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The Ultimate Guide: What to Wear for Off-Roading?


Embarking on an off-road adventure requires more than just a thirst for thrill. It's essential to know what to wear for your off-road escapade to ensure safety and comfort. Riding gear plays a pivotal role in shielding riders from the unpredictable nature of quad and side-by-side riding.

Head Protection

The first and most important is a helmet. Selecting the right helmet for ATV riding is a critical step in ensuring your safety during off-road adventures. Here are key considerations and top recommendations:

  • Fit and Certification: Ensure the helmet fits snugly and meets safety standards like DOT, Snell, or ECE. 

  • Material and Design: Opt for helmets made from durable materials like carbon fibre for lightweight and robust protection.

  • Technology and Features:

    • Ventilation: Prioritize helmets with effective cooling systems to prevent overheating, especially during long rides.

    • Visibility and Comfort: Look for helmets with wide vision fields and comfortable liners. 

Choosing a helmet that meets these criteria ensures maximum head protection and enhances your riding experience. Remember, a well-fitted, high-quality helmet is an investment in your safety on the trails.


Choosing the Right Materials

When selecting the right ATV riding gear, it is essential to understand the differences in materials. Finding the balance between comfort, durability, and protection is paramount. 

While natural materials like cotton and wool are easy to access and offer breathability, they often lack durability and waterproofness. At the same time, plastic materials like PVC and EVA, often found in rain suits, provide excellent protection from water and mud. But they are easily destroyed by sunlight and are not breathable, causing discomfort and sweating during even the easiest activities.  

Membrane materials stand out as the most balanced choice. Thanks to their structure, membranes provide excellent waterproofing and breathability. They let you stay dry and comfortable all day by keeping rain and water out while allowing sweat to evaporate. Membranes are also extremely durable. Gear made of membranes like HARD-TEX® easily lasts for years. 


Body Gear

What kind of body gear you need depends on the types of rides you plan. Whether it's recreational trail riding or hardcore mudding, it is crucial to gear up to make your adventures enjoyable. 

Membrane suits are the best choice for trail riding. They are windproof and lightweight, perfect for long rides. Membrane material also makes them waterproof, mud-resistant, and breathable. 

Woman on atv

For hardcore mudding, you will need to call in bigger guns. Waders and wading jacket are the choice for muddy adventures, but opt for membrane ones. Unlike general neoprene gear, membrane gear is more durable, breathable, and comfortable overall. 


Footwear Recommendations

When faced with choosing the ideal ATV/UTV riding boots, the decision often boils down to selecting between wading boots, hiking boots and rubber boots, each tailored to specific needs. 

Rubber Boots: These boots are suitable for recreational riding and outdoor activities. Made of rubber and neoprene, they offer good traction on slippery terrain but are less breathable. They are relatively easy to wash with plain water, making them a viable option for riders seeking simplicity alongside functionality in their ATV/UTV adventures.

Rubber Boots

Hiking Boots: while primarily designed for traversing rugged terrain on foot, they can also serve surprisingly well for ATV rides. The sturdy construction and ankle support provided by hiking boots offer stability and protection. Additionally, the rugged outsoles of hiking boots provide excellent traction, ensuring a firm grip on the footpegs and ground alike. However, it's essential to choose hiking boots with enough flexibility in the ankle area to comfortably operate the ATV's controls. It is also important to remember that hiking boots can't provide 100% protection against water and mud. So, they are more suitable for trail and recreational riding. 

Hiking Boots

Wading Boots: Ideal for hardcore off-road riding, made from wear-resistant materials and designed for maximum comfort and performance. They feature rubber outsoles with mud-free tread patterns for excellent traction. However, they can be worn only with stockingfoot waders as wading boots have small holes for water drainagу and to wash off sand grains, that can get into the boot and damage the neoprene socks of the waders. 

Wading Boots

Gloves and Other Accessories 

Gloves are an essential piece of gear for ATV riders, providing protection, grip, and comfort during off-road adventures. These gloves should be made from durable materials such as leather, synthetic fabrics, or a combination of both. Opt for gloves that feature reinforced palms and knuckles for added protection in high-impact areas, as well as padded sections to absorb shock and reduce hand fatigue. 

And don’t forget about breathability when choosing gloves. Gloves for ATV riding should have parts with breathable and moisture-wicking materials to keep hands cool and dry, enhancing comfort during long rides. 


UV protection comes in handy when summer is at its peak, and the sun makes everything boiling hot. Even if your instinct screams T-shirt, your best option is long-sleeve UV protection. UV protection clothing is designed with specialized fabrics that block the majority of UV radiation, shielding riders from potential sunburns, skin damage, and long-term health risks such as skin cancer. UV protection clothing is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking, ensuring riders stay cool, dry, and comfortable even in hot and sunny conditions. FINNTRAIL UV protection also has insect-repelling technology and is coated with an antibacterial material that prevents unpleasant odours even after the longest rides. 

Face masks are essential accessories for ATV rides, offering protection against dust, dirt, debris, and other airborne particles encountered during off-road adventures. Designed to cover the nose and mouth, these masks help prevent inhalation of harmful substances while riding through dusty trails or muddy terrain. When choosing the face mask, check out the fit and make sure it stays securely in place. Some face masks might have silicone inserts and special vents for more comfortable use.    

Final Checklist

1. Helmet – choose the one with the right fit and credible certifications 

2. Body gear – membrane suit or membrane waders. Choose what fits best with your style of riding. 

3. Footwear – rubber boots or wading boots. When choosing, check out the sole of the boots, how much ankle support they provide and how breathable and waterproof they are. 

4. Gloves – grip, durability, and breathability are crucial for great ATV gloves. 

5. UV Protection – like riding under the sun? Make sure to protect your skin from sun damage. 

6. Face mask – an extra layer of protection from dust and sand 

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