Safety Gear for ATV Riding

ATV Riding Tips

Before putting your kid on an ATV, make sure he or she has the proper riding gear.

This doesn't have to be expensive. You can start out with basic protection, and then move up to higher levels of protection as your budget allows.

For the minimum level of protection, your child should wear a DOT-approved helmet, goggles, a long-sleeve sweatshirt, jeans, over-the-ankle boots and sturdy gloves that aren't too thick.

Your child probably already has a sweatshirt, jeans, boots and gloves, so your outlay would be for a new helmet (starting at about $85) and goggles (starting at $15).

If you want to move up to the next level of protection, start with the basics already mentioned, and add an outside chest protector ($90), motocross pants ($90), motocross boots ($130), motocross gloves ($20), and knee guards ($10) worn under the pants.

This level of protection is a bit more costly, but it's worth the investment if, after initial lessons, you child wants to continue riding. You may be able to reduce costs by buying some of the items used from parents whose children have outgrown their gear, and you can often find closeouts at ATV and motorcycling retailers.

We don't recommend buying a used helmet, however. It could have suffered a hard knock and be useless, yet show no outward sign of damage.

If your kid is very serious about riding and is thinking about going racing, then you may want to consider gear that is closer to pro-level.

Here's what you'll pay for top-of-the-line stuff: helmet ($200-plus), goggles ($35), motocross jersey ($35), under-the-jersey chest protector ($60), over-the-jersey chest protector ($120), motocross boots ($160), motocross pants ($100), motocross gloves ($30), and a kidney belt ($30).

Also, knee guards ($50), elbow guards ($23), wrist guards ($26), and a neck guard ($30).

This level of protection can be pricey, but it's the best available. If you're looking to keep costs down, consider buying used or find closeouts of last year's gear at retailers.