Enjoying the fun of snowmobiling means being out in the cold winter environment for the entire day. That means you’ll need a few specific pieces of gear to stay warm, dry, and comfortable. Let’s take a look at some of the most important clothing items for riding your sled in cold, challenging conditions.
Cold feet can absolutely ruin a day of riding and have negative long-term effects. In order to prevent cold or wet feet, you’ll need boots that are waterproof, insulated, have a firm sole and rigid sides, and properly fit your foot.
The boots should be made from a waterproof material and should also have the ability to attach your pants or bibs to the boot (usually through an elastic gaiter). This prevents snow from getting into your boot if you step off your sled into deep snow. Insulation is important for warmth and should be a high quality and lightweight material. The firm sole and correct fit of your boot will insure you have maximum agility and control on the sled. The boots should have a secure lace or strap system, to ensure the boots stay in place during riding.
The right material and thickness of sock will make sure you’re getting maximum warmth out of your boots. Most importantly, do not wear cotton socks as they are not capable of wicking away moisture from sweat. Merino wool with additional stretch and performance materials make for a great combination of comfort and warmth.
When it comes to thickness, you may be surprised to learn that a medium thickness is actually warmer and more comfortable than a really thick sock. In addition, make sure the sock comes up higher than your calf, so it is not sliding down into your snowmobile boot all day as you move around.
While handlebar warmers are great, you still want to ensure a good fit and proper material for your gloves. This will keep your hands warm while also having dexterity and precision driving the snowmobile. To that end, always choose gloves over mittens so you can accurately use the throttle and the brake. Next, be sure the gloves are waterproof, to ensure your hands stay warm and dry while riding. Finally, you’ll want to take a few pairs of varying thickness. When you are riding on a trail, you will want more insulated gloves. If you are working hard off the trail, you might prefer less insulation and more precision. It’s a rookie move to only have one pair of snowmobile gloves, so be sure to bring 2-4 pairs each day you ride.