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Best Kayak GPS

Updated On September 29, 2020

A GPS is one of the most essential tools you can bring along when on a day out on the waters. With a good kayak GPS, you will have the ability to find out your staying spot when you are lost in addition to finding restricted areas and discovering brand-new paths.

For you to get the best kayaking GPS, you need to keep some features in mind. These consist of; the display screen size, water resistance, compatibility, ease of use, battery life, mapping, navigation precision, and speed. Other traits you may look for are durability, kind of receiver, cost, and optional things like the type of mount, geo-coaching software application, and a camera.In this guide, we’re going to cover the following points:

  • Detailed reviews of the top 9 kayak GPS in the market
  • Comprehensive pros and cons of each of these
  • Key features of each GPS
  • Our verdict

Quick Summary: Top 9 - Best Kayak GPS of 2020


Our seasoned editors have picked and rated these products for each specific category and area of expertise to recommend you the best models and products we can. We receive commission from some of these affiliate links.
Best Overall:  1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st
The device enables you to get real-time notifications.
Runner-Up: 2. Humminbird HELIX 5 G2 Series Fish Finders
User-friendly and easy to install on your ship or kayak.
Also Great: 3. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4
It is fantastic for vertical jigging and fishing.
Also Good: 4. Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro
It can store more than 100 hours of tracking information.
Also Good: 5. Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
It has a big storage capability. It can store up to 10,000 waypoints.
Also Good: 6. Garmin 010-01735-10 in Reach Explorer
It works with the Garmin In-Reach application for mobiles.
Also Good: 7. Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
Has a really good resolution hence makes it convenient to read data.
Also Good: 8. Garmin Montana 680t
Has a big screen display screen which makes reading data easy.
Also Good: 9. Garmin Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS
Consists of an 8-mp photographic camera with automatic focus and digital zoom.
Top 3 Quick Comparison
Product
Photo
Pros
Link
Best Overall
It works with the GLONASS placing system
Runner-Up
High accuracy and precise
Also Great
It is light-weight and portable

Our Reviews


Best Overall
Among the most popular GPS devices is the Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S with high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery Life: 16 hours
  • SD Card Slot: Yes
  • Display Size: 2.6 inches
  • Dimension: 1.4 x 2.4 x 6.3 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: Yes 
It is made with exceptional quality and outstanding features to cater to your needs as a navigator. It includes a standard world mapping system and in case you want an additional map you can easily purchase it and store it in an external storage system such as the microSD card. Primarily, the preloaded map is the U.S map.

This device is compatible with other gadgets such as GLONASS and GPS. This is one model that has a greater portion of precision in comparison with its rivals. It likewise has a casing made from rubber to boost the water resistivity of the gadget. Additionally, the gadget's internal storage has a large capacity for saving as many waypoints as you want and thousands of paths. 
  • Big screen to facilitate ease of reading
  • Large internal storage to save as much information as you desire
  • It has a premium level of sensitivity tracking with the GLONASS system
  • Compatible with bird's eye satellite images software application and also works with customized maps
  • The rubber encasing boosts resilience along with water-resistance
  • Calculations related to distance may be faulty sometimes
Product Review
"Single minded and very accurate GPS. Use on road and mountain bikes and it performs the task of navigating perfectly. Far better than other cycle specific GPSs which often loose track of location."
Runner-Up
Hummingbird Helix 5 fish finder is a specific GPS gadget that has become renowned as a fish finding assistant. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery Life: 20-25 hours
  • SD Card Slot: Yes
  • Display Size: 5 inches
  • Dimension: 1.13 x 7.55 x 4.28 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: Yes 
Most of the anglers utilizing the kayak GPS consider this their primary choice. 

The precision of the GPS is undoubtedly high and it gives you, the user with real-time information. For this reason, the Humminbird GPS G2 is trustworthy and a reliable companion for adventurers. Concerning its usage, you will find that it has an easily-readable screen to help you understand the information and results better. Apart from being an excellent GPS, this device is an outstanding assistant for fishing. 
  • It has a 5 inches screen that makes it easy to read
  • Its high precision ensures that precise location of fish can be found
  • Can be mounted on the side of the boat
  • Made with high-quality materials so can endure extreme weathers
  • Its size is even bigger than a smartphone 
Product Review
"So far so good! Lots of little tweaks to make when fishing is slow, but works great right out of the box!"
Also Great
Garmin Striker 4 is the latest navigational device that many people are buying today because of its cost-effective price tag and the free transducer it comes with. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery Life: 20 hours
  • SD Card Slot: No
  • Display Size: 3.5 inches
  • Dimension: 3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: No 
It is a marvelous and must-have GPS for those who like to go fishing on their sea adventures. With an in-built fish finding function, you can now say goodbye to boat drilling and hello to never missing your target again.

The Striker 4 comes at a reasonably low price and offers you a wide range of features, making sure that you get the worth for your cash. It is also considerably hassle-free and straightforward to use according to our experience and what we’ve concluded from the countless customers’ remarks on the internet.

Moreover, it is quite portable due to its small size, making it easy to handle. With Garmin’s Striker 4, your new and exciting sea journeys are waiting for you.
  • It is portable, lightweight, and easy to handle
  • Affordable compared with other GPS devices
  • Longer battery life makes it more reliable during long journeys
  • Easier to set waypoints and mark routes
  • Water-resistance is low
  • No maps are preloaded
Product Review
"I'm using it for ice fishing. The flasher is every nice, the display is adapting depending on the death of the water."
Also Good
The Bad Elf GPS Pro is every adventurer's preference when it comes down to digital maps. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery Life: 16-32 hours
  • SD Card Slot: No
  • Display Size: 2 inches
  • Dimension: 2.4 x 0.7 x 3 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: No 
It is well-built, durable, and waterproof. It comes with essential features that make it possible for you to set up a connection between the GPS device and an Apple smartphone or tablet. It is also incredibly useful when sharing your geographical co-ordinates with your teammates.

Many seafarers find it useful to have something that can tell them how far they have traveled while exploring a certain area. You may ask yourself how this navigator can be of help to you. We consider it to be an outstanding GPS device because it can tell you your speed, whether you are on a sea vehicle, road vehicle, or simply on foot, it can also show you your coordinates and altitude.
  • High water tolerance ensures greater durability
  • Possible to connect it to 5 Apple devices via Bluetooth, simultaneously
  • Works accurately at high altitudes as well
  • Longer battery life makes it more reliable
  • Bluetooth connection is faulty, sometimes connects to only 2-3 devices max
Product Review
"Really easy to use, in my case integrated it with my iPhone, the app works well, emailed the file to myself and a friend. Battery life is much better than expected."
Also Good
The Garmin eTrex 10 worldwide handheld GPS navigator is amongst the finest kayak GPS gadgets in the market today. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery Life: 25 hours
  • SD Card Slot: No
  • Display Size: 2.2 inches
  • Dimension: 1.30 x 4.00 x 2.10 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: Yes 
This model is worth every cent of its price because of its incredibly long battery life that can sustain the GPS for as much as 25 hours and the capability to store over 10,000 waypoints and 200 tracks.

It also has a world base map that guarantees you get a precise position, regardless of where you are. It is compatible with other popular positioning systems such as the GLONASS. Another incredible function of the Garmin eTrex is that it is waterproof, so you can take it along with you when you go fishing.
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty, so if anything goes wrong, you can always contact the customer support
  • World map preloaded in it; you don’t need to download anything new
  • Waterproof and meets the standards of IPx7
  • Excellent battery life ensures greater reliability in long journeys
  • Compatible with the GLONASS system, can find any location precisely 
  • Screen size is small, may make it difficult for some users to read the data comfortably
Product Review
"This product saved my life, bought for a seven week independant mapping project located in the NW highlands of Scotland."
Also Good
With the facility to trigger SOS emergency signals and two-way textual communication, the Garmin Explorer+ is an excellent choice for every adventurer who values their safety above everything else. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • Battery Life: 100 hours
  • SD Card Slot: No
  • Display Size: 2.3 inches
  • Dimension: 1.5 x 2.7 x 6.5 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: Yes 
This device allows you to have access to preloaded topographical maps as well as notifies you of the latest weather updates for the entire week. This feature is extremely valuable to find out if a kayaking journey is possible on a certain day, i.e. whether there’s a storm coming, or whether the temperature will be pleasant enough to go out for a trip.

As soon as you've purchased the Explorer+, you can gain access to the Garmin's explorer site for free. Having such access enables you to prepare yourself for your journey by marking your waypoints, in advance, for the route that you wish to take. This is extremely helpful for people who like to plan everything out and know precisely where they are going and how they are going to get there. It is also helpful to find out any landmarks that one may encounter during their journey.
  • Has an advanced tracking system for tracing waypoints and routes, also makes it possible to share them with friends
  • Lithium-ion battery ensures a reliable and sustainable performance
  • Has an integrated weather forecast system and an SOS emergency communication
  • Pairing with other devices to share information is easy
  • May be expensive for some individuals
  • Families and friends of residents of some countries may not be able to utilize two-way communication, it becomes one-way, where the individual in the unsupported country cannot reply back 
Product Review
"Fantastic device worth its weight in gold for remote bush adventures."
Also Good
Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS Navigator is amongst the top-performing Garmin products in the market today.
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 3.7 GB
  • Battery Life: 25 hours
  • SD Card Slot: Yes
  • Display Size: 2.2 inches
  • Dimension: 2.1 x 4 x 1.3 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: Yes 
It includes an excellent resolution to make sure you do not strain when reading out the information on the display screen. Also, it has a large storage capacity in addition to an SD card slot to use an external storage device.

This model features preloaded world maps that allow you to get a much better understanding of the landscape and surroundings of where you are currently and your marked destination. In addition to this, this GPS is capable of storing thousands of waypoints and hundreds of different routes. With the touch of a couple of buttons, you can discover which path you took to travel to a particular place, at any time.
  • The user-friendly interface and simple layout makes it easy to use
  • Big screen with nice resolution makes it effortless to read
  • The internal memory can be increased by attaching a memory card
  • A well-built body gives it high durability which in turn allows it to work under variable weather conditions without any issues
  • It is lightweight and ideal size to carry around with ease
  • No preloaded maps, making the GPS useless unless you spend extra bucks on purchasing maps
Product Review
"Good GPS, it is working fine for now, hold the battery a long time!"
Also Good
Being among the coolest-looking GPS gadgets in the market, it features a wide array of features that make your sea trips even more exciting and fun. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 1 GB
  • Battery Life: 16 hours
  • SD Card Slot: No
  • Display Size: 4 inches
  • Dimension: 1.4 x 2.9 x 5.7 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: Yes 
With a big screen that facilitates double orientation, you can effortlessly read crucial information even on the brightest of days. Also, this GPS includes a glove-sensitive screen so if the weather is chilly and you do not feel like removing your gloves, the screen can still work like a charm.

The Garmin Montana 680T GPS has a battery with a significantly longer life of about 16 hours, which is rechargeable. It is made out of premium quality materials that boost its resilience and make it a much more reliable device. Best of all, the device contains an 8-mp digital camera to capture the most memorable moments of the journey.

Also, much like the variety of other GPS systems, this is waterproof and therefore the perfect option for an all-weather kayaking journey.
  • Long battery life ensures reliability during long journeys
  • The heavy-duty body ensures resilience, sturdiness, and durability of the device
  • One of the few GPS devices in our list that is glove-sensitive, making it possible to use its touchscreen without removing your gloves
  • The double orientation system of the screen makes it effortless to read data
  • The waterproof body makes it a perfect choice for kayaking and sea trips
  • Comes preloaded with world map and geocaching tools
  • An 8-mp digital camera makes it possible to capture and store pictures
  • The purchase includes a 1-year subscription to Garmin’s Birds Eye Satellite Imagery application and many preloaded maps
  • Comes at a very high price
  • May not be practical if you’re not a regular traveler
Product Review
"Awesomeness GPS, packed with features. I am in BC, Canada, so I bought the Canada TOPO map and the BC Backroad map books digital. You definitely need to have a little smarts to use."
Also Good
Amongst the wide range Garmin GPS products, the Oregon 650T Hiking GPS is the most portable model offered in the market. 
Quick Specs
  • Internal Memory: 4 GB
  • Battery Life: 16 hours
  • SD Card Slot: Yes
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Dimension: 4.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches
  • Preloaded Maps: No 
Due to its marvelous features, this particular GPS has acquired a lot of positive reputation in the industry, rising way beyond its rivals. The huge and vibrant screen makes it easy to understand and read important data. The screen has an automatic system of adjusting the brightness level according to the light in your surroundings. So regardless of where you are or what the time is, the screen will set its brightness depending on how dark your environment is.

In addition, the Oregon 650T is waterproof and quite durable considering that it is made with heavy-duty materials. The location detection system using co-ordinates is also very accurate and precise in this model. As a bonus, the device includes an integrated camera that can be used underwater as well so, you can take pictures with it and preserve every beautiful memory of your trip.
  • Has a digital camera to capture high-quality images; works underwater as well
  • Comes preloaded with maps of the U.S. 
  • The MicroSD slot makes it possible to store additional gigabytes of information
  • Has a barometric altimeter sensor
  • The dual battery ensures the device remains powered during emergency circumstances
  • Waterproof as per the standards of IPx7
  • The touch screen is glove-sensitive, so you don’t need to remove your gloves to utilize the device
  • The display screen is readable even under bright sunlight
  • Calculations for mileage and altitude are sometimes inaccurate, you may get false reports
  • No sound notification to let you know that an image has been captured with the camera
  • The positioning of the camera lens is awful, your fingers are bound to get in the way unless you hold it in a weird way
Product Review
"Love, love, love this GPS! Very easy to use, lots of great options, easy to set up exactly as you need it, lightweight and handy to have!"

Verdict   

All kayaking GPS devices use the help of satellites to locate your position. Most of the big brands like Garmin produce models that are also compatible with the Russian GLONASS positioning system. The way they display this information can differ from device to device. Some, as you may have seen from our list, also show current speed and have preloaded maps. (1, 2)

Before you decide to buy a kayak GPS, know what kind of information you wish to see and whether you’ll be traveling regularly. If you do travel a lot, consider going for a device that offers additional storage options via a memory card slot. If you are not fond of storing everything from scratch, a model with preloaded maps will be highly useful and timesaving. (3)

Some users also consider the size of the display screen and readability to be crucial factors. If you like clearly written information and a big screen, you’ll need to research further to find a device that has such features. However, we hope that our guide will help you make a better decision quickly because we have personally reviewed and enlisted every kind of kayak GPS in our guide.

You may also check some of our great guides such as: best beginner kayak, best touring kayak, and other learning articles that may help you one of these days.
Our Top Pick
Best Overall
Among the most popular GPS devices is the Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S with high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver. 
References
(1) GPS - https://www.garmin.com/en-US/aboutGPS/
(2) GLONASS - https://gssc.esa.int/navipedia/index.php/GLONASS_General_Introduction
(3) memory card slot - https://www.gsmarena.com/glossary.php3?term=memory-card-slot#:~:text=A%20special%20slot%20for%20inserting,as%20Wi%2DFi%20connectivity).

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