What are snowmobile handguards and why do you need them?
Are you a sports enthusiast that is looking for a new one that will increase your adrenaline? In that case, you’ve probably already thought about snowmobiling as I did. It is a really interesting and fun sport but does come with some risks.
Everyone knows that a snowmobile can be dangerous, even if you are very familiar with it. Even the smallest mistake can cause a terrible accident. However, in my opinion, you need to take some risks in order to have fun. Just make sure you don’t try anything silly.
In order to prevent anything a bad scenario, you need to wear protective gear. Although not as important as a helmet, you need to get yourself some handguards. That is why, in this article, I’m going to present and recommend the best snowmobile handguards on the market. If you don’t like those, I’ve also included information about a nice alternative to those.
What are snowmobile handguards and why do you need them?
Although you can imagine what they are just by thinking about their name, not everyone heard of them. They are 2 pieces of material, usually plastic, that need to be mounted on the handlebars of the snowmobile. Most of the times, snowmobile handguards don’t come with a mounting kit, so you need to buy that separately. We are going to cover this as well later in the article.
Many people ask me: “Why would you need these if you already have snowmobile gloves?”. The answer is not too complicated. You do need them if you want to keep your hands not only safer but also warmer and cleaner.
Let’s imagine a certain situation. You want to go for a ride with your snowmobile, but the weather isn’t too friendly. It is a cold, rainy and windy day outside. Because of the rain, there is a lot of wet and nasty snow on the ground. The snowmobile handguards will deflect the wind, and will also keep your hands dry and clean, by blocking the dirty snow. You will also feel safer because you know you have another layer to protect you in case of an accident.
Yes, I agree that a good pair of gloves can do some of those things. However, they can’t protect you from flying pieces of ice on the road. Although not being a must on a snowmobile, they are a nice thing to own. In my opinion, more protection is always better.
Characteristics and Specs
Snowmobile handguards are pretty straight forward. Like I told you before, they are not some advanced electric piece of gear. Therefore, they don’t have too many complicated specs. You should consider waterproof handguards. If you did practice this sport before, you probably know how annoying wet gloves and hands are. That is why this is such an important characteristic.
The second spec some people would probably want is removable vent covers. Depending on the area that you live in, you may want to consider that as well when buying handguards. If you live in a country where there are some high temperatures, this way, you could easily remove the vent covers. This way you could assure better airflow. If those temperatures drop, you can just put it back very easy.
As I’ve told you earlier, they are usually made from a type of plastic. It should be strong enough to deflect any incoming pieces of ice, but shouldn’t bend too much in the wind. It will be very helpful if the material will be waterproof. This way, you will not get wet hands, one of the most frustrating things while snowmobiling.
Snowmobile handguards come in a lot of sizes. You might be tempted to go for really big ones in order to feel safer, but that is not always a good call. Although it may provide a little bit more protection, they will be frustrating when doing other small things. You can’t even stretch while taking a break, because chances are, you might be hitting them because of the size.
Another uncomfortable situation is when you are putting the helmet on. They will not break if you hit them, but you can change their position. Adjusting them back every time you do this can get very irritating.
On the other hand, too small handguards are not good either. They are not going to effectively block any ice, wind or water from your hands. They will feel annoying when you are keeping your hands on the handlebar as well.
With that being said, the medium size is the best. They shouldn’t make you uncomfortable in any way. However, they should be able to block every obstacle of your hands, coming from the front.
Coming up, we’ve got the design of them. Many people will ignore it, but that shouldn’t be your case. They come in a bunch of different colors and patterns, so you shouldn’t buy a set if you don’t like the design of it. People usually paint their snowmobiles in some crazy colors in order to express themselves. If you want to do that as well, go for it. There will most likely be a pair of snowmobile handguards out there that will suit your needs.
However, there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to their form. Most of them tend to look like the back of a car mirror. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In my opinion, they look badass just like that.
Which are the best ones?
PowerMadd 34410 handguards
My number one recommendation must be the PowerMadd 34410 Sentinel. These snowmobile handguards really have everything that you’ve wished for. It has one of the sleekest design out there, even though it doesn’t come in a variety of colors. You know how they say, black goes with everything. This definitely applies to the snowmobiles as well.
It is a little bit larger than the normal size and will surely keep your hands protected and warm. Despite its larger size, it isn’t uncomfortable in any way, I didn’t find myself ever touching them by mistake. The plastic that is made of is flexible and hard at the same time. You shouldn’t rely on it too much though. They will block little things like debris and small rocks but they won’t keep you protected from thick tree branches.
Unfortunately, it isn’t waterproof, but their size is compensating that. Its measurements are 11x3x6 inches. The price is more than great. Only 35 dollars for a pair. If you consider this expensive, you should remember that these will last for years. It has a 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Here is the link to it.
PowerMadd 34210 handguards
The second option is going to be from PowerMadd as well, the 34210 Star Series model. These are medium size and are fairly similar to the previous one. Their dimensions are 10.3×2.5×9.3 inches. They are made from the exact type of plastic, so your hands will be fine no matter the weather.
Compared to the previous model, this ones comes in 14 different colors. Insane, right? You can match it with your snowmobile just by selecting the color that you like. It also has a removable vent cover. I already told you earlier what this is, so scroll up if you forgot.
Some people tend to break snowmobile handguards by mistake when installing them. If this is your case, you are in luck. It has a 1 year “no questions asked” warranty. That means you can get your money back in case you broke it unintentionally. Even though the set costs only 31 dollars, it is still a nice thing to have.
If you bought it but somehow it doesn’t fit your snowmobile, you can return it immediately. This one is a more popular model, with 79 customer reviews. It has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and a lot of happy clients. You can check the current price on this link.
Rox Speed FX Flex Tec handguards
If you consider this too cheap and low quality, I have something for you too. Next up, we’ve got a product from Rox. This brand is very popular in the sports niche, making gear with insane quality. It is called the Rox Speed FX Flex Tec. Yes, you’ve read that right. It has a technology that allows it to twist and flex if you happen to roll over, so it doesn’t break.
Even racers use those, this should tell you a lot about them. It is also fairly easy to install and has extended lower flashing to protect you from the cold and wind. They are made from waterproof materials, so your hands will stay dry as well.
The price is similar to the quality of these snowmobile handguards: high. It costs approximately 120 dollars on Amazon. It doesn’t have too many reviews because of the price, but I can assure you will not regret buying this. It is a bit big though, with its measurements being 12x12x4.6 inches.
The design is pretty interesting with the 3D logo Rox printed on the front. I highly suggest you buy those if you can afford them. I will save you 2 minutes by giving you the link to Amazon.
How do you mount them?
A lot of friends of my blamed me because I recommended them these products, but they couldn’t install them. Let me tell you why this happened. Usually, snowmobiles handguards don’t come with the mounting kit. This means you can’t install them with what you get in the certain pack.
You will have to buy that separately. If you are one of those people, I have to tell you I’m sorry. It is your fault because you haven’t read the snowmobile handguard set’s description.
You can easily solve this by searching for a mounting kit. These will fit any snowmobile, and usually, any snowmobile handguard. These kits are different from the ATV ones, so watch what you are buying. Instead of wasting several minutes by doing that, let me recommend you some.
PowerMadd 34450 Sentinel Mounting Kit
If you bought my number one recommendation from earlier, you are probably going to need a special mounting kit. It is called PowerMadd 34450 Sentinel, and it will only fit Sentinel models from the PowerMadd brand.
This mounting kit is made from 6061 anodized aluminum, in order to be durable and lightweight. The best part is that you need half an inch of space near your handlebar grips in order to install it. So it will not meet the clutch, break or any important button on your snowmobile.
It costs as much as a snowmobile handguards set, but there aren’t any cheap options. Think of it this way: you only have to buy those once. The clients are satisfied with it, being really easy to install. Here is the link.
PowerMadd 34250 Mounting Kit
If you have another model of handguards, you should go for a mounting kid from the same brand. However, this one is universal and will fit any pair of snowmobile handguards. It’s called PowerMadd 34250 Star Series and it costs about 29 dollars. Again, there aren’t any cheap mounting kits. You can try shops like Walmart, but those sets will most likely let you down.
There are a lot of unfortunate mistakes made by people with mounting kits as well. They may seem very easy to install, but not everyone is good with those. PowerMadd already has your back with a 1 year no question asked warranty, just like it has for some handguards. You may not need it, but you never know. This one takes about 2 or 3 minutes to install, just like the previous one.
The looks are the same and it still requires half an inch to install. It is fairly popular and has 88 customer reviews on the Amazon online shop. Having a 4 out of 5 stars review, people seem to really love this one. Check the current price on Amazon clicking this link.
Snowmobile bar muffs
Before ending this article, I want to present to you a nice alternative in case you don’t like snowmobile handguards. They are basically gloves for your handlebar. They have the exact same purpose as the handguards, but being made out of fabric, they aren’t that protective. You will keep your hands inside them while you are holding the handlebar. That’s why you will not need to pair them with an insanely thick pair of gloves.
They are usually made of nylon, neoprene or rubber materials. You should definitely watch out for their size. I don’t advise you to buy them online unless you already know how they fit. You can do that by buying them in a store, see how they fit your snowmobile then return them.
If they seem to fit your vehicle good, go ahead and order your size online, if it is a better deal than in stores. They should cover the handlebars, but they shouldn’t let any water snow or dirt in. Don’t buy really skinny ones. They will lower your hand’s dexterity.
Another thing that will do that is the thickness of the muffs. Although they may keep you warmer, you will operate the handlebar much harder. If you feel like your hands are too cold, but the dexterity is good, you should get yourself a new and better pair of gloves.
Those products are more expensive than the handguards, but they do come with an advantage. They don’t need any mounting kit. As you saw earlier, this costs as much as the handguards set itself. Most muffs will install insanely fast using the featured hook.
If you fear that you will not be able to access your controls with those ones, think again. There are many models on the market that have a clear plastic window. This will allow you to see through the muffs, so problem solved.
My suggestion must be the Kimpex Muffs. These little things have everything you need. Like I told you a moment ago, they do come with the plastic window that will make seeing the vehicles controls very easy. I know what your next question is. Isn’t that plastic going to let the cold in? The answer is no. It is high quality and also cold resistant. How cool is that, right?
It has neoprene lining, a material that is going to keep your hands warm no matter the weather. Kimpex even suggests going gloveless while you have these on for better dexterity and precision. In my opinion, you should do this only when the temperatures outside are pretty high.
Another essential feature is the waterproof material. No one wants wet and cold hands in winter, this will instantly kill your mood. They do have great quality, but a way too high price. At this moment, they are approximately 165 dollars. My advice is to wait for a deal because you shouldn’t pay more than 70 bucks for those. If you find them on this price, go for it. You will not regret it.
In conclusion, you need some extra protection for your hands besides gloves while snowmobiling. No one can predict the future, so why not take all the safety measures in order to have a relaxing and fun ride? Handguards come in a bunch of options, and you need to have a least one set.
If you think they don’t fit your style, you also have alternatives. No matter which one of them you choose, you can’t go wrong with either of them. After all this information, my question for you is: which one did you choose and why? Have you ever been in the situation where you needed those?