What to Wear When Riding An ATV

two atv riders dressed in helmets, jackets, and gloves

The right clothing and equipment are essential when riding an ATV.

When out on the trails, you will get down and dirty while adventuring in the wilderness.

However, picking the right clothes can make the drive more exhilarating while also keeping you safe from the wind and sun.

Essential ATV Clothing

The essential articles of clothing for riding an ATV are helmets, gloves, eye protection, tops, bottoms, and footwear. Here is more info about what to look for in each category to get you on the trails safely and in style.


The most important piece of clothing you should always wear when boarding your ATV is a helmet. Whether or whether your state requires the usage of helmets as safety should be your top priority. A well-fitting helmet can shield your head in the event of an accident or fall.

two atv riders carrying helmets

Be picky about your helmet too. Choose an option that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Transportation‘s safety requirements (DOT). Also, ensure your helmet fits snuggly and has a seal to keep dirt and dust out while allowing enough airflow to lessen fogging.


Riding gloves protect your hands from blisters and chafing caused by prolonged clutching of the handlebars or steering wheel. They also shield you from flying rocks and other debris. Furthermore, gloves will protect you in a fall or an accident and prevent road rash on your hands.

A good riding glove should have lots of padding, a firm grip, and adjustable wrist straps for the ideal fit. Always include a pair of waterproof riding gloves in your gear; they come in handy in chilly, rainy weather. Snowmobile gloves offer the best insulation and functionality for winter riders, while you can find lighter options for summer wear.

Eye Protection

Staring into the sun or through dust or wind can make your ride far more difficult and uncomfortable. Goggles are a crucial component of safety and comfort that every person operating an ATV or side-by-side should wear, according to our experience. While they may not look nice, they will keep your appearance in an accident or fall.


You should choose trail riding attire that you do not mind getting dirty, but it should also be tough enough to withstand some serious wear and tear. Even in warmer months, long sleeves will protect you from the sun, dirt, and debris flying around the tires. Additionally, a riding jacket or protective vest offers additional safety in the event that you fall.

The ideal riding jacket should be water-resistant and offer excellent ventilation and flexibility for unrestricted range of motion. Always remember to size up somewhat when buying an ATV or UTV riding jacket so you can layer underneath the vest or jacket. In the colder months, you will appreciate the added warmth or protection from the rain with a waterproof jacket.


While jeans may seem like the go-to option as they can handle dirt, wind, and debris, they may not have all the features you need. However, trail riding pants offer more room, comfort, and padding. Whether you are straddling an ATV or riding hard, you need to be able to move freely while still staying comfortable and safe for hours.

Riding pants frequently have extra protection at the knees, or the design may include separate kneepads. Extra padding can be useful when you need to crouch in the mud or gravel close to your automobile and make the journey more comfortable. Jeans may work well for shorter rides, especially in the summer, to keep you cooler.


Protect your feet if you are driving over rocky terrain with a good pair of hiking boots with traction. However, if you are on a tight budget, at least wear closed-toe shoes to shield your feet from any flying brush or stones that may otherwise threaten to strike them. In addition, waterproof boots will keep you dry, even in muddy or wet conditions.

Hiking boots are fantastic if you want a less clunky option that will move with you. However, utility ATV boots can be useful because they are excellent at protecting your feet and ankles if you ever find yourself being forced off your ATV. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you, at the very least, purchase a pair of boots that extend past your ankles to provide you with additional protection from falling rocks or branches.

Additional Gear

A riding bandanna scores highly among trail riding accessories. The multi-purpose fabric can wrap around your neck to provide additional sun protection. Alternatively, it can provide insulation, and when soaked in water, it instantly creates a cooling effect on a hot, dusty afternoon. You can also draw it over your face to prevent dirt, sand, and dust from getting into your mouth and nose.

However, for sunny days do not forget sunscreen in areas still exposed to the elements. Apply sunscreen before leaving, and carry a small container with you to keep your trip fun instead of painful. Remember to apply more every couple of hours, and keep in mind that the sun can burn you even if the sun is not out.

Benefits of the Right Clothing for ATV Riding

Casual clothing may mean you do not need to spend additional cash or search for specific items. With the proper clothing, though, you get tons of benefits, such as sun, water, and wind protection. Also, in the event of a fall or accident, your skin will fair a whole lot better.

Cons of the Right Clothing for ATV Riding

As you know, casual clothes are inferior to expensive gear and do not provide the padding or protection you need. ATV riding gear has many benefits, but it can rack up quite a hefty price. It’s easy to spend too much and pick up far more than you need or will use. Additionally, you may find you need to spend more to get the right gear for every season.

Clothing to Avoid Wearing When Riding an ATV

Despite how comfortable it might seem, avoid wearing shorts, flip-flops, or t-shirts when on your ATV. These items offer almost no protection from the elements. Before you put something on, think about whether it exposes skin to potential road rash to help make the best decision. Even in hot weather, your skin will thank you for added layers between you and the ground.

Final Thoughts About ATV Clothing

ATV riding is a fun pastime for practically anyone, regardless of your level of adventure or simply your love of the great outdoors. The right gear can make your riding more enjoyable, comfortable, and safe. Also, protect yourself from the elements by keeping yourself covered; it’s worth a little money to get the right gear.