Until all UTVs come with some sort of on-board navigation system, we will search out and test everything available that’s good for the job. The latest, the Garmin Overlander, is from one of the pioneers in satellite navigation.
WHAT IT IS:
The Overlander is a 5×7-inch; water-, dust- and shock-proof; Android-based tablet with full GPS functions and a super-strong magnetic mounting system. We used a Ram mount to attach it to the passenger grab handle on a few different cars for the test. It powers up using a micro-USB cord connected to any 12-volt power supply or 110-volt outlet.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Within one of two different main screens, you can either follow an uploaded route or previously traveled track, or make a new one. These tracks can be colored, modified and shared via micro-SD card or among friends using the Garmin Connect app.
On the other main screen, you can let the Overlander lead you with full turn-by-turn directions to a searched-out location found in the huge catalog of destinations, including campgrounds, gas stations, hotels, stores and other locations. You can track your activity in the “Drive” screen as well.
A handful of sub-screen sections will also let you search destinations, record your track, or display info such as altitude, barometer, headings and vehicle info like pitch and roll. Within the pitch-and-roll section, you can set the device to warn you if things are getting beyond your vehicle’s limits or driving skill level.
The accuracy of the maps and directions is spot-on; however, there are very few markings on the maps when you leave the highway. There are tons of streets, freeways, restaurants, gas stations and campgrounds, but not a lot of trails. We loaded a few GPX files we had of past rides, and those worked great and were easy to follow. Garmin says you can copy maps and turn them into images for backgrounds, but we only found a few Forest Service dirt roads and no BLM trails preloaded in the product.
One feature we do like is the ability to connect a wireless camera to the unit. This would be great for rock crawling, backing up or watching things like your suspension move. You can only use the Garmin BC 35 camera, which will cost you another $170, and unfortunately you can’t record on this camera. On the positive side, you can use up to four cameras together for multiple viewing angles.
If your expectations are set by the name “Overlander,” you might be disappointed with this product. Once you leave the road, the map basically becomes a blur and is hard to follow until you make some routes or tracks of your own. Compared to other similar products we have used from Yamaha and the Polaris Ride Command app, the Overlander is lacking many of the OHV trails we like to ride on across the country. There are directions to some racetracks and points of interest, but none of our local ride areas, which was disappointing. Plus, if there was a dirt road or OHV trail on the map, it was not designated for motorcycles, ATVs or Jeeps as far as widths are concerned, which is something we find very useful when using other products.
If you are already a Garmin user, use the Connect app and like their products, you may like the Overlander, but be prepared to upload even the most popular trails in your area just as a base to start with. We are going to keep playing with the Overlander to discover even more features hidden deep within and try that camera function. We will keep you updated on our social channels.
See another UTV Action UTV GPS evaluation here:: https://utvactionmag.com/product-yamaha-adventure-pro-gps-system/