When you’re investing as much money as you will be into a quality unit, you want to make sure you’re going to get the most return for that money.
The best marine GPS for the money will have great, reliable features and will last you a long time without needing to invest more into it.
Still, choosing a good marine GPS for the money is not that simple, so this list breaks down seven great options and lets you know what value you are getting for the money spent.
The Top 7 Best Marine GPS’s for the Money
Use this list to choose the best marine GPS for the money, and don’t regret your purchase.
This is one of Garmin’s most affordable options, and it’s still a quality device. If you’re willing to go with the small, 3.5” screen here rather than a larger size, you’ll save even more.
You’ll get quality imaging with this device as it uses CHIRP and has a built-in GPS to track waypoints. This device is not a chartplotter, so you won’t be able to view maps while using it.
- CHIRP Sonar
- Tracks waypoints with internal GPS
- Accurate GPS, speed, and depth tracking
- Not a chartplotter
- Small screen size
- Need to upgrade to 4dv if you want downvu imaging
The Humminbird Helix 5 comes in basic sonar, dv down imaging and si side imaging models. The most affordable is the Helix 5 with sonar, but if you consider down or side imaging to be a necessary investment, those models also give great value for what you get. The basic sonar imaging is great for what it is and is very affordable, so this a great value device if you are content without the down or side imaging.
- Accurate GPS, boat speed, and sonar
- Comes with base maps
- Screen large & viewable in sun
- Only comes with base maps, will need to upgrade
- No down imaging or side imaging
- Included clips & mounting bracket for transducer are low quality
The 78sc comes up on every list, regardless of its cost, because it is a quality device. While you could spend less and get the 78 or 78s, the 78sc has the best features for the money you’ll be into it, and buying the features all together is a better deal than needing to invest in them individually over time. This device is also a two-for-one value in that it can be mounted if you want but can also be used as a handheld device.
- Durable, strong case
- Waterproof to IPX7 standards and can float
- Zoomable maps
- Coastal marine maps included on 78sc
- Long battery life
- Menus are difficult to navigate
- No touchscreen
When it comes to echoMAP chartplotter units, most recommend the 53dv, but the 43dv is a better value. You are only losing specs in screen size and resolution, but not so much that it makes the 43dv less of a GPS device. This device is not NMEA compatible like the 53dv is, but for most people, that compatibility is not needed. It is equipped with CHIRP sonar and accurate speed, depth, and GPS readings.
- Easy to use and install
- High-quality CHIRP sonar
- Pre-installed maps
- Compact size
- As with other Garmin products, need to get online for the full manual
- Not NMEA compatible
- Small 4.3” screen, low resolution
The 441s is the smaller version of the popular 541s Garmin GPSMAP model, and downgrading the size by just an inch saves you $100, giving you more value for your money since all other features of this device are the same as it’s more expensive brother.
This model includes fairly detailed coastal maps, which can save you money as well. Overall, it’s a great value device. If you don’t need maps, save even more and go with the base model, the 421s.
- High-quality internal antenna
- Easy to see display
- Intuitive menu set up
- Accurate speed & depth readings
- Small screen
- Takes time to learn the features
The Echo 551dv is a great, slightly older model from Garmin. The Striker 7, which is very popular recently, is an upgrade to this model, but it doesn’t give you enough new features to be worth the extra cost. The real value is in buying the Echo 551dv. It has downview imaging, color display at a good resolution, a 5 inch screen, and comes with a swivel mount. This is definitely one of the best values for your money.
- Includes easy to install swivel mount
- Good sized, color, clear resolution screen
- Accurate depth, speed, GPS tracking
- User-friendly controls
- Split screen option
- Not the newest model
If you’re willing to sacrifice a lot of features because you’re really looking for a budget device, try this handheld Magellan eXplorist 310 with the fishing hot spots bundle, which allows you to select 3 of 18 different lake maps for free. You can add more maps if you need them. This device does not have many of the features you will want for your boat, but if you’re okay with just being able to find marine hot spots with your GPS, this will do and save you money.
- Easy to read screen, even in sunlight
- 30 minute waterproof feature
- Very lightweight
- Fishing bundle limited to 3 free lake maps; will need to purchase more
- No touch screen; very small screen
- No SD slot
Have you found the best marine GPS for the money you’re willing to spend? Not every single one of these devices is inexpensive, but they do give you the most value for the money spent.
Put your money into a good marine GPS device, and you will be able to use it reliably for years to come. A great GPS is a long-lasting, accurate device, and you can find one of those easily with this list.