Off Road Xtreme is excited to present part three of our ultimate off-road gear guide for UTV and SxS accessories. We already covered UTV safety accessories and performance upgrades. Now it is time to cover UTV communication and navigation equipment. In this UTV gear guide, we showcase some of the latest must-haves to help stay informed during your next adventure.
It must be noted, that everything on this list is a brief overview and not a step-by-step guide. For best recommendations, fitment, and installation, on any products, consult with the manufacturers, car builders, and experts. This is an unpaid and unbiased list we have curated specifically for the general UTV off-road enthusiast.
UTV And SxS Accessories: Communication
Having the added benefit of driver-to-passenger or driver-to-driver communication will enhance any off-road adventure. Having a simple conversation muffled by the overwhelming noise of your UTV exhaust can be debilitating. Simple hand gestures are limiting and a hopeless feat. What are the alternatives besides shutting the power off and interrupting the fun?
Cardo Systems PACKTALK ORV
The folks at Cardo Systems have figured this out for motorcycle riders and are now adapting the technology to the UTV off-road enthusiast. Cardo’s PACKTALK is a Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) system, which simply means it is a wireless and hands-free intercom. Everyone with the device is paired and connected to a crystal clear wideband intercom sound network. The PACKTALK creates its own network, no cellphone coverage is needed and the connected group can communicate within a one-mile range.
They can share music piped through powerful 40mm JBL high-definition speakers. Other features include 13-hour battery life and standard USB-C fast charging. The PACKTALK system eliminates the physical restrictions of wired communication systems and can be easily fitted to almost any helmet in minutes. No invasive or expensive modifications are required. Installation is fast and easy, and requires no tools to mount on any helmet. There is also no bulky equipment, wiring harnesses, or remote antennas involved either.
These PACKTALK ORV units priced at $389.95 are designed for the core off-road enthusiast too. Ready to handle all weathers and terrains, and guaranteed waterproof, dust-proof, and mud-proof to take the beating and keep on going.
Rugged Radios Complete UTV Communications Kits
If you are reading through our UTV Gear Guide, chances are you might have heard of Rugged Radios. They have earned a spot on our list because they pay special attention to curating complete communication UTV kits. These are about as plug-and-play as you can get with drop-in dash fixtures for a seamless factory-looking appearance.
Available for Polaris, Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha UTVs, complete in-car communication kits allow users to talk vehicle to vehicle, passenger to passenger, and vehicle to base camp. The kits will have most everything required and will set you back about $2,000, depending on a few variables. There are also compatible expansion packs that will allow you to upgrade from two-seat configurations to accommodate four-seat vehicles and passengers.
If you want to piece-meal your system, they sell all the individual components to get it done too. Besides the UTV vehicle-specific communication systems, they have products applicable to all industries and occupations.
UTV And SxS Accessories: Navigation
There are several phone apps, subscriptions, services, and devices to choose from. They all have their quirks and specialty focuses depending on the application. Some are specialized and then there are more generic platforms. Off Road Xtreme is presenting a few of the top choices we have used and appreciate the features.
OnX OffRoad App
Planning an off-road adventure can be made easy with the OnX OffRoad App. This should be part of every trip preparation regimen and as important as vehicle maintenance. The app features thousands of trail systems with critical details like difficulty ratings, trailheads, campsites, boat launches, and other important information such as private- and public-land access.
Off Road Xtreme has found OnX OffRoad so useful, it is part of our kit for any and every trip. See some of our Trail Review Experiences and how OnX has changed the off-road game. Our favorite feature is the ability to download maps for offline use, and plot, track, save and share trips. It is an amazing tool we highly recommend. A seven-day free trial is available and there are two annual membership subscriptions. The premium version for $29.99 and the Elite for $99 get you Premium Features plus property boundaries, landowner names, lot info, and more.
Somewear Labs Global Hotspot
Planning out a trail ahead of time is one thing, but what about when you are out of cell range and an emergency occurs? We went looking for a capable device that offers satellite tracking and the ability to signal for help if needed, even with no cell connection.
Somewear Labs Global Hotspot punches the ticket. This dependable, simple-to-use, satellite communication hotspot delivers a range of off-the-grid communication services to provide peace of mind for your loved ones when you are far from home. Perfect for remote, off-road adventures. My favorite part of this tool is the low-profile package and no-fuss operations. At $279.99 it is a little steep, but a guaranteed emergency lifeline is priceless.
Somewear Labs Global Hotspot Features & Benefits:
- 100-percent global coverage on Iridium, the world’s most reliable and advanced LEO satellite constellation network
- Two-way text messaging (SMS, email) via the Somewear App, weather reports, location sharing, user tracking
- Serves as a stand-alone emergency transmitter that can be activated without connection to a phone
- Facilitates two-way communication between emergency response and the distressed user
- Geo-tracking if victims are on-the-move
- Low profile, IPX7 waterproof device, is a quarter of the size and less than half the weight of leading satellite hotspots
- Pairs with iOS and Android devices, easy-to-use mobile app
Garmin Tread – SxS Edition 8-Inch Powersport Navigator with Group Ride Radio
We are including the Garmin Tread – SxS Edition 8-Inch Powersport Navigator because it is an amazingly intuitive device that can do it all. This rugged GPS navigator has been optimized for powersports applications. It is perfect for hitting the trails and having fun with your friends. It features all the mapping you need to stay on track and contains additional Group Ride Radio communication technology to stay in touch while you’re out there.
The Tread Base Navigator starts at $599 but becomes a sizeable investment at $1,499 when adding the Group Ride Radio. However, since it is much more than just a navigation tool, and features communication and extensive customization opportunities, we are giving it the Off Road Xtreme nod of approval.
Keep in mind, Garmin has an extensive ecosystem and range of products. The Tread Navigator is designed to enhance that family but can also be used as a stand-alone product. For example, the Garmin Tread could be paired with the Garmin inReach Mini satellite communicator or used in conjunction with a compatible Garmin dog tracking system. And that is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Garmin Tread XL Baja Race And Tread XL Baja Chase Off-Road Racing Navigators
For the more hardcore off-road racing users, Garmin just came out with its Tread XL Baja Race and Tread XL Baja Chase units. These devices are all-new, high-performance, and purpose-built for off-road racing applications. Designed as a satellite tracking, navigation, and communication system, the inReach technology allows teams to track and message their racers with live position updates.
Garmin developed these devices with the help of professional off-road racers. Dakar champion Casey Currie and his team had early access and were field-testing for a year before the release.
These units really are a game changer, in a pool of antiquated fishing and marine GPS units. Garmin has incorporated many useful features with its new Baja series navigation systems. Built for the most serious off-road racing scenarios, users will have to pay a premium of $2,499 for the Baja Race Edition navigator. You would also need the inReach Flex Team subscription for team tracking capabilities. These plans are flexible so users can activate and deactivate a subscription based on their racing schedule. Monthly plans include unlimited team tracking, unlimited SOS, unlimited custom text messages, and preset messages. The plans offer team tracking refresh rates of up to 30 seconds.
The Garmin Tread XL Baja Chase Edition runs a little cheaper at $1,799.99.
Ultimate Off-Road Gear Guide For UTV And SxS Accessories
How about that! We hope this UTV gear guide highlighting communication and navigation accessories will help keep your next UTV adventure connected while out on the trail. In case you missed it, this is a five-part UTV and SxS accessories gear guide so we have them cataloged here for your convenience.
We know there are a lot of items out there to choose from. There is no possible way to cover it all, but we did our best to select high-quality items that will offer value to your UTV experience.