Written by 2:14 pm Kayaking Gears

My 10 Best Kayak GPS (Comparison & Buying Guide)

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST KAYAK GPS

 

MY BEST KAYAK GPS COMPARISON:

Product:
Features:
Pros/Cons:
Price:
Best for Geocaching
Best
GARMIN OREGON 750T
  • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
  • Display size: 3-inch
  • Mapping: Worldwide base map alongside shaded relief, you also get a 4GB microSD card slot
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: 1 meter
  • Features: Sunlight readable Touchscreen, ABC sensors, Rugged design for outdoor use, Equipped with 8MP camera so that you can capture the moment
    • Rugged build for heavy-duty use
    • tons of useful features
    • reliable
    • Some users have reported issues with the proximity meter
    Best for large water bodies kayaking
    Best
    GARMIN GPS MAP 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
    • Great battery life
    • colored readable display
    • great wireless
    • great wireless connectivity water-resistant
    • issues with distance calculations
    Best all-round kayak GPS
    Best
    GARMIN ETREX 20X
  • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
  • Display size:  2.2-inch display
  • Mapping: Worldwide base maps, 3.7 GB memory to store your maps
  • Fishfinder: Yes
  • Maximum depth: 1 meter
  • Features: 65k color sunlight-readable display, Preloaded with base maps, Equipped with WAAS- enabled GPS receiver
    • Stunning colored display
    • versatile
    • well build
    • tons of cool features
    • City maps not reliable as we would want it to be
    Best for long kayaking trips
    Best
    GARMIN MONTANA 680T
  • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
  • Display size: 4.0-inch display
  • Mapping: Preloaded TOPO U.S, 1-year Birds-Eye Satellite Imagery subscription
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: 1meter
  • Features: Preloaded with Geocaching tools and maps, Equipped with dual GPS alongside GLONASS system, High sensitivity GPS receiver, Gloves-friendly Touchscreen
    • Stunning display
    • sensitive Touchscreen
    • readable in sunlight
    • you can use it with your gloves
    • Quite expensive
    • doesn’t offer screen lock feature
    Best budget GPS for multi-sport
    Best
    RAND MCNALLY FORIS 850
  • Water rating: Waterproof
  • Display size:  3-inch screen display
  • Mapping: US street & Contour maps
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: NA
  • Features: Waterproof design, Trail navigation, Paperless Geocaching, Storage for a whooping 7000 waypoints
    • Waterproof
    • rugged design for outdoor use
    • detailed maps
    • Very short battery life
    Best for night kayaking trips
    Best
    GARMIN OREGON 650T
  • Water rating: IPX7 water resistant
  • Display size:  3-inch display
  • Mapping: Preloaded US 100 topographic mapping, MicroSD slot to add more maps
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: 1 meter
  • Features: Multi-touch capabilities, Great sensors including compass, barometric altimeter, Wireless connectivity; Bluetooth or ANT, Dual battery pack
    • Tons of features
    • long battery life readable display especially at night
    • Well build
    • Expensive
    Best option for motorized boats and kayaks
    Best
    HUMMINBIRD HELIX 5 CHIRP G2
  • Water rating: Not water resistant
  • Display size:  5-inch display
  • Mapping: Preloaded Amina cartography, Equipped with built-in MicroSD slot
  • Fishfinder: No
  • Maximum depth: NA
  • Features: WVGA Display, CHIRP Dual-beam PLUS Sonar, MicroSD slot
    • Large stunning display
    • reliable
    • readable
    • Its huge size might turn off a lot of people
    Best for fishing and offshore kayaking adventures
    Best
    GARMIN STRIKER 4
  • Water rating: Not water resistant
  • Display size:  3.5-inch display
  • Mapping: Docks & ramps, you also get to enjoy mark & return back to hot spots
  • Fishfinder: Yes
  • Maximum depth: NA
  • Features: Equipped with clear VU scanning sonar, Keypad interface design, Build in flasher
    • Convenient keyboard
    • can easily read a whooping 1600 ft freshwater
    • It is not water resistant
    • doesn’t comes loaded with other additional maps
    Best for budget GPS for great Geocaching
    Best
    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
    • Great battery life
    • support Geocaching files
    • Small screen
    Best for water sporting
    Best
    GARMIN OREGON 700
  • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
  • Display size: 2.5-inch display
  • Mapping: Worldwide base maps coupled with shaded relief, 4GB internal memory with MicroSD slot to store your maps
  • Fishfinder: Yes
  • Maximum depth: 1 meter
  • Features: Rugged design for heavy use, Equipped with ABC sensors, Connect IQ compatible, Rechargeable NiMH battery pack, Stunning display to make you see every single detail
    • Doubles up as Fishfinder
    • high-resolution screen display
    • built to withstand and beating
    • Below-average battery life

    MY BEST KAYAK GPS REVIEWS:

    GARMIN OREGON 750T

    • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
    • Display size: 3-inch
    • Mapping: Worldwide base map alongside shaded relief, you also get a 4GB microSD card slot
    • Fishfinder: No
    • Maximum depth: 1 meter
    • Features: Sunlight readable Touchscreen, ABC sensors, Rugged design for outdoor use, Equipped with 8MP camera so that you can capture the moment
    • Pros: Rugged build for heavy-duty use, tons of useful features, reliable
    • Cons: Some users have reported issues with the proximity meter

     

    GARMIN GPS MAP 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 20X

    • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
    • Display size:  2.2-inch display
    • Mapping: Worldwide base maps, 3.7 GB memory to store your maps
    • Fishfinder: Yes
    • Maximum depth: 1 meter
    • Features: 65k color sunlight-readable display, Preloaded with base maps, Equipped with WAAS- enabled GPS receiver
    • Pros: Stunning colored display, versatile, well build, tons of cool features
    • Cons: City maps not reliable as we would want it to be

     

    GARMIN MONTANA 680T

    • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
    • Display size: 4.0-inch display
    • Mapping: Preloaded TOPO U.S, 1-year Birds-Eye Satellite Imagery subscription
    • Fishfinder: No
    • Maximum depth: 1meter
    • Features: Preloaded with Geocaching tools and maps, Equipped with dual GPS alongside GLONASS system, High sensitivity GPS receiver, Gloves-friendly Touchscreen
    • Pros:  Stunning display, sensitive Touchscreen, readable in sunlight, you can use it with your gloves
    • Cons: Quite expensive, doesn’t offer screen lock feature

     

    RAND MCNALLY FORIS 850

    • Water rating: Waterproof
    • Display size:  3-inch screen display
    • Mapping: US street & Contour maps
    • Fishfinder: No
    • Maximum depth: NA
    • Features: Waterproof design, Trail navigation, Paperless Geocaching, Storage for a whooping 7000 waypoints
    • Pros: Waterproof, rugged design for outdoor use, detailed maps
    • Cons: Very short battery life

     

    GARMIN OREGON 650T

    • Water rating: IPX7 water resistant
    • Display size:  3-inch display
    • Mapping: Preloaded US 100 topographic mapping, MicroSD slot to add more maps
    • Fishfinder: No
    • Maximum depth: 1 meter
    • Features: Multi-touch capabilities, Great sensors including compass, barometric altimeter, Wireless connectivity; Bluetooth or ANT, Dual battery pack
    • Pros:  Tons of features, long battery life readable display especially at night. Well build
    • Cons: Expensive

     

    HUMMINBIRD HELIX 5 CHIRP G2

    • Water rating: Not water resistant
    • Display size:  5-inch display
    • Mapping: Preloaded Amina cartography, Equipped with built-in MicroSD slot
    • Fishfinder: No
    • Maximum depth: NA
    • Features: WVGA Display, CHIRP Dual-beam PLUS Sonar, MicroSD slot
    • Pros:  Large stunning display, reliable, readable
    • Cons: Its huge size might turn off a lot of people

     

    GARMIN STRIKER 4

    • Water rating: Not water resistant
    • Display size:  3.5-inch display
    • Mapping: Docks & ramps, you also get to enjoy mark & return back to hot spots
    • Fishfinder: Yes
    • Maximum depth: NA
    • Features: Equipped with clear VU scanning sonar, Keypad interface design, Build in flasher
    • Pros: Convenient keyboard, can easily read a whooping 1600 ft freshwater
    • Cons: It is not water resistant, doesn’t comes loaded with other additional maps

     

    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

     

    GARMIN OREGON 700

    • Water rating: IPX7 water-resistant
    • Display size: 2.5-inch display
    • Mapping: Worldwide base maps coupled with shaded relief, 4GB internal memory with MicroSD slot to store your maps
    • Fishfinder: Yes
    • Maximum depth: 1 meter
    • Features: Rugged design for heavy use, Equipped with ABC sensors, Connect IQ compatible, Rechargeable NiMH battery pack, Stunning display to make you see every single detail
    • Pros:  Doubles up as Fishfinder, high-resolution screen display, built to withstand and beating
    • Cons: Below-average battery life

     

    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: January 24, 2021

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