Snowmobile Helmet vs Motorcycle Helmet

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As someone who enjoys both motorcycling and snowmobiling, I’ve always been interested in the differences between the helmets used for each. They might appear similar at first glance, but there are some critical distinctions that are important to take into account.

Safety is paramount for both activities, but the elements you face when snowmobiling and motorcycling are vastly different which means the helmets designed for each have unique features. Today, we’ll delve into those differences and shed some light on what makes a snowmobile helmet unique from a motorcycle helmet, and vice versa.

Are motorcycle helmets and snowmobile helmets the same?

No, they are not the same. While both helmets serve the purpose of protecting your head in case of an accident, there are some key differences between them. Yes, you’ll see people using the same helmet for both sports, and they even use cheap motorcycle action cameras on their snowmobile helmet, but it doesn’t mean it’s recommended, and you should do it.


One of the most noticeable differences is the design. Snowmobile helmets have a more round shape compared to motorcycle helmets which tend to be more elongated. The reason for this difference in design is based on the activities they are used for. Snowmobilers tend to face colder temperatures, and a rounder shape helps to reduce wind resistance and keep the rider warm.

Face Shield

Another major difference is the face shield. Motorcycle helmets often have an open-face design or a visor that can be lifted up while snowmobile helmets typically have a full-face design with a longer chin guard. The longer chin guard helps to protect the rider’s face from snow, ice, and debris while riding through snowy terrain.


Ventilation is another key factor that sets these helmets apart. Snowmobile helmets have vents designed specifically for cold weather riding, allowing air to flow in without exposing the rider’s face to icy winds. On the other hand, motorcycle helmets usually have ventilation for hot weather riding. This difference in ventilation is important as it helps to keep the rider comfortable and safe in varying weather conditions.

Weight of Helmets

Snowmobile helmets are usually heavier than motorcycle helmets due to their additional features such as a longer chin guard and built-in goggles. This weight difference may not make much of a difference while riding, but it can be noticeable when carrying the helmet or wearing it for long periods of time.

Optional Heated Shield

Some snowmobile helmets also come with the option of a heated shield, which can be beneficial for riders in extremely cold temperatures. This feature helps prevent fogging on the face shield and keeps the rider’s vision clear. However, this feature is not commonly found in motorcycle helmets.

Can You Use a Motorcycle Helmet for Snowmobiling?

Some people may wonder if they can use their motorcycle helmet for snowmobiling. While it is not recommended, it is technically possible. However, there are some major differences between the two types of helmets that make a snowmobile helmet more suitable for this activity. Snowmobile helmets are designed to withstand colder temperatures and harsher weather conditions, provide better visibility in snowy environments, and offer more protection against flying debris. So, while a motorcycle helmet may be a temporary solution, investing in a snowmobile helmet is the safer and more practical choice for snowmobiling. Furthermore, using a motorcycle helmet for snowmobiling may also prevent the rider from accessing certain trails or participating in organized rides that require specific safety gear.

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Thomas Miller
My name is Thomas Miller. I have been riding snowmobiles for the past 10 years and I'm completely in love with snowmobiling because it's fun, relaxing, and a great workout.