That feeling of floating across the snow on a crisp winter day is second to none, but if you aren’t protected, the stress of an impending accident can totally derail the vibe. If you want to experience true freedom on the slopes, this list of the top 5 safety items for snowmobiling will provide you with peace of mind. First things first, you’ve got to protect that head!
Regardless of the activity, if you’re going faster than a couple of miles per hour, there simply is no getting around the need for a helmet. Throw in the cold, the unpredictable nature of wintry weather, other riders/skiers/snowboarders, and tough terrain, and you’ve got a very strong case for protective headgear while snowmobiling. Speaking of snowmobiling specifically, you’ll want to look for dual-pane shielding and other fog-preventing features for maximum visibility. Also make sure your helmet is made with a highly durable, yet lightweight shell (like polycarbonate), is properly ventilated, and approved by safety authorities like the D.O.T.
It may seem like more of a comfort feature than a safety feature, but bibs are crucial for snowmobiling safety in two ways: insulation and raw protection value. No, it’s not chainmail, but a well-made bib will still provide your lower extremities and abdomen with a thick layer of protection in the event of a hard impact that will still surpass that of regular snow pants or other layers. A well-insulated and waterproof bib is also key not only in the event of a crash, but to protect you from the bitter cold. All it takes is just a bit of moisture to make it inside, and you’re in for a very uncomfortable and potentially unsafe day of snowmobiling. Stop the problem before it can start with an insulated, waterproof snowmobiling bib.
That’s right, it isn’t just for motorcycle enthusiasts. Snowmobilers also have plenty of high-quality options nowadays when it comes to armored gear, which is especially critical for anyone looking to race or indulge in some high-speed “recreational puttering,” as we call it. For example, this 509 R-Mor Protection Vest is made with CE Level 1 certified front and back protection, thanks to extremely tough and durable padding embedded in the material. In addition to armored vests, there are also armored shorts, knee pads, elbow pads, and more that provide serious protection while also adding some warmth. Many riders like to wear armored shorts not just to safeguard against potential wrecks, but to make long days in the “saddle” more tolerable.
Numb hands are a major safety no-no in the snowmobile safety department, as they can compromise your level of control over the vehicle. Considering the potential for spray and/or gusty weather conditions you might be up against, you need snowmobiling gloves that aren’t just warm, but very well-insulated, well-sealed on your wrists, “grippy,” armored, and flexible enough to not impair mobility. This is a tall order, which is why those old gloves in the closet are probably not going to do. As such, we make sure to only feature gloves that meet all of these criteria in our selection, such as these Castle Mens Launch G3 gloves. The bottom line: don’t skimp on the gloves! An inferior pair absolutely will make the difference between spending the day out there and coming in early.
Especially when you’re working with drier and/or more recently laid-down powder, snowmobiling spray can be absolutely vicious at times, seriously impairing your ability to see. This is why we highly recommend a pair of high-quality goggles. What exactly separates the same old specs from the best goggles in terms of ranking the top safety items for snowmobiling? First and foremost, you need anti-fog and UV protection. It’s also important to have a comfortable fit, wide field of view, and a tight seal to prevent any moisture from getting in. Whether it’s glare, snow spray, or fog, having to deal with a visibility issue for even a second can seriously compromise your snowmobiling safety on the trail or slopes.
The Bottom Line: Quality Always Wins
Embracing the thrill of snowmobiling should always go hand-in-hand with a commitment to safety. Seeking out high-quality versions of the most important safety items for snowmobiling–helmet, bibs and gear, armor, gloves, and goggles–is the best way to protect yourself against the risks of this beloved winter sport. By investing in quality safety gear and incorporating these essentials into your snowmobiling routine, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable ride through the snow-covered landscapes. So, gear up, stay safe, and let the adventures unfold on the frosty trails!