newbie: going on first trip - what to wear - Snowmobile World : Your #1 Snowmobile Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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newbie: going on first trip - what to wear

i've never gone snowmobiling before in my life. my wife and i are joining a group of friends over new years. i've heard snowmobiling is completely addictive, so we are really looking forward to it.

my question is, what type of jacket and pants should i get? should i layer up with under armor, leather jacket, etc... or purchase one of those bad a$$ ski jackets? should i make sure my outer layer is windproof, or is that not that important? i have motorcycle gear, so would my rain suit be a good outside layer?

we just want to make sure we don't ruin our trip and first snowmobiling experience by freezing our butts off.

any help is much appreciated!!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 04:15 PM
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In my opinion, you only need 4 main things.

Good boots, snow pants or bibs, good jacket, and good gloves. Then dress comfortably. Sweats, t-shirt, ect.

Assuming you will be in temps 15-25F, for pants, you could probally get away with most any, and add some layers underneith if thin. For a jacket, if you are not wanting to spend for a snowmobile jacket, a good ski jacket will also work. Spend the money, $30-50 for some good gloves that are warm and breathable.

I also like to wear turtle necks so my jacket coller doesn't have to be tight, and make sure you get a thin barclava. $10 or less.

Also, your choices should be determined based on how long you will be out riding. Are going out for a couple of hours, or an all day thing?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 07:41 PM
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Good question, for starters. I think we've all experimented. But yes, spend the money for good gloves and good boots. Those two items can be used for most anything after your trip, or better yet, for your next trip. trust me, you WILL go on another snowmobile trip!!! Ditto on the thin balaclava (headsock). A good ski jacket will work if you have one already. And a good pair of bibs is a good idea. Typically ski pants can be a little thin. I prefer a good full overall type of bib that's chest height. With a good set of bibs, you should be able to just get by with a good pair of jeans with some longjohns under those. As for your upper body, dress in layers, turtle necks are awesome, so you don't overheat. Once you start to overheat, your body heat wanders up into your helmet from heat loss through your melon, then you have a whole fog/freeze up thing going on with your helmet. And that can suck bad enough to ruin a trip. Borrow a good helmet too. I could go on and on, but other will wanna chime in too with some ideas. Good Luck, see ya on the trails. Perhaps we could call you the newest junkie come new years!!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys. my wife and i both have a very nice pair of columbia boots that are "rated" at 40 below, so i think we're good on the boots. we've also got under amour turtlenecks. my wife has ski bib pants and a ski jacket already. i'm going to need a set of bibs.

i've got a heavy leather jacket. do you think that would suffice for a single trip, or am i asking for trouble in not buying a high end parka type jacket?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 07:42 PM
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Well, assuming you're dry, imagine yourself standing out in 25-30 mph winds when it's 10-20 degrees out, and you're in your leather jacket. Does it keep you warm? If it does, then yeah, you'll probably be fine. You'll wanna keep your neck warm, by doing that, you'll also be cutting down on the warmth getting up into your helmet. Turtle necks and hooded sweatshirts sure work good for me. Get a good balaclava, a long one, and tuck it down into your sweatshirt too. You'll be fine. The key is staying dry and taking a break if you do start to get cold, or warm for that matter. You do get somewhat of a workout on a sled. You won't just be sitting there and steering. You're in for a treat!! Be sure to post some pics of your trip.

'02 SkiDoo MXZ 500 Trail
'02 SkiDoo MXZ 700 Trail
'02 SkiDoo Legend 600 Sport
Suzuki VX 800 bike for the warm summer days

I do like my Doo's
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 08:48 PM
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Klim is the best outlayer your money can buy. You can find good deals on ebay. HMK boots are the best and will keep your feet warm dry and give you ankle support. Remember to layer up with synthetics not cotton. This sport is highly addictive so its better to get the best and be comfortable than to be cold and miserable. Have a great time.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 10:00 AM
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I think that coats are pretty forgiving, as you can dress in layers beneath anything. The ski-style outerwear will work, but it's not typically as durable as snowmobile-specific outerwear. But for the casual/beginner rider, I think it shoudl serve you well enough.

One thing to consider is the seat of your pants/bibs. Often you will end up with snow kicking up onto the seat of the snowmobile. LOTS of it if you're in deeper powder. If your pants are not waterproof, you can end up dealing with some wetness, which will make you cold sooner. If you can swing a nice set of waterproof bibs, defineitely go for 'em.

As mentioned, boots of good quality are important. I think you are gonna be OK there based on what you say you have.

Your Under-Armor base layer will be really nice. I rode once with an old down jacket that didn't have a zipper, just snaps. Wind came right thru the gaps between the snaps, so any coat that closes up well should get you by. The nice thing about snowmobile jackets versus ski jackets in the amount of reflectivity built into most of the snowmobile coats, to help others see you at night. I haven't seen a ski jacket that has any of that. Only really something to think about if you go riding at night, though.

Most of the modern snowmobile have hand warmers built in. I often choose to ride in just some Mechanix-style thin gloves, and to have the bar warmers on. If I wear a heavy glove, I don't get to feel as much heat from the warmers. A lot of that decision is based on outside temps, though.

Everything else others have said sounds like good advice to me as well. I wish you well on your first trip!

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 05:00 PM
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Dress in layers LOSSLY ....

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2008, 06:03 PM
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Layers Layers Layers. What I wear is underarmour (cold gear) then a Polaris thermal long sleeve shirt, and last my snowmobile jacket. Definetly get something wind proof and water proof. I wear gloves that come up over my wrists about 3 inches so I don't get snow in my jacket sleeves or on my hands and under my gloves I wear thermal glove insulators...your hands get really cold if you don't have heated grips. I just wear regular polaris snowpants and jeans or sweat pants under those. For boots I have some for around the farm they are only 60 dollars but keep your feet warm. Make sure if it's 50+ miles to wear thicker socks, preferably wool...even if it is a bit itchy My boots have thick enough liners though where I don't have to wear them. Buy an under armor type face mask for under your helmet. It's skinny and super light but will keep you more protected from wind and cold around your chin. I'm 14 and I'm super addicted to snowmobiling! There's nothing like it! I'm sure you'll love it! Have fun on your trip, and stay warm!!!
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