Dig this handful of the best grown-up toys for playing in the cold, powdery stuff.


There are always the old standbys, like ice skating, or downhill skiing, or making snow angels, or just wadding up a big, fat snowball and throwing it as far and hard as your arm will allow. But the thing about old standbys is that they're, well, old. To cop a phrase, you've been there, done that.

That's exactly why we've rounded up five of the best new playthings to help see you through this winter. It's not like you have to give up your old habits, but if you park one of these in your garage, at least you'll have a choice. Choice is good. Just ask the poor guy you hit with that snowball.

ARCTIC CAT 4-STROKE TRAIL $6,899
(218) 681-8558 or www.arcticcat.com
Snowmobiles have traditionally been a guilty pleasure: Sure, they're wickedly fun, but what about the air and noise pollution unleashed by those buzzy two-stroke engines? Arctic Cat's brand-new 4-Stroke Trail, that's what.

Utilizing a 660 cc, four-stroke engine that generates a snow-surfing 45 horsepower, the 4-Stroke Trail goes about its business with a quiet hum that's a welcome relief to the ears of riders, property owners, and four-legged bystanders alike.

This sled might be easy on the ears and air, but it offers no such concessions to the trail. Acceleration - while not quite the wrist-stretching rush of two-stroke powered sleds - is more than adequate for trail touring purposes, and Arctic Cat has always led the pack when it comes to handling. The Arctic Cat's FasTrack suspension system works its charm in fast, bumpy corners, without forsaking the La-Z-Boy plush that casual tourists revere.

When it comes to ultimate performance as measured by horsepower and top speed, the 4-Stroke Trail can't match traditional two-stroke sleds. But when the environment is factored into the equation, this snowmobile leaves all others floundering in its snowy wake.