If you are here, you will know where to shop for the best snowmobile with premium quality. Four major manufacturers are competing to provide snowmobile in the market. These brands are Yamaha, Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat, and Polaris.
These are the only four that you can find competing with each other in parts of America, except for a few others that reside mostly outside America. One of them, the Lynx Snowmobile, is also a sister company of Ski-Doo, owned by BRP.
Before, there are many snowmobile brands in the industry, but many have stopped operating for various reasons. These four are the only ones left.
In this article, you will learn not only about these major retailers, but you will also know some other brands that are decent enough to where to buy a snowmobile.
Top 7 Best Snowmobile Brands Reviewed
- 1 #1. Yamaha Motors
- 2 #2. Polaris
- 3 #3. Arctic Cat
- 4 #4. Ski-Doo
- 5 #5. Alpina Snowmobiles
- 6 #6. Taiga Motors
- 7 #7. Lynx Snowmobiles
- 8 It is an Excellent Sport
- 9 You Can Get Into Unexplored Areas
- 10 It Allows You to Experience the Winter
- 11 It Provides the Opportunity to Bond
- 12 It Is Not Difficult to Learn
- 13 Snowmobiles are Affordable
- 14 Snowmobiling Is Healthy
- 15 It Can be an Excellent Mode of Transportation
- 16 Check the Weather
- 17 Be Happy for Every Small Achievement
- 18 Getting Stuck Happens
- 19 You Will Bump Into Obstacles
- 20 Do Not Buy Cheap and Poor Quality Equipment and Gear
- 21 Prepare Before Having Your Next Trip
- 22 Do Not Force Driving Over a Frozen Lake or River
#1. Yamaha Motors
The headquarters of Yamaha Motors that sell snowmobiles are in California, USA. They have been a big player since 1955. You are probably already aware of this brand because of the numerous products they offer.
Yamaha started as Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. They were initially a piano and organ manufacturer. In 1955, that was when the Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd came into the picture, which was Yamaha’s motorcycle division.
This company has many snowmobile models to offer and has already proven themselves when it comes to quality. That is why it is no wonder why they are one of the major retailers. Knowing that your snowmobile came from Yamaha, you are sure that it can get through the snow without any problems.
They sell snowmobiles under the Trail, Mountain, Crossover, Mountain, 2-Up Touring and Utility, and Youth categories.
Besides snowmobiles, people also trust this brand for their motorcycles, outboard motors, scooters, and even musical instruments. They even sell parts and accessories.
According to Yamaha, they work based on three ideas that make up its philosophy: corporate mission, management principles, and action guidelines.
The company’s corporate mission is to become a company that creates kando or delight and satisfaction.
Their management principles are to create value beyond the customer’s expectations, establish a working environment that builds self-esteem, and become socially responsible.
Their action guidelines are: to act fast, to welcome challenges, and to persist.
The headquarters of Polaris is in Minnesota and has been in the industry for more than 60 years. This company started as a mechanical store until they became one of the four key players in the Snowmobile industry.
According to Polaris, adventure and passion are what millions of people think about their brand. Although it is an exaggeration, you can see that it is true because of their quality.
Polaris came into the industry in 1965. They currently own 30 more brands that sell commercial, electric, and military vehicles to those who need them.
They have a collection of snowmobile models in-demand in the industry because of quality and reliability. To accommodate people’s various demands, they branched out into Polaris Snowmobiles and Polaris Timbersled, focusing on providing snow bikes.
According to Polaris, they live under the “best people, best team” principle. It means that the brand commits itself to help their employees reach their full potential by developing their skills.
#3. Arctic Cat
The Arctic Cat is also from Minnesota and has been in the industry since 1962. They continuously innovate their products until the brand becomes one of the major retailers that sell snowmobiles worldwide.
It all started when Edgar Heteen built the Arctic Cat in 1962. This man was a former employee in Polaris.
The name of Arctic Cat at the time was Polar Manufacturing. In 1996, Arctco, a new company that saved the Arctic Cat from bankruptcy, changed its name into Arctic Cat.
It was in 2017 when Textron acquired the Arctic Cat.
Despite its global success, the Arctic Cat team consists of American workers who work under American ethics, making their products one of the most reliable in the snowmobiling industry.
The brand claims that their precision-engineered machines are what make the brand stand out among the others. Only in 2020, the company announced that they would start selling ATVs and side-by-sides, the Arctic Cat’s original products.
Ski-Doo is only one of the brands owned by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). BRP has another snowmobile brand, the Lynx Snowmobile, but the Ski-Doo is more popular and a part of America’s major retailers.
BRP has their headquarters in Canada, but they also have facilities in Finland, Australia, the USA, and Mexico. What is impressive about BRP is their continuous innovation on their various products, not only on snowmobiles but also on their other recreational vehicles.
The brand name Ski-Doo resulted from a funny typographical error on the release of their first brochure. The title should be Ski-Dog because BRP wanted this snowmobile to replace the dog sled used by hunters.
However, the typographical error was not bad after all, because it sparked the interest of people.
According to Ski-Doo, people know them through creativity and quality. They have reached various places in the world, not only in Europe and America but also the Asia-Pacific. They say that passion and innovation are the core of their dedication.
BRP’s Ski-Doo brand focuses on snowmobiles. Aside from the sled, they also sell snowmobile gear and accessories.
If you are looking for another snowmobile brand that is not one of America’s major retailers, The Alpina Snowmobiles is worth considering. This brand is a European manufacturer. Its headquarters is in Vicenza, Italy.
Their focus is not only on the use of technology for manufacturing their snowmobiles but also on their products’ effect on the environment. They say that they continually invest in new resources to ensure that their products are high-quality and dependable.
They say that their snowmobiles are perfect in driving the flat or rough trails of the Rocky Mountains.
Aside from snowmobiles, they also sell riding gear.
#6. Taiga Motors
Taiga Motors is also worth considering. Even though they are not one of the big players, this brand had a considerable contribution to snowmobiling. This brand was the first one to create an electric snowmobile.
This brand is new in the industry. They only came into the picture in 2015 when a group of engineers founded it. They claim that their products, watercraft, off-road vehicles, and snowmobiles can drive through various areas, whether water or soil.
Taiga Motors is an expert when it comes to electric technology. That is why it is no wonder why they are the brand that innovated the electric snowmobile. They claim that their creation outperforms the high-performance engines in the industry that also cause pollution.
Taiga Motors states that they are meticulous in the manufacturing of their products. They also regard the cost, quality, performance, and weight of their items.
#7. Lynx Snowmobiles
As mentioned, Lynx Snowmobiles is another brand owned by BRP. If you cannot find the snowmobile you want among the major players, you can probably find them at Lynx Snowmobiles.
Their snowmobiles are almost the same as Ski-Doo, with only a few differences. One of them is the use of the rear suspension Pauli Piippola (PPS), which is better in handling harsher conditions than the typical ones used by Ski-Doo.
Lynx sells their snowmobiles under the Crossover, Utility, Deep Snow Sport, and Sports categories.
Facts About the Snowmobile Industry
When it comes to snowmobiling, four brands are significant players in the industry: the Arctic Cat, Polaris, Yamaha, and BRP. There are more than 120,000 snowmobiles purchased internationally only as of 2020. The major countries that use them are the United States, Canada, Europe, and Russia.
More than 1.1 million registered snowmobiles in the United States and 600,000 in Canada because of its popularity.
The United States contributes around 26 billion annually. Canada is 9.3 billion, while Europe and Russia are 5 billion. Snowmobiling also helps produce more than 100,000 jobs in North America, focusing on manufacturing, tourism, and dealership.
As for the snowmobilers’ data, most of them are around 45 years old. They ride their engines for approximately more than 1,000 miles per more than 1,700 kilometers in North America.
Due to this sport’s popularity, average snowmobilers spend 2,000 to 3,000 USD per year and even give around 3 million for charity.
Internationally, there are more than 3,000 clubs for it, and 43 registered non-profit organizations represent snowmobilers in the areas where snowmobiling is popular.
Many snowmobilers love this activity by using it as a way to exercise and become closer to nature.
Because of snowmobiling popularity, it is no wonder why many people feel interested in trying this activity as a sport, transport, or recreation. It is also not surprising that the government will regulate its use by requiring a driver’s license.
Because of this, you should know if you need to register and procure a driver’s license before buying a snowmobile from a prestigious brand.
The federal law commonly regulates the utilization of snowmobiles in national parks.
There are roads dedicated to snowmobiling. You cannot use this engine off-road in National Parks, such as the Rocky Mountain.
Aside from that, various brands promote snowmobiling safety. They do it by handing brochures, posters, DVDs, and other marketing collaterals to promote snowmobiling safety for free.
That is why snowmobiling is an activity that also requires responsibility: to get your license if needed, to observe the law, and to keep safe all the time. These are what you should follow before buying a snowmobile from various brands to become a responsible snowmobiler.
Benefits of Snowmobiling
Now that you know your responsibility as a new snowmobiler, you should also learn what other benefits you can get.
It is an Excellent Sport
If you are looking for a new sport to explore and love the winter and snow chills, you should try your hand at snowmobiling. It can be a dangerous sport, but if the reason you are buying one of the best brands is to become one of the athletes, you need practice, but it can be possible.
Most people frequently use snowmobiles for recreational driving and touring, but other people are creative or courageous enough to do a dangerous heart-stopping sport out of it. If you plan to buy from a prestigious brand for this purpose, make sure to train first.
If you become an expert athlete, you can compete in one of the two main events: the HillCross and the SnoCross.
You Can Get Into Unexplored Areas
Snowmobiles are smaller than trucks and cars. Also, there are limits on how much snow you can travel with those vehicles. Because of this, getting into narrow and snowy areas can be difficult, which is only possible when you ride a snowmobile.
It Allows You to Experience the Winter
Although winters can be challenging at times, there are priceless instances when you can enjoy its beauty. Riding on a snowmobile allows you to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings during the winter.
It Provides the Opportunity to Bond
Whether your family loves snowmobiling or your friends love this activity, you can use it as a bonding opportunity.
Through snowmobiling, you can take your kids away from the frequent use of gadgets. You can spend some quality time with them through snowmobiling, which can also be an excellent exercise for them.
It allows you to meet new people. As mentioned, there are more than 3,000 snowmobile clubs where you can join.
It Is Not Difficult to Learn
If you have not operated a snowmobile before, you probably think that it is daunting. However, compared to other vehicles, such as cars or trucks, snowmobiles are a lot easier to operate, even your kids can use it.
Snowmobiles are Affordable
Compared to cars and other vehicles, snowmobiles are more affordable. You only need to spend a small amount of money. If you cannot afford to buy one, you can go for rentals.
With it, you can enjoy hours of fun without spending a lot.
Snowmobiling Is Healthy
It can be surprising, but snowmobiling is healthy. It is an excellent physical and mental workout. If you think that snowmobiling is a passive activity that only requires you to sit and drive, you are wrong.
To operate a snowmobile, you need to have a strong core and flexibility to maneuver the trails’ obstacles.
According to studies, people can burn an average of 238 calories per hour by doing this activity. It is also an excellent way to combat the adverse effects of sun deprivation and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
It Can be an Excellent Mode of Transportation
Wintertime can be problematic when you cannot drive because of the thick snow on the road. It can worsen if you live in snowy areas where you cannot go through a car or truck. The good thing is that you can use a snowmobile as a mode of transportation.
In the isolated communities in some parts of North America, snowmobiles are the famous mode of transportation. Snowmobiles are economical and functional that can help the North Americans drive through the harsh weather in their place.
Aside from dog sledding or snowshoeing, the snowmobile provides a better way to travel longer distances, helping when hunting, mining, or foresting. Even the cops can use snowmobiles to travel snowy places because of its practicality.
What You Need to Know About Snowmobiling
If you feel interested in knowing the best snowmobile brands, you will probably purchase one to try it or use it for various purposes. Before heading out to shop one of the best brands, there are some pointers that you must know.
Snowmobiling is not just about having fun or having an excellent model to flaunt. Snowmobiling requires responsibilities. As mentioned, you need to register and to get a license if you live in the area where these are the requirements. Aside from these, you should also know some advice before buying from one of the famous brands.
Although it is possible to learn how to ride it by the book, YouTube, or other means, there is some untold advice that you must know.
Check the Weather
Accidents can happen, but you can eliminate risk by checking the weather and road conditions. If it is going to be dangerous, do not risk going out.
If you must go out, you need to inform your loved ones about your destination, the road you will take, and your departure time. It is also crucial to use equipment that will allow your loved ones to know your location.
If it is possible, have someone to accompany you. Snowmobiles usually can accommodate up to two people.
Be Happy for Every Small Achievement
If the reason you are buying a snowmobile from one of the prestigious brands is to join the HillCross or SnoCross someday, you need to be patient, especially if you are a beginner. You need to train, especially considering the dangers of this sport. Build your skill step by step until you become an expert athlete.
While you are on your way, celebrate every small achievement that you might encounter. It will build your confidence and patience.
Getting Stuck Happens
Even if you know how to drive a snowmobile, it does not mean that there is no way you will get stuck in some areas. If you are still on your training on becoming a driver, learn how to get unstuck when that terrible incident happens. If you already know how to drive, do not be overconfident.
Also, if you happen to come across someone who gets stuck, do not hesitate to help. If you are in that situation, you will also want to receive help.
You Will Bump Into Obstacles
Like how you should expect that your snowmobile will get stuck at one point in your life, you should also expect to bump into trees and other obstacles. Please do not be hard on yourself when you happen to bump into several of them and tell yourself that you are a terrible driver.
Remember that people use snowmobiles as the most practical mode of transport in narrow, snowy areas. That is why you should also expect that you need to maneuver from many trees and rocks, and there are also instances that you will bump into them.
Do Not Buy Cheap and Poor Quality Equipment and Gear
Snowmobiles are cheaper than other vehicles, but it does not mean that you will never spend some money at all. Although snowmobiles are the crucial equipment that you should have, it does not mean that you can only care less for your other equipment and gear.
Do not jeopardize your safety with cheap goggles that turn foggy in minutes and to that jacket lying around your laundry bin. Make sure to invest in equipment and gear that are functional enough to keep you safe. That is why doing your research is crucial before buying your snowmobile gear and equipment.
Prepare Before Having Your Next Trip
Ensure that you have all the equipment you need before going into the middle of a snowy forest. It includes a shove, goggles, snow mask, snacks, flashlights, and other essentials. Do not forget to check to see if your snowmobile has enough fuel.
Getting stuck is inevitable, but you do not want an empty fuel to cause it, especially if you are in the middle of the forest or mountain.
Do Not Force Driving Over a Frozen Lake or River
Driving over frozen water provides less traction. It will be worse if the water is only top-frozen because you might fall into it.
The possible reason you feel interested in knowing the best snowmobile brands is that you plan to purchase one. You are probably looking for a replacement for your old vintage model, or you are a beginner who aspires to become a snowmobile athlete. Whatever the reason is, you are here because you want to know the possible resource where you can buy a premium snowmobile.
Knowing the best brands is helpful when you are looking for a reliable snowmobile to drive. Buying from reputable brands lessens the risk of acquiring poor-performing sleds.
However, having the best snowmobile does not mean that you can feel satisfied driving it. Owning and operating a snowmobile requires responsibilities and preparations.
It includes registration and application for a driver’s license. Depending on your location, you should know the law that covers snowmobiling and adhere to it.
Besides that, you should also be responsible for your safety by watching weather reports, knowing road conditions, maintaining your snowmobile, etc.