Handguards are a piece of snowmobiling equipment that you won’t always think about until you are cruising through tree branches at high speeds or in extreme cold, wishing you had them on your handlebars.
I’ve installed many handguards on my sleds over the years. I know the difference between a cheap piece of plastic and something that will keep your hands protected from anything the comes your way on the trail.
The PowerMadd Fuzion is one of the best handguard options around. These are easy to install, durable, and big enough to keep gloved hands protected while you ride.
There isn’t a massive difference between the best snowmobile handguards you’ll find here. But there is a big difference between cheap options that will break and high-quality options built to last.
You don’t need anything too fancy or expensive to benefit from having handguards, so I’ll show you a few other great options in this post.
Hold on, hit the throttle, and let’s slide on in.
Table of Contents
Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Handguards
Handguards can help keep obstacles and wind away from your hands. This provides a little extra protection when you are cruising at high speeds in the trees or when the weather is really cold. Every option here will give you these increased performance characteristics.
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Flexible construction provides durability, lightweight, extended coverage for wind and weather, two-position mount, crushproof
- Construction: Closed-cell AEPE foam
- Compatibility: Works with most sleds
- Kit: Not included
The PowerMadd Fuzion is my favorite handguard for a few different reasons.
First, I really like the crushproof construction. This means that these will very rarely break or crack. They can take a beating and will remain intact. That’s a big difference from other hard plastic options that can potentially break upon impact.
This is made possible by the construction of molded closed-cell AEPE foam. It’s an extremely durable material that can bend without breaking while still protecting your hands. Pretty sweet.
They also have a unique design that extends slightly back up and over your hand for better coverage. This can keep your hands safer from obstacles at high speeds and deflects wind and mud.
The Fuzion is also relatively affordable and easy to install. This will allow you to get everything set up quickly so you can spend more time riding and less time tinkering with tools in the garage.
These don’t come with hardware and require a separate mounting kit, which is a bummer. You’ll have to spend a little extra cash to get these attached to your handlebars.
Aside from that one little flaw that increases cost, these handguards are some of the best around, and their unique construction boosts their value and performance.
- Best for: Added warmth
- Key features: Easy to install and take off, keeps snow and wind away, adds water/weatherproofing, 1-year warranty
- Construction: Waterproof nylon
- Compatibility: Need Star Series or Trail Star for the best fit
- Kit: No
If you are looking for a soft handguard option that will increase warmth and keep your hands more comfortable while you ride, the PowerMadd Gauntlet is a great option.
These are basically like glove extensions and will fit over your handlebars or existing guards to give you another layer of cold-weather comfort and protection.
Tough waterproof nylon construction provides reliable performance and adds durability. They are also extremely easy to install and will slip on in seconds—no need for a kit or extra hardware at all.
Another benefit of the Gauntlet is that you won’t need to wear as thick of gloves in warmer conditions, which adds another level of comfort some riders might enjoy.
They also come with a 1-year no-questions-asked warranty, reflecting a commitment to strength and durability offered by PowerMadd. The company makes excellent products, and I’ve never had issues with anything I’ve used.
The Gauntlet is intended to be used with PowerMadd Star Series or Trail Star handguards, limiting its compatibility a bit. While they should slide over many other options, you might have issues if you don’t have PoweMadd guards already installed.
For a soft-shell option catering to comfort and warmth, these are the best option around.
- Best for: Full-Kit Option
- Key features: Includes all mounting brackets and hardware, durable, large aerodynamic design, pop off plate
- Construction: Resistant polypropylene
- Compatibility: Designed for Ski-Doo machines, check for other compatibility
- Kit: Yes
The Ski-Doo Handlebar Air Deflectors are the best full-kit handguard option.
This means you get all of the necessary mounting brackets and hardware included with your purchase, saving you time and money along the way.
On top of this added value, a resistant polypropylene construction makes these extra tough and durable. They are built to withstand decent impacts and will stay in tack to give you lasting performance.
Another unique feature you’ll get with these guards is a pop-off plate that will provide you with more airflow around the hands. This is a great feature for racers who want to boost milliseconds of speed or anyone who rides in warmer conditions.
You can also connect clip-on mirrors to these, although those are sold separately. Ski-Doo makes a variety of extras and add-ons, and this is a good option if you have a Ski-Doo sled.
The downside is these might not be compatible with a different type of machine. If you have a Ski-Doo, you can expect almost universal compatibility. If you don’t, I would explore other options.
- Best for: Budget Pick
- Key features: Affordable, multiple color options, strong, durable, extensions available, works with dirt bikes and ATVs
- Construction: Two different plastics
- Compatibility: Universal
- Kit: No
The PowerMadd Star Series is an awesome handguard that will save you some cash.
These are a high-quality option that is simple but effective in design and provides an easy solution to extra protection and comfort on the trail.
It’s also a versatile option because of its nearly universal compatibility that will fit just about any type of sled you have. They will also work on dirt bikes and ATVs if you have other machines you ride in the summer months.
Plenty of color options are also available so you can match the guards to your sled. There aren’t many guards out there that offer this, which is a pretty cool style concern that allows for customization.
And even though they are cheaper, the Star Series still offers a ton of strength and durability. They aren’t the most durable option around, but they do better than the average set of guards.
Two types of plastic are used in their construction. The spine is a stiff plastic that holds everything together and deflects initial impacts. Softer body plastic allows the wind to blow past easily.
The only real negative of the Star Series is that they have a pretty small profile. You won’t get extended coverage or protection.
- Best for: Universal Fit
- Key features: Mounting bracket included, flexible, durable, good weather protection, impact-resistant
- Construction: HighDense Foam
- Compatibility: Universal
- Kit: Yes
For a full-kit option with an included mounting bracket that makes installation a breeze, the RSI Racing H5000 Stonewall Kit is another top option.
These guards are made of a unique technology that allows them to be flexible enough to bend without breaking while still giving you great impact-resistance if and when you need it. This is made possible by a HighDense Foam construction that is also very durable.
They won’t crush or warp, even if you flip your sled or use them for years. That lasting durability gives you reliable performance and added value.
They also have extended coverage to provide increased protection from obstacles and the weather. Universal compatibility means that these guards will work on any sled you ride as well.
These can be a little difficult to install, but just follow the instructions, and you shouldn’t have much issue. I’d recommend installing in the garage rather than in the cold as well.
Best Snowmobile Handguards: What to Consider
I recommend considering the following things when betting handguards for your snowmobile.
Handguards are pretty easy to install, especially if you are familiar with your snowmobile and have a few standard tools lying around the house. Usually, you’ll only need to attach the guards onto your handlebars with mounting hardware.
Not every option you’ll buy will come with an installation or mounting kit, however. Be sure to check that everything you need to attach the guards comes with the option you’ve chosen. You might need to purchase a mounting kit separately if not.
Soft or Hard Guards
Most riders use their handguards to either protect their hands from tree branches and other obstacles while they ride or to add another element of protection against the cold and snow.
Handguards are usually made of strong, impact-resistant plastic that will allow branches, ice chunks, or anything else to bounce off and avoid your hands. Soft guards give you a little extra warmth and insulation and will extend completely over your hands.
You can use both soft and hard guards if you get options that are compatible with one another or come as a kit.
Another important consideration is the size of a handguard and the space it allows between the guard and handlebar. You may have a preference as to how big of a guard you want. Larger options provide more protection but increase wind resistance.
The space between the bar and the guard is important because you always want your gloved hand to fit easily between the two to maintain control. If you have thick gloves, always make sure your hands fit nicely inside of the guard before taking off.
My favorite handguard and top recommended choice here is the PowerMadd Fuzion. These are the best option because they are strong, durable, easy to install, and will work on many different machines.
If you need handguards, you really can’t go wrong with any of the options shown above. While they all vary slightly in size or design, they will give you very similar performance.
Just be sure to check for compatibility with your sled and see if you need to order mounting equipment separately before purchasing.About Chaz Wyland