Even though handheld GPS device sales have been decreasing over the years, there is no doubt that handheld devices, particularly the best Garmin handheld GPS devices, are important to the active hiker, hunter, outdoorsman, and many other people.
Unlike GPS options on smartphones or GPS-enabled watches, the a Garmin handheld device is made to be durable, shockproof, waterproof, and have a much longer battery life than alternatives.
If you want to know that you will be safe, you want to know what is a reputable handheld GPS device that you can rely on in any condition.
The Top 6 Best Garmin Handheld GPS Reviews
Here are the top Garmin handheld GPS in the market today.
One of the many Garmin options is the eTrex 20X GPS. Compared to the standard eTrex which is a popular consumer device, the 20x has more storage space and a higher resolution, meaning you can store more maps and see them better. The resolution is not as high as the 30X, but the price point is not either, meaning this device gives you more value for the money. The device is lightweight and perfect for geocaching, hiking, and some other outdoor activities.
- Many unique features
- Sturdy construction
- Pre-loaded with basic maps
- Long battery life, AAs
- SD slot
- Not good for first time GPS user
- Extra & specialty maps expensive
- Detailed instructions not included
Another Garmin GPS option is the GPSMAP 64st. This one is more expensive than many of their other models, and if you get the ANT + Bluetooth add-ons, it will be even more. But that’s one of the great things about this device. It also has both GPS and GLONASS, meaning it will get a better reading on where you are, no matter where that is.
This GPS is built for ready usage, as it comes with a year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite imagery and gives you either the US TOPO 1000K maps or TOP Canada, which means you’ll be able to find your way from day one. Like other devices, you can add additional maps, see barometric readings and have a good, long battery life of 16 hours.
- Micro SDslot
- Bluetooth support
- Pre-installed with detailed worldwide basemap and either TOPO 100K or TOPO Canada
- GPS and GLONASS receivers
- Okay battery life
- Large memory
- Must choose between various models; 64, 64s or 64st – the st has the most features and is the most expensive
- Minimalist manual
This is another eTrex model that has slightly fewer features than the 20x listed above, but it could still be the perfect GPS for some people thanks to its value price point for what it is.
The 10 is considered the base model of the 20 and 30 eTrex models, so if you’re looking for a device that has great GPS capabilities without any fluff, this is the model for you. It’s ideal for marking start points, locations, and tracking routes. If this will be your first GPS, it’s a perfect place to start. It has few bells and whistles to confuse you and will still accomplish everything necessary.
- Consumer grade
- Tracks both GPS and GLONASS
- Very affordable
- Durable & water resistant
- Good battery life
- Monochrome, low-resolution screen
- Cannot add maps
- No alarms
The Oregon 600 is another base model in a line of Garmin GPS. It can be upgraded to the 600t if you’re looking for topographic maps, or to the 650/650t if you’d like a camera and/or topographic maps. The base model, however, is a great device that comes in a wide variety of storage capability sizes. It’s great for hiking, but, like many Garmin models, is not as intuitive, so you need to take some time learning the device before using it.
- MicroSD slot
- Customizable interface
- Sunlight readable display
- Small, durable
- Non-intuitive menu setup
- Cannot stop more than one trip
- Confusing download interface
We’ve already shown you the 64st, but if that’s a bit too pricey for you, take a look at the 62st instead. The price point is lower, but the device still provides many great features you’ll want to try out. If you want a camera, you’ll need to upgrade to the 62tc or stc.
This best handheld Garmin GPS model had many problems when it was first released, but firmware updates by Garmin resolved those, so make sure that your device is fully updated before you start using it to avoid those problems. Like the 64st, it comes preloaded with the 100K Topo maps. The accuracy is good for hiking, wandering, and for geocaching, which is a huge part of what this device was built for doing.
- Preloaded with good maps
- Intuitive interface
- Good accuracy
- Good for geocaching
- No bluetooth
- Battery meter not sensitive enough
- Uses a lot of battery power
- Not waterproof
- Does not come with 24K maps
The Garmin 72H is a more basic model that doesn’t include fancy maps but does give you accurate locations to where you are at without any problems. The model also has predicted sunrise, sunset, and moon times, which allows for good prediction of fishing & hunting times, which it also tells you. The screen can be read in the sunlight; it has a decent battery life.
It’s important to know that this unit does not load maps; it simply gives you coordinates and can track distances and can lead you to specific coordinates. This is perfect for some people, but for others, it will not be what they are looking for.
- Waterproof & floats in water
- Bluetooth support
- Affordable value
- Poorly written manual
- Larger & heavier than other Garmin devices
- Doesn’t load maps
Have you found what is the best Garmin handheld GPS device? There are many Garmin options, and you should know that they all come with great tech support if you just call their hotline.
Finding the right device that has a great battery life, is durable, and will keep you on track can be done simply by checking out our Garmin handheld GPS reviews to find the top Garmin handheld GPS. With the right device, you’ll be on track all the time. So stop getting lost, and pick up the best Garmin handheld GPS device available.