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Thread: Keeping Warm

  1. #1
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    Default Keeping Warm

    I'm heading into my second winter here and plan to enjoy it. My husband picked up a good used snowmachine and bought me some nice warm boots. Any suggestions on a good women's coat and bibs? What else should I be looking for? I have a really good dirt bike helmet, will that work? Think I will swap my dirt goggles for ski goggles.

  2. #2

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    The moto cross helmet will be fine. I would get a no-fog mask if you don't already have one. They are lifesavers. Any good gortex coat/bibs will work fine. The stuff I wear isn't insulated. The bibs I have I just wear my jeans and some polypro bottoms. The pullover gortex jacket it just a shell and I normally wear either a polypro or a fleece shirt under it. I have ridden in about -10 to -20f weather with this stuff on. I do have a light weight liner that came with my other more expensive snowmobile jacket that I have worn under my gortex liner. I guess it comes down to what kind of riding you will be doing. If you are just doing trails, you won't get as warm as I do playing in the mountains...but you will get pretty warm either way. I would also recommend to spend the money on a decent pair of gloves. Handwarmers help tremendously, but having a good set of gloves that will keep your hands dry is good.

  3. #3

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    Polar fleece, merino wool, turtle furr, anti-fog goggles are a must. A good 3 in one jacket w/ option ventilation while wearing layers underneath are they key to staying warm and cool and DO NOT wear cotton!!!! A good pair of mittens or gloves that come with a liner will serve you well. Layers on your bottom half with a good pair of water resistant snowpants. You will find out by trial and error what works and does not. This is what works for me.

  4. #4
    Member alaskan winmag's Avatar
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    Default About the helmet

    I use a Thor SVR helmet and the best investment I have made yet are quick-straps. I have used a few different pairs of goggles and if you have a mask on under the helmet (I use a Klim mask to stay warm) all your breath will fog the goggles in no time when you aren't moving, but with the quick straps you just pull them off while your stopped and whip em back on when you go.

  5. #5
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Here is the secret to staying warm on a snowmachine: Multiple loose layers

    Don't wear anything that is tight enough to leave a mark on your skin, this includes your socks

    If you get cold easily, start with wicking synthetic thermals

    Then add Polar Fleece "jogging suit" pants and long sleeve pullover

    Finish with high quality bibs and jacket with 100% wind and waterproof outer layer (not water resistant, must be waterproof or you'll get wet, then cold) The amount of insulation in the jacket/bibs will be determined by your level of activity while riding, outside temperature, and your physical condition

    Ensure that your head and neck are fully covered with windproof and insulating coverings (many options available) - you lose 90% of your body heat from the neck up

    Forget the dirt bike helmet, get a real insulated, vented and visored snowmobile helmet - goggles suck, you'll get frostbite around the edges if you're not careful and they are impossible to keep from fogging up

    For comfort, you need waterproof and well-insulated gloves and boots - A couple pairs of gloves may be needed based on the kind of riding you're doing at the moment - they also get wet easily, so it's good to have a back up

    Also, if you start to feel chilly while riding, stand up and start boondocking to get your body working a bit to warm up. And if you are riding hard enough to sweat, you need to vent your jacket to keep from getting wet, otherwise you'll be cold as soon as you stop.

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    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    If you could try out both styles before purchasing, I'd go that route. Ask about the two different designs (Asian for more rounded heads and Caucasian for more egg shaped heads) before you purchase.

    I used to be a big time full face proponent until I finally gave in and tried a motocross style helmet with a good pair of goggles (not 20 dollar scotts). High quality modern goggles don't fog and don't ice up like they used to, and they are very easy to change if they do. Its also nice to be able to change lens colors for different light conditions. There are also lots of options to keep goggle wearers cheeks warm. (Windstopper face masks, clip on wind deflectors, etc.)
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    Default as for the helmet

    JUST GET A NO-FOG, TRUST ME! I'm in Fbx too....I have a motocross style helmet with goggles. Only time I've ever had trouble with the goggles fogging up was last March riding from Tok to Dawson in -45. Ridiculous. But no frostbite. The guys with modular helmets were hurting - wouldn't recommend those things to anyone - they were so blistered it was nasty.

    I always had trouble with fogging on my full-face helmet, even with the electric heater thing. Couldn't keep up with my breath if I was riding hard or even slightly hard.

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    Default and then on the subject of clothes

    I have a columbia shell that I wear. And some snowboarding pants. Nothing really fancy, and not expensive snowmachine gear. They are probably rated as water-resistent, which seems to be ok up here in the dry conditions. Maybe down south farther you need waterproof, but I've never run into a problem. Underneath I put as many synthetic layers as it takes to stay warm - depends on the day/ride of course. And bunny boots. Have fun and stay warm!!!

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    Default Mod Helmets

    I've been realy happy with the Ski-doo Modular Helmet... and planning on getting one of the newer Modular II helmets soon. They are comfortable, easy on/off and easy to adjust the breathing mask and I like the flip sun visor. Just make sure you have the metal on the buckle covered so you don't get bare metal on your skin. If you wear a neck down bala under it's great. Curious what you meant FbxGirl about the blistering?

    Here's a question... where do you put your helmet when you take it off and are stopped? Of course you can put it on the seat but what if you want to use the seat? I then put it above the handle bars but it slides down and marks the inside of the windshield. Any other cool ideas?

    Let's hope for lots of snow this year!

  10. #10
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Hang it off one of the handlebar grips.

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    Default Hanging off the grips

    Ya, oddly enough the hanging from the grips doesn't work very well for my sled/helmet and often it's snowing and so I like to keep the helmet opening down under ya know? :-) Thanks though. I know it seems like a silly question but dangit, every year I'm out riding and think the same thing... "wish I had a good place to stow this helmet!!" I guess I can live with it.
    Safe ridin'!

  12. #12

    Default My helmet goes..

    I put my helmet on top of the engine and close the cowling. I make sure that it is not touching the exhaust. I have never had a problem with it getting too hot and it is usually warm when I out it back on. It helps to keep it dry also.

  13. #13

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    I put mine on the engine just like akrider said. It is easy for me since I have a 2003 mountain cat 800. The guys that ride the skidoos put theirs under my hood too. Most of the time you can fit 2 depending on what sled you have. I have melted my helmet a little from it sliding down on the exhaust, but it hasn't affected the helmet yet.

  14. #14

    Default keeping warm

    I use a good pair of reima gortex bibs, a light gortex shell that zips high up the neck w/ a medium weight fleece jacket beneath. A nice very thin baklava under my motocross type helmet, and goggles w/ quick straps. (I really dislike full face helmets) We were riding up near Eureka a couple winters back in -15 temps and 30+ mph winds and never got the least bit cold.


    I rarely if ever have fogging problems, as someone else pointed out, it's usually after you stop that you start getting fogged. Quick straps solve that problem easily.

  15. #15
    Member aufevermike's Avatar
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    Default

    Let's see. Your hlemet will work just fine. However, get a pair of double lens goggles and add the quick straps. Under your helmet wear a balaclava. this will protect your neck, cheeks, and edges around your goggles. Next if you are the type that your hands get cold, wear mittens in stead of gloves. The expedition type from LLBean are awesome. The kinda look like the military type mittens but more fashionable. The "NO-Fog" masks are awesome. Under your bibs wear a moisture wicking material and sweat pants, you'll stay warm. We like the Sorel Glacier boots. Roomy and comfy, and most importantly warm. Handwarmers and a thumb warmer are a must on your machine. If yours doesn't have them after marcket one can be added.
    The snow will be here before your know it, get outfitted now!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Somethin else to use on yer helmet would be one of the velcro mask inserts that redirect your breathing and not push your warm breathe up in the helmet, forget the name of them. got one at gopro here in anchorage a while back but no longer have the helmet.

    someone wanna chime in with a name...
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    Talking Thanks

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I picked up a good pair of anti-fog goggles and got a couple different color lenses to try. Also found some Klim bibs that fit well and a wind proof columbia jacket. Got synthetic base layers, a couple different types of gloves to try and a backup pair of mittens. Going to try it out this weekend.

    Now I just need to learn how to ride the dang thing....

  18. #18
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    KLIM is GREAT stuff. I bought Arctiva cause they were in my price range at the moment. I realy like the Arctiva gear and the wife got a mens jacket that looks too hot on her (way better than it would on any guy!). I bought Klim boots and will get the bibs next when I can scrape up the 400 bucks without pouring it in to the sled. I picked up a pair of Smith goggles that have light sensative lenses they are fantastic. I need to get a no fog mask but I never have problems till I do a header into deap powder and clog the vent holes in the lens. A second cheap set of goggles wouldn't be a bad thing to carry incase your main set become hoplessly fogged. Father in law wears the same setup you got and has no complaints. A good full face ballaclava is a god send, I havent got cold even running 60+, and at 6'5" tall the windshield is only there for asthetics.

    For the helmet stowage I have a MX style and I set it on my bars with the visor on top the windshield. It keeps the opening facing down and the seat empty. For you full face folks I don't know what you do I can't imagine needing to take it off cruising trails...grin...

  19. #19
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Don't forget to eat!!

    Sounds simplistic but if you don't stoke the furnace you can't make much heat. I'm not a big breakfast eater normally, but when I recreate in the winter time I make sure to eat a good breakfast--fat and carbs.

    Like the others said--quality gear, layers, no cotton, and experiment until you find what works for you. Don't commit to long rides your first few times and bring lots of clothing options so you can switch out if your first choices don't work out as hoped ( the old "better to have it and not need it" mentality)

  20. #20
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Hopefully you got UN-insulated or very lightly insulated bibs! Otherwise you will be hating life this spring when it warms up. Waterproof is a necessity, insulation is overkill, just layer up underneath.

    Also, a small internal frame backpack is really nice to stuff extra clothes/goggles/food/water/survival gear/SHOVEL in while riding. Stashing this equipment on the sled sounds good, but is really bad when the sled is under water after breaking through the ice or at the bottom of a cliff (with you at the top).
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