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Best ATV Gear & Accessories: Trail Riding Essentials

ATV riding offers a thrilling way to explore rugged landscapes and enjoy the great outdoors. But to ensure safety and enjoyment during these adventures, having the right gear and accessories is essential. This article covers the best ATV accessories and other trail riding must-haves — from functional enhancements to protective gear and equipment.

If you haven’t prepared your quad for a long-awaited weekend getaway yet, now is the perfect time to do it with the right tools, gear, and accessories. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need:

  1. Weather-Gauging Tools
  2. Spare Tire & Tire Repair Kit
  3. A Well-Rounded Basic Tool Kit
  4. Recovery Kit
  5. Emergency Kit
  6. Specialized Clothing and Protective Gear
  7. Accessories

Sometimes, conquering the trail requires a little extra muscle. And by this, I don’t mean pro-like riding skills or a heftier four-wheeler. You’ll need to have your ATVing arsenal full and ready — and today’s article will guide you in doing just that.

Person Wearing Helmet and Red Jacket Riding ATV

Must-Haves for ATV Trail Riding

Before we get to the gist of today’s guide, let’s first revisit the tools and gear that are fundamental to ATV riding:

1. Weather-Gauging Tools

Although not universally recognized as part of the core essentials for ATVing, having these instruments handy can pre-empt recovery situations effectively. That said, I recommend including at least a weather radio and GPS device in your tool kit, regardless of how short or innocuous your outdoor adventure may be.

2. Spare Tire & Tire Repair Kit

In addition to the components detailed in my Essential Tools & Gear for Off-Roading post, here are other items that’ll complete your tire repair kit. (Again, these remedies are only temporary and do not substitute taking a severely damaged or punctured tire to a professional mechanic or technician.):

  • Tire bead sealer to maintain proper inflation, prevent leaks, and ensure a proper seal between the tire and the rim
  • Tire irons and levers to remove the tire from the rim and make servicing punctured tires easier
  • Rubber cement to enhance the sealing of patches or plugs, providing extra security against leaks
  • Nitrile gloves to protect the hands from dirt, grease, and any potentially harmful chemicals
  • Small brush or cloth for cleaning the area around the puncture before applying the patch or plug (should also be good for other servicing needs).
  • Patch-roller tool to ensure a good bond between the patch and the tire
  • Zip ties to secure tires that are difficult to seat on the rim
  • Tire sealant, as an added measure to seal small punctures on the go
  • Spare valve stems, and valve core as a replacement in case one gets damaged during the repair process.

3. A Well-Rounded Basic Tool Kit

Like the preceding bullet, most of what comprises a basic tool kit has already been detailed in the same article I quoted. But to ensure you’re aptly prepared for unforeseen situations, you may want to add these other items to your list:

  • Threadlocker, to help prevent nuts and bolts from loosening due to vibrations
  • Grease or lubricant to keep moving parts well-lubricated
  • Metric Allen wrench set for fastening hexagonal bolts commonly found on ATVs
  • Safety wire for securing fasteners and preventing them from loosening
  • Spare fuses and spark plugs, as a replacement for blown fuses and fouled plugs
  • Baling wire for various temporary fixes and improvisations
  • Thread repair kit for fixing stripped threads in bolt holes
  • Small funnel for easier refueling without spilling
  • Chain breaker and rivet tool to help with maintenance and repairs for chain-driven quads
  • Siphon pump, for transferring fluids between containers or removing excess fluids
  • Hammer or rubber mallet for tapping and gently persuading components into place
  • Your owner’s manual (but of course!)

Depending on your ATV’s needs, you don’t necessarily need to have all these items in your tool kit. As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to tailor the contents of your kit to your ATV’s make and model, the rides you’ll be going on, and your mechanical expertise.

4. Recovery Kit

An off-roading recovery kit is similar to an ATV’s. But for purposes of recall, let me reiterate what this kit consists of:

  • Winch
  • Winch line dampener
  • Tow strap
  • Quality-rated ropes and snatch straps
  • Tree trunk protector
  • Recovery damper
  • Shovel (preferably a D-handle)
  • High-Lift Jack
  • D-ring Isolators
  • Traction mats or boards
  • Carabiners or quick links
  • Spare bow shackles
  • Map and compass/GPS

Some items — like the flashlight, air compressor, and GPS/navigation devices — are already part of other core tool kits essential to ATV riding. Communications devices like radios and satellite phones are likewise included in an emergency kit as they are in a recovery kit. That said, ensure you don’t bring duplicate items before heading out, as unnecessary added weight can prove detrimental (especially when attempting self-recovery or getting out of sticky situations).

Recovery/Attachment Points

More of a standard ATV inclusion than an accessory, recovery or attachment points assist in recovery situations — enabling riders to make full use of what they have in their kits. They are typically located on the front and rear of the machine and are reinforced to withstand push-and-pull forces exerted during recovery operations.

The exact design and location of these points can vary per ATV make and model (And no, they are not the same as tie-down points found on most utility-oriented or high-performance ATVs). Some quads may have built-in, easily identifiable recovery points. Others might require aftermarket accessories to provide suitable recovery attachment points (more on this in subsequent sections).

5. Emergency Kit

For your ATV emergency kit, focus on gear that can help you deal with ATV-related issues, mechanical problems, and navigating unexpected situations while riding off-road — such as a well-stocked first-aid kit, safety equipment, plus other tool kits mentioned in this guide. The emergency and survival kit inclusions cited in my article on Essential Tools & Gear for Off-Roading are extensive but may be more appropriate for outdoor survival and camping as opposed to ATVing emergencies.

6. Specialized Clothing and Protective Gear

It isn’t enough that you prepare for exigencies. Before embarking on your off-road adventure, you must also be clad in protective gear. Clothing and bodily accessories meant for ATVing are crucial for your safety and comfort while on the road. On this note, here’s a breakdown of the basic apparel for riders with samples of the best gear for ATV riding for some of the bullets:

You’ll notice that this list is pretty basic and does not encompass clothing requirements for colder seasons. That’s because riders (especially recreational ones) often do not go ATVing during winter. Hence, I’ve only listed all-weather protective gear typically worn by most enthusiasts (no need for the layering method) — although you can opt for a neck brace/protector (view on Amazon) or a dust mask, depending on where and how long you’ll ride.

7. Accessories

Yellow ATV in Front of Volcano

Preparing for your weekend adventure doesn’t end with completing the items above. Depending on the stock build of your quad and the riding conditions of your preferred location, you may need to equip your machine with one or more of the items below:

  • Storage Box/Bag. A secure storage solution for carrying essentials, tools, and personal items.
  • Handguards. These style-enhancing add-ons protect your hands from branches, rocks, and debris, enhancing safety and comfort.
  • LED Light Bar. Extra lighting for night rides or low-light conditions helps improve visibility and safety.
  • Tire Chains. These enhance traction in snowy or muddy trail conditions.
  • Snorkel Kit. If you plan on riding through water or mud, a snorkel kit helps prevent water from getting into your ATV’s engine.
  • Gun Rack. If your visit to the trails involves hunting, this accessory will be a great addition to your quad.
  • Audio System. Although deemed a luxury, a good sound system built for rugged conditions adds entertainment to your off-road travels.
  • Throttle Thumb Control. It reduces hand fatigue during long rides by providing a more comfortable grip on the throttle.
  • Hand Warmers. These wonders keep your hands warm and comfortable during cold-weather rides.
  • Trail Pass/Permit Holder. This keeps your trail access permits and passes organized and visible.

Aftermarket accessories that double as recovery points for ATVs without this inclusion:

  • Front and rear bumpers with reinforced mounting points for winching or towing
  • Front and rear hitch receivers with shackle mounts
  • ATV frame brackets that can be mounted to the ATV’s stock frame
  • Winch mounts with built-in recovery points that can be used in conjunction with a winch.
  • Roll cages with integrated attachment points on the cage itself.
  • Rear cargo racks with sturdy attachment points and additional storage space
  • Skid plates like UTV Hitchworks Skid Plate and Receiver Hitch Extension (view on Amazon) that incorporate recovery points apart from protecting the undercarriage of your quad
  • Control arm guards

TIP: When retrofitting your ATV with these aftermarket options, avoid using attachment points that lack a proper load rating or employing incorrect attachment methods, as these actions can damage your ATV or cause severe injuries to those involved in the recovery procedure.


In summary, here are the ATV trail riding essentials discussed in this guide (including the best ATV accessories):

  1. Weather-Gauging Tools
  2. Spare Tire & Tire Repair Kit
  3. A Well-Rounded Basic Tool Kit
  4. Recovery Kit
  5. Emergency Kit
  6. Specialized Clothing and Protective Gear
  7. Accessories

When it comes to ATVing, the right tools, gear, and accessories can transform a good ride into something awesome and unforgettable. From safeguarding your safety to enhancing functionality and comfort, each accessory serves a purpose in the grand tapestry of off-road exploration.

Whether you’re a casual rider or an avid enthusiast, investing in essential ATV gear and accessories will not only keep you from harm’s way but also take your riding experience to new heights. So before you hit the trails, pimp your quad and gear up! This way, you’re well-prepared for the challenges ahead.