Can You Wear a Motorcycle Helmet for Snowmobiling?

Technically, yes, you can wear a motorcycle helmet for snowmobiling. But I always recommend wearing a snowmobile-specific helmet because it will give you better performance and safety features. But any helmet is better than none at all. 

I’ve been snowmobiling for nearly my entire life, and I have decades of experience with these incredible machines. I also understand how important safety is when riding, and I’ve used many different helmets over the years. 

In this post, I’ll explain why you should wear a snowmobile-specific helmet, even though a motorcycle helmet can technically work. I’ll highlight key differences between the two to give you an understanding of why this is the case. 

Let’s get to it. 

Initial Thoughts

You need to wear a helmet when you are snowmobiling. There might not be any specific rules or regulations regarding this in your area, but it’s a critical safety concern that can save your life if you take a terrible fall when riding. 

People die every year on the trails, and you are asking for trouble if you ride without a helmet. A snowmobile-specific helmet is highly recommended, but you can technically wear any type of head protection if you are in a pinch. 

So the basic answer to this question is yes, you can wear a motorcycle helmet for snowmobiling. But if you are a serious rider, you should get your hands on a snowmobile helmet to give you better safety and performance. 

Why You Need a Snowmobile Helmet

Let’s explore why you need a snowmobile helmet, even if you already have a motorcycle helmet. 

Snowmobile helmets are explicitly designed for snowmobiling and will give you much better safety and performance than other styles of helmets. They are built to handle cold weather and extreme conditions and will keep your head warmer than motorcycle helmets. 

Snowmobile helmets also come with built-in features designed to help you withstand snow, wind, cold, icy, and other winter conditions. These can include ventilation and insulation that motorcycle helmets don’t have. 

There are several different styles of snowmobile helmets, and all of them are better suited for riding than a motorcycle helmet. If you choose an open face option, you’ll need to wear goggles to protect your face from snow and cold.

When You Could Wear a Motorcycle Helmet 

The only situation where you should really wear a motorcycle helmet for snowmobiling is when you have no other options. I would gladly wear a non-snowmobile helmet rather than riding without one, just to provide added safety and peace of mind. 

High-quality snowmobile and motorcycle helmets will offer similar amounts of impact protection. So in that regard, you know that you are much better off with safety in mind if you need to use a motorcycle helmet. 

If you ride a snowmobile in warmer-weather situations, you might not need as much insulation from the cold, and you could also use a motorcycle helmet in this case. 


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions relating to snowmobile helmets. 

Is a snowmobile helmet different than a motorcycle helmet?

Yes, a snowmobile helmet is different than a motorcycle helmet. Snowmobile helmets are built for cold weather situations and have specific features that help prevent fogging and provide added warmth for extreme cold.  

What kind of helmet do you need for snowmobiling?

You should try to get a snowmobile-specific helmet. While you can technically ride a snowmobile with any kind of helmet, snowmobile helmets are built to provide the highest levels of safety and performance with this particular motorsport in mind.  

Can I use my motocross helmet for snowmobiling?

Technically, yes, you can use your motocross helmet for snowmobiling. But I don’t recommend you do so unless you have no other option. Motocross helmets will offer safety, but they won’t keep you as warm in the cold as snowmobile helmets. 

Final Thoughts

Unless you have no other option, you should not wear a motorcycle helmet for snowmobiling. Motorcycle helmets are not designed to handle the snow and cold as well as snowmobile-specific helmets. 

Regardless of what kind of helmet you already have, you need to wear one when riding a snowmobile. It’s not worth the risk of severe injury or death. 

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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