There’s no need to rely on your smartphone or smartwatch for navigation. We rounded up the best handheld GPS devices for finding your way.
While smartphones and GPS watches are indeed useful for navigation,它们无法匹配手持式GPS的互动和详细功能。高质量的手持GPS将允许您查看地形的分层概述，插入航点并计划路由，以及无缝记录数据。
Compared to a smartphone, a handheld GPS has major advantages, including superior durability and much longer battery life. Simply put, no other kind of device on the market can take the place of a good handheld GPS.
无论您是通过白天还是通过沙漠的高效路径留在课程，此列表中的便携式GPS设备将完成工作。虽然我们仍然建议带地图和compassas an analog backup in case technology fails you, the products on this list are the best of the best, and we stand by each one.
The Best Handheld GPS of 2021
Garmin’s GPSMAP 66 series ($500) contains four distinct models. Of these, the 66sr is the most feature-packed option in terms of technology and functions. Though the 66sr is built in the same outer casing as some of the other models in the 66 lineup, it’s packed with a plethora of superior features.
The 66sr sports a 3-inch color display that presents imagery in crisp and vibrant detail. Many users report that the display is brighter and easier to view than other models in Garmin’s 66 lineup. Notably, the display has been designed to be readable even when it’s facing direct sunlight. No need to squint!
Garminbuilt multi-band technology into the 66sr, which helps you track your route in especially challenging environments such as narrow canyons and dense forests. Where other GPS devices struggle to remain online, the 66sr shines.
Connectivity via Bluetooth allows you to share your waypoints, routes, and geocaches wirelessly with other enabled devices. For up-to-date weather forecasts and animated weather radar, the device’s Active Weather feature is accurate and easy to use.
Garmin GPSMAP 66SR配有标准的重型情况和内部可充电锂离子电池，即Garmin 66阵容中的另一个手持GPS器件包括。电池可在标准模式下最长36小时，远征模式下450小时。66SR被认为是防水的，可承受浸入水中的浸入量，深度为一米长达30分钟。
- Battery life:36 hours in standard mode and 450 hours in expedition mode
- 重量：8.2 ounces
- 记忆：16 GB with expandable memory
- Remembers up to 10,000 waypoints
- Great position accuracy
- Expanded global navigation system and multi-band technology
- Active Weather provides in-depth and accurate forecasts
- User must also carry a battery pack or solar panel to recharge the device on longer trips
Best Budget:GarmineTrex 10
极小的Garmin eTrex 10(110美元)的definition of a handheld GPS. For $120, this is a great device to consider for users who are willing to sacrifice a few higher-end features in place of simplicity and affordability. Because the eTrex 10 is considered a baseline unit, it lacks the GPS capabilities of more expensive options from Garmin, though it still manages to perform with impressive speed and accuracy.
The eTrex 10 performs its basic tracking and waypoint-marking duties extremely well. Thanks to its compact size, this device takes up very little space in your pack, making it a good selection for expeditions or adventures where weight is a factor. The rugged outer case and display are rated to IPX7 and won’t fail when exposed to rain, splashes, and snow.
For a baseline unit, the eTrex 10 provides solid GPS reception thanks to its integrated WAAS/EGNOS receiver that can track its user with an accuracy rating of +/- 7 feet. In dense tree cover and narrow canyons, this device is still often able to maintain satellite reception — an impressive trait for such an affordable device.
Four preset buttons and a single toggle for navigating around the screen add up to a simple user interface that feels intuitive right out of the box. Even while wearing gloves, the eTrex 10 is easy to operate.
While in the field, you have to navigate without being able to view any real information about the terrain you’re covering. For more complex navigation or expeditionary travel where built-in mapping capabilities are needed, this device falls short.
- Battery life:25小时
- 记忆：8 MB
- Simple, easy-to-use interface
- 轻的and compact
- Great reception for the price
- Easy to mark and save waypoints
- Can be operated with gloved hands
- Rated to IPX7 water resistance
- Lack of detailed mapping capability
- Low memory storage
The Garmin inReach Mini ($350) is an all-in-one handheld GPS device and two-way satellite messenger. Though this device deserves its place on this list of great handheld GPS devices, it’s really a communication device first and a navigation device second.
Beyond its barebones navigational capabilities, the inReach Mini really shines as a backcountry communications device. You’ll need to purchase a subscription to send and receive messages with the device, and various subscription levels are available.
跟踪模式允许你把你的位置your contacts of choice at regular intervals. If, for example, you’re on a long thru-hike and want to keep loved ones updated on your position, you can set the device to send out your precise location at regular intervals between 10 minutes and 4 hours.
Your subscription determines the number of preset and custom messages you can send. Different subscription rates allow different messaging allotments. Because of its small stature, typing out messages with the inReach can be tedious and difficult. Using the Garmin app, you can connect your smartphone with your inReach and type out your texts on your phone if you choose.
Garminhas programmed the Mini to work with the global Iridium satellite network. While thick forest cover and narrow canyons can decrease the strength of any satellite signal, this device seems to stay well-connected anywhere in the world.
By far, the Garmin inReach Mini comes in the smallest package of any GPS-enabled satellite messaging device on the market. For updating your loved ones while you’re out on an adventure, or for calling help in case of an emergency, this device is entirely capable.
For those looking for a device with advanced navigation and mapping features, the inReach Mini probably isn’t the best choice. For $350, the inReach Mini is a compact and well-built backcountry communications device.
- Battery life:Up to 90 hours
- 重量：3.5 ounces including batteries
- 轻的and compact
- 2-way messaging capability
- IPX7 water resistance rating
- Passive tracking mode allows others at home to track your position
- Easy-to-read display
- Reliable reception
- Limited navigation and mapping features
- Paid subscription required for all communication features
Best of the Rest
The Garmin eTrex 30x ($300) is a top-notch handheld GPS navigator. With enhanced memory and display resolution, the eTrex 30x is the most feature-packed model in Garmin’s eTrex series.
通过防水外涂层和2.2英寸的彩色显示屏，ETREX 30X的外观类似于ETREX 20X。不同之处在于，30x加载附加特征和增加的存储器。
为了解决这个问题，Garmin ETREX 30x也能够使用Glonass连接。Glonass是俄罗斯相当于GPS，并通过一次利用两个系统，ETREX 30X可靠地在整个地球上的令人印象深刻的区域范围内起作用。
Additionally, a built-in barometric altimeter uses air pressure to determine your altitude down to an impressive degree of accuracy. Other built-in features include wireless connectivity, a clock, an alarm, and a trip computer.
Garmin Etrex 30x表示轻质设计的精英平衡，具有功能包装的性能。此可靠的设备仅需12盎司，拥有一流的电池寿命，可消除对其他导航附件的需求。
Though we always recommend having a map and a compass as a backup, the 30x will have you feeling navigating confidently throughout any expedition or adventure.
- Battery life:2 AA batteries last up to 24 hours before needing replacement
- 重量：12 oz.
- 记忆：3.7 GB, SD card-compatible
- Clear and bright color display
- Durable casing
- Comes with built-in map with aspect shading
The Garmin Montana 700i ($700) features a tough and durable build, a large touchscreen, and navigation capabilities that represent the best of the best on the handheld GPS market. Popular with hunters and expeditionary recreationists, the 700 is a newer model from Garmin that performs as beautifully as it appears.
The 700i’s 5-inch high-resolution display looks like it belongs on a high-end smartphone. An updated Gorilla Glass screen ensures that the massive display is hardy and not too fragile for the backcountry.
Multiple global navigation satellite systems are enabled on the 700i, including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. These systems can be activated simultaneously for extra-reliable reception, even in tight ravines and dense forests. Multiple preloaded TopoActive maps allow you to see many features of the terrain on your screen, including peaks, lakes, major roads, and trails.
Garminhas maximized the connectivity of the 700i, and it can interface with other smart devices using both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This makes it easy to share your location, download satellite imagery, connect to the Garmin app, and more. Other built-in features include an accurate altimeter, a barometer to monitor weather, and a three-axis electronic compass.
Compared to the 700 version, the 700i includes satellite messaging and the ability to send out SOS signals in case of emergency. Instead of carrying a separate device for satellite communication, the 700i builds this feature into its already long list of functions.
Though this device wouldn’t be described as svelte or lightweight, it’s most certainly among the most advanced handheld GPS devices on the market. For users who prioritize a large and easy-to-view display that offers an experience similar to a smartphone, the 700i is a technological marvel built for outdoor adventure.
- Battery life:18 hours
- 重量：1.46 pounds
- 记忆：16 GB and compatible with microSD cards
- Huge, high-resolution display
- Rugged construction with Gorilla Glass screen
- Lots of internal memory
The Garmin Oregon 700 ($400) could be considered a pared-down version of the Garmin Montana 700i. Thanks to a large 3-inch color touchscreen, the Oregon 700 offers an intuitive user interface reminiscent of a smartphone.
Compared to the Montana 700i, this model is smaller and more compact, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your needs. For backpacking or other forms of overnight backcountry travel, we like the smaller size because it’s lighter and takes up less space but still offers tons of features and easy-to-use appeal.
Though the Oregon 700’s 16-hour battery life is on the shorter side, it makes up for this with impressive storage capabilities that can hold up to 10,000 waypoints. Like most of Garmin’s handheld GPs devices, the Oregon 700 can access both the GPS and GLONASS satellite networks via a built-in antenna.
连接类,俄勒冈州700 be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth to display active weather patterns on its own screen. Quick to respond to all touchscreen commands, users can expect little frustration from the Oregon 700 when using it in the field.
Because of its large touchscreen and lack of physical buttons, this device is best used in warm and dry climates where the user won’t be using gloves. Though the whole device is water-rated to IPX7, the screen becomes almost useless when wet.
Overall, the Oregon 700 is a high-quality device that combines technological luxury with a compact size, a good value, and lots of practical features. Compared to the Montana 700i, the Oregon 700 is smaller and lighter, which likely appeals to those trying to maintain a lightweight kit.
- Battery life:16 hours
- 重量：7.4 ounces with batteries
- 记忆：3.4 GB and compatible with microSD
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Can hold up to 10,000 waypoints
- Screen is inoperable while wearing gloves
Though handheld GPS devices have been available for several decades, recent developments have vastly improved the capabilities of the options available on the market in 2021.
While some of the devices on this list focus strictly on providing quality GPS mapping and position tracking, other options also offer a long list of additional features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, touchscreen displays, satellite messaging, emergency features, altimeters, compasses, and more.
With so many available features and lots of high-quality options, it can be difficult to navigate the market and figure out which handheld GPS best suits your needs. Remember, the ideal device is the one that will add the most benefit to your life and your navigational pursuits.
Before you purchase, consider your needs. It may even be helpful to make a list of features that are non-negotiable for you. Determining your budget before you begin shopping may also help, as devices on the market vary wildly in price from $100 to over $700.
We recommend every device on this list. Through careful research and product testing, we have compiled a list of well-made, high-quality handheld GPS devices. Our guide for how to choose aims to explain various features and terminology you’re sure to encounter as you shop for a handheld GPS.
The positional accuracy of handheld GPS devices has improved steadily over the decades. Now, high-quality devices such as the ones on this list can pinpoint the user’s location within a margin of 10 m or less. According toGarmin那the manufacturer of multiple devices on our list, units that are equipped with the Wide Area Augmentation System can be accurate to 3 m or less.
In landscapes both urban and undeveloped, large features such as canyons and skyscrapers can interrupt your signal and decrease the accuracy of your GPS device. Clouds and stormy weather tend to not impact your signal. To maintain a clear signal with satellites, it helps to carry your device on the exterior (not in a pocket) of your back or underneath a single layer of thin material.
Every handheld GPS device has a unique user interface you’ll have to learn as the device’s operator. Some devices, like theGarmineTrex 10那are operated using a small number of simple buttons, while others, like theGarminMontana 700i那rely on a large color touchscreen display.
No matter the configuration of your device, we recommend spending some time reading the user manual and practicing navigating with your device before you head out into the backcountry.
Large touchscreens tend to offer a shorter learning curve thanks to their large, bright, and colorful displays. These kinds of devices are quick to learn for people familiar with smartphone use, but they also come with some downsides.
最值得注意的是，当天气冷或湿时，触摸屏手持GPS设备难以使用。虽然在狩猎，钓鱼或徒步旅行时，很可能你会戴手套。简单地说，你无法用手套操作触摸屏，这使得高端设备如Garmin Montana 700i温暖的天气特定的。
For a super easy-to-use handheld GPS that utilizes buttons instead of a touchscreen, we recommend the simple and affordable Garmin eTrex 10.
To deal with the issue of glare and sunny-day readability, Garmin’s new models have been engineered with anti-glare screens that make maps and data easy to decipher — even in direct sun.
Out of the box, most GPS devices come with a very simplistic map that displays little detail about the terrain. Some high-end devices come with multiple maps preloaded, each displaying certain information and landmarks such as roads, trails, and lakes.
Generally, the more data and information about the terrain that your device contains, the easier it will be to navigate using the mapping function of the device.
Satellite imagery, which is essentially aerial photos of Earth that have been stitched together, is usually difficult to see and utilize on a handheld GPS device. However, some devices with larger displays like the Garmin Montana 700i are more capable of making use of satellite imagery during navigation.
Most makers of handheld GPS devices have created their own software that’s used to organize and display the tracks and waypoints that you have saved using your device.
来自Garmin的Basecamp.is an excellent platform that provides everything you need as a GPS user. For example, using BaseCamp, you can overlay your waypoints and tracks onto Google Earth. This is especially helpful for devices unable to utilize satellite imagery on their own.
Many handheld GPS devices still rely on AA batteries, which are cheap, quick to replace, and easily accessible. However, if you’re heading out on a long expedition where access to a store is out of the question, you’ll have to bring a potentially annoying quality of fresh batteries to keep your device working. While AA batteries remain an option, some manufacturers are now making devices with rechargeable battery packs as a practical alternative.
Depending on the length of the trips you’ll be taking with your device, aim for a handheld GPS that has a long battery life while in active GPS-enabled modes. Typically, one of the trade-offs of large touchscreen devices is that they tend to have a shorter battery life than button-operated alternatives.
Most information saved to handheld GPS devices comes in the form of waypoints, or coordinates for a specific location you want to save for future use. For most trips, only a few waypoints are necessary. Devices on this list are capable of saving between 500 and 10,000 waypoints at any given time, which should be more than enough, especially if you plan to clear this data or move it to another device between trips.
Every handheld GPS comes with a basic map, which is essentially a blank screen that includes the most noteworthy local features and nothing more. Many modern Garmin products come with a preloaded base map with contour lines that convey elevation, points of interest, and major trails and roads.
On most devices, maps can be added to improve upon the default base-level map to create a more detailed layout of the terrain around you. Remember, additional maps take up memory, so be sure your device isn’t full if you want to add more maps.
Satellite Messaging and Emergency Features
Satellite messaging devices have the ability to send (and sometimes receive) messages in areas where cellular devices don’t have reception. Now, many handheld GPS devices have been built with this capability to create a class of all-in-one backcountry navigation and communication tools.
To use these messaging features, a paid subscription is usually required that allows a limited number of messages to be sent and received each month.
For those who wish to communicate with others while out of cellphone range, this is an invaluable feature that can quell worry from afar and keep everyone in the loop. Some satellite messaging devices can be programmed to automatically send out predetermined messages at regular time intervals.
如果发生紧急情况，您必须能够快速发出帮助以获取帮助。有些设备有一个SOS按钮，可以立即触发来自当地紧急医疗服务的响应。在这个名单上，GarmininReach Minihas more communication features than navigation features, but it’s a great little device.
大多数手持GPS设备包括气压高度计。在导航时，通过精确的晴雨表来了解您当前的海拔高度通常非常重要。使用压力传感器，一个高度计也可以帮助您跟踪天气模式和趋势，这是具有重要信息 - 特别是在山上。
Which Is the Best GPS to Buy?
All of the handheld GPS devices on this are high-quality. We recommend each one for different reasons. Of these options, determining which one is best is all about figuring out what your needs are and which device best suits them.
If you’re looking for a device that has a color touchscreen but is also compact and lightweight, theGarminOregon 700is an excellent choice. If you’re looking for a packable device that can reliably communicate via satellite, theGarmininReach Mini会是一个很棒的买。
一个明确的信号,许多现代手持GPS井斜ces can pinpoint your location with an error margin of just a few meters. This level of accuracy is great for emergency scenarios, reliable waypoint setting, and geocaching. Integrated altimeters and three-axis compasses in handheld GPS devices are also more accurate now than ever before.
Though smartphones can be helpful navigational tools, their short battery life, reliance on cellular service, and general fragility mean they just aren’t the best for proper expeditionary navigation.
Do You Need a Handheld GPS for Geocaching?
While some geocaching locations can be navigated with a smartphone, a handheld GPS device is really the best tool for geocaching. With a handheld GPS, you can enjoy geocaching sessions without cellular service and save waypoints so you can return to specific locations over and over again.
Have a favorite handheld GPS? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out for future updates to this article.