7 must-have pieces of snowmobile equipment

The perfect snowmobile ride starts with the proper riding apparel and safety gear. Here's what you need.

7 must-have pieces of snowmobile equipment

1. Underlayers

The layers of clothing you wear underneath your snowmobile suit are essential to staying safe, warm and comfortable while riding.

  • On especially cold days, underlayers can protect against cold, wind chill and frostbite. It’s always better to put on too many layers rather than too few.
  • The first layer should be made from polyester or a synthetic-blend long underwear.
  • Make sure to avoid cotton, since it does not wick moisture away from your body and can freeze if temperatures drop.

2. Snowmobile suits

Snowmobile suits generally consist of a jacket worn over a pair of insulated bibs or pants.

  • Their main purpose is to protect from the cold, wind and frostbite.
  • The outside shell of your apparel should be windproof and waterproof.
  • Acrylic or other synthetic materials are the most popular fabrics used in snowmobile suits.

3. Headgear

One essential piece of headgear is a helmet, which should be worn at all times while riding a snowmobile.

  • Not only does it keep your head warm, but it will protect your head from serious injury in the event of a crash.
  • Always ensure your helmet fits snugly and have the helmet's strap tightly fastened under the chin when you're riding to achieve full protection.

4. Facemasks

Facemasks can be important to have on very cold days to prevent frostbite.

  • If your helmet is not full-faced, a facemask is a must.
  • Even if you don’t want to wear a facemask all the time, it’s a good idea to have one stored in your pocket in case the weather suddenly gets colder.

5. Eye protection

Eye protection is essential and may include a helmet visor, goggles and sunglasses.

  • They protect the eyes from tree limbs, snow and ice kicked up from other snowmobiles, flying debris and they also protect your eyes from watering from the wind and cold.

6. Gloves and socks

A good pair of gloves is an essential part of your snowmobile gear. They should repel water and wind to help keep your hands warm.

  • Good choices for socks include those made from thin nylon, polypropylene, fleece, wool, silk or synthetic blends.
  • Remember to avoid cotton since it can freeze and cause frostbite.
  • It’s a good idea to always carry an extra pair to change when needed.

7. Boots

The best boots for snowmobiling are made from a combination of materials that include:

  • A rubber, waterproof bottom with good lug sole for traction.
  • A synthetic upper that fastens and is high enough to repel snow.
  • A removable, breathable liner made of wool, fleece or synthetic material that wicks perspiration away from the foot.
  • Make sure your boots don't let any water in, but also allow your feet to breathe.
  • Choose a pair that fit well and will remain comfortable even for a long day of snowmobile riding.
  • They should not feel too tight or restrictive, because boots that are too small risk cutting off your circulation.
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