Regardless if you are riding a Side by Side or an ATV many of us don’t want to stop enjoying the outdoors on our offroad machines just because its getting cold.
Now some of you may have addressed this by purchasing the luxury Polaris Ranger Northstar edition which comes factory with heater and A/C and solid doors and basically it’s a small car and has similar luxuries. Most of us don’t have those luxuries so how do we stay warm. We know once we get cold or our passengers do, the adventure looses its fun. Also getting hypothermia and/or frostbite is a real thing that you don’t want to experience or have your passengers experience.
One of the easiest things you can do to stay warm is to dress for the weather. Instead of simply tossing a jacket on top of your street clothes, strategically layer what you wear to better insulate your body and trap more heat. Start with a wicking thermal underwear layer, then add fleece, wool, or polyester layers on top. Your final layer should be waterproof and wind-resistant without being too bulky or difficult to move around in. The advantage of this method is that you can add or remove layers to suit your comfort level if the weather changes.
A good cold-weather helmet can also go a long way in keeping you warm. Most have a full-face visor to keep the wind off your face, but it’s the added insulation that makes the most difference. They also have breath deflectors to prevent the face-shield from fogging up.
You may also consider a snowmobile helmet if you do a significant amount of cold weather riding. Those can be had with heated face shields and built-in breath boxes to maintain perfect visibility in the worst conditions. If you don’t want to buy a new helmet, a good balaclava can be helpful. These are easily available and are not that expensive either.
With so many important things in your head, there’s a lot of blood flowing around. One area to keep in mind when trying to keep warm is your vision. A good pair of winter-riding goggles can make a huge difference. These have thicker and wider face foam that helps seal better and offers up more protection for your face. Dual-pane lenses keep out fog and amber or rose tinting gives definition to white out conditions.
A great place to put the disposable heat warmers is on your neck and you can also put them on the backs of your hands in your gloves, in the toes of your boots and more. If it’s really cold and I’m going to do a long ride, I like to get the bigger packs and put one on my lower back, or one over each kidney. This helps warm the blood flowing to your body and helps keep you toasty warm. Just remember to let it get warm before you use it. These things operate on a chemical reaction of iron and salt, so they need air to work.