When heading out to explore or race on your UTV, you need to always put safety as your number one priority. There are certain pieces of gear we recommend any driver (and rider on a side-by-side vehicle) wears or keeps with them at any time. This preparation will help to keep you and any riders safe while having fun exploring new trails. Keep reading as we share our top UTV safety tips and the safety gear everyone should invest in this year.
A helmet is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can invest in as a UTV driver. In the case of an emergency, it will provide the necessary extra protection for your skull and face, reducing the impact you would feel upon landing on the ground. Helmets have saved thousands of lives over the years, which is why drivers (and riders on side-by-side vehicles) should always have one on when exploring the trails. When choosing a new helmet, we recommend looking for the DOT or Snell logo on the back, which ensures you have a helmet that meets high safety standards. Most U.S. states also require helmets by law. You’ll find helmets to fit all budgets and requirements here, but make sure it fits properly before heading out.
Face Shield or Goggles
As well as a helmet, you’ll find that a face shield or goggles can offer you more comfort and protection when driving. Don’t just wear a pair of sunglasses thinking that they will offer enough protection, as goggles stop the sweat, dirt, and dust from entering your eyes. You’ll also have protection from branches or other debris flying around. If you do need protection from the sun, look for a tinted or polarized face shield or pair of goggles, which can double up as sunglasses.
A good pair of boots will support your ankles and feet while also being comfortable to wear during a long day out on your UTV. First-time riders are often surprised by the workout that the legs get when traveling up hills and taking precarious turns, which is why you need this extra support. The Wolverine Claw Durashocks are one of the most popular UTV boot options on the market today, but you can opt for a more lightweight pair in the hot summer months.
Long pants offer your legs the full protection they need when traveling through trails with plenty of trees, branches, and obstacles. Don’t be tempted to wear shorts in the summer, as you will likely end up with cuts and scratches all the way up and down your legs. Try to find long pants that are made from a lightweight material – ideally a material which is also tear resistant. Lightweight pants will be comfortable to wear all year long, but you can upgrade to a thicker pair in the winter months if you live and/or drive off-road in a cold area.
Long Sleeve Shirts
Similar to wearing a long pair of pants, you’ll want to find a comfy long sleeve shirt to wear when riding your UTV. This protection will stop your arms from getting scratched or bruised when riding on the trails. Long sleeve shirts also have the added benefit of providing sun protection. Rates of skin cancer have been rising in recent years making it one of the most common cancer types in North America. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on this purchase, and a simple top like this one on Amazon will work well for this purpose.
Another of the most important pieces of gear for UTV riders is a pair of riding gloves. Hunting gloves will work well for this type of driving, as they will keep your hands warm in the winter. Off-road riding gloves offer extra padding on your knuckles, which stops bruising when your hands are hit by gravel and branches. UTV gloves also reduce the amount of vibration that you’ll feel from your handlebars, which makes driving for an extended period of time much more comfortable. On top of that, gloves can minimize blisters and calluses, which are a common issue when you ride regularly. Check out this list of best gloves for more inspiration.
First Aid Kit
As well as all of the gear we’ve shared above for you to wear on your adventures, keeping a first aid kit with you at all times is a smart move. We know that space is quite limited on your vehicle, but a small first aid kit is all you need to try and treat injuries in the middle of nowhere. The most important items to add include bandages, bleeding control dressing, and antiseptic liquids or wipes. We recommend checking out the Stop the Bleed Kit from the American Red Cross before your next ride.
The final item on our list of the best gear for UTV safety is a GPS device. While we typically use our smartphones for GPS nowadays, it’s not safe to use this when navigating your way through trails in the woods. The chances of you losing your phone signal are high (depending on the location of the trail) and the coverage often drops out as you get deeper into the trails. There are many GPS units that are designed today for UTVs and ATVs, which can be mounted to your rails or handlebars. When you start your journey, you can add the location that you began at, so that you know exactly where to go when you are done. There are also pre-loaded maps on many of these devices, offering you a way to stay safe on the trails. Magellan and Garmin are two of the top brands for this purpose, and they offer GPS devices to fit everyone’s budget.
If you rent out or let others borrow your UTV on a regular basis, then you might consider purchasing an Optimus GPS Tracker. Optimus GPS trackers, which have excellent customer reviews, can be attached to a UTV and allow you to monitor the location of your vehicle via a user-friendly app.
For more inspiration about the top pieces of gear to carry with you on your UTV, check out this video. We highly recommend investing in all of the items we shared above before your next adventure, to help you keep safe on the trails. No matter how experienced of a driver or rider you are, you never know when an accident could happen. By offering yourself the best protective equipment possible, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite sport for years to come.
About HALO PERFORMANCE
Based in Odessa, Florida, OX Off-Road has been manufacturing selectable lockers and off-road-related parts for over twenty years. Halo Lockers is the UTV division of OX. Our aftermarket products are designed for side-by-side vehicles, such as a Can-Am X3 or aPolaris RZR, and proudly made in the USA. We only use the best quality materials and manufacturing processes. When you call us to discuss upgrading your side-by-side vehicle, you are going to talk with a UTV expert. Please call 727-230-7803 with any product questions or for assistance with the ordering process. Allow us to take your side-by-side vehicle to the next level as you prepare for your next race or fun off-road adventure.