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snowmobile types: how to buy a snowmobile

Snowmobiling requires a lot of choices — fast or slow? Turn or go straight? Long underwear or … more long underwear? Before you make any big decisions on the trail, however, you have to make an even bigger one off it: choosing the best snowmobile for you.

What snowmobile is right for me?

You wouldn't take a minivan to a Formula 1 track or use a hybrid to haul boulders at a work site. Similarly, not all types of snowmobiles are made to handle the same conditions. There are a ton of variables to consider when riding — such as weather, type of terrain, incline grade, and weight of your cargo, to name a few. But when you have the best snowmobile for your intended excursion, you can rest easy knowing your sled will behave as it's supposed to at crucial times, and you have one less thing to consider.

7 types of snowmobiles

Whether you're a first-time snowmobiler or just want to discover better ways to ride, it helps to get acquainted with the types of snowmobiles you can buy.

Trail snowmobile

Consider this your entry-level model. They're typically pretty light, which translates to easy maneuverability. They also feature easy-to-use electric starters and can be equipped with electric reversing. Also, they're usually on the less expensive side, so in case you take a few rides and decide it's not your thing, you won't be breaking the bank. Trail models, as the name suggests, are designed only for use on groomed trails, so you should avoid any rough terrain or deep snow.

Sport trail snowmobile

Once you're a little more comfortable with riding, you may find the sport trail model to be the logical next sled to try. It provides a bit more speed than the entry-level snowmobile but still uses a relatively small engine so as to not overwhelm you.

Touring snowmobile

Touring models are perfect if you want long-lasting comfort … and little else. They have seating for two, a heavy frame and extra long tracks for a smooth ride, and other neat features such as backrests and heated seats. These are perfect if you're going to spend all day on the sled but don't need much speed or performance. For instance, on a long sightseeing tour in a national park (or the super scenic route to Grandma's place).

Performance snowmobile

If you're out for thrills, performance snowmobiles are your best bet. With high-powered engines, advanced suspension and shock absorption, and tight handling, they can speed around the track or soar over jumps with ease. Those brand new to snowmobiling should wait a while before trying these.

Utility snowmobile

This is the best snowmobile if you're using your sled for hauling, towing, or other work purposes. Utility models have long frames and wide tracks to power through trails or heavy snow.

Crossover snowmobile

Crossover sleds (also called cross-country snowmobiles) are meant to handle just about any rigorous riding. They boast fine-tuned handling and excellent traction for trail lovers, but also long tracks to handle deep powder in case you want to ditch the trail on a whim and explore the surroundings.

Mountain snowmobile

If the words "snowmobiling" and "mountains" don't immediately make you quiver, please continue. Mountain snowmobiles are built longer and narrower than other models to propel up steep inclines. They also have some of the most powerful engines around (regularly clocking in at over 150 horsepower) to offset the effects of high altitudes.

Trust Esurance for all your snowmobile types

After deciding on the best snowmobile, the last thing you want is to rack your brain trying to find reliable and affordable snowmobile insurance to protect it. Luckily, with Esurance, you don't have to.

With snowmobile insurance from Esurance or through our partner, you can conveniently tailor a policy with flexible coverages that match whatever types of snowmobiles you ride.

Own a pricy performance model? Add comprehensive coverage and you can replace your sled with a new one if it's ever stolen. Or if you favor a crossover or mountain snowmobile, you can protect yourself with medical payments coverage and insure your ride against risks like falling debris and collisions. You can even cover extras like cargo racks and trailers if you use a utility snowmobile for work.

Simply start your free snowmobile insurance quote to get access to these helpful options, cash-saving discounts, and much more.

Related links

Snowmobile safety tips
Read up on safety pointers for your sled and ride with confidence.

Snowmobile maintenance
Proper maintenance is key to keeping your machine in working order.

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