Best Hunting GPS Reviewed & Rated for Quality
A handheld hunting GPS device falls into the category of something you might not need, until you really, really need it. Ultimately a handheld GPS will be judged on its ability to add value to the hunting experience. And hunters are notoriously picky. After all, part of the appeal of hunting is getting away for a screen and spending long hours in the peaceful outdoors and waiting patiently for dinner. But let’s be honest with ourselves about being safe, and being smart. When you go out on any hunting trip, especially one in an area that you’re not entirely familiar with, it’s always a great idea to bring along a handheld GPS for hunting. Here are the top models reviewed for your consideration.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Preloaded base map WAAS-enabled
GPS receiver for high-sensitivity HotFix satellite prediction and more.
- GARMIN Etrex 20
- GARMIN GPSMAP 64
- GARMIN GPSMAP 62
- GARMIN Oregon 600
- GARMIN GPSMAP 60CS
- MAGELLAN EXPLORINS 350
- Garmin Etrex 30x
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
7 Best Hunting GPS Devices
1. GARMIN Etrex 20
Preloaded base map WAAS-enabled
GPS receiver for high-sensitivity HotFix satellite prediction and more.
One of the better GPS trackers on the market, that is also perfect for hunting, is definitely the Garmin Etrex 20 GPS. Featuring a number of upgrades, compared to other models, the Etrex 20 has an upgraded display, can load more maps and has a number of amazing features including a preloaded base map and HotFix satellite prediction. If you are looking for a stable and durable device that can keep track of where you are located, the Ertex 20 is a perfect choice.Read more
An affordable option, the GPS tracker has almost 4 GB memory and a microSD slot for additional memory, where you can store a number of maps. Furthermore, it supports a huge variety of map version, including the HuntView, TOPO 24K, City Navigator NT, BlueChart g2, and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. This makes the item ideal for hunters, who'd like to have a sense of safety and security while doing any wilderness activity.
2.2-inch 240x320 pixels 65K Display in color
3.7GB of Internal Memory
Support of a huge map variety
Preloaded Worldwide BaseMap
High-Sensitivity WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver
HotFix Satellite Prediction and support of GLONASS
If you are looking for the best lightweight GPS on the market, you should definitely go for the Garmin eTrex 20x. While its small size impacts its accuracy, the device should be perfect for your hunting trips. And while the interface does require some getting used to, the BaseCamp software integrated on the device adds a whole another level of experience to your hunting.
2. GARMIN GPSMAP 64
16 hours battery lifetime
Precise even in extreme weather conditions
Lack of support for Safari and Firefox
The Garmin GPSMAP 64st provides you with boasted wireless connectivity and a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that works extremely well with both the Russian GLONASS and the U.S. GPS systems so you are able to navigate to your prey with high accuracy. Perfect for the hunting season, the GPSMAP 64st is one of the best hunting GPS devices on the market, packing a number of great features.Read more
A 2.6-inch, 240x160 pixels, 65K Display in color that is Sunlight-Readable
Dual Traditional Double-A Battery System
Smart Notifications-ready, compatible with a number of optional ANT+ Sensors
Wireless Data Upload
Preloaded with a number of TOPO 100K Mapping, including Full Coverage of the US
Water-Resistance Rating of IPX7
A weight of 9.2 Ounces
Position Accuracy of 3 Meters
High-Sensitivity Quad Helix Antenna
The Garmin GPSMAP 64st is a great hunting companion for those who would like for their GPS to find them no matter where they are and no matter of the weather conditions they are in. Packing with a number of amazing features, the GPSMAP 64st provides its users with new additions, such as wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, which allow for the better handling of your mapping. While some MAC users might experience some software problems, as they'd be required to install a plug-in for the downloading of new maps via Safari or Firefox, the GPSMAP 64st nonetheless works perfectly even out of the box, with its pre-installed TOPO maps.
3. GARMIN GPSMAP 62
Pre-packed with a worldwide base map
BirdsEye satellite imagery
Transflective display technology
20 hours of battery life
Doesn't support SD cards
Coming with a worldwide base map that has shaded relief right out of the box, the Garmin GPSMAP 62 is a great hunting device that also provides you with exciting new features, such as photo navigation, which you can load from the official Garmin website. Furthermore, on top of the base map, you will be able to freely purchase new maps, including hunting ones on the aforementioned website for a fairly affordable price and then load them up on your device. The Garmin GPSMAP 62 comes packed with a number of features.Read more
6.3 by 1.4 by 2.4 Inches of Size
Weights about 9.3 Ounces
Works with Double-A Batteries
Features a 2.6-Inch Transreflective 65K Display in Color
Built-In Worldwide Map with Shaded Relief
Supports BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
The Garmin GPSMAP 62 is one of the best hunting GPS systems to ever come out. Even though the device lacks an SD card extension slot, its onboard storage should be good enough for your hunting maps and any additional one you would like to purchase. Purchasing those maps is easy and simple through the Garmin website and loading them on your device is even more simple. Furthermore, with over 20 hours of battery life, you will be able to fully enjoy your hunting trip, without having to worry about the batteries. The device is able to locate you with 10 meters of accuracy and is a perfect handheld for the average hunting enthusiast.
4. GARMIN Oregon 600
Sleek and modern design
Fast signal-picking abilities with both GPS and GLONASS
Inability to sustain cold temperatures
A world-class handheld GPS, the Garmin Oregon 600 is the perfect hunting GPS device you could own. Containing all the features anyone would need from a tracking companion, the Oregon 600 certainly takes it to the next level.Read more
Device Size: 4.5 by 1.3 by 2.4 inches
Display Size: 3 Inches
Device Weight: 7.4 Ounces
Sunlight-Ready Display with Touch Screen Technology
Dual-Band GPS/GLONASS Satellite Tracking
A Number of Sensors, including 3-axis Compass, Accelerometer, Barometric Altimeter
ANT or Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Double-A 2 Battery System
The Garmin Oregon 600 is the perfect high-tech handheld GPS tracker for the hunting enthusiast. While adventurers do find its inability to sustain cold temperatures quite worrying, this should not be the case for the hunter community. Furthermore, while the price of the device is quite steep, the handheld GPS Oregon 600 provides you with amazing value for the money, packing almost every feature a hunter would need from their GPS device. With great battery life, amazing display and being extremely easy to use, the Garmin Oregon 600 also provides its users with access to amazing mapping on the official Garmin website, which can truly help you out on your hunting trips.
5. GARMIN GPSMAP 60CS
Over 20 hours of battery life
56 MB internal memory
Most handheld GPS manufacturers usually don't target their devices directly to hunting enthusiasts. That's why, when searching for the perfect hunter GPS, most hunters tend to check out the best hiking ones. And if you check out the Garmin GPSMAP 60CS Water Resistant Hiking GPS, you would know why this is the case. Providing you with reliable tracking and a number of amazing trail maps, as well as hunting maps, available through the Garmin store, the GPSMAP 60CS includes a number of great features that provide for a decent handheld GPS device at a fairly reasonable price.Read more
All-Purpose 12-Parallel-Channel GPS+WAAS Receiver
Great Transreflective TFT Display, 256-color, 2.6-inch
56 MB of internal Memory
20-hour battery Life on a 2 AA Batteries
The Garmin GPSMAP 60CS is an extremely decent handheld GPS device. Even though it has been on the market for quite some time, it has managed to age extremely well, perfect for those who would like a device that has proven its reliability over the years. Furthermore, coming packed with all of the features you would need from a hunter GPS, the GPSMAP 60CS also has amazing user-generated hunting maps available for download through the Garmin store and while you are not hunting, it provides you with amazing fun geocaching games and activities you can check out. What's more the device is highly waterproof, has long battery life and its display is amazing enough so you can see it under direct sunlight or in the dark, making the Garmin GPSMAP 60CS truly an outstanding and reliable handheld GPS perfect for hunters and enthusiasts.
6. MAGELLAN EXPLORINS 350
Features Hunt specific waypoint icons, hunting boundary information and more
Trip planning options
2 GB internal memory
Slower satellite information acquisition
One of the best devices in the Magellan GPS exploration family, the Magellan eXplorist 350H Handheld GPS comes packed with amazing features that make it one of the greatest hunting GPS devices. Aimed at delivering a great experience for the hunter, the 350H is truly a device that will help you out on your hunting journey.Read more
Topographic Map contour layout
Boundary Alerts for Hunting Zones
2 GB Built-In Storage
500 MB User Available Storage
18 Hours of Battery Life
Color Transmissive QVGA Display
GPS Accuracy of 3-5 Meters
The Magellan eXplorist 350H is one of those rare handheld GPS devices that is specially designed for the hunter. While it comes packed with some amazing features that can help you out on your hunting trips, the device nonetheless has its drawbacks. For example, having topographic maps and hunt-specific waypoints is great, but the inability to use those features to the full extent might irritate some users. The device is pretty accurate when doing its GPS tracking and location duties and with an extremely easy to use user interface provides you with a great overall experience. The Magellan eXplorist 350H definitely has some setbacks, despite being an amazing handheld GPS device aimed at hunters, but especially having in mind its extremely low and affordable price, it is a device that is worth buying.
7. Garmin Etrex 30x
Wireless Send Capability
Built-in Barometric Altimeter
Have To Pay For Maps
The Etrex 30x as you'd imagine is 10 better than the 20x. Simple right, well "Spinal Tap" references aside the 30x does offer some upgrades that could be what you need. The 20x still keeps the top spot because it's a highly functional GPS with lots of features and add-ons, but if you want to "go one louder" well then the 30x has more bells and whistles for the hunter who wants to take his game to the next level.Read more
Built In Electric Compass
a pretty cool feature we must say. Garmin calls it a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass. Okay. But what that means is that there are cool electronics in the 30x that compensate for acceleration and your orientation to the ground so you always know will certainty which direction you're heading. It doesn't seem like such a big deal but tries getting a good reading on a handheld compass when you're bouncing down a steep slope.
Wireless Data Transfer
Now, this might just be worth the uptick in price. If you're a geocacher or if you're sending some sweet hunting coordinates to a buddy well then this allows you to wirelessly send that info with the push of a button. Of course, your buddy has to have a 'similar device' which means another Garmin. We here are Gear Hunt aren't fans of proprietary technology but this is a pretty cool feature.
Cost and Value
What does it cost to go 10 higher? Not too much. And for some of the bells and whistles on this baby, it might just be worth the extra scratch. And for geocachers and lone wolves the wireless tech might be a huge help, and not that you'd ever get lost, or hike/hunt alone (because that'd be dumb) but if you get separated from your team the wireless send might just get you out of a jam.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It is important that your device can show the most accurate position for a number of reasons, and the best way to do this is to connect to as many satellites as possible. Your hunting GPS handheld device is for keeping track of your location and finding your way around different hunting zones. With such a device by your side, you will be able to fully enjoy your trip, without the worry that you might get lost in an unknown area. Furthermore, you will be using your device to pinpoint important locations and waypoints on your trip and some devices will also help you plan out your trip and get familiarized with the area you will be hunting in beforehand. Also, you will be using your hunter GPS to be certain that you are within the legal hunting boundaries of an area.
Each of our products should last a minimum of 16 hours of constant use. That seems like a lot of time and it is unless you’re lost. And while we don’t want to load you down it might be worth considering carrying extra batteries or if you’ve got the room a solar charger. There are some high range products that advertise up to 100 hours of use time but none of them made our list. Look for something that best meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Today's GPS devices can include a ton of cool extras, and some of those you may actually need and use. Just keep in mind that you also have to pay for those extras, so decide whether you'll actually be using them. Here are some features that you should definitely look for:
Decent Backlit Screen with Great Direct Sunlight Visibility
A Battery Life of 15+ Hours
Accuracy About 10 Meters
Decent Storage Space to Allow You To Upload Hunting Maps
Availability and Support of Hunting Maps
Availability and Support of Topographical Maps
Ease of Use with One Hand
General Ease of Use
Decent Waterproof Rating
Additional Features, such as Electronic Compass and Barometer
Needed Mapping accuracy and Battery Life
Ease of Use
Not everyone is a navigation specialist. GPS is supposed to make our lives easier and safe in areas that we are not familiar with, so it's important that you can easily use it as well. If you are new to using these, look for something a little more basic and easy to use functions. If you are a true adventurer and enjoy exploring, there are some models that offer amazing features, but may be more difficult to understand. Look for something that matches your skill level so you can easily use it when needed the most.
The majority of the models on our list have some kind of weather protection feature considering that they were designed for hunting and other outdoor activities. However, unless you’re dealing with a device that is designed specifically to go underwater, don’t put it underwater! Most of these products should have wristbands included. Use them. But a bit of rain shouldn’t mean the end of your GPS, but it’s a handheld electronic device, don’t go out of your way to find out just how waterproof, waterproof really means. We know some of you would do that, but don’t do that.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A Hunting GPS handheld device is considered to be any portable GPS product that is suitable for hunting tips and experiences. Whether the product would be solely aimed at the hunting market or will be a more general device marketed for both hiking and survival, a hunting GPS is a handheld tracking device that is able to accurately keep track of your location and give you further updates needed on your hunting trip.
Most hunters require a hunting GPS handheld device in order to be able to freely roam in the hunting areas, without having to worry about keeping track of their position. Furthermore, such a device would greatly improve your ability to be in the legal hunting zones and will give you further information about the hunting area of your choice, which you can use to analyze in order to get the best pray. Also, some hunting GPS devices provide you with amazing features that allow hunters to communicate about different areas and hunting paths.
Hunting GPS devices can greatly increase your hunting experiences, allowing you to fully enjoy the nature surrounding you and focus on your pray. With a hunting GPS by your side, you won’t need to constantly check the maps or keep track of the path you have taken or how to get back to your hunting hut, as the GPS will keep track of this for you. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry whether or not you are within the legal hunting boundaries, as your GPS companion will be able to easily remind you when you are getting close to them.
Other Factors to Consider
The handheld GPS market is a high niche market, thus it comes as no surprise that there are only a few brands that produce these tracking devices. Specializing in GPS tracking technologies these brands have proven to be the most reliable and consistent in providing customers with continuous innovation in the industry. When it comes to hunting GPS brands also provide specialized solutions and devices, helping hunting enthusiasts know where they are located at all times and keep within legal hunting boundaries. Here are the two main best hunting GPS brands.
When it comes to hunting activities, Garmin has specialized teams that help turn their outdoor and sports-related handheld GPS devices into a truly helpful tool for the hunter. They do so with specialized software and mapping, which is usually accessible on their devices via their official website. Garmin users that are also hunting enthusiasts also have built a reliable community that further provides Garmin devices with new and exciting GPS solutions for the hunter via the use of software and mapping. The hunter community builds around the Garmin GPS devices also help it become one of the best hunting GPS brands in the industry.
What’s great about Magellan Navigation is the fact that they invest in new technologies with confidence. For example, their devices were one of the first ones to incorporate the Russian GLONASS system. Furthermore, the company delivers a wide range of handheld products each focused in a specialized niche area. Magellan is also considered to be one of the best hunting GPS brands providing people with specialized handheld devices strictly for the hunting enthusiasts.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Will A handheld GPS keep track of where I’ve been as well as where I’m going?
If it doesn’t you should strongly consider whether or not you should buy that particular product. In FAQ terminology its the difference between tracks and routes. A track is a way to remember where you’ve been. Kinda like a running app, you might have on your phone. It simply marks the time and distance and exact location of where you’ve BEEN. A route is going to be perhaps more valuable because it’s going to tell you where you’re going. The best products are going to allow you to create your own route by setting waypoints as close together or as far apart as you’re comfortable making them. Waypoints are points that you set on a map and your GPS will mark your progress towards each successive waypoint. Any handheld GPS device is going to do both for you.
q: How do I get good reception?
Warning: Technical answer ahead! Every GPS device needs to be able to lock onto three separate satellites to pinpoint your exact position. It’s called triangulation and it’s been the foundation of navigation since… navigation! The problem is, of course, is that if you’re in a holler, sometimes a big old mountain is right smack dab between your GPS and a satellite so, it can’t do its work. So follow handheld GPS Rule #1 if you really need to get a lock on where you are, head to high ground. Actually heading to high ground (the only exception being during a lightning storm) seems to us to be a good life hack in general.
q: Am I going to need to Update my handheld GPS?
In theory no, because the world is fairly immutable (at least in terms of our itsy-bitsy moments of time on the blue marble) and your device is going to come with a world map included. But just for the sake of knowing whether the mountaintop you’re heading towards has been removed or if you’re straying into private or public lands where hunting is verboten you need to do yourself and the world the courtesy of keeping your maps updated. Problem is of course that this is generally going to cost you somewhere between 50 and 100 bucks to get detailed topographical maps. Also, there are all kinds of cool add-ins if you’re interested in really tricking out your ride (in handheld GPS terms).
q: What will you be using your hunting GPS handheld device for?
Most notably, you will be using your hunting GPS handheld device for keeping track of your location and finding your way around different hunting zones. With such a device by your side, you will be able to fully enjoy your trip, without the worry that you might get lost in an unknown area. Furthermore, you will be using your device to pinpoint important locations and waypoints on your trip and some devices will also help you plan out your trip and get familiarized with the area you will be hunting in beforehand. Also, you will be using your hunter GPS to be certain that you are within the legal hunting boundaries of an area.