ATV vs UTV? A quick comparison.

Trail riding in the Colorado mountains is a favorite of many locals and visitors, but what’s the best power sport machine to use on those trails? Are you going to have the most fun on an ATV or in a UTV? With all the power sport options out there nowadays, it’s a good question. To the eye of an untrained or “fresh” adventure seeker, an ATV and UTV hold more than a few visual similarities but they’re actually very different machines and they both hold quite a few different purposes. Here’s a rundown of the ATV vs UTV question.

ATV stands for “all terrain vehicle” which is perfect for all of us Colorado dwellers considering we get an average of 300 sunny days a year, and boy do we like to take advantage of all of them. Rain, snow, mud or sunshine, an ATV will bring you a romping good time. It’s nimble body, saddle style seat and handlebar style steering make for an agile machine that lets its one to two riders enjoy a fast paced trail-run through any terrain.

UTV is short for “utility task vehicle”. They’re meant for the roughest of terrain types and are often used for lugging and hauling things. Instead of seating two people who are straddling the machine, a UTV has bench or bucket seats and can seat up to four (sometimes six) people. Steering is done via a wheel instead of handlebars and the passengers are seat belted in inside of an enclosed steel cage. UTV’s come across as a more “family friendly” activity when considering the seatbelts, cage enclosure and seat style.

Both ATVs and UTVs provide copious amounts of fun. Especially on the beautiful backtrails of the Colorado Rockies. I think it depends on who you’re sporting with, if you plan on bringing anything with you, and what your end game is. If you’re hunting with a ton of gear or towing something along with you, a UTV seem the route to go. Not to mention you have a sturdy spot to store your game in if you have a successful hunting trip. But if you’re looking for speed and a nice adrenaline rush for yourself and one other person while you navigate through tight, muddy trails, an ATV is right up your alley.

Whichever machine you choose to bring you on an outdoor adventure, always make sure you’re prepared with the right gear and emergency equipment. Check out our post here about what you should bring when heading out on the trails.