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Best Hunting GPS Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Oct 15, 2019

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

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Garmin InReach Explorer+
96.8/100 our score
Accuracy
98
Battery Life
95
Features
96
Ease of Use
98
Weather Resistance
97
Garmin InReach Explorer+
Why is it better?

Box comes with GPS, charging cable and car charger

Satellite communicator and GPS navigator already installed

Expansive connection

Can be paired with a mobile device

Emergency 2-way GEOS response

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Garmin InReach Explorer+
Test Winner: Garmin InReach Explorer+
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
8500
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
12
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Krystal Polonia
By Krystal Polonia:

We know how important it is to have a GPS while hunting in remote areas, which is why we have revised our guide to bring you a new set of handheld GPS’s that offer the technology and features that you need to have the very best on the market. Furthermore, we have answered a few additional questions to ensure you find exactly what you need right here with us.

Sorting Options
Accuracy Battery Life Features Ease of Use Weather Resistance By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Accuracy
98 %
Battery Life
95 %
Features
96 %
Ease of Use
98 %
Weather Resistance
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$399.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Accuracy
98 %
Battery Life
93 %
Features
97 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Weather Resistance
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$212.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Accuracy
96 %
Battery Life
95 %
Features
93 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Weather Resistance
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$199.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Accuracy
97 %
Battery Life
94 %
Features
92 %
Ease of Use
94 %
Weather Resistance
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$325.10
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Accuracy
97 %
Battery Life
95 %
Features
89 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Weather Resistance
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$449.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.2
Accuracy
90 %
Battery Life
94 %
Features
88 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Weather Resistance
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$138.64
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Accuracy
93 %
Battery Life
90 %
Features
85 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Weather Resistance
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (22.11.19)
Amazon Link
$195.93

7 Best Hunting GPS Devices

1. Garmin InReach Explorer+

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Garmin InReach Explorer+
Amazon Link
Accuracy
98
Battery Life
95
Features
96
Ease of Use
98
Weather Resistance
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$399.99
Pros:

Box comes with GPS, charging cable and car charger

Satellite communicator and GPS navigator already installed

Expansive connection

Can be paired with a mobile device

Emergency 2-way GEOS response

Cons:

Customers mentioned customer service was lacking

The app tends to have continuous issues

As one of the best hunting GPS’s on the market, the Garmin InReach Explorer+ brings forth everything you need to perfect your next hunting trip. Featuring a multitude of different characteristics this GPS comes with its very own charging cable, a 2200 mAh power bank, and a wall and car USB Charging adapter to ensure you always have connectivity right where you need it.

Worldwide GPS Coverage + Preloaded TOPO Maps
When it comes to navigation having exceptional coverage is key. To provide the very best connection and option on the market this handheld GPS comes with built-in worldwide coverage. The coverage works great due to having any ability to connect anywhere there is a satellite connection available. Furthermore, there is a multitude of preloaded TOPO maps that can be used even without cell service.

100% Messaging Connection
Thanks to having an Iridium satellite network. A network that allows you to 100% message other users even during shaky satellite. This specific network guarantees you will be able to remain in contact with your loved ones anywhere in the world. Therefore, not only will you be getting excellent GPS coverage, but you will be able to message anyone at anything anywhere you are. This will be extremely useful for those times you spend a large amount of time outdoors.

Cost & Value
As for the cost and value, this handheld GPS is a bit on the pricier end, but it is well worth the cost. This is mainly due to how many features and the product you are getting. Furthermore, let’s not forget you have built-in advanced technology that allows you to communicate worldwide without the need for cell service.

2. GARMIN GPSMAP 64

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
GARMIN GPSMAP 64
Amazon Link
Accuracy
98
Battery Life
93
Features
97
Ease of Use
93
Weather Resistance
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$212.99
Pros:

Amazing accuracy

16 hours battery lifetime

Precise even in extreme weather conditions

Cons:

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.

Good for any Conditions
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. So those of you who enjoy trudging out in those snowstorms can do so with more confidence.

Features
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.

Coost & Value
The ability to stay connected no matter what the weather is one of great value. For those who enjoy the thrill, you can do so with confidence after purchasing one of these.

3. goTele GPS Tracker

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
goTele GPS Tracker
Amazon Link
Accuracy
96
Battery Life
95
Features
93
Ease of Use
95
Weather Resistance
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.99
Pros:

Waterproof

Shockproof

Works without the need for cell connection

Easy to work with

Comes with 2 GPS trackers

Multifunctional and versatile

Cons:

Customers have noted if the two GPS’s aren’t in the same area, they will not function properly

Once you begin considering going further away for hunting it’s time to dive into finding a good GPS that will get the job done. While doing your research consider something like this! The goTele GPS Tracker is quite different due to how versatile and useful for multiple occasions it can be. Featuring a duo pack, this tracker is as easy as putting it in your pocket and turning it on

Multiple Tracking
Not only does this GPS track you and share where you are but it allows you to track Geo-fence, always have access to real-life tracking, has off-line maps, can be used to message others without having any viable signal, and it's waterproof. Having all these features allows you to feel comfortable while having it on you knowing you will always be able to get a hold of exactly where you are.

No Network Required
One of the best characteristics this specific tracker has, the ability to function without the need of any network connection. While most trackers will need some type of connection to help them function this one does not. You can manage and work all functions by simply having the tracker and its app on you.

Cost and Value
For the cost and value of his product, this one is priced quite fairly, as it sits in the mid-range price point area. Furthermore, you are getting a quality product that is durable, waterproof and shockproof. All qualities you want to have when you’re in the middle of nowhere needing to keep track of where you are.

4. GARMIN Oregon 600

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
GARMIN Oregon 600
Amazon Link
Accuracy
97
Battery Life
94
Features
92
Ease of Use
94
Weather Resistance
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$325.10
Pros:

Huge touchscreen

Sleek and modern design

Fast signal-picking abilities with both GPS and GLONASS

Cons:

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.

All the Best
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.

Something to Consider
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.

Cost&Value
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.

5. GARMIN GPSMAP 60CS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
GARMIN GPSMAP 60CS
Amazon Link
Accuracy
97
Battery Life
95
Features
89
Ease of Use
90
Weather Resistance
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$449.00
Pros:

Super accurate

Extremely water-resistant

Over 20 hours of battery life

Cons:

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.

More than a Hunting Tool
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.

Features
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.

Cost&Value
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.

6. MAGELLAN EXPLORINS 350

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.2
MAGELLAN EXPLORINS 350
Amazon Link
Accuracy
90
Battery Life
94
Features
88
Ease of Use
90
Weather Resistance
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$138.64
Pros:

Features Hunt specific waypoint icons, hunting boundary information and more

Trip planning options

2 GB internal memory

Affordable

Cons:

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.

The Good With the Bad
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.

Made for Hunters
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.

Cost&Value
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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Garmin Etrex 30x
Amazon Link
Accuracy
93
Battery Life
90
Features
85
Ease of Use
88
Weather Resistance
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$195.93
Pros:

Wireless Send Capability

Built-in Compass

Built-in Barometric Altimeter

Upgraded Display

Cons:

Have To Pay For Maps

Old Technology

The Etrex 30x as you'd imagine is 10 better than the 20x. Simple right, well "Spinal Tap" references aside from 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.

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

Accuracy

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.

Battery Life

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.

Features

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 might be more difficult to understand. Look for something that matches your skill level so you can easily use it when needed the most.

Weather Resistance

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

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expert tips icon
How Can A Hand-Held GPS Help?

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.

Take Advantage Of Your Device!

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.

Spend More Time Enjoying The Outdoors!

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.

Cleaning your Device

Just like any other electronic, you want to keep it clean to get the best connection out of it. What this means is you want to make sure you are removing as much dust and dirt from it as possible. If you can you want to keep it free of dust and water unless it is waterproof and dustproof. Use alcohol to keep it clean and free of any elements as often as you can.

Other Factors to Consider

Brand

The handheld GPS market is a highly 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.

GARMIN
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.

MAGELLAN NAVIGATION
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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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?

a:

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.

q: Will my GPS work even I am deep in the woods?

a:

While having a handheld GPS will ensure you know where you are, and some do come with enough coverage that you have signal even in the most remote area, some will not. Therefore, if you will be hunting deep in the woods or the area is extremely remote, you want to make sure your GPS comes with the ability to do just that. You want to make sure you test out your GPS before making the grand trip of diving into the unknown without having the coverage you need.

Sources

  1. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, Nature Site
  2. John Lewis, Geospatial World, Tech Blog