If you’re a backpacker and want to know which GPS is the best for your needs, this blog post is right up your alley. We’ve compiled 5 of the most affordable options on the market. There are many different types of GPS’s out there, so we narrowed it down to those that are perfect for backpacking. The best way to find the right GPS for backpacking is by considering your needs. This article will provide you with a list of the top 5 GPS devices that are perfect for backpackers, which will make your decision easier.
Garmin InReach Mini
Claimed Weight: 3.5oz
Battery Life: 50 hours
The Garmin InReach Mini is a compact satellite communicator for off-grid contact with family and friends. The InReach Mini allows two-way messaging, so you can post what’s new and communicate through SOS alerts. Your location will be tracked on the Global Iridium Satellite Network that goes beyond cell phone range, and GPS tracking lets your loved ones know where you are anytime. Impact-resistant housing keeps the device safe from water to IPX7 standards, while recharging gives up to 90 hours of life in default mode. Quick-connect harnesses make it easy to sling the device over your shoulder or stash it in a pack for quick access and use in one hand even while skiing!
Garmin inReach Explorer+
Claimed Weight: 7.5oz
Battery Life: 100 hours
The Garmin inReach is the ultimate communications device for anyone going off the grid. With an SOS button that sends your location information to search and rescue, you can rest assured that help will be coming if you get into a life-threatening situation. Sharing your location online with family and friends also means even they know where to find you—assuming they’re still awake! The built-in compass and altimeter are perfect for navigating treacherous terrain without ever pulling out a map. It’s easy to pair the inReach with any Earthmate mobile app on your smartphone or tablet, so directions, weather forecasting, text messages, and more are only one screen touch away any time of day or night.
Garmin Montana 750i
Battery Life: 330 hours
The Garmin Montana is an invaluable tool in the backcountry. It features a touchscreen, camera, and communication options designed for your most rugged adventures to date. Along with topo maps that show natural features such as waterways and roads, you have access to the onboard mapping of every country in the world (including Alaska). The Montana has External storage of up to 32 gigabytes which can be manually uploaded or synced wirelessly from your computer for added warmth should you need it. When accurate reception isn’t available when combined with GPS and GLONASS technology, this unit will get you back home safely and soundly despite shadows shrouding the trail ahead or long stretches without cellular coverage.
Garmin GPS MAP 66i
Claimed Weight: 8.5oz
Battery Life: 200 hours
With the built-in tracker, every venture beyond a section of wilderness can be documented. In emergencies, the SOS alerts and phone connection let you share your location with GEOS 24/7 response team members. Utilizing GPS satellite navigation systems, this product supports multiple GNSS for reliable locating at all times. With preloaded maps, get detailed views of geography and terrain along your route. Built-in sensors allow you to pinpoint exactly where you are on the map; think altitude, barometric pressure & atmospheric pressure/temperature/humidity! It pairs flawlessly with your smart device to track things like changes in weather conditions or provide geocaching coordinates.
Garmin Montana 680t GPS
Claimed Weight: 10.2 oz
Battery Life: 22 hours
The Garmin Montana 680t GPS (preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps included) is the perfect hiking companion for backwoods exploration, whether you’re an experienced hiker with a sense of direction or are simply looking. To map out your new route on foot as you go! With the ability to track both GPS and GLONASS satellites, this 4″ dual-orientation touchscreen display will show detailed information about your surroundings in beautiful color and clarity. A digital camera’s geocaching options offer something fun for digital photographers, too – it also won’t hurt that preloading TOPO U.S. 100K map has already given you a head start when it comes to being well versed in local flora and fauna!
Some of these links are affiliate links, which means we get a small percentage if you purchase an item from that link. Which we use to support our work.