When venturing on a snowmobile adventure in a stunning yet unfamiliar snow-covered mountain or exploring a new trail system, having dependable Gear and Accessories can be extremely beneficial and a Snowmobile GPS unit is one of the most vital things that you should always carry with you. A GPS uses satellite communications for very accurate and reliable mapping.
If you only depend on your smartphone for navigation, you risk losing service. Mostly in remote locations where most snowmobilers visit and if your goal is to reach a specific location to savor breathtaking views. You certainly wouldn’t want to waste precious time searching for the ideal spot.
With a reliable Snowmobile GPS, you can swiftly locate your destination and maximize your enjoyment by spending more time immersed in the experience.
What to Look for in a Snowmobile GPS
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you are looking for a GPS unit.
Type of Navigation System: Always opt for a satellite-based navigation GPS. It provides accurate and precise location capabilities in remote backcountry areas where other systems may fail.
Battery Life: When choosing a snowmobile GPS, prioritize battery life, especially in cold conditions. A long-lasting battery of at least 10 hours ensures reliable performance throughout the day. Opting for options with 20 hours or more of operating time provides extended usage and emergency preparedness.
Handheld or Hard Mount: Snowmobile GPS units typically come in two forms: handheld or hard-mounted. Handheld units are preferred by those who use their GPS when stopped on the trail or in unfamiliar terrain. On the other hand, hard-mounted units resemble those found in vehicles. And can be installed on handlebars or other visible locations.
Top Choices of Best GPS for Snowmobiling
It is highly recommended that everyone carry a snowmobile GPS while riding to ensure preparedness for both navigation and emergency situations. These devices prove to be immensely useful when needed. Below, you can find a selection of the best options available.
1. Garmin eTrex
For those who frequent the backcountry or engage in rugged activities, the Garmin eTrex is a robust and durable snowmobile GPS unit designed to withstand heavy use. With GPS and GLONASS satellite support, this simple yet effective device offers reliable and accurate navigation. The eTrex also has excellent battery life that will work for up to 25 hours in GPS mode.
Furthermore, the Garmin eTrex comes equipped with preloaded Topo Active maps, enabling you to plan routes in advance or track newly discovered trails in the snowy terrain. With 8GB of internal memory and a micro SD card slot. You can store numerous favorite Snowmobile trails and still have ample space. However, the tradeoff for its durability and reliability is a small 2.2-inch display, which may require some squinting to view maps clearly.
|Ruggedly built||Does’nt Include Electronic Compass|
|Color display||Very Small|
|Reliable basic GPS|
2. Garmin zūmo XT
Garmin zūmo XT All-Terrain snowmobile GPS is a highly capable navigation device designed for outdoor enthusiasts. With its 5.5″ ultrabright, glove-friendly display and rain-resistant construction, it ensures clear visibility and durability in various conditions.
The GPS offers spoken turn-by-turn directions, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, and the ability to track and save waypoints. It also includes a track recorder for route recording and preloaded on-road maps for versatile navigation. While the display size may be relatively small for some users, the Garmin zūmo XT remains a reliable and feature-rich choice for all-terrain navigation.
|Ultrabright Display||The power cable isn’t long enough|
3. Garmin Montana 680t ( Best GPS for Snowmobiles )
The Garmin Montana 680t is the ultimate and best snowmobile GPS unit, offering exceptional performance for snowmobilers who venture off the beaten path. With advanced tracking using GPS and GLONASS satellites, it delivers accurate and reliable mapping, even in remote locations. Equipped with over 100,000 preloaded US topo maps, it ensures you have a comprehensive understanding of the areas you ride.
Additionally, it includes a large number of preloaded geocaches for treasure-hunting enthusiasts. It also comes with a high-quality 8-megapixel camera built-in and A 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter further enhancing how accurate this GPS is. The Garmin Montana 680t is the top choice for snowmobilers seeking the best GPS experience.
|GPS and GLONASS||Boot up issues|
4. Garmin Montana 700 ( 2nd Best Snowmobile GPS )
The Garmin Montana 700 GPS is one of the best snowmobile GPS. A versatile and durable device with a 5-inch screen, routable topo maps, multiple GNSS networks, ABC sensors, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, and an IPX7 rating. With an impressive 18-hour battery life, wrist mount, Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wi-Fi connectivity, it is a top choice for reliable and feature-rich navigation in outdoor adventures.
Overall, the Garmin Montana 700 one of the best snowmobile GPS delivers a powerful and feature-packed experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Its reliable performance, routable topo maps, multiple GNSS networks, ABC sensors, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, durability, long battery life, and connectivity options make it a top choice for those seeking a dependable and versatile navigation companion.
|Glove-friendly touchscreen||Glitchy navigator|
|Compatible with the Garmin Explore||Issues with account creation|
|Value to Money|
5. Garmin Overlander
The Garmin Overlander is a top choice for snowmobilers who enjoy off-roading. With comprehensive maps, a large 7-inch touchscreen, and versatile features, it offers reliable navigation and exploration capabilities all year round. In addition, the Garmin Overlander boasts a generous 64 GB memory for storing extra maps, guides, and routes.
It proves beneficial for snowmobilers who ride near private property, providing clear boundaries. While it can be used on snowmobiles, it was primarily designed for 4-wheel use and has a limited 3-hour battery life. It’s important to have a charging solution on the trail. However, it’s worth noting that the Garmin Overlander is a high-priced option.
|Large screen||Might be Slow|
|Multi-Vehicle Off-Road Use||Expensive|
|Plenty of memory for loading trails|
6. Magellan TRX7 Off-Road Navigator
Included in our list of top GPS devices for snowmobiling is the Magellan TRX7 Off-Road Navigator, featuring a large 7-inch touchscreen display. Its user-friendly interface allows for easy navigation. The high-resolution display showcases topography, aiding in finding the optimal route.
With over 160,000 preloaded off-highway vehicle routes and satellite map views, you have plenty of options to explore. The GPS offers accurate turn-by-turn trail and street navigation, ensuring a satisfying experience.
|Large screen||Resource downloads fails|
|Quick-Release Cradle||No support|
|Fixed USB Cord|
7. Trail Tech Voyager Pro
The Trail Tech Voyager Pro is an excellent GPS option for snowmobilers, providing detailed trail views and route tracking. With numerous base maps, topo lines, and trails, it ensures accurate navigation and an enjoyable riding experience. The device allows you to record and load trails, while the Buddy Tracking feature enables you to see other riders on your screen.
Additionally, Bluetooth connectivity enables phone use and intercom functionality with compatible GPS users for snowmobiling. The Trail Tech Voyager Pro features a clear 4-inch color touchscreen with an anti-glare coating. It is sealed to protect against dust and water. With a micro SD card slot, you have customizable memory options and the ability to store music. However, it requires a 12V power source, limiting its versatility.
|Resource downloads fail||Old technology|
|Bluetooth enabled||Poor trail marking|
|Sealed for dust and water protection|
8. Spytec GPS GL300
The Spytec GL300 is a different GPS unit for snowmobile style that can come in handy if you want to track your sled in case of theft. It’s a small device that you can attach to your snowmobile or any other machine and uses 4G satellite tracking to provide accurate location mapping within 15 feet. The GL300 will hide out of sight, and the rechargeable battery can stay active for up to 2.5 weeks.
The unit uses an intuitive software platform that is easy to use, allowing you to track the device on your smartphone or other devices. This isn’t an option that will show you the best trails to ride on but can be an effective theft deterrent and security measure.
|Reporting Modes||Unresponsive support|
|You Control the Battery Life||Expensive monthly fee|
The Garmin Montana 680t is an exceptional and best snowmobile GPS unit that I highly recommend. It offers excellent accuracy, cold-weather performance, durability, and impressive battery life. Choosing this GPS for your trail adventures is a reliable decision.
While all the options on the list are great, it’s important to prioritize a dedicated satellite-based GPS unit over relying just on your smartphone for reliable service and navigation capabilities in the wilderness.