If you are reading this article, you already know the importance of a handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) and must be looking to buy one. Well, even if you are not aware of a GPS system, I will walk you through the best handheld hiking GPS and why these are important.
Best Handheld Hiking GPS – Quick Pick
If you’re in a hurry, here are our two favorite handheld hiking GPS in this review.
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A GPS system is built to withstand most weather conditions. It is always wise to be well prepared than to face an alien territory. These give you valuable location-based information and are most useful in displaying your position.
Table of Contents
- The 10 Best Handheld Hiking GPS in 2018
- 10 Best Handheld Hiking GPS Review in 2018
- 1. Oregon 450t Handheld GPS
- 2. Garmin High-Sensitivity GPSMAP 64st
- 3. Montana 650 Waterproof Hiking GPS
- 4. eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS
- 5. Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS
- 6. Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
- 7. Magellan Triton 400 Waterproof Hiking GPS
- 8. eTrex 20x
- 9. eTrex Handheld GPS Navigator
- 10. Garmin GPS III Waterproof Hiking GPS
- Comparison Table of Best Handheld Hiking GPS
- Why is Handheld Hiking GPS Necessary?
- How to Choose the Best Handheld Hiking GPS?
- The Best Pick
The 10 Best Handheld Hiking GPS in 2018
|Best Handheld Hiking GPS||Editor's Rating||Price|
|Oregon 450t Handheld GPS|
|Garmin High-Sensitivity GPSMAP 64st|
|Montana 650 Waterproof Hiking GPS|
|eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS|
|Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS|
|Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS|
|Magellan Triton 400 Waterproof Hiking GPS|
|eTrex Handheld GPS Navigator|
|Garmin GPS III Waterproof Hiking GPS|
10 Best Handheld Hiking GPS Review in 2018
Here I have reviewed and listed the 10 best handheld hiking GPS that I came across and thought was with mentioning. These are my best pick.
The Oregon 450t Handheld GPS is a compact and waterproof GPS that comes with a carabineer making it easy to carry. It is waterproof and the USB connector is also sealed with a waterproof cover to keep it safer.
3-inch sunlight readable screen with color and touch screen display makes reading it easy in any kind of weather. Its function includes a triple axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, barometer, and altimeter.
It allows you to share your waypoints with your friends carrying compatible devices and enjoy the hikes or even trace them out if lost.
With a built-in 3-axis tilt compensated compass, it will show where you are headed. The convenient preloaded micro SD cards can be used for all of your outdoor activities and since the card is located inside, it is fully protected from the external environmental factors.
You can simply connect it to the internet and your computer to get the detailed analysis of your journey and activities.
It gives you map details and also allows you to switch between two modes. It has the ability to hold on to the accurate signal while you are walking.
It stores and displays key information including the location, terrain hints, and descriptions.
Features I like:
- Handheld size
- Waterproof USB connector
- Units, maps, position format, Map details
- Carabiner holder
- Ability to hold on to its signals
- touchscreen is easy to navigate
- Compass, triple access compass
- Switch between two modes
- CDI indicator
The Garmin High-sensitive GPSMAp 64st is a handheld GPS with 2.6 inches color display that is sunlight readable. It has an expandable memory and an inbuilt 8gb memory.
It works on dual battery system; rechargeable NiMH battery and two AA batteries can be used.
It has 3-axis compass with barometer and altimeter to show you where you are headed.
With the quad helix antenna and high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver, it quickly locates and maintains your location, no matter where you are.
The barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure that pinpoints your precise altitude and you can keep an eye on the changing weather conditions. You can count on this device to find your way no matter where you are tall trees or tall buildings, you have a clear advantage.
You can stay connected without having to dig into your bag for your phones; it is compatible with your iphones. Simply receive emails and text alerts to it.
You can pair it with an optional ANT and sensors, such as heart rate monitor and temperature sensor and receive smart notifications.
It comes with a built-in worldwide base map and you can add in more maps with the array of detailed topographic, marine and road maps.
Features I like:
- 6 inches color display
- sunlight readable
- expandable memory and an inbuilt 8gb memory
- dual battery system
- 3-axis compass with barometer and altimeter
- compatible with your iphones
- comes with a built-in worldwide base map
The Montana 650 Waterproof Hiking GPS comes with a built-in autofocus 5MP digital camera. The 4-inch sunlight readable touch screen color display is large enough and readable. It is made to be gloves friendly.
It is designed to use ATVs on boats and as a handheld when in a car.
You can share your waypoints, routes, and tracks wirelessly with other Garmin GPS users, share your excitement and enjoy your favorite hikes with your friends.
Simple to use and simple to add in more maps into this device, plug in Blue Chart g2 preloaded cards when on water, City Navigator map data for driving directions. And all the satellite images to your maps.
It is highly sensitive and comes with WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and Hot Fix satellite prediction system that helps you in locating yourself quickly, no matter where you are.
With dual battery system, 3 AA batteries or rechargeable lithium-ion, you are always bound to be prepared.
3-axis tilt compensated compass and barometric altimeter show where you are walking towards.
It is durable, waterproof and made to withstand the harshest environment, dirt, dust, humidity or water, it takes it all and doesn’t at all give up on you.
Features I like:
- built in autofocus 5MP digital camera
- 4-inch sunlight readable touch screen
- gloves friendly
- Simple to use
- highly sensitive and comes with WAAS-enabled GPS receiver
- dual battery system
The eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS is a rugged handheld GPS navigator with a 2.2-inch monochrome display. It is easy to read in any kind of lighting and gives you 25 hours of battery life using 2AA batteries.
It uses the GPS and GLONASS satellite for faster global positioning and is one of the most effective and durable GPS devices.
It is waterproof to IPX7 standards for better protection against splashes and rain.
This handheld GPS stores important information like the location, terrain, and descriptions without having to enter manually. It is also highly sensitive, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and Hot Fix satellite prediction; it helps you locate your position faster and easier.
It allows you to share your adventure with your friends and family too. Take charge of your adventure and share it with the Base camp software, this way you can view and organize the maps and routes too.
It transfers an unlimited amount satellite images to your device. This is a great support for paperless geo caching and is extremely budget friendly.
The side buttons are large and easy to use and give you a track log for up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks.
Features I like:
- It is a rugged handheld GPS navigator
- 25 hours of battery life
- uses the GPS and GLONASS satellite for faster global positioning
- waterproof to IPX7 standards for better protection
- WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and Hot Fix satellite prediction
- track log for up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks
- great support for paperless geo caching
The Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS comes with a 3-inch sunlight readable screen with multi- touch screen display facility. It has a 3-axis compass, accelerometer, barometric altimeter sensors and a dual band GPS/GLONASS satellite positioning. The ANT technology shares routes, waypoints, geo caches, tracks, photos and custom maps between dual ordination.
With built-in 8-megapixel autofocus digital camera you don’t have to worry about taking a camera with you unless you are a professional. It allows you take pictures worth sharing.
The location of the photo is geo tagged so that you can locate back to that exact spot in the future. For more storage, you can add in a micro SD card so that you can view the pictures from other devices.
The dual battery system in this GPS tracking device keeps you prepared. Just in case one fails you still have the other to depend on, moreover the AA batteries are highly accessible.
This handheld GPS was engineered for the outdoors and it is also built to face and deal the harshest environment. It is waterproof and supports multi- touch and dual orientation. It is dust, dirt, bumps, water and humidity resistant.
Features I like:
- 3-inch sunlight readable screen
- 3-axis compass, accelerometer, barometric altimeter sensors
- dual band GPS/GLONASS satellite positioning
- built-in 8-megapixel autofocus digital camera
- geo tagged so that you can locate back to that exact spot
- add in a micro SD card
- dual battery system
- engineered for the outdoors
The Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS is a highly sensitive GPS receiver with Hot Fix that increases the performance of the GPS device. No matter where you are this tracker will track it for you. Since this a waterproof GPS with a wristband, it is also rugged and built to face the harshest terrain.
It keeps track of the routes and waypoints. It uses 2 AAA batteries and is a perfect outdoor GPS navigator.
It combines high sensitive waterproof GPS receiver, electronic compass, and barometric altimeter into one that you can easily wear it on your wrist and head towards your next destination.
You will never get lost with this GPS tracker; it keeps track of the path and displays. And you can retract it later when you might need them, back on your journey.
It is easy to save the location in its memory.
It can be easily connected to a wireless accessory such as a cadence sensor, heart rate monitor or clip it with your bike mount and then you can use your PC or Mac to store your data. Or share it with your friends.
You can also explore the routes that are uploaded by more than 12 million customers and share your experiences.
Features I like:
- highly sensitive GPS receiver
- waterproof GPS with a wristband
- uses 2 AAA batteries
- electronic compass and barometric altimeter
- it keeps track of the path and displays
- can be easily connected to a wireless accessory
The Magellan Triton 400 Waterproof Hiking GPS is easy to use handheld GPS system that is rugged and waterproof in design and made to face any kind of environment. It is a great tool for the outdoor enthusiasts.
This gear is perfect for first timers. The fully-color crystal clear display is easy and convenient to use and displays clear maps and navigation information. The graphic display is brilliant and easy to view.
It is SD card compatible and comes with enhanced features and gives fast signal acquisition. The SD card maximizes your navigation capability and adds unlimited marine cartography and topographic maps.
Maps can be easily managed by the Exclusive Vantage Point software.
These are great for outdoor adventures.
The interface is designed smartly; it comes with menus, intuitive buttons and scroll pad to make your work easy and effortless.
If you immerse it in water, it can still work up to 30 minutes under water. So these are safe against water-related accidents and intense use. This is a GPS device that is built on the experience of GPS users and 20 years of experience in positioning technology.
Features I like:
- an easy to use a handheld GPS system
- rugged and waterproof in design
- a great tool for the outdoor enthusiasts
- SD card compatible
- great for outdoor adventures
- Smart interface
- fully-color crystal clear display
- Can be immersed in water for 30 minutes
8. eTrex 20x
The Garmin eTrex 20x is a handheld Hiking GPS with a 2.2-inch screen. It has a sunlight readable display that offers increased resolution. It has a 3.7 GB internal memory and has an SD card slot. The slot allows you to load a variety of maps including TOPO 24K, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, Blue Chart g2, Hunt View and City Navigator NT.
It is highly sensitive and is a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and locates your position quickly and precisely no matter where you are.
It is easy to use and affordable too. So if you are an armature, this is a great gear that you must have. It is a great way to explore the wild and places you always wished to go. No worries on getting lost.
The grip is easy and the buttons are easy to use. And you can share your location with your friends and fellow explorers. The trip planning software allows you to have all the fun.
It is also designed to transfer an unlimited amount of satellite images to your device after you pair it with a Birdseye Satellite Imagery.
Track logs up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks.
Features I like:
- has a sunlight readable display
- offers increased resolution
- has a 3.7 GB internal memory
- has an SD card slot
- allows you to load a variety of maps
- highly sensitive and is a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver
- easy to use and affordable
- Track logs up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks
The eTrex Handheld GPS Navigator is a handheld GPS with 240 x 320 display pixels that improves the readability. It a built-in internal memory and has a slot for expanding the memory so that you can add in a lot of other maps.
It is much faster and accurate; you can easily depend on it. And when you are traveling, it gives you up to 24 hours battery life.
It has 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter that shows you where you are headed and supports alpine activities like mountaineering and mountain biking.
With pre-installed Topo Active Europe maps and optimized Activity Profile, it is great for recreational activities.
It has the ability to send notifications straight to your Smartphone, this keeps you connected wherever you go. These devices are there to guide you wherever you go.
eTrex Touch supports GPS and GLONASS, this gives you the power of two satellite system for better accuracy in a challenging environment.
It lets you share your waypoints, routes, and tracks through the unit-to-unit sharing that is compatible with other Garmin devices.
It supports live track that allows you to share your activities with your friends family and fellow explorers.
Features I like:
- 240 x 320 display pixels
- built-in internal memory and memory slot
- up to 24 hours battery life
- faster and accurate
- has 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter
- great for recreational activities
- ability to send notifications straight to your Smartphone
- supports live track that allows you to share your activities
The Garmin GPS III Waterproof Hiking GPS is a powerful 12 parallel channel receiver. It displays real-time moving map and is made of the tough waterproof case. No matter where you go, you can simply take it with you and use it in the most rugged environment.
It displays horizontal and vertical screen ordination.
It has 500 user defined waypoints with graphic icons and a high-resolution display.
This GPS system is affordable and portable system and includes millions of miles of interaction, interstates, railroads, rivers, highways, and shorelines.
You can carry it along with the lanyard.
It is a great product especially for beginners and is easy to understand.
It is accurate for navigation even though it doesn’t have detailed street maps.
Easy to use, lightweight and highly portable, it is one of your most important partners if you are traveling, hiking or exploring.
Because of the waterproof case, you can feel free to use it in any kind of weather condition and not be disappointed at all.
Stay on track and stay focused with this waterproof hiking GPS
Features I like:
- 12 parallel channel receiver
- displays a real-time moving map
- displays horizontal and vertical screen ordination
- has 500 user defined waypoints
- affordable and portable
- a great product especially for beginners
Comparison Table of Best Handheld Hiking GPS
|Handheld Hiking GPS||Weight (ounces)||Display||Screen size
|Oregon 450t Handheld GPS||6.9||color display||3|
|Garmin High-Sensitivity GPSMAP 64st||9.3||color display||2.6|
|Montana 650 Waterproof Hiking GPS||10.24||color display||4|
|eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS||5||monochrome display||2.2|
|Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS||7.4||color display||3|
|Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS||3||monochrome display||n/a|
|Magellan Triton 400 Waterproof Hiking GPS||16||color display||2.2|
|eTrex 20x||4.96||color display||2.2|
|eTrex Handheld GPS Navigator||color display||2.2|
|Garmin GPS III Waterproof Hiking GPS||15.2||monochrome display||2.6|
Why is Handheld Hiking GPS Necessary?
Yes, you might be tempted to carry your Smartphone over a proper GPS, but let me remind you, these are more powerful and give you excellent battery life. Think about using battery backup and Smartphone inside a zip lock bag. Most GPS is made to be waterproof and have a great battery life and if in case these run out of battery, you can simply replace the AAA batteries.
Now you can take charge of your next adventure.
How to Choose the Best Handheld Hiking GPS?
Depending on how much you want to spend on a GPS system you can choose accordingly.
Look for the features you are looking for in a handheld GPS since these are made to replace, the traditional Smartphone’s. These are meant to be waterproof, rugged and capable of facing the roughest terrains.
These keep you organized and give you great battery life support. Since you are not sure of the environment that you are facing, look for gloves on functions, large buttons and touch facility.
Data sharing facility, Internal storage unit and of course the amount of money you are willing to pay for handheld GPS holder.
The place and location you intend to use this GPS also determine what type you want to buy. Depending on where you are taking this, say boat-based, altimeters, aviation or car navigation
You can choose what features that you need to choose and opt.
So choose a GPS system that you need, it will also be cost friendly
The Best Pick
I have to admit, I can’t thank the Oregon 450t Handheld GPS. It is waterproof and comes with a sealed UPS connector point. The display is 3 inches and is easy to read. And the sunlight readable screen with color and touch screen is easy to use.
I could share my waypoints with my friends; it was extremely useful when I lost my way. It gave me an easy way to connect with my friends.
It comes with 3-axis tilt compensated compass.
It allows you to switch between modes two modes and also has the ability to hold accurate signal