Tips To Help Snowmobile Rain Riding…
Nobody in their right mind wants to go snowmobile rain riding or in a meltdown. But sometimes it’s unavoidable, especially if you do a lot of snowmobile tours.
Like when you’re on a tight snowmobile vacation schedule to get to your next destination or the weather suddenly turns sour in the middle of a pleasant day ride. The one saving grace is that generally, the wetter it is, the warmer the temperature is. Regardless, you’re in for a miserable experience, so how can you reduce the suffering?
Waterproof Snowmobile Suit
Your first line of defence happens when you choose a snowmobile suit. Look for one that’s “waterproof” not merely “water resistant” or “water repellent”. To understand the differences, check out these definitions and read more here…
- Water-resistant: able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely (lowest level of protection)
- Water-repellent: not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such a purpose with a surface coating (medium level of protection)
- Waterproof: impervious to water (highest level of protection…look for materials like Gore-Tex®, eVent®, HydrXPro™ or Sympatex®)
So if you’re snowmobile rain riding, which would you want? While nothing will keep you perfectly dry if you’re sledding in a major rainstorm for hours, you’ll stay more comfortable longer with a jacket that the highest possible waterproof/breathability rating (20,000mm/8,000g/m2 or higher).
Dry Gloves and Boots
No matter how waterproof your suit is, leaks will occur. Rain will drip down inside your collar and find its way to pool inside your boots, gloves and crotch. You can delay this process somewhat by trying to seal you collar tighter than usual (duct tape, anyone?), switching to no-gauntlet gloves with a long wrist to fit under the cuff of your jacket sleeve. This way, when water slides down the outside of your sleeve, it won’t run into your gloves (which should also be waterproof and have a finger wiper blade to swipe rain from your visor).
You can also keep your gloves dryer longer by installing a pair of handlebar muffs before starting to go snowmobile rain riding. The ones from Ski Doo have a clear vinyl, viewing window (so you can see the handlebar controls) that also makes them more waterproof on top. Also, I spray my muffs before each season with waterproofing spray to prolong their protective ability.
Water will also inevitably run down your pant legs and on to the tops of your boots. No problem if the entire top is rubberized like my Baffins, but if not, you’ll soon have soakers on both feet. So before snowmobile rain riding, either wrap your feet in heavy-duty plastic bags (more duct tape) or stick you feet in plastic bags and then put your boots on. I carry a pair of Gore-Tex socks to wear in the rain or if my boots get wet.
Other Stay Dry Tips While Snowmobile Rain Riding
If you’re on a saddlebag tour, don’t forget to place all your stuff in plastic garbage bags inside your saddlebags. Snowmobile rain riding is crappy enough without having dry clothing to change into when you reach your destination!
If it’s really pouring for any length of time and melting too, beware of driving through large puddles. Avoid them if you can, because you can soak yourself (or the person following) with spray or even bog you sled out with water in the engine compartment.
Finally, when you arrive at your final destination, try to get all your gear (including boot liners) into a clothes dryer. Then hang separately to air and fully dry – unless you actually like sledding in wet gear for two days in a row!
The tips and advice in this blog are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.