Written by 2:14 pm Kayaking Gears

My 10 Best Kayak GPS (Comparison & Buying Guide)

Reading Time: 7 minutes(Last Updated On: July 1, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST KAYAK GPS

MY BEST KAYAK GPS COMPARISON:

PRODUCT FEATURE PROS/CONS   PRICE
GARMIN ETREX 22x

Best budget kayak GPS
 Water rating: IPX7
Display size: 2.2” 
Mapping: Topo Active maps and 8GB internal memory and microSD card slot. Compatible with Birdseye satellite imagery and supports paperless geocaching.
Fishfinder: N/A
Maximum depth:
Features: Easy to read 65k color display – Battery life up to 25 hrs in GPS mode – Supports GPS and GLONASS – Run off two AA batteries – Supports geocaching – Allows you to upload GPX files – GPS-based compass and altimeter – Mini-USB port – HotFix Satellite predictor
Compact
Durable
Effective
Water-resistant
Works even in deep canyons
Good at tracking
Great battery life
Super accurate positioning
Sluggish
Needs time to learn how to use it
Check Price
on REI.com
POLAR M200

Best for you if you prioritize convenience, price, and basic features are what you only need
 Water rating:
Display size: Round, 26mm Diameter
Mapping
Fishfinder: No
Maximum depth: 30m
Features: Built-In Heart Rate Monitor – Tracks distance, route, pace, and altitude using GPS – Rechargeable battery up to 6 Days – `return to start’ feature – Allows kayaking profiles via the app 
Easily accessible
Visible
Stays with you no matter what happen
Convenient
Versatile (kayak and training)
Affordable
Limited display space
Limited memory
Limited features compared to larger devices 
Check Price
on REI.com
 GARMIN GPSMAP 66i

My personal best kayak GPS 
 Water rating: IPX7
Display size: 3 inches
Mapping: Pre-loaded TopoActive Maps
Fishfinder: N/A
Maximum depth:
Features: 32 GB max micro sd – Send and receive text messages – SOS button – Flashlight – Easy synch with other Garmin devices 
Easy to press buttons
Faster software
Pre-loaded map with much details
Big and bright screen-
Rugged device
Customizable screen
No a good battery life
Charging port on the back face makes laying it down and charging not easier
A little bit pricey
Old clunky interface
Requires a little time to get used to using it

Check Price
on REI.com
 GARMIN GPSMAP 64S

Best for large water bodies kayaking
 Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
Display size: 2.6-inch display
Mapping: Worldwide base maps, 4GB MicroSD internal memory
Fishfinder: No
Maximum depth: 1 meter
Features: Sunlight readable display, Rechargeable NiMH battery, You can pair it with ANT+ sensors like heart rate, 8GB Expandable memory
Great battery life
Colored readable display
Great wireless connectivity
Water-resistant
Issues with distance calculations
Check Price
on Moosejaw.com
GARMIN ETREX 10

Best for budget GPS for great Geocaching 
Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
Display size:  2.2-inch screen display
Mapping: Preloaded worldwide base maps & shaded relief, 3.7 GB memory with memory card slot
Fishfinder: No
Maximum depth: N/A
Features: Rugged design for outdoor use, WAAS enabled GPS receiver, Powered by two AA batteries 
Great battery life
Support Geocaching files
Small screen 
Check Price
on Amazon.com

MY BEST KAYAK GPS REVIEWS:

GARMIN ETREX 22x

  • Water rating: IPX7
  • Display size: 2.2” 
  • Mapping: Topo Active maps and 8GB internal memory and microSD card slot. Compatible with Birdseye satellite imagery and supports paperless geocaching.
  • Fishfinder: N/A
  • Maximum depth:
  • Features: Easy to read 65k color display – Battery life up to 25 hrs in GPS mode – Supports GPS and GLONASS – Run off two AA batteries – Supports geocaching – Allows you to upload GPX files – GPS-based compass and altimeter – Mini-USB port – HotFix Satellite predictor
  • Pros: Compact – Durable – Effective – Water-resistant – Works even in deep canyons – Good at tracking – Great battery life – Super accurate positioning
  • Cons: Sluggish – Needs time to learn how to use it

POLAR M200

  • Water rating:
  • Display size: Round, 26mm Diameter
  • Mapping
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: 30m
  • Features: Built-In Heart Rate Monitor – Tracks distance, route, pace, and altitude using GPS – Rechargeable battery up to 6 Days – `return to start’ feature – Allows kayaking profiles via the app
  • Pros: Easily accessible – Visible – Stays with you no matter what happen – Convenient – Versatile (kayak and training) – Affordable
  • Cons: Limited display space – Limited memory – Limited features compared to larger devices

GARMIN GPSMAP 66i

  • Water rating: IPX7
  • Display size: 3 inches
  • Mapping: Pre-loaded TopoActive Maps
  • Fishfinder: N/A
  • Maximum depth:
  • Features: 32 GB max micro sd – Send and receive text messages – SOS button – Flashlight – Easy synch with other Garmin devices – 
  • Pros: Easy to press buttons – Faster software – Pre-loaded map with much details – Big and bright screen- Rugged device – Customizable screen
  • Cons: No a good battery life – Charging port on the back face makes laying it down and charging not easier – A little bit pricey – Old clunky interface – Requires a little time to get used to using it

GARMIN GPSMAP 64S

  • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
  • Display size: 2.6-inch display
  • Mapping: Worldwide base maps, 4GB MicroSD internal memory
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: 1 meter
  • Features: Sunlight readable display, Rechargeable NiMH battery, You can pair it with ANT+ sensors like heart rate, 8GB Expandable memory
  • Pros: Great battery life, colored readable display, great wireless, connectivity, water-resistant
  • Cons: issues with distance calculations

GARMIN ETREX 10

  • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
  • Display size:  2.2-inch screen display
  • Mapping: Preloaded worldwide base maps & shaded relief, 3.7 GB memory with memory card slot
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: N/A
  • Features: Rugged design for outdoor use, WAAS enabled GPS receiver, Powered by two AA batteries
  • Pros: Great battery life, support Geocaching files
  • Cons: Small screen

HOW TO CHOOSE A GPS FOR KAYAKING

WATER RATING

Since you will be using this device near water, you need to consider the kind of water rating it comes with. This rating, basically, is how able that device is able to resist water exposure. In the market today, we have kayaking GPS that can resist light rain and water splashes and others that can be momentarily be submerged under water  We also have others that are completely waterproof.

IPX7 water resistant is one of the most common ratings you will see in Garmin products. If you see this anywhere, it means that a particular device is designed to resist rain, water splashes and also snow or any exposure to water up to 1 meter for a maximum of 30 minutes.

DISPLAY SIZE

Kayaking GPS devices, pretty much, like any other GPS unit we have in the market also come equipped with different display sizes. This is basically the diagonal distance across the screen face; that is from corner to corner. Small screen display size is something like 2 inches while bigger ones measure around 5 inches.

So when you are choosing the right display size, you might want to consider where you will be using that particular device. Many at times, you will find most kayakers mount their GPS devices something like 1 or even 2 feet from their face and mostly mounted on the deck of the boat. Taking that distance into great consideration, we can say it can be really difficult to see what is displayed on the screen. So if you want to enjoy your kayaking trips, ensure you go for a device with a very large screen. Although that will cost you more money, it will truly make things a little bit easier for you.

MAPPING FEATURES

One of the key reasons you are buying that kayaking GPS in the first place could be to help you track your location. When you are out there this small device will help you track your way back home without any problem.  For this very reason, you need to ensure that device you choose comes with great mapping features. In this case, we are saying that specific GPS must offer a world base map.

Additionally, you should be able to download any other additional map and have them stored right in our memory card. As if that is not even enough; if you can get one which can receive date from satellites, that will also make things so much better for you.

BATTERY LIFE

There is nothing more frustrating like your device shutting down because of low battery life while you are out there in the wild. If you don’t know your way back home, you can even start to imagine what can possibly do. It is because of this very reason you need to ensure your kayaking GPS comes with a decent battery life. It must be able to last for more than 10 hours.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

The more additional features you get the better things will get while you are out there kayaking. Although a GPS unit with more feature will cost you more money than those without, the number of things you can do with them will simply blow your mind. Some of the additional features we are talking about include wristbands, waist hook, or even a flashlight to light up your way when darkness sets in. It does not even stop there; if you can get one that comes with a camera that would be so cool. Other than just using the device to track your way home, you can actually capture those amazing moments for future reference.

DURABILITY

After putting some money on your device, the last thing you want is your device developing issues. For this very reason, you need to ensure the kind of quality you are getting before you put your money on this device. Ensure it tough, durable, and has been built to withstand any outdoor activity. The best thing about this is that you can easily tell a good or bad device by just looking at it.

Last modified: July 1, 2021

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