Is a Garmin GPS Worth It?

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You might be wondering “is a Garmin GPS worth it”? Well if you plan to go hiking to any path less beaten, one thing you always want to carry is a GPS unit. A GPS, or global positioning system, will allow you to track your location at all times. This is the No. 1 tool to keep you from getting turned around in the woods.

However, if you are looking to buy a GPS, one thing to consider is the brand you buy. Garmin is one of the more popular GPS brands, and for a good reason—they work really well. That said, Garmin GPS units tend to be expensive, so you have a choice.

Generally speaking, you get what you pay for, and when you purchase an expensive GPS unit, such as from Garmin, you also get top-notch features. So, today, we want to determine whether a GPS from this brand is worth it. So, is a Garmin GPS worth it?

But first, let’s look at the main features these units come with to determine whether or not it is right for you.

Is a Garmin GPS Worth It? – YES, Absolutely

The main problem is that a GPS unit from Garmin can be expensive. However, as we said, you often get what you pay for, and Garmin gives you various top-of-the-line features to keep you safe and on track while hiking. With such a device reliability is key!

Let’s look at the main features of the average Garmin GPS unit and how they can help keep you safe while hiking.

Overall Durability and Waterproofing

Garmin is one of the highest-rated brands if you want a durable GPS unit. They are generally made with very rugged exteriors that can easily handle a bump or a drop.

Most have a high IPX waterproof rating, so they can generally be dropped in a puddle without breaking. So, getting caught in a rainstorm or dropping your Garmin GPS unit should not be an issue.

Dual Satellite System Capabilities

What is really cool about Garmin GPS units is that they can generally handle various satellite systems. This will include both the Galileo and GLONASS satellite systems.

Garmin GPS units can generally connect to various satellite systems for increased accuracy and signal strength.

Detailed Maps + Downloadable Maps

One of the most significant benefits of Garmin GPS units is the many pre-loaded detailed maps, which are perfect for hikers.

Moreover, the Garmin GPS map store has the most extensive selection of accurate maps. This means that you should always have the correct map no matter where you are.

Waypoint Setting, Accurate Directions, and Tracking

Garmin is also very highly rated for its overall useful features for hiking. This is because Garmin GPS units come with very accurate directions and can track routes, set waypoints, and follow the path you have already walked. All these features make hiking safer and easier.

Great Topography Maps

Most Garmin GPS units come with advanced and detailed topography maps. As a result, you get a good view of the terrain, especially elevation and obstacles in your path. Topographical maps are especially useful when you are doing an activity in a mountainous environment. I like always like to take a GPS unit with me when I go backcountry skiing or when I am looking for new crags or boulders for rock climbing. You can read more about climbing content and the benefits of GPS for finding new stuff to climb at!

I also use my GPS devices for kayaking activities and topography is an important thing to consider when you are planning a whitewater kayaking route or even paddleboarding down a river. A topographical map in the device will make it a lot easier to estimate how tough the river will be to paddle. You can read more about all things related to boards and kayaks at!

Is a Garmin GPS Worth It

Wireless and Bluetooth Connectivity

What’s also cool about many Garmin GPS units is that they generally have wireless and Bluetooth capabilities.

In terms of wireless capabilities, you can share coordinates and waypoints with other compatible Garmin GPS units. In addition, most models can connect to your smartphone for constant updates via Bluetooth.

Battery Life

Garmin is also known for the remarkable battery life of its GPS units. Battery life is vital if you plan to spend several days outdoors. Of all the brands, Garmin is one of the highest-rated on this front.


Garmin GPS units usually come with geocaching features. Geocaching is like an outdoor treasure hunt. It’s not one of the most essential features, but it can generate a lot of fun. I often go geocaching with my family and if younger kids are with you, its important to find the geocache a bit faster and Garmin GPS helps with this! Also the added security from my GPS device is a definite plus when you have kids with you.

Electric Compass, Barometer, and Altimeter

Most Garmin GPS units have an electric compass to let you know your heading, a barometer, and an altimeter.

These are all fantastic for judging your general location and altitude and providing information about the weather.

Communication Capabilities

Some Garmin GPS units have radio and satellite connectivity capabilities; you can make phone calls without a cellphone network. This is a vital security issue and also important for maintaining a relationship when you like to spend days or weeks in the wilderness as it can be quite stressful for your spouse.

Final Thoughts

Are you still wondering if “is a Garmin GPS worth it”? We think Garmin GPS systems are definitely worth it for hiking or any other activities in the backcountry. Generally speaking, a Garmin GPS will usually outperform all others and might even save you from getting lost.

We recommend you check out our article Best Satellite Messenger beacons for more information on GPS devices and staying safe in the wilderness!

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