What to Wear Snowmobiling to Stay Safe and Warm


What you wear when snowmobiling will play a big role in how well your day goes. If your clothing traps in sweat or isn’t waterproof, you’re going to get cold fast. Bulky clothing items can limit your maneuverability, impacting your ability to ride. Which cold-weather gear do you not want to go without when you ride your sled?

The following snowmobiling gear is recommended to stay safe and warm:

  • Goggles
  • Facemask
  • Helmet
  • Snowmobile suit
  • Underlayer
  • Winter coat
  • Gloves
  • Socks
  • Boots

Keep reading for more on each of these integral pieces of snowmobiling gear as well as shopping links so you can get what you need! Whether you’re new to snowmobiling and you’re searching for gear for the first time or you’re a seasoned rider looking to upgrade some of your clothing, you’re not going to want to miss this.

9 Essential Pieces of Gear You Need When Snowmobiling

Goggles

As you blaze new trails on your snowmobile, expect that you’ll kick up a lot of snow. Having a pair of face goggles can protect your eyes from all that flying debris. You’ll want colored lenses if possible to reduce sun glare. If you’re a nighttime rider, switch to clear lenses instead, as the colors combined with the darkness can obstruct your vision and make you more likely to collide into something or someone.

Smith Optics’ Knowledge OTG Snow Goggles on Amazon are a highly-rated pick for your consideration. As part of the OTG Series, these goggles are compatible with most snowmobiling helmets. An upgraded positioning system with an articulating outrigger makes adjusting these goggles simple. The strap on the back, made of silicone, is very wide to stay secure on your head. 

The Smith Optics goggles also include a floating foam membrane to reduce pressure at the temples, Fog-X technology for reduced inner lens fogging, and a regulator for ventilating the lenses.

These Oakley Adult O Frame 2.0 Pro XM Snow Goggles from Dicks’ Sporting Goods are every bit as functional as they are trendy. Protecting you from most blue light, UVC, UVB, and UVA rays, the lenses are made of a durable Plutonite. With the Flexible O Matter chassis, these goggles fit great on your face. 

The Bolle Carve Snow Goggles from Modell’s are another option to consider. They include Carbo-Glas double lenses with anti-scratch and anti-fogging technology. The dual-layered face foam and Flow-Tech venting aide in fit and letting out all that warm air. 

Facemask

The high operational speeds of your snowmobile can whip up strong winds even on an otherwise placid day. These painful winds can slap you in the face, leaving the tender skin here cold and red. 

A facemask will protect you. These masks include openings at the eyes and nose so you can easily wear your goggles with your facemask. The best facemasks are made of materials like synthetics, silk, polyester, or other lightweight fabrics.

This Tough Headgear mask on Amazon is an Amazon’s Choice product that has quite a high rating. The mask comes in either black or camo and can be used when ATV riding, skiing, or snowmobiling. Mesh panels throughout allow for breathability while the soft fabric is moisture-wicking. You also get a fleece interior lining for extra facial warmth.

We also quite like this Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Infrared Balaclava, another name for a face mask. Available at Dick’s, this fitted mask includes flat seams that won’t irritate your skin. The hood is wide to cover your neck and your head, yet the fitted panels, especially at the mouth, make it easy to breathe. The infrared fabric from ColdGear used to make this facemask includes a thermo coating so you’ll stay warmer longer. 

Helmet

In lieu of a facemask, you can also wear a helmet on your snowmobiling adventures. Depending on your budget and your preferences, you can buy one of several types of helmets for sledding. Here’s an overview:

  • Motorcycle helmets: These helmets don’t cover the eyes, so you’ll need your goggles handy. You get more than adequate airflow and ventilation with this type of helmet, so if you ride fast on your sled, this is a good helmet choice for you.
  • Modular helmets: With modular helmets, you get more facial protection without sacrificing visibility. 
  • Open-face helmets: An open-face helmet, as the name would suggest, leaves your facial area open except for the eyes, which can be covered with a visor or goggles. You might want to buy a chin guard to keep more of your face protected, as you don’t get one with an open-face helmet. 
  • Full-face helmets: The most inclusive snowmobile helmet is undoubtedly the full-face helmet. With a chin guard and whole-face protection, you’ll be nice and safe as you ride your snowmobile.

The Giro Adult Nine Snow Helmet from Dick’s is more of a motorcycle-style snowmobiling helmet. It includes vertical tuning so you can select the fit of the helmet via a dial, a type of tuning known as the In Form fit system. Stack Ventilation technology prevents fogging while a Thermostat Control includes a button you can press to adjust the airflow anytime. 

This snow helmet also has Super Cool vents throughout that deposit warm air and let in cooler air. The foam liner has great impact absorption, and it’s attached to an outer shell made of tough yet lightweight polycarbonate. 

The Typhoon Helmets Adult Full-Face Snowmobile Helmet on Amazon offers even more optimal protection. You can select from an assortment of colors and sizes, small through XL. Included with your purchase are a breath box and two face shields for use with the helmet. Other features are a chin skirt (that comes out) and air intake vents that can lock or unlock. 

Snowmobile Suit

Now that your head is well-protected, let’s talk about what you’ll wear on your body. First, you need to begin with your base layer. One option you have is a snowmobile suit, a one-piece or two-piece long-sleeved and long-legged bodysuit. 

A snowmobile suit can ward off frostbite and the damaging effects of the wind chill. Look for suits made of synthetic fabrics such as Gore-Tex or acrylic. Always, always skip cotton as an underlayer because it will not absorb water, leaving you freezing cold in a matter of minutes. 

The 509 Allied Monosuit on Amazon is a great example of an exemplary snowmobile suit. This waterproof suit includes internal boot gaiters, internal suspenders for a comfortable fit, and full seams throughout for extra protection from the water. The DWR C8 coating also keeps you drier.

The ventilation system throughout the Allied Monosuit includes points at the thighs, sides, and armpits so you don’t trap in sweat. The 5TECH material, a type of polyester and Cordura with a 300-denier count, boasts a 10k membrane, further keeping water out. 

You can select from several sizes for the 509 Allied Monsosuit as well as colors like blue, yellow, and black; yellow, gray, and black; black, white and gray; and pink, yellow, and black. 

Underlayer

If you can’t get your hands on a snowmobile suit for any reason, then you’ll need separates to act as your underlayer or base layer. You want at least a shirt and pants for your underlayer, but make sure you don’t add too much bulk to your frame or you’ll find it very hard to use your snowmobile. 

Again, when shopping for your underlayer, always avoid cotton, opting instead for synthetics, silk, or polyester. If you need more cold-weather protection, fleece is a smart pick for your underlayer.

The Under Armour Authentic ColdGear Compression Leggings from Dick’s make a great base layer. These leggings are elastane (13 percent) and polyester (87 percent), no cotton here. Their Signature Moisture Transport System is an adequate moisture-wicker, and with their Dual-Layer ColdGear design, the interior keeps in heat while the exterior dries fast.

Another underlayer is the Under Armour ColdGear Armour Crew Neck Long Sleeve Shirt, also available on Dick’s. Again, you get the LightWeight ColdGear technology with several layers so you stay warm even on cold days. The antimicrobial properties will prevent your shirt from getting stinky and grungy quickly. 

The four-stretch material of this underlayer shirt won’t prohibit your movements, not to mention there’s a brushed interior that will hold onto warmth and an exterior coating for wicking away moisture. 

Winter Coat

Atop your snowmobile suit or your base layer should go your winter coat. You don’t want to give up any of the clothing qualities you strove to find when shopping around for a base layer, such as heat entrapment and moisture absorption. 

Make sure your coat safeguards you from the cold but isn’t too heavy, thick, or bulky. You also want to watch the length of your coat, as if it’s too long, it might flap in the breeze or get caught in the rear components of your snowmobile. 

This Polaris TECH54 Northstar Jacket is a good one to try. Available on Amazon, this snowmobiling coat includes plenty of pockets, such as an internal one at the chest, a tiny wrist pocket, and two pockets for your hands. The 3M Scotchline trim is reflective so even if you ride your sled at night, it’ll be a lot harder to miss you.

Included TECH54 material is single-bonded and, with a waterproof membrane, can slough water right off so you never feel it. 

Gloves

Even if it’s a warmer winter’s day, you never want to skip your gloves. Once you begin riding at high speeds, your stinging hands will make you regret not wearing gloves. 

Ideally, you should buy gloves with a wool or fleece liner, especially a removable liner when riding towards the end of winter. Gauntlet-style gloves that cover your wrists as well as your hands will prevent cold air from shooting up into the glove’s opening and chilling your fingers. You also need to ensure your gloves are waterproof.

Like your winter coat, don’t buy thick, bulky winter gloves, as you may not be able to operate your thumb throttle or other handlebar controls.

These Marmot Granlibakken Gloves on Amazon are made entirely of nylon. Their Thermal R insulation adds warmth to the lightweight gloves. They also include DriClime Bi-Component technology to wick away moisture. The palms are PU-reinforced, and with the falcon grip, that makes accessing everything you need on your snowmobile easy.

The Marmot gloves include gauntlet-style wrists with quickdraw cords so you can prevent any cold air from getting in. Their Gore-Tex inserts are both breathable and waterproof so your hands stay dry in the snow.

The Adidas Comfort Fleece Gloves on Modell’s are a combination of elastane (1 percent), polyurethane (2 percent), nylon (6 percent), and polyester (91 percent). They feature a reflective logo for visibility at night, an extended cuff, a palm grip, and Climawarm insulation. You even get access points across the gloves for using a touchscreen like your phone.

Socks

As the theme has been this whole time, definitely avoid cotton socks if you’re going snowmobiling. They’ll trap in sweat so it feels like your feet are swimming, and worse yet, you don’t get waterproof protection. Stick with synthetic, silk, wool, fleece, polypropylene, or nylon socks for excellent moisture-wicking. 

If you’re shopping around for the right socks for snowmobiling, the SmartWool Larimer Crew Sock from Dick’s are a pretty solid choice. These socks are made of Donegal yarn and have cushioning for hours of comfortable use. 

These DG Hill Heat-Trapping Insulated Boot Thermal Socks on Amazon are tall socks that will protect your legs as well as your feet. The footbed cushioning keeps your feet comfy while ribbing prevents the socks from sliding down. The socks are a blend of spandex (1 percent), polyester (6 percent), and acrylic (93 percent) to wick away moisture and control stench. The thermal yarn acts as an insulator as well. 

Boots

Finally, you need snowmobile boots, preferably those made of synthetic materials and rubber. The synthetic boot material will keep snow from sticking to your boots while the rubber gives you optimal traction on slick ground. Look for boots with a synthetic, fleece, or wool liner that wicks moisture and retains warmth.

The KLIM Adrenaline GTX Boot on Amazon includes a Gore-Tex membrane, a dry thermal layer, and insulation from Thinsulate so your feet are toasty no matter how long you’re out riding. 

The Muck Boot Arctic Apres Lace Mid-Waterproof Winter Boots on Dick’s can handle temperatures of -20 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit without you feeling it. Their outsole offers traction even in the snow while an EVA midsole is comfortable to walk on all day. An interior fleece lining feels great and provides warmth, as does an exterior trim made of faux fur as well as CR Flex-Foam insulation. The leather uppers are waterproof. 

Final Thoughts 

When you’re riding your snowmobile, the last thing you want to think about is what you’re wearing. By picking up these recommended pieces of snowmobiling gear, you can stay safe and warm and focus on having a great time on your sled! 

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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