Best Marine GPS Systems: Reviewed, Rated & Compared
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Let’s give credit where it’s due – GPS systems have come quite a long way. And indeed, each year, the technology that is GPS goes through immense changes perhaps to keep up with the changing needs.
So, when it comes to searching for the best marine GPS, you shouldn’t expect anything less than what captures your imaginations. It should have lots of power and come with the ability to get a lot more done.
But before you rush to make an investment, it’s important to understand all the nooks and cranny of the GPS marine navigation systems. So, below the following reviews, we have provided coverage to some of the basic factors and buying requirements for these important accessories.
Marine GPS Devices Compared
To get us started is a list of the 10 most popular marine GPS systems on the market. This list comprises everything from the affordable ones to the high-end ones
Garmin Striker 3.5"
3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
1.4 x 4.2 x 6.3 inches
Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide
1.3 x 4 x 2.1 inches
Garmin Oregon 600
4.5 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches
Garmin GPSMAP 78sc
2.6 x 1.2 x 6 inches
13.8 x 13.8 x 13.8 inches
9 x 4.4 x 7.2 inches
Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2
1.1 x 7.6 x 4.3 inches
Garmin GPSMAP 547
6.1 x 2.4 x 5.9 inches
Simrad Xse Go7 Chartplotter
12 x 10 x 9 inches
Best Marine GPS's Reviewed
1. Garmin 4 Striker 3, 5 “Fishfinder GPS
- CLEAR VÜ SCANNING SONAR Shows you more of...
- THE POWER OF SIMPLE Offers a keyed interface...
- WAYPOINT MAP Use the way point map to...
- CHIRP SONAR CHIRP sends a continuous sweep...
Fishing has become easy all thanks to Garmin 4 Striker fishfinder. This product features a smooth scale graphic screen that offers uninterrupted and precise imagery when changing in between different depth scales.
It also has a sonar rewind history that enables you to scroll back the sonar images so that you can mark all the waypoints that you may have previously missed. Additionally, it has a built-in flasher and shows you the speed data as it is.
What’s more? It has a (tilt mount, 77/200) CHIP transducer containing a transom, a mountain hardware motor and a cable for excellent CHIRP performance. The fish finder striker series has a super sensitive GPS, therefore, you can easily view where you are the waypoints you have already marked and the speed of your boat.
This tool is also perfect when trying to locating the way back to the boat ramp. The good thing is with this product you can tell if you are going in the correct speed in controlled areas.
More so, it features a portable kit to carry and guard your fish finder striker. The kit has GPS, so it is great for canoe, kayak and ice fishing. It also has a rechargeable battery with its charger and an inbuilt transducer cable.
Its CHIRP can send many frequencies from low to high and interprets each one of them after return because frequencies give different information.
2. Garmin 64st GPSMAP 100k
- Sunlight Readable 2.6 inches color display....
- Expanded Internal Memory 8GB.Display...
- DUAL BATTERY SYSTEM Use with 2 traditional AA...
- Receive Smart Notifications* and pair with...
Garmin 64st GPSMAP has a 2.6 inch easily readable sunlight screen color and a highly sensitive GPS and quad antenna for excellent reception.
The helix antenna and super sensitive GLONASS receiver and GPS enable you to quickly and accurately identify your position even in deep canyons. Whether you are in a bushy area, near tall trees or even in the woods, you can always count on this product to assist you to locate where you are.
Carrying papers and manually recording coordinates can be quite tiring, no need to worry about with GPSMAP Garmin 64st. It stores and show needed information such as hints, location, descriptions, and difficulty. This is not only more effective but also environment-friendly.
AS if that is not enough, it has a barometric altimeter that identifies changes in pressure showing the exact altitude, this can help you keep in different weather conditions. It also comes with an inbuilt base map with a fully shaded relief that is loaded with TOPO for a realistic photo view.
It is quite easy to add maps to the device since you may download 24k TOPO maps. You can also conveniently convert electronic and paper maps to downloadable maps in your device for free.
Above all, with this tool, you can receive texts, emails, and alerts from a compatible iPhone. It also has a dual battery system with a 16- hour battery saver.
3. Garmin 10 GPS eTrex
- Rugged handheld navigator with preloaded...
- WAAS enabled GPS receiver with HotFix and...
- Waterproof to IPX7 standards for protection...
- Support for paperless geocaching and Garmin...
Garmin eTrex 10 GPS is one of the most dependable GPS on the market today. It stores, and indicates all the information needed such as Hints, difficulty, location, and description. That means doing away with manually recording coordinates.
Secondly, this device features a highly sensitive GPS WAAS receiver and a satellite Hotfix predictor that enables you to track your location in a quick and precise manner and also maintains the GPS location in heavy cover.
It is durable and has unique toughness that's made to resist elements such as dirt, dust, water, or even humidity. No matter where you are eTrex 10 will coordinate and maintain your positions. Additionally, it makes your outdoor activity fun because no time will be wasted looking for information.
Additionally, it IPX7 waterproof for protecting is against rain, splashes, and many more. It also features two AA batteries that last up to twenty when in use. This is the only consumer grade receiver that can locate both the GLONASS satellites and GPS simultaneously.
To top it all up, it comes with a one year warranty.
4. Garmin 600 Oregon, 3-inch Handle, held Worldwide GPS
- 3-Inch sunlight-readable, touchscreen display...
- Dual-band GPS/GLONASS satellite positioning
- Sensors (3-axis compass, accelerometer,...
- ANT or Bluetooth technology -wirelessly share...
Oregon 600 has an excellent display of technology for the best readable and sunlight touchscreen. The screen is powerful to resist any impact. It also has multi-touch and double orientated vie to allow gloved operation.
This GPS is very easy to use. It is perfect for kids and first GPS users. You will definitely love it.
It features a 3-axis inbuilt electronic compass that shows when you are standing and where you’re going. It also has a barometric altimeter that identifies changes in pressure and the exact altitude. It keeps you updated on changing weather conditions.
This GPS enables you to share your routes, geocaches, and tracks with other compatible wireless Garmin devices. Besides that, you can also share photos, custom maps, and Garmin adventures. All you need to do is touch send to share your information.
There is no need for picking planning and choosing geocaches all you need do is download them. This GPS can hold a maximum of 4 million geocaches. Besides, this product not only makes it easy to add maps but also has ample memory storage to hold a lot of them.
The best thing is it has a trip planning software helps you view and arrange routes, maps, waypoints, and tracks. It also allows you to make Garmin adventures which you can share with friends, colleagues, or 4even family.
5. Garmin 78sc GPSMAP Handheld GPS
- Marine-friendly handheld with...
- Perfect for boating/watersports--waterproof...
- Built-in BlueChart g2 U.S./Bahamas coastal...
- Built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic...
If you are a water sports enthusiast or a boater who want to run with the very best, then you should consider getting a Garmin 78sc GPSMAP Handled GPS. It is lightweight therefore it is easily portable and performs excellently.
It features an in-built g2 coastal blue chart as well as a worldwide basemap containing imagery that is excellent for all your outdoor activities. The best thing about this product is that it floats on water and is waterproof. Also, it has many available maps.
Moreover, its find button is a Man Overboard button (MOB) which keeps it downwards setting a waypoint ready for navigation.
It has an inbuilt compensated tilt threes axis electronic compass that guides you. With this device, you can easily share your tracks, geocaches, and waypoints with other compatible devices. You can now easily send an amazing fishing spot to your friend.
In addition, it features a highly sensitive GPS receiver containing Hotfix hence making outdoors activity experiences that one can never forget. This waterproof GPS has an inbuilt miniSD card slot for adding maps. It makes recreation navigation.
This product supports GPX geocaching files for geocaches downloads. Therefore no need for using papers which not only more effective but also help conserving the environment. All you need to do is upload GPX file into your unit and begin hunting.
6. Raymarine Dragonfly Ice Fishing Kit
This type of fish finder is a unique product of great advancement in technology. It is very advantageous because finding underwater objects and fish with photo-like images becomes very easy. In addition, its display looks sharp from every angle despite the weather.
The CHIRP Downvision of this product completely transforms the perspective of your underwater with their almost photo-like sonar images. Navionics+ charts are other features that present this fish finder as really special. This simply means that its database covers the entire coast of Canada and the U.S.
The Raymarine also receives an edge with DVS-CPT transom mount transducer that pairs perfectly with the Downvision to ensure that superior image quality is brought forth at a reasonable rate.
This means that data with good image quality and a value proposition consisting of the depth of vision are received within your budget. Also, since it has an all-weather, four-inch screen, this fish finder helps you see the most important things when the water gets rough.
Moreover, plenty of flexibility is allowed in terms of mounting due to its ball and socket design. Dedicated buttons ensure the operation is streamlined and straightforward, while still giving you lots of useful data.
The Raymarine Dragonfly fish finder also comes with quality maps of US coastal areas, rivers, and lakes. It can also be manually done to load other maps on it since it has the capability.
A dual channel sonar comes with the product for easy finding of the fish and finally, it gives you room to stream live data to any of your personal computer provided you have the right app.
7. Lowarance Hook2 5 Fish Finder 5-inch
- EASIEST TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 5 Fish...
- WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 5 offers a...
- EASY SETUP: A single transducer can be...
- MORE SONAR VIEWS: The Lowrance HOOK2 5 comes...
Lowarance Hook2 Fish Finder is the easiest to use than all the others. The Splitshot 2-in-1 sonar displays high CHIRP sonar or wide-angle pair Broadband Sounder and DownScan Imaging with basic internal GPS models and full chart plotter.
With Hook2, less time is spent while playing with settings and more time fishing. In addition, it is powerful and simple due to its wide-angle CHIRP coverage and easy-to-understand menus. The autotuning sonar technology gives you a perfect image by adjusting the sonar setting automatically as water conditions change.
The high traditional CHIRP sonar of the split shot transducer facilitates the tracking of baits, identifying the structure under the boat and marking the fish. Also, this fish finder has a one-year warranty so as to ensure that the user receives a superior quality product from the product by getting a replacement whenever a need arises.
If your product fails within five first years of purchase date after the warranty, opinion of upgrading to current technology is guaranteed to you at a discount price.
8. Humminbird 5 Chirp GPS 410210-1 Helix G2 Fish Finder
- 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
- CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar. Power Output RMS...
- Precision Internal GPS Chart plotting with...
- Micro SD card slot for optional maps or for...
The Humminbird 5 chirp helix fish finder is a product that contains the CHIRP sonar with new model features which facilitates in providing superior capabilities in fish finding. The best part of it is that its cost is a bit less compared to the older model.
On top of that, it contains the CHIRP sonar technology that modulates the pulse that the transducer generates over a specific range of frequencies. This facilitates less clutter with better imaging, superior target separation, superior depth capabilities, and a better bottom lock.
This unit also has a DualBeam Plus that enables the scanning of water under the boat by use of both sonar beams at the exact same time. With this product, the temperature of the top water is tracked by the use of the supplied transducer which integrates the water temperature sensor.
Another useful function that is offered by the Helix GPS Chirp G2 is the Sonar Recording. This gives you the possible way to review specific spots in case you want another look, without necessarily having to return to re-scan that place and also it enables the rewind of sonar feed.
This product features a Switchfire that facilitates the quick swap between Max Mode and Clear Mode. Most of the clutter is removed by the Clear Mode, leaving only the bottom of the screen and the strongest targets. This enables the user to target the bigger fish only.
Lastly, the bottom lock ensures the possibility of focusing on a specific part of the water column nearer and the base. This function facilitates the disclosure of fish targets effectively closer to the bottom.
9. Garmin GPSMAP GPS/GLONASS 547 10Hz Receiver
- With the integration of a 10Hz GPS/GLONASS...
- It displays constant and fluid on-screen...
- It also has wireless connectivity, giving you...
- includes worldwide basemap; US BlueChart g2...
Garmin 10Hz Receiver has the quickest processing speed compared to others. It can refresh ten times a second. It also consists of wireless connectivity that enables easier access to the GPS credentials even from a personal computer.
It has excellent visibility of 547 during the day, and can automatically adjust its lighting depending on the lighting condition. Inland and the U.S. coastal mapping are loaded in the unit thus you are not needed to purchase maps.
Moreover, the temperature graph is another feature of the control unit. A water temperature alarm can also be set up so that you can be notified by the unit when particular water temperature is detected.
Also, the dual SD cards installed in them serve as storages for any additional waypoints or maps. Finally, for the purpose or need for entertainment, the unit usually has compatibility to a good fusion media system.
10. Simrad Xse Go7 Chartplotter
- Easy to use multi-touch interface
- Full-featured chartplotter with widest...
- 7-inch flush or bracket mount display,...
- Includes TotalScan transducer for medium/high...
In case you need a product that will perfectly fit for compact dayboats and sport boats, this would be the best one for you. Moreover, this product has a chart plotter with WI-FI and a built-in GPS receiver for easier access to updates and latest charts.
Go7 Xse is easy to use due to its intuitive touchscreen controls. Menu layouts and home screen make all functions very quick to access due to the clearly-captioned and large icons that are easy to tap and recognize.
This product is a full-featured chart plotter, which supports the broadest range of cartography options available. It can confidently guide you to far and near destinations, with the capability to choose charts that can perfectly fit your location and needs.
In addition, those destinations are easily recorded and set with simple waypoint management. Besides that, it is fully customized to suit your favorite and vessel on-water activities. The home screen is customized with shortcuts to most used features.
The customizable panel layouts and adjustable split-screen views let everything needed on the screen be seen at once.
Simrad Go7 Xse design with power boating provides a unique charting page that basically brings charts and crucial navigation data together in a more accessible readable display. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi where GoFree cloud service access is provided. This service includes software updates and better wireless map download.
What You Need To Know About GPS Systems
The word GPS is simply a short form of global positioning system. It, therefore, goes without saying that marine GPS is the special kind of gear designed to operate in marine conditions.
Whether you are a fisherman or navigator, you’ll need these systems. They can help you find your way around large water bodies. Most importantly, they can help you store important fishing routes so you can maximize your fortunes with each trip made.
Talking about fortunes, the following now are the guidelines on how to maximize your fortunes when buying an affordable marine GPS system.
Different Types of Marine GPS Systems
There are many types of marine GPS systems out there in the world. Of these, the most common ones for most people are the handheld, chartplotters, and computer-connected ones.
The handheld systems are quite popular and that’s because they are easy to carry around. On the flipside, though, they tend to have screens that are quite small in size.
In that regard, the chartplotters provide you with the better option. These, however, need to be mounted on fixed surfaces e.g. on your fishing kayak.
Lastly, the computer-connected systems also exist. They are the most powerful GPS units out there in the world. They provide a great variety of detail and some are even 3D enabled. They, however, don’t come cheap.
The key thing that makes GPS systems effective is the maps they come with. So, in that case, you want to ensure that the unit you settle for comes with the preloaded maps for your target fishing spots. For instance, they should have the maps of all the great lakes within the US if that’s the country you’re planning to fish in.
Besides having all the right maps for the job, they should also have the capability to communicate. Ideally, this should be accomplished through Bluetooth and WiFi system. The main benefit of this connectivity is that it makes it easy to share valuable information across any two devices e.g. waypoints.
While GPS systems are designed to be bad boys, they have to rely on battery power. So, it’s important to ensure that the one you settle for has just enough power to sustain you throughout the trips. And if in case the batteries are worn out, it’s comforting to know that a replacement can always be found.
Worth noting is that GPS systems are designed to either use disposable batteries or rechargeable ones. So, keep that in mind before ordering for a cheap marine GPS.
Which One Is The Best?
Our top favorite marine GPS system is none other than the Garmin 64st GPSMAP. We like it because it’s highly portable and interesting to carry around. What’s more? It has a dual-battery system which makes it quite reliable in terms of power.
It’s a solid, water-proof unit that you can bank on; any day. On the flipside, though, it doesn’t come cheap.
Going to fish without your best marine GPS system is like making shots in the dark. You’re more or less going to come back home empty-handed if you don’t have a proper mapping system with you. So, don’t take chances, we hope that the guidelines above will come in handy in helping you make an informed choice.