Top Best Handheld GPS for Hiking 2024

Best Handheld Gps For Hiking

Getting lost in the forests might result in a campfire story that was fantastic but in the event that you live to tell the narrative. Obtaining a GPS on your kit is essential if you are heading off the beaten track in the event that you will be out of mobile range.

There are loads of manufacturers, including the likes of Magellan and Garmin. Selecting the most appropriate mobile GPS comes down to your budget, personal taste, as well as functionality.

We have looked at a few of the greatest GPS devices available on the market with a focus on products for backpacking appropriate. Are you search for the best handheld GPS for hiking. Keep reading: My Trail Co will help you to find out the answer to the best handheld GPS for hiking.

Handheld GPS

Handheld GPS Buying Guide

The trick to understanding a few of jargon or the specs you’ll encounter would be to understand the fundamentals of how GPS works.

The Way Does GPS Devices Work?

There are approximately 30 satellites in the GPS system which orbit the earth. At any point in the world, your GPS device will possess”the sight” of 4 satellites if you are outside in the open.

Every satellite transmits its place along with a timestamp and knows where it’s above the ground. It may triangulate its position As soon as place data is received by your device from a minimum of three satellites.

Precision and the speed with which this occurs will change based upon the caliber of the receiver and processor.

Models will have distinct features and they are not likely to be crucial for your requirements.

Madness GPS Features Explained

Here are a couple of things to keep an eye out for when purchasing your GPS device.

Buttons or Touch Screen

Screens are not the novelty they once were some folks prefer them.

Possessing a touch display does mean that you eliminate the buttons without raising the dimensions, and this provides your property to get a screen that is larger. Some touch displays can find somewhat difficult to use with fingers or gloves with gloves.

Buttons mean so that you know you have pushed the match when you’re wearing gloves, you receive a response that is tactile.

Display Dimensions and Features

You are likely to want a nice size screen if you would like to see lots of detail. Needing zoom and to squint means you will eliminate perspective. A screen creates a battery life that is shorter, and weight in addition to mass, thus there’s a trade-off.

The display has to be sunlight-readable and anti-glare, with backlighting for use.

Possessing a screen that is huge does not necessarily mean it will be simple to read. The resolution is significant. The greater the resolution. If you would like to get the whole advantage you need to plan for the choice that is 240 × 320 or 240 × 400 pixels.

Dimensions and Weight

As you are planning for mild and small. The problem is with size and weight comes performance that is diminished.

To be helpful on the road, your device should have a decent-sized display and crucially batteries that will last for your entire trip. By dispensing with all the buttons, screen GPS devices eliminate bulk and weight.

If you simply require minimal performance that will assist you to find your way back or easy waypoint navigation, then proceed as little as you can. You will need something a bit 15, Should you require full topo navigation.

How Simple Is it to Utilize a Handheld GPS?

Ideally, you would like to have the ability to change your device on and get going straight away. Realistically, you are likely to need to read the guide or see a few YouTube videos to comprehend how to get the maximum from it.

Some components are easy to operate, but some feel as if you want a Ph.D. to change it on.

Some producers exude their functions within a maze of menu configurations, but others have made their port more intuitive. For more full-featured apparatus, using a touch screen will make it much easier to browse the menus.

But computer keyboard precision is going to be decreased in cold weather. In the minimum, you would like it to be simple to mark a waypoint and browse to it without a lot of fuss.

A note on Speed: ease of use will be closely connected to the rate of this apparatus. How fast it turns out, brings your map, reacts to button presses, and has GPS lock are important considerations.


Do you Require a GPS?

Before settling about what GPS to purchase, it might be worth asking if you need one. If you are heading onto a well-marked route or you are handy with a compass and a map, then not.

Can your smartphone perform the job? The GPs recipients in the most recent mobiles are really excellent. With the increasing battery life in these types of apparatus, think twice about packaging another portable GPS.

A good deal of hikers or geocachers relies on pinpoint precision and comprehensive topographical maps to find their way. This amount of performance, extended battery life, and other technical features are usually only accessible standalone GPS units. Though smartphone growth proceeds to close this gap and finally purchasing a mobile GPS device might be harder to warrant.

Smartphone GPS Software

The surface of the range iPhone or even Android phones does not come with accurate navigation capability as standard. They have some fantastic GPS capacity, and programmers have produced some excellent programs to leverage this.

If you are an Apple lover then take a look at the All Route program. It is free with discretionary paid updates and it covers more than 50,000 Canadian and US paths. If you are pleased to pay a couple of bucks then Maps 3D Pro is among the paid GPS trekking programs. The 3D terrain maps are wonderful for planning your increase and getting a fantastic feel for what to expect.

If you are at the Android camp afterward the ideal GPS program for your mobile is probably BackCountry Navigator. It is not cheap but also the downloadable channels will turn your mobile to an entire topo mapping apparatus. If you’d like an easier, but the still very good program, then the All Path program is also readily available for Android.

Handheld GPS Units vs. Smartphones vs GPS Watches

With the miniaturization of technologies today enabling for GPS receivers in smartphones, it was just a matter of time until we obtained GPS watches.

If you’d like full-featured, committed navigation performance, then proceed to get a handheld GPS device. If you are searching to move quickly and wish to take as little as you can, then the GPS see is your very best option. Just do not expect a whole lot over basic navigation features.

If you would like OK navigation features but do not want to invest an excessive amount of additional cash then get a nice GPS program on your smartphone. Just do not drop it, and be mindful of battery life!

Could a GPS Change a Map and Compass?

In case you’ve got a GPS, does this imply you don’t have to understand how to use a compass and a map?

In case you had a ship you did not have to learn how to swim? Batteries are needed by GPS devices. Compasses and maps do not. If your device is still currently working then there is no demand to get a map. Nevertheless, when it stops working you have your compass and map prepared. And only having them is not enough.

Understanding how to navigate using a compass and how to read a map properly are abilities that each hiker should possess.

Brands Of The Best Handheld Gps For Hiking

Top Brands Of The Best Handheld Gps For Hiking

SaleBestseller No. 1
Garmin 010-02256-00 eTrex 22x, Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator, Black/Navy
Garmin 010-02256-00 eTrex 22x, Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator, Black/Navy
Explore confidently with the reliable handheld GPS; Preloaded with Topo Active maps with routable roads and trails for cycling and hiking
Bestseller No. 2
Garmin 010-00970-00 eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin 010-00970-00 eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
Rugged handheld navigator with preloaded worldwide basemap and 2.2 inch monochrome display
Bestseller No. 4
Garmin eTrex® SE GPS Handheld Navigator, Extra Battery Life, Wireless Connectivity, Multi-GNSS Support, Sunlight Readable Screen
Garmin eTrex® SE GPS Handheld Navigator, Extra Battery Life, Wireless Connectivity, Multi-GNSS Support, Sunlight Readable Screen
The 2.2” high-resolution display is easy to read, even in bright sunlight; Hike in any weather with the water-resistant design (rated to IPX7)
Bestseller No. 5
Garmin eTrex 22x, Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator (Renewed)
Garmin eTrex 22x, Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator (Renewed)
Explore confidently with the reliable handheld GPS; Preloaded with Topo Active maps with routable roads and trails for cycling and hiking
SaleBestseller No. 7
Garmin eTrex 32x, Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin eTrex 32x, Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator
Explore confidently with the reliable handheld GPS; Preloaded with Topo Active maps with routable roads and trails for cycling and hiking
SaleBestseller No. 9
Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach Technology, Multi
Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach Technology, Multi
Large 3 inch Sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing; Cellular connectivity lets you access active weather forecasts and geocaching live
SaleBestseller No. 10
Garmin GPSMAP 65s, Button-Operated Handheld with Altimeter and Compass, Expanded Satellite Support and Multi-Band Technology, 2.6' Color Display
Garmin GPSMAP 65s, Button-Operated Handheld with Altimeter and Compass, Expanded Satellite Support and Multi-Band Technology, 2.6" Color Display
Large 2.6” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing; Includes routable TopoActive mapping and federal public land map (U.S. only)

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Garmin GPSMAP 66th

The Garmin GPSMAP 66th is a souped-up edition of the high-end GPSMAP 64S, and have been from the 66th. It employs exactly the exact same quad-helix antenna accurate to ten ft and together with all the astonishing 16GB of memory (not adding additional microSD cards it’s possible to put to it into quadruple the storage), which adds up to a great deal of data that is accurate, probably more than any 1 individual might easily create. By itself, it may capture 10,000 waypoints to provide satellite imagery and update you on the device or onto your smartphone on the weather.

2. Garmin Oregon 700

Easy to use with plenty of helpful features, the Oregon 700 is the cheapest GPS device at the Oregon series of Garmin. This collection boasts dual-orientation touchscreens that serve a whole lot like a smartphone, which makes them intuitive to the user. Additionally, it provides profiles for a variety of actions. It is good for the ones looking to monitor tasks, such as hiking, biking, and fishing.

There is A screen a wonderful bonus. The 700’s 16 hours of battery life is on the side, but it immortal, as it’s possible to turn out AAs within the area. Light and compact, it’s also easy to throw in a coat or backpack pocket. In which the camera shines this unit is one of our favorites to get weather that is gloveless. It is somewhat less reliable, especially if you’re using batteries when it is colder out.

3. Garmin inReach Explorer+

A performer within our test fleet, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ is the apparatus for nearly-comprehensive communications when mobile service is out of reach. Its real weakness is in portability; there are options available that do exactly the very same things. The inReach is. Between its text messaging, navigation features, SOS button, and weather predictions, it extended backpacking trips anywhere on the planet and is excellent for expeditions. Obviously, more users may dig on the reassurance which includes an emergency and non-emergency messaging everywhere you could go.

4. Garmin Montana 680

The Garmin Montana 680 could be your next purchase if you’re searching for a handheld GPS with the majority of the whistles and bells. This gadget is a receiver with reception. With lots of fancy features like an 8 MP camera, many mounting options, along with a 4 GB internal memory, this unit is prepared to go on another big adventure. This receiver is easily the most effective of all providing its reception and the best precision. Additionally, it features a display and easy-to-use interface, also a feature of Garmin units. The rechargeable NiMH battery pack (or usage of 3 AA batteries) is fantastic for the traveler that utilizes their GPS unit frequently.

5. Garmin eTrex 20x

If you’d like a GPS to look no farther than the Garmin eTrex 20x. Despite just being 5.1 oz, and $200, this gadget packs 3.7 GB of memory and maintain around 2,00 waypoints and 200 paths. It gets the choice to upload detailed topo maps, although it includes a foundation map such as most of Garmin components. The eTrex 20x is light, quick, accurate, as well as 25 hours of battery life, it won our Best Buy Award. We believe this is a superb option if you’d like an inexpensive GPS device that packs a good deal into a bit.

6. Garmin eTrex Touch 35

The Garmin eTrex Touch 35 might be the end. The Touch 35 combines the lightweight and decreased majority of their other eTrex models together with the touch display responsiveness of this Oregon series and can be kind of a bridge between both. We enjoyed the display was big and easy to read for such a device, and the touch screen is much more intuitive compared to the eTrex units’ button management. Capacity and the touch screen do eat battery life up also it’s tough to sort on. We believe there are choices for components or touch screens Even though this is a helpful device.

7. Garmin GPSMAP 64s Worldwide with High-Sensitivity GPS & GLONASS Receiver

This system utilizes a quad-helix antenna combined with GLONASS receivers and GPS. For me and you, so it has got reception than much of this contest. The recipient works in canyons or under tree foliage and picks up your place.

The 64s requires the functionality you got from your bottom 64 version and provides a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter. If you enjoy monitoring your vitals the Ant + purpose enables communication with a variety of different devices, pedometers, and heart rate monitors.

The 64s uses two AA batteries to provide an ordinary 16-hour battery life but only in the event that GLONASS and the Bluetooth turn off. You might get the rechargeable battery pack that can charge whilst. It allows for a screen that is massive and arranged buttons although at only 6 inches it’s not the most compact GPS. If you are not fond of touch displays and insist upon the finest GPS functionality the 64s is really hard to beat.

8. Garmin eTrex 30

If you’d like to have the GPS policy that is ideal you want a system that monitors both GLONASS and GPS satellites. The eTrex series is the very first consumer-grade GPS device to offer you this. A position lock occurs. The accuracy that is remarkable is to the recipient being WAAS-enabled.

The home includes a feel to it and also the waterproofing allows at 3 feet for up to half an hour for submersion. The HotFix feature means your place is got by that it very quickly. This makes it perfect to get your position fast to change on, then turn off to conserve battery power.

We particularly enjoy the”Tracks” attribute that plots your present path and makes it a breeze to locate your way back. The worldwide base map it includes is not the best but it is simple enough to download TOPO maps that are free and insert them with a card. This is a fantastic mid-range GPS with lots of features.

9. Garmin Oregon 600 3-Inch

This is among the superior touch-screen handheld GPS units we have seen. The glowing and interface display on the Garmin Oregon is really responsive. The menu interface is easy to loading and use maps and establishing waypoints is straightforward. Connect it and you’ll be able to upload paths and your actions. If you do not mind using your information, the weather’s attribute is really cool.

It runs using a battery life of 16 hours from two AA batteries. That is more than a bit optimistic since this particular unit chews batteries and we would recommend taking an excess set. It is also possible to get the rechargeable battery pack that comes standard. Ease of use and strong GPS functionality creates the Garmin Oregon a fantastic alternative if you would like a touch display unit that is compact.

10. Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS

If you want both hands while skiing, climbing or you do not wish to reach in your package, then you may prefer this wrist-mounted GPS. It just weighs 3 oz and fits comfortably in your wrist. The monochrome, large-font screen is easy to see in sunlight and is backlit for night use.

Weighing only 3 ounces, the high-sensitivity GPS works well even in canyons or in woods and uses Garmin’s HotFix to receive a fast lock after first use. You can produce and store paths.

If you are seeking to monitor a few of your vitals In addition, it links wirelessly to heart rate monitor or a track. It doesn’t exhibit a map but you can connect it to your pc and examine the path you took on Google.

11. Magellan eXplorist 310 Waterproof

Even though Magellan doesn’t create the high-end handheld GPS products that Garmin does, they produce several strong mid-range budget choices similar to this. For a good deal less than the usual Garmin you receive a color display that reads easily in a rugged, waterproof housing.

But getting GPS lock requires some time the GPS precision is really good, and the sign can be somewhat weak. Employing the SiRFStarIII GPS chipset together with MSAS WAAS and EGNOS, Magellan asserts it provides you up to 3-meter accuracy.

The battery life is far better at 18 hours, that’s a lot for a couple of days of usage. It comes packed with all the World Edition maps but has 500Mb of storage that is if you would like to upload Summit Series topo maps. We really enjoy the”suspend” mode, which turns off everything except the GPS monitoring. Battery life is saved by it but allows you to wake up up the device up.

12. Garmin eTrex 22x

Expensive GPS devices give an unnecessary overwhelming and, for a few varieties of features. Therefore, many of the folks that are outdoors will probably be better off using all the budget-friendly eTrex 22x. The unit is very simple to use, includes 8 25 hours of battery life, GB of memory, along with a demanding, water-resistant construction. It is true, that the eTrex has a bigger display than options, lacks a barometric altimeter and 3-axis compass, and doesn’t have any touchscreen capabilities. Nonetheless, it is a proven performer and priced at $200.

It is well worth noting that an eTrex 32x which arrives in $100 more is also offered by Garmin. Both versions are identical in dimensions and the layout, however, the 32 carries a compass and barometric altimeter. All these additional features could possibly be well worth it for serious backcountry adventurers, but it is a leap in cost around $300. Including those 2 features to the GPSMAP increases the price. If you are able to do without the detectors, our take is, the eTrex 22 is your far better all-around price. And of notice for budget-seekers: that the prior-generation eTrex 20 is available at retailers such as Amazon in a discount that is wholesome.

13. Garmin Montana 610

A major hit with moto adventurers and predators, Montana obtained an update which made a title change to it to 610 in the 600 series. Its features still remain a sizable 4-inch display, demanding construct using a bezel, and navigation capabilities. What is new is a bulge in internal memory, a 1-year subscription to Garmin’s Birdeye vision, as well as most of all, GLONASS satellite service (though it lacks the Galileo compatibility of recent components ). The 24 satellites ought to improve acquisition period and precision.

It is Typical for individuals to weigh Montana from Oregon. For all of us, the reason for many is the screen dimensions, and that is exactly what makes it popular for backcountry-motorized pursuits or when the distance is not at a premium. However, the additional price and bulk, in addition to its touchscreen that is complex of Montana, push it.

14. Garmin Foretrex 601

Garmin has altered its own wrist-mounted Foretrex 401. This design takes a unit’s design however at a shrunken-down and milder shape which could be utilized hands-free with the nylon strap that is enclosed. Due to the popularity of this 401, Garmin adhered to improving the 601 instead of making changes. Updates include an extremely impressive 48-hour battery lifetime in navigation mode, compatibility with three satellite programs for acquisition and recording, along with an updated display. Along with also, the Foretrex is as hard as ever with its military-grade construction.

Where can the Foretrex 601 fall short? The compromise compared using all the choices above is that you are not able to include TOPO maps. You need to use the old-fashioned breadcrumb path and 3-axis compass. What’s more, the 2-inch display is small in contrast to some device that is normal, but on the other hand, it’s easy to read in direct sunlight. All told, the Foretrex is not for everybody, but its simple design construct and life have its allure.

15. Garmin Epix

It is correct, the Garmin Epix isn’t the actual GPS. Worn like a watch, the apparatus has the lowest display and among the greatest cost tags on this listing (even though it’s frequently available ). However, what it suggests is a jump in technology, packaging many navigation features and performance into something which may be worn day-to-day. Its pros would be the easy-to-access map that is right in your wrist with no requirement to catch another apparatus, and also the touchscreen screen is simple and brilliant to see.

There are lots of cons. The screen is too small (1.4 inches, regardless of its 2-inch framework ), but above all, it is a mess to browse. The all-important user interface (you are going to come across people around whining about the UI) is filled with unusable features and can be illogical in its own design. The Epix is unquestionably”trendy” and an indication of things to come, but that one is strictly for early adopters that could forgive its own growing pains. For the following wrist-worn GPS alternative in a bundle, check out Garmin’s Fenix 6 Pro.


Be sure to know exactly where, how, and for how long you are going to be needing it to become usable Prior to choosing. There is no need to devote a good deal of cash for features you do not need.

Be sure that the home is rugged and waterproof and the display isn’t hard to read. Be certain you could load topo maps that are adequate, and the interface is intuitive to use.

Purchasing a trekking GPS makes your time outside rewarding and will help save frustration.

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