What is the difference between a snowmobile helmet and a motorcycle helmet? Can you use one helmet for both activities, or do you need to shell out the additional cash for a new helmet if your a rider of both? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Like all helmets, snowmobile helmets are designed with safety in mind first.  Other than that obvious fact, features that distinguish snowmobile from motorcycle helmets are the insulation, lenses and breath deflectors.  You’ll find that snowmobile helmets have much better thermal insulation, double pane shields and breath deflectors designed to reduce fog build-up.

So, if you have a motorcycle helmet can you use it on a snowmobile?  Although the lighter thermal insulation may make it a little cold, yes, you can!  Just make sure it is DOT or Snell approved for your safety.  And to help fight off the cold, wear a balaclava under the helmet.

Some motorcycle helmets can be converted to snowmobile helmets with the additional purchase of accessories from the manufacturer.  The Bell Star Carbon Helmet can be converted to a Star Snow Helmet for as little as $49.95 with the purchase of a double lens shield snow kit.  For a complete electric version, you can purchase the electric shield snow kit for $119.95.  Either of these options will allow you to get double the usage of the helmet, but the helmet itself starts near $650.

Those riders looking for an XXXL snowmobile helmet have a few options.  Raider offers a full-face snowmobile helmet with a lightweight thermoplastic shell and 6-vent high-flow ventilation system.  The helmet offers a flush-mount dual-lens shield that can change to an electric shield-duel lens and can also be converted to an XXXL motorcycle helmet.  Big-headed riders can also look at the Klim F4 Snow Helmet as another option.  This helmet exceeds Snell M2012 and US DOT standards and has deepened channels in the plenum chamber (inside the helmet) to allow more air to pass through to your head.  Although helmets should have a snug fit, one review has said this one runs small.

No matter the size of the helmet, when riding a snowmobile make sure you are always wearing a face shield or goggles.  Pay attention to the type that you’re wearing, though.  Tinted face shields, goggles, or other type of tinted eye protection should not be worn at night or under other low-light conditions.  And always check your lenses for scratches as well, since they can reduce visibility – especially at night.