So far this snowmobile season, I’ve been on four separate day trips. In addition to breaking in four 2016 SG demo sleds, I’ve had the chance to try out some new snowmobile apparel from Fly Racing, Triple 9 Optics, Tobe and Klim. Here are some initial impressions on some of the new gear I’ve worn so far this season:
Fly Racing F2 Carbon Pure Helmet – Fly Racing is a house brand of Idaho-based distributor Western Power Sports. The lightweight F2 Carbon helmet is equipped with the Cold Weather package, making it an excellent lid for snowmobilers like me who like to wear motocross helmets. The kit consists of a cold-weather plug kit to block air flow through the vents, and a molded breath guard to protect the face from cold air. My size large helmet started out with a snug fit, but after a few rides the padding has broken in and become more comfortable on my head. I like the styling and it doesn’t creak or squeak on my head.
Triple 9 Optics Saint Snow Goggle – Like the Fly helmet I’m testing, a pair of Triple 9 goggles I wore all day yesterday is also available from Western Power Sports. Yesterday was mostly cloudy in northeastern Minnesota where I rode, but the amber/silver lens really highlighted the terrain and reduced the murkiness caused by the flat light. The frame fit well inside the eye port of my Fly helmet and the face foam felt comfortable on my face.
Tobe Contego Boot Speed – I’ve worn these boots for all of my rides so far this season. They were ultra, ultra stiff when I pulled them on the first time last week, but they’ve loosened up a bit since then. So far this season I’ve ridden both of our Polaris Axys demo machines, our Arctic Cat CrossTrek and our Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro. When riding each of the Polaris machines, the sole of the right boot sometimes gets hung up on some of the teeth in the foot well – depending upon specifically where my foot is positioned within the foot well – and that makes it cumbersome to maneuver my foot as I try to setup my body position for a turn. Interestingly, this hasn’t been a problem for my left foot or when riding our Cat or Doo snowmobiles. I’m considering shaving down some of the right boot’s lugs to reduce their bite.
Klim Sawtelle Glove – A pair of Sawtelle gloves from Klim is well on its way to becoming my new favorite for snowmobiling. The fit and feel of these insulated gloves is excellent and their construction makes them compact, so they’re nice for active riders. The coldest it’s been so far during my rides this season was 10 degrees F yesterday morning, and my hands were comfortable with handlebar warmers set on low.