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Dressing for Cold Weather

As with any outdoor winter recreation, you need clothing that will keep you warm and dry.

Remember that the "wind chill factor" can lower your temperature considerably. If the thermometer reads 30°F and you ride at 25 miles an hour, your exposed skin feels a wind chill temperature of 0°F.

Dress in layers, and wear gloves and a warm head covering under your helmet. Gloves with gauntlets will keep cold air from blowing up your sleeves.

Do not wear:

  • A scarf or loose clothing, which can get caught in the moving parts of your snowmobile or in branches and bushes
  • A bubble-type face guard, which may frost up

U.S. Customary Wind Chill Chart

Estimated Wind Speed in MPH Actual Thermometer Reading (˚F)
50 40 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60
  Equivalent Temperature (˚F)
Calm 50 40 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60
5 48 37 27 16 6 -5 -15 -26 -36 -47 -57 -68
10 40 28 16 4 -9 -21 -33 -46 -58 -70 -83 -95
15 36 22 9 -5 -18 -36 -45 -58 -72 -85 -99 -112
20 32 18 4 -10 -25 -39 -53 -67 -82 -96 -110 -124
25 30 16 0 -15 -29 -44 -59 -74 -88 -104 -118 -133
30 28 13 -2 -18 -33 -48 -63 -79 -94 -109 -125 -140
35 27 11 -4 -20 -35 -49 -67 -82 -98 -113 -129 -145
40 26 10 -6 -21 -37 -53 -69 -85 -100 -116 -132 -148
(Wind speeds greater than 40 mph have little additional effect) LITTLE DANGER* (for properly clothed person) INCREASED DANGER* (for properly clothed person) GREAT DANGER*
*DANGER FROM FREEZING OF EXPOSED FLESH

Snowmobile (and ATV) Suit

The ideal winter outfit for both snowmobilers and ATV riders is a snowmobile suit. In addition to keeping you warm, a snowmobile suit will keep you afloat if you fall into freezing water. Because it traps air, it acts like a flotation device. Some suits also have flotation material sewn into the lining, and others have special air pockets that you can inflate by blowing into a tube.

Clothing should fit snugly and still be comfortable.

Clothing that's too loose can snag on your vehicle, twigs, and branches.