To most snowmobilers spending all their time on trails, the idea of a “utility sled” seems like a giant yawner.
However, there’s definitely a growing segment of buyers who are looking for versatility reaching beyond the norm.
Yes, most of these potential buyers live in rural areas and have easy access to both off-trail riding and trails. The hunting and fishing sportsman may also be an avid snowmobiler who enjoys covering distance for recreational purposes.
This is the same person who perhaps owns an ATV or Side by Side and needs to gain access to a hunting camp or favorite fishing spot in the winter.
The deal-maker is that some of the current utility offerings allow 2-up passenger capacity, have limitless towing and hauling power and incredibly good suspension and surprisingly good engine performance, all in one bundle.
The truth is, if these sleds didn’t offer the essentials snowmobilers want, the utility segment would have little potential.
Our favorites are the Arctic Cat Bearcat equipped with Cat’s EFI 4-stroke twin so popular in other models, Yamaha’s Viking Professional – a surprisingly strong performing sled, the Polaris Widetrak with an SDI 600 2-stroke and Ski-Doo’s Expedition LE, running an E-TEC 600 under its hood.
The industry has been working hard to make these sleds lighter and better handling and have come up with some pretty good alternatives to the conventional 2-up touring sled.
All of the above have extremely wide, long tracks; tons of storage and enough power to keep up with conventional (if there is such a thing) snowmobiles on a trail ride.