I picked an especially cold spell to test the Snosuit Performance One-Piece Snosuit. This is not a suit for wimpy weather and certainly not for wimpy people. One particular day had a high temperature of no more than 0 degrees F: a perfect day to look like the Abominable Snow-woman.
The suit is made of thick nylon with heavy-duty material at wear-points such as the elbows, pant cuffs and rear. It has removable padding in the seat and knees. It has a detachable insulated hood (I removed the hood for the first ride, and never put it back on). The suit that I wore last winter is more refined than earlier versions.
The Arctic Series One-Piece comes with its own learning curve: donning the suit may be a two-person operation for the first few tries, until one learns the proper order of zipping, unzipping, pulling and adjusting. I broke out into a sweat the first time I put it on. Once dressed, you’ll need to get outside quickly to prevent overheating. Once outside, prepare to feel impenetrable to any element.
When riding, I expected to feel its weight, or at least feel some unusual binding, but I didn’t. In fact, it was comfortable enough that I forgot I was testing heavier-duty apparel than I normally wear. I was able to flow with the sled quite easily, and felt no draft through the suit. The long, snug fleece wrist cuffs are especially element-proof.
Off the sled was different. The shoulders carry the suit’s weight, made more intense by the suspender straps that support the suit’s bottom half. The waist belt, which should help hold up the bulk, is hard to adjust for people with a small waist. Overall, the suit increased my net weight by 10 pounds.
Rest stops presented somewhat of a challenge with this garment. My long johns that I wore under the suit are not for public display. So at extended stops, I resorted to removing the top part and either trying to tie the arms around the waist or just letting it hang (which was a poor choice when I made a quick turn in a museum, and the arm hit a display). Any trip to the ladies room required full disassembly. For me, the two-piece jacket/bibs combination would have been more practical.
It will take a special snowmobiler to really get the most out of this $579 suit. It has great potential for people who ride in extreme cold or who spend long days outside ice fishing, working at snowmobile races or doing Quebec-style, long-distance tours.
Snosuit Performance Winterwear