Avoid hours of digging out of slushy pockets by getting the best snowmobile for slush. Some snowmobile models are better for slush than others.
Here’s the ultimate buyers’ guide that details what to look for in track size, weight, and power to keep you out of these uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations.
The 2023 Ski-Doo Freeride 165 850 E-TEC Power Shot PowderMax X-XLight 3.0 with Flexedge LAC is the best snowmobile for slush because of its powerful engine, and sharp responsiveness for powering out of deep snow and slush. The updated tracks have enhanced traction with the length and width ideal for tackling slush. Its light weight enhances floatation.
What Is The Best Snowmobile For Deep Snow
The 2023 Ski-Doo Freeride 165 is designed for deep-snow riding with a powerful engine, wide tracks, and a lightweight build that keeps you floating on top.
Advanced technology with comfort, convenience, and utility features make this model an exceptional choice for all riding conditions with the power to get you out of deep snow and slush.
- Powerful 2-Cylinder Engine – The Freeride is equipped with a powerful Rotax 850 E-TEC, 2-stroke eRave, liquid-cooled engine with 849 cc displacement, E-TEC direct fuel injection with extra booster injectors, generating 165 horsepower. It runs on premium unleaded gasoline with a 9.5-gallon tank for distance riding.
- Premium Wide Tracks And Skis – The Freeride comes with Pilot DS 3 Skis with a 36-inch adjustable stance of 4-inch carbide with a square 3/8 runner. The tracks are PowderMax X-Light with FlexEdge with 165 x 16 x 3.0-inch dimensions. They’re the ideal combination for handling deep snow and slush with lightweight performance, and the length and width to enhance floatation. Ski-Doo upgraded its performance tracks with a new lug design that adds more traction but subtracts from their overall weight for lighter tracks with increased grip and traction ability.
- REV Gen5 Platform – The latest edition of the chassis is an upgrade from the previous REV Gen4 edition to the new REV Gen5 with improved dynamics and a more aerodynamic aesthetic and performance in all conditions. It’s a progressive change that gives riders less wind resistance and narrower cut through deep snow for slicing through drifts and slush pockets and agile handling. The more compact and lightweight version is ideal for deep snow riding. A more open design of the running boards allows snow to drop out instead of caking and causing hang. Ski-Doo lowered the weight from 6 to 16 pounds from their lineup of machines for 2022.
- Smooth Ride Features – The Freeride is equipped with KYB Pro 36 EA-3 front shock with lightweight springs in the front, and the 40 model in the center and rear, with a RAS 3 front suspension with 8.5-inch travel, tMotionX in the rear suspension with 10.4-inch travel.
- Convenience And Comfort Features – The dash-mounted instrumentation features a 4.5-inch display of gauges to keep riders informed of the necessary speed, mileage, oil, fuel, and other data. Heated throttle levers and grips are a comfort riding feature, and the front and rear bumpers protect the integrity of the sled.
The motor’s direct injection features cylinder head voice-coil injectors that deliver a precise fuel and oxygen mix.
Also, the 850 has booster injectors that sit atop the motor on the intake side.
The idea behind the booster injectors is to deliver to the motor an added “boost spray” (air-fuel mixture) when the motor’s throttle is snapped hard at mid-range and high RPM.
To simplify this is to say, the boost injector system is like a mini nitrous system. Not as radical as nitrous, but works in the same concept using the snowmobile’s fuel.
And so, what does this mean to the Freeride? Throttle response is snappy, precise, and there when you need it; when it comes time to hit back at a mountain that is trying to defeat the climber and his or her mission, the big 850 with boost injection, gives the Freeride extra oomph to hit back and win.
The 849cc Rotax delivers its peak 165 horsepower at 8,000 RPM with more than 106 lb-ft of torque.
The 2022 Freeride costs $15,699 to $17,199, depending on the accessories and upgrades chosen.
I compared it with the similar Polaris RMK KHAOS Matryx 850 155, which offers similar features, for a price of $15,199.
The Polaris is $500 less without upgrades or additional accessory options. The SKi-Doo is more expensive, but it has a more solid track record for reliability.
I like the additional horsepower engine in the Freeride.
What I Like
- Powerful engine
- Lightweight for less bog-down
- Updated chassis platform is improved over the previous version
- Slimmer profile with better aerodynamics and responsiveness
What I Dislike
- The liquid-cooled engine. I prefer fan-cooled for cold, wet conditions.
Ski-Doo updated its snowmobile products from the REV Gen 4 platform to its new REV Gen5 platform for the chassis.
The 2022 editions come with the new chassis with a more dynamic experience for riders with narrower body panels and improved aerodynamics, and new dynamic LED headlights that are brighter than the older versions.
How To Choose The Best Snowmobile For Slush
Snowmobiles for deep snow are best when you encounter slushy situations.
The same traction and power for powering through deep snow can get you out of a slushy situation with relative ease, to avoid getting bogged down. A powerful utility snowmobile is the best option.
1 – Engine Power
A powerful engine can help you throttle through deep snow and slush pockets.
It’s best to have a high torque machine that is responsive with fast throttle response to direct the power to the tracks to speed through slush pockets as fast as possible, to prevent bogging down and getting stuck.
In most cases, an open throttle can get you out of slush if you power out before the sled bogs down, but you need a machine that will deliver immediate thrust and speed.
2 – Lighter Weight For Tackling Slush And Deep Snow
Powerful snowmobiles and light can help you speed through occasional snow pockets.
Heavier sleds tend to bog down faster because of the weight. The best feature to look for aside from power is a lightweight machine that is less likely to sink fast and deep into the muck.
3 – Wide Tracks
The track width matters when it comes to floatation and staying on top of the snow and ice.
It distributes the weight of the sled across a larger area and can help you to glide more easily across deep snow and slush pockets without getting bogged down.
The average track width is 15 inches, but some brands offer models with track widths up to 24 inches. Wide tracks offer benefits and drawbacks.
Long, wide tracks are heavier and require more power to operate, which isn’t a benefit in slushy conditions.
Choose a track that is somewhere between 16 to 20 inches, unless you spend top dollar for a powerful machine that can compensate for the heavier tracks.
4 – Long Tracks
Snowmobiles with longer tracks can help you power through deep snow and the occasional slush pocket.
Longer tracks provide you with more surface area to distribute the weight over the snow and slush with better floatation.
5 – Agility
Agility is another important feature of snowmobiling in deep snow and slush.
The best machines provide nimble and agile handling to help you steer through deep drifts and slushy areas for precision turns and better avoidance potential.
Fast responsiveness in the steering can help you avoid situations likely to result in a bog-down.
Best Way To Get Snowmobile Unstuck From Slush
When you realize you’ve hit a slush pocket open the throttle to power out of the slush.
If this method doesn’t get you out of the muck, and you find that your snowmobile is stuck, there are a few tricks you can use to get your machine back on more solid ground.
Turn the engine off and assess the situation. Use a small shovel to remove the slush from around the tracks and below them to help you get traction.
Pack the snow in front of the skis down in an area that extends out for five or six feet.
If you have reverse gear, pack the snow down firmly behind the snowmobile for the same distance. Remove all slush from the skid bottoms.
Gain as much compaction in the front and rear as possible, to get traction. You can also unpack the sled to reduce the weight and pick up the cargo after you get out.
Rev the engine standing to the side and grip the handlebars. Try to power out of the slush without adding your body weight.
Be prepared to jump on the sled as soon as the skids are on top of the snow, then power out of the slush, pick up your cargo and you’re back in business.
You may need to do some digging and bring in the snow to pack around the slush, but with a little effort, it’s not usually too difficult to power out of a slush pocket.
Another way to get out of a slush pocket is to have a fellow rider attach a tow rope to the sled and pull it out.
Helpful Tips To Know About The Best Snowmobile For Slush
Choose the best model equipped with design features that help power through deep snow and slush.
Essential capabilities are a light machine and track weight, powerful engine, and nimble handling.
- Always try to avoid areas of slush whenever possible.
- Open the throttle all the way if you land in slush, to power out of the soup.
- The best snowmobiles for deep snow and slush can help to power out, but you must know the best methods for avoiding bogging down or getting out of slush safely.
The most skilled snowmobile riders can fall victim to a bog-down in deep slush. The type of snowmobile and its features can help you avoid getting stuck.
A powerful engine, nimble handling, and light body weight with wide and long tracks can give you traction and floatation that can help to prevent getting stuck.
The best snowmobile for the job for the 2022-2023 snowmobiling season is the Ski-Doo Freeride 165.