Do you worry whether you can come back from your outdoor activity?

I can see you nodding your head.

Handheld GPS is cool for anyone who doesn’t want to get lost.

In an era of increasing adventure and technology, people have always had the need to be furnished with positioning systems instrumental to their activities; be it hiking, hunting, fishing, geocaching, biking, mountaineering among others. Handheld GPS devices come in handy.

But…what is handheld GPS device?

Handheld GPS devices are portable ones specifically and solely designed to facilitate a user to track their location at any one time. Usually, the units will assume the shape and standard size of a classical iPhone 4 or motel soap making them easy to carry around. These devices have the capacity to store data over long periods of navigation.

In this infographic, we aim to make purchasing a handheld GPS unit as easy and straightforward as possible.


8 Best Handheld GPS Devices for 2017

#1 Garmin GPSMAP 64s

Garmin GPSMAP 64s handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 5,000
  • Memory: 4GB + microSD™ card (supported)
  • Battery: 16 hours
  • Screen: 2.6”
  • Weight: 8.1 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 2.4” x 6.3” x 1.4”

Never feel lost again with the Garmin GPSMAP 64s. Its quad-helix antenna is accurate to within 10 feet, while the Russian-designed GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) offers greater precision than traditional GPS.

The 64s is also tough, waterproof, weighs only 7.6 ounces without batteries, and sports a 2.6 inch anti-glare display with 160×240 resolution.

This device offers turn-by-turn instructions, real-time traffic updates, a 3-axis compass with altimeter, and 4 gigs of internal memory with 250,000 preloaded geocaches. In addition to worldwide basemaps with easy-to-read marine and topographical maps, the 64s can store up to 200 routes and 5,000 waypoints.

Still not enough?

A microSD card allows for expanded memory so you can add even more maps!

Other amazing features include: transforming your paper maps into digital versions with Garmin Custom Maps, weather tracking, the ability to wirelessly share your routes and waypoints with others, and smart notifications that sync to your smartphone.

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#2 Garmin eTrex 30x

Garmin eTrex 30x handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 2,000
  • Memory: 3.7GB + microSD™ card (supported)
  • Battery: 25 hours
  • Screen: 2.2”
  • Weight: 5 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 2.1” x 4.0” x 1.3”

The Garmin eTrex 30x is famous for its lightweight build, waterproof casing, and durable body—making it perfect for adventurers like you.

Its Russian-built GLONASS technology works in conjunction with a highly sensitive American-made GPS receiver, providing users a vast array of satellites to help them navigate the world. The result? Faster tracking, greater accuracy, and better performance in forests, canyons or cities.

If WorldWide Basemaps, geocaching, and shaded relief maps aren’t enough, the device comes loaded with 3.7 gigs of storage which can be expanded via a microSD card. That means more maps, more waypoints, more routes, and more fun!

The devices features a 2.2 inch screen (240×320 resolution) that can handle wet or sunny conditions, while its 3-axis compass and altimeter keeps track of both direction and height.

Whether you’re walking, cycling, climbing or driving, the Garmin eTrex 30x can help you get there.

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#3 DeLorme inReach SE

DeLorme inReach SE handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 500
  • Memory: none
  • Battery: 100 hours
  • Screen: 1.8”
  • Weight: 7 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 1” x 2.4” x 5.8”

When it comes to staying connected in the middle of nowhere, nothing beats the DeLorme inReach SE.

This tiny device utilizes satellite technology not only for basic navigation purposes, but to send and receive text messages and update your social media from anywhere in the world!

Post to your Facebook page from the arctic. Tweet about your adventures from Tonga. Instagram tiger pics from the jungles of India. The possibilities are endless!

inReach also uses the world’s most reliable satellite network: Iridium. That means 100% global coverage so you can travel with confidence. For additional protection, there’s an emergency SOS trigger which lets you communicate live with a 24 hour search and rescue center.

The 1.8 inch color display enables basic grid navigation, plot routes, and get weather forecasts wherever you are.

To top it all off, the DeLorme inReach SE is waterproof, shockproof, and has a 100-hour battery life!

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#4 Garmin Montana 680

Garmin Montana 680 Handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 4,000
  • Memory: 4GB + microSD™ card (supported)
  • Battery: 16 hours
  • Screen: 4”
  • Weight: 10.2 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 1.4” x 2.9” x 5.7”

The Garmin Montana 680 is one of the most powerful GPS devices on the market. Although large, it features a lightning-quick receiver and amazing reception. That translates to faster positioning, more accurate waypoints, and a smoother journey.

One of the Montana’s coolest features is an 8 megapixel camera that automatically geotags pictures! Not only is this incredibly convenient for taking photos, but the geotagged coordinates allow users to travel back to those exact locations in the future.

Navigation is also easier thanks to a massive 4 inch touchscreen with dual-orientation. Adventurers can view maps in either landscape or portrait mode, while an impressive 272×480 pixel display shows basemaps, routes, and geocaching in stunning detail.

Like the Garmin 64s, the Montana 680 uses both GLONASS and GPS networks. So signal acquisition is 20 times faster than GPS alone, and more accurate when traveling through mountains, valleys, or forests.

The Montana 680 is also water, dust and dirt resistant, so it can accompany you through the toughest of travels.

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#5 Garmin Oregon 600

Garmin Oregon 600 handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 4,000
  • Memory: 1.7GB + microSD™ card (supported)
  • Battery: 16 hours
  • Screen: 3”
  • Weight: 7.4 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 2.4” x 4.5” x 1.3”

Never used GPS before? No problem. The Oregon 600 is made for both experts and novices, combining amazing features with an easy-to-use interface.

Its 3 inch touchscreen features dual-orientation, making map reading simpler. Plus it’s glare-proof, impact-resistant, and glove-friendly.

The Oregon 600 also employs GPS and GLONASS technologies. More satellites result in faster and better positioning, regardless whether you’re hiking up a mountain, down a valley, or through a jungle.

If that wasn’t enough, the Oregan 600 comes with Worldwide Basemaps in shaded relief and buttons that can be customized to mark waypoints with a single click.

Other highlights include 4 million geocaches, a dual battery option that lets you pick between AA batteries or Garmin’s own battery pack, and wirelessly sharing your routes, maps, tracks, and waypoints with loved ones via Bluetooth or ANT technologies.

All that in a device that weighs 210 grams!

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#6 Garmin 72H Waterproof

garmin 72h waterproof handheld gps

  • Waypoints: 500
  • Memory: none
  • Battery: 18 hours
  • Screen: 2.8”
  • Weight: 7.7 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 2.7” x 6.2” x 1.2”

The name says it all. The Garmin 72H is a water-resistant GPS that floats. It’s also lightweight and durable, making it the GPS of choice for rugged adventurers, hunters, or people who love to fish.

Unlike other devices that come with fancy features, the Garmin 72H is meant to be basic and easy to operate. Its 2.8 inch display lacks color but makes up for it with strong backlighting and excellent anti-glare coating.

When it comes to navigation, a high-sensitivity multi-channel GPS receiver picks up signals quickly and accurately, tracking your location in the most difficult of terrain, from thick forests to snow-covered valleys. While the 72H lacks mapping capabilities, it can save up to 500 waypoints and 50 routes.

The device is especially useful for hunters. Built-in celestial data provides users with data for sunsets and sunrises, as well as a calendar for hunting and fishing.

The Garmin 72H isn’t as full-featured as other GPS devices. That’s because it was built for performance.

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#7 Garmin Rino 650

Garmin Rino 650 handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 2,000
  • Memory: 1.7GB + microSD™ card (supported)
  • Battery: 14 hours
  • Screen: 2.6”
  • Weight: 11.3 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 2.4” x 7.5” x 1.8”

The Rino 650 isn’t just any GPS—it’s also a communication device. A 5 Watt radio enables 2-way communication with FRS/GMRS radios. Its Position Reporting feature shows you the exact locations of other Rino GPS users. And you can even use it to send unit-to-unit text messages.

All of this means you’re prepared during emergencies.

The Rino 650 is outfitted with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver and quad-helix antenna for faster positioning. Global basemaps in shaded relief makes navigation easier, while 1.7 gigs of storage can hold up to 2,000 waypoints and 200 routes. A microSD slot allows for the addition of marine maps and road topography, making the device ideal for land as well as water travel.

Other amazing features include a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, NOAA weather radio that warns users of dangerous conditions, and a 2.6 inch touchscreen adapted for use with gloves.

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#8 Garmin eTrex Touch 35

Garmin eTrex Touch 35 handheld GPS

  • Waypoints: 4,000
  • Memory: 4GB + microSD™ card (supported)
  • Battery: 16 hours
  • Screen: 2.6”
  • Weight: 5.6 oz                                                                     
  • Size: 2.3” x 4.0” x 1.3”

The eTrex 35 is an all-in-one GPS that lets you wirelessly share tracks, routes, and waypoints with fellow adventurers. It also syncs to your smartphone so you can receive emails or text messages.

Navigation is a breeze thanks to its 2.6 inch anti-glare touchscreen. All info is displayed in a clear, easy-to-read manner so you never feel confused. And by utilizing both GPS and GLONASS technology, adventurers can lock onto locations 20% faster and with far greater precision.

A dirt, dust, and water-resistant build means you can take it anywhere, from hiking, biking, and boating to off-roading with ATVs.

In addition to shaded relief basemaps, the eTrex 35 uses 4 gigs of internal memory to store 250,000 geocaches, 4,000 waypoints, and 200 routes. Not enough? You can always add more with a microSD card.

This is especially great for geocaching. Treasure hunters will love the eTrex 35’s ability to display key information like terrain, location, difficulty level, as well as hints and descriptions!

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After guiding you through all you need to know before purchasing your handheld GPS, all that’s left for you to do is…

You know, buy one?

We hope this guide has helped you understand the product more and enabled you to easily and quickly shop with confidence.