Best Handheld GPS for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Looking for the best handheld GPS for your next outdoor adventure? 

Look no further! In this blog post, we will discuss five of the best handheld GPS devices on the market today. 

We’ll cover everything from price to features so that you can find the perfect device for your needs. Whether you’re a hiker, camper, or biker, there’s sure to be a handheld GPS that’s perfect for you!

How We Choose the Best Handheld GPS

To choose the best handheld GPS devices, we considered a few factors. First, we looked at price. After all, nobody wants to spend more than they have to! Second, we looked at the battery life of each device. 

This is important for a few reasons. First, you don’t want your device to die in the middle of your hike. You want to compare the battery life to that of a great shortwave radio, or even a bit more powerful than your phone.

Second, a longer battery life means that you won’t have to recharge your device as often. And who doesn’t love not having to recharge their devices?

Mapping software is another important factor that we considered. After all, what good is a GPS device if it doesn’t have good mapping software? Another factor we considered is connectivity.You want to be able to connect your device to your computer or smartphone so that you can download maps and update software. 

handheld gps
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Easy of use is important too. You don’t want a device that’s so complicated that you can’t figure out how to use it! 

Finally, we considered reviews from other customers. Because there’s no better way to learn about a product than from those who have actually used it!

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Top 5 Best Handheld GPS Devices

1. Garmin GPSMAP 66sr – Our Choice


The Garmin GPSMAP 66sr is our top choice for the best handheld GPS. 

There are 4 models in Garmin’s GPSMAP 66 series and the 66sr is packed with superior features, yet it’s still very easy to use. 

The display is bright and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. 

Plus, the Active Weather feature is accurate and easy to use. 

This device also utilizes five satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and IRSS). 

That means that you’re more likely to get accurate signals, even in remote areas. 

And if that wasn’t enough, the battery life is incredible! You can get up to 36 hours of use in standard mode or up to 450 hours in expedition mode.  

This handheld GPS is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about it getting wet. 

What more could you ask for?

If you’re looking for a handheld GPS that has all the bells and whistles, then the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr is the perfect choice for you. It’s packed with features yet still easy to use, making it our top pick for the best handheld GPS.

On the downside, this handheld GPS is quite expensive and you must carry a battery pack to recharge the device for longer hikes. You can also use a solar panel

But in our opinion, the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr is still worth the price! 

2. Garmin Montana 700i – Best Premium Handheld GPS


If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to handheld GPS devices, then Garmin’s Montana 700i is definitely worth considering. 

It’s built to military standards and includes Garmin’s InReach satellite messaging system, making it ideal for serious adventurers or anyone who wants peace of mind while exploring off the beaten path. 

The large, five-inch display is easy to read, even in direct sunlight, and the device itself is relatively rugged and weatherproof.  

It also includes a host of other handy features, like an altimeter, barometer, and three-axis compass. 

For connectivity, it has ANT+, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. And it uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 18 hours with active GPS use. 

Or, if you prefer, you can use AA batteries instead. In standby mode, the Montana 700i will last for up to two weeks. 

So if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line handheld GPS device that can go anywhere and do anything like sea fishing or mountain climbing. If that is what you need, the Garmin Montana 700i is definitely worth checking out.

Just keep in mind that the InReach service does require a monthly subscription and the device is quite heavy. 

Other than that, this is an outstanding GPS device that’s sure to meet your needs, whether you’re an avid hiker, hunter, or simply someone who likes to explore new places. 

3. Garmin eTrex 22x – Best Budget Handheld GPS


If you’re looking for a great handheld GPS device but don’t want to spend a fortune, then the Garmin eTrex 22x is definitely worth considering. 

It’s packed with features yet still very affordable, making it our top pick for the best budget handheld GPS. 

The eTrex 22x has a 2.2 inch color display and is preloaded with TopoActive maps.

Plus, it’s rugged and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged if you take it out in the elements. 

And with a battery life of up to 25 hours, this handheld GPS will keep going as long as you do. 

Additionally it supports both GPS and GLONASS satellite systems, so you can track in more challenging environments than with GPS alone. 

So if you’re looking for an affordable yet feature-packed handheld GPS device, the Garmin eTrex 22x is definitely worth it.

The main downside of the eTrex 22x is that it doesn’t have an elevation profile, so you won’t be able to see how much climbing you’ll be doing on your hike or bike ride. 

Also, the mini USB data transfer cable required for transferring GPX files is a bit uncommon. 

Lastly, the cursor button can be a bit hard to use while riding, and the screen scratches easily. 

Overall, the Garmin eTrex 22x is a great budget handheld GPS device that’s packed with features. 

Just be aware of its few drawbacks before you purchase it.

4. Garmin inReach Explorer+


The Garmin inReach Explorer+ comes with preloaded topographic maps, making it easy to find your way even when you’re off the beaten path. 

Also with a 100-hour battery life, you can be sure that you won’t run out of juice during your adventures. 

The pressure-based altimeter provides accurate elevation readings, and the weight of just seven and a half ounces means that it won’t weigh you down. Especially if you are off the grid and also have to carry a great long distance radio, or extra provisions.

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ provides the peace of mind that comes with having a personal locator beacon, as well as the ability to send and receive text messages. 

It can also track data points like weather changes and barometric pressure, with access to NOAA charts and more making it a valuable tool for backcountry explorers.

With its long battery life, you can be sure that it won’t let you down when you need it most. 

And thanks to its excellent reception, you’ll always be able to stay connected even in remote areas. All of these benefits make the Garmin inReach Explorer+ an essential piece of gear for any serious adventurer. 

While the messaging feature is a great addition, it does require a service plan in order to use. 

This can add up over time, making the Garmin inReach Explorer+ an expensive investment. 

It’s also not a good choice for beginners, as its many features can be overwhelming. 

And at seven and a half ounces, it’s one of the heavier options on the market. 

Overall: 

Despite its drawbacks, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ is still a great choice for serious adventurers who need a reliable and feature-packed GPS device. 

Just be sure to take into account the cost of the service plan and the weight of the unit before making your final decision. 

5. Garmin eTrex 10


The Garmin eTrex 10 is a great entry-level handheld GPS for those who are looking for a reliable and durable GPS device. It has an IPX7 water resistance rating, making it ideal for use in all weather conditions. 

It only weighs 9.1 ounces, so it won’t add too much weight to your backpack or purse. The battery life on this unit is also impressive, lasting up to 20 hours on two AA batteries. 

It’s WASS enabled so you can get accurate readings even in areas with poor satellite coverage in the US. Also, the HotFix and GLONASS support ensure that you’ll always be able to find your way back home.

If you’re looking for an affordable GPS device, the Garmin eTrex 10 is a great option. It includes a worldwide map so you can use it no matter where you are in the world. It is also very reliable and easy to use, making it a great choice for those who are new to using GPS devices. Overall, the Garmin eTrex is an excellent choice for anyone in need of a dependable GPS device.

One downside is that it has a mono screen. This can make it difficult to see your location at a glance. Additionally, the compass on this unit is fairly basic and doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features found on other GPS devices. 

Finally, the mapping capabilities on this device are quite basic compared to other units on the market. However, despite these drawbacks, the Garmin eTrex is still a great choice for anyone in need of a dependable GPS device.

It’s affordable, reliable, easy to use, and packed with all the basic features you need from a GPS device. 

  • October 27, 2022
Paul Dudley
 

Paul is the owner and founder of WhollyOutdoor.com . His passion for ham radios and fishing lead him to create this site. He loves playing with his radios and doing many other outdoor activities