Snowmobiling can go one of two ways, depending largely on the gear. When properly prepped for, a day on the snow-dusted trails can be one of the best experiences of your life, but with shoddy gear, you might find yourself grumbling at the lodge before noon. This is why investing in the right snowmobiling gear, from insulated bibs and waterproof jackets to gloves, helmets, and much more, is absolutely non-negotiable. That said, here’s our comprehensive guide on what gear to wear for snowmobiling.
Insulated and Waterproof Bibs
A good snowmobiling gear ensemble centers around an insulated and waterproof bib. Designed to fully insulate the lower body from the cold and slush, these bibs can make the difference between staying dry and freezing your “you-know-what’s” off. But they aren’t all created equal—look for bibs with high-quality insulation to keep you warm even in freezing temperatures. Additionally, choose waterproof materials to keep snow and moisture at bay. Adjustable straps and elastic waistbands ensure a snug fit, preventing snow from entering your pants.
Now that the lower half is covered, it’s time to pair your insulated snowmobiling bib with a high-quality waterproof jacket. Look for jackets designed specifically for snowmobiling, as they often come with features like adjustable cuffs, sealed seams, and ventilation options. Insulation is key, so opt for jackets with proper thermal lining to retain body heat. A good snowmobile jacket should provide both warmth and breathability for a comfortable ride.
Layering is essential for regulating body temperature. It might be tempting to skimp on this step with old raggedy t-shirts and sweaters, but if you’re riding in extremely low temperatures, you need moisture-wicking base layers like this 509 Mens FZN LVL1 Party Suit to keep sweat away from your skin, preventing discomfort. Mid-layers, such as fleece or insulated vests, add an extra layer of warmth. Ensure that your outer layer is both insulated and waterproof to protect against snow, wind, and moisture.
We’ll give that broken record another spin in the case of gloves (waterproofing and insulation!), but there’s another swing factor here that can totally save (or ruin) your day in the snow: sealing. Unless they’re a perfectly snug fit on your wrists as is, finding snowmobiling gloves with adjustable wrist straps is highly important for keeping the snow from entering and numbing up your hands. Not only is this uncomfortable, but when it comes to operating a snowmobile, riding with cold or numb hands can be a safety hazard.
Balaclavas and Neck Gaiters
Protect your face and neck from biting winds with a balaclava or neck gaiter. These accessories provide an additional layer of insulation, ensuring that exposed skin remains shielded from the cold. Opt for materials that wick away moisture to prevent frostbite. It’s also important to ensure that the top of your jacket and the bottom of your face covering overlap so as not to provide an easy opening for snow and slush to get in. This DSG D-Tech Base Layer Balaclava is an excellent example of a head covering with superb coverage and insulation.
Helmets and Goggles
Safety is paramount in snowmobiling, and a high-quality helmet is a non-negotiable part of your gear. Look for helmets that meet safety standards and provide a snug fit. Ventilation is crucial to prevent fogging, so choose a helmet with adjustable vents. Some helmets come with integrated communication systems, enhancing the overall snowmobiling experience. Protect your eyes from snow, wind, and glare with a pair of high-quality snowmobiling goggles. Look for goggles with anti-fog coatings, UV protection, and adjustable straps for a secure fit. Clear lenses are suitable for low-light conditions, while tinted lenses are ideal for bright, sunny days.
Boots and Socks
Keep your feet warm and dry with insulated and waterproof snowmobile boots. Look for boots with sturdy soles for traction and stability. Ensure they provide adequate insulation without sacrificing comfort. Adjustable closures help in achieving a secure fit, preventing snow from entering your boots. Choose moisture-wicking and insulated socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Avoid cotton socks, as they retain moisture and can lead to cold feet. Look for materials like merino wool or synthetic blends for optimal comfort.
The Bottom Line: Protection Is Key With Snowmobiling Gear
Equipping yourself with the right snowmobiling gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience on the trails. From insulated bibs and waterproof jackets to gloves, balaclavas, helmets, and more, each piece plays a crucial role in keeping you warm, dry, and protected from the winter elements. Prioritize safety, invest in quality gear, and embrace the thrill of snowmobiling with confidence.