Choosing A Snowmobiling Jacket
Keeping warm is a top priority while snowmobiling, and your apparel choice directly impacts your comfort level. This include your snowmobile jacket, which acts as the barrier between your body and the cold. Maybe you’re replacing an old jacket or assembling your snow gear for the first time. Whatever the case, you need to pick the right choice for your riding style and the type of environment you’ll be riding in. With so many options available, how do you know if you’re choosing the best type of jacket? Follow these guidelines to ensure you get the very best outer shell for your snowmobiling apparel.
Types of Snowmobiling Jackets
There are several styles of snowmobile jackets that you’ll have to choose from.
Trail Jackets: As the most popular type of snowmobile jacket, these are great for casual riders that mainly ride the trails or join guided tours at resorts. These provide enough venting and insulation to keep riders comfortable while riding, and some are designed with a removable liner to provide even more customization for the day’s temperature. Trail jackets are ideal for riders who mostly ride seated, as the cut is right above the waist and won’t bunch up.
Backcountry Jackets: If you’re a mountain rider, you’re riding standing up the majority of the time. Backcountry jackets are longer than trail jackets and offer a better degree of flexibility as riders navigate this type of woodsy terrain. These riders use base and mid layers, so the insulation of this style of jacket is less than the trail type. The mountain rider works harder during the excursion, so less outer shell insulation is required for body heat preservation. The less bulk, the better.
Snocross Jackets: Snocross is the most aggressive style of snowmobiling, which requires a special type of jacket. These are much different that trail and backcountry jackets. While they’re similar in length to trail jackets, these offer little insulation as racers are working their machines as fast as possible to come out on top. Snocross jackets have no bulk and feature an open neck area to fit a neck brace. You’ll find a large amount of ventilation as well that helps regulate the micro-climate inside the rider’s layering system.
Rider Type and Environmental Conditions
The type of rider you are will help determine the jacket style you need. For casual riders, trail jackets are very commonly used. They’re usually designed with features like venting and enough insulation to help preserve body heat. If you’re someone who plans to spend the day out in the powder, you’ll need to find a snowmobile jacket with ample insulation like these. If you’re getting into snowmobile racing, a Snocross jacket will be a better fit. These offer more flexibility for aggressive, high speed riding and have less insulation since racers don’t typically spend large amounts of time in the elements.
Sizing is Key
When you’ve found a jacket that seems perfect for you, don’t assume your normal size applies to a snowmobile jacket. If you have the opportunity, try the jacket on in person. Otherwise, pay close attention to the sizing chart provided for it. It might be inconvenient to take measurements, but this will save you from the greater headache of returning a jacket that doesn’t fit right. Remember, these aren’t built like any jacket. They’re fitted for aerodynamics. Plus, you need to be able to fit base and mid layers underneath them.
Seeing information about the weight of a jacket in grams? What does this mean? Essentially, the heavier the weight, the better insulation the jacket provides. So, a trail jacket will weigh much more than a Snocross jacket.
Other Important Features
When shopping for a jacket, it’s important to browse only those that are totally waterproof. This means that the zippers and seams are too, not much the fabric. Look for jackets that are designed with 3M® Thinsulate®, GORE-TEX®, eVent®, Sympatex®, Hydraguard Pro, or HydrX Pro™. These are all very high-quality and trustworthy fabrics. You can also look at jackets with storm flaps, which fit over the primary zipper and a snow skirt to keep the powder from getting into the jacket. Safety is vital when snowmobiling, especially in the evening. Your jacket should have reflective material like 3M® Scotchlite® that easily makes you visible to other riders.
With this guide, you’ll now be able to determine the best style of jacket to choose in preparation for your next snowmobiling adventure. It will help you sift through the countless options online to find one that provides the right insulation, ventilation, and length you need for a comfortable and safe ride every time. At Polaris Parts Nation, we offer a variety of men’s, women’s, and youth snowmobile jackets. Find the jackets and other snowmobiling gear you and the family needs all in one convenient place.