ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST GPS FOR HIKINGCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST GPS FOR HIKINGHIKING GPS REVIEWS GARMIN E-TREX 30xGARMIN OREGON 650tGARMIN GPSMAP 64SGARMIN E-TREX TOUCH 35tGARMIN MONTANA 680GARMIN ETREX 20XGARMIN RINO 650tHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST GPS FOR HIKINGBUTTONS OR TOUCHSCREEN?WEIGHT DISPLAYBATTERY LIFEBUILT-IN MEMORYCONSTRUCTIONADVANCED FEATURES TO CONSIDERWIRELESS SHARINGBUILT-IN CAMERATWO-WAY RADIOHANDHELD GPS UNITS VS SMARTPHONES & GPS WATCHES Do you like hiking in the mountains, exploring new trails or knowing where you are at all times? If so, you are probably a big fan of GPS units. With all the different options available on the market, sometimes it’s hard to find the best GPS for hiking that suits your preferences and budget. It’s a complex piece of technology and reading though the specs can make your head spin. So, how do you know what is the best model for you? That’s where we come in. One of our goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to choosing hiking gear. In this article we’ll walk you through what to look for while shopping for a handheld GPS and how to find the one that is right for you. For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Tents | Hammocks | Bivy Sacks | Tarps Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Pads | Stoves Backpacks | GPS | Headlamps | Poles| Watches Boots | Shoes | Sandals | Pants | Shorts Base Layers | Fleeces | Down Jackets | Rain Jackets QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST GPS FOR HIKING 1. GARMIN E-TREX 30x VIEW AT AMAZON 2. GARMIN OREGON 650T VIEW AT AMAZON 3. GARMIN GPSMAP 64S VIEW AT AMAZON 4. GARMIN E-TREX TOUCH 35T VIEW AT AMAZON 5. GARMIN MONTANA 680 VIEW AT AMAZON 6. GARMIN E-TREX 20X VIEW AT REI 7. GARMIN RENO 650T VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST GPS FOR HIKING PICTUREGPSWEIGHTBATTERY LIFESCREEN SIZEPRICERATING PICTUREGPSWEIGHTBATTERY LIFESCREEN SIZEPRICERATING GARMIN ETREX 30x4.8 oz25 h2.2 in$4.2 GARMIN OREGON 650t7.4 oz16 h 3.0 in$$$3.9 GARMIN GPSMAP 64s8.11 oz16 h2.6 in$$4.2 GARMIN ETREX TOUCH 35t5.6 oz16 h2.6 in$$4.6 GARMIN MONTANA 68010.2 oz16-25 h4.0 in$$$4.0 GARMIN E-TREX 20X 5 oz25 h2.2 in$4.0 GARMIN RINO 650t11.3 oz14-18 h2.6 in$$$3.5 MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails. HIKING GPS REVIEWS GARMIN E-TREX 30x Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Hikers Wanting A Small & Light GPS TOUCHSCREEN: No BATTERY: 2 AA Batteries BUILT-IN MEMORY: 3.7 GB FEATURES: 3-Axis Compass, Barometric Altimeter, Wireless PROS: Light, Small, Great Value, Long Battery Life CONS: Small Screen, Topo Maps Aren’t Preloaded GARMIN OREGON 650t Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Hikers Who Want A High End GPS TOUCHSCREEN: Yes BATTERY: 2 AA or NiMH battery pack BUILT-IN MEMORY: 4 GB FEATURES: 3-axis Compass, Accelerometer, Barometric Altimeter, 8MP camera PROS: Maps Included, Easy To Read, Waterproof CONS: Poor Battery Life, Pre-Loaded Topo Maps Are Based On 1:100,000 Scale Maps GARMIN GPSMAP 64S Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Backcountry & Remote Hiking TOUCHSCREEN: No BATTERY: 2 AA Batteries BUILT-IN MEMORY: 8 GB FEATURES: Super Bright LCD Display, Helix Antenna PROS: Accurate, Fast Tracking, Better Reception, Bright Display CONS: Large, Heavy, Poor Battery Life GARMIN E-TREX TOUCH 35t Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Lightweight Hiking, Geocaching and Cycling TOUCHSCREEN: Yes BATTERY: 2 AA Batteries BUILT-IN MEMORY: 8 GB FEATURES: 3 Axis Compass, Barometric Altimeter, Preloaded With Either Topo U.S. 100k or Topo Canada Maps PROS: Compact, Rugged, Light CONS: Poor Battery Life, Small Screen GARMIN MONTANA 680 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Hikers Looking For A Big & Tough Device TOUCHSCREEN: Yes BATTERY: 3 AA Batteries & Rechargeable Lithium-ion Pack BUILT-IN MEMORY: 4 GB FEATURES: Built-in Camera, Wireless Sharing, 3-Axis Compass with Barometric Altimeter PROS: Glove Friendly Display, Big Screen, Can Mount Anywhere CONS: Heavy, Bulky and Expensive GARMIN ETREX 20X Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Hikers Looking For A Simple & Affordable Device TOUCHSCREEN: No BATTERY: 2 AA Batteries BUILT-IN MEMORY: 3.7 GB FEATURES: 6 Button Toggle PROS: Affordable, Excellent Battery Life, Easy To Use, Light CONS: Small Screen, Less Accurate Than Bigger Units, No Electronic Compass GARMIN RINO 650t Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Backcountry Hikers Who Want GPS & Radio TOUCHSCREEN: No BATTERY: 1 Lithium ion batteries, 2 AA Batteries BUILT-IN MEMORY: 4.5 Gb FEATURES: 5w GMRS/FRS radio, Antenna, 3-axis electronic compass, barometric altimeter PROS: Streamlines GPS & Radio, Can Communicate With Other Hikers In Your Group CONS: Bulky, Heavy, Not Possible To Charge Batteries Separate From Device Gear up for hiking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Hiking GearSent straight to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR HIKING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST GPS FOR HIKING BUTTONS OR TOUCHSCREEN? Touchscreens operate faster because you don’t need to scroll through options. The downside is they use more battery battery than buttoned models, can freeze up in cold conditions, and don’t work as well with thick gloves. Buttoned models last longer, work in all temperatures, can be used with thick gloves and are more reliable. The downside is they are slower to respond than touchscreen units and it takes longer to type in waypoints. WEIGHT As with any piece of gear you use for hiking, being lightweight is paramount. There are many compact models out there but if screen size is an issue for you, you might need to go for a larger one. DISPLAY Screen size is important for being able to clearly read the map. For touchscreen models, it is easier to use them with a large screen. The obvious downside to a bigger screen is these models weigh more and are bulky. BATTERY LIFE You don’t want to be out in the mountains and find out your GPS just died after a few hours of hiking. A minimum of 15 hours of battery life is recommended. It’s a big plus if the device can take rechargeable AA or AAA batteries, because you can carry a spare set with you. Some models come with a dual battery system, which gives you the option of using the rechargeable lithium-ion pack or traditional AA batteries. BUILT-IN MEMORY GPS units store data internally and/or on a microSD card. This memory is used to store map data, waypoints, routes and, in some models, even audio, pictures and video. More memory lets receivers hold more data. CONSTRUCTION Due to the nasty weather you can encounter while in the outdoors, the handheld GPS units should be waterproof, shockproof and robust. ADVANCED FEATURES TO CONSIDER WIRELESS SHARING Wirelessly share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches with other compatible GPS users without using cumbersome cords or cables. BUILT-IN CAMERA Some models come with a built in camera to capture locations and memories. Your photos will also be “geo-tagged” so you can see where on the map you snapped the shot. TWO-WAY RADIO Some devices have integrated Family Radio Service (FRS) radios for up to 2 miles of range and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios with a range of up to 14 miles (in ideal conditions), plus they get the latest forecast from the NOAA 7-channel weather radio. HANDHELD GPS UNITS VS SMARTPHONES & GPS WATCHES The handheld GPS units have several advantages compared to smartphones. They are waterproof, more robust and durable, and can be used with rechargeable AA or AAA batteries (which allows you to bring an extra set with you). Also, the navigation is a lot easier in a handheld unit than in a GPS watch. The main reason is the screen’s size and resolution. Current GPS watches cannot simply show a good quality map suitable for hard-to-navigate terrain. HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.