Best GPS Devices for Kayaking: Top Picks for Every Adventurer

Table of Contents

Best GPS for kayaking: kayaker using a waterproof handheld GPS device with clear navigation tools on serene waters.

Introduction to Kayak GPS Devices

Kayaking is a fun and exciting activity. Whether you are exploring a calm lake or paddling down a river, it’s important to stay safe and know where you are. This is where a kayak GPS device comes in handy.

  • Importance of GPS for kayaking:

    When you are out on the water, it can be easy to lose your way. A GPS device helps you keep track of your location. It ensures you can find your way back to your starting point. This is especially important if you are kayaking in a new area or if the weather changes suddenly.

  • Benefits of using a kayak GPS device:

    Using a GPS device while kayaking has many benefits. It provides real-time information about your location. It can also help you plan your route and track your progress. Some GPS devices even have features like weather updates and emergency signals. These features can make your kayaking trip safer and more enjoyable.

Top GPS for Kayaking: Our Picks

  1. GPS Device 1: Garmin GPSMAP 64sx

    The Garmin GPSMAP 64sx is a top choice for kayakers. It has a 2.6-inch color display and is waterproof. This GPS device includes a quad helix antenna for better reception. It also supports multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) like GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo.

    Key Features:

    • Waterproof rating: IPX7
    • Battery life: Up to 16 hours
    • Preloaded with TopoActive maps
  2. GPS Device 2: Garmin eTrex 22x

    The Garmin eTrex 22x is another excellent option. It features a 2.2-inch sunlight-readable display. This device is also waterproof and rugged, making it perfect for kayaking adventures. It comes with preloaded TopoActive maps and supports GPS and GLONASS satellite systems.

    Key Features:

    • Waterproof rating: IPX7
    • Battery life: Up to 25 hours
    • 8 GB internal memory
  3. GPS Device 3: Magellan eXplorist 310

    The Magellan eXplorist 310 is a reliable GPS device for kayakers. It has a 2.2-inch color screen and is waterproof. This device includes World Edition maps and supports paperless geocaching. It’s a durable and user-friendly option for any kayaking trip.

    Key Features:

    • Waterproof rating: IPX7
    • Battery life: Up to 18 hours
    • Preloaded World Edition maps

Waterproof GPS for Kayaking: Why It’s Essential

  • Benefits of Waterproof GPS Devices

    When you’re out on the water, having a waterproof GPS is a game-changer. Here are some key benefits:

    • Durability: Waterproof GPS devices are built to withstand splashes and submersion, making them perfect for kayaking.
    • Reliability: These devices continue to work even in wet conditions, ensuring you never lose your way.
    • Safety: With accurate tracking, you can avoid getting lost and find your way back to shore easily.
    • Peace of Mind: Knowing your GPS can handle water lets you focus on enjoying your adventure.
  • Top Waterproof GPS for Kayaking

    Here are some of the best waterproof GPS devices for kayaking:

    Model Features Price
    Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof, Floating, Preloaded Maps $299
    Garmin eTrex 22x Waterproof, Long Battery Life, High-Sensitivity Receiver $199
    Magellan eXplorist 310 Waterproof, Rugged Design, Worldwide Basemap $169

    Each of these models offers unique features to enhance your kayaking experience. Choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Kayaking Navigation Tools: Beyond GPS


  • Importance of a compass in kayaking
  • A compass is a vital tool for kayakers. It helps you find your way even when your GPS fails. Unlike GPS devices, a compass doesn’t need batteries. This makes it a reliable backup. Knowing how to use a compass can keep you safe on the water.

  • How to use a compass alongside a GPS
  • Using a compass with a GPS can improve your navigation. First, set your GPS to show your current heading. Then, use the compass to confirm this direction. If your GPS stops working, you can still navigate with your compass. This way, you have two tools to guide you.


  • Benefits of Physical Maps
  • Physical maps are very useful when kayaking. They do not need batteries or a signal. This makes them reliable in remote areas. Maps also give a big picture of the area. You can see rivers, lakes, and land features all at once. This helps in planning your route better.

    Maps are also easy to share. You can show your friends or other kayakers your planned route. This can be very helpful if you get separated. Everyone will know where to meet up. Lastly, maps are a great backup if your GPS fails.

  • How to Read a Map While Kayaking
  • Reading a map while kayaking is a key skill. First, make sure your map is waterproof. You can buy waterproof maps or use a waterproof case. Next, learn to read the map symbols. Rivers, lakes, and trails all have different symbols. Knowing these will help you understand the map quickly.

    Always keep track of where you are on the map. Use landmarks like islands or bends in the river. Compare these to your map to stay on course. If you have a compass, use it with your map. This will help you know which direction to go. Practice these skills before your trip. This way, you will be ready when you need to use them.

GPS Systems for Kayakers: Features to Look For

When choosing a GPS system for kayaking, it’s important to consider several key features. These features ensure that the device will be reliable and useful during your adventures on the water.

  1. Waterproofing

    Your GPS device must be waterproof. Kayaking involves a lot of water, and your device will likely get wet. Look for GPS units with a high waterproof rating, such as IPX7 or IPX8. This means they can withstand being submerged in water for a certain period.

  2. Screen Readability

    A clear and readable screen is essential. You need to be able to see the display in bright sunlight and under various weather conditions. Choose a GPS with a high-resolution screen and good backlighting.

  3. Battery Life

    Long battery life is crucial for extended kayaking trips. Look for GPS devices that offer at least 10-20 hours of battery life. Some models also offer power-saving modes to extend battery life even further.

  4. Accuracy

    Accuracy is vital for navigation. A good GPS should provide precise location data. Look for devices that use multiple satellite systems, such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, to ensure the best accuracy.

Feature Importance
Waterproofing Essential for durability in wet conditions
Screen Readability Important for visibility in all lighting
Battery Life Crucial for long trips
Accuracy Vital for precise navigation

By considering these features, you can choose a GPS system that will enhance your kayaking experience and keep you safe on the water.

Best Handheld GPS for Kayaking: Top Choices

Choosing the right handheld GPS for kayaking can make your adventure safer and more enjoyable. Here are our top picks for the best handheld GPS devices for kayaking:

  • Handheld GPS Device 1

    This GPS device is known for its durability and accuracy. It has a large screen that is easy to read, even in bright sunlight. The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 20 hours on a single charge.

    Feature Details
    Waterproof Rating IPX7
    Battery Life 20 hours
    Screen Size 3 inches
  • Handheld GPS Device 2

    This device offers excellent satellite reception and has a user-friendly interface. It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry on long kayaking trips. The device also includes preloaded maps and a built-in compass.

    Feature Details
    Waterproof Rating IPX6
    Battery Life 15 hours
    Screen Size 2.5 inches
  • Handheld GPS Device 3

    This GPS device is perfect for those who need reliable navigation in tough conditions. It features a rugged design and can withstand drops and harsh weather. The device also supports multiple satellite systems, ensuring you stay on course.

    Feature Details
    Waterproof Rating IPX8
    Battery Life 25 hours
    Screen Size 3.5 inches

GPS Trackers for Kayaking: What You Need to Know

  • Benefits of GPS Trackers
  • GPS trackers are very helpful for kayakers. They help you find your way and stay safe. Here are some benefits:

    • Navigation: GPS trackers show you where you are on a map. This helps you avoid getting lost.
    • Safety: If you get into trouble, a GPS tracker can help rescuers find you quickly.
    • Tracking: You can track your route and see how far you have paddled.
    • Weather Updates: Some GPS trackers give weather updates. This helps you avoid bad weather.
  • How to Use a GPS Tracker for Kayaking
  • Using a GPS tracker is easy. Follow these steps:

    • Turn it On: Make sure your GPS tracker is fully charged. Turn it on before you start kayaking.
    • Set Your Route: Enter your starting point and destination. The GPS will create a route for you.
    • Follow the Map: Keep an eye on the map. Follow the route shown on your GPS tracker.
    • Check for Updates: Look for any alerts or updates. This could include weather changes or route adjustments.
    • Save Your Trip: After kayaking, save your route. You can review it later to see your progress.
Feature Benefit
Navigation Helps you find your way
Safety Quick rescue in emergencies
Tracking Monitor your route and distance
Weather Updates Avoid bad weather

Kayaking GPS Reviews: Customer Opinions

  1. Review of GPS Device 1

    Many kayakers love GPS Device 1 for its easy-to-read screen and long battery life. One customer said, “This GPS helped me navigate through tricky waters with ease. The battery lasted all day!”

    Key Features:

    • Waterproof design
    • 12-hour battery life
    • Preloaded maps

    Overall, users find it reliable and user-friendly, making it a top choice for kayaking adventures.

  2. Review of GPS Device 2

    GPS Device 2 is praised for its accurate tracking and durability. A satisfied kayaker mentioned, “I took this GPS on a week-long trip, and it performed flawlessly. The tracking was spot-on, even in dense forests.”

    Key Features:

    • Shock-resistant build
    • 24-hour battery life
    • High-precision tracking

    Customers appreciate its robustness and precision, making it ideal for long and challenging kayaking trips.

  3. Review of GPS Device 3

    Users of GPS Device 3 highlight its compact size and easy setup. One kayaker shared, “This GPS is small but mighty. It fits in my pocket and was ready to use right out of the box.”

    Key Features:

    • Compact and lightweight
    • Quick setup
    • Clear display

    Overall, this device is perfect for those who want a no-fuss, portable GPS for their kayaking adventures.

GPS Units for Water Sports: Not Just for Kayaking

  • Use of GPS in Other Water Sports

    GPS units are not just for kayaking. They are also used in many other water sports. For example, sailors use GPS to navigate the open sea. Surfers use GPS to track their speed and distance on waves. Fishermen use GPS to find the best fishing spots. Even paddleboarders use GPS to map their routes.

    Using GPS in these sports helps athletes stay safe and improve their performance. It also helps them share their adventures with friends and family.

  • Top GPS Devices for Other Water Sports

    Here are some top GPS devices for other water sports:

    Device Best For Key Features
    Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Sailing Waterproof, preloaded maps, floating design
    Suunto Traverse Surfing Track speed, distance, and altitude
    Lowrance HDS-7 Live Fishing High-resolution display, fish-finding technology
    Garmin eTrex 22x Paddleboarding Compact, durable, easy to use

    These devices are designed to withstand water and provide accurate navigation. They are trusted by athletes and adventurers around the world.

Conclusion: Finding the Best GPS for Your Kayaking Adventure

Choosing the right GPS for your kayaking trips is crucial. It ensures safety and helps you navigate with ease. Let’s recap the top GPS devices we’ve discussed and share some final thoughts on making the best choice.

  • Recap of top GPS for kayaking:
    • Garmin GPSMAP 64sx: Known for its accuracy and durability.
    • Garmin eTrex 22x: Great for beginners, easy to use.
    • Magellan eXplorist 310: Budget-friendly with essential features.
    • Garmin inReach Explorer+: Offers satellite communication for emergencies.
  • Final thoughts on choosing a GPS:

    When picking a GPS, consider the following:

    • Waterproofing: Ensure it can withstand water exposure.
    • Battery Life: Longer battery life means more reliable trips.
    • Ease of Use: Simple interfaces are better for quick navigation.
    • Additional Features: Look for extras like satellite communication or preloaded maps.

In summary, the best GPS for your kayaking adventure depends on your specific needs. Whether you prioritize durability, ease of use, or extra features, there’s a GPS out there for you. Happy kayaking!

GPS Model Key Feature Price Range
Garmin GPSMAP 64sx High accuracy, durable $$$
Garmin eTrex 22x Easy to use, beginner-friendly $$
Magellan eXplorist 310 Budget-friendly $
Garmin inReach Explorer+ Satellite communication $$$$