A snowmobile jacket is a crucial piece of gear for keeping you safe and comfortable, but have you ever wondered how a snowmobile jacket should fit? Is there a foolproof size or design that is ideal for a livable ride? What features should you look for in a snowmobile jacket to keep you warm and protected while on the slopes? Or how do you even know if it fits properly?
Well, if you ask me, it should be snug enough to keep you warm, but loose enough so you can still show off your best dance moves! But, there’s more to snowmobile jackets than just that. So buckle up and get ready to explore the wild and wonderful world of this winter outerwear!
Initial Thoughts On Snowmobile Jackets
When it comes to selecting a snowmobile jacket, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: it should fit like a glove- or better yet, like a snowmobile. That’s right. Your snowmobile jacket shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. It’s a delicate balance between warmth, comfort, and style.
Note that not all jackets are created equal. Some are designed for extreme weather conditions, while others are more suited for mild weather; thus you should pick one that suits your needs.
A good snowmobile jacket should, at its most basic, fit snugly without impeding your movement. It also has to be long enough to cover your body, and the sleeves should fit snugly at the wrists. Moreover, the collar should be high enough to keep your neck from the cold.
Before making a purchase, it is important to try on various options. This will help to make sure you get something that fits you well. You don’t want to be chilly and uncomfortable on the slopes.
Now, in the next section, we’ll discuss how a snowmobile jacket should fit; from size, design features, and flair. We’ll also explore the importance of using a jacket that is both functional and comfortable as well as the factors to consider when choosing one. So, keep reading.
What Makes Snowmobile Jackets Special?
One thing you’ll realize when shopping for snowmobile jackets is that they are generally different than your average winter coat. For one, they are designed to be waterproof and windproof and with the capacity to move with you as you ride.
However, they need to fit properly. Otherwise, if it’s too big, the wind could blow through it, letting cold air seep in. On the other hand, if it’s too small, you won’t be able to move freely and you’ll end up getting really hot.
So how do you know if a jacket is a right fit? Well, as mentioned, it should be snug enough so that the wind can’t get in, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. The sleeves should also be long enough to cover your wrists and the bottom should reach at least halfway down your pants.
Important Tips On Snowmobile Jackets
Fit is key when it comes to snowmobiling outwear and it’s important to find a jacket that will keep you warm and safe while you’re out on the slopes. But how do you do that? You ask.
Well, here are a few tips for finding the perfect fit:
- First, make sure the jacket is big enough to fit over your clothes. You don’t want it to be too tight, or you’ll end up feeling hot and uncomfortable.
- Check that the sleeves are long enough to cover your wrists and that the hem is coming down to your hips.
- The collar should be high enough to keep your neck from cold temperatures.
- The jacket should be well-insulated so that you stay warm even in extreme temperatures.
- Remember to check the size chart before you buy. This is because every brand fits differently, and you want to make sure you get the right size for your body type.
Snug Fit or Loose Fit: Which Is Better?
Of curse, both options will come with their pros and cons. So the point is to find the right fit. For instance, a snug fit will help keep you safe and warm, while a loose fit can allow heat to escape and make you cold.
That said, there are a few things you should pay attention to when trying on the jacket. Just make sure the sleeves are long enough to cover your wrists and the hem falls below your waist.
Your jacket should be tight enough to keep the insulation in place, but not so tight that it’s difficult to move in. Otherwise, if the jacket is too loose, you’ll end up losing heat and being more susceptible to the chilly weather.
What To Look For In Snowmobile Jackets
One important thing that you should check when picking a snowmobile jacket is the design. It should have all the features to keep you warm, safe, and comfortable while on the slopes.
A good rule of thumb is to look for one that’s a bit tight in the chest and loose around the arms and torso. This way, you’ll be able to move and ride freely while still enjoying full coverage.
A good jacket should be designed with arm gussets for maximum mobility as you ride, and plenty of pockets for carrying materials and snacks. You may also want to choose a hooded snowmobile jacket with enough drawcords so that it secures the hood around your head and keep out the wind. And don’t forget about reflective accents for safety when it gets dark out.
Most snowmobile jackets are designed with multiple layers of insulation including down, synthetic, or both. Some even feature adjustable cuffs, storm flaps, and drawstrings for the hood and waist for added protection against the elements. It’s also important to choose one with the right size zip-up pockets to keep your essentials safe and dry.
Additionally, look for one with adjustable cuffs and waistbands. This will help you adjust the fit as needed depending on how many layers of clothing you’re wearing underneath. Such quality features help keep you warm while allowing you to maneuver quickly and easily.
Some jackets even come with adjustable hoods. These ones help to make sure your head is covered without compromising your peripheral vision.
Lastly, opt for a jacket with reinforced elbows and shoulders. Note that these areas take a lot of abuse when snowmobiling, so having extra protection is such a smart idea. It helps keep you safe and comfortable in the event of an impact or fall.
Types of Snowmobiles Jackets
The snowmobile jacket is arguably the most crucial piece of equipment you’ll need (other than a snowmobile helmet, of course). For most riders, maintaining a warm, comfortable body is first on their list of priorities. Snowmobile jackets have been improved and developed over time and now, you can select the type of jacket that most closely fits your riding style for the best results. There are now distinct jacket types for every kind of riding.
The trail jacket is the most common design used for snowmobile jackets. In fact, they are the most versatile options for trail riding as they can be used in a range of riding circumstances.
Trail jackets often have a cut that ends just above the waist with a drop tail in the back, which is particularly ideal for trail riders who spend most of their time sitting down. This is because it won’t bunch up and yet provides adequate back covering.
These jackets also combine cozy insulation with lots of ventilation. This enables you to adapt to a broad range of riding conditions and control your own microclimate with only one piece of equipment. Some trail jackets even come with a removable liner for varying temperatures.
Backcountry and Mountain Snowmobile Jackets
The equipment used by snowmobile riders improves with the change of the adventure of backcountry and mountain snowmobiling.
In most cases, these sophisticated riding techniques are performed while standing. This explains why most backcountry and mountain snowmobile jackets have a little longer cut than trail jackets. The design of this jacket is notably flexible in order to accommodate all of the moves involved.
These jackets are not designed with much insulation, which is likely to be the case before it is part of the outer snowmobile gear. To stay warm, riders should dress in layers, that is, base layers and mid layers, (something we will discuss in detail in the next section.
This way, you can modify your microclimate by adding or removing layers. Otherwise, mountain jackets are only able to maintain their flexibility and slim profile because they lack insulation.
Some of the most flexible and reliable snowmobile jackets you’ll come across are the Snocross jackets. Since a Snocross jacket finishes above the waist, it has a comparable cut to the above-stated trail riding jackets. This allows the rider to swivel their waist freely. Moreover, some Snocross jackets have an open-neck design so that the rider may comfortably use a neck brace.
Snocross jackets feature minimal to no insulation and plenty of ventilation, which is a good thing given that racers use a lot of energy while snowmobiling. In fact, these jackets are sometimes referred to as racing shells, due to the said aspect of minimal insulation.
How To Stay Warm While Snowmobiling
Well, the chilling winter wind can be exhilarating while snowmobiling, but too much exposure to it can lead to a loss of body heat. You don’t need to give up snowmobiling in order to minimize the cold, you just have to be prepared and keep yourself warm.
Here are some tips on how to stay warm when you’re out snowmobiling.
Eating the Right Foods
There are foods that can keep you warm and retain heat during winter. So, let’s discuss a few of them and see how they help riders stay warm.
While snowmobiling, be sure to stay hydrated. Your body will work at its best with water, which will lead to the optimal performance of processes like temperature control. Otherwise, your internal temperature will drop if you lose too much water from your body.
Before you begin racing through the snow and ice, be sure to sip some coffee. Caffeine will help speed up your metabolism. A faster metabolism results in a warmer body temperature.
Therefore, it’s about time you start drinking coffee if you haven’t been doing so before going snowmobiling.
Also, consider eating whole grains and complex carbs. Whole grains and complex carbs disintegrate with a lot of energy, which in turn, increases the metabolism in your body.
Wearing The Right Gear
Avoid wearing cotton since it will absorb moisture and make you feel chilly. Instead, you should wear gear made from materials such as polyester, silk, and other materials that will keep you dry and more comfortable than cotton.
Additionally, you should layer your garments to maximize heat retention. Put on long underwear, socks, and extra layers of heavy or rather thick clothes.
You can protect your face, neck, and ears from the wind by wearing a snug-fitting hat and a helmet with a face shield. Then wear a scarf or neck warmer to keep your neck warm.
To keep your hands warm, you can wear waterproof and windproof gloves. Just make sure the gloves aren’t too tight or too loose so that you can comfortably steer your sled.
Dress In Layers
It is always recommended to dress in layers before you go snowmobiling. Different snowmobile gear will serve different purposes while riding through cold weather.
Layers For Snowmobile Riding
The majority of the riders have it that layering is the key to staying warm, and at ease when operating a snowmobile. This way, riders may adjust their clothing for the climate they are riding in by adding or removing garments of varying thickness and warming qualities.
There are various layers, which are major classified into the underlayer, mid-layer, and outer shell. The base/underlayer and mid-layers are all designed for specific purposes in the layering system.
This is basically the layer you wear next to your skin. The layer is typically thin and it fits closely to your body. The primary function of the base layer is to transfer extra moisture from your skin outward. Also, it serves as apparel that reduces muscular fatigue when riding.
The middle layer serves as the insulating layer in the layering method. To maximize warmth, the mid-layer is usually comprised of an insulating substance and it is also moisture-wicking in order to drain sweat away from your body.
While loose underlayers won’t sufficiently contact your body for perspiration removal, tight ones will restrict your body’s ability to breathe; thus you might want to wear three to five layers. In fact, you can choose to wear more than five layers if you want additional warmth.
Just make sure you are not wearing any cotton materials because it will easily absorb moisture rather than moving it out.
In most cases, snowmobile suits consist of a jacket worn over the pants and a pair of pants. The outfits are specially made with warmth retention in mind.
Gore-tex and acrylic are the most often used materials for snowmobile suits and since they are waterproof, these materials don’t absorb moisture from the outside.
Snowmobile jackets are usually windproof as well as waterproof, therefore, wearing a good-quality snowmobile suit will give you total protection from the wind, the rain, and the snow.
Warm Gripping Gloves
Since you’ll be actively using your hands when snowmobiling, it makes sense to keep them really warm. So, before you start to drive your snowmobile, get yourself a decent pair of gloves and put them on. Aside from keeping your hands warm, gloves will improve your grip on the sled’s handle.
Just make sure you choose gloves that are the right fit for you so you can comfortably steer your sled. It’s always recommended to use gloves designed for snowmobiling because gloves used for other activities will hardly be windproof and waterproof.
Wearing A Safe Snowmobile Helmet
A good snowmobile helmet should protect you from injuries and impacts. It is always important to make sure the helmet you’re using is of the right fit, and suitable for your riding conditions. Fortunately, most of them will feature a sun shield to keep your eyes from intense sun rays and snow reflections.
Also, check that it allows for proper air circulation while retaining adequate heat so your head stays warm. And always wear your helmet tightly, keeping the straps well secured. A good way to identify a reliable helmet is by checking the DOT approval. So do so before making buying.
Your snowmobile helmet will do a fantastic job keeping you warm and safe from the cold and elements, but it is not enough. A facemask or balaclava will serve as a foundation layer for your head to keep warm and dry.
Also, facemasks and balaclavas vary in warmth and thickness, which enables the rider to select the option that will work best for their riding conditions. Facemasks will only cover the lower part of your face, leaving the upper part of your head uncovered, whereas balaclavas will cover your entire head, leaving openings for the nose, eyes, and sometimes the mouth.
Wearing Warm Socks
The point here is to keep your feet warm. Wearing socks is one effective way to ensure your feet stay warm, and well-protected while on the slopes. The best materials for socks include silk, fleece, wool, and some other popular synthetic fabrics. That said, you will be wise to wear water-wicking socks and then heavy fleece ones over that for moisture removal and warmth.
Waterproof Snowmobile Boots
Snowmobiling boots will help you stay warm and protected from impacts. The best boots for snowmobiling should be made from a blend of rubber and durable waterproof materials.
Note that your feet will be actively involved, so make sure you choose a pair of high-quality boots. Fortunately, snowmobile boots generally feature breathable lining to prevent sweating.
Nonetheless, ensure that the boots are durable and reliable enough. This is one of those occasions where investing a little more money in a pair of warm, comfy boots is worthwhile. The last thing you want is to go on a lengthy ride while your feet are freezing and in pain.
Wearing Protective Goggles
Snow and other flying debris are hard to stop, but of course, you can improve the case by wearing goggles, so they don’t reach your eyes. Just remember to take the weather into account when selecting goggles.
While dark lenses can protect you from excessively bright light if the day is particularly bright, you will be better off with hues like blue, amber, or pink on overcast days. Otherwise, you don’t really need to wear goggles if your full-face snowmobile helmet has a face shield.
The whole idea behind the use of a windshield is to help reduce the turbulence often caused by heavy winds. It serves to protect you against flying debris, snow, ice, and insects. Some riders claim that the windshield also enhances the overall speed of a snowmobile.
This is because they’re built aerodynamically to counteract air drags, which naturally tend to slow things down. They also help to improve vision as their design prevents snow from building up and obstructing the rider’s view.
Using Hand Warmers
On those extremely chilly days, hand warmers can help keep your hands warm when riding a snowmobile. Hand warmers for snowmobiling come in a variety of varieties, although the supersaturated solution, air-activated, and battery-powered hand warmers are the most common.
The battery power options can keep your hands warm for around 6 hours before it needs to be changed. You can always adjust the amount you want to experience while using these warmers.
The air-activated models are also great but you will need to dispose of them after the first usage. These ones produce heat through chemical processes that are initiated by air. The best hand warmers in this category can provide heat for ten hours continuously.
Meanwhile, the supersaturated solution basically employs the idea that’s pretty much similar to that of air-activated options. The best part about these ones, though, is that they can be used a couple of times before they need to be disposed of. This is due to the reversible nature of the reaction that produces heat in this kind of hand warmer.
There you have it’ a complete guide to snowmobile jackets. Note that while each of the many companies does have its own traits, there are a few qualities you should look for in all snowmobile jackets. This include features such as waterproofing and breathability to keep you dry and comfortable. And pay attention to zippers and seams.
Also, in order to be seen at night, a snowmobile jacket should also have enough of fluorescent material placed in strategic locations. A snow skirt on the inside and a storm flap over the main zipper are some of the additional crucial qualities that might improve a jacket. Other than that, make sure it fits well to ensure safety and warmth while you’re out on the slopes.