Best Handheld GPS Units in Reviews

Even though they may not replace the old-fashioned compass and map, handheld GPS systems have exponentially grown. They are now the best tools to bring with you on all kinds of adventures, including hunting, biking, golfing, geocaching, boating, and so on. Depending on the type of adventure you want to get involved in, there are different aspects that you should consider before opting for the best handheld GPS unit. These could include; battery life, size, durability, compatibility, software, dozens, and satellite coverage.

Where and how are you going to pick the best handheld GPS unit for your next adventure? Well, worry no more, this post will answer all your questions.

You should be aware that there’re tons of handheld GPS units in the market, and the chances of finding a suitable choice are not that easy. However, this guide will set the record straight and take the hard work out of your hands. After sifting through different places on the internet, we managed to compile a list of the top 10 best handheld GPS units in reviews. Here is the list.

#10. TUSITA Case Satellite Tracker Accessories Garmin inReach SE+ inReach Explorer Plus

This incredible device matches your appliances and fits perfectly over the side button, volume buttons, and curves of your devices without adding any bulk. It boasts a silky, soft-touch finish on the outside that looks elegant in your hand. You can keep in your hand, even when you are charging wirelessly. It is smudge and scratch-resistant. Even better, it allows for precise and comfortable access to all ports and functions.

Moreover, it has everyday drop protection from as high as 5 feet. You’ll never get enough out of this functional device. Finally, it’s compatible with inreach explorer, Garmin Inreach SE+, and satellite tracker.

What We Like

  • The silicone case can be removed with ease
  • It has a soft cover that’s strong & stable
  • Has an intuitive and simple interface
  • The case is tear and slip-resistant

What We Didn’t Like

  • The screen protectors don’t cut specifically for the unique screen shape

#9. Amazon Renewed 010-n1634-00 Easy to Put On 1-Piece Band Garmin Vivofit Jr Broken Lava

Are you planning to take your kids along for your adventure? And you’re wondering how you’ll track them while in the wilderness? Well, we have a perfect solution for Vivofit jr. This amazon renewed appliance is stylish and will stand the test of time. Besides, this swim-friendly tracker motivates your kids to stay in the know. For parents, this is an absolute winner to monitor your kiddos in the wilderness. The app allows you as a parent to monitor your kids’ steps and active minutes. You can readily control everything from your smartphone. So, what’re you still waiting, seize this opportunity!

What We Like

  • The battery can run a full year without any charging
  • It’s swim-friendly with 5 ATM water-resistance
  • Easy to put on because it one-size-fits-most
  • Includes a compatible parent mobile app

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s a bit expensive

#8. Amazon Renewed S/M Audio Out Capability Garmin Vivosport Smart Activity Tracker - Fuchsia

If you’ve searched for the best activity tracker without success, then you must be the luckiest person because the latest Vivosport by Garmin is many steps ahead. It works 24/7, with a wrist-based heart rate and even a built-in GPS that tracks your runs, walks, and even bike rides while noting your pace and distance. Also, it’s a sleek and wearable device that offers you everything you need to keep up with all your fitness goals head-on while taking charge of your daily agenda.

Besides, the built-in GPS offers you an onscreen pace over distance, with a glance of where you ran, biked, or walked. If you aren’t getting enough of your thorough daily activity, this device displays to you your floor climbed, calories burned, sleep, and steps taken with moves alerts that keep you encouraged to pursue more steps.

What We Like

  • Provides accurate alerts from your phone
  • Quickly recharges and can last for days
  • It’s thin, lightweight and comfortable
  • The GPS is accurate and reliable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Strap rips aren’t replaceable

#7. Spot Custom Message Check-in Track-Automatically 3 Satellite GPS Messenger (Orange)

This device by SPOT offers you the easiest way of staying in the know. It is a reliable kit that keeps your communication on the check even when you go to places where network providers aren’t available. This current generation of SPOT devices allows friends and family to know your whereabouts every time. Besides, it offers you with easier ways of sending alerts when something unprecedented happens. It can fit seamlessly into your pocket for hassle-free movement. You’ll enjoy your adventure like never before! It can automatically relay and save your current location and allow contacts to survey on your progress via Google maps.

What We Like

  • Lightweight to fit seamlessly into your pocket
  • You can request help from friends & family
  • Built with a rugged structure that lasts
  • It’s simple and easy to operate

What We Didn’t Like

  • Require extra-money for tracking features

#6. PlayBetter Bushnell Built-in Golf Cart Mount USB Wall Adapters Phantom Golf GPS (Yellow)

You’ll be impressed with this wonderful gift box. Phantom handheld golf GPS by PlayBetter is a sure companion to keep you often in-track of your agenda. It features a hard protective case that ensures all your electronics stay in pristine condition. For added convenience, the case zippers shut with a handle with a clip. It includes wall USB and car adapters that ensure your electronics are kept charged at all times. Besides, it comes with the Bushnell Golf App that allows you to check on the distance like never before – with the 3D flyovers that will enable you to explore every detail of landscape as well as offer you with a preview of each hole.

What We Like

  • You can conveniently charge the device via car or wall USB adapters
  • Comes with a hard protective case that keeps the unit in place
  • Has Bushnell golf app that delivers wireless course update
  • You can store conveniently & securely on the cart post

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s not well-established in the market

#5. ZOLEO Two-Way Global SMS Check-in & GPS Location Satellite Communicator SOS Alerting

If you are looking for a more lightweight, handheld GPS unit, this brand is ideal. This unit allows you to connect it to your phone and enjoy a seamless connection by sending and receiving messages. In the event of an emergency, you can communicate any critical details to emergency officials. With only a weight of 5.3 ounces, you can easily carry it from one place to another to track all your activities. The lithium-ion battery has a working life of up to 800 hours after every 12 minutes checking your messages. Moreover, it is well designed to absorb any form of shock and resistance to water particles to keep it in good condition.

What We Like

  • Resistant to dust particles to always remain in good condition
  • Features check-in to make others aware that you are okay
  • Designed from high-quality materials that last longer
  • Has a compact design thus can fit into your pocket

What We Didn’t Like

  • The beeps aren’t loud enough

#4. SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak 100 Meter Water Resistance Full Navigation HR Running GPS Unit

While out on adventures or sports, all you need is Suunto handheld GPS unit to keep you safe throughout. This device becomes the best companion you can connect to your phone through the Suunto moves count app to share your great adventure. This watch allows you to share movies instantly and receive any texts or notifications while out there. The case is from high-quality polyamide materials that are strong and durable. It allows for full navigation because it offers you steady and accurate weather and altitude information while on the move. The battery can be used for up to 200 hours; thus, you do not need to replace it frequently.

What We Like

  • Has inbuilt barometer and compass for efficient operations
  • You can monitor your speed while distancing on the move
  • Resistant to water particles on up to 100 meters
  • Easy to set up thus saves your installation time

What We Didn’t Like

  • It lacks Linux support

#3. SUUNTO Traverse Alpha GPS Track Automatic Shot Detection Stainless Steel Bezel Traverse Alpha

Are you looking for a handheld GPS unit for your fishing and hunting? Look no further than this unit from Suunto. The case is of glass fiber with stainless steel coating making it durable and resistant to rusting. Its strap is of high-quality nylon components that are also durable. This watch keeps you unnoticed since it has a red backlight and vibration notifications. Additionally, you can now receive any incoming call or message notifications through the Bluetooth smart connection to keep you updated always. Also, it has a shot detection technology that lets you keep track of your shoots and map the GPS coordinates.

What We Like

  • With the compass, you can familiarize yourself to new territories
  • You can plan your day through the sunset and sunrise alerts
  • The storm alarms aid you in monitoring weather changes
  • The crystal glass is of scratch-resistant materials

What We Didn’t Like

  • Doesn’t automatically change time zones

#2. Garmin 520 Edge GPS Computer Cycling Bike for Navigation & Competing w/Bike Mount

You can now ride with much confidence with Garmin handheld GPS unit because it keeps you safer always. It has a cycle map that notifies you as a rider of any sharp corners 4, any elevation data, and guide you back to your destination when lost. With the rider to rider messaging, you no longer have to worry your fellow rider from getting lost since it sends you notifications. You can easily access your physiological data because it is compatible with ANT+technology sensors that help you to monitor your speed, heart rate, and cadence. When you go for a ride, you can download the Trailforks app that aids in trail maps while offline.

What We Like

  • Made lightweight thus can be carried from place to place
  • The battery can last up to 10 hours on the navigation
  • Has a well-instructed manual to ease installation
  • Waterproof to avoid damage by water particles

What We Didn’t Like

  • It lacks any apps adjustments

#1. Garmin in Reach Explorer Plus Handheld Satellite Communicator w/Topo Maps & GPS Navigation

As an outdoor enthusiast, all you require is a Garmin handheld GPS unit to assure your loved ones of your safety. With an Iridium satellite network, you can send text messages to any cellphone or email address while you track your journey’s progress. Whenever you have an emergency, you can trigger the SOS alert to receive an assurance if your help is coming. The tracking function helps your loved ones to know of your whereabouts to avoid worrying about you. Moreover, you can pair this device to your phone through the Earthmate app to get details of the weather conditions on the place that you could be visiting.

What We Like

  • More convenient since it can be used during emergencies
  • Has a rechargeable battery for continuous operations
  • Only weighs 8 ounces thus easy to carry around
  • Easy to operate and use for ideal operations

What We Didn’t Like

  • The maps aren’t bright compared to other models

Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Handheld GPS Unit

GPS Size & Screen Size

Ideally, you’ll want a large screen size as possible. However, you should note that the bigger the screen size, the bigger the unit will be. And it’s for that reason that needs you to balance between the two aspects. For instance, if you don’t want something so bulky, then the best option to settle with is with lower screen size.

Interface Options

The other important aspect to carefully consider is how you need the unit to interact with your device. Do you need a unit that’s operated by pushing different buttons or needing a model that uses a touchscreen? If you decide to opt with the one that uses a touchscreen, ensure it can still be used even if you’re wearing gloves to be used even in cold weather environments.

Two-Way Radios & Text Capabilities

consider two-way radios as a crucial factor to consider when purchasing the best handheld GPS unit. With this feature, the hiker is capable of communicating with a friend, if they’ve alike GPS model. As such, hikers can always keep communicating with each other no matter the distance. Besides, other sophisticated models include NOAA weather radio forecasts. Additionally, different models allow you to text via satellites and available networks. Other even embed coordinates into the text to enable you to keep a third party on your whereabouts at the time.


One of the other essential features to check out in a handheld GPS unit is the waterproof capability. However, you should be aware that the waterproof of these units varies from one model to another. Some can handle submersion in the water, while others are just water-resistant.


We’ve played our role in providing you with some of the best ten rated handheld GPS units on the market. Not only are they affordable and of the best quality, but they also have up-to-date features you may think about. Also, they’ve been tested by different standards, and you can rest assured that it’ll offer you the value for your money. Besides that, we’ve outlined some aspects you should check before settling with any of the above handheld GPS units. Hopefully, this post will offer you sufficient information you need to make a well-thought decision regarding these ingenious devices.

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