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Recent Navigation Tool Reviews

Garmin Oregon 600

rated 4 of 5 stars The Garmin Oregon 600 a versatile touchscreen GPS. With the addition of topographical maps, it's an invaluable aid when hiking and backpacking. The Garmin's Oregon 600 is a feature rich handheld GPS. The 600 is waterproof; features a 3.0 touchscreen, customizable screens and exterior buttons; includes a digital compass and barometric altimeter. It also tracks GPS and Glassass satellites. The 600 includes 1.5 gigs of internal memory which allows the internal basemap to store up to 4000 waypoints,… Full review

Satmap Active 12

rated 4.5 of 5 stars I easily configured this for left-handed use and have used it really effectively even with the standard 1:50 basic Landranger map that it comes with. I have also bought regional maps (10 to 45 gbp) at 1:25 and less for geo-caching, walking mountain trails and cycling the moors. For all uses this has replaced my Garmin and is easier to use since everything is button press function access, which might sound an odd positive but miss-touching a capacitive screen to lose the detail in a swipe (particularly… Full review

SPOT Personal Tracker

rated 5 of 5 stars 15,000 miles, 31 countries, and the Spot Tracker performed really well. From remote areas to urban concrete jungles it never failed me. I used the Tracker on a recent trip so that people could follow live via the Tracker's webpage. 15,000 miles, 31 countries in 21 days and it performed very well. The only issues I had were batteries as I didn't have the space to carry supplies. I had no dead spots and the customized messages came in handy to let people know I was OK.  Full review

SPOT Personal Tracker

rated 5 of 5 stars Death comes to those that are not prepared. If you want to get lost and die then do not buy. If you want your life and want your stuff then this is for you. I am 78 years old and a rather disabled old lady. I like to drive thru Death Valley and there are lots of places with no cell service. My daughter always knows how to track me and if I spend too long in any one spot she can send help. We have a two hour agreement on how long is too long.   Spot is even great in town where there is cell service. Full review

ACR ResQLink+

rated 5 of 5 stars I rate this PLB a full 5.0 as it has the strongest signal and over a 4-6 year period is less expensive then either the Spot 3 or the DeLorme. Ease of Use:   The ResQLink cannot be easier to use. One button to test. One button to call for help. Features:   Two button operation, easy to use Signal goes directly to Search and Rescue, rather then a call center Built-in strobe light Construction and Durability: - Well, I just purchased it, but it seems very well made Conditions: Took it into the Grand… Full review

Garmin eTrex 20x

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Great for everything you would expect it to be used for, but difficult to use. No one would want a phone that required you to press "7" four times to text the letter "s". Why has this not evolved? We loaded gpx files, saved tracks, followed coordinates, etc. every thing worked great. My only complaint is that I need to hit Google every time I want to try something new. Its interface hasn't evolved in 10 plus years. Time for a major overhaul.  Full review

Magellan eXplorist 510

rated 1 of 5 stars Don't buy one !!!! They have random PCB problems. Don't buy one !!!! Most have a battery drain fault that Magellan won't fix. It's on the PCB and effects 510 610 710 randomly and it will get you stuck in the middle of nowhere!!!! Take them back while you have warranty and it's not the suspend mode or the screen capture. Full review

DeLorme inReach SE

rated 4 of 5 stars It worked when I really needed it in the Sierras (and was a comfort in Mongolia). I bought this device as my "rattlesnake plan." My plan is to always carry it on hikes as my Plan B if I get bitten (or break a leg, etc) too far from the trailhead for cell service and too far for my wife to find her way out (poor sense of direction). I bought it on sale at REI--$50 off plus $50 service credit, so effectively $200. I've used it on numerous day hikes in the SF Bay area and the Sierras and I used it… Full review

Brunton TruArc 3

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Inexpensive, accurate, precise, and compact compass with a global needle and adjustable declination. A compass you’ll likely pack everywhere. Not loaded with features, but all the features you must have to navigate any terrain with your map. You can trust this item to do what you need it to do.  I've heard the TruArc 3 referred to as a training compass, a starter compass, and a beginner's compass. I take exception to that because there really is no such thing. Yes, there are basic base plate… Full review

Top-Rated Navigation Tools

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

user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Garmin Oregon 600 reviewed Feb 5, 2016
$299 - $480
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Satmap Active 12 reviewed Feb 2, 2016
user rating: 3 of 5 (17)
SPOT Personal Tracker reviewed Dec 10, 2015
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
ACR ResQLink+ reviewed Dec 4, 2015
$280 - $289
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Garmin eTrex 20x reviewed Nov 28, 2015
$200 - $250
user rating: 2.5 of 5 (3)
Magellan eXplorist 510 reviewed Nov 1, 2015
$260
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
DeLorme inReach SE reviewed Oct 29, 2015
$300
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Brunton TruArc 3 reviewed Oct 16, 2015
$13
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire reviewed Oct 7, 2015
$500 - $650
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
SPOT Gen3 reviewed Sep 3, 2015
$150 - $169
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Justin Lichter Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Insights Into Hiking and Backpacking reviewed Jun 23, 2015
$20 MSRP
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (2)
Casio 3202 Twin Sensor Watch reviewed Apr 14, 2015
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Earthbound Sports Uwharrie Lakes Region Trail Guide reviewed Mar 15, 2015
user rating: 4 of 5 (3)
Garmin eTrex 30 reviewed Jan 31, 2015
$300
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
CritterMap Backcountry Navigator for Android reviewed Jan 24, 2015
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Random House The Well-Fed Backpacker reviewed Jan 2, 2015
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Kestrel DROP D2 reviewed Dec 31, 2014
$169 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Ultralight Backpacking in Nature's World reviewed Oct 29, 2014
$10 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Gaia GPS App & Offline Topo Maps reviewed Oct 16, 2014
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Falcon Guides Hiking North Carolina reviewed Sep 29, 2014
$20 MSRP
user rating: 0.5 of 5 (1)
Polar AXN300 reviewed Jul 16, 2014
user rating: 3 of 5 (4)
Brunton 8099 PRO Eclipse reviewed Jul 9, 2014
$106 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (3)
Garmin Fenix reviewed Jun 17, 2014
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Brunton 10B Baseplate Compass reviewed Jun 17, 2014
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal reviewed Jun 14, 2014
$6 - $10
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Rand McNally Foris 850 reviewed Jun 12, 2014
$199 MSRP
user rating: 2 of 5 (1)
Falcon Guides Ultralight Backpackin' Tips reviewed Jun 8, 2014
$15
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Etón FRX3 Radio reviewed Jun 6, 2014
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
The Ultimate Hang An Illustrated Guide to Hammock Camping reviewed May 28, 2014
user rating: 2.5 of 5 (7)
Highgear Summit reviewed May 16, 2014
discontinued
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Casio Pathfinder PAW1100T-7V reviewed Apr 24, 2014
user rating: 3 of 5 (1)
Keystone Trails Association Pennsylvania Hiking Trails: 13th Edition reviewed Apr 24, 2014
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Bay Street Publishing Freezer Bag Cooking Volume 1: Trail Food Made Simple reviewed Apr 16, 2014
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Suunto M-3D Leader Compass reviewed Apr 15, 2014
$43
user rating: 3 of 5 (1)
Sun Company MiniComp II reviewed Apr 6, 2014
$10 MSRP
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Pro-Knot Outdoor Knots - Waterproof Plastic Fan Pack reviewed Feb 21, 2014
$5
user rating: 1.5 of 5 (4)
Brunton ADC Summit reviewed Feb 16, 2014
$130 - $150
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Menasha Ridge Press The Best in Tent Camping: Illinois reviewed Jan 27, 2014
$16 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Polar RCX5 Sports Watch reviewed Jan 20, 2014
$350 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Silva Lensatic 360 reviewed Jan 10, 2014
$19 MSRP
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Suunto Arrow 20 reviewed Jan 6, 2014
$67 MSRP
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (2)
Timex Expedition WS4 reviewed Dec 28, 2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4)
Grundig Mini400 reviewed Dec 17, 2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Silva Ranger CL reviewed Dec 8, 2013
$54
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9)
SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger reviewed Dec 5, 2013
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
DeLorme MapPack Annual Subscription reviewed Dec 1, 2013
$30 MSRP
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (5)
DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 reviewed Dec 1, 2013
$300 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w reviewed Dec 1, 2013
$350 MSRP
 
user rating: 3 of 5 (1)
Tech4o Data Center II reviewed Nov 28, 2013
$100 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Garmin Forerunner 301 reviewed Nov 3, 2013
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