Whether you’re going snowmobiling, hiking, or riding a bike, there is no better GPS brand than Garmin.
Yes, there are other brands, but no brand is even close to Garmin.
So, I did my research, and based on that, I’m recommending some of the best GPS units for snowmobiling.
My Personal Recommendations
Yes, all of them are really good, but which one you should buy will depend on your personal preferences. So, let’s talk about them.
Best Options for You
From these 6 options, Garmin Montana 610 and Montana 680 are the most affordable GPS units. Both of them are almost the same. The only difference is their color, and 680 has a camera on it, while there is no camera in 610. However, both work well for snowmobiling.
If you do not like touchscreen GPS, then Garmin GPSMAP 276Cx is a great option for you. It has buttons on the right side, so you can use them easily with your right hand. Its screen size is 5 inches, which is bigger than the Garmin 610 and 680.
The Garmin Montana 700 gives 18 hours of battery life which is more than any other GPS unit. It has 5 inches touchscreen, and it works best in the mounted situation. So, if you’re someone who just mount their GPS in their snowmobile and rides, then this is a great option for you.
Not So Good Options for Snowmobiling
The Garmin Tread is designed for off-road vehicles like snowmobiles and ATVs. This is really good, and it has 5.5 inches touchscreen, quite big. But, this is not my number one recommendation because the battery life is just 6 hours.
The Garmin Zumo XT also works as a snowmobile GPS, and you can mount this 5.5 inches touchscreen GPS on your snowmobile. But, it has a battery life of just 3.5 hours.
The Final Decision
So, based on that, if you like button GPS, then you should buy GPSMAP 276Cx.
However, if you want a touchscreen GPS, then you have three options. Choose any of them based on your desired screen size – Garmin Montana 610 (4 inches), Garmin Montana 680 (4 inches), and Garmin Montana 700 (5 inches)
Best Snowmobile GPS in 2022
Garmin Montana 680t
The Montana 680t by Garmin is your one-stop destination for all your GPS needs. It comes with a 4-inch color touchscreen display which is glove-friendly, allowing easy handling.
The screen features dual-orientation, which automatically shifts the view per device orientation.
It uses a high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellites for accurate tracking and positioning. Boosted with a WAAS-enabled receiver and HotFix satellite prediction, the locating process becomes even more precise.
It comes preloaded with over 100,000 US topo maps and a 1-year Birdseye Satellite Imagery subscription to get a better feel of your surroundings.
With a built-in 8 megapixels camera and 16 hours, long battery life, Montana 680t comes highly recommended.
Trail Tech Voyager Pro
The Voyager Pro by Trail Tech is a top-of-the-line GPS unit. It comes with a 4-inch TFT coated LCD screen that offers glove support. The anti-glare coating used in the screen seals out dust and water.
The unit is fit for a solo journey or even for a group of 20. It features Buddy Tracking, giving members of your ride group real-time access to each other’s location on the map screen.
It also provides access to download map regions for free.
Voyager Pro is Bluetooth enabled for intercom, phone, and media controls. It also has a dedicated Micro SD slot to store music to play when you ride, apart from all your favorite trails.
Garmin eTrex 22x
The eTrex series is a handheld heavy-duty GPS navigator designed by Garmin for those who need a durable unit that can withstand rough conditions.
The sturdy build and battery life make it a reliable GPS unit. It features a 2.2-inch sunlight-readable color display and 25 hours of battery backup.
It is powered with GPS and GLONASS satellite, providing accurate tracking.
The eTrex also comes preloaded with TopoActive maps with routable roads so you can venture on off-road trails and hikes. It also lets you find interesting points, including shops and restaurants.
It has an internal memory of 8GB and comes with a dedicated Micro SD slot to download additional maps for your adventures.
Magellan brings you TR7, fully loaded with features and functions, giving an out-of-the-box service. It has a 7-inch touchscreen with a high-resolution display, delivering turn-by-turn trail and street navigation.
The GPS is accurate as it helps traverse through the deep canyons and thick covers. It also comes preloaded with over 100000 4WD ATVs, Motorcycle and Snowmobile Trails, and around 6000 points of interest.
TR7 brings a bunch of features to the table. Apart from hosting a user-friendly interface, it offers off-track notifications and an option to share on social media.
All this with no requirement of data connection.
Spy Tec GL300
The GL300 designed by Spy Tec offers easy and fast GPS tracking.
It utilizes 4G satellite technology and gives the option of receiving location alerts from the GPS tracker via iOS/Android apps.
It is a small device that can easily be attached to any snowmobile.
This 1-inch thick GPS tracker provides accurate location mapping within 15 feet. With an unbelievably fast processing speed, the tracker uses cloud-based technology to fetch data for you.
This easy-to-use device comes with a lifetime warranty and a battery life of up to 2 weeks.
It enables you to track your device and can be used as an anti-theft tracker for security measures.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Snowmobile GPS
Snowmobile GPS is a convenient tool. Many people use the GPS service on their smartphones, but it is always recommended to use a snowmobile GPS instead.
In any case, you need to consider plenty of things before finally deciding which GPS unit to buy.
Below are all the things you need to consider before buying your GPS for snowmobiling.
The battery life of the GPS is one of the most important things you need to check. The GPS should offer a long battery life and should not cause any battery drainage problems.
If the battery life is not considered before you start the ride, then the GPS might shut off in between, making it difficult for you to reach your destination.
The GPS you are willing to buy should offer easy access to all its features. Choosing a GPS that has complicated features will only make it difficult for you to figure out the correct route.
Therefore, look for a GPS that has user-friendly options, is simple to use, and can show you the way quickly.
Durability & Stability
Snowmobiling terrains are usually not so smooth. You are bound to go through rough and bumpy areas.
In those times, your snowmobile GPS should be durable enough to sustain the reflex shocks and work properly in those conditions.
An excellent working GPS will never lose its functionality on any given terrain.
Screen and Font Size
The screen size of the GPS you wish to buy should be big enough for you to see the contents on the screen comfortably but not too big that it becomes difficult to carry.
Also, the font should not be too small to become too difficult to read and not too big to occupy the entire screen.
One of the most important things that most people forget to consider is whether the GPS they bought fits on their snowmobile or not.
If it is not compatible with it, then there is hardly a way in which you can use it. Therefore, make sure to consider the snowmobile model you own to buy a GPS that is compatible with it.
Snowmobiling is a snow sport, which means that the temperature will be extremely low.
Your GPS unit should be able to sustain extreme cold temperatures and should be able to work in those conditions as well.
So make sure to check the highest negative temperature the device can handle before buying it.
Detailed Trip Logs
You obviously want to record every statistic of the trips you go to. So, your GPS device should have a feature that measures all the necessary details of the trip and records them for later viewing.
Your GPS should be able to log the total time taken, total distance covered, maximum speed, and so on.
Your GPS device should have an up-to-date and very accurate map of the terrain. If the map is not accurate, then there is a high possibility for you to lose your way.
However, if your GPS has a precise map, it will allow you to freely explore even the deepest parts of the terrain without fear or feeling lost.
The brand that makes the GPS device is a crucial factor. This is mainly because cheap unbranded GPS devices are not worth the risk.
You can buy a cheap GPS, but that will not give you any proper guarantee of any of the device’s features. Hence, always make sure to buy a GPS device from a trusted and highly reputed brand.
How to Set your GPS for Snowmobiling?
Before beginning your snowmobiling campaign, you must prepare your GPS for the journey. If you have a new GPS device, it will probably be updated with the latest set of maps.
However, if you are using an old device, you may have to download the updated collection of trail maps.
You can easily download your trail maps from Red Pine Mapping or any other genuine online source you have.
You must download the map, save it to a memory card, and then plug it into your GPS device. Once done, switch the device on and select the new map set, and you are good to go.
When it comes to mounting your snowmobile GPS to your ride, you can use simple suction-cup mounts.
However, if you want your GPS mount to be more robust, you can use a “sticky mount post,” which firmly sticks to the dashboard and does not come off even in heavy wind conditions.
Apart from this, if your GPS works on battery, you can do it without anything else.
However, if you have a plug-and-play type of GPS, you may have to attach a 12V DC power source to your motor to power the GPS at all times.
Why Should You Use a GPS Unit Instead of a Smartphone?
We all know that even Smartphones have GPS built-in them. Many people prefer using smartphone GPS instead of buying a separate GPS device for snowmobiling.
This happens mainly because the smartphone GPS is usually very accurate, so using it can save a good amount of money that would otherwise be spent on buying a separate GPS.
However, there are plenty of reasons for not using your smartphone GPS and instead using a separate GPS unit for snowmobiling.
The most common reasons to avoid using smartphone GPS for snowmobiling are mentioned below.
- Smartphones have accurate GPS, but they usually have a low battery life, which means that using the GPS continuously can drain your phone’s battery life, causing you even more problems.
- Smartphones are generally built to use in average temperatures but can handle cold and hot temperatures to a certain extent; therefore, there is a good chance that your smartphone’s functionality can be affected in icy areas.
- Most of the GPS devices in 2022 offer device usage even through gloves; while this feature is not yet that common in smartphones, if your smartphone device does not offer this feature, you may have to remove your snowmobile gloves whenever you want to use your phone.
- One of the most important things is that the smartphone’s GPS works on the internet connection through the phone. Still, in most snowy areas, high connectivity issues are making it difficult for you to operate GPS in those areas.
Apart from these, there can be plenty of other reasons to avoid using a smartphone as a GPS for snowmobiling.
The most recommended option is to buy a separate GPS device and mount it on your snowmobile. This way, you will not have to go through any of the above problems.
A GPS unit must be well equipped with accurate maps and trailing features to provide confidence to those looking for adventure.
Every GPS unit in this list is well-suitable for a great off-road campaign.
All of these options are unique and packed with great features that allow you to travel to deep canyons and even heavy covers comfortably.
This is where a dependable GPS is indispensable. Therefore, choose your unit carefully!