Just like any winter activity, a snowmobile tour requires that you dress for the elements. There could be cold temperatures, fierce wind, baking sun and variable conditions from heavy snow to sleet to rain—sometimes all in one day. Here’s what you need to wear to have a good day on the trail.
What’s lying against your skin is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding what to wear on a snowmobile tour. Hot, sticky cotton won’t cut it. Go for a breathable synthetic layer, even polyester, as the top and bottom base layer and build up from there with warmer pieces like wool or fleece. You can always shed a layer if you heat up. Your outer layer should be a winter-proof, ideally waterproof, coat and snow pants—or a one-piece snowmobile-specific suit.
Your top safety concern on a powerful snow machine should be protecting your arms, legs and, most importantly, your head in the even of a crash. There are several types of snowmobile helmets, from the warmest and most protective full-face caps to new modular helmets that allow you change pieces for changing conditions. Google, sunglasses or visors are also critical for protecting your face from flying objects and sun reflecting off the snow, which can cause a serious condition called snow blindness. Think polyester or synthetic facemasks or baklavas are also popular under-helmet options for chilly days.
Protect those feet from cold, wet and potential injury with a solid pair of snow boots, ideally with a waterproof bottom, good lug for traction and an a synthetic upper that extends high enough to prevent snow from entering the boot. Again: No cotton for socks. Try nylon, fleece, wool, silk or another synthetic blend. And don’t forget the all-important gloves. Chose a pair that will keep you warm (some people prefer mittens for this) but also allow you top grip and negotiate the handlebars properly.