Can you use a snowmobile helmet for motorcycles?

Do you think your snowmobile helmet looks and feels almost identical to a motorcycle crash helmet? Indeed they are the same and are interchangeable?

Despite their similar appearance, snowmobile helmets and motorcycle helmets have very little in common. The helmets have different levels of protection and should not be interchanged.

Can I ride a motorcycle with a snowmobile helmet?

No. The snowmobile helmet is structurally less capable of protecting a motorcycle rider from an accident than a motorcycle helmet.

Although the appearance is similar and the styling very close, the snowmobile helmet is lightweight compared to a motorcycle helmet.

Snowmobile helmets have two main functions: 1, protecting the rider’s skull in a collision, and 2, keeping the snowmobile rider protected from environmental elements, such as the cold.

Although the snowmobile helmet offers excellent protection in a collision, the collision is unlikely to be of the same magnitude that a motorcycle rider’s helmet would incur, where an impact is likely to be faster and more complex.

Motorcycle helmets do not need the same insulation as a snowmobile helmet, as motorcyclists rarely risk riding in the snow and ice.

Can I ride a snowmobile with a motorcycle helmet?

Yes. However, the snowmobile helmet is designed to cope with sub-zero temperatures’ harsh reality.

A snowmobile helmet is insulated for warmth. A motorcycle helmet is limited in retaining heat in extreme conditions.

Snowmobile helmets have double glazed visors to help prevent fogging, which motorcycle helmets do not have.

Snowmobile helmets attempt to try and prevent your breath from entering the helmet by sealing off your nose and mouth, exhaling and inhaling through vents. 

To be honest, wearing a motorcycle helmet when snowmobile riding would be a miserable experience in a short time.

Motorcycle helmets Vs Snowmobile helmets

They are like chalk and cheese, and neither natural crossover into each other’s arena, despite the similar appearance.

For sure, accidents happen on the trail when riding a snowmobile but plunging into deep snow is entirely different to glancing off the asphalt on a motorcycle.

Motorcycle helmets are focused mainly on protecting the face area as studies indicate the most impacts are from the chin to the forehead. Hence, the motorcycle helmet is reinforced in these areas to help prevent severe injury to the skull.

Snowmobile helmets also offer adequate skull protection, but the primary focus is keeping the rider protected from the elements and not being exposed to hypothermia.

The weight of the helmets is very different. A snowmobile helmet is designed to be lightweight. Snowmobiles do not have mirrors, so the lightweight helmet allows the rider to quickly turn his head and look behind him for his companions.

A snowmobile rider is expected to fall off the machine frequently, so the helmet weighs in at around 300 grams to help protect the rider’s neck from constantly falling off the snowmobile.