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When my sled gets stuck while I’m snowmobiling, I need the best snowmobile shovel to dig it out. I love cruising through the backcountry, which can have some soft spots for a snowmobile, where it gets bogged down in a drift. It is a good idea to carry one for emergency avalanche rescue. Check out our snowmobile shovel reviews and ratings below.
Like snowmobile ice scratchers and snowmobile studs, a shovel is an essential snowmobile accessory. When you get stuck out in the middle of nowhere, you will be happy to have the best snowmobile shovel to quickly dig your way out of trouble. If you are in an area with the risk of avalanche, you will want to have one of these that I reviewed. Check out the top five best snowmobile shovels below.
In This Article
The Black Diamond Shovel Ultra Snowmobile Safety Shovel is the best snowmobile shovel because it’s made from durable anodized aluminum and weighs less than two pounds for easy carrying.
The Black Diamond Evac Shovel can be set up to use as a shovel or as a hoe. It has a lightweight design made out of anodized aluminum, which weighs just under two pounds (1.97 lbs). The shaft telescopes out for full use and then goes back to a smaller size for putting it away or for carrying in a pack. It comes in two sizes of 0.7 gallons and 0.9 gallons.
This sport utility shovel works well for rapid snow removal and for digging snow pits. The flat blade bottom creates a nice, clean, even face on a pit wall, and the handle is a large D-shape with a comfortable grip. This shovel is suitable for long days digging multiple snow pits or for rapid digging in an emergency response situation. The collapsed length is 28 inches. The extended length is 38.8 inches. The large wide blade can move lots of snow, and its dimensions are 10.5 inches wide by 11 inches long.
- Aluminum construction is strong and lightweight
- Multi-purpose shovel can dig out vehicles and make a snow shelf for a tent
- It easily changes from shovel to hoe configuration
- Black Diamond has a good reputation as a brand
- A bit too large for carrying in a snowmobile backpack
The KLIM Back Country Shovel System Snowmobile Shovel is the best snowmobile shovel because it easily fits into KLIM backpacks, and it’s extremely lightweight, so you’ll hardly notice it’s there.
The KLIM Back Country Shovel System Snowmobile Tool is an accessory that fits in a KLIM Nac Pak or a KLIM Krew Pak. Those are backpacks made for riding on motorcycles and for snowmobile riders to take along with them when riding. Besides carrying this emergency-use snowmobile shovel, these packs carry water and spare parts.
If you are planning to go cross-country trekking on your snowmobile, then this is a shovel to consider taking along to help get out of trouble. KLIM makes many snowmobile and motorcycle-riding accessories that work together, which are durable and high-quality. This shovel is aluminum. It has a snow/ice saw inside the handle. If I get into a survival situation, I want to have a shovel like this one. The handle is extendable for a good reach. It creates some effective leverage when using the shovel or the saw. The grip is over-sized, which I find very comfortable when digging.
- Made from durable aluminum
- Weighs less than a pound
- KLIM brand is highly regarded by many backcountry adventurers
- Only fits in KLIM backpacks
The Lifeline 4004 Red Aluminum Sport Utility Collapsible Shovel is the best snowmobile shovel because it comes in six different color options and is an affordable option for snowmobilers on a budget.
The Lifeline 404 shovel is a great shovel that comes at a bargain price. It comes in six colors, but the red option is the most popular. This is a collapsible shovel, which is easy to take apart into three pieces or assemble for use. The handle tube clicks into place with retractable metal pins. Those pins are the same kind you might see on the tube handle that you use for a vacuum cleaner. To take this shovel apart for storage, you pinch the pins with two fingers, to release the pieces from each other.
The shovel length can be set to 26 inches or 32 inches to provide the leverage needed to dig the snow. This shovel is suitable for digging out snowmobiles, vehicles, and RVs that are stuck in light snow.
- Easy assembly and disassembly
- Adjustable length of either 26 inches or 32 inches
- Lightweight, weighs less than two pounds
- Not the best shovel for heavy snow
The BCA D-2 Dozer Hoe Avalanche Shovel with Folding Saw is the best snowmobile shovel because it includes a folding saw that you can use to cut through brush and tree branches.
The Backcountry Access D-2 EXT Dozer Hoe and Avalanche Shovel with Folding Saw is a professional-grade emergency rescue tool. Its design is for using to dig out avalanche victims and works well for digging out a snowmobile too. The handle extends for use and easily collapses. It is adjustable for either a shovel or a hoe configuration. The shovel handle turns around to provide strength for the hoe configuration. The included saw blade folds up, and it can cut through ice, snow, tree branches, and other plant debris.
When I am in the backcountry and the snowmobile is stuck, this shovel is a good choice to use for specific strategic-area shoveling to get it unstuck. The same technique may help free a vehicle by digging under the tires to get them out of a hole. All the pieces snap together and disassemble into four separate parts for compact storage or packing. It fits in a BCA float 32 pack and some KLIM packs.
- Works as a shovel, hoe, and saw
- Made from lightweight aluminum
- Handle length is adjustable
- Price reflects its quality
The Nachman Snow Shovel With Detachable Saw is the best snowmobile shovel because there is a saw hidden in the handle, and it’s made from durable, high-impact Lexan instead of metal.
The Nachman Snow Shovel with Detachable Saw Sm-12109-1 has a clever design. The grip pulls out of the handle tube to reveal a detachable saw. This shovel weighs two pounds. The shovel blade is a transparent material called Lexan, which is durable, high-impact plastic. Snow does not stick to this shovel blade material.
The handle extendable handle telescopes to extend for use and then snap-locks into place. The handle is a T-grip style with finger guides for more control. This handle also does a good job when using the detachable saw. This is a modestly-priced item, so you can buy it without worrying about breaking the bank.
- Small and compact
- Weighs about two pounds
- Detachable saw located in the handle
- Good choice for small-scale shoveling needs
- Lexan is not as durable as aluminum
Features to Consider for the Best Snowmobile Shovel
Now that you’ve read our snowmobile shovel reviews, it’s time to think about the features that you want in a shovel. For the best snowmobile shovel, the things to think about are the price, compactness, weight, durability, and usefulness.
The ability to breakdown a shovel into compact pieces for storage and carrying in a backpack is very useful. When I am out on my snowmobile, there is a limited area to store things and everything extra that I need must fit in my backpack.
The weight of the best snowmobile shovel is important for two reasons. One is that you have to carry it in a backpack. Anyone who goes into the backcountry knows that carrying heavy things will cause a person to tire out faster. The other consideration is that the weight of the snow shovel adds to the weight of the snow you shovel. A heavier shovel means constantly lifting that weight with each scoop of snow that you remove.
I can hardly think of anything more frustrating than trying to dig your snowmobile out of a mess and have the snow shovel break the first time you try to use it. Personally, I much prefer aluminum shovels to plastic, but there are some great plastic options available. A good high-impact plastic can work just as well as metal, even if it may not last for quite as long. Aluminum shovels can also be lightweight, and they will also last longer than plastic ones. Stainless steel shovels also exist, but they aren’t as common because they add a lot of extra weight.
A nice feature is having the snow shovel covert to a hoe. In the hoe configuration, you can pull much of the snow away very quickly and not have to lift it as much. Some of the snowmobile shovels I looked at also included saws. While you may not think a saw will be useful while out in the snow, it can still find its uses. If you drive into a thick bush, it will be easier to cut your snowmobile free than pulling with your hands.
Benefits of Using Snowmobile Shovels
Like a snowmobile cover or snowmobile dollies, a good shovel is essential for taking care of your snowmobile. It should be easy for me to convince you of the benefits of using the best snowmobile shovel. Just think about trying to dig yourself out of a mess by hand or trying to use a tree branch or something you find. That would be misery and probably not even successful.
Buying the best snowmobile shovel alongside when you buy a snowmobile is just like having a bit of extra insurance if something goes wrong. There may also be opportunities to be a good Samaritan and help others that you run across on your adventure who are stuck in the snow.
Heavy snowfall can be unexpected and catch you off guard. A few years back, I left my snowmobile outside because I was feeling a little lazy, and the weather forecast said there wasn’t going to be any snowfall that night. The next morning, I went outside and found that there was a giant snowdrift where I parked my snowmobile. Fortunately, I had a snowmobile shovel in my backpack, so I was able to dig it out fairly easily. This also doubles as a reminder to always double-check the National Weather Service to make sure the forecast hasn’t changed.
Precautions of Using Snowmobile Shovels
The main thing to worry about when using a snow shovel of this type is breaking it. It is easy to put a considerable amount of leverage on the snow blade. This may cause a break at the joint where the blade meets the handle tube. If the snow shovel is going to break, it will most likely break at that juncture.
If that happens, you have a broken-off shovel blade and a useless handle. Then, if that is all you have to work with, you will have to use the shovel blade part alone as a scoop with just your hands. This is going to make your fingers get cold fast even if you are wearing gloves.
I prefer to avoid the chance of this happening by doing two things. First, I buy a better quality snow shovel for emergencies that is lightweight but still strong and made from aluminum. Second, I am careful about how much pressure I put on the shovel when I use it, especially in heavy snow. Do not try to lift a snowmobile by yourself if you get stuck in the snow—that’s why we need snowmobile ramps!
My choice for the best snowmobile shovel is the Black Diamond Shovel Ultra Snowmobile Safety Shovel. I like it because it is aluminum. The quality is excellent. The price is modest. It is not the most expensive one in the category of the best snowmobile shovel, nor is it the cheapest. Having the ability to convert it from a snowmobile shovel to a hoe configuration is useful. When it comes to getting my snowmobile unstuck, I find myself using the hoe configuration more than the shovel.
Perhaps, you will experience the same. My technique is to hoe all the snow away from the stuck part. Then, I use the shovel configuration to get the last bits of snow that are in the way. I have been able to get out of a jam in just a few minutes and go on my way. See you in the backcountry next winter!