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Best Portable GPS & Communicators

Best Portable GPS & Communicators

Best Portable GPS & Communicators

Proper navigation is essential, whether deep in the mountains or the open sea. While most current mobile phones include portable GPS capabilities, you’ll want to invest in a separate gadget if you’re serious about navigating.

Unlike phones, Portable Global Positioning Systems (GPS) do not require a cell signal to function. Instead, they connect to the GPS satellite network to determine your location and another network of satellites to transmit and receive communications.

Below, you’ll find some of the market’s best portable GPS & Communicators.

Garmin GPSMAP 65s Multi-Band GPS Handheld Unit

Toss this portable GPS gadget in with your camping kit, and you’ll be set for your journey. It’s robustly constructed with simple controls. It has a sizable, 2.6-inch screen that is not just full-color but also readable in broad sunlight. Unite the ABC sensors and combine them with the satellite signals; the gadget will always know exactly where you are.

Garmin GPSMAP 65s Multi-Band GPS Handheld Unit

HeightWidthDisplayWeight
6.32.42.15H x 1.43W7.7 oz.

Key Features:

  • Support for GNSS satellites and multi-band technologies
  • 6″ color display with sunlight readability
  • Integrated navigation sensors
  • Weather monitoring barometer
  • Battery life of up to 16 hours
  • Pre-loaded public-land borders and topographic maps
  • MicroSD card slot for more data storage
  • Interfaces with your phone to offer smart notifications
  • IPX7 water-resistant certification

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Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Edition GPS Smartwatch

Garmin has lifted the bar for multisport GPS smartwatches yet again with the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro. The huge display, battery life, and, from an outside standpoint, the comprehensive navigation functions combined with the ability to utilize various topographical maps are outstanding.

Furthermore, multiple training, tracking, and analytical capabilities should warm the heart of any athlete who wants technology to work for his benefit.

Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Edition GPS Smartwatch

DisplayDisplay ResolutionWeightWater RatingMemory
1.4280 x 280 pixels93 g10 ATM32 GB

Key Features:

  • Built to military standards
  • Animated exercises demonstrate good workout form
  • Uses GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS for navigation
  • Altimeter, barometer, and 3-axis compass
  • Long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery (up to 56 days of GPS Tracking in Expedition mode )
  • 51mm waterproof case
  • Heart rate monitor, blood oxygen monitor, audio player, Bluetooth, Garmin Pay, and more features
  • Operates seamlessly with both Android and iPhone devices
  • Impressive range of mapping incorporated inside its 32GB internal storage
  • InReach capabilities
  • Solar-powered multisport GPS watch with a 1.4-inch screen

Garmin Montana 700i Handheld GPS Unit

The user experience with portable GPS units hasn’t always been exceptional, but the Garmin Montana 700i is about as excellent as it gets. The Montana Gorilla Glass screen is easy to see even in bright sunlight, and its vibrant 5-inch touchscreen makes it quick to browse through features and navigate using maps. The Montana 700i also has ABC sensors, a comprehensive set of topographic maps, and multi-GNSS support (GPS and Galileo).

Garmin Montana 700i Handheld GPS Unit

Display SizeResolutionWeightWaterproofBattery TypeMemory
2.55W x 4.25H480 x 800 pixels14.5 ozIPX7lithium-ion16 GB

Key Features:

  • Built to military specifications
  • SOS capabilities and integrated satellite messaging
  • Best of the best navigation capabilities
  • The 5-inch high-resolution screen appears to belong on a premium smartphone.
  • Updated Gorilla Glass screen ensures protection.
  • GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo are a few of the worldwide navigation satellite systems available
  • Can interface with other smart devices through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Built-in altimeter, barometer, and a three-axis electronic compass.
  • Good internal memory

Bushnell Bear Grylls Edition BackTrack D-Tour Personal GPS Tracking Device

This is a portable digital navigation system that helps hikers stay on track or find their way back to camp. Utilizing data from various communication satellites, this GPS autonomously synchronizes its digital compass and shows lat/long coordinates.

Bushnell Bear Grylls Edition BackTrack D-Tour Personal GPS Tracking Device

DisplayDisplay SizeDimensionsWeightBattery
Monochrome LCD1.6 x 1.64.1 x 2.7 x 0.90.3 lb(3) AAA

Key Features:

  • Marks and stores up to five locations, with an internal 48-hour monitoring log
  • Breadcrumbs Feature – tracks your specific path and generates a map based on it.
  • Backlight grayscale LCD Screen with auto-off feature
  • Self-Calibrating Digital Compass
  • Clock/Altimeter/Speedometer /Thermometer
  • Memory Storage Indicators
  • Weather-Resistant Housing
  • Mac / Windows Compatible
  • Attachment Point for Carabiner/Lanyard

Zoleo Satellite Communicator

The ZOLEO is a fantastic choice if you typically use your smartphone for outdoor navigation and seek satellite messaging and SOS when out of cell phone coverage (as with InReach). The ZOLEO offers practically everything we desire in a backcountry satellite messenger. Besides that, this smartphone leads the pack in terms of messaging, portability, satellite coverage, and ease of use.

Zoleo Satellite Communicator

Battery typeWeightSizeGPS Accuracy
lithium ion5.3 oz91L × 66W × 27H (mm)2 m

Key Features:

  • Solid Construction
  • Beyond cell phone coverage communication
  • Messages of up to 950 characters can be sent and received
  • Transmits over satellite, cellular, and Wi-Fi
  • Location Share+ lets your contacts see where you are
  • Built-in Check-in and SOS buttons help keep you safe
  • Long-lasting battery, recharges in as little as two hours
  • GPS and GLONASS are precise to 2.5 meters.
  • Full worldwide coverage through an Iridium satellite link
  • Audible and visual notifications
  • Connects to your phone through Bluetooth and comes with the free Zoleo app

Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire GPS Smartwatch

Even if you weren’t a massive fan of wearing high-tech watches in the past, you would use this watch far more than you anticipate. It is quite helpful for monitoring your daily workout and ensuring you reach your goals. When your trip takes you into the wilderness, you’ll value the Multi-GNSS support, which uses GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo to maintain location accuracy wherever you go.

Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire GPS Smartwatch

LensDisplay SizeDisplay ResolutionWater RatingWeightMemory
Corning® Gorilla1.4”280 x 280 pixels10 ATM93 g32 GB

Key Features:

  • Durable and capable of withstanding excursions
  • Scratch-resistant Sapphire lens
  • 4″ display allows checking metrics at a glance
  • Music from streaming devices is synced so you can leave them at home
  • Pre-loaded sports apps for workout tracking
  • Animated exercises demonstrate good workout form
  • Heart-rate monitor on the wrist
  • Pulse Ox to measure your body’s oxygen consumption
  • GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo for navigation
  • Altimeter, barometer, and compass with three axes
  • Long-lasting lithium rechargeable battery

ACR Electronics Bivy Stick Satellite Communication Device

This portable and lightweight device makes it simple to go on any expedition and allows for communication from any location. When you’re in the wilderness, 2-way messaging via phone numbers or email addresses makes it simple to stay in touch with loved ones. Additionally, a check-in button sends a pre-written message along with your location to keep others informed of your activities.

ACR Electronics Bivy Stick Satellite Communication Device

WeightBatteryBattery LifeWater RatingInterfaceWireless
3.35 ozLithium Ion PolymerUp to 120 hrsIPX7USB-CBluetooth 4

Key Features:

  • 100% Global satellite coverage
  • Allows two-way text chat by phone number or email
  • 24/7 SOS monitoring
  • Map display and navigation; Offline maps
  • Map display and navigation; Offline maps
  • Dedicated check-in button on the smartphone and via the app
  • Check-in messages are completely customizable and include a link to your GPS location
  • Hundreds of mounting options
  • IPX7 rating

SPOT X 2-Way Bluetooth Satellite Messenger

A two-way satellite communications device – only a few other gadgets provide two-way, personalized messaging, but they require a smartphone for quick texting. SPOT’s built-in QWERTY keyboard sets it apart. The current version of the SPOT X also incorporates Bluetooth capabilities that connect to a specialized SPOT app on a smartphone for interaction.

SPOT X 2-Way Bluetooth Satellite Messenger

HeightWidthWeightBattery LifeBluetooth Range
6.542.97.0 oz (198.4g)240 HOURSUp to 30 ft

Key Features:

  • Wireless communicator with two-way messaging and SAR contact
  • Selectable Tracking intervals of 2-60 minutes
  • Offers Bluetooth connectivity through the SPOT X app
  • Usable as a standalone communication device
  • Backlit 2.7″ display
  • IP67 certified
  • Illuminated Qwerty keyboard
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Can run for up to 240 hours in 10-minute monitoring intervals

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