Top 15 Best Handheld GPS for Hiking In 2021: June Update!

If you are an active hiker who wanders into nature all day, a handheld GPS is just what you need. It would help you not to navigate but also keep track of your session. However, have you known how to get the Best Handheld GPS For Hiking just only for you?

Why Do You Need A Handheld GPS For Hiking?

A handheld GPS can be used in multiple ways, not just for hiking. The main function of this device is to navigate, to show you overall maps when you hike on the routes that you are not familiar with.

However, they can be even more convenient when they can connect to your smart devices such as smartphone or smartwatch, then record and sync all the data of the hiking trip. This way, you can keep up with tracking your exercise and get a better plan to train yourself.

Moreover, they are small, portable, and have long battery life, so bringing them with you on the hike would be a piece of cake. So now are you ready to learn all about the Best Handheld GPS For Hiking?

What Are The Best Handheld GPS For Hiking To Buy?

I have tried and tested a lot of handheld GPS, and here are some of the choices I would recommend. You should remember that this list of the best handheld GPS for hiking is from my experience and evaluation, so it may not cover all the needs of fellow hikers. Still, this will be worthy of checking out!

“Well-supported with connectivity, reasonable price for good and long-lasting construction, communication supported.”

“Super cheap, easy to use even for a beginner, good connectivity.”

“Nice and large display screen, good color scheme, camera included, preloaded maps with high accuracy.”

“Useful functions included durable construction, precise and informative reading, and decent battery life.”

“Lightweight design yet large, sunlight-readable screen for better usage, real-time location tracking, good battery life.”

“Wrist wearing supported, compass and heart monitor function available, good display and giving direction.”

“Longest and most durable battery life, good displaying features, easy to read data, preloaded with maps, great for a long hike.”

“A popular Garmin model for hikers, integrated with a lot of features, easy to use, long-lasting, compact and lightweight design.”

“Vibrant display, large screen, good and precise navigation, highly sensitive sensors built-in.”

“Weather-resistant, integrated features for tracking, easy to carry around, SOS signal included.”

“Large display screen, GPS and GLONASS supported, internal and additional memory storage available.”

“Unconventional design, color display screen, good battery life.”

“Bluetooth technology available, highly sensitive sensors integrated, touching the screen.”

“Easy to use, built-in maps, wireless means of connecting, durable and simple design.”

“Waterproof construction, easy to use, lightweight, and distinctive design.”

Best Handheld GPS For Hiking Comparison Chart 2021

To help you get a shortcut to all the high-quality items, you can browse through this Best Handheld GPS For Hiking Comparison Chart that I just compiled. This would save you a lot of time and effort in getting to know them.

Top 15 Best Handheld GPS For Hiking To Buy 2021

Now it’s time for the in-depth and detailed review of the Top 15 Best Handheld GPS For Hiking!

Best Overall: Garmin GPSMAP 64x

Garmin GPSMAP 64x

On the mid-end range, this Garmin GPSMAP 64x deserves more recognition. This one possesses such practical and durable construction that suits all types of activities, not just hiking. It is water-resistant, so no worry about bad weather when hiking with it.

Not only is it equipped with a preloaded map, but it also has additional inner storage and an SD memory card to load even more maps. There is no way you will get lost with this model.

Furthermore, this one is multi-GNSS supported and can send and receive messages and email. The display work has no problem too, so I like to use it quite a lot.

Pros

  • Supported with GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo connection for better navigation
  • Topo Active maps ready for use anytime
  • Decent battery life for a long-distance hike
  • Weather-resistant and formidable design that will last long
  • It can be used for sending messages and emails
  • Compatible with Geocaching

Cons

  • The design looks quite bulky
  • Limited choices for color

Product Specs

Weight8 ounces
Dimensions6.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches
Battery life16 Hours

Key features:

  • Quad Helix Antenna And High-Sensitivity Receiver
  • Multiple Global Navigation System Support
  • Supports Birdseye Satellite Imagery
  • 8 Gb Of Onboard Memory

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: How to Use a GARMIN GPSMAP64 with Basic Instructions

Best With Map: Garmin inReach Explorer

Garmin inReach Explorer

For people who value practical worth more than look, this Garmin inReach Explorer is the right one for you. Even though it is quite expensive and the look reminds me of an old-school cell phone, the features of this GPS device are just wonderful.

You can send a message, check weather conditions, send an SOS signal through satellite reception with this small guy. Moreover, this one has preloaded maps and real-time locations to track your bearing.

The accuracy is on point, so you don’t have to worry about it.  Moreover, it can survive more than a day without the need of recharging, so it would suit a long hiking trip well.

Pros

  • Long battery life for continuous tracking
  • Well-connected with GPS and satellite coverage
  • Included preloaded maps for better navigation
  • Portable design for better convenience when carrying
  • Color display with comprehensive functions
  • It can be paired with a lot of electronic devices

Cons

  • The price of this model is quite high
  • The design is not eye-catching

Product Specs

Weight8 ounces
Dimensions1.5 x 2.7 x 6.5 inches
Battery life30 Hours

Key features:

  • Two-Way Messaging
  • 100% Global Satellite Coverage With Iridium
  • Pairs With Mobile Devices
  • Preloaded Topographic Maps

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: In-Depth Garmin Inreach Explorer Review - HikingGuy.com

Best Lightweight:  Garmin eTrex 30x

 Garmin eTrex 30x

One of the most well-constructed and tiny GPS units, this Garmin eTrex 30x can do more than what it looks. This one has the basic features of navigation tools and is built with a high-quality display screen and software. You can check out every information about the hike with this one.

Moreover, it has sensors in the devices to offer the function of compass and barometric altimeter. It can gather the information of the surrounding environment and deduce to find out your location precisely.

Pros

  • Small and lightweight which is hassle-free to carry around
  • Good battery life of over a day for long hikes
  • Real-time tracking of the surrounding environment with sensors
  • Preloaded maps to track the routes better

Cons

  • It can cost quite a bit for such a small piece

Product Specs

Weight5 ounces
Dimensions2.1 x 4 x 1.3 inches
Battery life25 Hours

Key features:

  • Internal Memory Expanded To Hold More Maps
  • Worldwide Basemap With Shaded Relief
  • 2.2-Inch, 65K Color, sunlight-readable Display
  • 3-Axis Compass And Barometric Altimeter

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Gear Review: Garmin ETrex 30x GPS

Best Battery Life: Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

In case you are well-versed in long and arduous hikes, you can check out this Garmin GPSMAP 66sr. It is integrated with good connectivity software, so the accuracy of tracking is no joke.

But the most prominent feature of this one is, of course, its battery life. It can last up to a day and a half in full swing, but if you change into expedition mode, 450 hours is its limit, such resilient choices for any hardcore hikers who are always on the move.

Also, this model boasts its large and well-designed displaying screen. The maps and data are well organized, and you can read it in the dark or under bright sunlight just the same way.

Pros

  • Great displaying features for easy reading
  • Good connectivity to satellite reception
  • Superior battery life without the need for recharging
  • Highly accurate in navigation

Cons

  • One of the most costly models of Garmin devices

Product Specs

Weight1 pound
Dimensions7.23 x 7 x 2.12 inches
Battery life36 Hours

Key features:

  • Sunlight-Readable Color Display
  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems
  • 450 Hours Battery Life In Expedition Mode
  • 3-Axis Compass And Barometric Altimeter

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: GPSMAP® 66sr: Navigate your next adventure – Garmin® Retail Training

Best Garmin:  Garmin GPSMAP 64st

 Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Among the Garmin models, I recommend trying this Garmin GPSMAP 64st. This one is like an old faithful friend that will never let you down. The case is rated IPX7 for water resistance, so it can survive even a downpour.

In addition, the long battery life of 16 hours is good for mid-range and long-distance hikes, and with the dual battery system, you can always have more using time. The weightless and compact feel is also a good feature.

The accuracy and sensitivity of this GPS unit are also highly appreciated. Other useful features include a camera, heart rate monitor, smart device connection, and so on. The wide range of features makes this one so versatile and easy to use.

Pros

  • High-quality casing build and software program for better user experience
  • Offer a vast range of useful features for hikers to choose from
  • Great precision, sensitivity, and live tracking for better navigation

Cons

  • This one is an old version, so maybe hard to purchase

Product Specs

Weight9.3 ounces
Dimensions1.4 x 2.4 x 6.3 inches
Battery life16 Hours

Key features:

  • Dual Battery System
  • High-Sensitivity Gps And Glonass Receiver
  • 250,000 Preloaded Caches
  • 2.6″ Sunlight-Readable Color Screen
  • 8 GB Of Internal Memory And A MicroSD Card Slot

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin GPS 64ST

Best Cheap Price: Garmin eTrex 10 GPS Navigator

Garmin eTrex 10 GPS Navigator

For anyone who is tight on the budget or doesn’t want to invest a large sum in handheld GPS devices, the Garmin eTrex 10 GPS Navigator will be a good match. Small and durable, this one is also straightforward to use.

Although there is no color display, this model can still offer you the most precise navigation and real-time tracking through a GPS network. Furthermore, the long battery life can even defeat the high-end models, which can last roughly a day of continuous use.

Pros

  • Affordable and suitable for a beginner in hiking
  • Long-lasting battery for an overnight hike
  • Well-supported with GPS signals receptive from various satellites
  • Decent weather-resistant construction

Cons

  • Small monochrome display

Product Specs

Weight5 ounces
Dimensions2.13 x 1.3 x 4.06 inches
Battery life25 Hours

Key features:

  • Worldwide Basemap
  • 2.2″ Monochrome Display, Easy To Read In Any Light
  • GPS And GLONASS Satellites For Faster Positioning
  • Paperless Geocaching
  • 25-Hour Battery Life With 2 AA Batteries

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: GARMIN eTrex 10 GPS User Guide

Best High-End: Garmin Montana 680t

Garmin Montana 680t

Let’s check out this Garmin Montana 680t, one of the most expensive GPS units that I have ever tried. Although it may have shorter battery life than other low-cost models, the other features make up for its shortages.

First of all is its design, such a slim, sleek and modern design befitting the price. The clear, vibrant color display on a large screen makes it easy to read even under strong sunlight or from a far distance.

Moreover, it is integrated with a camera and internal memory, so you can take photos of the great scenery everywhen you want. On the GPS tracking, this model does not fall short on any aspect, providing real-time tracking and preloaded maps as well as connection to the satellite.

Pros

  • Largest and most easy-to-read display screen
  • Highly accurate in navigation and measurement
  • Well-connected through different GPS network and satellites
  • Good use of organizing and tracking real-time route
  • Included camera function
  • Preloaded maps and other relevant data assist in tracking better

Cons

  • Not affordable price
  • Not the greatest battery life

Product Specs

Weight10.2 ounces
Dimensions1.4 x 2.9 x 5.7 inches
Battery life16 Hours

Key features:

  • 4-Inch Dual-Orientation, Glove-Friendly Touchscreen Display
  • 8 Megapixel Autofocus Camera; Automatically Geotags Photos
  • Tracks Both GPS And GLONASS Satellites
  • Preloaded TOPO US 100K Maps
  • 3-Axis Compass With Barometric Altimeter

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin Montana 680T Review

Best Portable: Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS

Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS

Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS is the one to go when I want to use a hand-free and portable model with basic functions. This one can last around 17 hours in GPS mode, not the greatest length but is still good for daily hiking.

This one is not a color display, only black and white, but I have no problem with the reading since it supports double-direction reading. Moreover, you can add a heart rate monitor on this one to keep track of your fitness level.

Pros

  • Good to carry on the hike with strap band
  • Two directions of reading easier for users
  • Compact and lightweight design not causing any burden to users
  • Bluetooth compatible for better data organization
  • Included heart rate monitor and compass for better exercise tracking
  • Great precision in reading and navigation

Cons

  • No color display screen
  • Not the best battery life

Product Specs

Weight3.1 ounces
Dimensions1.7 x 0.9 x 2.9 inches
Battery life17 Hours

Key features:

  • Bluetooth Supported
  • Wrist Expansion Strap Included
  • High-Sensitivity GPS Receiver With HotFix
  • Supports Dual Position Readout

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS Review

Best For The Money: Garmin inReach Mini GPS

Garmin inReach Mini GPS

Garmin inReach Mini GPS is a small one that can multi-functional and can be paired up with a lot of devices. By connecting to other devices, you can get access to maps to track your routes.

It can be both wearable and handheld, depending on your choice, so it fits a lot of activities and does not cause a burden during the trip.

In case of emergency, it can provide a messaging SOS signal to trigger the rescuing team to help you. Moreover, this one is integrated with the weather forecast feature, so you can keep update with the condition of your hike.

Pros

  • Small and lightweight design easy to carry around
  • Good for an emergency situation with SOS function
  • Widely compatible with a lot of devices
  • Weather forecast service included
  • Good battery preserving in saving mode

Cons

  • Black-and-white display mode only

Product Specs

Weight10.56 Ounces
Dimensions2 x 1.3 x 3.9 inches
Battery life90 Hours

Key features:

  • Pair With Garmin Pilot
  • Trigger An Interactive SOS To The 24/7 Search And Rescue Monitoring Center
  • Internal, Rechargeable Lithium Battery
  • Two-Way Text Messaging

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: The inReach Mini by Garmin

Garmin eTrex 22x

Garmin eTrex 22x

The Garmin eTrex 22x is a small and lightweight guy, but its features are on par with other big models. It supports both GPS and GLONASS satellite signals, thus allowing the user to have a better way to find their bearing.

Moreover, the battery life of this model is quite long, with over a day of continuous use. Moreover, you can use the preloaded maps in this GPS unit or store other ones with the internal memory.

Pros

  • Decently priced for great functions
  • Huge screen to display all information needed
  • Well-connected with satellite and GPS networks
  • Preloaded maps included for better navigation

Cons

  • Buttons may be hard to press, sometimes

Product Specs

Weight5 ounces
Dimensions4 x 2.1 x 1.3 inches
Battery life25 Hours

Key features:

  • A MicroSD Card Slot And Expanded 8 GB Of Internal Memory
  • Preloaded With Road-Routable Topoactive Maps
  • GPS And GLONASS Satellite Systems

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin eTrex 22X unboxing - Quick compare with GPSMAP 66ST

Garmin GPSMAP 78 GPS

Garmin GPSMAP 78 GPS

For anyone wanting to get your hand free of holding the GPS units sometimes, you can check out this Garmin GPSMAP 78 GPS. In the package, this model includes the wrist strap so you can wear it on and receive navigation without a hitch.

Moreover, this one can be used under all kinds of weather conditions, with an IPX7 level of water resistance and lightweight design that can even float when sunk. So if you often go in the rainy season, take it with you.

Although the design of this one may look particular, it proves to be easy to manage, especially when you wear it on the wrist. With quite an affordable price, this color-displayed GPS tracker is totally a good choice.

Pros

  • Hand-free and handheld uses are available
  • Easy to read and manage with buttons
  • Weather-resistant and can float when get dropped in water
  • Highly precise and sensitive in receiving GPS signals

Cons

  • The reverse display may not be good for all hikers.

Product Specs

Weight14.4 Ounces
Dimensions1.2 x 2.6 x 6 inches
Battery life20 Hours

Key features:

  • WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver
  • Hotfix Floats Rugged
  • 1.7 GB Of Internal Memory
  • Wrist Strap Included

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Marine Handheld GPS - West Marine Quick Look

Garmin Oregon 600t Handheld GPS

Garmin Oregon 600t Handheld GPS

In case you find it hard to deal with the button, you can go for this Garmin Oregon 600t Handheld GPS. The display screen is touch-screen, so you can get better access to the feature without the need to push buttons.

Moreover, this one is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+, so storing and load your data is a piece of cake. The maps are preloaded, and you can always add more through downloading.

The battery life may not look long with 16 hours, but as it is the dual-battery type, you can always use the AA battery or rechargeable battery to support this one.

Pros

  • Compass and wide range of signal reception included for better connectivity
  • Easy to use with touch screen
  • Dual battery system for better battery reserves
  • Compact and sleek design fitting for various types of hikers

Cons

  • Not the greatest battery life

Product Specs

Weight7.4 ounces
Dimensions4.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches
Battery life16 Hours

Key features:

  • ANT Or Bluetooth Technology
  • Dual-Band GPS/GLONASS Satellite Positioning
  • 3-Axis Compass, Accelerometer, Barometric Altimeter

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin Oregon 600T Handheld GPS - First Look from The GPS Store, Inc.

Best Accuracy: Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS

Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS

Another good choice in the line is this Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS, one of the most well-developed software and features of GPS units. Although there is no side function as a camera, this one has everything you need for navigation.

Be it wireless connectivity or an electronic compass, this one has it all. It is also compatible with Geocaching and can provide precise real-time tracking tool.

It does not have preloaded maps, but you can always go for Geocaching to get the most up-to-date maps. Moreover, this model is highly water-resistant, so no bad weather can stop you from hiking anymore.

Pros

  • Interactive and highly accurate display data on a large screen
  • Wireless connectivity available with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+
  • Included weather conditions for better route planning
  • Electronic compass and weather-resistant cases for a wide range of activities

Cons

  • No preloaded maps

Product Specs

Weight8 ounces
Dimensions4.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches
Battery life16 Hours

Key features:

  • ANT Or Bluetooth Technology
  • Dual-Band GPS/GLONASS Satellite Positioning
  • 3-Axis Compass, Accelerometer, Barometric Altimeter

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin Oregon 600T Handheld GPS - First Look from The GPS Store, Inc.

Garmin GPSMAP 64sx

Garmin GPSMAP 64sx

Falling in the mid-end range, the Garmin GPSMAP 64sx is a fool-proof choice for all hikers. It has the maps to check your location, it has the compass to get the right direction, and you can connect to the wireless network to get data too.

Furthermore, this one has a nice large color screen, with a well visually display scheme. In the GPS mode, the battery life can reach 16 hours; I recommend you take this on short trips of hiking only.

Pros

  • Integrated with a wide range of wireless connecting technologies
  • Preloaded maps with all the hiking routes
  • Good display and button managing
  • Electronic compass included for better navigation.

Cons

  • Not the best battery life

Product Specs

Weight8 ounces
Dimensions6.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches
Battery life16 Hours

Key features:

  • Wireless Connectivity Via Bluetooth Technology
  • Battery Life: Up To 16 Hours In GPS Mode
  • Preloaded With Topoactive Maps

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin GPSMAP 64sx Quick Start Manual Beginning

Garmin eTrex H Handheld GPS

Garmin eTrex H Handheld GPS

Garmin eTrex H Handheld GPS has a more distinctive way of display, yet it can still give the best navigation and directions. With the compass and waypoint storage, you won’t lose your bearing on the hike quickly.

Besides, this one uses AA batteries, so it is cheaper, and its price is already reasonable to operate. Another thing is that this one is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry if you suddenly catch up in a downpour.

Pros

  • Easy to carry around in handheld or wearable ways
  • Electronic compass included for getting direction
  • Small and lightweight design to bring around
  • Weather-resistant suitable for the rainy season

Cons

  • No color display

Product Specs

Weight5.3 ounces
Dimensions1.2 x 2 x 4.4 inches
Battery life17 Hours

Key features:

  • WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver
  • Wrist Strap Included
  • 17 Hours Of Battery Life On A Pair Of AA Batteries
  • IPX7 Waterproof

To learn more about this hiking GPS, please watch this review video:

Watch video: Garmin Etrex H Handheld GPS Sat Nav Review

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Best Handheld GPS for Hiking

It is not easy to get a good handheld GPS for hiking since there are a lot of criteria that you have to look for. These are some of the factors that you should pay attention to:

Casing material

The construction of a handheld GPS should be solid and weather-resistant since it would be frequently exposed to harsh conditions on the journey. High-quality materials would provide better durability and service, so you should check out the case quality before purchasing.

Battery

Since a hike can be long and even overnight, having long battery life will prevent your GPS device from shutting down in the middle of nowhere. You should consider buying those models with at least 10 hours of battery life to make sure that they can work well on your hike.

Screen

The screen should be clear and large enough to display all the maps and data that you need for hiking. Choosing a GPS device with a color displaying screen would also be a good idea.

Other features

You should look for handheld GPSs with a good range of compatibility and connectivity. This way, you can pair them up with your smartphone or other electronic devices, as well as saving and loading all your data at ease.

Other features such as a camera or heart rate monitor are also worth considering since they can help you to keep track of the hike much better.

FAQs

Which GPS is best for hiking?

Some of the best models are:

  • Garmin eTrex 30x.
  • Garmin GPSMAP 64st.
  • Garmin Oregon 750t.
  • Garmin Montana 680t.

What is the easiest handheld GPS to use?

The most user-friendly unit is Garmin Foretrex Handheld GPS.

What is the best walking outdoor handheld GPS unit?

The best walking outdoor handheld GPS units are:

  • Garmin eTrex 30x
  • Garmin eTrex 32x
  • Garmin Oregon 700
  • Garmin inReach Explorer+

Which handheld GPS should I buy?

You should buy GPS units with good accuracy, long battery life, and have good functions that suit your needs.

My Top Pick

From my experience, I like the way Garmin GPSMAP 64x accompanied me on the hike most. This one cost me quite a bit, but it has always been with me through days and miles of hiking without any error. Not only does it provide precise and real-time tracking, but it is also durable and well-connected all the time.

And that’s all for the Top 15 Best Handheld GPS For Hiking I would like to introduce. If you have anything about these useful units that you want to share, let me know right away! See you again, soon!.