7 Best Handheld GPS For Hiking – Reviews & Buying Guide

7 Best Handheld GPS

GPS plays a vital role while hiking, trekking, mountaineering, and any other outdoor activity. GPS lets you know where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go. Therefore, Handheld GPS is a valuable tool for backcountry explorers or many outdoor enthusiasts. Check out the 7 best fish finders.

Best GPS helps you to find the right path, whether visibility is not enough, small landscapes or there is no special feature. So we have reviewed the 7 best handheld GPS for hiking along with a buying guide. Let’s follow the below-mentioned options.

Product ImageProduct Name 
Garmin eTrex 32x Rugged Handheld GPS Navigatornight vision monocular
Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS night vision monocular
Garmin GPSMAP 66st GPSnight vision monocular
Garmin Instinct Rugged Outdoor GPSnight vision monocular
Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigatornight vision monocular
Garmin Montana 680t GPSnight vision monocular
Garmin Montana 610 Camo GPSnight vision monocular

7 Top Picks Handheld GPS

1. Garmin eTrex 32x - Handheld GPS

The Garmin eTrex 32x Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator provides ease of use, durability, and affordability and explores confidently. This handheld GPS is preloaded with TopoActive maps with routable roads and trails for cycling, boating, and hiking. This GPS dimension is 4 * 2.1 * 1.3 inches. The weight of the GPS is 5 ounces.

Features

➤It is designed with 2.2” sunlight-readable color display with 240*320 display pixels for improved readability.

➤This tool support for GPS and GLONASS satellite systems allows for tracking in more challenging environments than GPS alone.

➤It consists of 8GB of internal memory for map downloads plus a microSD card slot.

➤It includes a 2 AA battery with a life of up to 25 hours in GPS.

➤This 32x GPS includes a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter.

Pros
  • Preloaded with topo-active maps
  • Better readability
  • More Battery life
Cons
  • It takes little time to set up.

The Garmin GPSMAP 64st is preloaded with Topo U.S. 100K maps with a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. This GPS is a perfect option for ATVs, bicycles, boats, or hiking. This GPS dimension is 1.4 * 2.4 * 6.3 inches. The weight of the GPS is 9.3 ounces.

Features

➤It is designed with a 2.6” sunlight-readable color display with 160*240 display pixels for improved readability.

➤This tool supports GPS and GLONASS receivers with quad helix antennas.

➤It consists of 8GB of internal memory for map downloads plus a microSD card slot.

➤It consists of a dual battery system that is used with 2 traditional AA batteries.

➤This GPS includes a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, wireless connectivity via Bluetooth technology or ANT+.

Pros
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • High-sensitivity GPS
  • 3-axis compass
Cons
  • It is an expensive tool.

The Garmin GPSMAP 66st compatible with the Garmin Explore website and apps to help you manage tracks, routes, waypoints, and review statistics from the field. It is preloaded with TOPo U.S. & Canada maps with BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. This GPS dimension is 6.4 * 1.4 * 2.5 inches. The weight of the GPS is 8.2 ounces.

Features

➤It is designed with 3” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing.

➤This tool supports multiple global navigation satellite systems(GNSS) with quad helix antennas.

➤It has expanded wireless connectivity that supports active weather for up-to-date forecasts and animated weather radar.

➤It consists of a dual battery system that is used with 2 traditional AA batteries.

➤This GPS includes a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter and has features of Geocaching Live for mobile syncing and updates.

Pros
  • Expanded wireless connectivity
  • Easy viewing
  • No annual subscription
Cons
  • It is an expensive handheld GPS.

4. Garmin Instinct - Rugged Outdoor GPS Watch

The Garmin Instinct Rugged Outdoor GPS Watch built to withstand the toughest environment. It monitors your heart rate, stress, activity, and use to navigate the route. You can also use Garmin explore website and app to plan your trip in advance. This GPS dimension is 1.8 * 0.6 * 1.8 inches. The weight of the GPS is 1.76 ounces.

Features

➤It stays connected with smart notifications (compatible with smartphones) and automatic data uploads to the Garin connect online fitness community.

➤It is designed with the U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance.

➤It has a built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus GPS, Glonass and Galileo for easy tracking.

➤The battery consumption in different modes such as up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hr in GPS mode, up to 40 hr in Battery saver mode.

Pros
  • Different battery life mode
  • Compatible with smartphone
  • Preloaded activity profile
Cons
  • It requires maintenance.

5. Garmin eTrex 10 - Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

The Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator is a great choice in handheld navigation for the budget savvy outdoor enthusiasts. It helps to see high & low elevation points or store waypoints along a track to estimate time and distance between points. This GPS dimension is 1.3 * 4 * 2.1 inches. The weight of the GPS is 5 ounces.

Features

➤It is designed with a 2.2” sunlight-readable color display for improved readability.

➤It includes a WAAS enabled GPS receiver with HotFix and GLONASS support for fast positioning and a reliable signal.

➤This a waterproof navigator to IPX7 standard for protection against splashes, rain, etc.

➤It includes a 2 AA battery with a life of up to 20 hours of use.

➤It supports paperless Geocaching and Garmin spine mounting accessories.

Pros
  • WaterProof
  • Fast positioning
  • Paperless Geocaching
Cons
  • Less memory

The Garmin Montana 680t GPS is preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K maps and includes a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite imagery subscription.  It has the ability to organize and navigate through waypoints, routes, tracklogs. This GPS dimension is 1.4 * 2.9 * 5.7 inches. The weight of the GPS is 10.2 ounces.

Features

➤It is designed with 4” dual-orientation, glove-friendly touchscreen display for improved readability.

➤It includes 250,000 preloaded worldwide geocaches from Geocaching.com.

➤It includes a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter and supports GPS and GLONASS satellites for easy viewing.

➤It has an 8-megapixel autofocus camera and automatically geotags photos.

Pros
  • Easy positioning
  • High-quality camera
  • Preloaded Geocaches.
Cons
  • It is a costly GPS navigator

The Garmin Montana 610 Camo GPS preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K maps and includes a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite imagery subscription. It locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. This GPS dimension is 1.4 * 2.9 * 5.7 inches. The weight of the GPS is 8 ounces.

Features

➤It is designed with 4” dual-orientation, glove-friendly touchscreen display for improved readability.

➤It includes 250,000 preloaded worldwide geocaches from Geocaching.com.

➤It includes a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter and supports HotFix satellite prediction and GLONASS satellites for easy viewing.

➤It has the ability to organize and navigate through waypoints, routes, tracklogs.

Pros
  • High-sensitivity GPS
  • Sunlight Readable
  • Easy positioning
Cons
  • It is a costly tool.

Few Points To Remember Before Buying Best Handheld GPS

Preloaded/Postloaded Maps

As we know most of the GPS comes with preloaded maps. Most of the Garmin models indicate preloaded map features with the “t” symbol in their name. It means that the device is already map reloaded. It saves your time to go and buy maps and then load them. But if you load by yourself it saves money when you buy GPS without maps reloaded.

Screen Size

When you buy, check that the screen should be sunlight readable and anti-glare. Handheld GPS available in many screen sizes such as a standard size screen that helps you to see plenty of detail without zoom, and a bigger screen size GPS consists of more weight and short battery life. But the main thing is the resolution. The higher the resolution the more visibility. Most of the models come in 240*320 or 240*400 pixel range to get the full benefit from the TOPO maps. Find the best GPS for hiking that suits your needs. 

GPS Types

GPS-  It stands for a Global positioning system and It is a network of US-owned satellites.

GLONASS-  It is a better satellite positioning system and 20% faster than GPS. It is developed by the Russian Federation.

WAAS- It stands for a wide area augmented system and It is 5x better than GPS. It helps to correct the data which is received from the GPS. WAAS enabled GPS devices to give an accurate position within 3M. 

Iridium- It helps to provide global voice and data via satellite. Most companies use it for messaging and SOS functions.

Galileo- It is an independent Europe-owned satellite network that provides full global positioning.

Few Tips

  • Most of the models come with 16 to 25 hours of battery life. So according to your use and needs, keep the spare battery, or power bank with you.
  • You can use an SD card for extra map reloading in those who support SD cards. 
  • Use the power saver mode to save battery life. 

The Final Verdict

This article describes the 7 top-rated handheld GPS along with a buying guide. Hopefully, this article will help you to find the best handheld GPS for hiking, trekking, fishing, boating and any outdoor adventures that comes under your needs, budget, and preferences. Pick the decent screen size model of GPS with a good battery life that will last for your whole trip. 

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