Best Handheld GPS for Hunting in 2020. Reviews & Analysis

Last Updated: 05.08.20

 

Top Handheld GPS Units for Hunting Reviewed and Compared

 

If you’re looking for the best handheld GPS for hunting, you’re probably going to need to do some research. To help you with your endeavor, we’ve prepared a few reviews of handheld GPS units for hunting. Our findings show that the first product to take into consideration is the Garmin Foretrex 401, due to its various useful functions. For example, it features a high-sensitivity receiver that improves its overall performance, allowing it to show you where you’re going despite dense tree covers or deep canyons. You can buy an add-on that will help you keep track of your heart rate if you want a report of your performance. What’s more, the TracBack feature retraces the path you’ve followed on the LCD, so you can make adjustments the next time you try the same trail. Should this alternative be unavailable, we suggest you check out the Garmin GPSMAP 64st TOPO instead, as it would make for an excellent second choice.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

5 Best Handheld GPS for Hunting (Reviews) in 2020

 

In your search for the best handheld hunting GPS, make sure you check out the options we’ve listed below. These are some of the products we think are reliable choices, and we’ve reviewed them to highlight some of the most relevant features that they have to offer.

 

 

1. Garmin 010-00777-00 Foretrex 401 GPS Watch

 

This reliable product can help you keep track of your regular routes, including essential waypoints. But what’s more, you can use an add-on to enhance its features and record your heart rate as well, so you can get a full report of your activity. It also displays sunrise and sunset times, as well as hunting information.

It comes with a highly sensitive GPS receiver that will help you correctly understand your surroundings even if you’re in a deep canyon or a secluded area, possibly blocked by dense tree covers. For maximized efficiency, use this model with a reliable hunting binocular with rangefinder.

The Foretrex works using two AAA batteries, which are easy to find at any hardware store. Make sure you have supplies when you set off on a trip because you wouldn’t want to run out of battery life and get lost in the woods. They usually last for about 17 hours, which should be enough for various purposes.

You can retrace your path once you’re back from your adventures using the TracBack function. This way, you’ll be able to make the adjustments you want the next time you choose the same route because you have a full understanding of your track and its shortcomings.

Pros

This product comes in the form of a slim wrist device which you can wear as a piece of equipment, without needing to keep your hands busy with it. It won’t hinder your movements, and it will display valuable information at all times.

A dotted trail on the LCD helps you keep track of your route, to avoid getting lost.

The battery life runs for approximately 17 hours, which should be enough for you to finish your trip and head home.

It can help you understand your surroundings even when you have low visibility due to various environmental factors. However, our advice would be to pair it with other user devices for maximum efficiencies, such as an easy-to-use Nikon hunting binocular.

Cons

The instruction manual is rumored to be a little unclear.

It might be inconvenient to use this device when you’re wearing multiple layers of clothing, especially in cold weather.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

2. Garmin GPSMAP 64st TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity

 

The display size of this GPS measures 1.43 by 2.15 inches, which is enough for it to display various valuable information for the user. For example, it can help you keep track of your heart rate or your speed, aside from the usual route tracking.

It works using two AA batteries, and our recommendation would be for you to use Polaroid batteries or the rechargeable NiMH battery pack. They usually last for about 16 hours, but when you set off on a hunting trip, you want to be sure you have extra supplies in case they run out.

This item features excellent connectivity, sharing your activities as they take place with the Live Track function, which is a unique way of recording your route as well as preserving your safety. You can view the data you’ve gathered using this device on your smartphone.

It has an expanded external memory of 8GB, which can store many maps and receive updates as routes change. Make sure you always have a decent hunting headlamp with you, so you’re not taken by surprise by challenging environmental conditions.

Weighing only 8.1oz, this GPS is great for travelers who don’t want to burden their backpacks with massive pieces of equipment.

Pros

With a 1.43 by 2.15-inch display and a resolution of 160×240 pixels, this GPS can offer you a detailed report of your trip that includes valuable information.

It’s easy to operate because it only has a few buttons with printed functions on them, so even if you’re not experienced with modern technology, you’ll find this device easy to navigate.

You can find the two AA batteries needed to make this product work virtually everywhere, so be sure you stock up on supplies before you head off on a hunting trip.

This item will let you record your adventures live using the Live Track option, and then access the data using your smartphone.

Cons

A few customers have complained about the technology that this affordable hunting GPS uses is a bit outdated.

There aren’t enough trail maps loaded onto the device when it arrives.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($319.99)

 

 

 

 

3. Garmin GPSMAP 62St Handheld GPS Navigator

 

This waterproof navigator has a 2.6-inch screen, which is readable even in intense sunlight. The resolution is 160 x 240 pixels, enough to show a detailed view of your surroundings and all the accurate information that you need to have a well-planned, danger-free trip.

A tilt-compensated electronic compass helps you better understand your position, while a barometric altimeter is added for accurate measurement of altitudes. Up to 100k of topographic data is uploaded onto these devices, so they have enough information to help you navigate through challenging environments.

The worldwide basemap is a good starting point since it shows shaded relief to help you understand your surroundings and decide on the best route you should take. However accurate its directions, we kindly suggest you don’t venture into the wild without a proper hunting flashlight and a effective hunting scope for observing.

Compatible with Custom Maps, this device can offer you free software that transforms countless maps into downloadable data which you can use to your advantage.

Last but not least, it’s important to mention that this item is waterproof, because while you’re out in the wild, you need to make sure you have gear that can withstand the challenging environmental conditions.

Pros

This device supports BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, which means it can integrate satellite images into the maps that it shows. You’ll get an accurate description of your environment.

Aside from the geographical position, this GPS also uses a barometric altimeter to display the altitude you’re currently situated at.

You can download up to 100k topographic data for the territory of the United States, and if you’re planning on using this abroad, you can rely on the worldwide basemap.

Aside from landmarks and directions, this product can also display information regarding essential tourist attractions, which might not be of great interest if you’re a professional hunter but might work for family trips or other purposes.

Cons

A few users have complained that it takes a long array of complicated steps to access functions that should be immediately available, such as battery level or distance travel.

It may have more features than you need to use.

Buy from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

4. Garmin Oregon 450t Handheld GPS Navigator

 

With the help of a three-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, this device can give you a detailed description of your geographical position for you to design your route according to your own rules.

It uses a barometric altimeter to show the altitude you’re currently at, so it’s great for hunting trips that involve hiking. Make sure you don’t leave your trusted hunting range finder behind when you prepare to set off.

The display is sunlight-readable, so you’ll always be able to access the valuable information that it shows. You can browse through the various settings using the touchscreen function, which some users find more comfortable to use than the classic button version.

Preloaded onto this device, you’ll find up to 100K topographical data that you can use to decide where your next hunting trip will take place and which exact route you wish to follow.

A high-sensitivity GPS receiver uses the HotFix function to improve the performance of this device even in demanding environments that would typically restrict your access to information.

It works without being connected to the internet too, and you can wirelessly access routes and waypoints using geocaches. This model comes at an affordable price, fit for all sorts of travelers.

Pros

The Oregon models support the geocaching function, which can be used for downloading data directly onto your device. It stores a lot of crucial information which it can display even without having internet access.

A three-axis tilt-compensation shows the users their orientation even when they’re standing still, so they can stop and adjust the direction when the route seems wrong.

Anytime you want, you can upload more information onto your GPS. For example, you can plug a micro SD card filled with compatible maps depending on the area that you tend to prefer for your outdoor activities.

You can get a detailed analysis of your activities by connecting this item to a computer.

Cons

The menus take a few extra steps to navigate, which can be an inconvenience, especially if you’re in a hurry.

It can be difficult for those not accustomed to this type of technology to get to know the settings of this GPS.

Buy from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

5. Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

 

In our quest for such effective devices up for sale, we stumbled upon this reliable GPS from Garmin, which offers a worldwide relief basemap to start with. The 2.2-inch color display is excellent for those looking to carry a small-sized item that can offer them detailed information on the chosen route, and it’s easy to read in any lighting.  

It’s compatible with many types of maps, including topographic, marine or road alternatives. This means you can use it for other activities aside from hunting, but if you choose the latter, we recommend you stock up on gear such as a good trail camera to capture your surroundings or a comfortable camo jacket for hunting.

The WAAS-enabled GPS receiver uses the HotFix function to deliver useful information even when you’re in a secluded area, where you would generally have difficulties trying to access your maps.

This device is powered by two AA batteries, which can power it for about 20 hours, long enough for you to finish your trip. Make sure you bring a pair of replacements. It also features waterproof protection, which is excellent for unpredictable environments where unexpected weather conditions may occur.  

Support paperless geocaching by trying this GPS from Garmin and enjoying its benefits.

Pros

This alternative allows you to download geocache straight onto your GPS, which you can then access even without a secure internet connection, so you don’t have to worry that it will let you down when you’re in a secluded area.

Its size makes it an excellent option for travelers who don’t want to burden their backpacks with excessive gear. It will leave room for other essential items, such as a user-friendly monocular for hunting.

The high-sensitivity receiver makes sure that regardless of your geographical position, you have full access to a wide range of maps to determine your track.

Being part of the eTrex series, it can track both GPS and GLONASS satellites. The GLONASS system allows you to lock on to a position approximately 20% faster.

Cons

You have to navigate through various settings to get to some essential functions, which can be annoying to some users.

Buy from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Buying guide

 

In your search for a good handheld GPS for hunting, you need to have a few guidelines to follow. Luckily for you, we’re here to provide exactly that, by delivering a comprehensive guide on which features you should keep an eye out for.

 

Speed and accuracy

When you’re out in the wild, you have no time to waste. This means you need a device that can update the information that it transmits as fast as possible, and you would benefit from choosing a GPS that’s connected to many satellites.

Not only will it give you access to more maps and more geo details, but it may also provide satellite snapshots to help you understand your surroundings even when you have low visibility, and you can’t determine the correct route without an overview.

The reasonable number of satellites that one of the best alternatives available on the market will be able to connect to is usually no more than 12. If you stick to that, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

This isn’t the only factor that influences the speed with which the gadget delivers valuable information. You also need to mull over the efficiency of its software, which might be a difficult assessment to make if you’re not accustomed to technology.

Accessibility

For those among the potential customers less used to operating complex technology, a good GPS is one that allows them to access essential functions without having to navigate through complicated menu settings.

In time, with the help of an instruction manual and with a lot of patience, you’ll be able to learn your way around any device, but you need to start somewhere. Look for the models that are user-friendly and don’t require a lot of experience.

On the other hand, if you’re keen on using modern technology, you may benefit from choosing a device that you can connect with various other gadgets that you already own. Access virtual maps or upload data onto storage that you can view from your smartphone — these are just a few extra functions you can enjoy.

 

Durability

Given that you’re going to be using this model in a high-risk environment, it’s safe to say that you need to make sure it can withstand the severe conditions it may encounter there.

Please make sure that your product is protected against various weather conditions that might be damaging since we all know how electronic devices react to rain.

Durability can also refer to the battery life expectancy of an item, and we recommend that you choose a GPS powered by batteries that you can find at any local hardware store, and you stock up on supplies.

Usually, battery life lasts around 15 to 20 hours, which is fine for a one-day trip, but if you’re planning on staying for more days, you need to have replacements with you in order not to be left directionless.

 

 

Other relevant aspects

The size and the weight of a gadget meant for traveling are extremely crucial, especially for those who don’t want to overburden their backpacks, since they probably have a lot of equipment to carry already.

If you’re going hunting, you need to move freely, so you might benefit from choosing a GPS that can be attached to your wrist or to other pieces of gear that you’re wearing.

 

 

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