7 best handheld GPS trackers in 2021

If you use your smartphone to go through the bushes, you will definitely get lost in the woods in the end. The following best handheld GPS trackers can ensure you will always lose your way or stray into dangerous areas that are inaccessible.

In addition to tracking in the wild, GPS trackers also provide a variety of ways to get in touch with the outside world in emergency situations: SOS beacons and NOAA weather alerts.

Tips: Don’t start an adventure without anyone

How GPS technology works

Best handheld GPS tracker

If it is a long or dangerous journey, choose a durable GPS tracker, and the waterproof rating is higher than IPX5.

Best overall: Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Best overall GPS tracker: Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Garmin’s 64st is a first-class, rugged, and fully functional handheld GPS that performs well in all the right places. The 2.6-inch color screen is very smooth when zooming in and out, and navigation is easy. The well-known helical antenna uses GPS and GLONASS technology to enhance the signal in harsh environments. The 64st can quickly find the user's location and maintain the signal even in deep canyons. The battery life is 16 hours, and there is enough power to provide a full day of travel.

In terms of navigation, the 64th has 250,000 preloaded caches and 100,000 topographic maps, as well as a one-year subscription to BirdsEye satellite imagery. Adding more maps is also easy, thanks to 8GB of onboard memory, which provides more terrain and detailed navigation information. In addition, Garmin is also equipped with a three-axis tilt compensation electronic compass.

Garmin GPSMAP 64st review

Best budget: Garmin eTrex 30x

Best budget GPS tracker: Garmin eTrex 30x

Garmin eTrex 30x is an excellent handheld GPS portal with a 2.2-inch, 240 x 320 pixel display (although the screen is not large, it is still clearly visible in direct sunlight). eTrex 30x includes built-in basemaps with shadow embossments, as well as additional 3.7GB of on-board memory, and an expandable memory microSD slot for adding maps. To make navigation and location recognition easier, eTrex 30x supports a built-in three-axis tilt, which can be used as an electronic compass and barometric altimeter to track pressure changes and pinpoint altitude. Even in dense dense or deep canyons, GPS receivers and HotFix satellite predictions help maintain the signal.

As one of the first consumer-grade handheld GPS trackers to operate on both GPS and GLONASS satellites, eTrex 30x recognizes or "locks" to a location approximately 20% faster than standard GPS. With the help of free travel planning software, you can easily plan trips, the software can connect with other friends or family members who use Garmin GPS devices, and share plans and itineraries with Garmin Adventures. In addition to travel plans, eTrex can also store up to 200 routes and 2,000 waypoints, so you can easily plan your next trip before or during the journey. eTrex is powered by two AA batteries and can run for up to 25 hours on a single charge. The device has an IPX7 rating, is waterproof, and can be immersed in a depth of one meter for about 30 minutes.

Best splurge: Garmin Montana 680

Best splurge GPS tracker: Garmin Montana 680

Garmin Montana 680 is the best way to hold GPS for all kinds of activities. Montana can receive GPS and GLONASS networks at the same time, and has the best reception capabilities on today's handheld GPS devices. It weighs 10.2 ounces, is equipped with a 4-inch dual-directional and large touch screen display suitable for wearing gloves, and has a wide field of view. There is only one power button on the side, and all other functions are handled on the display, which can be operated with one finger.

In addition to an 8-megapixel camera, Garmin also pre-loaded more than 100,000 topographic maps, 250,000 global treasure hunts, and a one-year subscription to Birdseye satellite imagery. Add a three-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and automatic geotagging of photos. In addition to standard GPS tracking, you have many options. In addition, Garmin has added additional features such as a shareable travel plan, and the battery life is about 16 hours.

Best battery life: Garmin inReach Explorer +

Best battery life GPS tracker: Garmin inReach Explorer +

Garmin inReach Explorer+ and its 100-hour battery life make an excellent handheld GPS tracker. Unlike other traditional GPS devices, Explorer+ provides a range of functions beyond typical GPS navigation, including two-way satellite messaging and SOS tracking functions connected to search and rescue centers. In addition, Explorer+ also acts as a GPS tracker and provides a location transmission interval of 10 minutes to 4 hours. The disadvantage is: the display is slightly smaller, only 1.8 inches.

This sturdy tracker weighs only 7 ounces. In addition to the battery, the standard cost of GPS navigation is here, including creating and viewing routes, placing waypoints, and navigating using on-screen maps. In addition, it has detailed route information, such as the distance and direction to the target location. Garmin also provides Bluetooth pairing with smartphones for the Earthmate mobile app, which provides additional statistics, as well as unlimited topographic maps and US NOAA charts to download to the smartphone. DeLorme also includes a digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer to provide additional navigation support.

Best versatility: Magellan eXplorist 310 Summit series

The best GPS tracker for versatility: Magellan eXplorist 310 Summit series

The 310 Summit series provides a variety of expanded maps and functions, and can be purchased exclusivelyHiking GPSThese should not be ignored at the time. This bundled topographic atlas provides detailed topography of various popular hiking mountains around the world.

In addition, there are detailed road works, water features, and even extremely remote village maps. The bright, sun-readable 2.2-inch display is comparable to many Garmins, even paperlessTreasure huntOption to extract maps for use and reference when not connected to the outside world, but it is not as user-friendly as Garmin.

Best showcase: Garmin Oregon 600t

Best showcase GPS tracker: Garmin Oregon 600t

The Oregon series are known for their screen quality, all featuring a full three-inch ultra-bright (such as readable in full sunlight) display, and the Garmin Oregon 600t is no exception. It also supports multi-touch, you can pinch and slide to find the exact position. The 600t is equipped with ANT and Bluetooth functions to provide some additional connectivity, and has a combination of topographic maps and location-based reconnaissance to ensure that the climb proceeds as planned.

The only difference from 650t is: 650t contains 8MP digital camera.

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Best for water conditions: Garmin eTrex 10 Global Handheld GPS

The best GPS tracker for water conditions: Garmin eTrex 10 Global Handheld GPS

The rugged Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS complies with the IPX7 waterproof standard and can be immersed in one meter of water for 30 minutes.

The Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide handheld GPS weighs 9.1 ounces, measures 1.4 x 1.7 x 2.2 inches, and has a 2.2-inch monochrome display. It has 50 routes (the eTrex 30x version has 200 routes), and two AA batteries can provide 20 hours of battery life. Users can save more than 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks in its log system, allowing revisiting of old sites. Its GPS receiver supports WAAS, HotFix and GLONASS, can locate quickly and have reliable signals, and comes with a one-year warranty.

If you take a long hike in an unfamiliar area, thenGarmin GPSMAP 64st It is the best choice, it perfectly combines intuitive interface, excellent durability and long battery life. However, if you are traveling on water, or through a particularly humid climate, it is recommended to use IPX7 waterproof ratingGarmin eTrex 10.

5 best GPS trackers for hiking tours and cars

FAQ

How to choose GPS for hiking?

Before choosing a handheld GPS for hiking, several factors need to be considered.

The GPS used on the intestinal tract needs to be rugged and waterproof. It should be equipped with a battery that can be replaced when going out in the wild, and it should be suitable for outdoor use. To do this, a series of pre-loaded maps, barometer/altimeter, electronic compass, memory and total number of waypoints are required. If you are hiking with friends, you may also need features such as a two-way radio.

How to use handheld GPS for hiking?

The handheld GPS is different from the map on the smartphone. GPS is a more complex device that uses satellite data. To make it work, you must first passTrilateral measurementDetermine the location, select the coordinates of the destination, set it as the end point, and create waypoints along the way. For example, in addition to the destination, you need to be able to mark water sources, campsites, or parking locations.

What brand of handheld GPS is the best?

Garmin is one of the well-known brands in the game in terms of handheld GPS. It is a reputable company that provides durable and high-quality handheld GPS products.

Need to pay attention to what aspects of the handheld GPS tracker

Battery Life– Considering that you might rely on a handheld GPS tracker for navigation – and to help you find your way when you get lost – battery life is very important. The type of battery is also important; rechargeable batteries may be more convenient, but replaceable batteries mean that you can carry additional equipment on the go.

Map function– The map software seems to be standard, so it is convenient to add functions. For example, topographic maps, built-in treasure hunt information; if you spend a little more money, you can get a very good set of maps for your equipment.

weight– Bring as little things as possible during hiking to avoid overloading, and the same is true for handheld GPS. Most of the GPS devices mentioned above are very lightweight, but appropriate trade-offs must be made. For example, if the screen of a micro device is too small, you may not be able to see things in bright sunlight.

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