Recreation GPS Review

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Why Buy a Recreational GPS Receiver?

Recreation GPS systems receivers are portable gadgets that receive signals from satellites whizzing around a few thousand miles over your head. Remarkably, these satellites can tell you where you are, how fast you are going, and how long it will take you to get there. The best handheld GPS systems are pretty accurate, too. Depending on how many satellites the device is tracking, accuracy can be as good as a few feet.

GPS systems are useful for all sorts of applications. Hikers and campers use recreational GPS navigation to help guide them to landmarks, find campsites, or even to keep from getting lost. Geocaching, a type of modern treasure hunt, would be absolutely impossible without GPS technology. And recreational GPS uses can be expanded to include many forms of recreation: horseback riding, offroading, hunting, fishing, boating and more. A GPS receiver can even tell your current altitude, in case you ever wondered! Most GPS receivers will also be able to display your location, whether it is on a topographical map or street map, to help make your navigation through the forest or urban jungle even easier.

Many of the best GPS systems are also sport-specific. Some are designed primarily for hikers. Others might be intended for runners, while others might be specific for cycling. These specialized units often come with extra gear, including arm or belt pouches for hikers and handlebar mounts for bikers. It can be really fun after the hike to see exactly where you went on Google Earth, or other mapping applications. It will also display the total elevation gained or lost, your average speed on the hike, and moving time and stopped time, among other things.

In this site, you’ll find articles related to recreational GPS systems, as well as comprehensive reviews and a side-by-side comparison to help you make an informed decision on which GPS unit is right for your needs. The very best Garmin GPS units for recreation – Earthmate GPS PN-40, GPSMAP 60CSx and Oregon 450t – offer everything you need for your next adventure.

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What to Look for in Recreational GPS systems

The best GPS systems for recreation are designed to take you anywhere. There are many different models to choose from, and it is important to get one that will get you from point A to point B, and then back again.

Most GPS systems now come with large, well-lit displays and have simple menus. Some variations occur in the way you input coordinates or locations. Some GPS devices require you to hook them up to a computer to input information, whereas others allow you to do it directly with the GPS unit. Be sure to get the best GPS for your favorite recreation. You also want to pay attention to battery life and weight since these are significant factors relating to the kinds of recreation you enjoy. We looked for the best GPS units with the most logical combination of features for the outdoor enthusiast. Take a look at our Learning Center for even more information and articles on GPS systems.

Features
When looking for the best GPS systems for recreation we looked for the ones that were accurate, able to acquire information quickly and had lots of storage room for navigation routes, track log points, waypoints and more.

Design
The best GPS systems for recreation offer solid design features like color displays, backlighting and waterproofing. We fully expected these units to be rugged, just like the terrain they are likely to be taken into. A short dip in a mountain stream should not ruin them.

Dimensions
We liked the equipment that shows a commitment to the long haul. When you are out on a trail or on a fishing trek, you want a unit with a battery life that will last at least as long as you do and be small enough not to take up all the room in your backpack or weigh you down. The best GPS systems have good resolution and as ample a screen size as possible.

Help & Support
We looked for GPS systems backed up by the best service for customers. We trust the companies that back their products with a good service department and warranties.

The best recreation GPS systems will make any kind of recreational activity better. These palm-sized pieces of equipment help you to know exactly where you are and how to get to the most gorgeous summit, the geocaching treasure of a lifetime, or at least back to your car in one piece.

 
 
Electronics » GPS » Recreation GPS
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 Garmin GPSMap 60CSx Garmin Oregon 450t Garmin ETrex Vista HCX Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Magellan Triton 2000 Garmin Dakota 20 Garmin GPSMAP 62 Garmin Rino 520HCx Lowrance Endura Out & Back
DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 Garmin GPSMap 60CSx Garmin Oregon 450t Garmin ETrex Vista HCX Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Magellan Triton 2000 Garmin Dakota 20 Garmin GPSMAP 62 Garmin Rino 520HCx Lowrance Endura Out & Back
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Visit DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 Earthmate PN-40
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Ratings
9.43
9.38
9.20
9.03
8.98
8.73
7.93
7.75
7.70
7.68
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9.63
9.25
9.35
9.50
9.38
9.13
9.63
9.50
9.00
9.38
9.00
9.50
9.00
8.63
9.25
9.50
9.00
8.63
9.00
9.50
9.00
9.00
8.00
8.75
7.50
7.50
8.00
9.50
7.50
7.50
7.38
9.38
6.88
8.13
7.13
9.38
7.90
7.88
7.38
7.38
 
Features
Accuracy 3 meters 3 meters 10 meters 10 meters 3 meters 3-5 meters 10 meters 10 meters 10 meters 5 meters
Acquisition Time (Cold) 45 seconds 15 seconds 33 seconds 39 seconds 36 seconds 60 seconds 33 seconds 45 seconds 39 seconds 45 seconds
Channels 32 12 12 12 12 14 12 12 14 42
Built-In Memory 1 GB 56 MB 850 MB     850 MB 1.7 GB   
Memory Card Slot SD SD Micro SD Micro SD MicroSD SD SD Micro SD Micro SD Micro SD
Navigation Routes 50 50 200 50 50 40 50 200 50 500
Track Log Points 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 2,000
Waypoints 1,000 1,000 2,000 1,000 1,000 2,000 1,000 2,000 1,000 4,000
Barometric Altimeter
 
   
Electronic compass
 
   
Design
Waterproof
Backlight
Color Display
Touch Screen   
  
  
Antenna Internal External Internal Internal Internal Internal Internal External External Internal
Dimensions
Battery Life 14 hours 18 hours 16 hours 25 hours 25 hours 10 hours 20 hours 20 hours 13 hours 15 hours
Display Resolution 220 x 176 240 x 160 240 x 400 176 x 220 176 x 220 240 x 320 160 x 240 160 x 240 176 x 220 320 x 240
Display Screen Size 2.2 inches 2.6 inches 1.53 x 2.55 inches 176 x 220 inches 3 inches 2.7 inches 1.43 x 2.15 inches 1.6 x 2.2 inches 3.3 inches 2.7 inches
GPS Weight 7 ounces 5.4 ounces 6.8 ounces 5.5 ounces 5.5 ounces 8 ounces 5.25 ounces 9.2 ounces 10.3 ounces 5.7 ounces
GPS Depth 1.5 inches 1.3 inches 1.4 inches 1.2 inches 1.2 inches 1.125 inches 2.2 inches 1.4 inches 1.8 inches 1.2 inches
GPS Height 5.2 inches 6.1 inches 4.5 inches 4.2 inches 4.2 inches 5.75 inches 3.9 inches 6.3 inches 5.1 inches 5.1 inches
GPS Width 2.4 inches 2.4 inches 2.3 inches 2.2 inches 2.2 inches 2.5 inches 1.3 inches 2.4 inches 2.3 inches 2.4 inches
Help & Support
Telephone
Email
Warranty 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year