Hoverboards are undoubtedly the coolest new trend in modern transport.
The hoverboard (aka Self balancing scooter) has brought an eighties sci-fi fantasy into reality. Unfortunately, you still need to educate yourself as a consumer to protect yourself from a bad purchase.
Emerging markets are perfect for innovation, BUT they´re also hotbeds for exploitation.
The growing personal transport industry is as awe inspiring as it is unregulated. People looking to make a fast buck pollute the industry whilst hiding behind the aura of a legitimate brand. Unfortunately this hurts the reputation of the market as a whole. (Just so you know, we regularly track product recalls!)
We’ve separated the best hover-boards from the downright dangerous to bring you our top ten list of the best hoverboard models of 2018!
Best Self Balancing Scooters – 2018 Comparison
|Model||Range||Top Speed||Max Weight||Our Score|
|Halo Rover Hoverboard||10 miles||10 mph||264 lbs||9.4||Check Price|
|Tomoloo Self Balancing Scooter||12 miles||8 mph||264 lbs||9.1||Check Price|
|SagaPlay F1 Hoverboard||13 miles||10 mph||220 lbs||9.0||Check Price|
|Swagtron T1 Hoverboard||7-12 miles||8 mph||220 lbs||8.8||Check Price|
|Epikgo Sport Balance Board||10 miles||9 mph||196 lbs||8.6||Check Price|
|Razor Hovertrax DLX Hoverboard||60 mins||8 mph||220 lbs||8.6||Check Price|
|Swagtron T6 Self Balancing Scooter||12 miles||12 mph||420 lbs||7.8||Check Price|
|Skque X1 Self Balancing Scooter||12 miles||7.5 mph||264 lbs||7.3||Check Price|
|Surfus S-Series Hoverboard||12 miles||6.2 mph||220 lbs||7.0||Check Price|
|Smart Balance 6.5 Hoverboard||10 miles||10 mph||220 lbs||6.0||Check Price|
1. Halo Rover X – Best Hoverboard 2018
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When the design is based on the popular video game Halo it’s difficult to find something not to like. This Halo Rover Hoverboard is marketed as “indestructible” which seems legit given the heavy duty aluminum frame that supports the outer edges. The Halo hoverboard is powered by two 400W motors which turn large 8.5 inch wheels to help you tackle difficult terrain.
The Halo self balancing scooter reaches a top speed of 10mph and has the ability to support weights of up to 256llbs without losing performance. The steering is responsive and you can control the unit from a mobile app making it one of the better performers on our list.
- Very impressive performance from the dual engines. It carries a lot of weight and runs for up to ten miles
- The rugged construction is pleasing on a more expensive board like this.
- It’s very fast with air-filled tires that make riding over bumps or rocks easy
- High ground clearance means you’ll be eating a lot less tarmac
- The app interface is one of the most intuitive we’ve seen on a hover-board. Especially the option to take full-control from your mobile.
- Not the best Range / miles per charge board we reviewed (slightly above average @ 10 miles per charge)
- Price may make this product a tad out of reach for some.
2. Tomoloo Self Balancing Scooter – Best Value Hoverboard
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Tomoloo is a Chinese manufacturer that entered the self-balancing scooter industry in 2013. Chinese products tend to be a little bit faster than their US counter-parts and this product continues that trend. The top speed is around 10mph whilst the battery lets you ride for 12km. The dual 300W motors are calibrated with the wheels via a motherboard.
Similar to Sagaplay there’s a host of training modes that are accessed via an app. That same app has a heads up display for battery life, speed as well as cool features like light-shows. Those light-shows are fitted into flame style LED panels on top of the board. It also comes with incredibly loud blue-tooth speakers and supports a rider weight of 246llbs.
- The Bluetooth speakers in particular are extremely loud while the custom light settings will be great for kids.
- It´s a zippy scooter that will outrun most other products on the market.
- The product is very well made. There’s an aluminum frame to support the chassis and underneath the panel there’s no loose wiring. The board complies fully with US regulations (UL22772).
- For less than $500, this scooter can hold its own against more expensive products
- 3 different speed modes to help you nurture your skills.
- There’s a few problems in calibrating the engines. This leads to a bumpy ride at times. You´ll have to manually reset the board to fix the problem.
- The Bluetooth pairing is managed by a “voice-over” that uses the maximum speaker volume which gets a little annoying over time.
Read our Full Review >>>>
It´s not every day that you see a personal transport device with a Silicon Valley post-mark. San-Francisco´s tech hub is home to some of the most advanced technology in the world. The Sagaplay F1 is America´s offering to the self-balancing scooter industry. It uses dual 250W that are mediated by gyroscopic sensors via a motherboard. This process results in an exceptionally smooth ride. It supports an upper weight limit of 220llbs and will take you up to a brisk 9mph. The board itself weighs just 22llbs with a separate training mode to help you learn the ropes. After around ten miles you´ll have to recharge for a couple of hours.
- The standing panel is nice and wide with large, grippy control panels for your feet. This makes it easier to ride, especially for kids.
- The inclusion of training modules, which are controlled via your mobile, is a nice touch. The learning modes limit the top speed whilst reducing handling sensitivity. As you improve you can unleash the board’s full power.
- This board has a nice entry level price tag.
- The customer service team is US based and the board itself complies with US regulations.
- The dual motors have enough power to take you up mild inclines (15 degrees) whilst the 22llb board is easy to carry around after the charge is spent.
- As much as we liked the concept of the training modes they haven’t been calibrated as well as they could have been. At the lower levels, like the learning mode, the board vibrates a lot and bucks the rider off. You’re better off learning with the full output which levels out the ride.
- Despite being sold as an all terrain vehicle, the 6.5 inch wheels mean there just isn’t enough ground clearance to ride on anything but smooth concrete.
- The battery is a little short lived. This presents an additional problem. Once the battery shuts off the scooter loses control, even at higher speeds. Keep an eye on the battery when your riding and don’t ride below 5%
4. Swagtron T1 Hoverboard – Cheapest Self Balance Scooter
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Swagtron have already taken a lions share of the self-balancing scooter industry with the company proving robust enough to handle the scooter fall-out of 2016. The Swagtron Hoverboard T1 series is an updated, safety certified scooter that is great as a children’s toy. A lot of effort has been put into a safe, smooth and sturdy ride.
The lithium battery is encased in a sturdy, shell which Swagtron call the Sentry shield. The top speed is a little slower than what we´re used to but has been sacrificed to accommodate a stable ride. It runs at 8mph with a special in-built gear system to help you ride inclines of up to 30 degrees. On the down slopes that same system manages power to keep you safe and upright.
- One of the safest scooters on the market today. The patented Sentry Shield technology is unique to Swagtron products whilst the overall ride is extremely smooth.
- 3 separate learning modes which don’t effect the stability of the board, even at lower speeds.
- In the economy mode you can ride for up to 12 miles on a single charge which makes this an appropriate commuter vehicle
- The Swag brand is excellent and has been around for over two decades. With that you can expect honest products alongside superb customer service.
- There’s a slow stopping system that slowly reduces speed as the battery runs below 5% preventing painful cut-outs
- For some people, the 8mph upper speed limit just won´t be enough. If you’re a speed demon you’d be better off with the Tomoloo.
- The T1 series is an older product and that shows. It´s price is low but the technology is a
5. Epikgo Sport Balance Board – Most Powerful Self Balancing Scooter
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The Epikgo sport is made for adults and that’s reflected in the price. This is every inch a high performance scooter. The 33 lb mammoth is powered by robust 400W motors that take you up to a speed of 9mph. In spite of its chunky build the Epikgo sport really doesn’t struggle at all with inclines or top speed.
It’s fitted with large 8.5 inch tires that make it capable of going beyond smooth sidewalks and onto rougher surfaces like gravel. The ground clearance is excellent, whilst the construction is rugged and well made. It has IP56 water proof rating which means you can fly through puddles at will and there’s very little to dislike about this product. The Epikgo Sport is an absolute beast with an impressive build.
- The amount of torque you get from the combination of larger tires and 800W of motors is very impressive.
- The highest performer on our list so far. I can only really think of the mini-segway as a possible contender to this product.
- Huge air-tires that let you ride over gravel or bumps without any problems. The tires themselves are supported by sturdy aluminum wheel cages.
- It runs for up to 10 miles on just a single charge which makes it an ideal commuter vehicle.
- Fully safety certified with robust build.
- If you do run out of battery on road it´s a bit of a struggle to carry this thing home. Thankfully, Epikgo do provide a shoulder bag.
- The board is advertised as an off-road board but really struggles on dirt tracks or unforgiving surfaces.
- The price almost puts it in the mini-segway category.
6. Razor Hovertrax DLX – Smart Self Balancing Scooter
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Swagtron’s biggest competitor in the industry. The Razor Hovertrax sets the bar for what a children’s scooter should be. It´s a little heavier than most, weighing in at 28 lbs but, its dual 350W motors mean you´ll have no problem with torque. These motors can also be split, reducing output and conserving battery life for longer trips. Each board is fitted with Razor’s patented Ever-balance technology that provides a smooth ride whilst making getting on and off easy. My favorite feature is the quick battery replacement system which means you can replace batteries whilst you’re on the road. The Hovertrax DLX is currently the only product to offer this feature.
- There’s a lot of innovative features on display that could easily become an industry standard in the near future.
- The board is exceptionally well-balanced even at lower speeds
- Quick replace battery is a clever idea
- It´s a well-made product with a satisfying weight. There´s no rattling parts or loose wiring either.
- The outer shell is constructed from a shatter-proof polymer which will last longer than most hover-boards
- This is designed for children of 8 years and above so the feet panels are a little small.
- The Ever-balance technology sends a warning signal when the battery is fading which can’t be turned off.
- There’s not enough features to distinguish the DLX version from its cheaper younger brother.
7. Swagtron T6 Series – Best Off-Road Self Balancing Hoverboard
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The T6 series is perhaps the only legitimate off-road scooter on the market today. The tires are a whopping 10” tall which gives the T6 a phenomenal ground clearance. Add to that two 300W high-performance motors with a top speed of 12mph and you’ve got a serious high-performance vehicle.
In spite of being less powerful than the Halo rover or the Epikgo sport the Swagtron’s tires make distributing power a lot more effective. There´s also a hefty 12 mile battery life which is fully safety certified to guarantee quality. The tires are air-filled plus you get an in-built speaker to blare out you’re favorite tune as you rumble off-road.
- The monstrous 10 inch off-road, air-filled tires perform superbly on all terrains.
- It carries an industry leading 380llbs without sacrificing performance
- The speakers are nice and loud
- The app interface is intelligent and lets you switch between rider modes
- Heavy duty grip on the tires to prevent you from slipping out
- As the battery life weakens the stability really suffers. This is an issue when you’re traveling 12mph (max speed)
- The steering is highly responsive which is excellent when you´re an experienced rider. Not so much when you’re just starting out.
- 32llbs is a lot to carry once the battery runs down.
8. Skque X1 Self Balancing Scooter – Most Innovative Design
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The Skque X1 is a road scooter that offers a much higher ground clearance than most which comes in handy should a pesky rock or curb get in the way of your journey. There’s two 350W motors making this one of the strongest road-scooters on our list. The only annoying thing is that the top speed is limited to 8mph; these engines are capable of a lot more than that.
The good news is that the ride is very steady and smooth at all times. The dual motors are synced up using gyroscopic sensors which I can see being an industry standard soon. The steadiness of the ride makes this a great buy for kids whilst the upper weight limit of 264llbs and a 12 miles per charge battery make this a suitable commuter vehicle as well.
- The ride is just incredibly stable. Larger tires mean you can ride down curbs without a problem whilst the ground clearance makes cruising a safe experience.
- The chassis has been reinforced to make this a suitable investment rather than an impulse buy.
- A nice line of extras including Bluetooth speakers, custom LEDs and an excellent mobile app.
- Capable of supporting adults as well as children
- It just feels very safe and comes with a UL22772 certificate to back that up.
- The speed limiter means you never get to experience the full potential of this board.
- Some customers have had trouble in relation to the charger. Make sure you buy solely from certified sellers to avoid the same problems.
- The outer shell is prone to scratches and damage
9. Surfus S-Series Hoverboard – (Model Discontinued)
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These come from a Californian brand who are focused entirely on making smooth sailing street hover-boards. The S-series is one of the cheaper boards on our list and for that, we have to accept some of the short-comings. That manifests in a speed limit of just 6.2mph. The good news is that you can ride for up to 12 miles on just a single charge. It weighs just 22llbs and supports a weight of up to 220llbs.
The S-series is primarily a children’s toy and the Surfus team have done well to provide a balanced ride that’s easy to learn. The handling is nippy whilst the feet panels are nice and roomy making controlling direction a breeze. Given the tires are just 6.5 inches tall you’d be best suited to riding this thing indoors or on flat surfaces.
- It’s a relatively low cost product that performs to its values.
- Good for children or those who just want try a hover-board out.
- The distance per charge is extremely impressive and we´d expect to find this kind of battery life on a far more expensive product.
- The overall stability is a big plus.
- Light enough to carry home with our any hitches
- It’s just very limited from the small wheels to the low top speed. There’s also a lack of additional features to distract us from the low performance
- Solely suited to riding indoors or on marble perhaps.
- In spite of its name this product just isn’t waterproof at all.
10. Smart Balance 6.5 Hoverboard – (No Longer Available)
Read our Full Review >>>>
The Smart balance 6.5 hoverboard has to be filed away on the generic self balancing scooter list. This product is just here to as a gentle reminder of just how far quality standards can dip if you try to purchase the cheapest models available. It’s slightly faster than the S-series hoverboard reaching 7mph but it won’t last as long. The battery life is just 10 miles per charge. What does surprise me about this scooter though is the engines. Dual 350W engines should provide serious clout, but it seems as though the Smart balance is unable to distribute that power effectively.
The saving grace is the automated slow-down once the battery runs low which will save you from a few scuffs and scratches. One last thing to mention is the manufacturer. It’s very difficult to find who actually makes these hoverboards (Yongkang Dingchang Industry and Trade Co) which is a little worrying. Furthermore a lot of users have reported faulty products or issues arising within the first few months of ownership.
- On most hoverboards when the battery cuts out the user goes flying. It’s nice to see a product that addresses this issue with an auto slow down feature.
- The price of course is great. It’s one of the cheaper hoverboards on our list and is faster than the Surfus hoverboard which is priced in a similar region.
- There’s just nothing to get excited by with this model.
- The 6.5 inch wheel size is a little dated in today´s industry. The lower the ground clearance the more likely the user is to be sent flying.
- Mysterious manufacturer with confirmed buyers reporting faulty hoverboards on a regular basis.
The criteria used for this hoverboard review
When it comes to reviewing self-balancing scooters it’s difficult to find credible sources. Very few of these products are featured on independent review sites like Cnet or Consumer Review. We made our shortlist based primarily on sales and item popularity. After that, we narrowed down our list of hoverboards by focusing primarily on brands with an established brand. Finally, we conducted extensive research using Amazon’s confirmed user reviews to assess how well these products performed over time.
Our write ups are based on our expertise in these products and what we thought customers would want to see in a product. The primary features for each hover-board are rider weight, charge time, range and max speed. Afterwards we assessed the controls, features and price to decide which products would make the cut for the best hoverboards of 2018. Manufacturing quality was assessed using confirmed user reviews and most importantly, cross-referenced against government hoverboard recalls to make sure we weren’t recommending any faulty or dangerous hoverboard models! This gave us a good idea of how each product would fare in the rough and tumble world of hover-boarding.
Hoverboards For Children
Self-balancing scooters are manufactured with these two categories in mind. It´s worth mentioning that children are actually better equipped to ride hover-boards than adults. A lower center of gravity combined with less weight makes children the ideal riders of self-balancing scooters. From a parent’s perspective though, there might be a few things to consider before giving your child a 1000W speedster.
If you’re buying a self-balancing scooter as a toy then you’ll likely want to keep costs down a little bit. There’s plenty of hoverboards available for around $300. These won’t last forever, but they will have enough quality to make a great present. The only warning I’d give to potential buyer’s is to avoid going below $200. The cheapest model self-balancing scooter on the market are usually manufactured poorly. This can lead to a lot of disappointment if the product stops working or, in some cases, will be just plain dangerous. When you’re buying a hoverboard always look for the UL22772 certificate which shows a product is compliant with US safety regulations.
Speed and stability
Some self balancing scooters go faster than others. If you’re buying for someone under 10 you probably want something that is limited below 8mph. 10Mph might not sound like a lot but falling at that speed still hurts, trust me. More important than speed though, is stability. A 6mph scooter can be far more dangerous than a 12mph if the handling isn’t right. Some cheaper models won’t calibrate the motors properly which results in a vibrating, in-stable ride. Other scooters will have ultra sensitive handling which won’t be conducive to those just starting out. On our list we’d recommend the Surfus S-series, the Razor Hovertrax and the T1 series as the best children’s scooter in terms of rider stability.
Undoubtedly the primary concern for a children’s toys. Luckily, since 2016 all hover-boards sold through Amazon have to have a UL22772 certificate. That means each product has been put through 159 separate safety checks to ensure the battery systems are safe. If possible, it’s better to opt for a US based manufacturer to avoid a faulty model which may have charging problems.
Self Balancing Scooters For Adults
If you want a reliable commuter scooter then you have to pay a little more. Children’s scooters will really struggle with a higher weight capacity. As an adult you should be looking at an engine size of at least 600W to get around on. These tend to cost more and you should expect to spend at least $500 to get the right model.
When you’re riding to work you’re going to encounter a lot of different surfaces. Some will be smooth, others not so smooth. For that reason, you need to consider the ground clearance. Children’s hoverboards will usually have 6.5 inch tires. On a commuter style self-balancing scooter you’ll need at least 8 inches with air-filled tires. This means you’ll be able to ride bumps or gravel with minimal fuss.
Distance per charge
Commuter scooters are a lot heavier than children’s toys so you really won’t want to be carrying these under your arm. Look for something with at least ten miles per charge and a charge time of just 2 or 3 hours; that way you can recharge at the office.
A lot of cheap hover-boards will promise a weight capacity of 220llbs. Although they probably can carry that kind of weight, the performance, stability and battery life will all suffer. On our list the best commuter scooters are the Epikgo sport, the Halo rover, the T6 series and the Skque X1.
Self-balancing scooters are still in their infancy with the best technology yet to come. Having said that, here’s a few cool features to look out for on modern products.
Now, before you get too excited, almost every self-balancing scooter is equipped with a motherboard. What to look for is a motherboard that is fitted with gyroscopic sensors. Hover-boards are powered by dual motors which distribute power to each wheel. The motherboard regulates that power. With gyroscopic sensors the motherboard is able to distribute power evenly between both wheels. The ability to do that results in a smooth, stable and vibration free ride. If you’re choosing between two similar boards, get the one with gyroscopic sensors.
LEDs, Speakers, Bluetooth, Apps
A lot of products on the market will try to bamboozle you with all kinds of “hi-tech” extra gadgets. Don’t get me wrong, having speakers sure is fun, but it’s primarily an aesthetic quality. The most valuable technology to go for is the technology directly related to performance. Companies know that it’s much cheaper to add Bluetooth speakers than it is to invest in performance enhancing research and technology.
Since the dawn of the electric scooter there’s always been one problem, battery life. On most older products the battery will cut out without prior warning. That means the self-balancing scooter system goes and the wheels grind to halt. If you’re traveling at 10mph that’s going to hurt. It also hurls the board into a maelstrom of scratches and broken plastic. Stopping systems slowly reduce power as the charge enters its final stages and completely negates this problem. The technology tends to be limited to modern vehicles but, if you have the money, it’s well worth investing in.
This is the single most important thing to look out for on the technology front. To get a patent companies have to pay. It also means they’ve invested money into a system they think will put their product above the competition. As a rule of thumb, patented technology is worth the investment, “the latest technology” is not.
Frequently Asked Questions
A hoverboard (aka self balancing scooter) consists of 2 wheels attached to a platform designed for riders to stand on during operation.
Typically the hoverboard is operated by the users foot via pressure plates in the hoverboard platform to operate the scooter. Since each wheel is able to operate independently of one another, by adjusting the placement and pressure of your footing, you can go forward, backwards and turn left, right and adjust your speed. Typically there is a bit of a learning curve when you are getting used to riding your hoverboard.
Some of the more popular models attempt to reduce the learning curve by integrating a training mode into the hoverboard that assists with balancing and usually throttles the units speed.
Make sure to checkout our complete write-up on how a hoverboard works if you are interested in learning more!
They shouldn’t. A vibrating or jerky scooter means that the dual engines are not properly aligned. The simple fix for this is to re-calibrate the scooter. If the problems persists, make sure your feet are evenly balanced with your weight distributed evenly across both the foot-panels. If neither of these steps work, then the likelihood is that your scooter is faulty. Send it back to the manufacturer as soon as possible.
The same goes for if your scooter begins to favor a particular direction. Hover-boards use dual motors, if one is faulty it will distribute less power and cause you to move in a certain direction, sometimes in rapid circles.
The UL22772 was introduced after a number of scooters in 2016 had faulty batteries. In the worst cases these faulty battery packs exploded causing considerable damage to the riders. The UL22772 certificate is only awarded to products that pass 159 separate safety checks. Currently, all products on Amazon have to be compliant with the UL22772 regulation to be sold.
This is a very common problem among scooter owners. First thing to do is check the scooter battery, if it feels cool then you can isolate the problem to the charger. Although all scooters have to pass the UL22772 battery test, the chargers can often be sourced cheaply. If the charger is the wrong fit then you should look to replace it straight away by contacting the seller.
There’s nothing wrong with Chinese manufacture. In fact, the majority of electrical products you have in your home are probably made in China. All electric scooters are manufactured in China. The question is, what kind of quality agreement is in place between the company and the manufacture.
Cheaper products tend to outsource their products without any quality agreement in place. This keeps costs down, but it also leads to numerous faulty products. Larger brands like Skque, Swagtron and Epikgo all have excellent reputations for manufacturing quality. The important thing is to make sure you have warranty from the seller or the manufacturer. This means if you do receive a faulty product you can return it with no questions asked.
Different products have different lifespans which are usually dictated by price. All of these products are powered by Lithium Ion batteries which have a lifespan of 2-3 years OR 300-500 charge cycles. To extend the life of your battery never overcharge it, keep it in a suitable temperate climate and, if possible, remove the battery when the scooter is not in use.
The short answer is no.
The highest IP rating on this list is IP56. Each number corresponds to how water resistant a product is and how dust resistant a product is. With a rating of IP56 it is neither waterproof nor dust-proof. On the upside it will be able to get wet. That means you can ride it in light rain. If the board is fully submerged in water it will break.
Fortunately nearly all remaining manufacturers have been forced to adhere to strict safety regulations since the massive recalls issued after the Christmas of 2016.
The first thing you want to check for, is to make sure that product is UL2272 certified. While a IP56 certification is nice, it’s not what I would consider a deal breaker. Beyond that, your best bet is generally to read through user reviews from verified purchases.
That being said – We stand by our selections in this list!
We are proud to be the only independent review site that regularly monitors product recalls, so you can rest assured you are buying a safe product!
Hoverboard brand names are more than just a logo slapped on the side of the products you buy. They represent the brand and convey a certain amount of trust in that company to do right by it’s consumers and create a safe and reliable product.
Here are some of the top hoverboard manufacturers in the business today…
|1||Smart Electric Self Balancing Hoverboard - 2018 Two Wheel Balance Hover Board Segway Scooter w/...||527 Reviews||from $179.99||Buy on Amazon|
|2||TOMOLOO Hoverboard with Bluetooth Speaker and Colorful LED Lights Self-Balancing Scooter UL2272...||429 Reviews||$229.99||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Swagtron Swagboard Pro T1 UL 2272 Certified Hoverboard Electric Self-Balancing Scooter - Your...||920 Reviews||from $249.99||Buy on Amazon|
|4||XPRIT Hoverboard w/Built-in Speaker (Blue)||117 Reviews||$149.95||Buy on Amazon|
|5||GOTRAX ION LED Hoverboard - UL Certified Hover Board w/Self Balancing Mode (White)||50 Reviews||$149.99||Buy on Amazon|
Last update on 2018-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API