What to Look For
Look for jackets with durable outer shells made of Gore-Tex, Cordura or Reissa that are waterproof, windproof and breathable. A 500- or 600-denier nylon textile with PU coating also ensures abrasion resistance. Look for liners with heavy insulation like polyester fiberfill, Thinsulate, Alufoil or Conformax; they will keep you warm and dry when snowmobiling. According to Snogear, “The best known major brands are Coldwave, HJC, Arctiva, and CKX snowmobile jackets.” Specific features like fully taped seams and under-armpit zip climate-control vents are added bonuses.
Shoppers often get the wrong fit of jacket. Tightness at the chest, shoulder and upper arm are indicators that the jacket is not properly fitted. Your body must have sufficient room and the closed zipper must not pull at the seams. Not all jacket styles have the same features. Riders requiring versatility must check for removable liners and hoods as well as adjustable powder skirts, cuffs and waistbands. Extreme riders requiring padding or D30 armor in the arm, elbow and shoulder area must check that it is included in the jacket design as well.
Where to Buy
Online stores like Extragear1, AllSnowmobileGear, Sportsmanguide, UpNorthSports, MxMegastore and Gore-Tex offer a variety of snowmobile jackets as well as descriptive details and include top-rated customer reviews. Websites such as Coldwavesnowwear and Arctiva sell a variety of different styles and features within their brand's collection. Retail shops like Dick's Sporting Goods, Grizzly Sports and Fish Creek Sales offer different brands as well.
Women’s and men’s HJC Storm jackets range from $104.99 to $199.99 and the CKX brand ranges from $124.95 to $224.95. Brands like Coldwave range from $94.95 to $265.99; Castle ranges from $89.95 to $279.95; and Arctiva ranges $175 to $210.99. The HMK Action women’s jacket retails for $240 and the men’s version retails for $251. Brands offering different high-performance features range in price significantly. For instance, the men’s Klim Performance shell ranges from $319.99 to $449.99 and the Adventure Rally Pro Shell retails for $1,299.99.
Cynix liners are ultra lightweight and reduce bulkiness in the jacket. The Coldwave Prostar has a waterproof, windproof and breathable HP Z liner and other styles include inner windbreaker jackets.
Certain brands add extra bonus features such as Scotchlite 3M reflective piping and taping, glove loops or a hook-and-oop adjustable waist belt. Pocket features like the napoleon, which is an exterior or interior left-chest pocket covered by a storm flap, or interior chest mesh storage and document pockets with earphone entry, forearm key pockets and baseball cap pockets will keep all of your pertinent items dry. Fleece-lined collars and pocket hand warmers provide added warmth.