Ranking the 10 Best Handheld GPS of 2021

Matt Lewis
Written by
Last update:

If you’re looking for the best GPS handheld of 2021, you should probably consider your options before making a final decision.

And, as this is probably the case, you’re getting an early start at finding the best device for you and your needs.

The great thing about GPS handhelds is that they are becoming more and more prevalent and are more affordable than they have ever been in history.

Nothing is quite as exciting as finding your way around the wilderness with an inexpensive handheld GPS.

The only downside is sifting through all of the options and deciding which one is right for you.

For that purpose, we’ve reviewed the top handheld GPS devices on the market for your convenience.

NameCategoryProduct
Garmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer+Best OverallGarmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer+
Magellan eXplorist 310 Summit Series Topo Map BundleBudget PickMagellan eXplorist 310 Summit Series Topo Map Bundle
Garmin 750T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPSUpgrade PickGarmin 750T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPS

1. Garmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer+

Our rating: 9 / 10

Garmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer+

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Has a 10 Hz sample rate
  • Can send text and navigation commands via satellite
  • Provides an extended battery life of 50 hours
  • Sends out standard ”S.O.S.” messages
  • Works with GLONASS and WAAS for 24 hours of battery life

Cons:

  • It weighs 1.2 pounds
  • Does not have a frictional mount

(Preloaded 24K TOPO Maps)

The Garmin in Reach Explorer+ is one of the very best handheld GPS of the year.

It has user-friendly functions such as a track feature that lets you save your preferred routes, a backtrack feature that directs you back to your starting point, and a 1.7-inch color screen with topo map and GPS navigation to alert you when you are approaching your destination.

2. Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Our rating: 9 / 10

Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • The unit is rugged and waterproof
  • It is 34% lighter than other units
  • It comes preloaded with the TOPO 100k maps of the U.S.
  • It has a built in GPS and GLONASS receiver
  • The touchscreen display is easy to see and use, even in bright sunlight
  • It has an easy to read display
  • It can be used to download the entire continent if you wish

Cons:

  • The battery needs to be replaced after a year of use, a bit inconvenient
  • The maps are not very clear and are not very detailed, but for ordinary use, this is more than sufficient
  • The unit is about twice the price as the other handheld GPS units
  • It has a micro SD card slot
  • It lacks a micro USB slot and also lacks the microSDXC II

This compact GPS unit will be your go-to for everyday use. It is rugged, waterproof and easy to use. Its long battery life will keep you in the field indefinitely.

3. Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Dimensions: W: 3 x H: 2.8 x D: 0.8 inches
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces
  • Frequency: 50/200 kHz
  • Sensors: Non-GPS WAAS
  • Waterproof: yes, IPX7
  • Color: Black / Silver
  • Casing: Aluminum
  • Manufacture: Bad Elf
  • Memory: 512 MB internal memory
  • Water resistant: Yes, IPx7

4. Garmin etrex Touch 35

Our rating: 7 / 10

Garmin etrex Touch 35

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Touchscreen technology
  • Easy to use
  • One of the most affordable devices on the market
  • Has a barometric altimeter

The Garmin etrex Touch 35t may not be for those who want something to do a lot of high-tech wizardry. However, if your main goal is to be able to find their way using GPS then the system from Garmin is the perfect unit for you.

Thanks to its 35 countries preloaded you won’t have to worry about being lost when you travel outside the United States. You also get 7.5 million points of interest to help you with your travels.

While the unit only has a 2-inch screen it is easy to read thanks to its backlit screen. It also has touchscreen technology so you only need to tap the screen once to select an option.

5. Garmin Montana 610

Our rating: 7 / 10

Garmin Montana 610

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 6 inch sunlight readable HD display
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Customisable on screen controls
  • 1000 waypoints and 10,000 points of interest
  • Up to 16 hours GPS and 14 hours of battery life on 2 AA batteries

Cons:

  • Limited to a single type of GPS satellite
  • Relatively large when compared to the high-end handhelds
  • No information stored in internal memory

As the successor of the successful Montana 600 series, the Montana 610 is a GPS handheld receiver. The screen size of the Montana is 4.5 inches, compared to the Montana 600’s 3.5 inch display.

The 610’s significant improvement is the addition of a 2 MP camera. The camera features a digital zoom and image stabilisation. Pictures can be transferred to your Windows PC.

This device has many features that you would expect from a GPS handheld device.

6. Garmin 750T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPS

Our rating: 7 / 10

Garmin 750T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPS

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Dedicated GPS for hiking and outdoors
  • Comes with real-time tracking, a BNC connector and an external antenna
  • Can be used for other activities like boating, biking, flying, and geocaching
  • Ability to add more detailed maps when needed

The Garmin 750T is a GPS device that is great for activities like hiking and outdoor navigation. In fact, it is one of the most popular hiking Garmin handheld GPS devices in recent years. One of the highlights of this device is that it has preloaded maps and comes in with 100k topographic maps.

The Garmin 750T is touch screen and it is powered by a colorful display that provides high resolution and amazing image quality. This GPS features many functionalities such as digital camera, electronic compass, multi-language support and onboard mapping.

This unit really stands out when you need a GPS for outdoor activities. It is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface to help you navigate your destination even during times of poor visibility.

7. Garmin eTrex 30x

Our rating: 6 / 10

Garmin eTrex 30x

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Waterproof for use as a marine GPS or for the most rigorous adventure
  • Easy to use, detailed maps
  • Good battery life
  • Great customer service
  • 5 plotters/markers storeable

Cons:

  • Cannot be used while charging
  • Screen difficult to read in sunlight
  • Slow to connect to satellites leading to frustrating error messages
  • Garmin’s online geocaching site needs work as most caches in national parks are not on it
  • Does not upload to Garmin Basecamp like older models

(Made in USA)

Garmin eTrex’s are incredibly durable handhelds. The only reason I even use paper maps anymore is because my eTrex decided to stop working while in backcountry. The problem was easily fixed with a new battery but I still have an issue finding it.

This is my 2nd eTrex and what appeals to me about this GPS is its size and durability. I have dropped mine on concrete and even in the ocean. This is the first GPS I have ever owned that I have to worry about breaking when I’m beating on it.

8. DeLorme AG-008727-201 InReach Explorer Two Way Satellite Communicator

Our rating: 6 / 10

DeLorme AG-008727-201 InReach Explorer Two Way Satellite Communicator

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • The ability to support multiple profiles
  • Capable of dialing out for help when in an emergency situation
  • It is a durable product

Cons:

  • No WIFI capability
  • Some users have had trouble getting it to pair with a smartphone
  • Pricey

This device is one of the best GPS handhelds if you are interested in tracking yourself and your activities in the outdoors.

It offers the ability to log your routes which is an excellent feature, especially when you need to back track or you are a beginner who simply likes to explore and you want to remember where you went.

It could prove to be very handy if you ever need to call for help in an emergency situation.

9. Magellan eXplorist 310 Summit Series Topo Map Bundle

Our rating: 5 / 10

Magellan eXplorist 310 Summit Series Topo Map Bundle

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Loaded with Topo U.S. Maps, which works best for Garmin device users
  • You can also add 3rd-party accessories
  • Very precise and accurate GPS
  • The color screen is crisp and clear
  • It records up to 750 tracks, 250 routes
  • It works with microSD cards, which means you can use as much storage as you want
  • The battery life is amazing
  • Because it runs on AA batteries you don’t need to charge it or worry about having your batteries drained

This is one of the most popular Garmin devices on the market. It’s loaded with features, and gives you a ton of bang for your buck.

It has a clear, readable display. It’s designed to provide trail runners and cyclists with real-time performance feedback. It supports microSD cards, and you can add 3rd-party accessories. This GPS can also record up to 750 tracks while supporting 250 routes.

The eXplorist 310 also features a really good battery life of 25 hours. Unlike your phone, you don’t need to charge this device. You can replace the AA batteries if you need to travel with it, saving you a lot of headache.

10. Garmin Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS

Our rating: 5 / 10

Garmin Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 8 megapixel camera
  • Measures 16.7 by 4 by 3.7 inches
  • Display is 15.5 mm
  • Measurement of distance and height
  • GPS reception is outstanding
  • Memory storage is 32 GB external
  • Placemarking ability
  • Waypoint marking ability
  • Monitoring capabilities
  • Preloaded with basic maps

This is a full-fledged GPS device which is packed with features that provide you with the capability to do more than just track your path.

You can work off of the included rechargeable battery for over 16 hours at a time while you are working or you can plug it into any USB port to charge it.

It also features an 8 megapixel camera and a 3.5-inch display which have both been designed to be durable when you are working in rugged conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best handheld GPS on the market?

The best handheld GPS of 2017 is the Garmin Oregon 600. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck and want to take your outdoor activities to the next level, this is one of the best GPS handhelds on the market.

It is priced fairly and it uses cutting edge technology that makes it a worthy investment.

It is compatible with topographic maps, which is a feature that makes it stand out from the rest. It is also compact and lightweight, so you can conveniently bring it with you.

The Garmin Oregon 600 has a screensize of 4 inches, and a battery life of 24 hours and display a screensize of 4 inches, and a battery life of 24 hours.

Furthermore, you have the option to add more features to your handheld GPS using MapSend. You can also download additional maps from the included 250k basemap to your Oregon 600.

What is the best handheld Garmin GPS?

Handheld GPS devices are becoming more and more popular. They are great for hikers, boaters, hunters, motorists, and all other outdoor enthusiasts. Here we’ll show you the 10 best handheld GPS units. These are great options for anyone looking for a handheld GPS system.

What is the easiest handheld GPS to use?

While getting acquainted with a new GPS device can be a major hurdle to overcome, it does not have to be as difficult as you may think. When looking for a handheld GPS device, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my GPS going to be used for?
  • Is there any additional features this unit needs to have?
  • How often am I going to be using this device?

Once you’ve answered these three key questions, you will be able to select a GPS model that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

What is the newest Garmin handheld GPS?

Garmin is a well-known brand of navigators designed for anglers. The Garmin GPSMAP 640S is a 6-inch handheld GPS that has a number of exceptional features. The 640S incorporates a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, which allows for detailed mapping when at sea, in dense vegetation or deep in the forest.

The 640s features a touchscreen that displays detailed zoom levels and a wide range of other data. For GPS map details, you’ll find preloaded map data for both the United States and Canada. The GPSMAP 640S also has a 3.2 megapixel camera that allows you to capture every moment of your adventure.

Conclusion

Just like training for a marathon, getting in shape by using a GPS watch is a goal you have to achieve. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a great way to be able to track your progress to seeing your fitness goals. A good GPS watch will give you complete support, as they show you the way you’re doing and challenge you to keep doing more. So to help you, here are the best GPS watches we’ve come across.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Garmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer+Best OverallGarmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer+
Magellan eXplorist 310 Summit Series Topo Map BundleBudget PickMagellan eXplorist 310 Summit Series Topo Map Bundle
Garmin 750T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPSUpgrade PickGarmin 750T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPS