If you ride the same small riding area every trip with the same people, you may not need a GPS unit in your UTV; however, if you like to use your machine to explore wide-open spaces, new mountain ranges or deep into the sand dunes, a unit that tracks and saves your movement is not only useful but could also save you from a dangerous situation. This Garmin Tread XL Overland Edition unit is that and more.


It’s a large, rugged off-road GPS; a trail tracker, friend tracker and global messaging device all in one. It’s also a tablet with internet access that can provide the same functions as an iPad. We use smartphone apps and products like this to find, track and share trails. See more HERE.

The Tread family is growing. These are the three larger options. The XL with its 10-inch screen doesn’t come with the radio microphone, which is good for the guy who already has a radio system from a company like Rugged Radios or PCI installed in their UTV. These units do hook up to inReach, which will allow you to text anywhere globally.



There are too many features to list in a one-page article; however, we will list the important ones that you might use on every ride. If you want to check out a new trail, simply open the tablet, go to the map page, hit the center button and see what trails are around. Or, on trail, you can now track your ride and capture data, such as moving time, average mph or top speed. Our favorite feature is Group Ride and is available as a $399 accessory, from This feature allows you to see others in your riding group up to five miles away. So, on a dusty trail, you can spread out and ride dust-free. There is no Group Ride Radio, but the device does have built-in inReach communication capabilities that provide text communications globally without any cell or internet connection. Finally, with an internet connection, the tablet basically functions as a small computer, so from there the features are endless.


The tablet itself is a heavy-duty, water-resistant product that can stand up to the elements of off-roading. Overall, it measures about 10 inches wide and 8 inches high and weighs 2 pounds. The screen measures over 10 inches at a diagonal. For this test, we used Garmin’s tubing clamp mounted on the A-pillar on a Polaris Turbo R. You power the unit through your vehicle’s 12-volt power supply, and the antenna is built in so you don’t have to hard wire to the UTV like with the smaller Tread units.


We can name a handful of reasons you would want to use this product. Number one is the Group Ride function; however, your riding buddies will have to buy one, too, to take advantage of that feature. Alone, we have used it to discover new trails locally and across the country. The trail library is extensive, easy to access and easy to see in most lighting conditions, even when the screen gets dusty. About the only thing this Garmin product won’t do that we wish it would is talk to Polaris vehicles equipped with Ride Command. It’s only a matter of time that it will, though. Until then, your non-Polaris-driving friends can be on their own group ride discovering, tracking and sharing trails just as easily. We will, too.



RATING: ★★★★

PRICE: $1,499.99

See Tread Audio from Garmin here: TREAD AUDIO FROM GARMIN – UTV Action Magazine

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