Winter ATV/UTV Riding Has Its Own Clothing Challenges

The best way to enjoy an ATV/UTV is to use it and not let it sit idly in a garage or barn gathering dust — even in the dead of winter! But winter riding has its own special challenges, the cold temperatures foremost among them.

However, there are plenty of ways to combat the cold temperatures with proper clothing and gear. Blocking the wind and staying dry while you are riding are the essentials to staying warm and comfortable on your ATV/UTV on a cold-weather ride.

Riding in winter brings its own challenges, but spectacular scenery such as this ice dam is one of the many perks of being outdoors in the winter.

Let’s face it, most of the clothing you find that fits the bill for this type of extreme outing is often bulky and cumbersome, but it doesn’t have to be. I found that a good snowmobile suit, such as the Guide Gear snow suit is lightweight, blocks the wind, keeps me dry, and is really easy to get on over my base layers. There are plenty of zippers and pockets to make it easy and comfortable to wear for hours at a time and it didn’t break the bank when I bought it.

Several of my friends who own farms and have to be out daily on their ATVs in cold weather wear traditional Carhartt coveralls designed for extreme weather and swear by them. I can’t argue with their thinking there. The one thing they have all told me over the years is to make sure whatever you wear as an outer layer is roomy enough to allow good freedom of movement and that allows for base layers underneath — sage advice from men and women who make their living outdoors!

Like others who ride during the winter, I’ve suffered cold hands no matter what I’ve tried in the past (except for the time a friend let me ride his ATV with heated hand muffs installed). I solved my cold hand problem this year with some Guide Gear Guide Dry snowmobile gloves. My hands have never been warmer in a pair of gloves that still gave me the dexterity I needed to operate my machine. These gloves perform! I bought two pairs and keep a second pair in my ATV bag that goes where I go when I’m riding in the winter. You can never be too careful and you never know when a friend will want to borrow a pair because his or her gloves just aren’t doing the job.

One other piece of gear I always make sure I have with me is a neck warmer. I found a great neck warmer that is also a helmet liner (you do wear a helmet when you ride, right?) to help keep my ears warm under my helmet in cold weather. I bought two of these and looks like I’m going to have to buy a couple more to take with me in my bag — it seems my friends keep asking to borrow them because they either forgot theirs or don’t have one!

Riding in winter doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you wear the right gear. The alternatives are to be cold and miserable while riding or to let your ATV/UTV gather dust in the winter — neither of those is much of an alternative in my book!

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