Nothing like racing around a UTV trail - absolutely love it!
Well, until you get lost thinking you’ve found a shortcut, and then it kinda sucks.
But thank the heavens, there’s a way round that. All you need is a good GPS device. Much better than a traditional map. You won’t be left frowning and scratching your head at a huge piece of paper with some damn compass for ages.
With a GPS you never have to worry about getting lost and you can wander and explore to your heart’s content. You’ll know exactly where you are, and you’ll be able to suss out which way to go next.
We’ve been looking at some of the best GPS devices for UTV trail riding and have hand picked our top 5 to show you, with something to suit every budget. The reviews are coming up shortly.
After that we’ve also got a handy buying guide for you which goes through everything you might want to think about before you buy.
So whether you’re going to be racing around the trail, or simply discovering new UTV trail territory, we’ve got you covered with some great GPS devices to choose from and all the info you need to help decide which one to get.
Best GPS for UTV Trail Riding
OUR TOP PICK
This is no ordinary GPS. This is a GPS specially designed for use on UTV trails.
It comes from Trail Tech who specialise in exactly this kind of thing.
When you’re going off road in your UTV, you need something more substantive than your standard Google Maps on your smartphone. You need something more like this.
It’s all in color which really helps for a start. And you get topographic maps with hill shading, route maps all plotted out for and you flag up any waypoints you want to include. It’s a good size screen too, coming in at 4 inches.
And it doesn’t just track your GPS data, it tracks the whole works - your speed, the temperature, your elevation, distance travelled or remaining, engine RPM, and battery voltage.
And better yet, if you're in a group, you can track the location of up to 20 people in your ride group. Perfect for seeing who’s ahead and who’s lagging behind or possibly getting lost. No other GPS system has this level of functionality.
And if one of you does seem to have gone too far off track, that can all be remedied using the emergency beacon and the GPS’s bluetooth intercom. No cell reception needed.
The Voyager Pro comes loaded with North American maps, but you can also download other regions for free. Or if one of your routes isn’t already there you can add it using the Micro SD card slot. Or you can even record tracks on the fly as you ride.
It can even play music as you ride - how cool is that!
You won’t have to worry about the rain either, this beauty is rated at IP67 waterproof. And with its anti glare screen you can read all the data even under direct sunlight.
It comes as a complete kit, not just with your mount and dock and power lead, but also with a head unit, and buddy tracking antenna and so on. There’s also a vehicle charger, so you never have to worry about the GPS running out of battery (unless your UTV does).
Customer feedback has been incredibly positive on this beauty, earning a 5 stars out of 5 rating on the Amazon page at the time of writing this article.
To be honest this review doesn’t really do this GPS justice, you should really check out the video on the Amazon page as well.
- Buddy tracking!
- Vehicle charger
- Micro SD card slot
- Color topographic maps
- Emergency beacon & intercom
- Premium product at a premium price (but sometimes there are deals on at Amazon)
Of course we have some Garmin GPS devices in our Top 5 Picks!
This one is Garmin’s best for off-road trails which most UTV specific trails are.
It comes preloaded with loads of different maps. The street maps include both North and South America. But there’s also plenty of preloaded topographic maps, including public land boundaries, waterways, UTV trails and so on.
It also comes preloaded with loads of overlanded points of interest (POIs) and lots of public campgrounds, should you need them, all without needing a cell signal.
But what really makes it so good for UTV trail riding is not so much the number of trails mapped about, but just how easy it is to see the layout of the area you’re in. The screen is a very large 7 inches wide, and the display is in full color, which you can set to show a 3D image, rather than a mere 2 dimensional image with shading. Makes all the difference.
The other stand out feature is how it pairs with other inReach devices. This makes it possible for two way text messaging, and interactive SOS which is great in emergency situations and such a reassuring feature to have. It also provides weather forecasts too, which can also be quite handy.
Because it's a Garmin device, you get to use it with the Garmin Explore app, which enables you to download even more maps if you want to. There’s a whopping 64 GB of storage available on the device so you can knock yourself out downloading maps.
You can also use the Garmin Explore app to share your trail and waypoint data, or to plan your next outing. And you don’t have to keep all the data on the GPS itself, you can also access free cloud storage.
Included in the bundle you also get a few really handy accessories, like a vehicle suction cup mount, a vehicle power cable, a USB cable, and portable battery charger. So you’re completely covered in terms of battery life.
- Great 3D topographic color display
- Preloaded with public land boundaries
- Use with the Garmin Explore app
- Bundle comes with everything you need
- No buddy tracking
- Premium product at a premium price
- To use the inReach pairing you will need an active satellite subscription
- There aren’t many meaty customer reviews around on the net for this product, presumably because most people are buying more affordable alternatives
There’s also a lot to love about this GPS. Again it’s from Garmin, so you can expect top quality AND you get to use it with Garmin apps, like Garmin Connect.
What makes this such a great GPS for UTV trail riding is that it has a high sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver, thanks to its quad helix antenna. This means that not only do you get a great GPS signal wherever you happen to be, but you also get a GLONASS signal besides.
For those that don’t know, GLONASS is another satellite tracking system which is much like GPS but which helps you to better track your position in more challenging environments than GPS alone. Even in deep cover, should you find yourself in a highly wooded area.
Included in the price, you get a whopping 100,000 topographic US maps, AND a full years subscription for BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, which we can tell you, is as good as it sounds with its photo realistic view. And all displayed on a full color sunlight readable screen.
The maps all fit within the device’s 8 GB of storage, but if you want to add yet more data, there’s a MicroSD card slot to enable you to do just that.
Besides it’s GPS functionality, it also has the full ABC in outdoor gadgets, namely an altimeter, a barometer and a 3 axis compass. So you can suss out how high up you are, which direction you're heading in and keep an eye on changing weather conditions.
It also features both bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity so you can get various smart notifications on it when paired up with compatible devices.
It has a great waterproof rating coming in at IPX7, so no matter how serious a downpour you find yourself in, the GPS will keep on working.
It has a 16 hour battery life, which should be plenty enough for most UTV trails. You can power it with just two AA batteries, but to be on the safe side, we recommend using a rechargeable NiMH battery pack that can be charged while inside the device.
Don’t know if you’re into geocaching at all (that’s outdoor treasure hunting) but if you are then this GPS would be great for you because there are 250,000 preloaded caches on the device. Now that could make your UTV trails even more fun.
If you decide to buy this through the Amazon page, please remember to select the US TOPO for the preloaded topographic maps (unless you want to go worldwide).
- high sensitivity GPS receiver
- Full ABC of outdoor gadgets
- BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
- 16 hour battery life
- GLONASS coverage
- Although the screen is in color and is readable in direct sunlight, it’s only 2.6 inches big, so some people may struggle to read it without glasses
- It’s designed to be handheld rather than mounted on a vehicle
Here’s another great GPS from Trail Tech - this time at a much more affordable price.
And coming from Trail Tech as it does, you know it’s designed for going off-road.
The display is at a reasonable size, coming in at 4 inches, and it’s both anti glare and shows maps in monochrome, so you can read it in bright sunlight.
On the maps, you can view various trails and points of interest and zoom in or out as required. You can also record all your UTV trail rides, save them onto an SD card, export them to a web app, and use web apps to plan your next adventure.
What makes it good for UTV trail reading, is that in addition to the maps, compass direction and location coordinates, it also provides useful data on your speed, engine temperature, engine RPM, etc.
We also like how you can customize the dashboard to show the data of most interest to you.
The GPS runs off your UTV’s battery, so as long as you have plenty of UTV battery your GPS will keep on running.
Although the maps provided are not topographic maps, the GPS can tell you your vertical height should that be of interest to you.
It’s also rated IP67, which means it can handle a bit of dust and rain.
- Runs off your UTV’s battery
- Zoom in or out as required
- Customizable dashboard
- Tracks vehicle’s data
- It’s only designed to work with certain UTVs. You can check if it will work with your UTV by entering your UTV’s details into the app on the Amazon page
- No topographic maps, but vertical height data is provided
- Data is presented in monochrome, but to be honest that can often make it easier to read
Well, we said we’ll show you something for every budget, and at the time of writing this article, this GPS is available for under $150. Absolute bargain!
But strangely, there wasn’t lot of compromise made in this budget GPS device. You still get Garmin quality, and a high resolution full color display.
And coming from the Garmin eTrex handheld GPS series, it’s preloaded with tons of TopoActive maps. These are basically topographic maps but with preloaded points of interest, such as trails, natural features, historical sites, car parks etc etc.
And if you want to add more data to the device’s 8 GB storage capacity, there’s a handy microSD card slot available.
Beyond all that, this GPS device has two stand out features (besides the bargain price). First off, there’s GLONASS tracking in place, in addition to GPS tracking, which we covered earlier, saying it provides your location even in more challenging environments.
And secondly, it has an excellent battery life, 2 standard AA batteries will last a whopping 25 hours.
Moreover, the device also supports BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, should you be interested in getting yourself a subscription.
It’s also water resistant, which is great if you hit a bit of rain.
- Bargain of a price!
- GLONASS tracking
- Excellent battery life
- Supports BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
- If you want a mount for it, you will have to buy one separately
Best GPS for UTV Trail Riding - ATV Navigation Guide
As promised, here’s a run through of everything you might want to think about before you buy your GPS for UTV trail riding.
One of the most important aspects of your GPS device for your UTV trail riding is how easy the maps are to see and read. You may well be trying to read the GPS in direct sunlight, in which case, you will need it to have a powerful backlight and an anti glare display.
And while a monochrome display is great for reading data and metrics, when it comes to reading topographic maps, a color display certainly trumps monochrome.
And if you can get your topographic display in a 3D format, like our Number 2 Pick, the Garmin Overlander, that’s even better. Or alternatively, you might prefer photo quality imagery, which is an option for you if you go for our Number 3 Pick, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st or our Number 5 Pick, the Garmin eTrex 22x.
And when it comes to viewing metrics rather than maps, you may like our Number 4 Pick, the Trail Tech 912-119 Voyager GPS, which has a customizable dashboard.
Of course you will want a decent GPS signal throughout your journey, which is something you can get in all of the GPS devices in our Top 5 picks.
But the ability of a device to detect your precise location can be boosted even further by the use of a high sensitivity antenna, like the one in our Number 3 Pick, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st. With this in hand, you can get a good signal even if you find yourself in heavily wooded areas.
Or alternatively (or in addition) you could invest in a device that picks GLONASS as well as the GPS navigation system, which is much better than GPS alone.
You don’t want a bit rain to spoil your fun while you’re on a UTV trail ride, so please ensure that your chosen GPS has a decent level of water resistance, such as IP67, or even better IP6X.
When it comes to GPS devices there’s one brand that dominates the market, and that’s Garmin. They have several products that are best sellers with the retailers and they are certainly amongst the best GPS devices available.
But they’re not the only brand worth considering. For example, there’s a brand called Trail Tech, and they specialize in GPS and other accessories for use in a range of vehicles, including UTVs and other vehicles that can go off road.
Special Features versus Value for Money
If you’ve already checked out the prices for the GPS devices we’ve shown you, you’ll have noticed that the prices can vary quite considerably, and for some of the more high tech features, you will have to pay more money.
To be fair, you can get good value for money in the cheapest of the GPS devices we’ve shown you. Especially if all you’re looking for is a decent GPS signal in most areas and color topographic maps so you can see exactly where you are.
However, some of the additional features you can get are amazing. It’s a personal decision I guess. Wouldn’t want you to miss out though.
Such special features include the buddy tracking functionality we showed you in our Number 1 Pick, the Trail Tech 922-125 Voyager Pro. And special emergency features, such as those in our Number 1 Pick the Trail Tech 922-125 Voyager Pro and in our Number 2 Pick, the Garmin Overlander.
The ideal battery for your GPS would be one that runs off your UTV’s battery. Both of the Trail Tech GPS devices we showed you earlier have this feature.
If however you pick another GPS, then you need to ensure that the battery will last for the duration of UTV trail/s. The handheld GPS devices we’ve shown you all have a decent battery life, and remember you can always use rechargeable batteries to save money.
Some GPS devices can also be charged via a power bank that you can take on your ride with you, as in our Number 2 Pick, the Garmin Overlander.