Best Hiking GPS of 2018

Taking a trip into nature is something that everyone, especially families, should do. That being said, people aren't always the most directionally savvy when it comes to the woods these days, so it's important to have any help you can get.

To ensure your safety, you should do your best to find an effective satellite for your hiking expedition. Not only is it important to have a tool to help you get a tool to help you get home, but hiking GPS navigation can help you find unique spaces to explore.

There are a number of GPS systems on the market, though, and it can be difficult to know what to choose. For that reason, we've compiled a list of the best hiking GPS systems of 2018.

Read on to discover what to look for in a GPS, and which system you should choose for your next hiking expedition.

Best Hiking GPS Systems of 2018

Before you make a decision on your GPS system, you should know what to look for and how its features can help your hiking expedition. There are basic factors that affect the device's durability in addition to things that reflect the quality and functionality of the device itself.

Quality of Material

Before you go out and purchase the device, think about the sort of activities that you'll be doing while using it. You can slack on some durability if you're not going to be doing anything too strenuous. Alternatively, you may need to limit the number of features that your GPS in order to get a more durable device in your price range.

Your GPS should be shock-resistant to prevent any damages if you fall with the device in your hand or drop it while hiking. There are a lot of opportunities to drop and damage your device, which is why it's essential to have one that will be able to handle anything you put it through.

You also want your GPS to be water-resistant. Depending on your situation, you may not need to have it be entirely water-proof but able to handle any amount of rain. If you're going to be engaging in a lot of water, though, you'll need your device to be waterproof. A good in-between option is to make sure that your device has an IPX7 water resistance rating.

This means that the device can be submerged in up to one meter of water for up to thirty minutes. The final thing to consider with materials is the temperatures that they can withstand. Think about the environment that you'll be hiking.

Make sure that the GPS you choose can be exposed to the most extreme temperatures found in the terrain that you'll be in. The last thing that you want is to be stranded in extreme weather without a functioning GPS. Plan ahead to ensure that your device is up to the task of the environment.

Battery

The next thing to consider is the length of battery life available with the device. Ideally, your battery should last at least an entire day. You don't want to be charging your GPS batteries in the middle of a hike.

Alternatively, try to find a device that uses disposable batteries or reusable batteries. This makes for an extremely easy way to change out batteries in the middle of the day. A lot of modern devices use solar chargers that can simply recharge with exposure to the sun.

If you'll be on a longer trip you should consider rechargeable or solar batteries. This will spare the cost of buying excessive amounts of disposable batteries. Using rechargeable systems will also spare essential room in your pack.

Usability

The functionality of your GPS device is also dependent on the environment that you will be hiking in. Make sure that the device can be used with gloves if you are going to be exposed to the blistering cold. You'll also want to make sure that the device can display in sizes that everyone on your trip can see and understand.

The display can also be affected when you are hiking in high altitudes, so make sure that your GPS' screen is adaptable to the environment that you will be hiking in. Many touchscreen devices are very usable in normal climates and environments, but won't function well in extreme areas.

Another factor of usability is the size and weight of your device. You want something that is big enough to have a readable display while being small enough to comfortably fit in a pocket. Making sure that you're device is comfortable to use and carry is essential.

Software

GPS software has become extremely advanced, possessing some useful features that will make your trip safer and easier. One of those features is the ability to plan trips. You will want this software if you're going on a trip somewhere that you're not familiar with. Many options will allow you to see the distance, altitude, and other factors of your trip in advance.

Other features include electronic compasses, barometers, and other features that often work without a signal. This is an extremely important development in GPS technology, as it is very important to have access to information when you are out of signal. A lot of devices can actually link up to your smartphone as well, making use of features like heart rate monitors and other useful information.

It's impossible to give a definite "best GPS of 2018" because each hiking trip is different. Some excellent devices may not work well in the environment that you're hiking in, while others might work in your environment but not in others. For that reason, we've compiled a short list of a few of the best devices on the market.

We'll also note what terrain and functions they function best in. Before choosing on one of the following options, consider your trip's weather and terrain possibilities, and make sure that your choice can accommodate for the most extreme elements you might experience.

Garmin eTrex 30x

This device is perfectly suited for hiking, climbing, trekking, mountaineering, hunting, and backpacking. It is extremely light and small, making it a perfect companion when you have limited pack space. It fits in a belt loop or side pocket and is very resistant to water and impact.

The resolution of the screen is exceptional, allowing for 65,000 colors. While the screen is small, the readability is good, and you shouldn't experience any difficulty if you don't have a serious visual impairment. Directionally speaking, the compass operates even when the device is not level, giving quick and accurate readings.

There is a barometric altimeter that gives you a reading on the altitude above sea level and can be used to predict the weather. You also have the ability to upload maps which can display satellite imagery. The device can be paired up with a phone to read heart rates and external thermometers through a wireless connection.

Additional features include a great battery life, low-weight, side buttons for enhanced usability, and GLONASS support. It takes two double A batteries to function and can hold up to 3.7 gigabytes of memory. The main downfall of this device is the small size of its screen.

Garmin Oregon 750t

This device has a 3-inch touchscreen and is equipped with a number of sophisticated features. The usability is off the charts, presenting information on-screen that can be easily read in direct sunlight. The screen does not, however, function exceptionally well when the user is wearing gloves.

Other features include a 3-axis compass, accelerometer, barometric altimeter, and a decent camera that can take photos. There is an antenna integrated into the device, making the readings of position fast and extremely accurate. It can be used with both GPS and GLONASS.

Additionally, it can store up to 4 million geocache locations, making it the perfect device if you are interested in geocaching. It allows you to read the location hints and descriptions easily on the device, making it a streamlined and usable device.

One advantage that this device has over the eTrex 30x, is that it comes with over one hundred thousand maps and it is relatively easy to upload additional maps. Additionally, the camera feature allows you to focus, tag geocaches, and share your information with a Garmin application.

Garmin Montana 68ot

The Garmin Montana 68ot has some features that will make it stand out for those traveling in colder terrain. The screen is bigger, unfortunately making the device heavier, but it does provide an enhanced usability and readability. The resolution is also higher quality than the models previously mentioned.

The screen is usable with gloves, making it great for those moving in colder climates. Most standard touchscreen displays are not as glove friendly and can be difficult to operate in extreme climates. Some additional features include a hunting and fishing calendar, tide readings, move-by-move navigation, barometric altimeter, camera, and digital compass.

This device is exceptional for those who partake in a lot of hunting and fishing. In fact, there are features created explicitly for those who hunt and fish. The battery is rechargeable, made of lithium-ion, having a life-span of 16 hours per charge. If you aren't interested in charging your batteries every night, there is also the option of triple-A batteries instead of the lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

The primary downfall of this device is that it is a little bit larger than the others, causing it to way more and be more difficult to operate in a pinch. That being said, if you have time to stop and use the GPS with ample time, this device may work out better than the ones previously mentioned.

Magellan eXplorist 710

This device is extremely durable, compact, and usable. It has a 3-inch touchscreen, an electric compass, and barometric altimeter. It also boasts a camera that shoots in a higher resolution than any of the previous devices mentioned. A microphone and speaker are also included, improving the function of some of the embedded applications.

You can also utilize this GPS system for turn-by-turn directions while driving, making it an all-around great device. In addition to everything mentioned, you also have access to 2D or 3D imagery on maps that cover almost the entire world. That means you can have access to roadmaps and hiking trail directions almost anywhere on the planet.

The biggest downfall of this device is the fact that it does not connect as well as the Garmin devices listed above. It also requires a subscription if you want to utilize any of its planning software and is difficult to use with gloves on.

Garmin GPSMAP 64S

This device features a quad-helix antenna, connecting to GPS and GLONASS, making sure that you have high-quality access to data even when you are in an area with a dodgy connection. It allows for four gigabytes of storage, allowing for five thousand waypoints and hundreds of routes to be stored within the device.

If you are in the presence of other compatible devices, you can connect and share mapping and routing information with them. There are two hundred and fifty thousand geocache locations embedded, making it a great fit for those of you who enjoy that activity. Additionally, the device is exceptional for those wearing gloves.

Additionally, the Garmin GPSMAP 64S links with your smartphone to connect with its applications. The battery is quality, allowing for 16 hours of use. This may be our most versatile option, possessing all of the features of an exceptional device while being cheap and usable.

The real ticket, though, is the fact that it is usable in nearly all conditions and provides one of the highest-quality experiences around.

Get Only the Best in Technology

If you were benefitted by our list of the best hiking GPS systems of 2018, consider looking into renewing some of your other technology. Having the best equipment can make your life a lot more enjoyable and safe. The only way to find the best equipment for you is to understand what to look for.

If you're interested in finding more of the best equipment on the market, we have all of the information you need.

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