5 Best Snowmobile GPS in 2022: (Reviews + Buying Guide)

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Going for a snowmobile ride?

If you are planning to buy a GPS for snowmobiling, it can be overwhelming to make a choice about getting the absolute best snowmobile gps when so many options are available.

I will help you to make a decision.

So, without wasting any time, I’ll give you my best advice in “My Personal Recommendation’ in less than 1 minute.

Let’s find out.

Best GPS for Snowmobiling in 2022

Garmin Tread Navigator

This is one of the go-to GPS devices that I suggest whenever someone asks me. You ask why? Well, I’ll talk about it here a little, you decide.

Firstly you see, unlike many GPS devices, Garmin designs its GPS to give holistic information about the surroundings. As it is, it gives a high-quality visibility experience. This is aided by the big screen of the device which measures around 5.5 inches. What I love about this is it also permits a glove-touch screen to operate the device.

This GPS includes topographical mapping. I love this feature because it’s this sort of mapping that gives me better foresight for the upcoming terrains. It helps me be better prepared as I plan my route for snowmobiling.

To not lose its way in the maze of mountain tracks, this GPS also provides off-road ruggedness and trail navigation. So if you don’t want to get lost, I say get this device as soon as you can.

One of the special features of this GPS is its ABC sensor. That is, an Altimeter that provides you with elevation data, and how much ascent or descent you made; the Barometer that predicts recent weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure, and the other is Compass that shows the direction you are traveling. 

The Garmin GPS works and can see through satellite imagery. This ensures you have the actual location at hand. This further helps you in gauging a better understanding of the surroundings while traveling on the mountainous tracks.

The GPS is InReach compatible. This allows you to keep in touch globally. You will be able to send or receive messages and plan routes on this particular GPS device. All in all, the Garmin GPS device is presently one of the most advanced types of snowmobile GPS out there.

Pros

  • Has a battery life of 6 hours.
  • Can be easily mounted on the dashboard.
  • Comes with its USB cable and a power kit.
  • Provides bird’s eye satellite imagery. 
  • Uses Tread technology.
  • Uses Tube mount for security.

Cons

  • Does not support voice operation.

Garmin Montana 680

Well, talking about this handheld piece of beauty, the first noticeable thing about it is its dual orientation. You can use it, however, suits you be it horizontally or in portrait mode. The 4-inch touch screen gives you high visibility with color imagery. This helps you differentiate between features and also makes it easier to follow. It is even made to be visible in bright sunlight making the searching process faster!

I love this GPS device because it features an 8-megapixel camera. The camera is excellent with clear images and appropriate resolutions. It captures images and automatically geotags them with coordinates. Being a wildlife lover, I am obsessed with this feature when I go out on snowmobile trails! I get to see something, record it and then get to revisit the place to have a potential look at it again!

The Garmin Montana gives you access to GPS and GLONASS. It also provides a one-year subscription to satellite mapping. The advantage of this is that Garmin Montana easily and quickly locates your almost precise position and keeps it intact even under harsh weather conditions or in deeper terrains. So, the novices out there? Go grab your Garmin Montana if you don’t want to get lost in canyons and gorges!

Another attractive feature of your Garmin Montana is its brilliant use of an Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass that helps keep track of your movement at every moment. It even helps track routes and navigates through them.

It has 250,000 preloaded geocaches. This gives a slight recreational twist to your snowmobile rides.

Pros

  • Is hardy and protected against snow, dirt, dust, rain, etc.
  • Has geotagging properties.
  • It offers rides with recreation.

Cons

  • It might not be mountable.

Magellan TRX7 CS Pro 

The best thing I like about this GPS is its screen size. It is so big, 7 inches is quite big compared to usual GPS screens!  On this screen, you will be able to see high-quality images that are so clarified that it also looks like real-life ones with their dimensions and all.

This GPS device has a rear-facing trail camera. This helps you keep an eye on the road and as well as on the weather when it might deteriorate. Only last week, I almost missed the approaching black clouds while riding my sled. Though the front sky was clear. Thanks to the Magellan TRX7, I was warned and could immediately turn back and get home just on time before the weather became the worst!

The GPS device features an LED flash that allows visibility even in bright lights. It also has some pre-loaded trails that help us navigate our tracks. Even off-road trails are there shown on the device.

This device provides a 2-dimensional topographical map that helps us navigate and search through different terrains. It also provides a three-dimensional base map of the US and Canada. This ensures that you know your location and don’t get lost. 

The Magellan also allows free map updates. Thus you can have the latest routes on your GPS and follow them to your content. The feature of track recording is one of my favorites because by this I can retrace my path and go back to often beautiful familiar places even if I have forgotten the route.

Pros

  • A back camera is very useful.
  • The huge size of the GPS screen 
  • Has a turn-by-turn navigation system.

Cons

  • The memory card might fall short on your downloads. 

Garmin Zumo XT

This Garmin model of GPS has a screen of 5.5 inches that gives high-quality pictures with defined resolutions. The images are of course color. This helps you to distinguish between terrain features that in turn help you plan your routes better.

A favorite thing about this particular GPS is that it’s easy to go back and forth between the different maps. By this I mean, that the Garmin Zumo XT gives access to basic street maps, topographical maps as well as satellite images. As we know while street maps are important, it is the topo map that helps on those risky snowmobile trails. And the satellite maps add on that feature that further helps you locate yourself. While riding the Garmin Zumo XT you can easily switch between one map and another whatever suits you at that time and place.

Another favorite of mine with this GPS is its compatibility with Bluetooth. And because of that, you get to hear the turn-by-turn directions spoken directly into your ears. Yes, being a beginner with the sled, this feature has helped a lot. Since I couldn’t always manage to constantly keep an eye on the map and control the sled too, it has been a savior!

Another hero-like feature associated with this gorgeous Garmin Zumo is that it notifies alerts and warns of potential hazards on upcoming routes. Uncountable times Garmin has warned of precarious turns that otherwise could have been very unfortunate for me.

Pros

  • Provide live traffic updates.
  • Provide live weather updates.
  • The record route option is available. 
  • A streaming music option is also available. 

Cons

  • It might not be completely customizable. 
  • The user interface can get a bit tricky for some.

Trail TECH 912-122 Voyager Ski-Doo Polaris

This is one of the smallest but most convenient GPS out there. With a dimension of 4.5 inches by 2.5 inches, it does not sound that promising of a big screen. This screen is specially designed for off-road riders. This screen is built to anti-glare and also can be read and used in rain. It is also built to be read under bright sunlight.

The GPS can also record and download maps. It can also share such maps. This GPS also displays engine data that allows you to gauge how your sled is performing.  The 2.7 TFT is awesome for getting an idea about the environment. It also gives active readings of elevations and directions from the compass.

Though one thing I am not so excited about is the monochromatic display of the GPS. Yes, the maps are visible to us in black and white features. Although this does not affect the functions, I don’t like it much. 

But what I like about it is its ability to record downloads and store my tracks for future reference. With this device, I can plan new routes and put them on. The Voyager GPS also allows you to edit trails. The Voyager is also known to be supported by the app rider to help you create, edit, and save some of your awesome rides.

I also like Voyager because of its uniqueness. It is one of the very few devices that can integrate itself so completely with the vehicle that it can show important vehicle data like engine temperature, RPM, battery voltage, speed, etc.

Pros

  • It has a universal fitting to almost all snowmobiles. 
  • Provides speedometer and tachometer readings in real-time.
  • Lightweight, compact, and easy to carry.

Cons

  • Might not have map trails for all areas.

Garmin Montana 700

Riding snowmobiles in winter chills your hands. So you cannot afford to open your gloves every time you need to touch your GPS. To combat that we have a new and improved Garmin Montana that has a glove-friendly screen of 5.5 inches. The size is quite larger compared to the previous ones.

This is another handheld piece that is protected from all sorts of harsh weather conditions. It is IPX7 rated and thus quite shock resistant. Trust me, it has a rugged look and that same is reflected in the way it can perform effectively amidst the dust, snow, dirt, etc.

The Garmin Montana has preloaded Topo maps. These help you take stock of the terrain you would be traveling. It uses GLONASS too and that is great because the bird’s eye satellite imagery is best when it comes to getting real-time images of a particular location.

What I like about this model of Garmin are its outdoor navigation sensors that include a 3-axis Compass that gives you an idea of the direction you are moving or you were supposed to move. It also includes the barometric altimeter that lets you know the elevation you have climbed and the change in air pressure in the environment!

Also, unlike many snowmobile GPS, this one permits connectivity both through Bluetooth as well as WiFi. It is pro-connected with ANT+ technology which makes it more advanced and easier to use. 

Pros

  • Versatile mounting options.
  • Has multi GNSS support.
  • Its ABC sensors are quite helpful.

Cons

  • It might not come with a micro SD card.

Things to Consider Before buying Snowmobile GPS

Buying Guide for Snowmobile GPS

Investing in a good Snowmobile GPS is vital as it is going to make a world of difference in your sledding trip. By knowing what to look for in your snowmobile GPS, you will know which are the ones you should go for, to have that best memorable experience. Below is a list of a few pointers to keep in mind before investing in one.

Battery Operated

It is both an advantage and a disadvantage. However, the benefits are higher than the latter. A battery-operated GPS would facilitate you with 100% mobility. It would not get you stranded in the middle of nowhere in a place where there is no facility to get your GPS recharged that requires charging.

In the middle of snow-laden hilly terrains, it is almost impossible to find a place with electricity. God forbid if you get into an accident or you got stuck in a place for an uncertain period and your charge runs out. What do you do?

This is when the battery-operated GPS comes into the scene to emancipate you from such a possible imaginary situation. The only thing that is required of you is to carry as many spare batteries as you can afford. 

You can either use Normal AA batteries or Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. However, many prefer  Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries due to the following reasons:

High Energy Density: A device that is used more intensely, the more power it consumes. High energy density batteries will keep sufficient power available for recharging.

Lower Self-Discharge: Batteries with lithium lose their charge over a more extended period, unlike normal batteries, as these standard batteries lose their charge faster, especially in the cold.

No Requirements for Priming: Priming is necessary for some rechargeable batteries when first charged. Lithium batteries do not need priming.

Low Maintenance: This is a self-explanatory point. These batteries are very low maintenance, and all they require is a good amount of recharging.

However, they do age eventually and are more expensive than standard batteries. This is the only disadvantage here.

Small and Handy

GPS should be easy to carry and easy to handle. If it is not very heavy or requires a larger space to be placed, it is more convenient for a boondocker.

As it is smaller in size, the GPS should be easy to pack in your snowmobile backpack or even your essential toolkit. The space saved can be used to pack other essential supplies, like an additional pair of snowmobile socks, spare batteries, balaclavas, food, and water, or other amenities.

If it can be mounted on the handlebar of your sled then GPS is even better when you use it.

Easy Navigation

The GPS itself does most of the navigation for you, without you having to use a compass and be Columbus of the snow-laden mountain.

The GPS should provide for calculated distance, direction, time, speed, altitude, ambient, engine temperature, maps, and position thoroughly calculated in real-time very accurately. This allows you to free your mind and not fret over every log and nock along the way.

Nevertheless, one should always carry a map just in case a GPS fails; they would know exactly where they are located and can find their way back to civilization.

Works Without Fail

The GPS should work without fail unless it is hindered by either loss of battery life or any significant geographical barriers.

The GPS undoubtedly should work in any type of weather condition. However, there could be complications regarding their functioning, and that can be the case with any device that is engineered by technology.

Of all blizzards, however, the worst you might experience could be a little delay of the signal. This could, however, be worsened if the antenna gets covered with thick snow/ice, so you should clean it whenever you can.

The signal may decrease is due to radical weather conditions but it should still persevere.

Budget

snowmobile gps price

A good GPS can cost you at least $200, while a make-do GPS can be bought at less than that. However, it is advised to invest in a good GPS as it is a one-time investment and should be taken seriously.

GPS can exceed a price range of even $1000. Unless you want a hole to be burnt in your pocket, you might want to stick to a GPS that costs you somewhere around $300-$500, and it is considered a reasonable amount for a snowmobile GPS.

Waterproof

You should also pay attention to the waterproofness of the GPS as you will be covered by snow all the time, if the GPS is not waterproof, the water after condensing from the snow will interfere with the proper functioning of the GPS. In severe cases, it may also fail in functioning at all.

Data Logging

Another essential feature is its data-logging ability that should be looked for. This is that feature when your engine stops; it automatically ceases any trail logging. This eliminates any random data points from your track when you’re not moving.

Sunlight-Readable Display

The GPS should have a proper pixel display resolution. The display should be sunlight readable. It is very crucial as it facilitates the rider to read the screen under an open sky with strong sun.

Connect to your Smartphone.

Look for the feature if it can be connected to your smartphone. The GPS should be able to be connected to the smartphone to upload data. This aids the user in sharing whatever activities they are doing through Live Track.

GPS Mount

GPS Mounting bracket is crucial as it secures your GPS to the snowmobile. It could be quite taxing a task to take your GPS out over and over again to navigate while riding your snowmobile. A mounting bracket helps you to place your GPS on your snowmobile, and it keeps it stay put even while hitting bumpy terrains. Make sure to buy a GPS mount as well while buying your snowmobile GPS so that you can hit the snow carefree.

Snowmobile GPS vs. Mobile

snowmobile gps vs smart phone

Both have their pros and cons. However, I am slightly more biased towards a dedicated snowmobile GPS.

Mapping

GPS has an exceptionally good mapping system. Usually, GPS systems come with one already pre-installed. However, it might not be the best of the lot, but it will prove to be a useful one. The mapping in a smartphone is not much reliable, and it drains out the battery. There are chances of it getting stuck in between functioning.

Multi-purpose Use

A GPS cannot send a text or have a camera to send images or even make phone calls. But a smartphone can do all of the above-mentioned. It is much more useful in that respect. A smartphone is so smart it can also use GPS through an app or in-built app of GPS. There are other great things about smartphone-like geocaching. However, there are a few cons too, that are mentioned below.

Signal Reception

Signal reception is one crucial aspect of a GPS. Signal reception of a cellphone can be inferior in and around heavy cover areas or deep valleys or woodland, and in such terrains, a smartphone fails to deliver its service.

Because of the higher sensitivity receiver, better reception is possible in dedicated GPS in all weather conditions.

Accurate Positioning

A smartphone is not all that reliable when it comes to positioning. A reliable source is only a GPS-dedicated system for accurate positioning, as it is good at being what it is built for. They are made to do one job, global positioning, and they are good at it.

Waterproof

Though most smartphones claim to be waterproof, they are not so, or there is no way to know how waterproof they are. It is a pure gamble to take out your phone on a day of heavy snowfall or heavy rainfall.

Battery Operated

GPS is mostly battery-operated. A battery-operated device is always better than an electrical device. Even if it drains away all the charge, there can always be that extra spare pair of batteries for you to use.

In the case of a smartphone, once it drains the battery, which is quicker than a GPS, it is impossible to turn it on, and carrying a power bank is also limiting after a point.

Regular Updating

Do keep in mind that your GPS is regularly updated. Due to a steady and rich influx of information as the system is periodically updated by being fed information by millions of users worldwide, it only gets better and better by the day.

Not only this, but also the GPS is being connected to numerous satellites in orbit, and it fetches information for the system and thereby making it a more reliable source. This is another point that proves that GPS is superior to a typical smartphone where updates only happen if connected to Wi-Fi or has a good signal.

Final Words

You should have various gears while you go snowmobiling. Similarly, you should have gadgets that can further help you in locating your destinations. Snowmobile GPS is one of them.

Though there is no specific GPS manufactured for snowmobiles, there are some options that can fulfill your requirements.

Some of the things you need to consider while buying the best Snowmobile GPS are:

Battery life: The battery of the GPS should last long. It will help you to carry out your trip with fewer worries.

Compatibility: The GPS should be compatible with your Snowmobile.

Size and Font: You should buy a GPS which is not too small or too big. The perfect GPS should be according to your comfort.

Accurate Map: The map provided should be accurate.

User-friendly: The GPS used should be user-friendly. It should be easy to use and shouldn’t cause any confusion in the person’s mind.

The budget should also be kept in mind and the appropriate GPS should be bought accordingly.

In this growing era, you need to be in touch with technology and have the best use of it. So, you should definitely opt for GPS rather than the confusing Location Paper Maps.

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