Looking for the Best Kayak GPS? Here’s a Review of 12 Awesome Picks

Exploring is great but there are areas you cannot access without the help of a kayak. When venturing into water you want to have the best kayak GPS that will offer you freedom and still keep you safe.

The main point of having GPS for your kayak is to allow you to venture further into the waters without getting lost.

If you are interested in finding out more about this useful device, keep it here.

Top-Rated Kayak GPS: Comparison List

We’d like to start this journey by bringing you up to speed with some awesome GPS we found during our research. The following list precedes our detailed reviews.

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS...
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with...
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator and World Wide...
Product Name
Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS...
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with...
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator and World Wide...
Dimension
1.4 x 2.4 x 6.3 inches
1.13 x 7.55 x 4.28 in
3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
1.7 x 0.9 x 2.9 inches
1.2 x 2.6 x 6 inches
Weight
9.6 ounces
2.5 Pounds
2.35 pounds
9.6 ounces
12.6 ounces
Prime Status
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS...
Product Name
Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS...
Dimension
1.4 x 2.4 x 6.3 inches
Weight
9.6 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Product Name
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Dimension
1.13 x 7.55 x 4.28 in
Weight
2.5 Pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with...
Product Name
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with...
Dimension
3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
Weight
2.35 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Product Name
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Dimension
1.7 x 0.9 x 2.9 inches
Weight
9.6 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator and World Wide...
Product Name
Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator and World Wide...
Dimension
1.2 x 2.6 x 6 inches
Weight
12.6 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price

Top 10 Best Kayak GPS of 2020

1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS

Looking for the best GPS at an affordable price? Well, this is one of the options that might impress you due to its design and functionalities.

It has a 2.6 sunlight-readable color display size of 1.43” x 2.15” and a diagonal of 6.6 cm.

In addition to that, this gadget is constructed with IPX7 waterproof material that makes it suitable for use even in high moisture conditions.

Also, it has a resolution of 160 x 240 pixels and comes with an expandable 8GB memory for storing data. Moreover, it’s compatible with high-speed USB and Nemea interface.

As if that’s not enough, this fantastic device has a battery life of 16 hours and designed with a dual battery system compatible with both rechargeable NiMH and 2 AA batteries.

Better yet, you can use this device to receive smart notifications for temperature, heart rate monitor, and much more.

Pros

  • Waterproof design
  • Longer battery life
  • Sunlight readable
  • Has a dual battery system

Cons

  • It’s manual and doesn’t have a camera

2.   Humminbird Helix 5 Fish Finder

It’s a versatile GPS that comes with many advanced features that make it great for professional work.

One of the incredible features of this device is the 5-inch WVGA color display that makes the interface user-friendly.

In addition to that, it features GPS internal chart plotting precision and a built-in Anima cartography that makes it great for any long distance angler.

Without mentioning, this GPS for a kayak has a Chirp dual beam plus sonar, power output RMS of 500w, and power draw of 615 mA.

To add on that, this kayak GPs has a convenient slot for a micro SD card that you can use for optional maps.

And on top of that, you can use the memory card to save your waypoints and has a target separation of -2.5.

Pros

  • Has a 5-inch display screen
  • High quality down-imaging
  • Chirp technology
  • Durably constructed

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with screen cover

3. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder 

This is one of the top-rated GPS that comes with numerous customizable features that you can like. It’s available in different display sizes such as 3.5 inches, 5 inches, and 7–inch display.

It is designed with clear VU sonars that scans and shows you much of what is in the water around your boat.

With this kind of high-frequency sonar, you’re able to see detailed photographic images of fish, objects, and structure.

Also, this device is simple to use due to its dedicated buttons and keyed interface.

When it comes to waterproofing, this kayak GPS is constructed with highly waterproof IPX7 material for stress-free use in damp conditions.

With the help of the waypoint map, you can easily navigate to marked locations effortlessly. Besides, it has a Chirp Sonar that continuously provides a sweep of frequencies with a broader range of views. 

Pros

  • Has multiple uses
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to install and use
  • Has a built-in flasher view

Cons

  • It lacks SD slot, NIMEA connectivity, and cover.

4. Garmin eTrex 30 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

This device is one of the sophisticated GPS devices with highly advanced functionalities with user-friendly interphase. In addition to that, it’s the size of a smartphone, making it easy to operate and hold in hand.

Better yet, it has a rugged handheld navigator, 2- inch color display, and a pre-loaded global relief base map.

Also, this GPS device is highly compatible with road, topographic, and marine maps such as Blue Chart g2, Topo U.S. 24k, City Navigator, and others.

Most interestingly, it has a built-in 3-axis electronic compass that accurately shows you the direction you’re headed to.

In addition to the electronic compass, this fantastic device also incorporates a barometric altimeter that pinpoints your exact altitude.

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Moreover, it’s constructed with a durable and waterproof IPX7 material that makes it withstand rains and splashes. And it’s powered by two AA batteries.

Pros

  • Waterproof construction
  • Designed with a 3-axis compass 
  • Features a barometric altimeter
  • Quick positioning
  • Compatible with other types of maps

Cons

  • Not rechargeable

5. Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS

This designer GPS is one of the market-best devices that retails at an affordable price. It’s designed with highly sensitive GPS receivers for optimum performance.

Better yet, it incorporates Hotfix for a boosted performance in dense tree cover or deep Canyons.  If you’re looking for a GPS that accurately traces waypoints, routes, and tracks, then this can work pretty well for you.

It uses a Trackback feature to retrace your path and display it on the built-in LCD with a resolution of 100 X 64 pixels. It also works well with heart rate monitors that you can buy separately.

Moreover, this device is powered by two standard AAA batteries and has a battery life of up to 17 hours when the device is on a GPS mode.

Most interestingly, this GPS allows you to read your location in multiple formats due to its dual position readout feature.

And on top of that, it has trip computer, fishing or hunting information, sunset or sunrise time, barometric altimeter, and an electric compass.

Pros

  • Stylish wristwatch design
  • Has a dual position readout feature
  • Has a trackback feature
  • Waterproof design
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not as accurate as expected

6. Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator and World Wide Chartplotter 

It’s a premium quality GPS device designed with 1.43 x 2.15 inches display that’s wide enough for viewing without strain.

In addition to that, it has a worldwide shaded relief base map, a micro-SD card to support optional mapping and 1.7mb internal memory for storage.

Also, it’s durable to withstand repeated use, and buoyant when it gets into the water. With its sophisticated three-axis compass direction, this GPS points the direction you’re headed to. Also, it features a barometric altimeter that shows your precise altitude.

Pros

  • Durably constructed with waterproof material
  • Floatable and buoyant
  • Has 3-axis compass and a worldwide base map
  • Has a barometric altimeter
  • Designed with micro SD card slot

Cons

  • Somehow tricky to set up

7. Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

It’s a rugged and handheld GPS that comes with many revolutionary features that assure higher performance.

One of the features is the base map that allows you to navigate to wherever you’d wish to without hassle. 

With its easy to read 2.2- inch monochrome display, you can easily take your readings in any light without straining. Also, this GPS uses a Glonass satellite for a blazing speed positioning.

In addition to that, eTrex downloads geocache stores and display detailed information.

Such information includes locations, terrains, hints, difficulty, and detailed descriptions. More interestingly, it doesn’t need manual data entry.

Moreover, this GPS includes a highly sensitive WAAS-enabled receiver and Hotfix satellite prediction that can trace your location pretty quick.

Better yet, it’s highly functional and can maintain its GPS even when in deep canyons and dense cover.

Pros

  • Incorporates a base map
  • Designed with a highly sensitive WAAS-enabled satellite receiver.
  • The longer battery life of up to 25 hours
  • Uses paperless geocaching

Cons

  • No color display

8. Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro (Black/Silver)

This is probably one of the best Bluetooth enabled GPS that you can find in the market. Not to mention, it’s designed to connect up to 5 devices at a time.

In addition to that, this incredible device is compatible with iPad mini, iPad, 5th generation iPod touch, and iPhone.

Unlike most of the GPS devices, this incredible device features a large backlit screen for use in low light areas and during night operations.

Also, it has a longer battery life that ensures a series of uninterrupted activities with a reporting frequency of 10 Hz.

As if that’s not enough, this stand-alone GPS is capable of storing over 100 hours of crucial data and has IPX4 waterproof construction that makes it splash-proof.

Pros

  • Waterproof IPX4 design
  • Bluetooth enabled and connected up to five devices
  • High-frequency reporting rate
  • Longer battery life
  • Designed with a broad and back-lit LCD screen

Cons

  • Only compatible with iOS devices

9. Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

This is yet another hand-held rugged GPS designed with a 2.2 inches colored display size and comes with a preloaded base map.

In addition to that, it’s highly compatible with other crucial maps such as topographic maps, road maps, and marine maps.

In addition to that, this fantastic GPS is powered by two standard AA batteries and has longer battery hours when in GPS mode.

In terms of its construction, it’s durably designed with highly waterproof IPX6 material that protects the GPS from damage by flash and rains.

More interestingly, it has fast positioning capabilities and dependable signals due to the presence of the Glonass and WAAS- enabled receiver designed with Hotfix.

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Better yet, this top-rated GPS supports Garmin-spine mounting accessories, paperless geocaching, and automatic routing.

Pros

  • Constructed with waterproof IPX7 material
  • Highly compatible with other components
  • Fast positioning
  • Has a preloaded relief base map for the whole world
  • Automatic routing

Cons

  • It has no barometric altimeter and electronic compass.
  • Not a touch screen

10. Garmin Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS

One of the fantastic features of this Oregon 650t GPS is its sunlight-readable 3-inch display that’s easy to read while navigating.

Better yet, the display has a multi-touch capability that makes it fun to use and also features a GPS or GLONASS satellite positioning.

Also, this rugged GPS is designed with high-tech sensors such as a barometric altimeter, accelerometer, and a 3-axis compass.

As if that’s not enough, this highly modernized GPS features a dual battery powering system that allows using either two AA batteries or rechargeable NiMH battery, thereby increasing its convenience.

Also, it incorporates Bluetooth or ANT sharing technology that enables you to share waypoints, routes, tracks, geocaches, custom photos, and maps between the unit dual orientation.

And on top of that, it has an auto-focus camera with 8MP resolution, digital zoom just at a touch, and LED flash.

Pros

  • Durably constructed
  • Large touch-enabled digital display
  • Wireless sharing technology
  • Dual battery powering system
  • 8MP camera

Cons

  • A little bit heavier than expected

11. Garmin eTrex 30x, Handheld GPS Navigator

This eTrex 30x is one of the popular GPS with upgraded features that make it more user-friendly and incredibly functional.

It features an upgraded 2.2-inch 65k color display that’s also sunlight readable. Not to mention, this GPS has a high quality display of 240 x 320 pixels.

In addition to that, this cherished GPS comes with a pre-loaded base map with shaded relief features that allows you to navigate to any place of your choice.

Besides that, it has built-in sensors that include 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and a barometric altimeter that uses changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude.

And on top of that, it supports wireless sharing to enable you to share waypoints, routes, tracks as well as geocaches with other compatible devices just by clicking on the “send” button.

Pros

  • High-resolution 65k color display
  • Has built-in sensors
  • Comes with a preloaded base map
  • Uses wireless sharing technology

Cons

  • The screen size is somehow small

12. Garmin Montana 680t

Looking for a sophisticated GPS with the most intuitive features? Well, this might have been designed to suit your needs.

Not to mention, this top-notch GPS features a superior Track Manager that is great for organizing and navigating through way points, routes, tracks logs, as well as recording the track logs.

Also, this GPS allows you to view your surroundings as you navigate and is backed with a 1-year Birdseye satellite imagery subscription.

In addition to that, it has high sensitivity that is enhanced by GPS and Glonass support. On top of that, the device has an 8MP camera with a high resolution and great image quality which allows automatic geo tagging with coordinates.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Has preloaded geocaches
  • 8MP high-resolution camera
  • Features a track manager
  • High sensitivity

Cons

  • Highly-priced, but worth the cost

Buying Guide for Kayak GPS

It takes several vital considerations to get a good kayak GPS such as:

Size of Display

Just like other electronic devices, the display size of your GPS is measured in inches diagonally. Most GPS’s range between two to five inches from corner to corner.

You want to consider several factors prior to picking a size. It is important to determine whether you want the GPS in your pocket or mounted on your kayak.

If you will be using the GPS for various activities, you may want a smaller one and if you plan to mount, you will require a bigger screen because it will be further from your sight.

Water Rating

Your GPS will spend a good amount of time in water so it is important to check its water rating before buying.

Different GPS’s have different tolerance levels to water. A good device should be waterproof such that it can function even when fully submerged in water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Perhaps you have a question or two on this topic and that is why we are here. Below, we have answered a few that can be of help.

What is the best place to position my kayak GPS to keep it dry?

You can position it anywhere that you are comfortable with as long as it is in a protective case. However, if your GPS is waterproof, you do not have to worry about that.

Can a kayak GPS operate in the dark?

Yes, it can, but the chances of it functioning properly decrease, as it gets darker.

Our Best Pick

Based on our analysis, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS & Glonass Receiver is the darling among the listed GPS, and it’s not difficult to note why.

One of its incredible features is its sunlight-readable 2.6-inch high-resolution color display that’s enough to read from without straining.

In addition to that, it features a highly waterproof IPX7 construction that can withstand rainy conditions and splash.

And on top of that, it has 8GB internal memory, dual battery powering system, and battery life of 16 hours. Lastly, it is capable of receiving smart notifications and also supports wireless data sharing.

Final Thoughts

It is important to establish what you intend to use a GPS for before buying one. You may want to get a first-rate one if you are going to use it regularly for an array of activities.

Ensure that you consider all the activities you intend to carry out before settling on a particular unit. If your budget allows, we definitely recommend going for a waterproof GPS, as it will avail you more freedom.

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