Snowmobile VS UTV with Tracks: Which One to Invest

Snowmobile vs UTV with tracks in the snow

The thrill of adventure and performance in the most unforgiving condition is what drives people to open their wallets to choose between various all-terrain vehicles. With more than 1.3 million snowmobiles registered in the United States and 61,000 in Canada, this vehicle is all set to give tough competition to the highly popular UTV with tracks. 

So how do you compare a snowmobile and a UTV with tracks? While UTV with tracks is quite hefty, it comes loaded with features that make a great investment. But remember that these quads may not give a dynamic performance in snow and this is where snowmobiles are specifically intended for. 

UTV with tracks basics

UTVs with tracks are basically utility vehicles in which the wheels are replaced by broad rolling tracks for which they are referred to as quads. With these tracks, the overall traction and weight distribution of the vehicle rise. As a result, the vehicle can easily navigate through a wider terrain, even snow-capped areas. 

The rubber tracks of UTVs are designed in such a way that it inflates floatation and allows improved mobility in snow. Alongside, there is also an energetic tread pattern that gives a better grip in a variety of terrains. Also, the tracks are designed to suit the vehicle’s output power. 

All the parts of the vehicle are held together with a durable track frame. This frame is optimized significantly so that it can endure impacts while being sufficiently light to keep up the desired level of floatation. The frame of the machine angles upwards so that the tracks can allow various objects and float optimally when running on soft surfaces. 

Related reading: How much higher will a UTV be with tracks

Snowmobile basics

A snowmobile is a motorized sled that entitled the riders to address themselves as sledders back in the 1980s. And the name has remained since then. The structure of the vehicle is quite like a low-slung cabin held upright with two skis.

These skis have broad partitions and an inward angular structure. With this design, the emerging vehicle comes with a minimal center of gravity so that it doesn’t capsize easily. The sleds also have an inward bent which prevents the machine from plowing deep into the snow. 

Snowmobiles typically come with shock absorbers at the front which help in absorbing the energy of impact so that the rider can have a smooth ride. It is also attached to a son expelling mechanism with spiral grooves so that the impacted snow is removed when the vehicle passes through. 

Snowmobiles vs UTV with Tracks: An In-depth Comparison

UTVs with tracks and snowmobiles are both easy to ride. All you need to do is have a grip over the controls and determine how they function, you are prepared to head off into all sorts of wilderness. But here’s a twist: a UTV with tracks is much safer to ride compared to snowmobiles and this is owing to the all-purpose nature. 

When you have to ride on varied terrains, a UTV with tracks is again the winner. But it’s worth noting that the rider must practice caution while riding on roads, particularly when there’s a need to take sharp corners owing to a very high center of gravity. Let’s come to some critical aspects to agree on what’s better between snowmobile vs UTV with tracks. 

Power and vitality

Snowmobiles are illustrious options when power and vitality are your concern in the snow. On the flip side, UTVs tend to perform very well on compact snow and dry terrains. Also, these vehicles may have to struggle to slog through heavy snow but snowmobiles can skillfully navigate through it.

With that being said, UTVs with tracks have a significant advantage. These vehicles can be made good use of in all seasons and you don’t have to shell out hefty amounts just to drive through the winter. And when you do this, the drawback here is that the UTV with tracks will bring down the speed significantly in the snow. 

Weight of the vehicle

Compared to UTVs with tracks, snowmobiles are very lightweight. The average weight of a UTV is around 1000 lbs while the same for snowmobiles is 500 lbs. Again, the brand, model, additions, and overall size of the vehicle play their roles in determining the weight. However, snowmobiles are typically lighter than these quads with tracks. Snowmobiles are easy to maneuver even in the deepest layer of snow. UTVs are heavyweight on their own, and when you add tracks to them, they become even heavier. 

So how do you determine the weight of your vehicle? No matter whether you wish to opt for snowmobiles or UTVs with tracks, consider the size of the engine, the fuel tank, and the materials used for construction. 


When you contrast snowmobile vs UTV with tracks, considering that they may not work with equal capacity in all terrains, the design is altered significantly. UTVs with tracks are made to work on all terrains whether it’s deep water or slippery mountain tracks with snow or sand-covered roads. As a result, these machines are highly useful for recreational and other utility.

UTVs are used in various fields and these include construction, mapping, and other authoritarian purposes. As a result, they are quite tough and vigorous which makes them suitable for rough roads. 

On the other hand, snowmobiles are built to perform in snow-capped landscapes. These vehicles are built with dual skis in the front zone and also a track. But these machines lack wheels on the rear end. With this distinct design, you can maneuver your snowmobile over the iced surface easily. 

Weather and injuries

Since snowmobiles are primarily used in colder regions, you have to put on a layer of warm clothing. When you are riding UTV with tracks, you have to dress according to the temperature. This invariably brings to point of injury. 

As you will be wearing heavy layers of warm clothes, there is little possibility of being injured when you fall off the vehicle. But if you fall when quading on your UTV, you may have to tolerate significant injuries. This is particularly true when you are riding on hard terrain and the weather is hot. 

The good part is that UTVs with tracks offer better stability compared to those equipped with tires. This is because the vehicle can exercise an extensive surface area. Another major advantage is that it can significantly bring down the number of accidents caused due to rolling over. And snowmobiles may take a back seat in this regard. 

Ease of use

If you compare snowmobile vs UTV with tracks, both of them have remarkable ease of use when you are through the fundamentals of the vehicle. Learning to ride a UTV with tracks is so simple that in many areas, even teenagers are able to maneuver the machine with ease. However, it can be difficult to ride through paved or bumpy roads. 

Since UTVs with tracks are multipurpose vehicles, they are safer compared to sleds. You may also install warmers and windscreen to the UTV for enjoying a safe and pleasant ride through the snow, but you cannot install these accessories on your snowmobile. 

Also, snowmobiles are quite difficult to ride, especially for beginners. Sometimes skilled riders also become stuck as they are not able to depend on the wheels for operation. With thorough practice, snowmobiles can also become manageable to ride. 


In general, you will not need any license for riding snowmobiles. However, it’s better to check the regulations of the state you live in. If you want to opt for a snowmobile, experts recommend that you must go for driving classes. 

This will equip you with a thorough understanding of utilizing the vehicle in snow and most importantly, how you can do away with possible dangers. The individuals working with these vehicles can guide you and let you know all that’s needed to get behind the wheels. 

On the contrary, UTVs with tracks can be driven on all kinds of terrains. But you may have to pass the test and acquire a driving license before taking one to the roads. This is to make sure that you will be aware of the laws that you must abide by. 

The Bottom Line

Each winter when the snowfall is intense, it gets too tricky to get to work or access the backcountry. You must have heard your acquaintances tell you that UTVs are quite useless when you are bogged down in the snow. But fitting with a set of tracks can transform your UTV into a real beast on snow-capped roads.

While both the vehicles are identical in numerous aspects, certain qualities are discern between snowmobiles and UTVs with tracks. In essence, UTV with tracks is suited for rough, snowy, bumpy, and sandy roads while snowmobiles are specifically built for snowy regions.

And getting a UTV with tracks can turn your machine into an all-purpose year-round vehicle. But it’s better to have your risk tolerance, level of adventure, and most importantly, budget guide you to choose the better of the two.