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Inside Look: New! Arctic Cat Garmin Tread GPS


This is an accessory I was quite pleased to hear and see for 2022, and one many of you have contacted me for more information. I got a chance to ask Arctic Cat Product Manager, Peder Erickson, a few questions regarding the new Garmin Tread GPS offerings. Peder covers some of the features, a bit of the development history and even a nod to the future...

AI: I was looking through the 2022 Arctic Cat accessory offerings and was pleasantly surprised to find the Garmin TREAD GPS kit. Was this a joint development project between AC and Garmin? How long was this in development?

Peder: This project has been in the works for some time.  In 2020 Arctic Cat brought Garmin on board as a development partner in bringing cutting edge GPS technology to our vehicles. We’re proud now to announce the result of these efforts.

AI: I'm seeing a lot of snowmobilers using GPS units. Why should they buy this one? What are the features?

Peder: We’ve observed this trend also, and as riders ourselves, we’re excited about the functionality this system brings to the table.  In addition to the bright, high-resolution 5.5” touch screen, this GPS comes preloaded with terrain/road/land maps and navigation tools.  Riders can easily download and install trail maps for their region.  This unit is Bluetooth capable for pairing with a phone or hands-free device, and is Wi-Fi enabled for updates.  The Garmin Tread app allows users to access live weather, music, and more from their phone through their GPS. 

The feature we’re most excited about though is the Group Ride Radio, available in the Premium Tread kit.  This allows ride tracking for up to 20 riders and two-way communication over distances up to 8 miles, even in areas with little or no cell coverage.  It’s really nice for tracking progress and finding your buddies when they get stuck or make a wrong turn!

AI: The mounting system looks like it was made for the snowmobile. Was this designed by AC? Can you remove the GPS from the mount?

Peder: Our talented engineers created two unique mounting solutions with specific groups of customers in mind.  The TRAIL version is mounted above the vehicle gauge, just a glance away from the rider’s line of sight in a seated position.  All components and cords are packaged tidily behind the windshield area under a sleek pod and the Garmin Tread will tie into the snowmobile's accessory power under the hood.

For our MOUNTAIN riders we went a different direction, with the GPS mounted on the cowl in front of the handlebars for optimal visibility from a standing riding position.  This also serves to protect it from brushes with obstacles and in upside-down situations.  A hinged lid gives access to a bonus heated storage compartment for carrying a pair of goggles, phone, etc.  When you’re done riding, a quick-release feature allows you to take the device with you for peace of mind.

AI: How will the Garmin Tread handle cold weather?

Peder: This unit is rated for -40F. We've tested at -30F and it still works well with gloves on. 

AI: Is this GPS something I could also utilize on my Wildcat XX this summer? Are there any additional mounts and wiring I’d have to buy?

Peder: The team has some exciting things up their sleeve allowing Tread buyers to enjoy the same level of integration on their off road machine with a plug-and-play kit. Stay tuned for an announcement in the coming months!  

AI: Where could I find trail maps to upload, and how does that process work?

Peder: Users can visit the their state/province’s DNR or NRC website to find snowmobile trail maps in downloadable .IMG format.  Numerous riding destinations also have third-parties dedicated to providing these types of resources.  Once downloaded to a computer, maps may be installed in a few easy steps: 

1.       Connect the Tread to a computer using the provided USB cable.

2.       Open the Tread drive from Devices.

3.       Open the Internal Storage drive and create a new folder called Map.

4.       Click and drag the .IMG map files into the Map folder.

5.       Disconnect the Garmin Tread.  Trail maps are now visible for navigation!

AI: I’m happy to see Arctic Cat’s Accessory department innovating. I gotta ask, will we see this on production snowmobiles in the future?

Peder: The Tread is the next step in bringing new software technology to our machines, and we’re very excited to bring it to market.  However, we’re never content and we don’t stop innovating. The Cat faithful can rest assured, we’re just getting started!


The Garmin Tread is available from Arctic Cat in two versions with two different options for mounting. (GPS deliveries will begin late spring and the mount kits will start shipping early fall)
MSRP (US) $549.95
PREMIUM KIT (Includes Group Ride Radio)
MSRP (US) $699.95
Important Note: The Premium kit is available in the U.S. only.  Industry Canada (FCC equivalent) regulations do not allow for the use of the Group Ride Radio functionality.

Trail Mounting Kit 

PART #8639-436
MSRP (US) $99.95
Fits 18-22 6000/8000; 17-22 9000; 14-19 7000; 17-19 3000 Models
Mountain Mounting Kit
PART #8639-435
MSRP (US) $109.95
Fits 18-22 6000/8000; 17-22 9000; 14-19 7000; 17-19 3000 Models



The included Group Ride Radio (Premium Kit) allows tracking for up to 20 riders with no cellular coverage needed. Plus, the push-to-talk fist mic (available as a Garmin accessory) lets you easily stay in communication with your Group Ride friends. Pair Tread with your helmet or headset (not included) enabled with BLUETOOTH® technology for hands-free communication.

Tread shown with push-to-talk fist mic which is available as a Garmin Accessory



Purpose-built for all-terrain use, Tread stands up to anything the elements can throw at it. It's IPX7-rated for water-resistance and built to the U.S. military standard 810 for thermal and shock resistance.

A look at the backside of Garmin Tread


With its ultrabright 5.5-in. glove-friendly touchscreen, the Tread navigator is designed for easy viewing in bright sunlight or pitch dark. It can be mounted in portrait or landscape mode.

5.5-in. High Vis Display 


Access public land boundaries for national forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), wilderness areas and more. Also, see private land boundaries and landowner information for parcels greater than 4 acres.

You'll always know where your boundaries are for Private Land, National Forests and others. 


Download high-resolution BirdsEye Satellite Imagery directly via Wi-Fi connectivity, with no annual subscription required.

Need a Satellite image? You can do it with Tread.


Use the Tread App to sync waypoints, tracks, routes and collections across your devices, including your mobile device, computer and Tread navigator. Easily import and share GPX files, too.

Tread allows you to sync up to other devices like your computer


A built-in media player lets you easily control music loaded on your compatible smart phone on the navigator’s display — and hear your tunes through your helmet or headset (sold separately) enabled with BLUETOOTH technology.

Sick of humming your own tunes? Tread has a built-in media player


Comments (39):

JimR says:
3/23/2021 10:12:00 AM

That is pretty cool. I am wondering how it would be wired into the sled power? I am very interested in this as will be putting money down soon on a 6000 RR.
ZRadventurer says:
3/23/2021 10:24:00 AM

Whoever runs this site sure has their stuff together. Yesterday I saw this Garmin pop up on another Facebook thread with nothing but hear-say, and today I stumble across this on the AI facebook page with full blown background info. Thank you for the education! I just snow checked a new Thundercat with ATAC and power steering. Im definitely going to consider adding this Garmin. Keep up the good work Arctic Cat!
Catsforlife says:
3/23/2021 10:29:00 AM

Really like it but tough call when most people use polaris ride command. if my buddies are on polaris they will be using ride command and likely so will I. now if this can download ride command that would be great. Also, it would be nice to see them mounted on the sled a little better or I could see these being stolen.
Mark Fitzgerald says:
3/23/2021 10:39:00 AM

Hey Jim, my guess is it pulls power from the back side of the 12v outlet but I could be wrong on that. Most cat sleds have that power port, so it would make sense to have the leads tap into the harness behind that.
WiscoCat says:
3/23/2021 10:40:00 AM

Ride Command is a great app, but to Kale and Peders point I see a lot of guys in our club mounting regular GPS like these to their sleds. Ride Command is great to a point because its free, but my experience it cuts out in areas you cant get reception on your cell phone. This appears to be a detachable unit, so you could remove it if you go inside the bar for a burger. Im hoping Cat goes down the path to have this come standard on various models in the future. Integrated preferably like Polaris as one gauge.
Matt F says:
3/23/2021 11:13:00 AM

Looks like a great unit that can easily be moved to a different machine without much work making it more useful than an integrated unit. Its a little on the pricey side and would require everyone in your group to pony up the $$$$ to get the most use from the system. Thanks for sharing Kale!
ice_fisherman says:
3/23/2021 11:27:00 AM

Will I be able to download lake maps so I can use this for ice fishing too?
TP says:
3/23/2021 11:30:00 AM

Seems like a worthwhile investment for riding in new areas. Will optional mounts be offered to retrofit to older machines?
Dave Bauer says:
3/23/2021 11:30:00 AM

Nice write up Kale! Question, will this mount to my 2012 F 800 LXR? My gauge setup is different than the newer Procross sleds. Thank You.
Pelski says:
3/23/2021 12:37:00 PM

Seems like a great step in the right direction to catch up to the other oems. One major downside I see is ripping that antenna clean off in the mountains. Also it seems clunky to have 2 "gauges" to look at. Cat needs to consolidate into one gauge pod that does everything.
NomeNative says:
3/23/2021 12:42:00 PM

Will there be detailed Alaska mapping?
Bob Klapperich says:
3/23/2021 12:49:00 PM

That’s a better msrp than I expected. Color me interested!

I wish this could’ve been announced at the new model presentation. Using Garmin for this is a big step in the right direction. His comment about this being the beginning is also exciting. Great job, Cat!

I had planned on a few accessories this summer, budget permitting, but am concerned that I’ll be sinking money into a tune to avoid problems with the fuel mapping reported by others. That could push something like this out a year until I can afford it.

The Riot has been good, but will not hold a speed between 15-25 mph to save its life. Then, there’s the black cloud hanging over fuel mapping in general and it looks like I’ll have to turn to the aftermarket to get rid of both of those things before I can add more accessories.
Kale says:
3/23/2021 12:55:00 PM

JimR - The Garmin ties into the accessory power under the hood.

ZRadventurer - My names Kale. Thanks for visiting the site. Please come back often. 92.7% of the time, you'll get the Arctic Cat facts here without the hear-say.

CatsForLife - There is a quick disconnect so you can easily remove your Garmin while frequenting sleezy burger joints.

MattF - If you have brokeass friends, you could opt for the benefits of the Base Kit.

Ice_Fisherman - With todays technology, Im guessing you could find lake maps to upload. I like fishing for bottle bass and most times I know my way to the fridge.

TP and Dave Bauer- The models are listed with the mounts, which kinda cover most Procross/Climb models.

Pelski -The antenna is kinda flexible and should be fine, but anyone can destroy anything. Two gauges to look at? Yep, maybe, but I see plenty of riders now mounting an accessory gps on their sled, so this isn't any different. Ive seen some pretty hokey band clamp mounts too...these are nice and clean.

Greg Hallstrom says:
3/23/2021 1:23:00 PM

Not nearly as good as the NS1 gauge system from Next Stage Gauges. The NS1 is an 8" tablet that includes maps already installed but also displays all the engine and vehicle parameters. In other words, everything on one unit as the stock gauge is removed first. And the price is cheaper ($599). I installed the NS1 on my 2020 Riot 8000 and love it. And because the NS1 is a tablet you can install Polaris Ride Command if you want. I did that on mine but didn't see much advantage over the Open Street Maps which came pre-installed.
Kale says:
3/23/2021 2:14:00 PM

Greg Hallstrom - What's your address? I need to send you a $500 invoice for the hard sell on your gauges. ;)
Greg Hallstrom says:
3/23/2021 2:25:00 PM

Thief River Falls. Where else?
Anthony says:
3/23/2021 4:25:00 PM

How is the communication aspect work. No way I am putting a boom mic on my sled.
J.J. Teal says:
3/23/2021 5:44:00 PM

I was looking at the trail tech GPS. This also has the 20 person group ride on it, but it is compatible with anyone that has ride command also. Will this be compatible with other group ride software? Or is just specific to this garmin/a.c. unit? Thanks!
Mark says:
3/23/2021 7:48:00 PM

What kind of battery would this run on, if off the sled? We go to fly-in fishing camps in Ontario. Wondering if it could be used for that also. Now we use the little handheld Garmins. The boats up there are very simple 20 hp outboards with no electronics.
russ says:
3/23/2021 7:53:00 PM

Kale, it looks really good, but I wouldn't buy a first year gps unit. lol
Ryan says:
3/23/2021 8:09:00 PM

Kale - Any chance for a follow-up with Peder as to the temperature ranges this was tested in (No specs published on Garmin site)? For reference, tried adopting the Zumo to snow and found it to be unreliable in the normal temps that we have rode in. Not an issue with Montana's. Would be curious before adopting what appears to be a great piece. Have used ram mounts to mimic the trail location. Looking forward to a factory option!
Crnr2Crnr says:
3/23/2021 8:55:00 PM

will the gauge be in the way while doing freestyle tricks?

asking for Bobby Flame
Crnr2Crnr says:
3/23/2021 9:15:00 PM

"but they make airplanes, helicopters and military equipment." - LOL

apparently the TomTom unit was too expensive and they decided not to work with the Textron weapons guidance division to help pinpoint where someone is, on a snowmobile trail. - LMAO

the Garmin should be handy though if they don't have the mapping and injector issues sorted out again next winter.

am I being too cruel? :)

Snowowl says:
3/24/2021 7:48:00 AM

I've never used gps on a sled before but this looks like a great way to start.

I really like the fact that Cat partnered with Garmin to bring this out. I feel like partnerships are one way Cat can be more competitive in the market place and I'm really hoping to see more from the Yamaha partnership in the future, it has been stale lately. Having said that, I hope Cat gets exclusivity on this from Garmin. It saddens me to see QS3 shocks on the competition. It makes me feel like they've been given free development at Cat's expense.

Kale says:
3/24/2021 8:10:00 AM

Mark - The internal battery life maintains well. Id think you'd want to attach it to some external battery resource for an all-day guarantee while fishing.

Ryan - The Garmin is rated to -40F. Been tested at -30.

Crnr2Crnr - Your comments aren't cruel, but those and the like are tiresome. :)
alex says:
3/24/2021 8:34:00 AM

Kale - will this fit my thundercat? and will it work with my 20" riser? If not I aint buying!
Bobby Flame says:
3/24/2021 8:58:00 AM

IKR? I use my phone for this. LOL
james severns says:
3/24/2021 10:35:00 AM

It looks very intriguing, and would pull the trigger, but want turn by turn navigation.
KAWCAT says:
3/24/2021 12:30:00 PM

FINALLY! looks like there finally listening. hopefully they are working together for next gen sled and will all be incorporated into dash.
CATMAN says:
3/25/2021 5:17:00 PM

Looks great, And this is how it should be done, not in the gauge,When you put GPS in gauge now you raise price of sled to pay for it.If you trade every year or two you keep paying.I would rather buy stand alone and take from sled to sled, When i trade i take GPS with me, Also use on my SBS and ATV and Motorcycle
Mike says:
3/26/2021 1:55:00 AM

Kale, i dont know what the point is here anymore. All anyone does it ***** about cat. Its not this, its not that. Why do 80% of the commenters even look at this site. In business i find the people that are loyal expect you to do backflips because they wanna buy your product. The cat faithful can go away. If this is faithful, ill take the random hook up anyday. Looks like a nice unit. I dont need a gps though. Does anyone just know where their going anymore? Oh well, the old this crowd gets, the softer they are. #snowmobilersareidiots
Greg Mulfort says:
3/26/2021 7:39:00 AM

Nice option for those who like that sort of thing. Like another guy said it beats buying a gauge over and over if you buy new sleds often! I'm good with having maps on my phone but I know everyone isn't like me and for those who put on bigger miles and rides in new spots often, or just wants this kind of thing, they should be happy!
Don't mind crner2crner, he ****s on cat every chance he gets. Why,? I don't know. Move on to the next brand if you don't like them some people just like to be negative. He's also for gun "control" so do the math.
Kale says:
3/26/2021 8:24:00 AM

Despite anyones comments or opinions about Arctic Cat- good, bad or indifferent, I don't want this site turning into bashing anyone. Lets keep that in mind.

I subscribe to the theory, "If you don't like it, move on." That's ok.

Snowmobiling isn't rocket appliance - Its two skis, an engine and a track - and its damn fun. For those interested in LEARNING about Arctic Cat product and the people surrounding the brand, Ill do my best to keep providing the most accurate information and insight. And I want everyone to continue sharing their thoughts, comments, opinions and experiences here.

Andy says:
3/26/2021 10:22:00 AM

Kale, Off topic here... How much does the new EPS weigh that is on the TCAT!
Joe L. says:
3/26/2021 5:29:00 PM

It says that the Premium Kit is available in the US, but I'm curious if it will work in Canada? We ride mainly in Maine (no pun intended) and will occasionally cross over for a day ride. As soon as we cross the border, does this feature shut down or will we continue to see the riders within our group?

Also, are there any services that need to be paid for to use the group ride (like Garmin's inReach)? It'd be nice to know if there is an additional subscription charge for that added to the cost of the GPS and mount.
Brian Hennel says:
3/27/2021 4:37:00 AM

Kale, After trying some different mounting locations, I finally used a RAM mount with my phone this past winter in the identical location and thought it worked well. My concern with this unit is the fit. I have a 2019 ZR with the LXR style windshield and it appears as though the Trail Mount kit for this unit wouldn't fit. There is only about 3 1/2 inches between the top of the existing gauge and my windshield. Looks like you need the giant windshield, as pictured, or a tiny toenail clipping style windshield. If I would need the Mountain Mount, that would be a deal breaker for me. I'm on board otherwise.

On a side note, thanks for the info and the great website!
CW142 says:
3/27/2021 2:37:00 PM

Joe L., I think it’s the 2-way radio part. I seen the same thing when I was ordering the new BCA 2.0 radios . A few yrs back . Mite have to get approved by the Canadian government ? Maybe someone from Canada can chime in. Or call the CA Customs.
AR Harlacher says:
3/27/2021 3:23:00 PM

I have many buddies that have built in GPS that don’t really know how to use them well…. I can pull my cell phone out and know more than they know…. and Quicker
This happens because they need to be able to take their entire Polaris snowmobile into their house to learn the GPS. None of my friends have done that yet.
I do not see that happening unless they have one big house and door.
Detachable makes it user friendly to learn the software and move to your side by side, multi-use, overall cost saver. Yes, it can be stolen but that’s a small trade off for a more user-friendly product. So carry it with you, you carry a helmet, GPS is smaller!
Great JOB Arctic cat and Garmin, finally Arctic Cat beats the competitors with a great idea! Keep it up!
CW142 says:
4/7/2021 10:19:00 PM

Just and FYI . I ordered the Premium Kit & Mountain mount kit . A few days after this article was posted . I instantly got a email saying that they were out of stock . The next day I got an updated email . Saying the premium kit won’t be available till sometime in September ! ? The Mountain kit will be available 6/2/21 ?

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