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Recent Navigation Tool Reviews

Trace

rated 4 of 5 stars Trace is a sports tracking system designed for snow and water sports. It's a GPS device that records a variety of information that is then downloaded to a smartphone or computer. This easy to use sports tracker is a useful tool for training or just all-around fun. This small (1 7/8" x 3/4") device combines an advanced 9-axis inertial measurement unit (9X IMU) and GPS sensors to track a variety of sports including snow sports, water sports, and downhill mountain biking. The 9X IMU's ability to track… Full review

National Geographic Great Smoky Mountains National Park Map

rated 4 of 5 stars Great for driving and planning, not really a hiking map. Map number 229. This is a great map for planning a trip to the Smokies, and useful to use with a hiking guide or trip advisor to find certain locations in the park. It is also great for driving around to know where you are and where you are going. It does show many marked trails, but isn't really a hiking map. One side shows the east side of the park, the other side the west side, with about 5 miles of overlap. 50 foot elevation contours don't… Full review

MyTopo Waterproof Topo Map Tapoco

rated 2 of 5 stars Map includes topographical countours and roads, but not trails. I was happy to find MyTopo.com and to be able to order a topographical map in advance of my trip. I was disappointed when I got into my hike and realized there were forks on my trail which were not shown on the map, and even the trail on my map was very difficult to read. Topographic contours are shown in heavy brown lines, and so are roads, so they are difficult to distinguish. The trail I was trying to take is marked with a very light… Full review

Garmin eTrex 20x

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Easy to use, water resistant. This GPS does the job well. It is fairly easy to use once you watch a couple of youtube videos. Garmin's free baseCamp software can be used to program routes and retrieve tracks off of the GPS. I've used it several times, once in a downpour all day, and never had a problem. The only problem I have is with the joystick controller on the front of the unit. It's great to use to control the GPS, but once you put it in your pocket or a backpack's hip belt pocket it activates… Full review

Garmin Fenix 3

rated 4.5 of 5 stars More accurate measure of your distance traveled than distances shown on hiking maps! It lets you see and know via a slight vibration when you are off trail. I have only used this on a 3-day hike through the White Mountains, but am pleased enough to write a first impressions review. I did recharge the Fenix each night using an external battery so cannot comment on whether one charge holds ups over a three-day period. I downloaded my routes to the Fenix and did not buy the Garmin maps. I may buy maps… Full review

Silva Expedition 15TDCL

rated 5 of 5 stars A tough and well made reliable compass. This compass, like all other Silva models, is very high quality. I recently purchased this model to replace an earlier compass that had no clinometer. I was rather pleased to see that the quality of this model is as good as my 20-year-old Ranger. In use the baseplate markings come in very handy with 1: 25 000 and 1: 50 000 romer scales and CM / INCH measures. The markings are very well applied and I can't see these ever wearing away. (They are still as good… Full review

DeLorme inReach Explorer

rated 5 of 5 stars This is a must have item on a backcountry thru hike! GPS satellite communication device with tracking and text messaging capability and SOS. I bought this device at a recent REI Garage sale for a steal! I've been wanting one for a long time and now I own one! I activated it immediately, which was easy to do. There are multiple different plans to choose from. I have loaded more than 50 trails and routes to the device and it is amazing! I'm super excited to have this device for my upcoming JMT thru… Full review

Suunto MC-2G Navigator

rated 1 of 5 stars Nowhere near the quality of my mid-1990 Suunto. The lid closure is too tight, putting a lot of strain on both the lid and the baseplate acrylic lugs. Poorly etched base plate markings will not last long. Dial markings look like they have been applied by a 4 year old. Very poor quality when compared to my old Suunto. What a shame! Love the needle. That's why I bought it. Don't like the lid closure. That's why I sent it back. I can see this breaking the acrylic lugs. It really is that tight. Couldn't… Full review

ACR ResQLink+

rated 4 of 5 stars Lightweight, small, and has the reliability of ACR behind it (I trust ACR locators). The ACR ResQLink+ is a replacement for my old heavy ACR TerraFix 406 PLB. The ResQLink+ is 1/4 the size of the old PLB and about 1/6 the weight of the older model. I had to use my old old PLB when I tore my right quad tendon while hiking White Oak Canyon in Shenandoah NP. Help did not arrive until I reached the parking lot. I got help from some ice climbers and a father and daughter out for the day.   At that time,the… Full review

Top-Rated Navigation Tools

Sort by: name | rating | price | availability | recently reviewed

user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Silva Polaris 177 Handheld Compass
$14 - $18
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Silva Starter 1-2-3 Handheld Compass
$8 - $13
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Suunto M-3D Leader Compass Handheld Compass
$44
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Brunton TruArc 5 Handheld Compass
$20
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
DeLorme inReach Explorer Handheld GPS Receiver / Locator Beacon
$380
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Silva Explorer Pro HV Handheld Compass
$26 - $32
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Silva Lensatic 360 Handheld Compass
$18 - $19
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
ACR ResQLink Locator Beacon
$325
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
DeLorme Pennsylvania Atlas & Gazetteer US Northeast Paper Map
$20
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Suunto M-3 Global Handheld Compass
$30 - $51
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Great Swamp Press Pachaug State Forest Trail Map - Connecticut US Northeast Paper Map
$10
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Garmin Fenix GPS Watch
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Imus Geographics Wallowa Mountain/Eagle Cap Wilderness Map US Pacific States Paper Map
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Suunto Ambit GPS Watch
$550 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
CritterMap Backcountry Navigator for Android Map / Outdoor App
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Garmin Oregon 450t Handheld GPS Receiver
$400 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Magellan SporTrak Map Handheld GPS Receiver
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
McMurdo Fast Find 210 Locator Beacon
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Magellan eXplorist XL Handheld GPS Receiver
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Suunto M-2 Handheld Compass
$24 MSRP
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Recta Elite Sport Global Compass Handheld Compass
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Silva Expedition 15TDCL Handheld Compass
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin Rino 530HCx Handheld GPS Receiver
$500 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin GPSMAP 62s Handheld GPS Receiver
$450 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Carin Mountain Company Mount Rainier Guide Reference Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$14 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Victorinox Swiss Army Summit XLT
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w Handheld GPS Receiver
$350 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Magellan Triton 1500 Handheld GPS Receiver
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Receiver
$330 MSRP
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Magellan CrossoverGPS Handheld GPS Receiver
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Gaia GPS App & Offline Topo Maps Outdoor App / Map
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
DeLorme MapPack Annual Subscription Map
$30 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Polar RCX5 Sports Watch
$350 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Kasper & Richter Meridian Pro Handheld Compass
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin Oregon 550 Handheld GPS Receiver
$400 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Menasha Ridge Press The Best in Tent Camping: Illinois
$16 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire GPS Watch
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Watch
$200 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Casio Pathfinder PAW1500-1V Compass Watch
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Gem Trek Trail Map and Guide Canadian Paper Map
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Wilderness Press San Gabriel Mountains Map US Mountain States Paper Map
$10 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Brunton O.S.S. 40B Compass Handheld Compass
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin GPSMAP 60CS Handheld GPS Receiver
user rating: 5 of 5 (4)
Garmin eTrex Legend Cx Handheld GPS Receiver
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Garmin GPSMAP 60Cx Handheld GPS Receiver
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Garmin GPSMAP 76S Handheld GPS Receiver
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Highgear Altis TI Altimeter Watch
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Brunton 54LU Handheld Compass
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Silva Expedition 4 Handheld Compass
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin 72 WAAS Handheld GPS Receiver
discontinued
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