Other critical factors include the maps and how they are updated, the type of compass, the number of GNSS (satellite systems) supported, the presence of an altimeter for accurate altitude, and, of course, the dimensions. Prices can vary greatly, and important factors to consider include whether you prefer a touchscreen or buttons, which we discuss in detail in our comparison table and buying advice. Our best handheld GPS for 2022 are listed below.

Here is the list of Best Handheld GPS

Garmin GPSMAP 66i

Easily one of the best Handheld GPS available on the market, The Garmin GPSMAP 64sx was our top pick for a long time, but it was replaced by the GPSMAP 66i last year. The 66i offers Garmin’s premium navigation tools in a rugged design, as well as satellite messaging and SOS via inReach. The ability to send and receive messages, share a track, access weather forecasts, and initiate rescues is a game changer for explorers venturing into areas without cell service. To top it all off, the 66i’s hardware is best-in-class among GPSMAP models, with a high-resolution 3-inch screen, long battery life, 16 GB of memory, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The 66i, like the majority of Garmin’s GPSMAP offerings, includes an external antenna, ABC sensors, and multi-GNSS support, as well as compatibility with Topo Active mapping and Birdseye satellite imagery. These navigational tools will suffice for the majority of users, but keep in mind that devices such as the GPSMAP 66sr and GPSMAP 65s offer improved accuracy and expanded satellite support.

Garmin eTrex 32x

When compared directly to more advanced units, the Garmin eTrex 32x performs well above its weight class. This device comes preloaded with Garmin’s TopoActive basemap, which offers enough data for those who don’t want to mess with having to find and upload individual maps. It’s an excellent value that doesn’t skimp on reception or processing speed. By including a barometric altimeter and a 3-axis digital compass two sensors typically reserved for much more expensive GPS units the available accuracy linking GPS and GLONASS networks is improved. However, this increased capability has no effect on its size or weight. This compact GPS is just as small and lightweight as other models in the eTrex line, and it can easily be stowed in a pack or tossed into a pocket for a day hike.

Bushnell BackTrack Mini GPS

The Bushnell BackTrack Mini GPS is ideal for someone who is new to using a GPS and/or does not require/want the bells and whistles of the more expensive options in our review. The various screens on this device are managed by only four buttons, with the main function of this GPS being to “backtrack” you back to your starting point. The display depicts your route as a series of breadcrumbs and allows you to place waypoints along the way. This device has no trails or detailed maps, only your track back and forth. We like to think of the BackTrack Mini as a modern-day compass, a device that provides the essentials for navigation without being weighed down by unnecessary features. The display is simple and uncluttered, there’s something to be said for a small device that does exactly what it was designed to do. Thus, this product is one of the best Handheld GPS available right now.

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide

The eTrex 10 is a useful and tough device that will leave a much smaller hole in your wallet than many others. It is, however, accurate due to its use of GLONASS and WASS (in the US), and it employs Garmin’s ‘HotFix’ technology, which aims to speed up location retrieval by remembering roughly where you are. The device can be connected to a Mac, laptop and PC using a USB cable (the socket is weatherproof) and geocaches can be downloaded from it (the memory of 2000 is more than adequate). In the sun, the mono screen is easy to read, and the menu is simple, with modes for recreation, geocaching, automotive, marine, and fitness.

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Garmin’s inReach Mini 2 looks a little different from most GPS devices here, but for weight-conscious explorers, it’s definitely worth a look. The inReach Mini’s primary functions are satellite messaging and SOS, but it also includes tracking, weather reports, maps, and navigation. And, thanks to a recent update, the “2” is even more impressive than before: With multi-GNSS support and a digital compass, accuracy has improved. There is more storage space for preloaded maps and routes, and battery life is noticeably longer. Add in a small size and weight, as well as a reasonable price, and it’s no surprise that the inReach Mini 2 has become a must-have for avid hikers, climbers, backcountry skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Unlike most of its competitors, the inReach Mini 2 is heavily reliant on a smartphone, many of which have poor battery life and aren’t particularly durable. Currently, this is one of the best Handheld GPS that you can buy right now.

Garmin etrex Touch 35

The etrex Touch 35 feels much more modern than the eTrex 10, and it has useful features that you might not expect to find in something so small. On a bright day, the 65K colour reflective touchscreen is easily visible, and the map view, like on more expensive devices, can be set to rotate with the compass. The refresh rate isn’t spectacular, but it’s sufficient for hiking. Activity enthusiasts will appreciate the ability to connect ANT+ devices, and an altimeter ensures accurate 3-dimensional readings. The US eTrex Touch edition even comes preloaded with 250,000 geocaching routes.

Garmin GPSMAP 66st

The Garmin GPSMAP 66st is the best in its class in terms of accuracy and dependability, earning it our highest rating. It has a powerful quad-helix antenna and connects to more satellite networks more reliably and accurately than most other models. The GPSMAP 66st can maintain a satellite connection even in less-than-ideal conditions, such as under dense tree cover or in a narrow slot canyon. When in cell service range, this unit can connect to your smartphone and overlay real-time weather data on your maps. It has 16GB of internal memory, which is more than most other units, and it comes preloaded with topo maps for the United States and Canada, as well as subscription-free access to Garmin’s Bird’s Eye Imagery. Overall, it is one of the best Handheld GPS that you can buy.

Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

Garmin’s GPSMAP 66 series includes four models. Though the 66sr has the same outer casing as some of the other models in the 66 lineup, it is packed with a slew of superior features that make it well worth the $500. The 66sr features a 3-inch colour display with crisp and vibrant imagery. Many users say the display is brighter and easier to see than other Garmin models. Notably, the display has been designed to be legible even in bright sunlight. There’s no need to squint! Garmin built multiband technology into the 66sr to assist you in tracking your route in particularly difficult environments such as narrow canyons and dense forests. Where other GPS devices struggle to stay connected, the 66sr excels.

Final Words

The selection of the best Handheld GPS is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works best for one person may be too complicated or expensive for another. However, keep in mind that having extra features you rarely use is preferable to needing those features but not having them available. Consider what you need your GPS unit to do and where you’ll be using it the most.

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