Best handheld mapping GPS navigators that one would find with the best reviews and ratings on the internet today have somewhat similar traits that repeatedly impress users.
A GPS receiver is worth its salt if it can make your life easier on the road, the sea, and excursion route in the outback.
Amazingly most GPS navigators currently available on the market are arguably combo handheld GPS devices. This essentially means they can map your way on the road, in the city and out at sea or your local lake. For example handheld, marine GPS receivers are also usefully suitable for hiking and city turn-by-turn navigation after adding MapSource in the case of Garmin GPS models.
Garmin Oregon 650t GPS
Best of the best
Garmin GPSMAP 64 Worldwide
Garmin eTrex Navigator
GARMIN FORETREX 401 GPS
The Foretrex 401 is a slim wrist-mounted GPS navigator perfect for outdoor activities that require the use of both hands. Foretrex 401 combines a high-sensitivity waterproof GPS receiver, electronic compass and barometric altimeter into a lightweight device ideal for hikers, skiers and campers. To share data easily, you can connect Foretrex to your computer with USB or just send data wirelessly to another device.
Arriving at the best mapping handheld GPS device, there are a few considerations which must satisfy what you are looking for. These include the following;
5. Battery life
6. Water resistance
8. Display type
9. Unit size
The following are reviews of best handheld mapping GPS navigators available on the market. You may also visit the comparison of handheld GPS page for additional excellent mapping navigators not necessarily covered on this page.
Garmin E-Trex Vista HCx Mapping Handheld GPS Review
This receiver enjoys some very high ratings from a lot of satisfied users. Price wise it is reasonable selling for under $$$ and in most cases coming with free shipping on reputable sites such as Amazon. This is a high-sensitivity receiver which can quickly lock on to satellites in the house, in buildings, in deep canyons and even under other heavy covers such as trees and woods. This is one of them combo navigators which has been cleared for the IPX7 waterproof standard making it a qualified portable marine GPS.
The Garmin E-Trex Vista HCx is a small unit with a 1.7inch x 1.3-inch screen which is possible to look into even in bright sunlight an impressive aspect for many users. The screen is a 265 level color TFT. By design, the unit has operation buttons around its body creating more space on the front where the screen is. The unit uses two AA batteries which can last a staggering 25 hours a massive advantage over many handheld GPS navigators many of which last 12, 17, 16 and even 18 hours.
This navigator can communicate with your computer through a USB connectivity. It also has a memory slot for microSD card which makes it possible to add data and maps which can be purchased from Garmin website. The ability to accept additional data and maps is a very important consideration for any best handheld mapping GPS. This unit has impressed some users who have been able to use it in other countries outside of the United States by downloading street maps for these countries and loading them onto the navigator. This is a highly recommended GPS receiver.
The following is a summary of user sentiments concerning the Garmin E-Trex Vista HCx;
1. Small and price just right
2. Not hard to use at all once you learn how it works
3. Works just as well overseas (outside of the States)
4. Pleasurable use whilst hiking and driving
5. Perfect for nature lovers
Garmin GPSMAP 64Cx Handheld GPS Navigator
This arguably amongst best handheld mapping GPS sells for over $$ but can be purchased for under $$ online with free shipping on top. This is a high-sensitivity GPS receiver permitting a 64MB microSD card for optional map storage. This navigator is amongst best handheld mapping GPS devices and is also a best seller with user ratings of over four out of five stars. It is very rugged and will survive many drops.
The 64Cx is also a beloved navigator by geocacher participants. The price is a welcome opportunity for a device with such advanced features. The navigator has reviews and ratings of over four stars out of five from satisfied users.
This is one of the most popular handheld GPS navigators on Amazon today with over 500 reviews on average giving 4.5 stars out of five. The device price wise sells for just about $500.00 even though it can be found with a 63% discount on Amazon on your lucky day.
The receiver has a TFT display which makes it possible to read even in bright sunlight. The Garmin GPS 64CSX is also a best seller because it can double up for both marine and outdoor use. It is, in other words, a handheld, marine GPS. Most users want to be able to load maps from their computer in addition to base maps. This device permits that. You may also store more map detail on an SD card as it comes with an SD card slot. This is a highly sensitive device and can track your position even under tree cover. Scroll down to a comparison of handheld GPS table below to compare with other models.
Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Navigator
Introduced in late 2009/early 2010 this Garmin 420 handheld GPS receiver is an advanced high sensitivity receiver. Perhaps the most striking and favored accompaniment of this device is the worldwide base map. Most handheld GPS devices included in comparisons hardly have a worldwide base map. You may check this fact against the comparison of handheld GPS table below. Many are limited to certain geographic locations requiring further purchase or required maps on the internet.
Also exciting about this navigator is its full waterproof qualities. Should you be caught in a storm or hick through a rainy forest, you have an added benefit of having your navigator protected from damage. Two similar units of this model can comfortably exchange information and data such as waypoints using the inbuilt wireless technology. This means you can easily exchange data and information with your hiking or expedition partner if you are using the same model.
This Garmin model gives you a touch-screen on which you can open and close windows. It has a 3-axis compass which has tilt compensation. Users have even reported the impressive accuracy of up to 13 feet. In comparison with the Garmin GPS 60CSx, Handheld GPS Navigator described above this model is beat to the game considering brightness. It is adequately bright but not as bright as the 60csx. The touch screen technology mentioned earlier beats the Garmin 60CSX to the game. See the comparison of handheld GPS models below.
Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin E-Trex 20 is one of the best GPS navigators available on the market. The navigator locates your position with reasonable efficiency and accuracy. With it you’ll always stay on route and also it helps to navigate in low visibility conditions. This GPS is great for backpacking since it’s so light with just around 4.3 oz eight and it has great battery life.
ETrex has such features as a 3-axis electronic compass, a barometric altimeter, and wireless data sharing. Satellite acquisition and retention are fast. You can load maps, routes, and waypoints from MapSpace to internal memory, and you don’t need to use an SD card as in many other GPS navigators.
Garmin GPSMAP 64St Handheld GPS Navigator
One of the best and most popular handheld GPS navigators available on the market, this Garmin GPSMAP 64St offers an impressive array of advanced features. Just like in previous GPS navigators it features a barometric altimeter, an electronic compass, and it also has 5 MP camera.
The satellite reception is very good, and the accuracy is great. The unit is amazingly sensitive and does a good job measuring speed whether you’re walking, biking or driving a car. The screen is straightforward to see at day or night, and under direct bright sunlight. You can use the menu bar for shortcuts, which make switching between different features, like from map to compass, extremely easy. Plus, the case of this GPS if lightweight, rugged, and waterproof, making it perfect for backpackers.
DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 Portable GPS Navigator
GPSMAP 78 was designed for boaters and watersports enthusiasts, but it also works great for backcountry hikers and backpackers. It comes with a built-in worldwide base map allowing you to navigate anywhere with ease.
With HotFix satellite prediction and high sensitivity WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, it locates your position quickly and with precision. It can maintain your GPS location even in heavy cover, so even if you’re in deep woods, you can count on GPSMAP 78 to help you with finding the right trek.
It has lots of useful features and customization options. It’s easy to add to this GPS routes, waypoints, and maps. It’s waterproof so that foul weather won’t harm it.
You can use it to track trip distance, trace your route back to your origin, see time to destination, determine your exact location in case of emergency, etc.
For boaters, it has such useful features, as a “Man Overboard Button,” when pressed it marks the position and immediately gives you the option to navigate back to it. GPSMAP 78 also has “Anchor Drag” alarms, low/high water depth alarms, which can be adjusted by the user.
Garmin Oregon 650T Handheld GPS Navigator with Digital Camera
Garmin Oregon 650T combines outdoor touchscreen navigation with a 3.2-megapixel digital camera. The GPS comes with preloaded with US topographic data and a worldwide base map and includes all the tools for hiking or climbing. On map details, you can view national parks and forests, elevation information, trails, lakes, rivers, and points of interest. The acquisition is really fast, picks up satellites almost immediately. With Garmin Oregon 550T you can also make quality photos. The taken picture you can assign to a waypoint, the location you were standing at.