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  • Writer's pictureJared

Gear Up and Ride: The Ultimate Guide for What to Wear ATV Riding

ATV Rider on Dirt Trail



Woman Riding ATV

ATV riding, or All-Terrain Vehicle riding, is an increasingly popular and exciting outdoor activity, with more and more outdoor enthusiasts discovering the thrill and freedom this activity offers.

Whether it’s the challenge of navigating through rugged terrains, the joy of exploring the off-beat paths, or the sheer adrenaline rush, ATV riding offers an adventurous escape from the ordinary.

However, with this adrenaline-pumping sport comes the need for safety, and the first line of defense is wearing the proper gear.

Your attire doesn’t just determine comfort levels when riding; it can make a significant difference to your safety while riding as well. After all, ATV riding is not without its risks.

The challenges can be many, from potential falls and accidents to exposure to varying weather elements.

The right gear can decide between an exhilarating ride and a disastrous experience.

In this comprehensive guide, I will take you through the essential gear you need for ATV riding, why each piece is important, and what you should look for when purchasing. By the end, you will clearly understand what to wear ATV riding to ensure not just a fun but a safe adventure.

Understanding ATV riding and its risks

An ATV is a versatile motor vehicle designed to navigate a range of terrains that many other vehicles can't handle.

With their robust construction and high maneuverability, ATVs allow riders to venture into off-road areas, including hills, forests, rocky landscapes, and even shallow water bodies.

However, the same traits that make ATV riding exciting also introduce certain risks.

The uneven and unpredictable nature of off-road terrains can lead to potential accidents, such as tipping, rolling, or collisions.

Additionally, riders may be exposed to harsh weather elements, dust, debris, or insects, posing challenges and hazards.

This is where the right gear comes into play. Wearing appropriate attire when ATV riding isn't merely about following the rules or looking the part; it's about protecting oneself from potential harm.

The right gear can protect against physical injuries during accidents and guard against environmental factors. For instance, a good helmet can protect your head during a fall, gloves can give a better grip and shield your hands, and goggles can keep your vision clear from dust and debris.

In the following sections, we'll dive deeper into each piece of essential gear for ATV riding, providing a comprehensive understanding of their importance and guidelines for choosing the right ones for your needs. This way, you can ensure you're adequately protected and prepared for the thrilling journey ATV riding promises.

Note: This article contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional charge to you.

Essential gear when planning what to wear ATV riding

Regarding ATV riding, several gear pieces are essential for your safety and comfort. Here I'll break down each one, discussing why they're important and how to choose the right ones.


Military Green ATV Riding Helmet

The helmet is one of the most critical gear for any ATV rider.

Helmets are designed and constructed to protect your head from severe injury in a fall or collision. They can also shield your face from flying debris and harsh weather conditions.

Choosing the right helmet involves considering the right fit, comfort, and safety certifications.

Ensure the helmet fits snugly but comfortably on your head and doesn't move around when you shake your head.

Also, look for helmets certified by recognized safety organizations such as the Department of Transportation (DOT).

For a great and inexpensive helmet option that fits both men and women, check out the ILM Open Face Helmet on Amazon.


ATV Riding Goggles

Next on the list are goggles. When you're ATV riding, you'll encounter dust, dirt, insects, and perhaps even rain or snow. Goggles protect your eyes from these elements, ensuring your vision remains clear and unobstructed.

When selecting goggles, consider fit, comfort, lens quality, and ventilation. You want goggles that fit well with your helmet, feel comfortable on your face, offer clear vision, and don't fog up easily.

Check out the 4-FQ Windproof Scratch-Resistant Goggles on Amazon.


Black ATV Riding Gloves

Gloves play a dual role in ATV riding. They provide you with a better grip on the handlebars, and they protect your hands from blisters, cold weather, and potential injury during an accident.

When choosing gloves, look for a good mix of comfort, protection, and flexibility.

They should be made of durable materials, have reinforced areas on the palm and knuckles, and should not restrict your hand movements.

Shop the HWK All-Purpose Tactical Gloves on Amazon.

Riding boots

ATV riding boots are designed to protect your feet and lower legs from injury and heat from the motor.

They also provide additional support to your feet, which is especially important given the standing and shifting involved in ATV riding.

Good riding boots should be comfortable, durable, and offer excellent ankle support.

They should also have a robust sole for good grip and a protective shield for the shin area.

Motorcycle and ATV apparel companies make boots specifically for riding, but to save on cost, I would recommend just going with a pair of waterproof, breathable boots.

Protective clothing

Last but not least, you might want special ATV riding clothes, including a jacket, pants, or a riding suit.

These garments are typically made from durable materials and often include extra padding or armor in high-impact areas like shoulders, elbows, and knees.

When buying riding clothes, look for gear that fits well, offers good protection, and is suitable for the weather conditions you'll be riding in. Breathability is also crucial to ensure comfort during longer rides.

Special pieces of riding clothing for protection are not always necessary; just nice to have.

Regular jeans will work just fine to protect your legs from the motor's heat, scratches from thick foliage, and the elements, while a long-sleeve shirt will also serve the same purpose for your upper body.

Remember, each piece of gear plays a vital role in making sure you're safe and comfortable on your ATV ride.

Ensuring you have the right equipment is essential to a fun and safe ATV adventure.

Additional gear to consider when planning what to wear ATV riding

While the essential gear discussed in the previous section will provide a solid foundation for your ATV riding adventures, there are some additional pieces of equipment that you might want to consider for added protection and convenience.

These items can further enhance your safety and overall riding experience.

Chest protectors and body armor

Chest protectors and body armor can provide an added layer of protection to your torso, shielding your chest, back, and ribs from impacts during accidents.

These protective gear items are designed to absorb and distribute the force of impact, reducing the risk of severe injuries.

When choosing a chest protector or body armor, look for a comfortable fit and ample ventilation to avoid overheating during your ride.

Knee and elbow guards

Knee and elbow guards are designed to protect your joints from injuries during falls or collisions.

They are made from durable materials and feature padding or hard shells to absorb impacts.

When selecting knee and elbow guards, ensure they fit securely without restricting your range of motion.

Hydration packs

Hydration Bag

Staying hydrated is crucial during any outdoor activity, and ATV riding is no exception.

A hydration pack allows you to carry water or other liquids conveniently on your back, making it easy to sip fluids while riding. This can help prevent dehydration and improve your overall comfort and endurance during long rides.

As you gear up for your ATV riding adventures, consider these additional equipment options to further enhance your safety, comfort, and enjoyment. While not needed, they can provide valuable benefits and contribute to a more enjoyable experience on the trails.

Shop the Zavothy Hydration Backpack on Amazon.

Dressing for the weather

ATV riding can potentially take you through varying weather conditions, and being prepared for sudden weather changes is essential for your comfort and safety.

This section will examine some tips for adapting your attire to changing weather.

Adapting to warm weather

You'll want to stay cool and comfortable while riding during warm weather.

Choose breathable and moisture-wicking materials for your riding gear, including jackets, pants, and gloves. Ventilation is crucial to prevent overheating and staying comfortable on long rides.

Consider wearing a lightweight, moisture-wicking base layer under your protective clothing to help with sweat management.

Also, don't forget to wear sunscreen and bring extra water to stay hydrated.

Preparing for cold weather

Dressing in layers is imperative to retain warmth and adapt to changing temperatures in colder conditions.

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to help manage sweat, followed by an insulating mid-layer to trap heat. Finish with a windproof and waterproof outer layer to protect you from the elements.

Ensure your gloves and boots are well-insulated and waterproof to keep your hands and feet warm and dry. Consider wearing a balaclava or neck gaiter to protect your face and neck from cold winds.

By dressing appropriately for the weather, you'll be better equipped to handle whatever nature throws your way during your ATV riding adventures.

Adapting your gear to different conditions will enhance your comfort and ensure you stay safe and focused on the trail.


ATV riding is an exhilarating outdoor activity, and it is something I have enjoyed from childhood into adulthood.

It is a lifelong activity, with even my grandfather enjoying riding on ATV trails well into his 70s.

One key to enjoying this thrilling sport is prioritizing safety by wearing the right gear.

By researching what to wear ATV riding and investing in essential equipment like helmets, goggles, gloves, riding boots, and protective clothing, you can significantly reduce some of the risks associated with riding and create a safer experience.

As you embark on your ATV riding adventures, always wear appropriate attire and adapt your gear to ever-changing weather conditions.

With the right gear and a focus on safety, you’ll be well-equipped to explore the great outdoors on your ATV while enjoying an unforgettable experience.

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