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Thread: Riding Gear

  1. #1
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    Question Riding Gear

    I have always ridden with Northface gear because I always rode junk and didn't need "real" gear. My wife and I are upgrading to a pair of 2010 RMK 700 155" and would like to get a few comments from avid riders about gear.

    Overall, what gear is good for powder riding. With regards to weight, ruggedness, breathability, cost, anything you want to add, including where you buy it and how you are treated by the retailer.

    Thanks ahead of time to all those that post, I am sure it will be invaluable information.

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Hard to beat Klim gear.

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    I 2nd. the Klim, worth the money.

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    Many of my friends used North Face Mountain paras and bibs as standard gear before Kim came out. Klim is designed for riding and you'll find the cut of the garments is more comfortable. The venting and zippers are better, too. But the thing that surprised me and others have agreed with me? The Klim shells are warmer than North Face was even when I wear the exact same fleece layers underneath. My wife used Arcteryx bibs for a few years and had the same comment when she switched to Klim. I have friends that ride in Reima gear and like it. A friend uses Scott and it works well, too. Gear that's made for riders is probably more important than the label, but I really do like my Klim gear.

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    Rider specific gear makes a big difference in comfort and manuverability. I ride with Klim Jacket and bibs, HMK boots, and Reima gloves. Top of the line brands like Klim, HMK, Motorfist, etc are a big investment, but THEY LAST and have great warranties. I bought everything listed above in 2006 and it all still performs like new. Another recommendation is to make sure you keep it clean and wash with a detergent made for breathable fabrics like Nikwax tech wash. It cleans and restores the breathability and waterproofness.

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    Another vote for Klim gear. We made the switch about 4 years ago and I wish I would have done it alot sooner. So much lighter, wamer, and drier. Expensive but woth every penny.
    We also went from wearing goggles to full face helmets with the heated visor. No more fogging issues and it keeps the wind off your face preventing frostbite too.
    BK

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    KLIM is awesome stuff. Got to ride with it on a couple of times when it first came out. But Ive never purchased it. I wear long underwear, Military wool pants, then the military gore-tex pants over all of it. Upper layer, is long underwear, fleece stuff, and the military gore tex jacket. My only complaint is I dont have control over the colors. and the wool pants, if not tucked up and inside the goretex , it gets ice balls on the cuffs.
    But Im toasty warm, and the set up cost about 300 versus 800

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    I wear a Klim coat- I haven't found anything else that works as well at blocking the wind and venting. I think you can do pretty well with about any good brand of bibs and boots. I wear Baffin boots that are rated for -100 and like those. Some folks really like the ones that are made for snowmobiling, or snowboard boots which are similar. Get a good open face helmet that isn't too heavy. You don't have to go carbon fiber, but at least get one that is fairly light. A lightweight balaclava will keep your forehead, face and neck warm when riding. I like to wear a no-fog mask also when it's cold out because it protects my face from the wind and prevents my goggles from fogging. Get good goggles. I like Scott's fine but my new one's are 509's which I love. Just make sure whatever you get has good venting to prevent fogging, and polarized is nice because it sure makes it easier to see in flat light conditions. Quick straps, in my opinion, are a must. It's not just convenient but really helps to prevent fogging up if you can pop your goggles loose when you stop moving. Whatever brand glove you get, make sure they've got a good tough palm because palms wear quickly (especially on the hand that pulls the starter cable) and gauntlet style will keep you warmer. Always take a second balaclava and pair of gloves and extra pair of socks- many of the "waterproof" boots aren't.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    One more thought, take it for what it's worth: I ride with a Tek-vest. A lot of people don't, but when I slam into the handlebars because I hooked a tree under the snow or whatever I don't feel more than a bump. It also keeps me warmer on cold rides. The generic Tek-Vest is identical, as far as I can tell, to the Klim version. You can also get the Six-Six-One Coresaver which will not only protect your chest but also your spine and kidneys.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I don't wear a vest but I would advise it. I had several class mates growing up lose family members to sled accidents. I don't know if a vest would have helped but it sure wouldn't have hurt! Most common fatal injuries are sled vs solid object or possibly more common sled vs sled.

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    I will also chime in, In my OP these are a must, Klim gear (coat/bibs), a good boot that gives ankle support, and a tek-vest. The rest (hemets, gloves, face masks, goggles) are more personal preferance and what works best for you.

  12. #12

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    I bought my Klim gear in 2005 (when I got my first real job that would allow me to throw down that much $$$). Anyways its still going strong, minus a few burn holes from campfires and what not which were patchable I see no reeason why it won't last another 5 winters (unless I get fatter ). As for boots I used to be sold on ankle support type boots. However the last several years I have leaned away from them and back to good ol' bunny boots. Why? They are SUPER warm. But the main reason is overflow and creek crossings often means there is a need for a fully waterproof boot, which bunny boots are, and my snowboarding and HMK style boots turn in to a block of ice at times like this. Also if I do happen to go over the boot tops of my bunny boots than I simply dump them out, swab with a paper towle or something perhaps and put them right back on and am still warm. To me its better to have a boot that will keep your warm regardless of conditions than one that will provide a little more ankle support, but will have your foot frozen if you get into an overflow or creek situation. Just what I have found works for me.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If I ever stop snow birding to the middle east and actually buy a new sled I will buy a full set of Klim gear. I agree with Lanche on the bunny boots deal though I do wear Klim boots when playing in the mountains. For normal recreational riding or any cross country runs the bunny's are the way to go, but when climbing all over the sled trying to climb hills and such the stiffer boots are the ticket.

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Can you get new bunny boots or do they only come in used surplus variety? Bunny boots are awesome.
    I did get a new pair of Baffin Barrow boots. Normally 160.00 but on sale at sportsmans for 99.00. Hopefully they will be nice. But originally I wanted to get a pair of bunnies this year I just never saw a nice pair

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    The guy that sells them out of a trailer by Pitmann Rd and the Parks has some decent sets for good prices.

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    I'm on my second pair of Klim boots. The newer ones aren't as stiff as the originals but still have great support for riding the rails on your toes. Until you wear Kims you can't believe how warm they are. Even when full of water after extracting a sled from overflow. I wouldn't even consider bunny boots any more.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I'm on my second pair of Klim boots. The newer ones aren't as stiff as the originals but still have great support for riding the rails on your toes. Until you wear Kims you can't believe how warm they are. Even when full of water after extracting a sled from overflow. I wouldn't even consider bunny boots any more.
    Funny you say that Mr. Pid. I tried the Klims for riding and wasn't that impressed so I went back to my bunnys. Of course this is from the kid that grew up on the poor side of the tracks and learned to snowboard in bunny boots as well.

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    I use my sled to get me to the good snowboard spots where not alot of people snowboard/ski, so I always end up wearing my Snowboarding gear regardless if I am going to go somewhere snowboarding or if I am going to go snowmachining around my cabin. Anyways, Burton AK gear is super good. Its all gortex so its super waterproof and it there is a good amount of room to layer undernieth of it.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Another Klim and bunny boot fan here. My bibs are from 2005 and have survived riding, hunting, and outdoor construction work since then. Hell, I even logged 60 cords of wood one winter in them. Best outdoor wear I have owned.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    The original poster did mention gear for powder riding, not trail riding. Bunny boots are terrible for mountain riding. They are very heavy and provide no ankle support. Bunny boots are great for trail riding when your body isn't producing much heat. Mountain riding requires ankle support for mobility and leverage to swing the sled around. Just like good riding jackets and bibs, good riding boots make a big difference.

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