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Starting out this season with all new gear and learning quickly as I go. I thought I'd start this thread to hasten that learning curve thru your guys' feedback, and perhaps help others in the process. I've had the boots for a while, but the rest (everything but a few base layers) is all new. I've worn traditional insulated gear and helmets in the past.

Working from the outside in-
-Klim Stealth bibs and jacket
-SkiDoo 'Grip' gloves
-SkiDoo XP-R2 high-vis helmet
-Klim Arctic balaclava
-SkiDoo Holeshot speed strap goggles
-Synthetic mid layers in varying weights/styles/brands
-Compression type base layers in various weights/styles/brands
-Irish Setter Elk Tracker 1000g leather boots

Put the first 50 miles on my new Freeride yesterday evening/night in the Western UP with -8 windchill temps. Wore a pair of NorthFace base layer pants, Layer8 base top, sweatpants, and a light-medium fleece under my Klim outer. Here are a few thoughts-

-Will wear another pair of socks with my boots; feet were warm, but toes a bit chilly. Probably invest in snowmobile focused boots next season.

-Legs were chilly, but not cold; upper half was the same. The Klim shells didn't care that I have a low windshield or if I rode standing- they blocked wind well, but I will probably go with heavier mid layers in this or colder climate.

-I like the Grip gloves better than my X-Team leather gloves so far. I'm missing my left index finger and my circulation sucks; haven't found a set of gloves that keeps fingertips warm. Rest of my hands are never a problem. Like the Grip gloves because of the dexterity; especially with my finger issue. I brought a pair of ColdGuards, and will install them for my next ride.

-The helmet feels good so far, although I can see why some guys mention taping their vents on open face helmets. I didn't think it was cold, but I could feel the ventilation. It seems comfortable and of course light.

-I like the Arctic balaclava so far, if only for the fact that its mouthpiece stays away from my face and doesn't have the same snot factor as others I've tried.

-My goggles came with the rose tinted lenses, and I didn't find them hard at all to see out of at night, although they're the only ones I've tried so far. I can see why people who ride the open face helmet combo stress a good goggle seal. I had something messed up during my first ride and my right eye area was catching a painful draft of cold air at speed, and began to fog up in that area. At one point; I reset the goggles & balaclava and did not have the same issue again. It should be noted that I am not wearing the goggle nose piece or helmet breath guard; as I find they crowd the mouth area, but may try to play with them more in the future.

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sounds like you can make a few improvements, for hands get ski-doo gauntlets you will like them on cold days like jamie i've tried every glove some good some bad but gauntlets are the way to go.

on feet 1 pair of good wool socks will be better then 2 normal socks, most likely like you said get a different boot.

by a tek-vest and you won't be cold top up ever a gain, and for safety also.
 

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Warning; it's a long post...proceed with caution

I assume that it's because of the extra low windshield and no side shields, but the sides of my hips were even cold yesterday. I tried doubling up on socks and even adding small hot packs in my toes; perhaps the double layer socks worked against me in that regard, because I couldn't feel the heat packs and my toes were still cold. I went back to my leather X-team gloves, which were marginally better; I know people love their coldguards, but for me a more appropriate name would be very cold guards- I'm sure it's my circulation and hands and not the product. Wore my best base layer pants and sweatpants; other than hip sides, my legs were ehhh, tolerable. I also wore my warmest base layer top, warmest mid, and even added a packable down jacket at lunch; yep, still cold. Not like "trip to the ER" cold, but enough to make me wish I'd've brought my now spare Doo Holeshot jacket and HJC bibs. I'm finding out why people say a goggle seal is critical; there'd be points where they were doing ok, but moisture (and following that, frost/ice) would form on the upper outer corners of the inside of the lens. Taking them off would make it worse; I'd have to thaw them out and quickly wipe the inside lens off with tp before it froze again. Is paper money a good insulator? I could have saved a lot of time and wrapped myself in $20 bills; I'm not sure how people stay comfortable in low temps with shell-type gear. I have to think it's just me and my poor circulation.

Other than that, everything is great. It is beautiful up here and the actual riding is awesome! The sled is performing well and is 20% away from being broken in after just over 300mi. Will add oil today; light came on within last 30-50mi or so. Also have to knock a crapload of snow/ice out of the tunnel; just buildup from riding and crossing a water hole or two. I'm sure the shocks could be tweaked, but the suspension is marvelous- never thought I'd be able to cross stutter bumps at 50+ if I wanted.

Things I'm learning I will need for cold weather riding-

-Heating pack for the glove box to keep cell phone from freezing; the liner and a fleece hat were not enough.
-Wool socks, not work socks.
-Boots with snowmobile focus and insulation in the toes, not expensive hunting boots
-A 1" thick fleece mid layer with a zipper so I can stay warm and not take half an hour to unzip myself to water the shrubs.
-Spare goggles; and I'm not convinced of the speed strap. Maybe the Doo wired goggles.
-Spare windshield and/or side shields for such occasions (my cover will only supposedly fit a low/extra low without handguards).
-Spare balaclava; I'm sure it getting wet and frozen isn't doing the goggle any good
 

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Few things from my UP trip last week: I have the 509 Altitude helmet and the X5 goggles and the Klim Arctic balaclava. The only thing that fixed my iced up goggle issue was removing the helmet breath box. Everything was awesome for the day after doing that until I ventured off trail and worked up a sweat. I think removing the Arctic balaclava and using my old, lighter weight one would've been better for that situation though. I had 2 pairs of goggles to alternate between. What I had to do to dry them out was set them on the clutch cover and drive like that for a while....no bag or goggle case (it just soaked the bag if I left them in there to protect the goggles), just set them in the clutch cover where the bag is supposed to mount and go.

I also bought a new windshield with the removable side shields. I did not install the side shields because I didn't have and torqs bits with me and because I thought the windshield would be fine without them. I noticed (along with being warmer) that there was an annoying noise while sitting down with the new windshield on so I found myself standing up more often than sitting to avoid it.
 

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As I get older (much older) my circulation and tolerance to the cold is getting worse. It's only been in the last couple years that my feet started to get a little chilled. Last year I came across two pair of wool socks I had from L L Bean. I think my mom got them for me years ago. They made a huge difference in my feet staying warm.
I am wearing Baffin boots that I got from R U Outside several years ago. When I do get new boots, I will probably check into that brand again. They have held up well and been very warm for the most part.
 

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Put your cell phone in a can coozie and then inside your inner jacket pocket. No chance of separation from you that way and body heat will help keep it warm. If you need to, put a heat pack in as well. I keep mine in my thought pocket in a coozie and have never had an issue. And you have a coozie for the hotel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good info; guys, thank you. One of the guys I am riding with leant me an older generation pair of 509 Sinisters, and they worked great all day- even breaking trail and playing in deep powder that had me shedding a layer. The only time they fogged; which was rarely, was when I kept them on my face too long while stopped. I tried my wife's X5's on around Christmas time and they fit the helmet good but a bit tight on my nose- that's a price I can pay if they do the job though. Arctic balaclava leaves my face cold around my nose and mouth, but not dangerously so. I'm not sure if there's a better option. Wore two mid layer tops and alternated gloves thru the day which helped. Used a sticky heat pack on the toes of one pair of socks, and another pair over those. Worked really well until the heat pack wore out.

I feel like I'm getting somewhere; learning what works for ME and what doesn't.
 

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Here's what I do for my feet. I have poor circulation as well.. I have a pair of rocky boots that have a removable liner I religiously dry them out every night. For socks I picked up some very light weight socks at gander mountain they are the white with grey toes then I put on a pair of wool socks and my feet stay very warm. It very important to dry your boots out and the end of every days ride
 

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Check out the Klim Everest pants. I have these and a pair of Inferno's. Rode this past weekend in the mid 20's with cabelas base layer, inferno, and then stealth bibs on top. I was sweating more that I care to, but it would be perfect for the teens. As for the Everest pants, they are even heavier, so they would work better around 0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Point taken on boot and gear dryer; also thanks for the tip on the Klim mid pants. What I'm figuring out is that the average mid layer stuff I have just doesn't excel when the weather is COLD, but probably would be just fine at more comfortable temps. This trip I'm on has sort of become my shakedown run, because Ohio or areas close by didn't receive snow for me to test out all my new stuff.
 

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The boot dryer really helps ,I was having the same problem with the Klim arctic balaclava I sewed a piece of fabric off of another balaclava in the opening where it touches your mouth to make it smaller, that helped big time , I'll post you a pic when I get home it's really simple , I have had good luck with the sinister 509s too

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I ended up getting a pair of Klim Adrenaline GTX boots while I was up there at a local dealer; and they are definitely warmer and more sled-oriented, but still a bit chilly in the toes. I'm assuming the proper socks will help in that department, but I swear my feet still feel damp after trudging thru deep snow. Tell me that's just the combination of my sweating feet and cheap Target socks and not the $250 boots that are guaranteed to keep me dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What are your guys' suggestions on mittens? Perhaps I posted it already, but I had borrowed a pair of old leather work mitts one day and threw heat packs in the tip of the mitt, and my fingers were nice and toasty, although sweaty. My SkiDoo Grip gloves worked well (for me) when the temps were around 20+/-; and while I'm glad I had my X-Team leather gloves as a backup pair, I certainly wouldn't purchase them again- I found them to be only marginally warmer than the Grip gloves.
 

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I ended up getting a pair of Klim Adrenaline GTX boots while I was up there at a local dealer; and they are definitely warmer and more sled-oriented, but still a bit chilly in the toes. I'm assuming the proper socks will help in that department, but I swear my feet still feel damp after trudging thru deep snow. Tell me that's just the combination of my sweating feet and cheap Target socks and not the $250 boots that are guaranteed to keep me dry.
Your feet are cold because they are sweating. Cotton socks do not help. Remember, cotton is rotten. Look into smartwool socks. I was skeptical, but now it's the only socks I wear; winter, spring, summer and fall. They have different weights for different conditions. The wool wicks moisture away and keeps you warm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Your feet are cold because they are sweating. Cotton socks do not help. Remember, cotton is rotten. Look into smartwool socks. I was skeptical, but now it's the only socks I wear; winter, spring, summer and fall. They have different weights for different conditions. The wool wicks moisture away and keeps you warm.
I appreciate the input; that's kind of what I figured. My feet would sweat in the old boots as well, but they also seeped in water/moisture, which really worked against me. At one point; I put toe warmer packs in them, and they were useless when my socks got wet. I really do think these Klim boots will do the trick well with the right socks.
 
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