A Once in a Lifetime Sled Ride

Shooting with Klim Technical Riding Gear in Bonfield, Ontario

On my way back from work the other night I got a phone call from John Arkwright. Jon was looking to fill a very particular role for an upcoming catalogue shoot. Being a fit young woman with snowmobiling experience and particularly experience with snowmobile video and photography shoots, I fit the bill perfectly. I was instantly excited and all ears for what John had to say. I’m always eager to ride and I love getting to meet like-minded motorheads in the industry.

When John told me we would be staying at Cedar Gables Lodge, located just 15 minutes east of North Bay in Northeastern Ontario, I was even more excited! Cedar Gables is one of my absolute favourite places to stay. Everything feels like home from the genuine home-cooked meals to the big comfy beds with pillows you will be wanting to stuff in your bag for your own bed. The beds and food are only toped by the sweetest hospitality provided by Darcy and his wife Joanne. These are people who truly care about YOUR experience. Couple that with the fact that you can rent out all 4 rooms and they cater directly to snowmobilers and you’ve got yourself the perfect combination for the perfect exposure to Ontario trail riding. 

As I showed up to Cedar Gables Lodge on Tuesday, I was greeted by my old friend Jeff McGirr who quickly introduced me to Mark Giesler from Giesler Marine in Powassan and the KLiM crew John, Cortney and Scott from Rigby Idaho, USA. I was so excited when I found out that I would have the pleasure of riding for KLIM! I hadn’t had the opportunity to use KLIM gear before this trip so I was certainly looking forward to giving it all a spin. With my job I can often be found riding snowmobiles all over Ontario in all kinds of weather conditions. Because of my diversity of locations, and that of Ontario’s weather in general, I’m always on the lookout for newer, better, and cold weather specific gear. KLIM builds technical riding gear using industry leading design, development and manufacturing technologies. They say they build gear for the most demanding riders and environments, so I was ready to put this gear to the test!

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With KLIM being based out of Idaho, only a short distance from snowmobile heavens, like Yellowstone National Park, it definitely made me question why Ontario? As the KLIM crew put it, and us Ontarians like to boast, Ontario is extremely diverse. We have trail types covering everything from wide-open lakes to tight twisting trails and weather conditions from -5 to -40 along with mixtures of snow, ice and rain at different times of the year. John says this diversity is what makes Ontario the perfect place to showcase KLIM because their riding gear is specifically designed to give riders maximum comfort no matter the conditions.

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The experience, riding style and conditions of our #OntarioSnowTrails is vastly different from the western snowmobile hot spots that I’m used to seeing KLIM showcase, so I had my doubts about what I assumed was “mountain” gear. My doubts doubled when John handed me the gear I would be wearing. My “winter jacket” felt lighter and thinner than my fall coat and although my boots looked fuzzy and warm they were so small they reminded me of my dress boots! Growing up my snowmobile suits made me look like the Michelin Man. Big, puffy, thick and awkward has always been my image of what snowmobile gear is…correction….WAS. After wearing my KLIM gear for two days in temperatures varying from -15 to -30 I was astonished! Not only was I astonished but so was the rest of the crew who had never worn KLIM before either. We were WARM the entire time! With poor circulation in my hands and feet its a constant battle to keep warm, but with my KLIM gear I didn’t even believe one of my friends when they told me it was -27. Plus we were standing in the middle of a frozen lake with no wind protection! Just WOW.

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After the first day of riding blew my mind I got talking with John, Scott and Cortney about what makes their gear so exceptional. KLIM builds their gear out of the best materials available, including GORE-TEX®. They’ve explored every option for waterproof/breathable technologies and they’ve decided that GORE-TEX® is the victor by a landslide. Not only is their material on point but the physical design and placement of the material makes a huge difference. KLIM’s Zonal Insulating Technology involves using different layers of insulation to affectively control heat retention across the body. Areas that are prone to rapid cooling and affected by head on winds are given greater levels of insulation while areas of the body more prone to overheating and sweating receive less. Their Comfort Mapping method uses a specific GORE-TEX® construction and laminating method. Both keep the hot areas of your body cooler and the cold areas of your body warmer.

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KLIM takes great pride in keeping their customers warm and happy! They also take great pride in the durability of their gear. With a real attention to detail and the fact that they are driven by continual feedback and input from test pilots and passionate customers it only stands to reason that they offer one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry. From their GORE-TEX® GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise to their Lifetime Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, you can buy KLIM products with confidence.

Not only was I impressed with their riding gear I was also impressed with the people behind the brand. Cortney, Scott and John were exceptional and I am so pleased they had a terrific time on our @OntarioSnowTrails! The three of them spoke fondly of Ontario not only for the beautiful scenery and exceptional trails but also for the warm hospitality. I guarantee that when Steven, Cortney and Mark are talking about that hospitality they are thinking fondly of Cedar Gables Lodge and all the fantastic people they met out on the trails. After being able to test the gear in more extreme weather, I can honestly say this is the warmest, most breathable and comfortable gear I have ever worn. Plus once word got out who I was riding for I had friends lining up to tell me how much they love their KLIM gear! Positive feedback from people I trust? Now that leaves me feeling confident.

About Shelby Mahon

Growing up snowmobiling in Northern Ontario has been a defining aspect of Shelby's life. She is now the owner of Backcountry Motorsports Media and travels across North America photographing and documenting motorsports events and tourism destinations. Check out her Facebook, Instagram and website for more info.

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