- If you need a GPS tracker that’s able to track nationwide, you’ll want to opt for a more expensive, conventional GPS tracker. Shorter range tracking often requires less of a rigorous device. To help you find the best GPS tracker for your aging loved one, we’ve rounded up 50 GPS trackers that are all high quality and deliver results.
- Key Finder,4 Pack Bluetooth Tracker, Item Locator GPS Tracking Device APP Control Compatible iOS Android for Keys, Pets, Phone, Wallet, Handbag Children and More $12.99 $ 12.
- Monitor, track, control & secure your boat with Siren Marine's smart boat technology. Our remote monitoring & security system, featuring the new Siren 3 Pro, allows you to stay connected to your boat anywhere, anytime. Peace of mind for boaters - Welcome to the Connected Boat®.
A good GPS tracker will make your treks easier and safer. Photo: Chris Morton/flickr
GPS trackers for cars are a handy way to keep track of vehicles for fleet management purposes, get roadside assistance, or general emergency purposes. Our roundup of the best car GPS trackers has a variety of options, but our top pick is the Sptetc STI GL300MA. It has a long-lasting battery life, it's compact, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
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 - Updated 2/9/2020
If you're in a hurry, here is our favorite GPS unit, and the best cheap option, in this review:
- Garmin GPSMAP 64st - Editor's Choice 2020
- Garmin Foretrex 401 - Best Budget GPS for Hiking
10 Top Handheld GPS Trackers for Hiking & Backpacking in 2020
Table of Contents
1) Garmin Montana 680 - Best geocaching gps
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Updated 2/9/2020 - 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.
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For some people, a handheld GPS tracker is quite big, heavy and expensive for their personal use. Fortunately, there are many personal GPS tracking devices available that are smaller, thinner and cheaper than handheld GPS tracker units.
- Shark to Talk
- Long batter life
Remote Tracking Device
- Real-time tracking
- Off-grid chat
Remote Gps Tracker
- Voice message
- Intelligent mesh network
If You Have These Concerns about Personal GPS Trackers:
Who Needs Personal GPS Trackers?
Using GPS trackers to record traces and share locations when you go hiking, camping, skiing and etc. Even in the forest or areas with no signal, you can easily find your way and keep touch with teammates.
Kids and Elderly
Kids and the elderly, especially those who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer, are easy to get lost. You are able to set them safe zones and receive SOS alerts by using GPS trackers. Keep an eye on your kids or elderly parents, and always know they are safe.
Set a GPS dog fence for your dogs with GPS tracker. Let them play outside, while keeping track of their location and trace. Always know where they are, and no more worry about wandering pets.
No matter you use GPS trackers for your kids or hiking teammates, you must purchase more than 1 device. In some situations like camping or other team-building activities, you may need dozens of GPS tracking devices. Choosing personal GPS trackers with no monthly fee can really help you save big, while staying connected with others or in emergency situations when cell service is down.
Best Personal GPS Tracker
To help you make your choice easier and more accurately, here, we give you a list of the Best Personal GPS Trackers, including GoFindMe, iTrail GPS Logger, goTenna Mesh, BEARTOOTH Smart Walkie Talkie and Radacat Team Messenger C1. They are good for keeping track of your kids, elderly parents or hiking, camping teammates. More importantly, the personal GPS trackers ensure real-time tracking with No Monthly Fee. Let’s see how they work, and how to choose your personal GPS tracker.
|GOFINDME||goTenna Mesh||BEARTOOTH Smart |
|iTrail GPS Logger|
|Dimensions||5.12' x 1.42' x 0.67'||4.2' x 1.3' x 0.9'||2.4' x 0.5' x 4'||4.3' x 1.5' x 0.6'||1.5' x 1.5'|
|Weight||3 ounces||9 ounces||4.5 ounces||1.92 ounces||3.36 ounces|
|Battery Life||72 hours||24 hours||4 Days||up to 36 hours||16 hours|
|Charge Port||Micro USB 5V/1A DC||Micro USB 2.0||USB Micro Port||Micro USB 2.0||Micro USB|
|Voice Message||√ (built-in)||√||√||√||-|
|Range||Up to 8 km (5 miles)||up to 4 miles||Up to 5 miles in the wild, up to 1 mile in the city||0.3 to 1.9 miles in the wild, 0.6 to 3.7 miles in the city||Accurate within 3 meters|
1 Best Overall - GoFindMe GPS Tracker
Among the personal GPS tracker list, GoFindMe holds the top position and it is regarded as the best personal GPS tracker option for personal & family use. Indeed, GoFindMe offers real-time tracking with no monthly fee.
GoFindMe GPS tracker works based on the long-range radio technology, linking up you with other people (your kids, elderly parents or teammates) in private network environment. You are able to share real-time locations, traces or send messages without relying on cell or Wi-Fi networks. No SIM card is required.
Besides the off-grid communication, you are able to take other benefits from GoFindMe, like multiple offline map options, geo-fence for setting safe zones, SOS button, up to 48 hours of battery life and etc.
GoFindMe personal GPS tracker comes with very suitable size, and can be easily attached to key chains or clipped to backpack for convenience. Integrating with the App, you are allowed to keep live tracking on your kids, parents, teammates or pets in the best way.
- What We Like:
- Real-time tracking with no monthly fee
- Off-grid communication via text and voice messages
- Mesh network support ensuring broader range signal
- Safe Zone feature for tracking kids, elderly and pets
- One button SOS
- What We Dislike:
- You cannot customize the voice message contents
2 goTenna Mesh - Popular One
goTenna Mesh is a reliable personal GPS tracker that can be used for real-time tracking and communication. When go hiking or camping, it’s a good way to stay connected with your kid or other goTenna Mesh users in those remote areas.
The tracking device works and pairs with goTenna App. You guys are allowed to send voice messages or share GPS locations via App, without any reliance on cell towers, Wi-Fi routers or satellites. If there is any trouble, the emergency messages will be transmitted to all other goTenna users within the range. Although this personal GPS tracker can work without service network, it actually requires cell service for the initial configuration, and users take very long time to update the firmware.
- What We Like:
- A lightweight personal GPS tracker has multiple color & attachment strap options
- Voice message enabled
- Intelligent mesh network
- Work without service, and no monthly fee
- What We Dislike:
- No SOS button
- No Geo-fence
- The app tries to get access users’ contacts
3 Beartooth - Smart Walkie Talkie
This personal GPS tracker is a necessary gadget and very useful, especially when you and your friends or families are in the wild area that has no cellular network service. Beartooth Smart Walkie Talkie can be used to locate and communicate with other users in range through both iOS and Android devices.
Since Beartooth Smart Walkie Talkie can work without cell service or Wi-Fi, so you will not be required to pay extra monthly cost. To use the personal GPS tracker with no monthly fee, simply download Beartooth App and pair the devices, and then you’ll be able to create group, send messages, PPT voice and locate others on the offline maps.
All of its features are great and easy to use, but compared to some other personal GPS trackers, you can expect that Beartooth Smart Walkie Talkie could have more must-have features like Geo-fence or SOS button.
- What We Like:
- Locate and communicate without cell or Wi-Fi service (no monthly fee)
- Up to 4-day battery life, and can be used as a backup battery for charging your smartphone
- PPT voice support. The voice quality is good and maps are easy-to-use
- What We Dislike:
- Quite big size. It’s more fit in a backpack ,instead of your pocket
- Very limited communication range
- No mesh network
- No SOS button for emergency
- No geo-fencing
4 Radacat Team Messenger C1 - Budget Pick
Radacat Team Messenger C1 is another personal GPS tracker with no monthly fee, and lets you accurately locate kids & elderly parents or communicate with other device users when cell service is unavailable. If you are going to go hiking, camping or other outdoor adventures, this personal GPS tracker with no monthly fee can be put into your short list.
By using Radacat Team Messenger C1, you can have your own private network to share real-time location with other users, with no cell or Wi-Fi services. As the result, you do not need to pay any fee other than the initial cost of purchasing the tracking device.
Radacat Team Messenger C1 has a very useful feature called “Shake to Talk”, which allows you to send voice messages by shaking your smartphone even when the screen is locked. Besides, it has pretty good battery life, and the device & app are fairly easy to install and use.
On the other hand, the personal tracking device has no built-in GPS module, it uses the location services of your smartphone. So, if your smartphone is powered off, then the location feature of the tracker cannot properly work.
- What We Like:
- No cell or Wi-Fi service is required, no monthly fee
- “Shake to Talk” makes easier and more efficient communication
- Long battery life (If you use its Relay mode, the battery life will be reduced)
- What We Dislike:
- No built-in GPS module
- No SOS emergency button
- No geo-fence feature
- No waterproof
5 iTrail GPS Logger - Good Alternative
iTrail GPS Logger is a GPS tracking device from Spy Tec, and it works well in many different situations for tracking kids or elderly family members. iTrail GPS logger may be the smallest GPS tracker throughout the marketplace, it’s just 1.5 x 1.5 inches and you can easily put in the pocket or backpack.
The device will track users’ location, and record all the tracking traces and data on Google Earth and Google Maps. You are able to download and share the tracking information in different formats like a Word, PDF, CSV or HTML. By using this personal GPS tracker, you don’t have to worry about paying monthly fee.
However, iTrail GPS Logger has very obvious drawbacks. To check the tracking records, you have to plug the device into your PC. And the tracking device has no emergency button. Generally, iTrail GPS Logger comes with very small size, is only good for personal tracking purpose.
- What We Like:
- Tiny GPS tracker that can be easily put anywhere
- Trace records on Google Earth and Google Maps
- Motion activated mode
- No monthly fee
- What We Dislike:
- No real-time tracking
- No SOS button or Geofence
- No mobile App support
Monthly Fee or No Monthly Fee
If you have ever searched for some personal GPS trackers, you will notice an obvious difference of personal GPS tracker products - monthly fee or no monthly fee. Some personal GPS trackers require cellular service subscription to use the devices and features, while some others work with no monthly fee.
GPS trackers with Monthly Fee: the device usually needs a SIM card inserted, and works over GSM network. As the result, the network service subscription is required.
GPS trackers with No Monthly Fee: in terms of this type of tracking devices, you pay once for the device itself, and have no extra cost afterwards
Why GPS Tracker with No Monthly Fee is Ideal?
Why personal GPS trackers with no monthly fee are better and more highly recommended? Although the benefits are clear enough, we still summarized up for you.
Nowadays, one single or a pair of GPS tracking devices charges between $100 and $200 averagely. If the GPS tracker you choose requires network service subscription, then it would be a continuous investment. As long as you use the GPS tracker, you have to pay.
For another type of GPS tracker, it’s one-time payment that only for the tracking device, and no monthly cost. That can help you save a lot, especially when you need multiple GPS trackers.
Without Relying on Network
Why some GPS trackers can guarantee no monthly fee? Because these tracking devices utilize different connection technologies. They can work without relying on cell or Wi-Fi network. This is more efficient especially when the users are in the dense forest, or somewhere else without network covers.
We reviewed and compared the main features of these 5 personal GPS trackers with no monthly fee. Combined, GoFindMe GPS Tracker has a higher price value than others. This personal GPS tracking device ensures real-time location & trace record, off-grid communication, geofence set & alarm, offline Google maps and useful SOS button.
GoFindMe GPS Tracker guarantees no monthly fee. It is perfect for family uses and outdoor activities even the areas have no cell or Wi-Fi services cover. Besides, you can also avoid expensive data plans while traveling internationally with the tracking device.