Before ordering my snowmobile riding gear last fall, I thought about what I liked and disliked about the other snowmobile apparel I had worn in the past. I decided that I wanted comfort over flashy style because I knew I’d be spending a lot of time behind the camera working with our photographer rather than riding for photos.
In the past I’ve gone for style first and then paid for it in the end because the fit was wrong for my short, thick frame. In some cases with a set of size extra-large jacket and bibs, the legs and sleeves would be the right length for my 5-foot, 10-inch body, but too tight around my waist and chest. I’d go up to a XXL to give me more breathing room, but then the pants and jacket sleeves would be too long, which made them look goofy.
After spending last season in HMK’s Action jacket ($279.95) and Stealth pant ($259.95), I couldn’t have chosen more comfortable gear, and as an added bonus the stuff looked cool, too. The garments fit so well on my 200-pound body that it’s almost like HMK used my frame as the template for gear in its XL size bracket. In addition to the fit and the styling of this gear, its functionality tops the charts in comfort.
I wear a base layer, protective vest and other mid layers as necessary for the conditions, so I never used the zip-out liner. I rode with this HMK apparel when temperatures measured minus 20 degrees F all the way up to 55 degrees F. While it worked well in that wide range, more vents in the jacket – it needs one on the back – would have helped flush out the heat and reduce how much I perspired. Leg vents in the pants allowed more than enough air flow to keep me cool.
If you have a bit of bulk on a short frame, and you dig the color black this gear is for you. In more than 20 years riding sleds, I have never had as good of a fit as what HMK provided. Styling is subtle, but the company provides a few color variations with more flash, including orange, pink or red with black.
Hood River, Oregon