Snowmobiling involves extreme cold temperatures and we need to have the proper layers of clothing to keep ourselves warm. Balaclavas are used under snowmobile helmets for warmth in those cool, chilled winter climates. An interesting historical fact to mention here is how they got the name ‘Balaclava’. They were first used in the Battle of Balaclava (a town in Crimea) during the Crimean war by the British troops, as headgear to keep warm. They are sometimes called monkey caps as well.
Best Balaclava for Snowmobiling
When it comes to snowmobiling or any other winter activity, staying warm even under the harshest climatic conditions is what we look for. We need to ensure that all the gears we use are accustomed to this goal. Balaclavas are used to keep the head, neck, and face warm with a tight fit, thereby cutting down the wind striking bare skin. Some of them cover more neck area thus, further reducing skin exposure to the harsh climate. They have evolved a long way. In the early stages, they were simple head socks. Now they have every bit of technology attached to them for providing extra warmth. High-end models offer the additional breathability and waterproof properties, we ought to look for. The stitching methods have also evolved and provide comfort wear balaclavas. With many options available, you can easily get your hands on the one suited for you.
What to keep in mind while selecting balaclava?
Material: Obviously, the material used is of prime importance. Now, thicker fabrics provide the highest degree of warmth, but they can get you uncomfortable. Fleece lining in balaclavas provides the necessary warmth and makes them soft and comfortable for the wearer. Among the thicker materials, balaclavas made of merino wool are the costliest but offer extremely good moisture-wicking properties. Now, from a budget-friendly point of view, a thinner material balaclava is a good choice. Polyester is a good option for wicking away moisture. Nylon being extremely thin might not give the required warmth, but it can block the wind to some extent. The best thin material option available is that of neoprene which offers sufficient warmth and wind resistance.
Fit: After selecting the material, we need to look for the fit of the balaclava. Loose-fit balaclavas can be more comfortable than tight-fitting ones. But they won’t sit properly inside the snowmobile helmet. They will keep on sliding. Also, a tight-fit balaclava offers better warmth in chilling weather.
Design: Some balaclavas have short fabric around the neck area, thereby covering only a small area around the necks. Others can have long fabric which can be tucked into your dress. They also have a wide opening around the eye area, making it easier to wear goggles while wearing them. Balaclavas work well with tight-fit goggles to prevent fogging issues.
Color: They come in many colors, but the most common is black. Nowadays, they have more styles built up in the form of artworks.
Price: Extremely thin materials are economical, but won’t provide sufficient warmth. Balaclavas with fleece/neoprene lining are a bit costlier but provide the necessary warmth.
Now, we have come across the features we need to look at while selecting a balaclava. Let’s have a look at the best available options.
Ergodyne N-Ferno 6823 Balaclava Ski Mask
Amazon’s #1 best seller balaclava provides breathability and wind resistance. It is made of 100% polyester. It has a long length covering the full head and neck area, which can be easily tucked into a jacket. It is hand washable. This balaclava has a pull-on closure with reflective accents to help keep safe and seen. However, there are some reviews saying that the fabric presses down the nose and also that the eye area is not properly cut out.
AstroAI Balaclava Ski Mask
Having good reviews, it claims to provide ultimate protection and versatility. It can be worn as a full face mask, open balaclava, half ski mask, or a neckerchief on its own. Also, it can be worn under a helmet, with glasses or goggles. The Astro balaclava is made of superfine polar fleece providing adequate warmth. Made of highly durable material, it is flexible thereby providing a good fit. It provides full coverage to the face, with the required breathability provided by the insulated mesh fabric.
Mountain balaclava has a brushed inner surface. It is made of 65% nylon, 20% polyester, 10% spandex, and 5% synthetic rubber. Neoprene face guard allows effective control of moisture and thereby breathability. Being lightweight, it uses a quick-dry fabric and offers a good fit.
FXR Shredder Tech Balaclava
This is polyester–spandex fabrication which is ultra-lightweight, with brushed inner. These balaclavas prevent frostbite by blocking wind by utilizing the 4-way stretch mapped wind stop system.
Achiou Balaclava Face Mask
One of the best sellers in Amazon, this is an ultra soft balaclava made of 88% polyester and the rest of spandex, which provides protection against wind, UV rays, etc. The mesh material is breathable. The thermal dry fabric provides optimal moisture control. They are tailored in such a way that the fabric around the nose area doesn’t fall off easily. Many color options are available.
FXR Cold Stop RR Balaclava
These have a Cold-Stop Omni-Stretch design with bonded fleece wind-block system for cold weather riding. The nose piece is adjustable. The nose mask diverts the breath down, thereby preventing fogging. The laser-cut eye port provides maximum comfort. Flat lock stitching guarantees comfort and durability to the rider. The graphic prints make it a trendy option.
There are several options available in the market. The market is crowded with Balaclavas. Based on the requirements and features you are looking for, you need to search for a good option that can enhance our snowmobiling activities. Prime importance should be given to the material of the fabric, then the fit and the design. As the winter season is approaching lets decide upon the gears in pre-hand rather than waiting for too long.