Chartplotters from Lowrance – Buying guide, Reviews & Comparison
If you’re looking for the best chartplotter out there, you may already have started to think that the Internet is a little too much for you. Finding the best product is not an easy thing to do, primarily because there are so many options. Because we know how tiring the research process can be, we’ve decided that this paragraph alone should be enough for you to make your decision, in case you don’t have the time to read the entire article. As one of the most popular choices out there, the Lowrance HDS-7 GEN3 seems to be worthy of your consideration as it comes with an improved interface, an internal GPS antenna, and the transducer is included in the deal. Thanks to the dual frequency transducer, you’ll be able to find your catches both in shallow and deep water alike. Plus, the built-in coastal and inland US charts make it a notable option. If this model is no longer in stock, perhaps you should go for the next best choice, the Lowrance Elite-9.
For your consideration, we have compiled a list of the three most acclaimed varieties we’ve come across during our entire research. All of the following have exceptional user ratings, coming from American and international buyers alike. They are affordable, convenient and durable and they offer excellent value for the price.
Our top choices
Lowrance HDS-7 GEN3
If you are truly in the market for something worth the while, perhaps you should consider this model. It’s convenient, user-friendly, and extremely versatile and even boasts an improved interface compared to older versions.
Besides, the touchscreen will enable you to utilize the chartplotter both conveniently and easily. While some argue that the GEN3 might not make the right choice for kayak fishers as it doesn’t come with a waterproof screen, you can however purchase a case or cover that can protect it from the occasional splash.
The pack includes a dual frequency transducer with the help of which you will be able to roam in shallow and deep waters alike. The built-in US coastal and inland charts are great if you want to make sure you are able to find your way back home even at night or if something has happened and you need to return fast.
According to several customers, the HDS-7 GEN3 is easy to set up and utilize even though it has some of the most powerful features in a device in this line. The built-in Wi-Fi enables owners to connect the chartplotter to smartphones or tablets and run the Navionics boating app.Buy from Amazon.com
This product has a high resolution 4.3-inch LED-backlit color display, which allows users to see the image clearly, regardless of their geographical position, the temperature outside or how foggy the weather may be. Because of this, the device is recommended for any kind of use, whether you are an experienced fisher or you have just started your way with it.
The DownScan overlay technology is a nice touch in terms of performance, allowing you to make the most of your time spent fishing. With features like Advanced Signal Processing and an overall excellent transducer and a CHIRP sonar, this model is entirely worthy of your consideration. You can use it to mark fish with ease.
The imaging is accurate, and the map embedded in the operating system includes more than 3,000 lakes and rivers. From Alaska to Bahamas, the Great Lakes and the entire United States, there is no place that the maps of this device will not include, which recommends it for power users who travel a lot and who need their mapping to be clear and accurate.
However, it shouldn’t be used outside of the US as it won’t be of any assistance to you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($875)
Lowrance Elite-5 Ti Touch Combo
If you have been scouring the Internet for a somewhat affordable chartplotter, perhaps the Elite-5 is the right one to bear in mind. It comes with any of the features you might require, including a touchscreen that’s backlit and dependable. Something that needs to be added, however, is that the touchscreen needs to be covered with a case if you plan to use the device for kayak fishing.
The Total Scan transducer is one of the core features that should appeal to you if you are having a hard time telling whether you should invest in this model. It is large compared to other choices, but it manages to do the job of several transducers all in one.
Besides, the unit boasts anything from a built-in GPS antenna to features like StructureScan, DownScan Imaging, and CHIRP. The US maps can be upgraded if you decide that you are no longer satisfied with those that come with the device. In short, the performance of this device is one of its greatest selling points, as is the fact that it comes with an excellent transducer that can allow you to do your angling in any waters.Buy from Amazon.com for ($599)
Lowrance HDS-12 GEN3
If you aren’t focused on the idea of saving money, you can safely check out this alternative. Despite the fact that its price might be somewhat off-putting for several prospective buyers, we believe that it is worth the investment as it can take your angling experience to an entirely different level.
This model boasts all the functionalities you might ever require. It has both a CHIRP/StructureScan sonar and a dual-beam transducer with the help of which you can do your angling in shallow and deep waters with the same excellent results.
Plus, the unit features an internal GPS antenna that will allow you to set waypoints and return to them in complete safety. This way, you’ll be able to rest assured that you will never lose your way even when you’re navigating through unknown waters.
The display is backlit and large enough to accommodate your needs, and the neat thing is that it features an improved interface, a touchscreen functionality, as well as a keypad option. In short, if you’re looking for versatility, the HDS-12 GEN3 Insight is by far the best choice for what you might have in mind.Buy from Amazon.com
Not all anglers can make lavish expenses and purchase chartplotters of which the price ranges from ten to twenty hundred dollars. That’s why we felt compelled to add the Mark-4 to our selection as it’s has most of the features you might need and even comes with a no muss, no fuss interface and design.
The fact that it is considerably more compact and lightweight compared to other choices out there is what makes it one of the top recommended alternatives for kayaks and small boats. Plus, the unit boasts a CHIRP sonar plus DownScan imaging, so there’s really nothing to worry about in terms of performance and versatility.
In addition to all of this, the transom mount and transducer are included in the package, which means that this unit is possibly the best option for beginners who can’t afford spending too much money on a fish finder and chartplotter. The only drawback that might impress some buyers in a negative way is that the display is monochrome. However, when taking the performance of this device into consideration, the monochrome screen can’t be considered a disadvantage per se. Moreover, 4.3 inches seem to be more than enough for most fishermen and women.Buy from Amazon.com for ($303.9)
Lowrance Elite-7 Gold CHIRP
This model is probably the best Lowrance chartplotter, as it comes with pretty much all the features one might ever be looking for. The unit is made with top-notch materials and has been tested and found to be remarkably durable.
The neat thing about this variety is that it is both a chartplotter and a fishfinder. Dual frequency is always an endeavor of people looking to fish both in shallow and in deep, murky waters, and this particular marine electronic has just the thing. Users can opt between the 83kHz and the 200kHz frequencies, according to their own preferences.
Not only is the Lowrance Elite-7 a top of the line product, but it also has an undeniable advantage over other models we’ve consulted: it comes with its own transducer.
What did buyers have to say about this fish finder? Many of the individuals who have chosen it were satisfied with their purchase, so much so that they provided 5-star ratings. Most say it operates well and offers great GPS and mapping.Buy from Amazon.com
Lowrance Elite-5 HDI
Compared to the fish finder we have showcased above, this one is considerably more affordable. Buyers are, however, advised, that this is an older model that has been discontinued by the manufacturer, which is why they are advised to take advantage of the offer while it still is available on a variety of online marketplaces.
Some retailers sell this model for over seven hundred dollars, but Amazon customers can get it at a much friendlier price.
The unit features a 5-inch 480 by 480 color LCD, so you needn’t worry about accurately visualizing your catch in broad daylight and in the middle of the night. The chartplotter comes with a preinstalled basemap, but is compatible with extra Navionics Gold cartography.
As is the case with other products in the same line, the frequency of this one can be customized between 50kHz and 200kHz. The pack includes an easy to use tilt/swivel bracket, a 455/800kHz transducer and the actual chartplotter.
The buyers of this variety state that it works well and that its resolution is better than expected.Buy from Amazon.com
Lowrance Elite-4 HDI
Granted, its screen size and capabilities are a little limited compared to high-end units that are now available on the market. Yet this model is still worth considering, as it has a basemap and works with a wide array of Navionics maps. Furthermore, the chartplotter has its own GPS antenna.
The neat thing about this model is that it allows buyers to utilize the TrackBack features, which gives them the opportunity to consult the recorded sonar history, from structure to fish targets and more.
The screen of this variety measures 4.3 inches and consists of a super-bright LCD display. The Lowrance Elite-4 comes with Hybrid Imaging, which is known for combining the Broadband Sounder with DownScan Imaging Technology.
The pack contains the actual chartplotter, a tilt swivel bracket, a sun cover, a user manual, a power cable, and a mounting bracket.Buy from Amazon.com
If you want to buy the best chartplotter from Lowrance but find it difficult to choose one between the countless alternatives that are now available on the market, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a short buying guide to assists you in correlating your needs and requirements to the features of the device you might be looking for. Here’s what you should know.
It goes without saying that the best fish finders are the ones with the help of which you can actually see what is going on under the boat. If your budget allows it, pick a chartplotter that comes with the largest and brightest display as possible. A backlit screen is amazing when the sun is up in the sky and at nighttime, while a large enough display will allow to better interpret the readings.
Number of maps
Some high-end models come with preloaded maps of the entire earth. On the other hand, cheaper units may require you to buy extra maps, as they only feature a limited number.
Since some manufacturers leave out this detail from their product descriptions, look for info regarding battery life in some consumer reviews.
Lowrance Elite-9 with no transducer
If spending over two thousand dollars on a chartplotter is not a good idea, perhaps you might want to consider the Elite-9. It’s been designed with the requirements of serious fishermen and women in mind, which means that it can help you get the most out of angling. On the one hand, it’s both a fish finder and a chartplotter, but there’s a catch.
In order to utilize this particular product, you will have to either purchase the transducer separately or have one from a prior Lowrance product. In other words, the package does not include the transducer and everyone knows that it’s the essential part of every fish finder or chartplotter.
Nonetheless, the user-friendly interface of this model and the fact that the display is large enough for you to visualize your potential catches and a plethora of details pertaining to the underwater environment are two of the factors you ought to give some thought to. Otherwise said, if you already own the transducer, there’s nothing stopping you from selecting this alternative. It even comes with a protective cover with the help of which you can prolong the life of the device.