Being an adventurer who enjoys off-roading on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), you should focus on wearing proper protective gear while riding.
Unfortunately, the deaths of the ATV riders over more than 40 years have significantly increased from 9 percent in 1982 to 47 percent as of 2019, which is undoubtedly shocking.
It’s essential to prioritize your safety by wearing a helmet, boots, riding suit, gloves, protective goggles, and other safety gear for yourself and your loved ones.
The following articles discuss the must-have protective gears you should wear while riding an ATV.
Essential Protective Gears to Wear During ATV Riding
Proper protective gear makes your ATV ride enjoyable, fun, worry-free, and safer. Of course, none of us can ensure absolute or 100 percent protection. Nonetheless, you can make your best effort to minimize the chances of injuries.
We have compiled a list of all the essential safety gear you must wear to keep safe while riding an ATV from dirt, branches, flying debris, and bumps.
In addition to wearing the following protective gear, you can wear jeans or long pants and a long sleeve shirt to protect your skin from mud, dirt, debris, and sunburn. Lastly, don’t forget to put on sunscreen before riding an ATV.
Dirt bike or ATV riding, you must never forget to wear a premium-quality and well-fitted helmet to protect your head. Head injuries are the most common yet severe injury that people suffer from falling off or crashing the ATV.
It doesn’t matter whether you ride fast or slow, always wear a helmet. A rule of thumb is to select an ATV helmet that fulfills the safety standards set by the US Department of Transportation (DoT).
Generally, the helmets come with a face shield. However, if the helmet doesn’t include one, you must buy separate weather-proof and shatter-proof goggles.
You must not compromise your safety by buying some cheap and lightweight helmets. Instead, it’s recommended to look for the following features while buying a durable helmet:
- Chin guard
- A slot for goggles
- Padding around the head
You can find all kinds of helmets made of metal, aluminum, hard plastic, and steel. In addition, you can look for lightweight yet sturdy that offer a comfortable fitting.
Lastly, don’t go big while buying a helmet, as an oversized helmet can obstruct your vision range.
Regular sneakers or sports shoes don’t protect your feet, especially during crashes. For footwear, we recommend you buy weather-resistant over-the-ankle boots to ensure the following benefits:
- Traction while riding an ATV
- Feet and ankle protection
- Additional support and balance
- Comfortable fitting
The durable riding boots feature ankle padding, good-quality buckles, toe guard, and soles with grip. In addition, you can buy the exclusively-designed ATV boots that offer additional leg protection if you have enough budget.
You can select between thick textile and leather boots to wear while riding an ATV. For instance, textile boots ensure durability; however, they are costly. Leather shoes are relatively affordable. No matter whichever shoes you select, don’t compromise on weatherproofing.
Also, buying heavyweight boots for more than 2.5 pounds can make your feet uncomfortable.
Lastly, you should wear thick, high, and breathable socks to prevent sweating and protect your skin from dust and dirt.
We highly discourage you from wearing tank tops, shorts, and flip-flops to keep yourself comfortable while riding ATV.
On the contrary, a riding suit prevents bruises if you suddenly fall from the ATV. It also enhances your protection against flying dirt, debris, and branches during ATV riding.
One of the most significant features of a good-quality riding jacket is proper ventilation, moisture-wicking, water resistance, and, most importantly, freedom of movement.
Furthermore, good-quality ATV pants are rubber cloth, textile, and leather. Similarly, keeping yourself warm and dry is a perfect choice to wear while riding an ATV during cold weather.
Lucky for you, many advanced riding pants include an additional layer that you can remove in hot summer, which is excellent.
Gripping the handlebars and steering wheels leads to chafing and blisters on your hands. It’s best to wear flexible and moisture-wicking riding gloves to protect your hands from debris and small airborne stones.
Not only that, but the riding gloves come in very handy to prevent bruises if you accidentally fall on the ground. Many riders prevent landing with the head; instead, they land on their hands to protect other body parts.
The gloves featuring independent sections for the fingers guarantee better performance, grip, and flexible finger movements. In addition, the good-quality riding gloves with vented patches on the back keep your hands cool and dry while wicking away the moisture.
On the other hand, you can buy insulated gloves while riding an ATV during cold weather.
While selecting a top-quality riding glove, you must look for the following features:
- Non-slippery surface
- Perfect grip
- Sufficient padding
- Adjustable wrist straps
You should buy light-colored gloves that offer proper airflow while riding an ATV during hot weather. It is also recommended to buy waterproof gloves to prevent your hands from getting wet while riding ATV during the rainy season.
A high-quality protective google includes a seal made of comfortable foam to prevent dirt and dust from entering your eyes. On the other hand, the goggles must guarantee sufficient airflow to minimize fogging as it can obstruct your view.
If you aren’t on a tight budget, we recommend buying UV polarized goggles that protect your eyes from sunlight and flying debris.
Unfortunately, the ATV goggles quickly get scratches from flying airborne rocks, debris, dirt, and branches. Nevertheless, the goggles with replaceable lenses can be a lifesaver and a long-term investment.
Does speed thrill you? If yes, it’s essential to wear a chest protector and body armor. You can buy a padded and comfortable vest to ensure upper-body safety while riding an ATV.
The good news is that you don’t have to invest in body armor if you ride on flat and light surfaces. However, it’s necessary for adventurers who love to ride ATVs on mud dunes, mountains, hills, and trails at higher speed.
Body armor is a lifesaver if you fall from the ATV on your back as it safeguards the delicate backbone from fracturing.
It comfortably wraps around the neck to prevent sudden jerks, especially while riding an ATV on mud dunes. Similarly, a neck protector prevents your head from crashing on the land.
It’s an essential protector for those who ride the ATV at higher speeds to prevent annoying wind noise. If you are on a budget, you can simply buy earplugs that can serve the purpose well of protecting your hearing.
Elbow and Knee Guards
As the name suggests, the elbow guards protect your elbows from injuries during a fall when you land on your hands. The elbow guards efficiently work by restricting the movement in the elbows during crashes to prevent bone fracture.
Similarly, knee guards play a crucial role in protecting your knees from injuries during an ATV crash.
ATV Communication System
You surely want to check on your friends and family while riding an ATV to connect with them and keep yourself updated about their safety and whereabouts.
For instance, you can invest in buying a Bluetooth-enabled communication system featuring a live intercom with multiple riders. Hence you can operate the communication unit hands-free with voice without removing your hands from the steering wheel or the handlebars.
ATV ride is all about getting dirty while off-roading to explore the wonderful trails and backcountry. This is why we can’t emphasize enough wearing protective gear while riding an ATV.
The good news is that ATV accidents are quite rare compared to motorcycles and other vehicles. However, you can still prevent minor and critical injuries while safely exploring the rugged trails. The protective gears discussed above are a one-time investment that ensures your safety from head to feet.