Have you been thinking about taking an thrilling atv adventure, but aren’t sure what to wear? Having the proper atv gear and attire is crucial for an enjoyable and safe atv trip.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about choosing the right clothes and protective equipment for atv riding. We’ll cover:
- Why proper riding gear is so important for your safety and comfort
- Must-have items like helmets, gloves, boots and goggles
- How to choose durable and protective jackets, pants and shirts
- What features to look for in cold and hot weather atv apparel
- Key factors for selecting the best fabrics and materials
- Safety considerations for passengers and kids
- Tips for packing your essential gear for atv trips
Follow these tips so you can hit the trails fully prepared and outfitted for an epic off-roading excursion!
Table of Contents
Why Proper Riding Gear is Crucial for ATV Safety and Comfort?
When you’re bouncing over rough and rocky terrain on your atv, the right gear will keep you safer and make the hours spent on your vehicle a lot more comfortable. Good atv clothing protects you from common hazards like:
- Sunburn and scraped skin from brush and branches
- Debris kicked up from the wheels
- Cuts or scrapes if you take a tumble
- Fatigue and soreness from vibration and jostling
Rugged adventure gear also helps guard you from the elements while riding – whether that’s cold winds, drenching rain, or sweltering heat and sun.
And the proper footwear, gloves, eyewear and helmets defend your extremities from scrapes, impacts and flying grit during your off-road adventure.
So don’t just throw on any old t-shirt, shorts and sneakers. Investing in well-chosen atv gear tailored for riding will make your experience much more enjoyable!
Helmets are a Must for ATV Riding
A durable helmet is absolutely essential safety gear for atv riding. According to a 2017 study, wearing a helmet while on an atv can reduce your risk of dying from a head injury by 42%.
In addition to protecting your face and skull from traumatic impacts if you crash, a good atv helmet also:
- Shields your eyes from dust, dirt and debris
- Provides ventilation to keep your head cool
- Offers sun protection from harmful UV rays
- Allows space for goggles and glasses
When shopping for an atv helmet, look for models designed specifically for off-road use. These feature extended chin and visor protection, plus extra durability. Popular brands like Shoei, Fox Racing, Fly Racing and Bell make quality options.
Make sure to pick the right size helmet for a snug and comfortable fit. It should sit level on your head and not shift around. Adjustable straps and removable lining allow you to customize the fit.
How do helmets protect you while ATV riding?
Helmets are life-saving pieces of safety gear because they protect your head on multiple fronts:
Impact absorption – The hard outer shell distributes and absorbs the force of collision. Inner EPS foam compress and cushions your head upon impact.
Prevent penetration – The hard shell acts as a barrier to prevent sharp objects from penetrating to your head.
Stability and balance – Helmet design cradles and stabilizes your head and neck while riding over rough terrain. This prevents dangerous shakes, twists or violent movement of the head.
Visibility and vision – Well-designed helmets maintain your field of view and allow integration of goggles, glasses, and face shields.
Wearing the right helmet the correct way significantly reduces your risk of sustaining a traumatic or deadly head injury while atv riding. So never ride without one!
Gloves Guard Your Hands During ATV Rides
Your hands are constantly working while riding an atv – handling the bars, operating the throttle, braking, clutching, gripping cargo racks. So a pair of tough, reinforced gloves is a must to protect your hands from:
- Blisters and calluses
- Cuts, scrapes and punctures
- Sunburn and abrasions
- Impacts if you crash
- Fatigue and soreness during long rides
Fingerless gloves allow better feel and dexterity for operating controls. But full-fingered gloves provide more protection. Look for ATV gloves made of durable materials like leather, nylon, microfiber, or Kevlar.
Key features to look for include:
- Reinforced palm padding
- Knuckle protection
- Pre-curved design
- Touchscreen fingertips
- Moisture wicking and ventilation
Upgrade to more insulated winter gloves for riding in colder conditions. And always inspect your gloves for holes or tears after each ride.
What features should you look for in ATV riding gloves?
- Reinforced palms – Look for extra leather or rubber layers to resist abrasion and impacts from the handlebars.
- Wrist closures – Elastic, Velcro and snap closures secure the gloves firmly on your hands for safety.
- Knuckle protection – Hard shell, foam or rubber guards prevent injury to your knuckles if you strike objects.
- Dexterity – Dexterous materials and pre-curved design allow comfortable grip and braking control.
- Ventilation – Perforated panels, mesh fabric and moisture wicking materials keep your hands cool and dry inside.
- Touchscreen tips – Conductive fingertips let you easily use mobile devices without removing gloves.
- Fit – Try on different sizes for snug but comfortable fit. The gloves shouldn’t slip off your hands while riding.
Eye Protection is Vital for ATV Riding
Quality goggles or shatter-resistant sunglasses are a must when atv riding. They protect your vulnerable eyes from:
- Dust, dirt, sand debris
- Wind, bugs, and foliage
- UV rays from the sun
- Tree branches and brush
- Rocky impacts and projectiles
Look for goggles with anti-fog coatings so your vision doesn’t get obscured. Make sure they provide 100% UV protection and have vented foam for comfort. Clear lenses are best for heavily wooded areas or riding at night.
If you wear prescription glasses, look for goggles that fit over them comfortably. You can also get prescription goggles or riding glasses made.
A helmet face shield can also protect your eyes, but goggles provide better airflow and might be more comfortable. Don’t ride your atv without protecting your peepers!
Why goggles or riding glasses are a must-have
Good goggles or sunglasses are essential gear for ATV riding because:
- They shield your eyes from flying debris that can scratch your corneas or even blind you.
- Tinted and polarized lenses reduce glare and improve definition on the trail. This allows you to see terrain details better.
- The resilient polycarbonate lenses resist impact and won’t shatter.
- Foam lining seals out dust that can really irritate your eyes at speed.
- Anti-fog technology keeps your vision clear even when exerting yourself.
- 100% UV protection shields your eyes from sun damage and cancer risk.
- Vents allow airflow so lenses don’t get steamy.
Don’t take chances with your vision – invest in quality eyewear designed specifically for motorsports use.
Durable and Protective Jackets for ATV Riding
A purpose-built off-road motorcycle jacket is recommended for atv riding. You want durable, abrasion-resistant outer material like leather, textile, or Kevlar. This prevents:
- Road rash from spills
- Injuries from brush and thorns
- Wind and debris irritation
The jacket should fully cover your arms and torso. Look for models with removable inner liners so you can adjust for weather conditions. Hard shell chest, shoulder, elbow and back armor provide impact protection.
Vented zips allow airflow when it’s hot. For cold weather riding, a jacket with a waterproof outer layer and inner fleece lining is ideal. Always go for high visibility color options too.
Upgrade to a motorcycle-specific back protector for maximum impact protection. And inspect your jacket for rips or tears after each ride. Stay safe and comfortable on the trails with a good ATV riding jacket.
Key features to consider when choosing an ATV riding jacket
- Abrasion protection – Look for leather, Kevlar or ballistic nylon construction that can withstand scrapes.
- Weather protection – Waterproof and breathable membranes, along with good ventilation help keep you dry and cool.
- Armor – Shoulder, elbow and spine protectors shield bony areas from hard impacts.
- Comfort – Pre-curved sleeves allow a comfortable riding position and range of movement.
- Visibility – Bright colors like orange, yellow or red make you stand out. Reflective panels are a plus.
- Fit – It should have a snug but comfortable fit without restricting movement. Adjustable straps help get a custom fit.
- Extras – Convenient pockets, vents, removable liners and ability to attach a hydration pack are nice bonuses.
Sturdy Off-Road Motorcycle Boots for ATV Riding
Rugged boots specially designed for off-road motorcycling provide the best protection and grip when atv riding. Avoid flimsy sneakers or hiking boots that can’t withstand the hazards of the trails.
Quality motorcycle boots have:
- Reinforced ankle support
- Oil and slip resistant soles
- Molded shin, toe and heel protection
- Waterproof membranes for dry feet
The tall leather or textile shaft fully covers your ankle and lower leg. Make sure to break them in before the ride.
Look for lugged rubber soles with deep treads for traction and stability on loose dirt and rocks. Toe and heel caps guard against crushing injuries.
In cold weather, insulated and GoreTex-lined models help keep your feet warm and dry. Proper socks that wick moisture also help.
Don’t let flimsy footwear ruin your off-roading excursion. Invest in sturdy motorcycle boots tailored for riding rugged trails.
Why proper footwear is important for riding ATVs and UTVs
- Reinforced construction protects feet from crushing injuries or fractures.
- Oil/slip-resistant soles maintain stability and traction on uneven terrain.
- Waterproofing blocks mud, streams and rain from soaking your feet.
- Hard shells, caps and plates prevent direct impacts to feet.
- High-cut design provides ankle stability and prevents sprains.
- Cushioned soles reduce vibrations and fatigue during long rides.
- Thick lugged treads give maximum grip on loose dirt, rocks, hills and inclines.
Poor footwear while ATV riding can lead to injury and tragedy. Don’t gamble with cheap sneakers or work boots – get high-performance over-the-ankle motorcycle boots.
Long Pants and Rugged Jeans Protect Your Legs
Durable pants or jeans that fully cover your legs are recommended for atv riding. Avoid shorts, which leave your skin vulnerable. Quality off-road pants have:
- Abrasion-resistant fabrics like Kevlar
- Reinforced knees and seat
- Pre-curved design for riding comfort
- Zippered legs for putting them on over boots
The thick fabric protects your legs from scratches, debris and thorns. Look for waterproof and breatheable materials to stay dry in all conditions.
For hot weather, vented pants help keep you cool. Insulated winter motorcycle pants maintain warmth in colder climates.
Motorcycle jeans offer everyday wearability while still being reinforced in key areas. Look for spandex or elastane blends so they move with you.
Well-chosen riding pants can really enhance comfort, prevent injuries, and hold up to rugged terrain and crashes. Don’t ride your quad or side-by-side without them!
How the right pants keep you safer and more comfortable
Quality off-road riding pants protect your legs because:
- Abrasion-resistant fabrics prevent painful road rash from spills or brush.
- Insulation blocks wind-chill and waterproofing resists rain soaking through.
- Articulated knees reinforced with armor allow flexibility while shielding joints.
- Increased coverage protects skin from debris, thorns and flying grit.
- Moisture-wicking and ventilated fabrics prevent overheating and cool you down.
- Pre-curved design allows natural riding position without binding or restriction.
- Hip and tailbone pads absorb impacts in common crash zones.
Don’t risk shredded skin or avoidable injury by riding in shorts or regular jeans. Invest in pants purpose-built for off-road motorcycling.
Don’t Ride ATVs in Shorts or Short Sleeves
It can be tempting to wear shorts, t-shirts and tank tops on hot days. But exposed skin is extremely hazardous when riding atvs and side-by-sides. Even minor spills or brush can cause:
- Painful road rash
- Severe abrasions
- Deep lacerations
- Nasty gashes
Without the protection of durable pants, long sleeves, and gloves, a simple fall can leave you with debilitating injuries. You have no armor against hazards like:
- Thorns, brush and timber
- Kicked up rocks and gravel
- Spinning wheels and drive components
Not to mention the risks of sunburn, dehydration, and environmental exposures.
So always wear pants and long sleeves when riding your atv. Choose lightweight, breatheable fabrics if it’s hot. Stay covered up to avoid preventable injuries and tragedies.
Dress for the Weather When Riding ATVs
The weather conditions during your ride will dictate the best clothing choices:
Cold weather – Layer with thermal underwear, mid-layers, and weatherproof jackets and pants. A neck warmer, balaclava, and insulated gloves and socks also help retain warmth. Choose gear with good ventilation so you don’t overheat once moving.
Hot weather – Lightweight, breatheable mesh jackets and pants allow maximum airflow while still providing abrasion protection. Vents and hydration packs help you stay cool. Use natural fibers that wick moisture from your skin. Apply sunscreen to prevent burning.
Rainy weather – Waterproof jackets, pants, gloves and boots help keep you dry. Look for taped seams and rain-proof zips. Visibility is crucial in fog and rain – wear bright colors and reflective elements. Keep goggles clear with anti-fog treatment.
Dressing properly for the conditions will keep you riding comfortably and injury-free in any weather. Don’t let the weather ruin your atv adventure!
Choose the Right Fabrics for ATV Riding Outfits
The ideal materials for atv riding gear include:
Leather – Offers excellent abrasion resistance. Cowhide, kangaroo, goatskin and buffalo hide are common. Perforations aid ventilation. Can get hot though.
Textile – Synthetic fibers like Cordura, Kevlar and Ballistic Nylon resist tearing while being lightweight and breatheable. Often more affordable too.
Denim – Motorcycle jeans use reinforced denim blends that withstand slides and crashes better than regular jeans. Spandex added improves comfort.
Synthetic leather – PU and PVC coated fabrics offer leather-like durability at a lower cost. However, less protective than real hides.
Carbon fiber – Lightweight carbon weave provides very tough protection from abrasion and impacts. Often used in gloves and armor.
The ideal gear combines multiple fabrics to balance protection, comfort, ventilation, weatherproofing and cost. Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to materials.
Safety Gear for ATV Passengers and Kids
If you ever carry passengers on your atv – especially kids – make sure they are wearing the same protective gear as the driver. This includes:
- DOT certified helmet in the proper size
- Durable jacket and pants
- Tough gloves
- Over-the-ankle boots
- Protective eyewear
Children should wear a neck brace to avoid injury in a crash. Reduce speed with passengers on board. Consider an aftermarket roll cage for side-by-sides as well.
In addition, kids under 16 often lack the strength, experience and judgment to operate adult-sized ATVs safely. Stick to child-sized, age-appropriate models with less power and speed.
Never allow passengers without safety gear. And avoid riding double on single-rider ATVs to reduce risk of injury. Their safety depends on you!
Packing the Right Gear for an ATV Adventure
If you’re embarking on a multi-day atv riding trip, careful packing is a must:
- Bring multiple pairs of eyewear in case of loss or damage
- Pack clothing layers you can add or shed as conditions change
- Include wet weather gear and cold weather gear even if not forecasted
- Bring tools, spare parts, first aid kit and other essentials
- Choose luggage that secures tightly to your vehicle
- Waterproof your gear or pack in waterproof bags
- Check all gear condition before departing and make repairs
Having backup clothing, rain protection at the ready, and the right tools ensures you can handle any surprises on the long haul.
Test and break-in new gear before your trip so you know it’s up for the journey. Proper preparation makes multi-day rides safe and successful.
The Final Thoughts
Hitting the trails on an ATV or UTV can be an incredibly fun and exciting adventure. But the rugged terrain also brings risks that make wearing the proper gear absolutely essential. Follow this complete guide to outfit yourself with tough, specialized clothing and protective equipment purpose-built for off-road riding. Investing in good helmets, eyewear, gloves, boots, jackets and pants will help ensure your next ATV outing is safe, comfortable and unforgettable for all the right reasons.
By choosing gear designed specifically for motorsports use, you gain critical protection against hazards like impacts, abrasions, weather and debris. No matter where your riding takes you, dressing for the conditions in durable, high-performance gear is the best way to maximize trail thrills while minimizing risks. So use this advice to gear up properly before hitting the mud, dirt, hills and trails on your next ATV getaway!