alex Monkey Balance Board topped the list, while Dollar Tree's Return Sports Ball ranked worst. The venerable Barbie brand, meanwhile, landed spots on both the best and worst products' lists.

GoodGuide, an online source of information on consumer products, helps consumers find healthy, green, ethical products based on scientific ratings. Its experts have rated more than 100,000 consumer goods -- including food, personal care and household products -- using three factors of increasing importance to consumers: concern for the environment, personal health and social responsibility.
The health score measures a product's potential health effects on consumers. The environment score measures a product's environmental impact as well as the company's overall policies and practices. The society score evaluates a company's social impact, which can include treatment of workers, workplace diversity, community involvement and corporate ethics.

GoodGuide's ratings include a brief explanation for each category and allow users to drill down into each score for more detail.

For example, the Alex Monkey Balance Board's 7.2 rating is based on:

  • A Health score of 10: "This product contains no detectable amounts of bromine."
  • An Environment score of 6: "Compared to other companies, this company scores well on reducing resource consumption."
  • A Society score of 5.6: "The company that makes this product has an above average score in customer satisfaction."
Conversely, the Dollar Tree Return Sports Ball's 2.5 rating was based on:

  • AHealth score of 0: "This product contains lead in excess of the 300 ppm Consumer Product Safety Commission standard for lead in children's toys, which became effective in August 2009."
  • An Environment score of 3.4: "The company that makes this product has one of the lowest scores in climate change."
  • A Society score of 4.1: "Compared to other companies, this company does an average amount of charitable giving."

GoodGuide rated 151 outdoor toys and sporting goods, from some 75 popular brands according to the methodology described here. Below are its top-five best and worst products. In order to avoid repetition of a particular brand, we've skipped ahead to the next best or worst brand on the list.

The Best Outdoor Toys and Sporting Goods
The Worst Outdoor Toys and Sporting Goods
You can view all the top-rated outdoor toys and sporting goods (in descending order) here and all the poorly rated outdoor toys and sporting goods (in ascending order) here.

Since Consumer Allyteamed up with GoodGuide, we've published ratings of dog food, household cleaners, cars, sunscreens and more.
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