The Difference Between Snowmobile Helmet Vs Motorcycle Helmet | Full Guide

Wild and Woolley adventurers often bump into getting a compatible helmet for snowmobiling. Since thrilling across snow is not as simple as on a street lane, a regular motorcycle helmet is not feasible to be used there.

In due course, snowmobile helmets have been introduced in the market with certain aspects specific to snowmobiling only. However, both helmets cannot be used interchangeably by reason of their respective structure. This article aims at depicting snowmobile helmet vs motorcycle helmet by comparing their features that will clearly highlight their differences and similarities.  

Snowmobile helmet vs motorcycle helmet – Comparison table

FeaturesMotorcycle helmetSnowmobile helmet
Face protectionVisorSun shieldGogglesDual pane snow shieldDual pane electric snow shield 
Breath BoxNot requiredRequired for preventing fog
Chin CurtainNot integratedIntegrated for protecting neck from  cold air 
Outer shell & LinerMade as the core part to protect the head Also, have as crucial elements for brain protection

Snowmobile helmet

As it has already been put forward that a snowmobile helmet is specifically used for riding and adventuring in off-road terrain across the snow. In such geography, certain elements make tourism challenging such as the freezing temperature, fainting fog, and sun glare.

Dealing with all these things with regular riding gear will not make sense because conditions are completely different. Thereupon, along with warm winter apparel, protective headgear should also have a structure that will keep your head, neck, and face unaffected from the cold. This is why a snowmobile helmet tends to have a unique design that incorporates all such essentials. Let’s jump into it.

Structure of a snowmobile helmet:

Some of the features of this helmet are different from a regular motorcycle helmet. It contains:

  • An outer shell
  • Inner liner
  • Vent channels
  • Dual lens face shield
  • Chin curtain
  • Breath box

The description of each part is as follows. Be mindful that the last three mentioned parts are a major distinction so must go through them to be clear with snowmobile helmet vs motorcycle helmet

Outer shell & Inner liner: 

The outer shell is made indestructible to survive in any untoward situation for keeping your skull protective. To provide entire safety to the brain, the inner liner is also made inside the helmet. If the head encounters a forceful hit, the liner and outer shell absorb the impactful energy to mitigate the force.

Resultantly, the brain remains safe from injury. In snow, the striking is not usually an issue but the cold wind currents are needed to be kept off the head. For this, the inner foam and outer shell provide full protection. 

Vent channels: 

Like every helmet, a snow helmet also contains a proper ventilation system. This provided the air a way in for inhalation and a way out for exhalation. A fully closed system is likely to put you in a vulnerable situation where exhaled carbon dioxide can cause suffocation.

To put it differently, oxygen will be hard to obtain if no fresh air enters through vents. This way, proper ventilation is provided for breathing and sweat reduction. 

Dual pane face shield:

In regular helmets, a visor does not contain a dual pane but in a snowmobile helmet, a dual-lens face shield is made for the reason of keeping fog off the shield. This is to say that in cold conditions, the fog has a great potential to layer on the face shield and disrupt the vision.

What can be done if the sight is not clear? So, it is utterly significant to reduce rather than prevent the fog completely from the visor.  In this wake, a dual pane face shield is integrated that has the capability to not let the fog settle on it.

What’s more? An electric system has also been introduced for this purpose. You need to keep a battery pack with you along the journey that is linked with the helmet via chord. This has been found phenomenal to block the fog.

Since a sun glare is produced on snow when rays fall which can cause blindness, a sun shield is also made after a face shield for additional eyes protection. 

Chin curtain & breathe box:

The objective of a chin curtain in snow headgear is the protection of the neck from winning snow and cold air blows. 

A breath box is like a face mask that covers the nose, cheeks, and chin. If you are not wearing this breath box, the exhaled air will get up to the face shield and blur it. The upshot will be obstructed vision. To avert it, a breath box is provided in the product package for keeping the chin tight and the shield clean. 

Motorcycle helmet

A regular motorbike helmet is used for even road traveling. It is structured in a way that it keeps the road debris, vehicular smoke, weather conditions, bugs, and sun rays off your face apart from protecting your brain and neck. A regular motorcycle helmet encompasses:

  • Shell
  • Liner
  • Vents
  • Visor

It does not comprise a chin curtain and breathes box. In the context of snowmobile helmet vs motorcycle helmet, see the motorbike helmet features to compare with the snowmobile helmet. 

Outer shell & Liner:

A regular helmet contains a sturdy outer shell that is usually made of plastic. The motive of providing this external skull is the prevention of brain concussion. As described earlier, it in conjunction with inner soft foam takes the shocking impact of forceful energy produced by a head striking an object.

As a result, this soft cushion leaves the least impact only to reach the brain. Besides, it is very effective in wicking head moisture that is inevitable to prevail in the form of sweat, especially in warm weather. 

Nowadays, technologies like WaveCel and MITS are also integrated that reduce the rotational and linear impact of force by slightly shifting the liner. They are lined particularly in off-road and sports helmets where flyovers and sharp turns make falling very susceptible. 

Ventilation system:

You cannot breathe if there is no way for air to move in and out. Also, on a hot sunny day, you will sweat profusely if the headgear is not aerodynamic because even sweat-wicking liners will not be enough to handle it. Thereafter, vents are indispensable for letting the air circulate and keeping your head cool. Also, you will get fresh air for breathing.   


It is an essential part of every helmet for face protection. On the way; dust, particulate matter, raining, fogging, sun rays, and bugs can be annoying, ergo they are needed to stay away from the face. In this wake, the visor is provided that shields the face from all these things. 

In open-face helmets, it is not found so people often use goggles when riding under the sun. Oftentimes, the visor is also flipped up in hot weather for getting more air in so there too you can use goggles.  

However, in some helmets, a drop-down sun shield is additionally provided along with the visor that also works great, and goggles are needed to be purchased separately. 

Difference between snowmobile helmet and motorcycle helmet

As the description above shows both of the helmets have definite unalike features for the respective terrain. The things that make both of the helmets different from each other are given below:

The visor of a snowmobile helmet is made with a dual-pane for the sake of preventing fog while the visor of a motorcycle helmet is not made this way particularly an electric system is not used.

In a motorcycle helmet, there is no need for a chin curtain but in snow headgear, it is structured for neck protection. 

A Breathe box is used in snowmobile helmets but not in the motorcycle helmet. 


Q: How is a snowball helmet different from a regular motorcycle helmet?

A: A snowmobile helmet contains a breath box and a chin curtain that is not found in a motorcycle helmet.

Also, the visor of a street bike helmet is not similar to the snow headgear that contains a dual pane face shield for fog protection. Besides the difference between snowmobile helmet and motorcycle helmet; the outer shell, inner shell, and ventilation system of both helmets are similar. 

Q: Can I use my motorcycle helmet as a snowmobile helmet?

A: Since there is no inclusion of features dealing with excessive fog and cold conditions, a motorcycle helmet is not compatible with snowmobiling. 

Q: Why does the snowmobile helmet have a dual pane electric face shield?

A: In snowmobiling, you come across extreme cold conditions outside that settle fog on the visor disrupting the clear sight. To keep the fog off, a dual pane face shield is integrated without or with an electric system. In an electric face shield, a battery pack keeps the face shield free from fog and you have a clear shield in front to see ahead. 

Final verdict

This article articulates snowmobile helmet vs motorcycle helmet that portrays their similarities and differences. An outer shell, inner liner, and vent system are common in both head protective equipment but a breath box, chin curtain, and a visor make them different.

The presence of these things in snowmobile helmets is intended for fog prevention and cold protection. All things considered, both helmets serve the pertinent purpose only and are not compatible if used exchangeably.  

Leave a Comment