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Best Handheld GPS 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best Handheld GPS of 2018
Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. I browse the various handheld gps available on the market and list three of the very best.
I’ve based my selection methodology on customer feedback, the size, functionality, and budget to meet various demands. Come with me.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this handheld gps win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
№2 – TRIMBLE NOMAD 900L RUGGED HANDHELD COMPUTER NUMERIC KEYPAD 806MHZ PROCESSOR 128 MB RAM/1GB FLASH MEMORY 5200 MAH LI-ION BATTERY YELLOW WIN MOBILE 6.1 BLUETOOTH WI-FI GPS CF AND SD PORTS [nmdaey-111-00]
Why did this handheld gps come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
Why did this handheld gps take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Handheld GPS Buyer’s Guide
Why you should use a handheld GPS
What’s the point of using a handheld GPS? Why is it so acclaimed and popular among hunters? We’ve discovered at least four activities that can be performed better and safer as long as you’re using a handheld GPS. Let’s look at each of them.
Tramping and hunting
If you want to get a GPS for hunting, you’ll have the pleasant surprise of realizing that several models have been specially designed for this task. Tramping and hunting units are lightweight and small enough and features a good enough battery life. Non-mapping models are more affordable compared to the ones that have street maps. In addition, some units come with GPS collars that can be utilized with dogs. These are extremely helpful when it comes to localizing your companion and furry hunting assistant.
Although there is a high chance of not finding the absolute perfect model, buyers nowadays can select the characteristics that best suit their needs and requirements. It’s extremely important to assess your expectations before buying a certain unit, as this way you won’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong one. Geocaching might be another task you might be tempted to use your device for. However, virtually any type of outdoor GPS unit is capable of geocaching, so it might be worth noting that this detail should not be a deal-breaker.
Other buyers seem to prefer getting a GPS for street driving and 4WD. Unlike the handheld variants, the models that can be used in a car are somewhat heftier and have larger dimensions. The main drawback of choosing one of these is that you’ll be able to use it strictly in your vehicle or at least somewhere with a roof over your head. The vast majority of these units are not waterproof and are therefore suitable only for urban navigation.
Another task that can be performed with the help of a GPS system is biking. The traditional handheld model won’t be much help in this case, as the GPS has to be installed by using the handle-bar mount. As long as it has the right size, virtually any type of outdoor unit might be the right one for biking. The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for a GPS for biking is that the device has to be able to withstand a high amount of vibration.
Most of the models we have come across use the 2satellites owned by the United States Department of Defense. This means that a handheld model is capable of using the formerly mentioned satellites to provide details regarding the area you’re transiting. Some of the units on the market today have a better satellite reception than others, and a number of these manage to 3D lock the position of the user in a timely fashion.
Believe it or not, the larger the antenna of the unit, the faster it will be able to lock your position. The accuracy of the displayed image and the user’s position depends on the number of satellites that are present in the same area.
Even though there’re a plethora of online sources you can use to determine the speed of the model you want to buy, we recommend going to a store near you and testing some models. For example, if you’re interested in purchasing a new handheld GPS but find it hard to make up your mind between two models, ask the opinion of a seller or consultant.
At a store, you can take two units and place them one next to the other. Then, simply search for your location and figure out which one’s the fastest. Use the buttons to type the location and estimate the speed of the processor by understanding just how long it takes for the device to interpret your message.
Speed might also refer to how much time it takes for a model to startup.
Every handheld GPS comes with its own mapping software. Most manufacturers will claim that theirs is better, but that may not be true. The simplest way of figuring out the advantages of a mapping software over another one is by checking the specs and capabilities. Will you be able to share the waypoints or route via Google Earth? Will you have the freedom to utilize social networks and thus let your friends and acquaintances where you’re going?
Aside from social media integration, it might be a good idea to check whether the platform is intuitive and works with several devices. From what we have seen, there’s a limited number of GPS software that works with the Mac OS X. If this is a requirement, you might need to start browsing for a Garmin unit, as BaseCamp, its branded platform, is Mac compatible.
In addition, it might be worth considering that checking whether the GPS you intend to purchase is compatible with open-source mapping software is the right way to go about things. There’s a myriad of free platforms you can use to update your maps with new and improved data.
Number of maps
Some models are just more convenient than others, in that they come with a higher number of maps. Others, on the other hand, can be used solely in the United States and Canada. Just remember, updating the maps is very important, regardless of whether you want to buy the maps from the manufacturer or not. If you don’t use a trail in the woods for several years and forget to update your device, you might be in for a nasty surprise.
The only downfall of using free maps is that you’ll need to learn your way around them. On this account, they might be less comfortable to use compared to the ones provided by the manufacturer. It boils down to whether you’re prepared to pay for the maps or not.
Some of the standard accessories of a handheld GPS are rechargeable batteries, carrying cases, USB cables, and mounts. A mounting system does wonders when it comes to using the unit for anything other aside from hunting. Therefore, you might be able to use it in your vehicle.
A USB cable might not be the norm for some users, as most smart electronic devices come with a USB cable nowadays. Thus, you’re likely to have one around the house.
Rechargeable batteries are amazing if your budget allows it and if they’re offered in the same package. Needless to say, the end-price of the model has a say in terms of the number of accessories you’ll be receiving along with the device.
Garmin Edge 2GPS Cycling Computer
Riding your MTB is the chance to break free and experience rough terrains with the Adrenaline rush. Still, you want to make sure that you are on the right trail, fully equipped and properly prepared. In addition to a high-quality bike, you need to make sure that you are packing the right accessories. One of the seemingly small additions that can change the way you experience rough terrains is to install the Best Mountain Bike GPS.
Mountain bike GPS devices come with different features and are offered at various price ranges. You will have a variety of products to choose from in order to find the most suitable one. But which one is the best one? How can you pick the most suitable GPS for your next mountain biking quest?
You’ve come to the right place. We are here to offer detailed information about the best products on the market. You will get a comprehensive idea about the most appropriate GPS devices to install to your MTB and the most important features to look for.
Customizable Color Touchscreen, Friendly Interface, Garmin Connect, Social Sharing, Weather updates etc.
Garmin Edge 800 GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer
Advanced heart rate-based calorie computation, Garmin Connect, Virtual Partner-Racer, Auto Pause, Touchscreen, Garmin Connect, Friendly user interface.
ANT+ Heart Rate Monitor; Speed/Cadence, GPS, distance etc.
GPS +GLONASS, ANT+ support, HR monitor, Cadence/Speed etc.
Garmin Edge 500 Cycling GPS
Improve your riding skills with Garmin Edge 500 Cycling GPS, a lightweight mountain bike GPS computer for a rider whose priority is performance. After uploading data, Edge 500 will be able to measure your exact distance; speed; location, altitude, climb, descent and even records measured data for your evaluation.
The added ANT+™ compatibility monitors heart rate, speed/cadence sensor. Plus it is also companionable ANT+ Power Meter which will be able to present a complete breakdown of your pedal power and will guide you furthers to pedal with an effective rate. Additional supportive training features include a Courses feature, which provides a successive ride comparison over the identical routes, along with Auto Pause, Auto Lap and temperature readings.
If you are giving that much of the efforts, you do deserve a little break. Plus, why not know about the weather condition you are riding in?
Now, connect Garmin Edge 500 Cycling GPS to your computer, join a worldwide network of riders, compare your ride performance data with others and share it as well. You can also compare your speed and heart rate to earlier performances over the unchanged ride and know if your fitness is improving.
Garmin Edge 1000 Color Touchscreen GPS
When you decide to ride your mountain bike, you need something that will help you stay focused on the road. This device is the Best Mountain Bike GPS that you can use or give as a gift to someone you love, who is a mountain biking enthusiast.
This device has a big wide clear screen that will allow you to see what you need with ease and the display will adjust according to the light. You will always see whatever you need clearly even in the shade or in tunnels. This device has a touchscreen that is glove friendly. You don’t need to take off your gloves while riding your bike and this means that you will stay focused on the road.
This device will allow you to compete even with yourself by cutting every race into separate segments so that you can see your results in real time and evaluate your performance compared to your past parts.
You will even get a leaderboard ranking versus your previous segments. Because it easily connects to the Garmin Connect, you will be able to have the relevant data for on the road or off road navigation.
With Garmin Edge 1000 Color Touchscreen GPS, you will not miss one single notification. All your texts, calls and emails will be on display because it is compatible with iPhone and later models. It will notify you about the weather and enable social media sharing. You will have access to preloaded maps, and you will be able to customize and create your own map based on the routes you choose.
This Garmin Edge 1000 is convenient to use thanks to the extended out front mount that will allow you to take a glance while keeping all your attention on the road.
Garmin Edge 200 GPS-Enabled Bike Computer
Using the Best Mountain Bike GPS allows you to ride your bike comfortably with all the data needed for a safe fun trip. This device acts as a mini computer that you can carry around while riding your mountain bike.
The sleek and lightweight design makes it convenient to carry and the easy to read display will allow you to get all the information you need without taking your attention off the road ahead of you.
This is a user-friendly GPS device that will work the minute you mount it to your mountain bike. No set up needed and you will not spend hours trying to figure it out. Its minimalist design doesn’t reflect its quality because Garmin Edge 200 GPS-Enabled Bike Computer is designed to be a hassle-free device that will present you all the needed information in an easy smooth way.
This device will connect to the Garmin Connect, an easy to navigate website for free data analysis and information sharing. You will be able to get information about the distance you traveled, the time, speed and the calories you burn during each ride.
It will connect with the satellite to help you calculate your position quickly and will automatically turn the timer on and off when you start moving or when you stop. This means that you will able to keep track of your performance and everything will be calculated accurately.
Garmin Edge 200 GPS-Enabled Bike Computer will keep you motivated as it stores 130 hours of ride data so that you can easily see how far you’ve gone towards achieving your goals.
Garmin Edge 5Team Garmin Bundle Bike GPS
If you are looking for the Best Mountain Bike GPS that can help you ride comfortably and safely then this might be the one for you. It can be easily connected to your mobile using the Garmin Connect app.
This device is highly versatile because you will be able to choose among different profiles to pick the one that matches your riding style.
At the same time, it will provide the most relevant data related to the speed, distance, time, heart rate, elevation and location for future reference and comparison. It contains an accurate barometric altimeter that will correctly determine the elevation, gradient, ascent and descent data.
Live tracking is a very important feature, which makes Garmin Edge 5Team Garmin Bundle Bike GPS one of the most popular ones. You will also be able to share your location and progress on social media.
It is specially designed for the most challenging mountain biking lovers who like to stay connected even on the toughest routes. With its ability to connect to satellites, it will provide your accurate location even when you are in a canyon.
Availability of data alternatives enables the data transfer to a computer. Therefore, it makes the screen more customizable. You can even easily swap between bikes. Now, transfer the necessary data to your desires training program, software or a social fitness site/website.
The customization of the display can be available, or it can be fixed too. You need to inquire, before purchasing. Other customizations include a choice of changing the font size. The font size, reliability depends on whether you are in a stationary position or are you in motion. A font size can be quite visible when you are still and can get blurry; immediately you catch momentum.
Mountain bike GPS, computers employs a built-in rechargeable battery which can last up to 20 hours. It means, the bike GPS, computers supports the best battery life. I will suggest you to look for a bike GPS with a minimum of 1hours of battery life, since, they do not have a removable battery option.
Bushnell Neo Ghost Golf Handheld GPS
If you are thinking of becoming the next big golf player, think of buying a good GPS golf devise that will help you hit the target like a real pro. The Bushnell Neo Ghost GPS comes with the sole aim of making the game worth loving. Look at its features and you will see that it is far better than most other rival models. Bushnell, once more, have not let the golfers down and in what can be viewed as another step towards bossing the market, they have brought the Neo Ghost into and here is why it will impress you.
The Neo Ghost has a good display that is meant for ease of the game. The distances that matter most (to the center, back and front of the green) appear on the display nicely arranged with that to the center of the green being above the other two and in a larger font. The golfer can then quickly make a decision on how they are going to take the shot.
You need a strong battery that can take you through several rounds in the course and the Neo ghost has just that. Its battery can last a couple of rounds and at some point, you might even wonder if there is energy being consumed because the percentage somehow seems to drop slowly. The multi-functional clip attachments make it easy to carry the device around during the game. It is legal for tournament play you can carry one and have an advantage over the rest.
Well, if you are looking for improved performance on the golf course, you better look for the Bushnell Neo Ghost. It is a device that can give you the ultimate golf experience and its price is competitive for the market.
Garmin Approach GHandheld GPS Touchscreen Golf Course
When you are looking for a device to help you with the measurements on the golf course, you have a decision to make and it can be tough sometimes. However, the trick is knowing what works best for you. Once you understand your needs, then you have good chances of picking the right one. If you decide to use GPS devices, the Garmin Approach Gshould be in your mind because it is a great addition to your trolley.
The device comes with 25,000 courses from all over the world preloaded. You will not have yours missing in the list because many people who play abroad have not had any complains so don’t be afraid to carry it when you are going for holidays out of town. The maps are offered to the buyer all free.
The Approach Ghas a compact design. Measuring 3.by 0.by 2.inches and weighing below Ounces, you can clearly see that the manufacturer is dedicated to giving golfers the best because compared to earlier models, this one has been a real breakthrough towards offering portability and playability. It is so slim that it can be carried in a pocket.
With this GPS device, easy usability comes to a golfer’s disposal. The touch screen can be used with gloves just fine and sensitivity remains at its best. Of course you may have a pair on especially when the weather is unfriendly or you want to keep your palms comfortable and the last thing you want to do is remove a glove to operate. The Gis water resistant so that it can keep serving you even when the weather gets rainy. The screen can be read without strain even in bright sunlight. There are additional buttons for quick access to the green view.
IZZO Swami 4000 Golf Handheld GPS
Are you a golfer? The Swami 4000 is here for you. The feature-rich GPS device comes to make you a winner. Combining technology and ease of use makes it a great addition in the game. The manufacturers are competent in the field and you can trust them to offer great quality while staying competitive in terms of price.
The device gives accurate measurements of distance to the front, back and center of the green. The distance to the center of the green is displayed in the center of the 1.inch screen. The back and front distances are above the central value with the back measurement on the right and the front measurement on the left. The mode of display makes it easy for the golfer to see the values all at once. The units are either in yards or meters; it all depends with what you are most comfortable using. To add to its versatility, this GPS device can support 1languages which makes it unlimited.
The Size and Weight
Check the size of the device before making the order. If you are buying online, read the dimensions just to make sure it is something comfortable for your hands. The devices have a wide range of weights and sizes with the latest models tending to be lighter and smaller. Currently, there are several that can fit into the pocket. Some can even be clipped on a cap and their light weight means you will be taking the shots without any hindrances. A device that is too big will be a source of inconvenience in the field. Some people can easily lose the small ones so you just have to think of what you need.
We’ve all played the game where you contemplate being stranded in the woods or in the desert. I think the most popular is a deserted island. Then you ask yourself or the other person, “if you could only have one item what would it be?” Logical thinkers pick something that will help them achieve any of
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, such as a fire starter. Fighters will think of something they can use to hunt or defend themselves with, such as a weapon of any kind. Others will choose something that aids in their rescue or ability to reach civilization such as the best hunting GPS available.
Why GPS Units are the Better Option
There are many reasons why, as a hunter, you should spend the money on a nice GPS unit. Aside from never being “lost”, you can plot points such as bait piles, scrapes/rubs, tree stand/ (yours or not), and so on. They can also help you communicate between multiple hunters in the same few mile radius. You can mark or favorite fishing spots and upload countless geocaches.
What makes a GPS unit a better option than say, a cell phone with accurate apps (maps, location, gps, compass, etc.), or traditional means of traveling such as a map and compass?
Some other features to think about, and determine if you want/need them, include wifi capabilities, memory, battery life, customizing places (points of interest), and step by step directions.
Now that I’ve thrown a bunch of knowledge your way let’s look at the top best hunting and hiking handheld GPS units.
Garmin Oregon 600
Garmin Oregon 600 is a sweet GPS choice. It has a large inch touch screen with the ability to detect multiple points of contact on the screen. This is “multi-touch” technology, and it basically allows for an increase in functionality. For example using two fingers to zoom in and out. Being as it has a larger screen, Gamin took precautions to make sure the display is brilliant and easily readable even in sunlight.
The Oregon 600 also features the three-axis compass to give you precise directions and this added feature lets you know your direction even when not moving at all. This also has the barometer altimeter technology which can sense the pressure in the air and accurately determine your elevation. This GPS has increased satellite detection and prediction technology so you can get your location fast and stay connected regardless of where are.
Garmin Rino 650 is a next-gen handheld GPS exclusively featuring a strong
2-way radio along with superb GPS technology. This feature alone makes this one of the best around, because you can not only stay in communication with your hunting party, the Rino 650 also sends your exact location to them as well. You can see everyone’s position and in the most perfect conditions they are rated up to 20 miles for radio transmission, but that is far from average. In more open and flat lands people report getting 5-miles consistently and in the mountainous areas 1-miles.
Regardless of the average distance it is still a great tool and a unique feature. This handheld unit is not only one of a kind, but also the best GPS for hunting out west. This is because out west provides some of the best conditions to utilize the 2-way radio feature, maximizing your distance.
Say your hunting predator on state land hundreds of square miles, and you’re in a party of four. You spread out and know your at least pushing a mile from another, however; as you move from one location to another that distance can get closer. Unless you all know exactly where you are at all times, it may come in really handy to have communication regardless of cell service.
Of course this is only when the feature is used responsibly and ethically, so please check with your state laws and hunting regulations.
The Garmin Rino 650 has a sensitive touch screen which is able to accurately accept commands even while wearing gloves. It too has the three-axis compass and the ability to determine elevation based on air pressure. It has a powerful antenna so it can locate satellites faster and maintain connection through all types of terrain and environments.
Other cool features that make this an amazing GPS unit include the (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) radio built in, so you can monitor and avoid nasty weather
This is a great GPS with a ton to offer in terms of safety, features, applications, and practicality.
If we were heading off somewhere remote then we’d want the Garmin inReach Explorer+ in our kit.
It’s a solidly built device with decent GPS performance but it’s the two-way satellite comms that clinches it.
Being able to send and receive text messages and your location, especially in an emergency situation, makes this device stand out from the rest.
Garmin Oregon 600 3-Inch Worldwide Handheld GPS
This is one of the better touch screen handheld GPS units we’ve seen. The touch interface is very responsive and works well even while wearing gloves.
The menu interface is easy to use and loading maps and setting waypoints is simple too. The screen is a decent size and performs really well in bright sunlight.
It runs from AA batteries with a quoted battery life of 1hours. That’s more than a little optimistic and we’d recommend taking an extra set of batteries along because this unit chews batteries.
What We Don’t Like
Magellan CX0310SGXNA eXplorist 3Waterproof Hiking GPS
While Magellan don’t make the same quality high end handheld GPS products that Garmin do, they do produce some solid mid-range budget options like this one.
The GPS accuracy is excellent although getting GPS lock takes a while. It uses the SiRFStarIII GPS chipset along with WAAS, MSAS and EGNOS to give you up to 3m accuracy.
The battery life is better than average at 1hours which is plenty for a few days of careful use.
It comes preloaded with the World Edition map but also has 500Mb of internal storage if you want to upload Summit Series topo maps.
Once your GPS gets lock on at least satellites it can give you your elevation but it’s not always going to be accurate.
Having a barometric altimeter built in will give you a better idea of your elevation. Because it’s barometric its accuracy will vary with the weather though.
Electronic 3-Axis Compass
With a standard GPS compass you need to hold the device horizontally in order for it to work. Some of the more expensive models will come with a 3-axis electronic compass.
These will work in any orientation and can be handy if you need to hold the GPS up to get a better signal.
When your GPS turns on it takes a good few minutes to locate the position of the satellites. It needs to find satellites to get your position and needs a further to get elevation and speed info.
The HotFix feature built into some Garmin devices kicks in after around 30 minutes of use. It gathers info about the satellites it has got a fix on and can predict where those satellites will be up to three days later.
This means that if you switch your device off and then switch it on a few hours or a day later it gets a fix on your location a lot faster.
Most handheld GPS units will use AA batteries with some opting for AAA. Manufacturers will claim battery life figures of between 1and 2hours but these are really optimistic.
Used carefully you may get somewhere near those figures but it’s always a good idea to pack extra batteries.
Some models will also support rechargeable battery packs. These are a good idea but you’ll need a means to recharge them. A small solar panel or power bank is a useful bit of kit to have if you’re going to be out for a few days.
Bearing: the compass direction from your present position to the next waypoint
Course deviation indicator (CDI): displays the sideways distance from the desired course
Course over ground (COG): the current direction you are travelling in
Cross track error (XTE): similar to CDI, this indicates how far off course you are
Distance to go (DTG): how far you have to travel to your next waypoint
Mark: a symbol or icon placed on the plotter display to represent a point of interest such as a wreck
NMEA connector: National Marine Electronics Association electrical standard interface, which provides connectivity between different manufacturers’ equipment
Route: a passage that consists of two or more waypoints
Satellite status display (SSD): a screen that shows technical data about each satellite in view such as identification number and signal strength
Speed over ground (SOG): your actual speed relative to the ground. Note that this may be different to speed over the water as currents and tides affect it
Steering screen: a graphic, highway view of the GPS user’s COG
Time to go (TTG): the time remaining from your current position to the next waypoint, assuming your SOG remains constant
Who this is for—or when a phone isn’t enough
For day-to-day navigation, however, a smartphone can work well for most people, especially if you have a car charger and a car mount to keep it where you can easily see it. Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, and other good nav apps will typically get you to your destination just fine. And their crowdsourced, up-to-the-minute traffic information is hard to beat. Also, the ease with which you can search for something on your device (a restaurant, a park, the office of a personal contact) and then make it your destination with a simple tap—or a copy-and-paste—makes phones hugely convenient.
Though people may reach for their smartphones for a short jaunt, stand-alone GPS units are better, especially for longer trips.
As a result, though people may reach for their smartphones for a short jaunt, we think stand-alone GPS units are better, especially for longer trips. And so do many of our readers. When we polled readers in 201about car GPS devices, a majority (5percent) said they wanted something that could still guide them through cell-service dead spots and wouldn’t drain their smartphone’s battery too fast (5percent). About a third (2percent) told us that using navigation apps on their phone used too much of their data plan. Notably, most respondents (5percent) said they wouldn’t want to use a smartphone app, even if it had all of the same features they wanted in a dedicated GPS device.
The better GPS devices, such as Garmin’s, are great at guiding you through interchanges with 3D views that show you what lane to be in and which highway sign to follow.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The Garmin Drive 5LMT-S has a few quirks that we’re not fond of. For one thing, the TFT screen—which the unit has instead of a capacitive touchscreen similar to what you find on a smartphone—lacks real sensitivity, so you have to get used to tapping with a bit of oomph, and scrolling with your finger through menus is far from smooth. We often accidentally activated whatever menu option our finger landed on rather than successfully scrolling. Fortunately, the unit has big up/down arrows to the left that you can use if you don’t like the finger scrolling.
The DriveSmart 5LMT-S has a multitouch screen with pinch-to-zoom capability.
The DriveSmart 5LMT-S (left) sports a 5-inch screen, while the DriveSmart 6LMT-S gives you a huge, 6.95-inch display.
The TomTom Go 50 S is a good basic navigator that will get you to your destination. Though it doesn’t provide as much on-screen info as the Garmin models, it does let you know when you’re going over the speed limit with a bright red speed display.
If you want reliable navigation for considerably less cash, we recommend the TomTom Go 50 S. It’s a fully functional, if basic, navigator that has many of the hallmarks of modern devices, including lane guidance, traffic (through a smartphone connection), and free lifetime maps of the US, Canada, and Mexico. The Go 50 S also has the same inches of screen real estate as our top pick, and in many metro areas it will display familiar landmarks in 3D mode so you can more easily orient yourself with the map.
Though it will alert you to safety-camera locations (speed and red lights), the Go 50 S doesn’t provide the array of alerts the new Garmin devices do. It’s slightly bulkier than the Garmin models, and for us its processor was a bit sluggish in response time when we tapped on the screen. And overall, we didn’t find TomTom’s interface to be quite as driver-friendly or helpful as Garmin’s. But the TomTom Go 50 S will reliably take you where you need to go for less money.
If you want to save a few bucks and don’t need Garmin’s newest features, our previous Garmin picks—the Drive 50LMT, DriveSmart 50LMT, and DriveAssist 50LMT—are discounted while supplies last. They’re essentially the same as the newer 5LMT-S models, with some exceptions. The Drive 50LMT lacks the ability to connect to Garmin’s Smartphone Link app via Bluetooth for live traffic, weather alerts, and parking info. The DriveSmart 50LMT doesn’t have the DriveSmart 5LMT-S’s built-in Wi-Fi. The DriveAssist 50LMT also lacks Wi-Fi, as well as the ability to automatically text a contact if it detects a crash. And all omit the 5LMT-S line’s TripAdvisor ratings, parking info, and location-sharing features.
Garmin’s DriveLuxe 5LMT-S is the highest-priced 5-inch model we looked at, and though it offers some features that aren’t available on other Garmin models, we don’t think they are compelling enough to recommend the DriveLuxe as a pick. It has the same functionality as our top pick and runner-up, as well as a higher-resolution display, a handy powered magnetic mount (just hold the DriveLuxe close to it, and the mount will snap the unit into place), and, like the Garmin DriveAssist 5LMT-S, the ability to automatically text a contact if it detects a crash. The DriveLuxe also has a sleek metal housing (rather than plastic), which is elegant looking; some owners, however, complain that it gets pretty toasty while sitting in the sun.
Magellan’s forward-collision and lane-departure warnings use smaller icons and less attention-getting sounds than Garmin’s alerts, which reduces their effectiveness.
TomTom will be introducing some new models soon and phasing out older ones, including our budget pick, the Go 50 S, and its larger sibling, the Go 60 S. For now, both models are discounted and still available through some outlets.
An outgoing model we tested is the TomTom Go 500, which is still available at a discounted price. Its features are similar to those of our top pick, and it has a multitouch capacitive screen that permits pinch-to-zoom, which makes exploring the map easier. The Go 500’s traffic data is available only when you tether the unit to a smartphone, however, and we didn’t find its screen info and voice directions as driver-friendly as the Garmin models’.
The TomTom Via 1515M was the least expensive model we tested, but currently it is only slightly cheaper than the Go 50 S we chose as our budget pick. The Via 1515M does give you up to three hours of battery life (an hour more than the Go 50 S), but it doesn’t allow you to receive traffic alerts, which is a critical feature for many drivers.
What to look forward to
At the CES 201trade show, TomTom introduced several new GPS models, including the Go 520 and 620, and the Via 1425, 1525, and 162The new 5- and 6-inch Go models have built-in Wi-Fi support for easier updates, capacitive pinch-to-zoom touchscreens, and Bluetooth capability, which when linked to a smartphone allows hands-free calls, the ability to have texts read aloud, and the use of a smartphone’s personal assistant. The Via models, available with 4-, 5-, and 6-inch screens, respectively, are lower-priced, budget navigators. We’ll test the new models when they’re released and let you know how they stack up in a future update.
Mapping on the screen of your GPS
You can put mapping on all the colour screen GPS units (please note I am talking about the current generation units – e-Trex 20x, e-Trex 30x, 64s, Oregon 600, Oregon 650, Montana 600 and Montana 650) and when you see an Ordnance Survey Map on the screen you will not be disappointed.
If you get a chance to buy maps at the same time as buying the unit (i.e. bundled in with unit) buy them. You will get them at a massively reduced price, but don’t be conned by small areas of mapping, if you are offered a bundle of maps I would expect full UK mapping at 1:50,000, don’t go for anything less.
These mapping cards that you get bundled with higher end GPS units normally retails for £200.00 but you get it bundled with new units for just £50.00 above the unit price. A big saving, but please note not all retailers sell bundled mapping, when I mean bundled I would get nothing less than full UK mapping at 1:50,000.
I must add that Shepherds Walks have these bundled offers online or in our shop, but many online retailers don’t (as Garmin likes to put them into ‘bricks and mortar retailers’).
Again this is one of the big mistakes people make. Buying their GPS cheaper elsewhere and not realising it does not come with mapping.
Units with full UK bundled mapping options – GPS Map64s, Oregon 600, Oregon 650, Montana 600 and Montana 650
The ham radio frequencies you are permitted to use depend on which of the licenses above you have under your belt. Not all radios work with all frequencies, so make sure that you buy one which will offer you the frequencies you want to access.
Most handheld radios are limited to around five watts of power; you may find higher-powered options if you choose a base model. If you purchase a handheld, make sure it has high- and low-power settings you can manually adjust as per your needs.
For emergency communications, you will generally be using the two-meter ham band. The 440 MHz band is another that you will likely make plenty of use of. There are a couple of band-related features you may want to consider. One is dual band, which allows you to monitor two frequencies at the same time. Another is general coverage. This feature allows you not only to use ham radio bands, but also pick up AM, FM, and TV frequencies. Advanced features for bands include SSB and CW (Morse code).
If you will be using your ham radio at nighttime or in dim environments, you may want to purchase a model that includes a backlit display. Remember, emergencies sometimes happen in the dead of night. If the power goes out, you may be stuck operating in the dark. You should have the option to toggle the display light on and off so that you can conserve power when you do not need it.
This is the ability to manually program the CB radio. Most models allow you to do this using a keypad and the CB radio display. Some newer high-tech models include a cable you can hook up to a computer. This gives you access to programming software which makes it a lot easier to input what you want.
Usually when you purchase a new product, the quality of the user’s manual isn’t the top thing on your mind. But with ham radio, it is actually very important. Ham radio does have a learning curve, and if you are a beginner, you will need as much guidance as you can get.
Even if you are a ham radio veteran, you may still sometimes hit a button by mistake and find yourself in a mode you do not want to be in. Rather than having to experiment to get the radio back into the mode you want, it is helpful to be able to flip to a user manual which will tell you quickly and easily how to get back to regular operation.
Extra tough. With its rugged polycarbonate resin shell, the Yaesu VX-8DR is built to survive major disasters.
Survives water submersion. This ham radio can last for up to 30 minutes when submerged in meter of water.
Optional GPS. If you get the optional GPS antenna addon, you can broadcast your exact location, altitiude and speed.
Environmental sensors. This ham radio’s built-in sensors can monitor barometric pressure and temperature.
Wide frequency range. In addition to standard short-wave frequencies, this ham radio also picks up FM/AM broadcasts, analog TV stations, audio aircraft and public service channels.
Compass display. The integrated compass shows you what direction you’re headed on the LED display.
TYT MD-380: Excellent Quality Speakers by TYT shines when it comes to audio performance. Voices come in extra clear through its high quality speakers. Its microphones perform well too, and its built-in wind reduction system kicks in when you use this device outside. For even greater clarity, switch you can switch to digital mode.
Awesome audio quality. The audio quality that you get with the TYT MD-380 is quite impressive.
Color display. Most handheld ham radios have a monochrome screen, but this one boasts a full color LCD display.
Choose digital or analog mode. The TYT MD-380 makes it easy to switch between digital and analog operation.
Good menu system. This portable radio’s menus are easy to navigate and use.
Water resistant. Because it can survive rain, you can take the TYT MD-380 with you when you go camping.
Sends text messages. When in digital mode, you can communicate via text.
Comes with accessories. In addition to the TYT MD-380 itself, you also get a battery, a belt clip, a desktop charger, a programming cable and two different antennas.
Garmin Zumo 665LM
The Zummo 66GPS by Garmin comes with a 4.inch screen, built-in radio and you can check the weather channel or look for detailed traffic information. You are also going to be able to get speed limit warnings and this is going to enhance your experience even more in order for you to have a safe drive and avoid a ticket.
Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
The GPSMAP 60CSx by Garmin is an excellent GPS unit that is meant to be able to handle the wear and tear of the road. It offers a whopping 1hours of battery life to the users. The best thing about this unitishow easy it is to read it even when you have sunlight hitting it directly. This is a great advantage when you are riding your bike and you want to have a clear view of the GPS as you give it a glance. The screen is a 2.inch display.
Garmin GPSMAP 64ST Handheld GPS
Why do you need a handheld GPS? What if you were kayaking in a completely new spot and did not know how to get back? Or, maybe, that one tree you marked as your waypoint has been cut down and you lost your track.
There are times when anglers move to different spots they’ve never been before to check if they can find another amazing fishing spot for themselves. They might miss marking their directions.
Chances are you might as well be carried away by the high-speed stream and you might not know what direction to take in order to get back. You surely don’t want to get lost and this is where the handheld GPS comes in handy. They are easy to carry, lightweight and extremely good when it comes to storage of information like checkpoints and direction.
These handheld GPS also ensure water safety and ease of navigation for anglers, both beginners and professionals.
Some better and expensive models also come with camera and other additional features of f ish finders which make it an essential gear for an amazing experience.
Some additional benefits of having a handheld GPS are:
Things to consider
There are different brands and models of handheld GPS available. However, not all of them are designed especially for fishing.
You need to keep track of the important features you require and pick the best-priced GPS that can be inexpensive, yet fulfilling for your needs.
The Handheld Global Positioning System units you pick when going kayak fishing should be able to withstand all weather conditions.
Here are a few features you need to consider before you choose a handheld GPS.
In order to achieve proper navigation, your GPS unit needs to have at least 1satellites. That is what most GPS devices are equipped with. However, the more satellite it’s connected to, the more accuracy it is going to provide.
The best and the expensive units come with all 2satellites in the GPS system and if you pick those, you never need to worry about losing track again.
Display and screen size
Screen size, color, brightness adjustments and LCD displays are the most important features you need to look for when you get a GPS unit for fishing.
As you are going to fish outside, you should always be concerned about if the display adjusts even in the sun. LCD and TFT displays are the most common ones chosen by professional anglers.
Similarly, a good screen size will allow you to read the terrain layout of the water you are in and give you the exact picture of the rocky and shallow areas. Make sure it fits in your palm and has a great ability to incorporate different elements of the surrounding you are in. Storage and connection
In order to fish effectively, you need a GPS system that can save information like waypoints, maps and checkpoints.
Pick up a unit that can be connected to a computer or comes with an SD card so that you can save as much information you want to.
Waterproof design Your fishing gear needs to be water-resistant so that it can perform well and last long. Not all GPS units are waterproof and though they might cost less, they won’t last long.
You need to get a unit that is waterproof and can float even when dropped in water. This ensures you never lose your device even when moving to strong water conditions.
Mapping system Some GPS units might not be able to plot different kinds of map you want.
A good unit generally comes with non-mapping, base mapping and advanced mapping system that allows you to record different data and information.
For example, the non-mapping system will show longitudes, latitudes, distance and elevation.
The base mapping provides information about the position, routes and waypoints while the advanced mapping system shows a detailed map, weather patterns and other features.
Garmin GPSMAP 6WorldWide GPS
If you are looking for a handheld GPS with a bigger screen, the Garmin GPSMAP 6is what you need to have.
It features a 2.6-in screen that adjusts itself with the sunlight and had readable color perfect and easy to navigate and scroll.
With BirdsEye Satellite imagery, the GPSMAP 6comes with a quad helix antenna which as a great reception than most other models out there making it precise and accurate for geo-positioning.
It’s perfect to use in any water conditions, deep in the woods or canyons as the GLONASS receiver it has is highly sensitive. A detailed marine and topographic road map are featured and stored in its GB internal memory.
On top of that, it also supports paperless geocaching and has 250,000 preloaded caches making it work efficiently. The battery life of this device is 16-hours when used regularly and it’s extremely durable as well.
Anglers can also get the 2D and 3D view of topographical maps that can be transferred and stored whenever required.
Features I like
Garmin Oregon 3-in Handheld GPS If you are looking for a handheld GPS that is full-fledged when it comes to features and specifications, the Garmin Oregon-is what you need to take a look at. The 3-in display with double touch screen features is surely going to take you to a new world when it comes to positioning and accuracy.
It has an extremely accurate satellite tracking feature with 100k preloaded maps. Not just that, the faster processor it has, adjusts to any challenging environment.
The display is vivid even in bright sunlight or in shades while the zoom-in and zoom out features are fluid and smooth. The 8-megapixel camera makes it easy to capture images with a single touch.
The features don’t stop there. The quality of photos from its camera are high quality with autofocus making it worth sharing with your friends, family and community. The 4GB SD card is where all the information can be stored.
Taking about its battery, it features a dual battery system and can operate with either traditional AA batteries or rechargeable NiMB pack, which is included in the GPS unit.
It is also preloaded with built-in topographical data for the entire US including several national parks, rivers, lakes and trails that you’d want to know and move to.
Garmin GPSMAP 64ST Handheld GPS
The GPSMAP 64st by Garmin is an upgraded version of GPSMAP 6and comes with rugged, full-features that the previous version did not have. It has a 2.6-in sunlight-readable color screen that’s extremely fluid when it comes to zooming in and out.
It’s a high sensitive fishing GPS with quad helix antenna just like in the previous version but with about 100,000 preloaded topographical maps that come with a year of BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription.
One feature that I particularly love about this handheld GPS is its wireless bluetooth connectivity. It makes sharing and transfer of information, maps, stored waypoints and other details easy. It can also be used to transfer message to any iOS device, a feature that makes it really unique.
The 3-axis compass with barometric compass makes it pin-point accurate when it comes to recording altitude and geo-position.
It is powered by 2AA batteries and lasts longer than its previous version when fully charged.
Accessories & Gear
So you love to go fishing on your kayak? A lot of people does. Some even use trolling motor to go to remote lakes for fishing on their beloved kayak. Everything sounds ok, till you get lost in the remote area.
This could be a nightmare if you don’t know the way back home or if you don’t have an active GPS system with you. If you are kayaking on a remote area or you are just new to the place, a kayak GPS would be very helpful on such occasions.
Even though I am well aware of the places I visit, I always bring a kayak GPS to face such accidents. So if anyhow I forget the way back to home, I will just open the GPS system and get back easily. Sometimes I mark my favorite fishing spots on the GPS, so I can always come back later to the same place to stow the biggest fish on my kayak catch cooler.
Garmin Oregon 600
Best GPS For kayaking: Garmin Oregon 600 is a worldwide handheld GPS with 3-inch sunlight readable display. This little GPS device has touchscreen functionality with multi-touch capability. You can take this device to kayak through the mountains or heavily treed areas, and it will still provide great support.
By the utilization of both GPS and GLONASS, this device has very good reception ability. It is also WAAS compatible. One of the coolest things about this device is very easy to maintain and understand.
You can share routes, tracks, waypoints or geocaches with the ANT or Bluetooth technology. You can switch between portrait or landscape views for easy reading. Three sensors are used on this device: 3-axis compass, accelerometer, barometric altimeter. For battery purpose, you can use either the rechargeable NiMH pack (which you need to purchase separately) or with the traditional AA batteries.
As I have mentioned earlier, a good kayak GPS device will always come with excellent battery support. Assume, you are exploring a new place and suddenly your smartphone or GPS device shutting down. You don’t know the place; you don’t know how to get back and you stuck there for an uncertain period of time. It sucks, right?
This is why you need to choose a GPS device which comes with enough juice to provide direction for a long time. We have mentioned some kayak GPS devices with a better battery. Besides the more extended battery, it needs to be easily rechargeable and has fast recharging time. Things to consider when buying a kayak GPS system is:
You will find different GPS devices with different display sizes. The resolution will very upon devices. A good resolution will allow you to see data more clearly. A kayak GPS might be between 2.inches to 5.inches. A small screen would be hard to read, while a big screen GPS device would be hard to carry. My suggestion is to choose a GPS device with 3.inches to inches. Thus, you get to see the data more easily and quickly.
Waterproof devices are simply hard to come by. Most GPS devices which are waterproof really only can withstand meter, or feet, of water for up to 30 minutes. If you are out kayaking and you drop your device in the water, it is very likely it will sink to more than feet of depth.
This is why the 72H is possibly the best kayaking GPS. If it is dropped in the water, it floats on top of the water. This keeps it from sinking and being in water which is too deep for too long.
Map features are also very important for kayakers. When you are out on the water, it can easily be disorienting. One of the best possible features to have is the ability to set destination points or favorites.
This can allow you to set the point for your vehicle or where you got in the water. Ultimately, this will help guide you back to a place you are familiar with.
There are also GPS devices which are specifically enable to show the depth of lakes. If you are a fisherman, this may be of great importance to you, as it can help you catch the perfect fish.
It may also be helpful to be able to see the map in 3D or 2D. This can be an excellent feature as it can help you tell precisely where you are. Sometimes, when looking at a 2D map, it can be difficult to tell exactly where you are. The 3D option literally lets you look at the map as you would actually be looking at your landscape.
Another feature which is excellent for GPS devices is a compass. If you should lose the ability to utilize the map feature on your GPS, the compass can help you assess where you are and where you need to go.
When kayaking, it is always a possibility that you will tip the boat. If you should tip the kayak, you would want to be able to get to your GPS very quickly. In the rare instance you could not get back to your kayak, having a GPS would allow you to get to shore and get back to your vehicle with ease.
This means you want to choose a GPS which is small enough that you can keep it in a dry bag on your person. You will be guaranteed to keep the GPS if it tips and you will also be guaranteed that it will still function.
Another size issue for some people is screen size. Many people do not like staring at a tiny screen such as the screen on the 72H. It can be important to have a screen big enough to read comfortably.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Handheld GPS wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Handheld GPS
- №1 — BEVA Handheld GPS GLONASS BEIDOU Length and Land Area Measure Calculation Meter
- №2 — TRIMBLE NOMAD 900L RUGGED HANDHELD COMPUTER NUMERIC KEYPAD 806MHZ PROCESSOR 128 MB RAM/1GB FLASH MEMORY 5200 MAH LI-ION BATTERY YELLOW WIN MOBILE 6.1 BLUETOOTH WI-FI GPS CF AND SD PORTS [nmdaey-111-00]
- №3 — Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator