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HomeFeaturesInside Look: New! Arctic Cat Garmin Tread GPS

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 up to 1 mile, 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




  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    • Hey Kale.

      The Trail mounts are finally available. Was supposed to be April 1 but I got the notification from Country cat that they got a shipment in. Hurray!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. “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? 🙂

  16. 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.

  17. 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. 🙂

  18. FINALLY! looks like there finally listening. hopefully they are working together for next gen sled and will all be incorporated into dash.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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 ?

  28. I have used the NS1 for the past 5 years on my 2014ZR9 and it has worked well being able to display data next to the trail map. The only issue with the unit is seeing the data in bright sunlight. The unit itself works great. I don’t know if my NS1 will work on the new Tcat I ordered but this Garmin unit certainly will. Nicely done.

  29. Does anyone know if this Garmin Tread base kit has the group ride capability? I don’t think I would ever use the hand mic. I can’t even find any info about the Tread being sold without the radio mic. And how is it that the Premium kit is $100 cheaper than what other places have the Garmin Tread selling for $799?

    What are the differences if any from this unit one would buy at a box store? Makes me want to order from Arctic Cat even though I don’t have one.

  30. Mike,… I had the same question about the base kit . And the use of the Mic .Most of us have BCA radios already. I ponied up & ordered the premium kit . Because My goofball buddies . Are all waiting for me to get mine . Hate to have the base kit & they go and buy the Premium ! And then I’m SOL ! You also can buy a mic from Garmin separate . For the base unit . The $100 cheaper ??? I think it’s because A/C is selling the mounting kit separate . And Garmin is including it.

  31. CW142 thanks for the tip. after some research I am positive this needs the hand mic to display the location of the group ride devices. It seems like it only communicates that over the VHF of the radio. I see now how the Arctic doesn’t include the mounts in the price and is $100 add on making it the same. Without knowing what this mount looks like. I bought this Tread at best buy. I’ll then mount it to the glovebox extension on my skidoo. Will likely buy one, maybe two more for our sleds. We have been venturing out more and more and having this track others is worth the price. Like you, I’d hate to get the base kit without the radio and find out it doesn’t have group tracking. One would think garmin would state that info.

    I think it is great Arctic Cat helped develop this. Gives the rest of us more options. Have yet to take it out of the box. But looking forward to mounting it and testing.

    Take care!

  32. Please update what you think of it . I was hoping to play with it this summer . Even if it was just in 1 of my vehicles . But backordered ! Like a lot of things . I’m waiting on from A/C .


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