The 10 Best GPS Trackers for Hiking & Backpacking (2017 Review)

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A good GPS tracker will make your treks easier and safer. Photo: Chris Morton/flickr

If you are like me, you have gotten lost at least once during one of your hikes.

Well, good news!

There are tools available that will help keep that from happening during day hikes and long backpacking adventures.

A good GPS tracker can save lives and make things a lot more convenient.

And who doesn't love that?​

Keep reading to discover the best GPS for hiking and find one that meets your needs.

Best Hiking GPS - Quick Pick

If you're in a hurry, here is our favorite GPS unit, and the runner-up, in this review:

10 Top Handheld GPS Trackers for Hiking & Backpacking in 2017

1) Garmin Montana 680 - Best geocaching gps

Garmin Montana 680

The Garmin Montana 680 has a high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, Hotfix satellite prediction and GLONASS support so that you can find your position fast and with precision. Track Manager allows you to organize and navigate waypoints and routes and an 8 megapixel digital camera means that you can capture high quality images of your adventures. If you love geocaching, you will enjoy the 250,000 preloaded geocaches from geocaching.com.

2) Garmin GPSMAP 64st - Editor's Choice for 2017

Garmin GPSMAP 64st - Editor's Choice for 2017

Able to be read in the sunlight, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st has a 2.6” color display. With 8GB of expanded internal memory, this device offers a dual battery system; it can be used with 2 traditional AA batteries or a rechargeable NiMH battery pack. There are preloaded TOPO U.S. 100k maps along with a 3-axis compass with barometric altimeter so that you can be sure of your exact location and how to get where you want to go.

3) Garmin Oregon 450t - Fantastic backcountry GPS tracker

Garmin Oregon 450t

The Garmin Oregon 450t comes with preloaded topographic maps and a 3-inch touchscreen display that is able to be read no matter how bright the sun. A barometric altimeter will allow you to keep up with changes in pressure so that you can determine your exact altitude and a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass is built in. This durable device is waterproof and includes a digital camera with 4x digital zoom allowing you to photograph your adventures.

4) Garmin Foretrex 401 - Best budget gps

Garmin Foretrex 401 - Best budget gps

The Garmin Foretrex 401 offers a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that includes HotFix, which will deliver improved performance and reception regardless of whether your adventure leads you to deep canyons or heavily treed areas. Able to keep track of routes, tracks and waypoints, the TracBack feature will retrace your path and display it on the LCD screen. This portable device includes an electronic compass and barometric altimeter.

5) Garmin GPSMAP 62St - Rugged and reliable

Garmin GPSMAP 62St - Rugged and reliable

Built to handle the elements, the Garmin GPSMAP 62St is a rugged device with a 2.6 inch screen that you can view in bright sun. The barometric altimeter and three-axis, tilt-compensated electronic compass will provide you with precision location and altitude information. Included is 100k topographic data with shaded relief; this handheld navigator will work with Custom Maps, a free software app that allows you to turn paper and electronic maps into downloadable ones.

6) Garmin Oregon 600 - Excellent touchscreen display

Garmin Oregon 600 - Excellent touchscreen display

With a 3-inch touchscreen display that can be read in the sun, the Garmin Oregon 600 offers dual-band GPS/GLONASS satellite positioning. This portable navigation system offers a dual battery system where you can use either 2 AA batteries or the NiMH battery pack and you can keep track of your location with the included 3-axis compass, accelerometer and barometric altimeter. With dual orientation you can switch between landscape and portrait views.

7) Garmin eTrex 20x - Large memory and preloaded maps

Garmin eTrex 20x - Large memory and preloaded maps

Featuring an upgraded 2.2” display that can be read in the sunlight, the Garmin eTrex 20x offers 3.7 GB of internal memory. A preloaded worldwide basemap is included in this navigator and a microSD card slot allows you to load various maps (TOPO 24k, HuntView, BlueChart g2, and City Navigator NT). Your position will be located quickly and accurately with a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, HotFix satellite prediction and GLONASS support and maintained no matter how deep into the wilderness you venture.

8) Garmin eTrex 30x - Best multi-use GPS for the outdoors

Garmin eTrex 30x - Best multi-use GPS for the outdoors

The Garmin eTrex 30x offers good resolution for a 2.2 inch display, for easier reading as well as increased internal memory in order to hold more maps. A worldwide basemap with shaded relief is included and the 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass will show your heading even when you are not moving. Its barometric altimeter will track changes in pressure so that you will know your exact altitude.

9) Garmin Rino 755t - Trail tested, highly reliable GPS

Garmin Rino 755t - Trail tested, highly reliable GPS

Offering a 3-inch touchscreen display with landscape or portrait view, the Garmin Rino 755t includes a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass with accelerometer and barometric altimeter sensors. You can take pictures of your adventures with the device’s 8 megapixel autofocus camera and the 5 Watt FRS/GMRS 2-way radio allows for excellent communication. The Dual GPS and GLONASS satellite reception delivers improved tracking in the most difficult environments and includes preloaded TOPO U.S. 100k maps.

10) Garmin GPSMAP 78sc - Our favorite waterproof GPS

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc - Our favorite waterproof GPS

Ideal for water activities, the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc is a waterproof device with a 2.6-inch color TFT display, that will float should it be dropped in water. A built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and barometric altimeter will deliver information on heading, altitude and the weather. This portable navigator includes built-in BlueChart g2 U.S./Bahamas coastal charts and your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches can all be shared wirelessly with other compatible devices.