ATV in the snow

Review: Polaris 2880023 Cab Heater Kit With Defrost

There are many reasons to get out in the winter time with your ATV, there are new places to explore, things to get accomplished and hunting opportunities to be had, but there is probably one main reason to keep you from getting these things done – the bitter cold!

It’s a valid reason, but there are work-arounds to it. There are many cabs available in the market place, and they definitely do work, but they really help in keeping the elements from directly hitting you and do little in the way of keeping you warm when it’s literally freezing outside.

So where does that leave you when you can’t just pick up and go somewhere warm? Well, you bring the warmth to you. There are several after market heating products you can install in the under-dash of your ATV that provide full controls, including vents and everything necessary to keep you riding as long as you want.

The Polaris Cab Heater with Defrost is one that can accomplish both temperature control as well as defrost capabilities. This is a product with many positive user reviews and comes from a manufacturer that has been in this space for years.

What’s included in the Kit?

This complete kit comes with everything you need to adjust the temperature and defrost your windows including convenient and easy to read knobs with a four speed fan control. it also has an in-dash control module, the heating unit, ventilation ducting and the actual vents.

How long does the install take?

The installation process is involved and will take a full 6 hours if you are handy and more mechanically inclined.  There are several cuts and holes that you’ll need to make into the dash and there are several pieces that need to be mounted.  If this is something that intimidates you or you’re not inclined to take on the project then you should seek someone else to make the installation for you.  There are many youtube videos that you can use as a resource to help you successfully install the unit, but i’d recommend watching a few to see how involved the process is.  It’s better to see what you’ll be getting yourself into before you start making holes into your dash.

Is this a OEM product?

Yes, this is an OEM product by Polaris who started making snowmobiles back in the 50’s.  They’ve been in the space for many years and have designed a product that many riders are happy to have purchased.

What are the BTU’s of the heater?

After looking through different sources, none of which say exactly what the BTU output is, the range is likely between 18,000 to 20,000 BTU’s.  This is after also comparing several different, but very similar models and determining that their BTU’s were in a very similar range.

A BTU, AKA British Thermal Unit, is a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one fahrenheit at one atmosphere of pressure.  To put things in perspective, a space heater puts out about 5,000 BTUs and approximately 1,500 watts, yet a furnace in your house may have anywhere between 60,000 to 100,000 BTU’s but a house may have 2,500 square feet of space which comes out to 40 BTU’s per square foot.  A space heater is only used for a particular room, for simple math purposes, let’s say the room has 200 square feet which equals an output of 25 BTU’s per square feet.  This particular cab heater from Polaris has an output of 18,000 (on the low end) and given the small cabin space, the output per the amount of given space should be higher than both other scenarios.

Does it have options to change from heat to defrost?

Coming out of the box, this unit comes with eight total duct vents, four are located in the dash board, two are used as defrost vents and the other two are located on the floor.  There is no “mode” that can be switched to and from, but by manually closing off certain vents, you can toggle the system from heater to defroster and vice versa.

Does the fan have different fan speeds?

Yes, this unit comes with three different fan speeds that can be easily adjusted to control the flow that gets pushed out.  This model has the power to get the cab nice and toasty, even in sub-zero temperatures.

Does the unit connect into the coolant system?

Yes it does.  Connecting to the coolant system does require some disconnecting of lines, then cutting, trimming and repositioning them into place.

Pros:
  • Quality product from a quality manufacturer
  • Endless positive user reviews
  • Powerful system with a high output
  • 8 vents that can each be opened or closed
  • 3 speed fan to control the volume of heat that is released
Cons:
  • lengthy and involved installation process
  • Requires cutting of the dash board
  • other tools required

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