Whether it is the deep backcountry roads or out in the open waters, it is crucial to navigating properly for reaching the destination on time. Finding routes, recording of vital navigational data like altitude, barometric data, etc. or determination of the correct geocache is of utmost importance.
All of these can be easily carried out through smartphones these days due to the availability of navigation apps. But these devices are not at all reliable as their antennas are not strong enough to receive GPS satellite signals in remote areas.
For efficiency and reliability, it is best to opt for a dedicated handheld GPS device that is made for the navigational job. These devices are equipped with modern features and packed with state of the art technology that makes tasks like planning a trip, searching for the best possible route a walk in the park.
Top 3 Garmin GPS Systems for Hiking
Garmin Montana 650 Hiking GPS
The Garmin Montana 650 is the ideal handheld GPS device for sailing, hiking or for hunting expeditions. The device is equipped with a 4-inch color capacitive touchscreen display. The dual orientation enabled display allows both landscape and portrait viewing to the user.
The onboard 5-megapixel camera allows the hiker to take geo-tagged pictures of the terrain.
Features at a Glance
The device is equipped with 4″ colored capacitive touchscreen that provides excellent sunlight readability. The screen is very responsive and is capable of displaying images and maps in high resolution.
The user-friendly interface coupled with an intelligent positioning of the basic menu options makes this device easy enough to use.
- Inbuilt camera
The onboard 5-megapixel camera enables the user to take geotagged images of the locations they are conquering. Geotagging an image makes it possible to navigate to the same exact spot on the next backpacking trip.
- Downloadable content
Addition of topographic maps on the device is a breeze. A user can simply download the 24K TOPO U.S. maps on the instrument, and he is all set to hit the road. For seamless navigation on the open waters, the BlueChart® g2 cards are ideal for smooth sailing.
- Wirelessly Connectivity
The in-built Wi-Fi transceiver allows wireless sharing of navigational data that includes waypoints, routes, tracks, and geocaches with fellow hikers using.
- Sunlight readability
- GLONASS support
- User-friendly interface
- Enhanced battery life
- 5 MP digital camera with autofocus & automatic geotagging
- Hard to use with gloves on
Garmin eTrex 30x Handheld GPS Navigator
The eTrex 30x is the upgraded version of the popular eTrex 30 series of handheld GPS devices from Garmin. The device has updated hardware that includes an enhanced display capable of reproducing images and screen in higher resolutions. The internal memory of the device is also updated to improve the storage capacity of the device.
Features at a glance
- Improved display
The device features a 2.2” 65K color touchscreen that provides enhanced sunlight readability and increased resolution of 240 x 320 pixels.
- Internal storage
The GPS device is equipped with 3.7 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for storing massive amounts of navigational data.
- Improved Sensors
The eTrex 30x is equipped with barometric altimeter and a 3-axis electronic compass with enhanced tilt compensation.
- Wireless connectivity
Navigational data such as waypoints, tracks, alternative routes, and geocaches can be shared with other devices wirelessly via Wi-Fi.
- High-resolution display with enhanced sunlight readability
- Upgraded internal memory
- 2-inch 65K color touchscreen display
- 3-axis tilt compensated compass with barometric altimeter
- Side buttons for immersive operation
- Enhanced battery life
- Lightweight construction
- Supports GLONASS
- Overall design element for the interface could have been better
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
Even though the trend of including a buttoned interface in an electronic device is long gone, the GPSMAP 64s from Garmin is an exception. The GPSMAP series from Garmin is a reliable device regarding accuracy, price and firmware enhancements.
The GPSMAP 64s is the upgraded version of its predecessor the GPSMAP 64. The 64s allows wireless synchronization of navigational data to mobile devices.
Features at a glance
2.6″ color display with enhanced sunlight readability
8GB of internal memory
- Multiple power options
The Device can be powered by only putting two AA size traditional batteries or by inserting the Ni-Mh battery pack that can be recharged while it is still inside the instrument.
- Smart and customized notification
The device is capable of pairing with ANT+ sensors and receiving quick notifications for heartbeat rate, ambient temperature monitoring in real-time, etc.
- Uploading data
Go wireless! Users can upload their precious navigational data to the cloud via Garmin Connect. The data can be accessed from smartphones and personal computers for reference and analysis.
- Powerful reception
The Garmin GPSMAP 64s is equipped with a sensitive transceiver that is compatible with both GPS and GLONASS networks. The device is capable of receiving satellite signals in the most remote areas and thickly covered woods due to the integration of the quick helix antenna in its hardware package.
- Durable construction
- GLONASS network support
- Buttoned interface for ease of operation
- Sleek & rugged construction
- Precision positioning & efficient performance
- Quad Helix Antenna for impressive reception of satellite signal
The Garmin GPSMAP 64st is the winner among the lot both regarding performance and reliability, the most important attributes to look for in a navigation device. The “s” included in the name indicates that the instrument is capable of pairing itself with mobile devices.
Easy synchronization of navigational data is crucial for storing important routes and waypoint for future reference. Moreover, the buttoned interface of the device means that the user can easily navigate through the options of the device without taking off his gloves.
If extra weight and a buttoned interface don’t bother you that much, then this device is the best GPS device from the house of Garmin.