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Riding Your ATV or UTV in Snow? Follow These Top Winter Tips

Gear up for winter ATV/UTV adventures with L1FE Outdoors! Discover essential snow riding tips, tire upgrades, and must-have accessories.


1. Understand The Terrain

1.1 - The Snow Difference

1.2 - Know Your Terrain

1.3 - Safety Tips

2. Essential Upgrades

2.1 - Snow Tires

2.2 - Track Kits

2.3 - Tires or Tracks?

2.4 - UTV Cabin Heaters

2.5 - Electric Heaters

3. Must-Have Accessories

3.1 - ATV Heated Grips

3.2 - ATV/UTV Plows

4. Prepare Your Adventure

4.1 - Clothing

4.2 - Emergency Kits

4.3 - Pre-Ride Checks

5. Embrace the Winter


Hey there, fellow adventure seekers!

As the flakes start to fall and the landscape turns into a frosty paradise, there's no better time to talk about one of the most exhilarating experiences out there – riding your ATV or UTV in the snow.

Imagine cruising through a winter wonderland, snow crunching beneath your tires, the crisp air filling your lungs... it's not just a ride, it's a whole new world of adventure!

Now, I know what you're thinking: Snow? On an ATV?


Here at L1FE Outdoors, we live and breathe all-season ATV and UTV adventures.

We don't believe in an "off-season", we embrace every season, hot or cold - dry or wet.

Snow riding offers a unique thrill, but it's not without its challenges. From navigating slippery surfaces to ensuring your vehicle is up to the task, there's a lot to consider.

But don't you worry! We've got the lowdown on everything you need to transform your ride into a snow-conquering beast.

Think upgrading your off-roading tires to snow-ready warriors, or maybe even decking out your ride with a track kit for unbeatable traction.

And let's not forget the accessories – from cabin heaters to keep you toasty, to plows for making your own paths, and heated grips to keep your fingers nimble. We're going to cover it all!

So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of snow riding with your ATV/UTV.

It's going to be a thrilling, chill-filled ride. Let's make those snowy trails our playground!

Understanding Snow Terrain

When winter rolls in, it's not just the scenery that changes – your riding experience does too!

So, let's chat about tackling snow-covered trails and the unique challenges they bring.

It's like swapping your hiking boots for snowshoes; the game changes, but the adventure continues!

The Snow Difference

  • Changing Landscapes: Underneath that fluffy snow could be anything from soft mud to hidden rocks. Unlike the predictable dirt trails of summer, snow adds a layer of mystery to your ride.

  • Traction Troubles: Snow, especially when it's wet or packed, can be slippery. It's a whole different ball game compared to dry terrain. And let's not forget icy patches – they're the hidden banana peels of winter riding.

Know Your Terrain

  • Deep Snow: Riding in deep snow is like the ATV version of deep-sea diving. It's thrilling but can be tricky. You'll need more power and the right gear (we'll talk about that in another section).

  • Icy Patches and Hardpacked Snow: These are the sneakiest. They look firm but can be super slippery. Always be on the lookout for changes in the snow's color or texture, it's like reading the trail's mood.

Safety Tips for Snowy Rides

  • Slow and Steady: Speed is fun, but control is key. In snow, it's best to take it a bit slower. This gives you time to react to unexpected terrain changes.

  • Ride Prepared: Winter rides mean shorter days and colder temps. Bring extra layers, a thermos with something warm, and always have an emergency kit.

  • Buddy System: It's not just more fun; it's safer. Riding with a buddy means you've got help if you get stuck or something goes south.

  • Stay Visible: Shorter days mean less light. Use lights and reflective gear, especially if you're out near dusk.

Essential Upgrades for Riding in Snow

When the landscape turns into a snowy paradise, it's not just about admiring the white beauty; it's about gearing up your ATV or UTV for some serious winter action. And the first step?

Choosing the right set of wheels – or, in this case, the right tires or tracks.

Let's break down the nitty-gritty of snow tires and track kits, so you can make the best choice for your winter escapades.

Tires vs. Track Kits: What's Best for Your Winter Ride?

Snow Tires

Snow tires for ATVs and UTVs are akin to winter boots for your vehicle - specifically crafted to withstand cold temperatures and offer enhanced traction on snowy and icy surfaces.

Here's what makes them cool (pun intended!):


  • Better Traction: They have deep treads and are made from a softer rubber compound, which means more grip and less slipping.

  • Cost-Effective: Generally, snow tires are more affordable than track kits.

  • Easy to Install: You can easily swap your regular tires for snow tires, no special skills needed.

  • Versatility: Great for lighter snow conditions and mixed terrains.


  • Limited Deep Snow Performance: They might struggle in deep, heavy snow.

  • Wear and Tear: Softer rubber can wear down faster on hard or abrasive surfaces.

Track Kits: Mastering the Deep Snow

For those of you dreaming of conquering deep, fluffy snow, track kits are like putting on snowshoes.

They spread out the weight of your ATV/UTV over a larger area, preventing you from sinking.

Here's the lowdown:


  • Deep Snow Navigation: Tracks are unbeatable in deep snow conditions.

  • Stability: They offer a wider, more stable ride, reducing the chance of tipping over.

  • Year-Round Use: Many track kits are designed for all-season use, not just winter.


  • Cost: They're an investment, typically more expensive than snow tires.

  • Complex Installation: You might need some mechanical know-how or professional help to install them.

  • Reduced Speed: Track kits can slow down your ATV/UTV compared to tires.

Making the Right Choice: Tires or Tracks?

So, how do you decide? It really boils down to two things: the snow conditions you'll be tackling and your riding style.

If you're planning to cruise through light to moderate snow, snow tires are your best bet.

They're agile, quick, and won't break the bank.

But, if you're all about adventuring in deep snow, or if you're using your ATV/UTV for tasks like plowing, a track kit might be the upgrade you need.

UTV Cabin Heaters

When the winter chill bites, there's nothing like the warm embrace of a cabin heater in your UTV. It's not just about comfort; it's about staying safe and enjoying your ride to the fullest, even when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose.

Let's dive into the world of cabin heaters and find the perfect match to keep you toasty.

Staying Warm During Winter Rides

  • Safety First: Extreme cold can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. A cabin heater helps maintain a safe, comfortable environment.

  • Enhanced Comfort: Let’s face it, riding with chattering teeth isn’t fun. A warm cabin means a more enjoyable ride.

  • Better Concentration: Staying warm helps you stay focused on the ride, not the cold.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are all about convenience. Here's what makes them shine:


  • Easy to Use: Just plug them into your UTV’s electrical system, and you're good to go.

  • Low Maintenance: No fuel, no fuss.

  • Quiet Operation: They're as silent as the falling snow.


  • Power Draw: They can be a drain on your UTV’s battery.

  • Milder Heat: They may not be as toasty as combustion heaters in extreme cold.

segway fugleman utv in snow

Must-Have ATV/UTV Accessories for Winter

Winter doesn’t mean your ATV or UTV adventures have to freeze up.

With the right off-road accessories, you can turn your ride into a winter warrior.

Let's talk about two essentials: ATV heated grips for comfort and snow plows for transforming your ride into a snow-clearing champ.

ATV Heated Grips

When the mercury drops, heated grips for your ATV are like a warm handshake from an old friend.

They keep your hands warm, which is essential not just for comfort, but also for maintaining control and responsiveness.

  • Safety and Comfort: Warm hands mean better grip and control.

  • Prevent Fatigue: Cold can make your muscles tense up; heated grips keep your hands relaxed.

Installation Guide and Top Picks

  • Easy Installation: Most heated grips can be easily installed with basic tools.

  • Connection: They hook up to your ATV’s battery. Make sure to follow the instructions to avoid any electrical hiccups.

  • Adjustable Settings: Look for grips with adjustable heat settings for customized comfort.

Plows for Snow-Clearing

Turning your ATV or UTV into a snow-clearing powerhouse is not just practical; it's incredibly satisfying.

Here’s how:

How Plows Transform Your Ride

  • Efficiency: Clear your driveway, paths, or help out in the community – your ATV/UTV becomes a multi-purpose vehicle.

  • Power: With the right snowplow, you can move a lot of snow quickly and easily.

Types of Plows: Straight vs. V-Shaped

  • Straight Plows: Ideal for clearing snow from flat, straight surfaces. They push snow forward and are great for smaller areas.

  • V-Shaped Plows: Perfect for heavy snowfall. They slice through snow, directing it to the sides, making them suitable for larger, open areas.

Tips for Efficient Snow Plowing

  • Angle Adjustment: Adjust the angle of the plow depending on the area you're clearing and the snow’s depth.

  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your plow in top condition; check for any wear and tear.

  • Start Early: Don’t let the snow pile up too high. It’s easier to plow when you start early and keep at it.

  • Read Our Guide: For a full, informative guide on safety and how to effectively plow snow with your ATV or UTV, check out our snow-plowing guide.

Preparing for Your Snow Adventure

When the world outside is draped in a blanket of snow, it’s not just about hopping on your ATV or UTV and zooming off.

A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring your winter rides are safe, comfortable, and a whole lot of fun.

Let’s walk through the essentials for your snowy escapades.


  • Base Layer: Start with moisture-wicking thermal underwear to keep you dry.

  • Insulation Layer: Add fleece or wool for insulation.

  • Outer Layer: A waterproof and windproof jacket and pants are a must to protect against the elements.

  • Hands and Feet: Waterproof gloves and insulated boots will keep your extremities warm.

  • Headgear: Don't forget a thermal beanie or balaclava under your helmet.

  • Wading Gear: Consider investing in weather-proof and waterproof clothing, like Gator Waders or Finntrail wading gear.

Emergency Kits

  • First Aid Kit: For those unexpected nicks and cuts.

  • Repair Kit: Basic tools, spare tire, and parts in case of a breakdown.

  • Survival Items: Flashlight, waterproof matches, and a thermal blanket can be lifesavers.

  • Food and Water: Energy bars and water are essentials, especially on longer rides.

Pre-Ride Checks Specific to Snowy Conditions

  • Tires or Tracks: Ensure they're in good condition and appropriate for the snow depth.

  • Battery: Cold weather can be tough on ATV batteries; make sure yours is fully charged.

  • Lights and Signals: Shorter days mean you'll rely more on your lights.

  • Brakes: Check them for responsiveness; snowy conditions require good stopping power.

Letting Someone Know Your Route and Expected Return

  • Safety Priority: Always inform someone about your destination and your anticipated return time.

  • Route Plan: Share your planned route, especially if you’re exploring unfamiliar territory.

  • Check-In: If possible, check in periodically, especially on longer rides.

Remember, preparation is key to enjoying your winter rides safely.

Embrace the Winter Wonderland on Your ATV/UTV

As we draw this snowy journey to a close, remember that winter isn't a time to store away your ATV or UTV – it's a whole new adventure waiting to be explored!

The cold and snow bring a unique charm and challenge that can transform your riding experience.

  • New Experiences: The winter landscape offers a different kind of beauty, one that’s serene, pure, and exhilarating.

  • New Challenges: Navigating snow and ice tests your skills and makes you a more versatile rider.

Don’t let the cold weather cool down your ATV/UTV passion.

Visit us at L1FE Outdoors ATV/UTV for the best gear, expert advice, and to join a community of enthusiastic winter riders.

Together, let's conquer the snow and create unforgettable memories on our ATVs and UTVs.

The winter wonderland is calling – are you ready to answer?