Best Snowmobile Gear
Snowmobiling is quickly becoming one of the most popular winter sports in the world. With all the excitement that comes with riding in the backcountry, it is very important that you stay comfortable, dry, and protected from the elements. Cold temperatures and the potential for wind chill make anyone who rides without proper apparel at risk for frostbite, hypothermia, and more. In this beginner’s guide, we take a look at some of the best snowmobile gear you can buy to keep yourself safe while braving the backcountry. Wearing the right gear can make a world of difference in your ride!
Best Snowmobile Gear for Beginners
Boots: Although they strive to keep you warm, your everyday boots may not cut it in the backcountry. Snowmobile boots are specifically designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable while riding. A quality pair of snowmobile boots will be breathable and waterproof, so your feet are dry all day long. Wet feet can put you at risk of getting cold chills, a fever, or even frostbite. A good pair of boots will also be more rigid to keep your ankles protected in case you have to get off your sled and walk through the snow for any reason. Having a rigid construction will also help prevent leg fatigue.
Helmet: A helmet is arguably one of the most important pieces of any snowmobiling uniform. Not only will your helmet protect your head and brain but it will also retain heat to keep you warm. Helmets have evolved a great deal over the years, as has the sport of snowmobiling. Now, you have a variety of helmet types to choose from, including full-face, modular, Snocross, and dual-sport style. A full-face helmet will provide the most protection in a crash and from the cold, but other types of helmets have their advantages too. A modular helmet, for example, is great for riders who stop often, because you can lift the chin bar. With a Snocross helmet, you would use a separate pair of goggles instead of a face shield, providing a great field of vision. If you would rather have a face shield instead of goggles, a dual-sport helmet may be just right for you. A quality snowmobile helmet will have a dual pane shield and a breath guard to minimize the amount of fogging in cold temperatures. You should also look for ample ventilation. No matter which snowmobiling helmet you choose, it must meet minimum safety standards and have either a DOT, ECE, or SNELL safety marking.
Jacket: A jacket is one of the single most important pieces of gear you will ever buy. With prolonged exposure to the cold, the human body can start losing heat, which can spell trouble for your health. Keeping your torso warm should be high on the list of priorities for any outing. There are a variety of specific jacket styles for every type of riding, which boils down to personal preference. A trail jacket is usually cut just above the waist with a drop tail in the back, which is perfect for riders who usually stay in the seated position. A quality trail jacket will offer a combination between warm insulation and ample venting, allowing it to be versatile and good for a variety of riding situations. Backcountry and mountain jackets are specifically designed for riding in the standing position. These jackets are cut a little longer than trail jackets. One downside to backcountry jackets is that they have little to no insulation built into them. You will have to think carefully about wearing base and mid layers depending on the climate you are riding in. Snocross jackets are designed to be the most flexible option, allowing riders to move unrestricted. These jackets are much like racing shells.
Pants: A lot of heat can be lost through your legs, which is why it is important to invest in a quality pair of pants or bibs. Your legs do a lot of work while snowmobiling, which makes it necessary to make sure that they are comfortable and dry. Deciding between bibs and pants will depend on your riding style. Snowmobile pants end at the waist, whereas bibs extend up to cover the front and/or back of the torso with suspenders to help hold them in place. You will want to look for snowmobile pants that are both breathable and waterproof as well as mobile and reflective. Mobility is critically important, as an inflexible pair of snowmobile pants will make it hard for you to move between riding positions.
In addition to wearing quality boots, a helmet, a jacket, and pants, you must take every precaution you can to protect yourself from the cold. Most snowmobilers wear thin base layers to absorb and remove excess moisture as well as mid layers to act as insulation between the base layers and the outer shell of a snowmobiling outfit. Your helmet will do a fairly good job of protecting your face, but it is far from perfect. To supplement, you should invest in either a balaclava or a facemask that will act as a base layer between your head and the helmet. Many balaclavas and facemasks are moisture-wicking and come with built-in breath guards. You should also invest in a good pair of gloves that won’t limit your dexterity. Snowmobile gloves should also be waterproof, so you can keep your hands dry and warm to fight fatigue.
At Ski-Doo Parts Nation, we offer an extensive selection of snowmobile gear and apparel. Whether you are shopping for base and mid layers, socks, and neck warmers or helmets, jackets, protective vests, and a bag to hold your gear, we have all your needs covered in one convenient place. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.