I have had the privilege of testing clothing and accessories for over 15 years in the wonderful world of snowmobiling, but I had not yet had the chance to put the Klim company to the test. With this opportunity for 2020, I wasn’t going to miss out and thus validate the manufacturer’s reputation in the world of snowmobile clothing and accessories. While talking with representatives from Klim’s head office in Idaho, we took the time to analyze the best type of clothing on which I could focus my testing. My goal was to have versatile clothing and accessories that would allow me to do both trail and off-trail riding in an area where temperatures as low as -30 C are often encountered. This is no small feat, because most of the time, you choose clothes with little insulation when you go off-trail riding, and the opposite is true when on trails. After a few conversations, the Klim team understood my circumstances and sent me what I needed to make the most of the Quebec winter. In order to have an all-round Klim experience, the American manufacturer made sure that I was dressed from head to toe, except for the socks! I mention it here because it is one of the key elements aside from the boots to ensure good “management” of humidity. However, I purchased these from a local retailer to enjoy the full Klim experience. That said, my analysis is more of a personal appreciation of the performance of the garments and accessories I try on rather than a study of their technical compositions. My belief is that even though we have a plethora of technologies with innovative names, it’s the experience for the snowmobiler that matters, the effectiveness of the clothing and accessories. The trial thus consists of a two-piece snowsuit, bodysuit, Snowcross boots and helmet, goggles and finally, pairs of gloves.
Aggressor Underwear 3.0
Before you even put on your snowsuit, it is important to make sure that the layer that is in direct contact with your body is the right one. All too often, many snowmobilers purchase very good snowsuits but neglect this vital garment. The snowmobiler’s worst enemy is not the cold, but the humidity. However, it is essential to have underwear that retains heat, but more importantly, that evacuates moisture. The Aggressor 3.0 is Klim’s warmest undergarment with moisture-evacuating properties. In addition to being warm, the Aggressor 3.0 offers a snug yet comfortable fit, preventing you from feeling trapped in the garment. It is a very comfortable undergarment to wear in freezing temperatures if you are not too active. However, if you are a snowmobiler who mostly does off-trail riding, it will probably be too hot for you and you will have to opt for versions 2.0 or 1.0, which are better suited for the more sports-oriented riders.
Crafted in a classic black colour, Klim’s Keweenan has a few 3M fluorescent stripes for evening visibility, as well as Klim’s yellow logos that are neatly arranged on the two pieces of clothing. The design and fit are very nice, and the suit is well adjusted to my size and my height while being comfortable. At 6 feet and 185 pounds, the pants and jacket are “Large,” which is perfect for me and even gives me room to wear a “tek jacket” if needed. When you put on the pants and jacket, you quickly notice the quality of the workmanship. As far as the zippers are concerned, I like the quality of as well as the velcro flaps, which are relatively easy to use, even with gloves on. The pants are made up of two sections that are joined by a zipper at the waist. This allows the top section to be removed in warmer spells. The Thinsulate insulation of the pants varies between 100 and 200 grams depending on the body parts. As for the jacket, I really like the fleece lining, which also comes off with a zipper. This widens the range of coverage in terms of warmth and makes the garment more versatile. The adjustments to the wrists and neck are well done to cut off air circulation without feeling suffocated, which bothers me with some garment models. On the waterproof side, Keweenan is effective during periods of rain or ice, as the Gore-Tex membrane keeps the rider dry for a very long time. Thanks to its predominantly 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, I would rate Keweenan at a 3.5 on a scale of 5 when it comes to heat. It’s a very good compromise for those who want to go off the trail, while at the same time having a certain level of warmth.
Adrenaline GTX Boots
Snowmobile boots are a very important piece of equipment for me. Both for comfort, protection against the cold, and ease of movement on the vehicle. The Adrenaline GTX boots have a monolithic design, which means that the lining is integrated into the boot so it cannot be taken out to dry. For me, it’s something I don’t generally appreciate because if you have a case where the boot is really wet (e.g. slush episodes), it might take longer to dry compared to boots where you can separate the lining. Also, the thin layer of air between the lining and the boot naturally creates additional insulation. That said, the boot is comfortable even if it’s rigid, as it’s designed to withstand the harsh realities of off-trail riding, such as rubbing against the grips of the footboards. Something worth mentioning is the smooth design of the inside of the boot’s foot, which minimizes the potential for catching. The fact that it is relatively narrow on the outside makes it easier to move quickly. Naturally, these are not the warmest boots in the industry, but they still perform well in cold weather with 600 grams of insulation and the inherent water resistance of the Gore-Tex membrane. The lacing system is classic and allows a more adapted adjustment according to the shape of the pilot’s foot and ankle.
F3 Helmet and Oculus Goggles
In addition to its very dynamic colours, I really appreciated the comfort of the Klim F3 helmet. It’s one of the most ventilated helmets I’ve ever tried, which is ideal for trail riding to get the humidity out as quickly as possible. However, this ventilation limits its use in freezing weather. Also, Klim’s Arctic Balaklava is required to exploit the potential of this Snowcross helmet fully. With a relatively lightweight, I didn’t feel tired after several hours of use. As for the Oculus goggles, they do a good job in terms of ventilation because I didn’t experience any fogging episodes. The lens on a light blue background offers good visibility during the day as well as at night. However, I find the viewing angle on the sides a little narrow compared to other models I have tested in the past.
PowerXross and Klimate Gauntlet Gloves
When it comes to gloves, Klim had a good idea to cover the spectrum of my needs … offer me two pairs! It makes sense because when you move around a lot on the snowmobile, you need a lighter, more agile glove. In addition to generating a lot of heat while moving, you want to have increased dexterity as offered by the PowerXross gloves. Water-resistant, the gloves have a light 100-gram insulation and use Core-Grip technology on the inside of the hand. After a few hours of fun, and when it’s time to head back home, you quickly feel the cold when you have several kilometres to go. In this case, Klimate Gauntlet gloves become essential to stay warm, with over 150 grams of Thinsulate insulation. Just like when you’re riding on the trails on colder days, these are gloves that can protect the rider much better. They are also water-resistant, but you still need to use the heated handles in very cold weather if you don’t have hand protection (e.g. low windshield). In addition to their qualities in cold temperatures, they are very supple and comfortable, which I appreciate a lot about this model.