Having a GPS device in your kayak can come in handy when you're slap-bang in the middle of the water and can't find your way back to your starting point. It will also give you peace of mind when you're out exploring new and remote fishing spots, and even help you to make the most out of those hotspots.
A few things to keep in mind when shopping for a kayak-friendly GPS device include the screen size, battery life, durability, and coverage. Firstly, you want the screen to be large and clear enough to provide accurate data reading in any weather condition.
The battery should preferably have a long shelf life and recharge easily. It should be tough enough to withstand rugged conditions with a screen protector and waterproof features. Lastly, make sure that your device has good coverage, and should preferably have Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) as one of its features.
Now that the nitty-gritty is out of the way, here is our selection of the best GPS devices to use on Kayak.
This compact kayaking gps may be small, but it packs quite a punch when it comes to features.
The TFT display is 2.6 inches and comes with old-school push buttons and a screen saver feature that switches off at 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or 2 minutes.
It's built-in BlueChart has Bahamas/ U.S. coastal charts that include marinas, depth contours, shorelines, harbors and more. It allows you to wirelessly share your waypoints, routes, tracks and geocaches with other users of the same device.
It also comes with a lanyard so that it doesn't get lost, and has rechargeable AA batteries. Other features include a MicroSD Card Slot with a 32gb memory card to load more maps and geocaching capabilities.
The Magellan boasts a 2.2-inch color screen display, a user-friendly interface, menu, and easy to use controls. The device gets power from two durable AA batteries that should last you for 15 to 18 hours after each recharging session.
It comes with WAAS, and the SiRFstarIII GPS chipset gives you ultra sensitivity and a 3-meter accuracy guarantee. The device works great for geocaching and allows you to connect with the geocaching.com community and access and store thousands of geocaches.
This highly sensitive device has a vibrant screen and has a wide variety of display options. It has 500MB built-in storage capacity and can accommodate up to 32 GB of additional data through a memory card. It also comes with a barometric altimeter, which is complimented by a 3-axis electronic compass.
Other features include the Cartesio chipset from STMicroelectronics, which easily picks up and retains signal while seamlessly performing other tasks. Did I mention the detailed U.S. Street and Topography maps? For just $25 annual subscription you can get access to satellite maps, nautical maps and more.
The complete package comes with a rugged case, 2 AA batteries, a $40 certificate for Supplementary Data Downloads, a setup and Owners Manual, a neck lanyard and a USB data transfer cable.
Get more bang for your buck with this rugged and waterproof unit. The screen is 2.2inch monochrome, and it's got built-in worldwide base map. It offers fast positioning and signal detection and is WAAS enabled with GLONASS and HotFix support.
Geocaching abilities include GPX file downloading with paperless and wireless coordinate detail input. It's AA batteries can withstand up to 20 hours of non-stop usage, and it's ideal for any kind of kayak activity. It also has a whopping 3.7 GB of internal memory and an option to increase that memory with a MicroSD card slot that can take up to 32GB memory capacity.
You can also connect this to your laptop or PC via USB, to export waypoints, routes, and tracks, but you'll have to download the BaseCamp software to your computer for it to communicate smoothly with the device.
This lightweight handheld gps has a 120 x 160-pixel grayscale display with superior location tracking that works effortlessly in difficult terrain and weather conditions. Angler and hunters alike will appreciate the built-in celestial data which includes a fishing/hunting calendar, sunrise/sunset times and useful tide information
You can create GPX files with this, using MapSource and BaseCamp programs which you can freely download from Garmin. The unit is also waterproof and can float in water.
Also included in the box is a handy wrist wrap, owner's manual and a quick start manual. This unit may not have any fancy maps or high-tech features, but it does the job.
The DeLorme tracker is one of the safest and most decorated devices on the market. Among the features, you'll find worldwide coverage courtesy of the Iridium satellite network, access to a 24/7 SOS search and rescue monitoring center and 2-way texting to any email addresses or cell number in the world, through inReach SE.
The Explore web portal allows you to view past maps on the DeLorme topographic map, prepare for your journey and share it with your loved ones on the go through social media, and get 24 to 72-hour weather prediction complete with temperature, winds and precipitation forecast.
You can connect your smartphone to the device via Bluetooth using Earthmate app which is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Loved ones can track your location at any time to access your GPS coordinates and elevation level through the app. All this is supported by a monthly service plan ranging from $12 to $100 depending on the features you use on the device.
Well, there you have it! An assortment of the best GPS devices that you can use when you're on your kayak. From long battery life to geocaching, waterproof and durable design with WAAS capabilities, we've made your selection that much easier. Just be sure to pay attention to the combination of features in each device, and don't be swayed by the bells and whistles. Always go for a unit that works best for your application and budget, and keep it simple if need be. All the best and have fun out there!