Best Handheld GPS Reviews for 2020 [Includes Buyer’s Guide]

When you are in the wilderness, proper navigation will help you survive. Nothing beats old maps and compass, but with increased technologies handheld GPS devices have become trusted navigators during expeditions. Global Positioning System or GPS uses satellites to track location and through wireless device store, analyze and share information including maps, tracks, routes, etc.

Not only for emergencies only, but GPS units are also becoming popular for outdoor activities. Geocaching is such an activity, which is sort of a treasure hunt using GPS. Nowadays most handheld GPS lets you plan, follow, and share recent adventures.

So you should look for the GPS model according to your needs. Because different models are specialized in different functions and it’s better to buy the one perfectly suited to your requirements. For your convenience, we have prepared the buying guide and reviewed various models with diverse specifications and prices.

Let’s check out the best handheld GPS devices currently on the market.

Best Handheld GPS for Hunting

Nobody wants or expects bad outcomes on a hunting trip but it’s better to be prepared rather than being stranded in the wilderness. For that handheld GPS devices come handy. You can share your coordinates and receive help in response. Even when you are not in danger and just lost your way, the best hunting GPS is able to identify your location and lets you navigate to safety. To get more information, here check out the best handheld GPS for hunters.

Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Garmin Gpsmap 64st Review

Perhaps the best Garmin handheld GPS out there, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st is a rugged, full-featured, high-performance GPS unit.

It comes with a high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver with a quad-helix antenna for superior reception regardless of your location. In addition, the built-in 3-axis compass with a barometric altimeter keeps track of your elevation and point out precise altitude. Via Bluetooth technology, you can receive Smart Notifications or pair with optional ANT+ sensors, such as heart rate monitor, Tempe temperature sensor, speed/cadence, or use it to control your VIRB action camera. It lets you share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with other compatible Garmin devices.

The GPSMAP 64st features expanded internal memory of 8 GB and dual battery system compatible with both traditional and rechargeable battery pack.  The device comes with preloaded TOPO 100K maps 250,000 preloaded caches with hints and descriptions from Geocaching.com. It can also store and display key information like location, terrain, difficulty, hints, and descriptions, etc. Because of this, you don’t have to manually upload coordinates and get printouts. All in all, a perfect companion for outdoor pursuits.

Pros

  • Efficient Wireless Connectivity
  • Glare Resistant Color Screen
  • Durable Waterproof Design
  • Fast and Accurate Location
  • BaseCamp Software for Organizing Trips
  • Preloaded Basemap with Full U.S. Coverage

Cons

  • Screen Resolution Not High Enough
  • Complicated Menus

Garmin eTrex 20x

Garmin eTrex 20x Review

If you consider the features that come with the price, the Garmin eTrex 20x is the best handheld GPS for money on the market.

You can conveniently use the device under the sun or at night with its upgraded high-resolution display. The WAAS-enabled GPS receiver uses HotFix and GLONASS for even more accurate and quick location fixing. This model is already equipped with the preloaded worldwide base map. Moreover, there are 3.7 gigabytes of internal memory and a microSD card slot for expanded memory. This way you can upload even more maps from BlueChart g2, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, HuntView, TOPO 24K, etc.

This rugged dependable model has 25 hours of battery life and water-resistant construction. With compatible mounts, you can even use it on ATVs, bicycles, boats and other vehicles, which makes it suitable for hunting expedition.

Pros

  • Free Trip-Planning BaseCamp Software
  • Expanded Internal Memory
  • Compact and Portable Design
  • Greater Resolution for Improved Readability
  • Reliable and Affordable Price
  • Efficient at Geocaching and Route Finding

Cons 

  • No Electronic Compass or Barometric Altimeter
  • Lacking Extra Navigation Features

Garmin Montana 680t

Garmin Montana 680t Review

Another top-rated Garmin GPS, the Montana 680t is great for combining geocaching with hunting. It comes with 250,000 preloaded worldwide geocaches, more than 100,000 topographical maps, and also includes a one-year subscription to Birdseye satellite imagery. You don’t even need to upload them manually and the track manager feature helps organize and navigate through waypoints/routes/ and track logs easily.

The exclusive feature of this model is the 8-megapixel digital camera which offers better resolution and high clarity images. Moreover, the images are geotagged with coordinates automatically. The dual-orientation touchscreen display can be monitored even in sunlight.

With high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, Hotfix satellite prediction and GLONASS support, the Montana 680t retrieves signal fast and shows the precise location. Additionally, you’ll get extra features like free trip-planning BaseCamp software, a built-in 3-axis compass, and a barometric altimeter.

Pros

  • Great Battery Life
  • Easy to Use Interface
  • Good Signal Reception
  • Rugged and Durable Construction
  • Digital Camera Included
  • Glove-Friendly Touchscreen Display

Cons

  • Slightly Heavy
  • Manual Not Included

Garmin Instinct

Garmin Instinct Review

Garmin Instinct comes with many of the features of a fully-fledged GPS device and more but in a smartwatch. Don’t get fooled by its size or look. For its durable and reliable construction meets US military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance (up to 100 meters).

The built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, along with GPS, GLONASS and Galileo navigation satellite systems help you track accurately in challenging environments. With the TracBack feature, you don’t have to worry about the return journey and use it to navigate back to the start. Continuing with the tactical angle, Garmin Instinct’s battery lasts up to 14 days on a single charge.

You can train different preloaded activity profiles, like swimming, biking, running, rowing, etc. It can also monitor your estimated heart rate, activity, and stress. Moreover, you can connect with Garmin Connect online fitness community for automatic uploads, live tracking, and the GroupTrack feature.

If you’re looking for a portable and sophisticated watch but with high tech and military-grade components, then Garmin Instinct is just the model for you.

Pros

  • Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Case
  • Chemically-Strengthened Scratch-Resistant Display
  • Connected with Smart Notifications
  • Automatic Data Uploads
  • Built-In Heart Rate Monitor
  • Attractive Aesthetic for Daily Use

Cons

  • Buttons Tend to Get Stuck
  • Smaller Screen Size

DeLorme inReach SE Satellite Tracker

DeLorme inReach SE Satellite Tracker Review

In case of emergency situations, the DeLorme inReach SE is the most affordable satellite communicator. inReach connects through the Iridium network which is the only satellite network that provides 100% global coverage and two-way communication.

The DeLorme inReach SE is more than just a GPS device. You can send SOS signals and text messages to interact with GEOS, DeLorme’s 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center. You will be updated about the current situation and the ETA so your mind can be at peace. However, to access the messaging services, you need a monthly or annual subscription to inReach.

Moreover, you can pair up your inReach SE with iOS and Android devices through Bluetooth and the Earthmate app. The color screen shows coordinates, elevation, location, speed, and tracking. With batteries lasting up to 100 hours, you’ll be able to send and receive 160 character text messages with GPS coordinates anywhere in the world.

Pros

  • Long-Lasting Rechargeable Battery
  • Standalone Two-Way Messaging
  • Truly Global Satellite Coverage
  • Adjustable Tracking Intervals
  • Interact with Search and Rescue Monitoring Center
  • Value for Money

Cons

  • Subscription Plan Slightly Costly
  • Preloaded Map Not Available

Best Handheld GPS for Hiking

When in the wilderness, handheld GPS is your best friend. As long as you have your best hiking GPS, you will be able to navigate your way out. Even with poor visibility and no distinct landmarks, your device can easily track your location and accurately place it. Besides in emergency situations, you can send SOS and receive a response through the GPS. Some of the best handheld GPS for hikers are reviewed below.

Garmin eTrex 30x

Garmin eTrex 30x Review

The Garmin eTrex 30x is the upgraded version of the eTrex 20x model but with more features. Being an outdoor-friendly model, it is ideal for hiking, mountaineering, trekking, hunting, and Geocaching.

The WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and Hotfix satellite prediction can locate your position even when you are under deep cover. Using both the GPS and GLONASS satellites, eTrex 30x can lock on to your location approximately 20%faster than standard GPS. The built-in 3-axis electronic compass and the barometric altimeter can pinpoint your precise altitude and changes in weather and pressure over time.

The eTrex 30x model is wireless compatible so you can share your waypoints, geocaches, tracks, routes, etc. with other Garmin devices. Because of the extended memory, this device can store up to 200 routes and 2,000 waypoints. Using the BaseCamp software, the preloaded worldwide basemap can be seen in 2-D or 3-D on your computer screen. Overall, the rugged waterproof and shock-resistant Garmin eTrex 30x makes navigation and identifying locations faster and easier.

Pros 

  • Built-In ABC Sensors
  • Good Battery Life
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Easy to Use and Affordable
  • Paperless Geocaching
  • Small and Lightweight Design

Cons

  • Small Screen
  • Basemap Not Much Detailed

Garmin inReach Explorer+

Garmin inReach Explorer Review

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ was designed combining Garmin’s impressive reception and navigation with DeLorme’s SOS and satellite messenger capabilities. In fact, the combination made this device the perfect all-rounder GPS unit.

The global Iridium satellite provides 100% coverage and reliable connectivity no matter where you are. The device also works as a GPS and communicator both. Therefore you can use it to send and receive texts. In case of emergencies, you can trigger an interactive SOS to a 24/7 search and rescue center and get back a fast response. Using the Earthmate app, you can access and download various maps, color aerial imagery, US NOAA charts and more.

The Explorer+ comes with preloaded DeLorme TOPO maps with GPS routing, built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter, and accelerometer. The rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery lasts up to 100 hours. Also because of the waterproof and shock-resistant design, the device works well even in extreme conditions.

Pros

  • InReach Weather Forecast Service
  • MapShare for Tracking and Sharing Location
  • Exceptional Battery Life
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage and Trip Planning
  • Advanced GPS Technology
  • Smartphone Connection and Pairing Up

Cons

  • Limited Navigation Features
  • Paid Subscription Required for Messaging

Garmin inReach Mini

Garmin InReach Mini Review

If the Garmin inReach Explorer+ seems too large for you, then the Garmin inReach Mini will be more suited for you. It is the smaller and lighter version of Explorer+ with some additional features as well.

Similar to inReach Explorer+, inReach Mini enables two-way text messaging and satellite communication using the global Iridium network.  If you pair up your device via Bluetooth to a compatible smartphone, you can easily send and receive text messages even without cellular reception.

The Garmin Pilot app can also track your position and share it with your followers on the MapShare page. The inReach Mini also supports additional aviation services that monitor and identify potential flight emergency situations. Likewise, the interactive SOS service will swiftly initiate search and rescue procedures for you.

The smaller size doesn’t necessarily mean delicate construction. Rather it has a tough, durable, impact-resistant and waterproof build. The internal, rechargeable lithium battery runs up to 50 hours use. To attain more portability, Mini has to be content with shorter battery life and a smaller screen. However, you can just slip your GPS into your pocket and don’t even need to hold it. For a short hike or run, Garmin inReach Mini is the perfect choice for a GPS unit.

Pros

  • Direct Weather Updates
  • Unlimited Map Access
  • 24/7 Search and Rescue Monitoring Center
  • Wireless Unit-To-Unit Connectivity
  • Best Portable GPS
  • User-Friendly Functionality

Cons

  • Time-Consuming Typing
  • Smaller Display

Garmin Epix

Garmin Epix Review

In actuality, Garmin Epix is less of a handheld GPS, more of a wristwatch. Even though having the smallest screen, Epix boasts off the first-of-its-kind multi-functionality.

The best feature is perhaps the easy access to mapping navigation right at your hand. You don’t need separate devices for different tasks.  You can even access fitness training feature sets comprising Ski/Board, Hike, and Trail Run. The EXO antenna paired with GLONASS and EPO provides better signal strength and automatically uploads data wirelessly to Garmin Connect, LiveTrack, and other social media platforms. Also, it is equipped with smart notifications meaning you’ll never miss your emails, texts, and alerts as long you are wearing it.

Not only just bearing a rugged look, but this model has also been designed to withstand some of the roughest conditions. With 50 hours of battery life, built-in altimeter, barometer, 3-axis electronic compass, water rating of 50 meters, you’ll be getting a reliable GPS. The convenient plus sleek features are perfect for geocaching and hiking.

Pros

  • High-Resolution Color Touchscreen
  • 8GB of Internal Memory
  • Customize Watch with Widgets and Apps
  • Easy and Quick Access to Multiple Activities
  • Preloaded TOPO 100K Maps
  • 1-Year Birdseye Satellite Imagery Subscription

Cons

  • Badly Designed User Interface
  • Smaller Screen

Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS

Garmin Oregon 700 Review

Garmin Oregon 700 has a large touchscreen but still light and compact enough as a device perfect for hiking. It features an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, 3-axis electronic compass – the full ABC sensors.

The high-sensitivity dual GPS and GLONASS satellite reception provide an accurate location within 3 meters of your position. Active Weather support and a 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription further help your navigation. Through the multilink wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+, you can connect with the online community to share, analyze and categorize your data. The Connect IQ lets you customize your device with data fields, widgets, and apps.

The device is compatible with both lithium-ion and AA batteries and powers up to 16 hours. The rugged design is against dust, dirt, and humidity and the IPX7 rating ensures water resistance. By switching Activity profiles you will be able to use different profiles including climb, hike, hunt, bike, geocache, fish and more. Overall, Oregon 700 is a suitable GPS model for outdoor activities.

Pros

  • Sunlight Readable Display with Dual Orientation
  • Rugged Ergonomic and Waterproof Design
  • Fast and Reliable Dual Satellite Reception
  • Live Geocaching and Automatic Geocache Downloads
  • Garmin Connect Compatible
  • Expanded Wireless Connectivity

Cons

  • Provided Documentation Not Sufficient
  • Some Functions Difficult to Use

Best Handheld GPS for Fishing

Handheld GPS for water navigation can also be used for boating and other water activities to help you navigate the water and come back to shore. If you have a preferred spot for fishing, you can bookmark that location and be able to go back regularly without missing directions. The best handheld GPS for marine use is generally waterproof, has larger memory to record preferred spots and coordinates with marine cartography as well. Here are some of the best handheld GPS for fishing.

Garmin eTrex 10

Garmin Etrex 10 Review

If you are short of budget but looking for a dependable and quality GPS model, then go for Garmin eTrex 10. It has the core functionality that made the eTrex models so popular and well-liked in the world.

The rugged handheld GPS is waterproof to IPX7 standards for protection against splashes, rain, etc. You can get up to 25 hours of battery life with 2 AA batteries. The monochrome display works well under bright sunlight and the simple interface makes it easy to use on a fishing trip.

The high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver with GLONASS support and HotFix satellite prediction locate your position quickly and precisely. The preloaded worldwide basemap helps you navigate onto maximum terrains. eTrex 10 also supports paperless geocaching as you can download geocaches and store details including location, terrain, difficulty, hints, and descriptions to your device.

Considering all other options, the Garmin eTrex 10 is the best handheld GPS under 100.

Pros

  • Great Product for Beginners
  • Best Cheap GPS
  • Portable and Lightweight
  • Longer Battery Life
  • Quick Location Lock
  • BirdsEye Satellite Imagery Subscription

Cons

  • No Color Display
  • Only Basic Functionalities Provided

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS

Garmin Foretrex 401 Review

If you need to keep both hands free, then Garmin Foretrex 401 is the perfect solution for you. As it is an ultralight slim wrist-mounted GPS navigator suitable for outdoor activities. It comes with a USB cable, user manual, and wrist expansion strap with 17 hours of battery life.

This waterproof GPS features a barometric altimeter, electronic compass, and wireless data communication. The high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix provides for improved performance and precision location services in any terrain. Through the TracBack feature, you can easily retrace your paths on the easy-to-read LCD display.

Using Garmin Connect, you create and store all of your waypoints, routes, and tracks. It also provides other helpful information, like a trip computer, sunrise/sunset times, hunting and fishing information. You can explore information from the other 12 million customers and share your experience with them.

Pros

  • Dual Position Readout
  • No Dropped Signals
  • Durable Lightweight and Convenient
  • Basecamp / Google Maps Compatible
  • No Need to Install Extra Software
  • Leveled Compass for Maximum Accuracy

Cons

  • Low Storage Capacity
  • Manual Not Well Written

Magellan eXplorist 310

Magellan eXplorist 310 Review

This is the only GPS on our list which is not from Garmin. The Magellan eXplorist 310 comes with a vibrant 2.2-inch sunlight-readable high-resolution color screen.

It features paperless geocaching where you can download and view more than 20 unique characteristics of each cache, and view, search and filter on the device. Also with the World Edition Pre-loaded Map, you can get a detailed road network, water features, urban and rural land use, and a realistic shaded relief background. Through Track Summery, you can log your journey and keep tabs on useful statistics. Moreover, the high-sensitivity GPS with the help of WAAS, EGNOS, and MSAS provides up to 3.5 meters of accuracy.

The device is adventure-ready due to its rugged and waterproof nature with 18 hours of battery life. The eXplorist 310 has been tested to IPX-7 standards and can withstand depths up to 1 meter for a total of 30 minutes. If you want something different from Garmin and affordable, then Magellan eXplorist 310 is the perfect GPS for you.

Pros

  • Easy to Navigate Menus and Rich Graphics
  • Suspend Mode to Conserve Battery
  • Superior Mapping and Uploadable Map Capability
  • Accurate Location Information Worldwide
  • Extra Space to Store Maps, Geocaches, Waypoints and Tracks
  • Great Affordable Option for Geocaching

Cons

  • Bulky Design
  • Outdated Technology

Garmin Oregon 650t

Garmin Oregon 650t Review

The Garmin Oregon 650t is a feature-heavy model, using which will make you feel you are interacting with the map itself.

The high sensitivity dual-band GPS/GLONASS satellite positioning is great at locating your precise position. The ANT or Bluetooth technology lets you wirelessly share routes, tracks, waypoints, geocaches, custom maps and photos between other compatible Garmin units. The device comes with preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps, worldwide basemap with shaded relief and a faster processor. The built-in 3-axis electronic compass with accelerometer and barometric altimeter track changes in pressure and keep an eye on changing weather conditions.

The Oregon 650t features a sunlight-readable backlit touchscreen display with dual orientation. Additionally, there is a built-in 8-megapixel autofocus digital camera. The device is shock and water-resistant with 16 hours of battery life. As it can be used with gloves, the GPS device works well even on wet or cold temperatures. And that makes the Garmin Oregon 650t an ideal GPS navigator for fishing.

Pros

  • Unlimited Number ff Geocaches
  • Display with Multi-Touch Capability
  • Easy to Access Menu
  • Dual Battery System
  • Rear Clip for Mounting
  • Fast USB Battery Charging

Cons

  • Poor Battery Life
  • Not Enough Backlight Time

Buying Guide

The best GPS device is the one that meets your preferences with its functions and features. Most of the GPS units don’t come cheap and the device is going to with for a long time. So consider what you will be getting from your handheld GPS and choose carefully. We are here to let you know which factors to take into consideration before buying. Knowing useful information and insights will help you make the best purchase later. Here, give our buying guide a read before committing yourself to your GPS device.

Display Dimensions

Size

One of the main reasons to look for an upgraded GPS is that we want a larger screen size. For outdoor activities like boating, hunting, and any expeditions, larger screens come handy to see information at a glance. Ideally, a handheld GPS should have a minimum 2-inch display with good resolution.

Larger screens display larger and better map overview along with more space travel data. However, these cost a bit more and weigh a bit more as well. Smaller and lighter models generally come with smaller screens.

If you are hiking or backpacking through long-distance and/or wilderness trails and concerned with weight, then it’s better to opt for a smaller device. Nowadays even smaller units are equipped with advanced functions offering the highest quality regardless of the screen size.

Weight

As discussed earlier, weight is directly related to the screen size of the device. Which model to choose actually depends on how you are going to use the GPS. For hiking GPS, you need a model that is light and small. It should portable enough and easy to carry without feeling bulky on your hands.

If you want the GPS to attach to your transport, then a device with a larger screen is better. The high-end device will give you better readability. And you won’t have to carry it so the weight will not be a problem either.

Readability

Readability is another important factor because innovative and multi-features all will be useless if you can’t even read what’s on the screen. That’s why you need to take into consideration about the brightness of the screen and the readability in direct sunlight.

Fortunately, now most of the GPS models are equipped with anti-glare screens with good backlighting and contrast. With these features, you can decipher maps and text easily.

Touchscreen vs. Buttons

With increased modern technology, the touchscreen has become the favored mode of handheld GPS. Still, there are many people who prefer the traditional GPS with buttons.

GPS units with touchscreen respond faster, easy to navigate and work in both landscape and portrait orientations. Compared to this, devices with buttons take more time to respond, navigate and type. However, they run smoothly in extreme temperatures, the batteries last longer and work well even with wearing gloves. Whereas GPS models with touchscreen have all these shortcomings.

So you should make your decision according to your preference. Whether you want a modern GPS with a quick response or the traditional one with reliable battery life – that’s the choice you have to make.

Material and Construction

Remember the reason you are getting your GPS. You will be going to rugged terrain and have to withstand extreme weather. You can hardly use a poorly constructed device on such conditions. For that, you need a quality constructed device made of durable material that is waterproof and shock and abrasion-resistant.

Make sure your device qualifies for the IPX water resistant rating. Look for at least IPX7 rating which means the device can endure exposure to water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

Maps

All GPS devices come with a very rudimentary basemap. Some units include preloaded full-fledged topo maps. You can download the separately purchased topo maps or get them on a CD or a microSD card. You can also download maps and satellite imagery for free online and transfer them to your unit. The United States Geological Survey has free spatial data and the U.S. National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) offers high quality, free satellite imagery for the entire continental U.S. Most Garmin GPS models come with a free 1-year subscription to Garmin’s database of Birdseye satellite imagery. You just have to download it to your unit.

Likewise, many Garmin devices include a preloaded 100k map. Look for the model with ‘t’ at the end of the name such as Garmin Oregon 600t, Garmin Montana 680t, Garmin GPSMAP 64st, etc. Generally, these are the models with a preloaded map.

Nowadays GPS manufacturers also offer mapping software. It is designed to organize, analyze and project the waypoints and tracks on your GPS. Garmin’s BaseCamp is popular mapping software.  It’s simple and easy to use for a basic GPS user.

You can get a free map and mapping software online too. But if you want high quality, fast and straightforward map access, it’s better to get them from reputed GPS manufacturers. Also, there are distinctive differences between topographic maps versus street maps and marine maps. Be sure before buying the GPS, what type of map you’re getting and whether it’ll meet your requirements.

Battery Life

Most GPS devices use replaceable AA batteries which have almost become the standard. However, many models have the option of rechargeable batteries as well. For shorter trips, AA batteries are better as these are affordable, have good battery life and can be easily replaced. But for longer trips, they’ll be drained faster and you need to bring more batteries for backup which will add extra weight. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries create less waste; have longer-lasting power and efficient way to recharge.

Therefore look for batteries lasting up to a minimum of 10 hours so you don’t need to change them too often. Also, batteries die faster in cold temperature than warm ones. So keep your GPS warm and put in your inner jacket pocket or inside your backpack.

Additional Features

Because of the presence of these features, you will be able to differentiate between top quality devices and basic models.

Satellite Functions

GPS devices use satellite reception to provide a precise location. Nowadays most modern units can accurately place the device’s location to at least 10-meters.

WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) is a navigation aid system that improves GPS accuracy and availability using the 32 US satellites and 24 Russian satellites orbiting the earth. Tall buildings, canyons, and trees interrupt satellite signals and show less accurate location. WAAS-enabled devices make it easier to find your place through thick terrains.

Some devices also support GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) – an alternative to GPS. Devices that support both GPS and GLONASS provide a faster and precise location. Additionally, the WAAS feature increase positioning accuracy and Hotfix features increase positioning speed. If you want the most accurate navigation unit, then opt for a model using both GPS and GLONASS satellites.

Waypoints

Waypoints define specific geographic locations by the recorded latitude and longitude in it. These are an important feature in GPS devices as you can easily find your way back through waypoints.

The larger the waypoint capacity you have, the more map and navigation data you can store. There’s no definite number per se, but we recommend to buy a GPS device with at least 1,000 waypoints. You can easily delete the waypoints after your trip. The more expensive devices have larger overall memory capacity. However, for most models, you can expand your memory. So, if you want to keep them, then just get a microSD card to expand your GPS’s memory.

Compass

Most of the handheld GPS devices come with a compass; however, it’s better to look for the model with an electronic compass. No matter in which direction you are holding the GPS, an electronic compass is able to read directions. It tells you which direction you’re facing even when you’re standing still. The traditional compass sadly lacks this advantage as it needs to be held horizontally for proper orientation. The 3-axis compass also makes navigation faster and easier.

For accurate navigation, geocaching, orienteering or just finding your way to basecamp, having a 3-axis compass is a must-have feature.

Barometric Altimeter

Another necessary feature which will let you track weather patterns and trends. A barometric altimeter uses a small sensor to detect air pressure to calculate altitude. It is the best tool for mountainous and backcountry expedition. Through this, you can get a read on barometric pressure in determining elevation. Because the higher you go, the lower the pressure. It can be a life-saving feature in extreme scenarios.

Wireless Sharing

Wireless sharing is a convenient feature in a GPS device. With a compatible device, you can easily and quickly transfer tracks, waypoint files, routes, etc. without a wire. Now many high performing GPS models are equipped with Bluetooth technology and some come with Wi-Fi and connection as well. This will lessen a lot of hassle as you don’t need to plug in the device with a USB cord into your computer. You can sync up with compatible devices and share the routes.

If you want to share your track and route information with others, this is an essential feature to have. Just send the files through the wireless connection and voilà!

Final Verdict

So, what are you waiting for? Certainly, you know everything there is to know about the best handheld GPS now. Go get your device and set out to your next adventure, be it hunting, hiking or fishing trip.

May your GPS always be with you!

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