Over the past few years, we have used and tested many expensive as well as cheap shovels, and we came to the conclusion that the Backcountry Access D-2 EXT Dozer Shovel and BCA Dozer 1T Shovel are the best options for snowmobiling. These BCA extendable shovels meet the UIAA standards for avalanche rescue shovels, so you can rely on them in emergency situations when your sled is stuck in the deep snow.
Our Hand-Picked Suggestions
- Best Snowmobile Shovel: BackCountry Access D-2 EXT Dozer Shovel
- Best Value for Money: BCA Dozer 1T Shovel
- Best Affordable Shovel: Overmont Folding Emergency Snow Shovel
How We Tested Snow Shovels & What We Found
There are many shovels available, and testing them to see which one is good for snowmobiling looks unnecessary at first because they’re not costly, you can purchase a shovel for less than $30. But, that’s the common mistake people make because sometimes riders purchase and ride with cheap shovels, and when their sled gets stuck in the deep snow, and they try to unstuck their sled, their shovel breaks. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I know a few people who faced this situation.
Using a cheap shovel in the backcountry during an emergency is dangerous. Therefore, we purchased and tested a few shovels. The most important thing you want is the durability. If you purchase a shovel for snowmobiling purposes, then your shovel should be durable & strong because you’ll use it only in emergency situations.
Another important thing is that it should be foldable so that you can pack it in your backpack. You can also strap it on your tunnel bag. Many times, a sled gets stuck in the snow in such a way that it becomes difficult to reach the tunnel bag and take out the shovel. Therefore, based on my experience, I recommend getting an extendable shovel and carrying it in your backpack instead of your tunnel bag.
When we were testing multiple shovels, we clearly noticed that the shovels of Backcountry Access were much stronger than the shovels of other cheap brands. They’re durable, strong, and foldable. If you don’t know about Backcountry Access, it’s one of the best brands that make a lot of stuff including emergency safety gear like avalanche backpacks, shovels, radios, etc.
The BackCountry Access D-2 EXT Dozer Shovel is our top pick as the best snowmobile shovel because it is durable, and comes with a folding saw. I’ll not bore you with the details of the material, but the folding saw is also durable, and we were able to cut tree branches easily. Of course, it’s not comparable to the big electric saw but in the backcountry, a small folding saw can make a difference.
The BCA Dozer 1T Shovel is our best value-for-money pick. The Dozer 1T shovel costs nearly half the D-2 EXT Dozer, but still, it’s way more durable than the other cheap shovels out there because all the BCA shovels meet the UIAA standard for avalanche rescue shovels. When it comes to the cheap shovels, I really doubt that those cheap shovels are designed to meet the UIAA standards because, during our testing when we were digging snow quickly, the handle of one shovel broke into two pieces.
The Overmont Folding Emergency Snow Shovel was good. Clearly, it’s not comparable to BCA shovels, but its handle was quite comfortable as compared to other cheap shovels. When we were digging snow, we clearly noticed the difference in the comfort & grip. It was slightly better than the other ones available online. The D-2 EXT Dozer has the best grip followed by the BCA Dozer 1T.