Wearing the Proper Clothing

Nothing can protect you completely; but knowing what to wear can reduce the chance of injury, as well as make your ride more comfortable. Never operate a snowmobile without these essential items.

Proper Attire

Figure 1: Proper Clothing

Helmet

Snowmobile helmets are designed to protect your head and face in collisions or falls, from tree branches while riding, from the cold, and from loud noise.

Unlike motorcycle helmets, snowmobile helmets have vents that you can open or close to prevent fogging.

Snowmobile face shields have a double lens to resist fogging. Some face shields have built-in defrosters that plug into an outlet on the snowmobile.

To get the most benefit from your helmet:

  • Make sure your helmet fits snugly, fastens securely, and doesn’t move or feel loose. Try on helmets over riding headgear.
  • Replace your helmet every five years. Made of fiberglass or plastic, helmets become brittle over time.
  • Place a strip of reflective tape on your helmet for extra visibility after dark.
  • Don’t paint your helmet. Solvents in the paint can weaken the shell.
  • Select a helmet with a safety-approval label from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Goggles or Face Shield

Branches, falling snow, and road debris can impair your vision and jeopardize your safety.

By shading your eyes, goggles or a face shield minimizes glare and distorted vision in bright sunlight. Neither the snowmobile windshield nor sunglasses protect adequately.

Eye protection should be scratch-free, shatter-resistant, securely fastened, and well-ventilated to avoid fogging.

When selecting eye protection:

  • Ideally,combine sunglasses and a helmet-mounted face shield, which also widens the field of vision and keeps your face warmer. Sunglasses reduce glare, enhance contrast for better vision, and reduce harmful ultraviolet rays from sunlight reflecting off snow.
  • Purchase goggles with prescription lenses if necessary.
  • Wear lenses tinted for your lighting conditions: gray for bright days, yellow for overcast days, and clear for nights.
  • Choose products marked VESC-8 (or V-8) or Z87.1, or made of hard-coated polycarbonate.

Gloves

Gloves protect your hands from cold, as well as from injury during a fall or scrape.

For the best protection, always choose gloves with:

  • Paddingto protect your knuckles
  • Gauntlets to prevent cold air from entering your sleeves

Boots

  • Heels prevent your feet from slipping off the footrests.
  • Snowmobile boots protect the feet as well as the ankles and lower legs.
  • Some boots have liners that you can remove for quicker drying.