5 Best Snowmobile Balaclava of 2022

best snowmobile balaclava

I wear a balaclava underneath my snowmobile helmet on those cold days when I need a little extra protection from the wind and snow. The best snowmobile balaclava I’ve used is the 509 Lightweight Pro

I’ve spent the majority of my winters exploring the mountains of Colorado on skis and snowmobiles. When a big storm comes in or the temperature drops substantially, I like to wear a balaclava to make sure I can stay on my sled all day long.

The 509 Lightweight Pro has been designed specifically for the needs of snowmobilers. It features a thin design that easily fits underneath a helmet and a long cut that extends cold weather protection to your upper torso. 

I like the thinner style of this balaclava, but I’m going to show you some other great options here that vary in design and material to offer a slightly different feel or fit.

A good balaclava doesn’t need to be that complicated or expensive, but there is a big difference between a basic option and one that will fully meet a snowmobiler’s needs on the trail. 

Let’s dive in and take a look at the best snowmobile balaclavas you can get your hands on. 

Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Balaclava

The best balaclavas offer an effective barrier between your face and the winter environment you are riding in. All of my choices here provide you with the cold-weather protection you need while also being comfortable and durable for lasting and reliable performance. 

1. 509 Lightweight Pro

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key features: Excellent fit under helmet, slim profile, lightweight, breathable, available in a few color options
  • Material: Stretchable polyester
  • Length/Cut: Full-length chest cuff

The 509 Lightweight Pro is my favorite balaclava for snowmobiling and a highly recommended pick for the best option. 

I like a lightweight style balaclava that will fit underneath any type of snowmobile helmet without adding bulk. The Lightweight Pro has a slim fit that hugs your head and face tightly to enable a helmet to go on top of it securely. 

As the name suggests, it’s also a very lightweight option that will barely be noticeable when you’re wearing it. And it gives you stand out cold-weather protection while doing so. 

It’s made of stretchable polyester material with an almost universal fit and keeps the fabric from blowing or flapping in the wind while you ride. This material is also very breathable, which creates additional comfort.

The longer cut is also something I prefer in a balaclava as it can sit underneath your out layer and decrease wind and snow from entering your midsection. 

The Lightweight Pro is (as the name suggests) lightweight, which means that it might not offer enough warmth for every rider. If you have a very large head, it might be tight as it is only available in one size.  

Still, this has my vote for the best snowmobile balaclava, and I think many other riders will feel the same.  

2. KLIM Balaclava

  • Best for: Durability
  • Key features: Strong and durable design, moisture-wicking fabric in face and ear, Gore-Tex built into chest, breathable
  • Material: 4-way stretch Lycra
  • Length/Cut: Full-length tapered chest cuff

If you snowmobile often, you need equipment that can keep up with the demands of the sport. The KLIM Balaclava is a great option with durability in mind. 

Construction is key to any piece of durable cold-weather gear, and this option from KLIM is built from a Lycra material with Gore-Tex built into the neck and chest for extra protection from wind and snow. 

The neck also has silicon grip pads that keep the balaclava in place underneath your jacket and provide another strength and durability element. 

Moisture-wicking fabric in the face and ear helps keep sweat from building up underneath your helmet, and it’s a highly breathable option overall. 

It has a fairly wide eye port, leaving some skin exposed if you ride with an open face helmet and wear snow goggles. That makes it recommended for full-face helmets only to make sure you stay warmer. 

The extended neck and chest material is nice, but it also is relatively narrow, which is worth noting because it can allow for wind and snow to enter through your jacket if you aren’t entirely bundled up. 

This is a balaclava that will hold up for many years of continuous use, making it an excellent value for any rider. 

3. FXR Shredder Tech Balaclava

  • Best for: Low Profile Option
  • Key features: Simple design, comfortable, extremely lightweight, breathable mouth area
  • Material: 4-way stretch fabric
  • Length/Cut: Short neck cut

The FXR Shredder Tech Balaclava is a simple but effective low profile option that will work for the average rider looking for a little bit of added protection against the elements. 

It has an incredibly lightweight design that makes it very comfortable and will fit properly underneath whatever helmet you put on top. 

4-way stretch fabric keeps the balaclava firmly on your head and face to allow for easy adjustments and a barely noticeable fit. The mouth area has a more breathable material to help reduce fog and moisture build-up. 

This isn’t an option you want to use during extreme cold as it won’t give you supreme cold-weather protection. It also has a short neck cut that can let wind and snow creep into your outer layer. 

If you run hot on the trail or simply want an option that is easy to pack and won’t get in your way, the Shredder Tech will have your basic needs covered and is another recommended option. 

4. 509 Heavyweight Pro

  • Best for: Extreme Cold
  • Key features: Heavy-duty construction, windproof laminate, breath-deflecting design, fleece-lined, silicon bottom pieces built-in, overlap panel  
  • Material: Windproof laminate polyester knit face, fleece-lined inner
  • Length/Cut: Wide extended full-length cut 

For extreme cold situations, you’ll need a balaclava that’s built to withstand rugged winter environments. The 509 Heavyweight Pro is fully up to this task and gives you serious performance when conditions demand nothing less. 

It’s a heavy-duty option that uses a combination of materials to add warmth alongside wind and snow resistance. The windproof laminate outer layer deflects blowing cold to help reduce frostbite. A fleece-lined inner section increases warmth as well. 

The Heavyweight Pro also has a breath-deflecting design that is engineered to take the place of a breath box. This helps keep moisture from building up and fog away from your goggles without compromising warmth. 

An overlap panel style allows you to narrow the opening in the balaclava for maximum effectiveness. It also has a wide extended full-length chest cuff that stays firmly in place with silicon material attached.

With a heavy-duty build, this option can bulk up underneath a helmet. That means it’s not going to be the most comfortable balaclava on the list.  

But trading a little comfort for the sake of protection against extreme winter conditions is a small price to pay for everything else the Heavyweight Pro has to offer. 

5. Tough Headwear Balaclava Ski Mask

  • Best for: Your money/budget pick
  • Key features: Affordable price, simple but effective design, moisture-wicking fabric, microfiber lining, dual-panel design
  • Material: 4-way stretch with spandex mouth
  • Length/Cut: Short cut

The Tough Headwear Balaclava Ski Mask is a cheap and basic option. But it still provides you with a good layer of protection against the cold and a comfortable fit. 

It’s simple and affordable but still has plenty to offer for the everyday snowmobiler. 

A very comfortable 4-way stretch fabric with a spandex mouth fits snuggly over your head and face with minimal material to get in the way of your helmet. This material is nearly windproof but breathable as well. 

Moisture-wicking properties in the fabric add another layer of stand-out performance and comfort to keep your head dry on the trail. 

A dual-panel design gives you the ability to quickly lower the mouth area if you want to eat some food or talk without taking the entire balaclava off. 

It’s not the warmest option around, and I wouldn’t recommend it in really cold weather situations. The neck also has a tight fit, which can become uncomfortable if you are out riding for extended periods.  

Best Snowmobile Balaclava: What to Look For

Take the following factors into consideration when shopping for a snowmobile balaclava that best fits your needs.

Weight/Thickness

One important thing to look for in any snowmobile balaclava is its weight or thickness. I prefer a lightweight option that is thin and will easily fit underneath my helmet. This can be the most comfortable option and is often more affordable. 

If you ride in really cold areas or want the most protection from the wind and snow, you’ll want a balaclava that is thicker and heavier. 

Length

You also want to consider the length of any balaclava option. Longer options will go beneath your outer layer, and this can help keep wind and snow from entering into your other layers while you ride. 

A shorter length option can be a little more comfortable and easy to put in a pocket when not in use. 

Fit

Most snowmobile balaclavas come in a universal size. If you have a very small or large head, you might want to find an option that is available in different sizes. 

Stretch fabric is also important with fit in mind. You want your balaclava to be fairly tight against your head and face without being uncomfortable. 4-way stretch fabric is my recommended material to look for. 

My Verdict

The 509 Lightweight Pro is my choice for the best snowmobile balaclava. I like the lightweight design and slim profile this option provides while still effective against wind and snow. 

There is a sweet spot between the perfect fit and the ideal amount of cold-weather protection. The Lightweight Pro hits this spot. 

It wouldn’t be my choice in extremely cold snowmobiling situations but it is my top pick in every other on-snow situation. 

About Chaz Wyland
I’m a snowmobile fanatic. I live for riding and am out on the trails or backcountry as often as possible during the winter months. I was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains and have snowmobiled in dozens of North American locations. When the snow is falling, you’ll find me on a sled.

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