A communication system can help you keep track of anyone else you are riding with on the trails or deep into the backcountry. These systems can add an element of safety and fun to your snowmobiling experience.
The Cardo Packtalk Bold is a great Bluetooth-based unit that I would recommend as the best option on the market.
I’ve been riding snowmobiles for over 20 years and have used a handful of different communications systems along the way. I like to use a radio or Bluetooth system when I am riding at large parties or with people who are new to the sport.
The Packtalk Bold gives you the ability to connect with up to 15 other riders and features some of the best-sounding speakers I have ever had in my helmet.
There are some other good options available that are worth trying out, and I’ll show you a handful of recommended favorites here.
Let’s power on and stay connected.
Table of Contents
Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Communications System
A good communication system will allow you to stay in touch with any friends or family you are out riding with. This can increase your fun on the trail while adding an element of safety as well. All of the options below are highly recommended.
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Voice operation, excellent audio quality, dynamic mesh communication tech, waterproof, interchangeable boom
- Range: 1.6 km
- Style: In-ear, clip-on helmet
- Battery life: Up to 13 hours
The Cardo Packtalk Bold is the best communications system around. This is a highly functional unit that will keep you in touch with anyone around you, no matter the weather.
The unit uses small earpieces and a clip-on helmet piece to provide you with simplicity and comfort. It won’t get in your way and has a low profile that I really appreciate.
The Packtalk is fully voice-controlled, so you don’t have to worry about pressing buttons to activate it. This keeps your hands on the handlebars and allows you to have the benefits of communications quickly when you need them.
JBL earpieces make for truly exceptional sound quality as this is a brand well-known for its high-quality audio offerings. These provide a crisp and clear listening experience.
Thirteen hours of talk time means you won’t need to worry about the battery dying on the trail, and a 1.6 km range is pretty impressive.
The Packtalk is also fully waterproof, dustproof, and durable. It comes with an interchangeable boom to customize the unit to best work for your needs.
It only connects to 4 other units, which is low, in my opinion. That’s a definite downside if you ride in a large group and want to be fully connected. That’s really the only negative to mention, and it offers excellent performance across the board.
- Best for: Noise Cancelling
- Key features: Hands-free operation, great noise-canceling, good audio quality, low profile
- Range: 1600 meters
- Style: In-ear, clip-on
- Battery life: 8 hours
If you are looking for a noise-canceling headset for your communications system, the Lexin LX-B4FM is hard to beat.
This unit features an advanced noise cancellation technology that reduces outside noises very effectively for clear audio that you can rely on. This tech can block out engine and wind noises at speeds up to 120km/hour.
It has other features that make it a great system as well. The small profile and easy clip-on style allow it to work with many different helmets. A universal pairing feature lets you connect easily to your phone or with other riders.
The lithium battery provides you with up to 8-hours of talk time and can stay in standby mode for up to 120 hours. This will be affected by the temperature but is still impressive.
It has a range of 1600 meters, which is more than enough to keep tabs on everyone in your party, even in blowing snow and low visibility.
This system only allows connection to 4 other riders and might not meet everyone’s needs. And the audio quality is decent, but I wouldn’t call it great.
If noise canceling is your biggest priority, this is the best option out there.
- Best for: Radio Style
- Key features: Radiofrequency powered, useful for the backcountry, 22 channels, Smart Mic Interface
- Range: Varies
- Style: Handheld radio style
- Battery life: 8 hours
If you want a more classic communications system, the Backcountry Access BC Link Radio System comes recommended.
This is a traditional radio-style system that offers an alternative way to stay connected to modern Bluetooth systems. Some riders will appreciate this as it gives you less reliance on new technology and the reliability of radio waves.
It’s a good option for the backcountry for this reason and can work with an almost unlimited amount of riders, which is another obvious benefit.
The Access BC is also a ruggedly built unit that can handle the rigors of heavy use in the winter. It’s effective in wet winter conditions and will offer reliable performance. The lithium battery provides around 8 hours of use, depending on how much you talk.
The downside of traditional radio is that its range can be highly affected by your surroundings. If you are riding in woods or on different sides of a mountain, you might lose the ability to communicate.
You will have to purchase additional units separately, which can add to the cost quickly as well.
For old-school style communications built to handle modern-day riding, this is a solid choice.
- Best for: Budget Pick
- Key features: Waterproof, noise cancellation, affordable, reasonably durable
- Range: 1000 meters
- Style: Over the ear
- Battery life: 10 hours
You don’t need to spend a ton of cash to get a quality communications system. The Blueseasky Intercom Headset is a top-budget pick with that in mind.
This offers an easy solution to quick communications on the trail. It features a cordless headset that provides decent audio for you to hear other riders or listen to music.
It has a cordless headset that sits inside your helmet and gives you a low profile fit for comfort and ease of use.
The unit boasts a range of 1000 meters, but in reality, I think it’s more effective to about 800. That’s one area where this option lacks. But you still get up to 10 hours of talk time with your phone and 6 hours as an intercom.
Noise-canceling is offered by a DSP echo cancellation tech. This does a decent job of eliminating outside noise, but it’s far from a high-end system.
It’s a practical option that won’t give you top-of-the-line performance. If you want to save some money, that tradeoff is easy to justify.
- Best for: Features
- Key features: Good sound quality, a built-in headlamp with SoS mode, great battery life, extended range
- Range: 1.2 miles
- Style: In-ear, clip-on helmet
- Battery life: 15 hours
The Lexin FT4 Pro is a top option for anyone who wants cutting-edge features at their disposal.
This high-quality system features a built-in headlamp that is pretty unique and can come in handy if you are riding at night or under challenging conditions. It has a seven-color LED trim light that adds value and performance out of the box.
But this one flashy feature isn’t all the FT4 Pro has to offer. It has an impressive battery life of 15 hours, great audio quality, and an extended range of 1.2 miles. 40MM LexinPluse speakers allow you to hear clearly all of the time.
These features combine to give you a quality unit with a few impressive extras that stand out against the competition.
While I recommend giving this unit a try, it is very expensive. That’s the price you pay for fun features, I guess. And even though it has an impressive range, you can only connect with six riders.
Best Snowmobile Communications Systems: What to Consider
There are many things to take into consideration when buying a snowmobile communications system. The factors below are a few you should keep in mind.
No matter what communications system you choose, it will be battery-operated. So you’ll want to make sure that it has a long enough battery life to work consistently while you are out on the trails.
I would suggest getting an option with a battery life of at least 5 hours, and there are some options on the list that go well above that. Also, know that the colder it is outside, the faster your system will lose its charge. That’s simply the nature of battery-powered electronics.
Number of Pairings
You will also want to consider how many units can connect to your communications system. Most Bluetooth options can pair with at least 4, which I would suggest as a bare minimum. Some can go all the way up to 15 or more if you have a big group to connect with.
If you go with a standard radio-style communications system, you won’t have to worry about the pairing issue as anyone on the same frequency will be able to stay in touch with others nearby. That’s a definite advantage of that style.
Noise Cancelling and other Additional Features
Modern communications systems can come with a variety of different additional features that add value and convenience. Noise-canceling is one of these features that I would suggest looking into. It can keep the noise from your engine down for clear communication.
Other features to look for include audio quality, voice activation, waterproofing, conference communications, and compatibility with your smartphone. Some options even have a headlamp built right in.
The range is another important consideration. This is the distance separate headsets will be able to communicate with one another effectively. Always make sure a range is listed before making a purchase. I suggest a minimum range of 500 meters but the more, the better.
My top choice for a snowmobile communications system is the Cardo Packtalk Bold. This is a well-designed and highly functional system that features modern technology to boost effective communication on the trail.
Having a way to talk to others while you are out riding can come in very handy in an emergency. It also provides you with a way to have fun with your friends on the trail. If you have never used one of these systems before, I would highly recommend giving them a shot.About Chaz Wyland