Thanks to Jason, Chad and David for your comments about sleds that go through brush better.
You may want to watch the unedited video that I used for my "Design" video on YouTube. Take a look at the first video (Fawn Lake) in this album:
I also have videos of my earlier designs. The "C.J. Way" video shows my sled back in the PVC pipe and eye bolt days.
I'm not sure that any sled will work very well off trail through thick brush. In Oregon I take sleds way off trail a lot, but most of the brush and downed trees are covered by snow, which can be over 10 feet deep.
My friend on the Fawn Lake trip did pass too close to a downed tree branch at full speed. He caught the branch between the pole and the sled. It stopped him cold and he fell over, but he wasn't hurt, and the rope attachments and sled weren't damaged. Unfortunately, he wasn't interested in doing it again for the video. :)
The biggest problem I've had with sleds is getting them to follow you around corners on tight trails, sliding down side hills, and rolling over. Crossed poles and aluminum angle runners (or runner) help prevent these problems. Also, a wider, longer sled is best to prevent rolling since you can keep the load lower in the sled.
In a lot of my videos, I'm following a narrow, broken trail that's not wide enough for the sled. It may look like the sled is dragging a lot, but it's not. The side lip of the sled slides easily against the edge of the packed snow. Frequently, the other side rides up on top of the snow. The only "problem" is that the lip scoops snow into the sled. This isn't a big deal with the Paris sled because I pack it so there's no room for snow to accumulate.
On my last trip, I was really impressed with how well the 5.5 foot Beast went around corners with the crossed poles. It handled a 90 degree sharp turn with ease. On the video, the camera on my back turns with me, so the sled was out of the frame during the turn.