Snowmobile helmets are one of the most important pieces of gear you should wear when snowmobiling.
Not only is it designed to protect your head in a crash, but it will also help to keep you warm, provide you with good vision, and keep you comfortable while you ride.
This page will go over what type of helmet you’ll need for snowmobiling and what makes them different.
Before you learn how to ride a snowmobile, you should put on a proper fitting helmet.
What kind of helmet do you need for snowmobiling?
In order to be the safest and most comfortable while riding a snowmobile, you should be wearing a DOT-approved full-face snowmobile helmet.
Snowmobile helmets will feature:
- Protection from snow, ice, debris, windchill, and noise.
- An anti-fog lens.
- Integrated lens, modular lens, or open snow-cross design.
Some helmets will even feature electronic defrosters to prevent fogging.
Can you snowmobile with a motorcycle or dirt bike helmet?
While, technically yes, you can snowmobile with a dirt bike helmet to keep yourself protected in a crash, it won’t do much for your comfort and vision.
Street motorcycle helmets and dirt bike helmets generally lack the insulation and anti-fog features that are necessary when snowmobiling in cold temperatures.
What makes a snowmobile helmet different?
Snowmobile helmets share a lot of features with motorcycle and dirt bike helmets.
The main difference is their ventilation and anti-fog features as well as their insulation.
Snowmobile helmets are the opposite, since you’ll pretty much always be riding in cold weather and dealing with windchill.
Snowmobile helmets and their lenses are also better designed to resist fogging up.
What lens color is best for bright days?
Snowmobile helmets will either come with built in lenses or allow you to wear removable goggles.
Lenses can come in handy not only to protect your eyes and face from the cold and debris, but also help you see better on bright days.
On a bluebird day, the sun’s brightness is often increased by the whiteness of the snow.
In these conditions, it’s easy to get blinded.
The best color snowmobile lenses for bright days are usually black or gray tinted lenses.
Other types of lens colors are better for other conditions:
- Clear lenses work well at night or in low light conditions.
- Pink/rose lenses are good for low light and overcast days.
- Brown or bronze lenses are effective for bright days as well.
- Red lenses are useful for sharpening depth perception in mid-light to bright days.
- Green and yellow lenses can be good for overcast conditions and brighter days.
How Often Should a Snowmobile Helmet be Replaced
Like motorcycle helmets, you should usually replace your snowmobile helmet every 5 years.
At that point the materials in the helmet begin to break down and lose their integrity.
An old, worn out helmet will provide you with less protection in the event of a crash, and will not be as effective in keeping your head warm.
However, you should replace your snowmobile helmet sooner if it:
- Has been in a crash.
- Has fallen on the ground.
- Display signs of cracks or damage.
- Won’t tighten properly.
- Causes you any pain or discomfort while riding.
How Should Your Snowmobile Helmet Fit?
Your snowmobile helmet won’t do much for you if it doesn’t fit correctly.
A proper fitting helmet should:
- Feel snug, but not too tight.
- Not move around when you shake your head from side to side.
- Fasten securely.
- Not fog up when you breathe.