Which Snowmobile is the Best? [Buyers Guide + Video]


Which snowmobile is the best? This is a typical question that many buyers ask, and the answer is: It depends on what purpose you want to use it for! For backcountry rides, the best snowmobiles are lightweight, 2-stroke sleds with long tracks. When it comes to trail riding, 4-stroke, turbocharged models are chosen by many performance-minded buyers.

If you want to find out which snowmobile is for you, keep reading. You can also discover the best snowmobile models from the main manufacturers by category!

Which Snowmobiles are the Best by Category?

Which is the best mountain snowmobile?

The best mountain snowmobiles are arguably long track sleds with 2-stroke engines. The large surface of the long track ensures better traction and floatation in powder. As these models are typically powered with high-performance, 2-stroke engines, they are the lightest models on the market and offers the best power-to-weight ratio. They are aggressive, agile, and fun to ride! Many say that the best mountain snowmobiles on the market are as follows:

  • Polaris PRO RMK 850
  • Ski-Doo Summit X 850
  • Arctic Cat Alpha One M 
  • Yamaha Mountain Max

Drawbacks?

Although they do a really good job in powder, mountain sleds are prone to overheating on hard-packed surfaces. Also, they come with hefty price tags, and burn a lot of gas and oil. So, if you choose a mountain sled, be prepared for high maintenance costs!

Which snowmobile is the best for hill climb racing?

When it comes the hill climb racing, some of the best models are the Polaris RMK Assault and the Arctic Cat HRC.

Which snowmobile is the best for trail riding?

The best snowmobiles for trail riding are arguably 4-stroke, supercharged sleds with 210+HP. In the world of powersports, many owners are performance-minded, which is why these models are so popular! They come with short tracks that can be studded for better traction and acceleration and do a really good job on the corners. Which are the best trail sleds by brand?

  • Yamaha Sidewinder SRX LE
  • Arctic Cat ZR Thundercat
  • Ski-Doo S MXZX 600
  • Polaris Indy 600 XC

Drawbacks?

Thanks to their big 4-stroke power plants and massive chassis, trail snowmobiles are much heavier when compared to mountain sleds. This means that if you hit deep snow with them you can easily get stuck. Therefore, it’s best if you stay on hard-packed surfaces with a trail snowmobile!

Which snowmobile is best for touring?

The best touring snowmobiles are manufactured with durable chassis, heavy-duty suspensions, and a passenger seat. They also have many bells and whistles, which can come in handy on longer snowmobile tours. Some of the best touring snowmobiles are:

  • Ski-Doo Grand Touring
  • Yamaha Sidewinder S-TX GT
  • Polaris Indy Adventure

Which is the best crossover snowmobile?

The best crossover snowmobiles combine the benefits of trail and mountain sleds. These machines typically feature shorter tracks than mountain sleds, but they are still long enough to give sufficient floatation in powder. If you spend most of your time on trails but consider leaving them at times, you can’t go wrong with these sleds. The best crossover snowmobiles on the market are as follows:

  • Polaris Switchback
  • Arctic Cat Crossfire
  • Ski-Doo Renegade
  • Yamaha Sidewinder X-TX

Drawbacks?

It’s safe to say that crossover snowmobiles are a little “Jack of all trades, master of none.” As they can handle any type of snow conditions, they are not as good in powder as mountain sleds, and cannot beat the performance of trail models on hard-packed snow.

Which are the best snowmobiles for work?

Let’s face it, not every buyer is looking for snowmobiles for fun. When it comes to selecting a sled for work, quite different aspects come to the fore. These are typically the towing capacity, reliability, and/or price/value ratio. The best snowmobiles for work are arguably the “utility” models, such as:

  • Polaris Titan Adventure
  • Ski-Doo Expedition
  • Yamaha VK Professional
  • Arctic Cat Norseman

What is a utility snowmobile? Utility snowmobiles are designed specifically for work purposes. They are heavy-duty machines that can support you and get the job done! They can tow disabled snowmobiles or trailers with ease. They come with extra wide tracks, reliable engines, and a massive chassis.

The 4-stroke utility sleds do a good job when it comes to towing weight, while the fan-cooled models can go at low speeds or idle without overheating. There are plenty of accessories available for these sleds including winches, boxes, racks, and even trailers.

Drawbacks?

As they are built to be reliable and tolerate a lot of abuse, utility snowmobiles are not among the most powerful snowmobiles! This means, you cannot expect to have as much fun on these models as their performance counterparts.

However, you can find some “sport-utility snowmobiles” on the market, which can surprise you with some thrilling adrenaline rushes. After it has gotten the job done of course!

Which are the Best Snowmobiles for Different Purposes?

Which snowmobile is best for ice fishing?

When it comes to ice fishing, overheating is probably the biggest problem that most owners have to face. If the ice isn’t covered with snow, the cooling system on liquid-cooled sleds can’t work efficiently. That’s why fan-cooled models are considered to be the best snowmobiles for ice fishing. As their cooling doesn’t depend on snow conditions but rather air temperature, they can run on ice without any issues.

4-stroke snowmobiles are also popular among ice fishers as they are not only less prone to overheating, but can tow weight without issues. Some of the best snowmobiles for ice-fishing are:

  • Ski-Doo Tundra LT
  • Polaris Titan Adventure
  • Yamaha’s VK540
  • Arctic Cat’s Pantera 7000 XT

Which snowmobile is best for towing?

Towing with a snowmobile is always a risky job, as it may end in a burned drive belt or even a seized engine! That’s why the best snowmobiles for towing are 4-stroke utility sleds. They offer enough torque to pull heavy weight, and their engines are also much more durable. Moreover, utility snowmobiles feature the widest tracks, which are essential for proper traction!

So, when it comes to towing, all you need is a 4-stroke engine with plenty of torque, and a wide track!

Which snowmobile is best for a big guy?

If you are a big guy, you can’t go wrong with a touring snowmobile. Designed for double rides, these models can handle increased weight even in stock condition. If you are looking for another type of sled, beware that you may have to replace the springs in the suspensions. (Or even the whole suspension system depending on the model.)

This is because stock springs can’t handle heavy weights in many cases. As you have to avoid bottoming out the suspensions, you may have to adjust, modify, or even replace them.

Which snowmobile is the best for beginners?

Experts say that if you are a beginner, you should avoid high-performance turbocharged sleds. They go pretty fast and need an experienced driver to handle them safely. On the other hand, off-trail riding is also not recommended for beginners, as operating a snowmobile in deep snow also requires a lot of skill and practice. Finally, it seems that the best snowmobiles for beginners are trail sleds with moderate performance and price tags. Here are some great beginner snowmobiles to consider:

  • Arctic Cat ZR R XC
  • Ski-Doo MZX Sport
  • Polaris Indy EVO
  • Yamaha SXVenom

What is the best snowmobile for children?

The best snowmobiles for children are arguably the 120 and 200cc “youth sleds,” which are designed for the smallest riders! Older children can benefit from the features of the very popular Polaris Indy EVO. This sled is built on a full-size Indy chassis, but it comes with a lower seat as well as a lower handlebar position.

That’s why this sled is considered to be the final steppingstone to the world of full-size sleds. What’s more, the EVO can be transformed into a full-size sled as your kid grows!

The best snowmobiles for children are:

  • Arctic Cat ZR 120
  • Arctic Cat ZR 200
  • Polaris Indy 120
  • Polaris Indy EVO
  • Yamaha SRX 120R
  • Yamaha SnoScoot ES

If you are considering buying a used snowmobile for your kids, you should take a look at the models with a 120-350cc engine and a smaller body. You can find plenty of them on the market from the vintage Yamaha Bravo to the very modern Ski-Doo Freestyle.

What is the Best Snowmobiles by Brand?

It’s safe to say that the best snowmobiles today are made by:

If you want to discover the current models of these main manufacturers, don’t hesitate to visit their websites!

Conclusion

Which is the best snowmobile on the market? As you can see, there are many solid, good-quality models on the market to choose from!

But the final choice always depends on what its intended use is and personal preferences.

As the final word, it’s recommended that you do your research to determine which snowmobile is best for you.

Selecting the wrong sled is always a hassle, as selling it and purchasing another one is not only time consuming, but very frustrating as well!

References:

https://snoriderswest.com/article/sled-tech/how_to_choose_the_right_sled_for_your_ride

https://snowgoer.com/news/the-top-10-snowmobiles-of-2020/28312/

https://snoriderswest.com/article/gearboxx/best_selling_snowmobiles

https://amsnow.com/reviews/snowmobile-reviews/2017/08/best-of-the-best

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