The Best GPS Devices of 2014


Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS Device

Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS Device

Here we have reviewed the best GPS devices of 2014. As navigation can be tricky, a GPS device is a valuable and recommended piece of equipment when hiking in unknown terrain. However, don’t forget that GPS devices cannot replace your navigation skills. It can happen that the GPS device has no signal or runs out of battery, so you should have at least basic navigation skills to carry out a hike as planned.

 

The Best GPS Devices for 2015 review is now available. 

 

1. Buying a GPS Device  – Basics

 

What is a GPS device?

A GPS (Global Positioning System) is a navigation system based on the network of 24 satellites which were placed into orbit by the United States DOD. What we call a GPS device in this article is actually a GPS receiver which has a task to locate at least four satellites and figure out the distance to each of them. When this is done, the GPS receiver can determine your location with the process called triangulation.

What can a GPS device do for you?

In general a GPS device assists you on your route. You can plan your route at home and then enter the waypoints (specific locations necessary to reach) in your GPS device. It is also possible to download routes from different websites and import them to the GPS device.

Which features GPS devices have?

Modern GPS devices/receivers have the following features:

  • Position

A GPS device gives you your location by displaying coordinates and your position on the map.

  • Travel tracking

A GPS device can track your travel and give you information about distance, speed, ascent/descent etc.

  • Point to point navigation

A GPS device can lead you to the pre-selected waypoints by giving you the direction and distance.

  • Route navigation

You can preplan a route made of more waypoints. A GPS device will automatically lead you on your hiking route.

Additional functions are barometer, altimeter, electronic compass, wireless data transfer, digital camera, two-way radio etc.

What is the difference between navigation with a mobile phone and navigation with a GPS receiver?

  • Battery life (GPS devices have longer battery life than mobile phones)
  • Durability (GPS devices are more durable than mobile phones)

2. The Best GPS Devices of 2014 Review

The Best GPS Device of 2014

The Best GPS Device of 2014

  1. Garmin Montana 650t
  2. Satmap Active 10 Plus
  3. Garmin Oregon 300
  4. Garmin Etrex Vista HCx
  5. Garmin GPS Map 60cx

Comparison:

Feature/Product Garmin Montana 650tSatmap Active 10 PlusGarmin Oregon 300Garmin Etrex Vista HCxGarmin GPS Map 60cx
Weight296g230g192g156g213g
Size2.9”x5.7”x1.4”3”x5.1”x1.2”2.3”x4.5”x1.4”2.2”x4.2”x1.2”2.4”x6.1”x1.3”
Screen Size4”3.5”3”2.1”2.6”
Touch ScreenYesNoYesNoNo
Battery Life16h18h16h25h18h
WaterproofYesYesYesYesYes
Memory Card SupportYesYesYesYesYes
Electronic compassYesYesYesYesNo
Routes/WaypointsVariesVaries50 routes / 1000 waypoints50 routes / 1000 waypoints50 routes / 1000 waypoints
CameraYesNoNoNoNo
Garmin Montana 650t GPS Device

Garmin Montana 650t GPS Device

1. Garmin Montana 650t

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Hunting
  • Geocaching
  • Turn by turn city navigation

 

The Garmin Montana 650t is one of the best GPS devices currently available. It can be used for hiking, mountaineering, hunting and all other outdoor activities. Its rugged design won’t let you down. Route finding and planning is easy. The screen is big enough to provide a clear overview of your position. The Garmin Montana 650t picks up signal quickly and is accurate due to the WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix satellite prediction. It is designed for various outdoor activities and even includes turn-by-turn city navigation. The Garmin Montana 650t will not just show you the way for your hike, but also help you too reach the starting point of a hike by car. It has a 5 megapixel digital camera which can take geo-tagged photos. This device also has a wireless connection and allows you to share waypoints, routes etc. Route planning is provided by the BaseCamp software which is easy to use. The Garmin Montana 650t is the right GPS device for you, if you are looking for a device which is easy to use and has tons of features.

.

 

Pros:

  • Display
  • Turn by turn city navigation
  • Quick satellite fix
  • WAAS

Cons:

  • Hard to use with gloves (touch screen)
  • Price
  • Weight

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Best Buy!

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Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS Device

Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS Device

2. Satmap Active 10 Plus

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Hunting
  • Geocaching

 

The Satmap Active 10 Plus is a perfect device for hiking. It has a large screen which displays topographic mapping in high detail. The device is WAAS/EGNOS-enabled which improves the accuracy. WAAS stands for Wide Area Augmentation System which is air navigation developed by Federal Aviation Administration. WAAS uses a network of reference stations which measure variations in the GPS satellites signals and therefore improves the accuracy. EGNOS work on the same pattern but is developed by the European Space Agency. The Satmap Active 10 Plus picks up signal quickly and the battery is durable enough for longer hikes. The route planning can be done by the Satmap Planning Tool which is easy to use. The display of the Satmap Active 10 Plus is big, thus providing good overview. If you want the ultimate GPS device which will lead you on your hike and you are not bothered with a slightly bigger size, the Satmap Active 10 Plus is perfect for you.

 

Pros:

  • Display
  • Quick satellite fix
  • WAAS/AGNOS

Cons:

  • Price

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Video

Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Device

Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Device

3. Garmin Oregon 300

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Hunting
  • Geocaching
  • Turn by turn city navigation

 

The Garmin Oregon is a great GPS device, which is touch screen enabled and appropriate for all outdoor activities. The screen is a bit smaller than the Garmin’s Montana 650t screen, but still provides good overview. The Garmin Oregon 300 is despite the fancy design built to withstand bumps, dust, dirt and even water. The GPS receiver locates satellites quickly using HotFix satellite prediction. It gives your accurate location and is WAAS-enabled. The Garmin Oregon 300 provides wireless connectivity and thus allows you to share waypoints, routes etc. If you are looking for a cheaper navigation device than the Garmin Montana 650t, but won’t compromise on great functionality Garmin Oregon 300 will satisfy you.

 

Pros:

  • Display
  • Quick satellite fix
  • WAAS
  • Turn by turn city navigation

Cons:

  • Hard to use with gloves (touch screen)

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Best Buy!

Video

Garmin Etrex Vista HCx GPS Device

Garmin Etrex Vista HCx GPS Device

4. Garmin Etrex Vista HCx

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Hunting
  • Geocaching
  • Severe conditions

 

The Garmin Etrex Vista HCx is smaller and lighter than above listed GPS devices. It is also cheaper but offers a few features less. The biggest benefit of this device is its simplicity. The Garmin Etrex Vista HCx is really user-friendly. The device is WAAS-enabled and locates your position quickly and accurately. Its rugged design allows you to take the device anywhere you want. It is waterproof, lightweight and compact. The screen is small, but still gives a clear overview. The display is 256-color, which is not the best what Garmin can offer, but it does its job. The Garmin Etrex Vista HCx supports microSD cards with MapSource data. Routes or waypoints can be simply be uploaded via a USB cable. If you don’t mind a little smaller display, the Garmin Etrex Vista HCx is the right device for you. And it is also cheaper than any of the devices listed above.

Pros:

  • Rugged design
  • Quick satellite fix
  • Size
  • Weight
  • WAAS

Cons:

  • Only 256 – color display

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Garmin GPS Map 60cx GPS Device

Garmin GPS Map 60cx GPS Device

5. Garmin GPS Map 60cx

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Hunting
  • Geocaching
  • Severe conditions

The Garmin GPS Map 60cx is bigger and heavier than the Garmin Etrex Vista HCx. It also has a bigger display which provides better overview. The Garmin GPS Map 60cx is easy to use and has user friendly menus. In comparison to the Garmin Etrex Vista HCx, this device doesn’t have electronic compass and is not WAAS-enabled. Despite that, it is a decent GPS device for the price. Its rugged and compact design allows carrying and using the device under the most severe conditions. The display is 256-color which provides good readability. Of course it could be better, but for basic navigation it is okay. Routes and waypoints are uploaded via a USB cable. If you are looking for a basic GPS device for hiking and other outdoor activities the Garmin GPS Map 60cx won’t disappoint you.

 

Pros:

  • Rugged design
  • Price

Cons:

  • Only 256 – color display
  • No electronic compass
  • No WAAS

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Best Buy!

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3. The most attractive product in the review

Which product is the most attractive?
Cast your vote to see the results of this poll!

 

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