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ATV Vs. Snowmobile: Which Is Better For Winter Adventures?

When planning winter adventures, you may be caught between choosing an ATV or a snowmobile. However, both have their pros and cons. Although getting an ATV with tracks might pinch your wallet, it’s still an awesome choice. It even gets better, thanks to the available ATV financing options. Still, it’s best to remember that quads aren't exactly built for snow, unlike snowmobiles that are tailored-made for it. Plus, you can purchase tracks for snowmobiles, perfect for various snow conditions. This article weighs ATVs vs. snowmobiles, helping you make an informed choice for your snowy adventures. 

Which Is Better: ATV’s Or Snowmobiles? 

There’s a lot to consider when comparing these two vehicles. The below points assess the two in detail. 


Snowmobiles ace it when navigating thick snow, as they’re nimble and pack quite a punch. But when the snow’s all dried up or kind of packed, that’s when ATVs shine. An ATV with tracks might hit a snag in heavy snow compared to snowmobiles that glide through it. But here’s the kicker - fixing tracks on an ATV means you have a ride for all seasons, not just winter, meaning no need to break the bank by buying a separate vehicle just for winter fun. However, the catch with ATV tracks is that they might put the brakes on your speed. 

Snow Rides And Weights 

Regarding weights, snowmobiles take the featherweight prize compared to ATVs. On average, an ATV tips the scales at about 590 pounds, while a snowmobile sits lighter at around 491 pounds. Now, remember that each brand, model, and size of these rides might throw different numbers on the scale, depending on what you plan to do with them and any extras you add. Snowmobiles generally have less weight than the four-wheeled ATVs, making them easier to handle, especially in deep snow. But when tracks hitch a ride with ATVs, they pack more weight. If you’re into specifics, the weight of a snowmobile relies on things like:

  • engine size
  • length
  • the materials it’s made of
  • the fuel tank 

Riding Terrains 

Snowmobiles and ATVs are like peas in separate pods when exploring the great outdoors. ATVs, those all-terrain legends, are the real jack-of-all-trades. They can handle sand, deep water, slippery slopes, mountainous trails, and snow-covered paths. They’re the go-to for a bit of fun. ATVs also find their place in government work, construction, and mapping. Built tough and durable, they’re made to take on all kinds of tricky terrains. 

On the other hand, snowmobiles are the cool cats of the snow and ice landscapes. With their unique design, particularly their two ski’s at the front and a track in the back - they’re like the kings of gliding effortlessly over ice. They’re purposely built for snowy adventures and icy landscapes, giving you that smooth sail through the snow. 

Weather And Injuries 

Here’s the thing about weather and safety. Snowmobiling in winter means you can layer up to stay warm when the chill hits. Now, with quads, things change if the temperature starts rising, and you have to dress lighter to stay comfortable. 

Meanwhile, if you take a tumble in the snow, having those layers on gives you quite a good shield against significant injuries. But if a quad ride leads to a stumble, it can spell trouble due to the hard terrain and lighter clothing in hot weather. Regarding stability, ATV tracks rule over regular tires, offering more ground coverage. One cool perk of having tracks on your ATV is that they reduce accidents caused by rollovers, keeping things steadier. 


You usually don’t need a licence to hit the trails on snowmobiles or ATV’s. However, things can change based on the laws in your province or state. If you’re hopping on a snowmobile, consider signing up for some snowmobile classes before you take one for a spin. You’ll learn the ins and outs and, more importantly, how to keep safe while having a blast. The professionals leading these classes will give you the lowdown on these cool rides and the ropes for handling tricky situations. 

Conversely, riding an ATV might require a regular driver’s licence in most places. That ensures you know the road rules when cruising on regular streets. But for off-road, you might get a pass without a licence. 

Get ATV or Snowmobile Financing and Hit the Trail

If you’re gearing up for winter thrills on an ATV or snowmobile, check in with the National Powersports Financing. We’re all about making your winter adventures happen without emptying your wallet. From offering you an ATV loan, snowmobile loan, and other financing options, we’ll get you all set to conquer those snowy landscapes in style. 


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