Best Kayak GPS

Best Kayak GPS: Top Navigation Devices For Kayakers

Kayaking enables you to explore the natural environment in ways that are possible with few other watercraft, such as hidden bays, islands, coastlines and other remote areas with restricted water access.

When you walk into the unknown, it is easy to get over-expanded. You may lose track of where you are and how you can get back where you began before you realize it.

Lose on the water, however, is not a matter of laughing, and all my fellow paddlers should invest in the best available kayaking GPS.

Best kayak gps

Why is it better?

The standard GPS satellite system as well as GLONASS are used for additional precision.

It comes with TOPO preloaded, and has a quad-helix antenna to connect securely.

Interior memory which is available for download of additional mapping via the micro SD card slot.

It’s built tough and IPX7 waterproof.

The unit has a dual battery system which accepts either disposable AA or rechargeable NiMH batteries.

Do Kayakers Need A Dedicated GPS Device?

Why spend money on the best kayaking GPS if you’ve already got a GPS smartphone?


Smartphones are undeniably useful in everyday life. Without the GPS built into my phone, I would have difficulty reaching my destination, let alone finding the right address.

But navigating unknown waters and returning to the shore is another story.

As in a kayaking journey, when you get away from culture, you often have no Wi-Fi or cellular network. That’s when smartphones lose their power, and the main focus of GPS kayak devices.

Kayak GPS units use a system based on a satellite, which prevents additional network connections from being necessary.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) continually receives satellite data to allow:

You can identify your exact location at any time with coordinates.

Keep track of your progress and use your favorite spots to remember.

Show your speed and your direction.

You cannot interchange a GPS unit and a fish finder.

The former uses satellites to transmit data and map the land, whilst the former uses sonar technology to detect fish and to map the underwater landscape.

Anglers appreciate that the kayak fish finder is convenient, but it won’t help you navigate – and your GPS won’t find the fish either.

Always bring a kayak compass and a physical map as a backup.

Best GPS for Kayaking

Sailing on a large body of water, such as a lake or the sea, can be difficult. It’s easy to get upset and lose track of monuments.

This is especially true if you lose sight of the horizon because of poor light, choppy seas, or fog.

A reliable GPS is the main piece of equipment in this situation. You can navigate confidently using a good GPS system and can also include weather updates, satellite image maps, or even a camera depending on a model.

Since the vast majority of GPS products are geared for walkers, it takes some research to find one suitable for kayaking. It is useless to spend a lot of money on a model that dies when it is wet for the first time.

Best GPS for Kayaks: Waterproof Navigation and Maps

One of the most pleasant aspects of owning a kayak is the possibility of visiting places you never imagined. If you do not have a good GPS kayak navigation system, one of the most frustrating aspects is how to get out of it.

It is easy to think that all you need for a kayak nowadays is a smartphone, particularly with LTE and 4G data speeds. In the wilderness, there aren’t always many cell phone towers, so it doesn’t value the risk.

Even without a mobile phone, the best GPS kayaks offer the adventurous paddler a lot more. These devices are designed to accommodate adventure with offline maps, waterproof touchscreens, world class (literally) navigation as well as kayak GPS fish founders, water maps and longer life span of batteries.

Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fishfinder

Fishermen can use the built-in GPS to mark places and ways where there are lots of fish and docks and starting points, which other budget-lovers cannot do. You can go back in time to see what you missed with the scrolling history of sonar. Garmin’s Fish Symbol ID even helps you find out what type of fish you are dealing with.

The 3.5-inch color display on the unit displays speed, water temperature and vertical fishering flashers, which can be read without squinting. Thanks to the swivel mounting and simple keypad operation, it is also perfect for mounting on kayaking gear tracks.

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP Di GPS G2 Fishfinder

The brightly lit, 5-inch HD display of this GPS fishfinder is one of the best features for kaya anglers. It also includes a SwitchFire monitor from Humminbird, which gives fishermen the opportunity to choose between clean mode (with fish only) and max (showing the entire sonar picture). The unit has analog buttons to make it easy to use, despite the large display.

The integrated water maps of the U.S. rivers, lakes and coastlines simplify the charting of course and fishing spots with internal accuracy GPS. AutoChart Live feature from Humminbird that creates a map as you go is ideal for exploring uncharted waters. Humminbird’s SmartStrike technology helps you determine where and what kind of fish are present.

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS

This GPS contains all the basics of kayaking navigation, a preloaded base map and the ability to track routing points and altitude. The eTrex 10 can be applied to your kayak using Garmin spine-assembly accessories and lasts 25 hours on a couple of AA batteries. It is also a good geocaching GPS, thanks to the paperless support of

The unit is water resistant for trouble-free kayaking with a robust outdoor exterior. It features an easy interface and side buttons for quick operation, lighting control and menu items despite the lack of a color display.

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter

The GPSMAP 78sc supports MicroSD cards to add roadmaps, topography and satellite imagery to make it an excellent GPS for hiking, hunting and automotive navigation in addition to coastal charts.. It also supports wireless route sharing and geocaching.

The GPSMAP 78sc does not support GLONASS, but has HotFix technology for faster loading time and more accuracy with compass and barometre. The barometer can also be used to track change in real time, a useful feature for kayakers.

Buying Guide

The US government owns the GPS (Global Positioning System), a space-based radio navigation system. The exact location of the GPS receiver person is determined by combining the positions of multiple satellites with the ultra-exact time of an atomic clock.

GLONASS – Like GPS, GLONASS is a Russian Federal Space Agency satellite radio navigation services. Some modern GPS systems combine GPS and GLONASS satellites to achieve a more accurate position fix.

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is a GPS update aimed at increasing American accuracy, integrity and availability.

Transflective displays are referred to as backlit displays. They can be seen in low illumination and reflect ambient light so that the display is visible in direct sunlight.

Geocaching is an outdoor recreation activity. Participants use a GPS, a mobile device, and other navigational techniques to hide and search for “geocaches” at specific co-ordinate locations throughout the world.

Geotagging is the act of embedding GPS data into photos or videos so you or others can find your location and recreate your view. In general, latitude and longitude are found in this data.

In an area, the features of the terrain, such as hills, valleys, and rocks, are configured in three dimensions (such as shape, height, and depth). Because of the contributions of physical features such as mountains, valleys, plains, and bodies of water, topography in a region consists of physical features like these.

The IP code or International Protection Marking (IP Code) describes how well a device’s case resists water and dust getting inside. The IP rating system ranks water resistance with the numbers 1 to 8, with the second digit indicating the amount of water resistance. For example, IPX4 devices can survive if “water splashes against the enclosure from any direction.”

The gyroscope helps measure and keep track of the orientation and spin rate. When a GPS system needs to detect an abrupt change in direction or angle, a gyroscope helps.

The barometric meter is a tool used to detect the atmosphere’s pressure. A barometer is a tool used to measure atmospheric pressure. It can be used to monitor the shifts in altitude. There are even people who can predict changes in the weather.

How to Choose the Best Kayak GPS

Most kayak GPS units come with several useful features such as base maps, the ability to save favorite locations, and the ability to set waypoints. Though there are a few things to keep in mind.

Each kayak GPS unit is waterproof to IPX7 standards and can withstand exposure to water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes or less, whether due to splashing, precipitation, or submersion. For some, however, there are extra features specific to the marine environment:

fish finders on the boat

Maps used in the marine cartography industry may feature shorelines, charts of depths, harbors, and marinas (or the ability add such maps)

the capacity to float

tracks that can be attached to a wall and can hold various kayak equipment

Being able to see in the sun when sailing or sailing at night will prove extremely useful. Some of the devices are equipped to give information about the weather.

Navigation speed and accuracy

Get a kayak GPS that supports GLONASS when you can because it works well with high-sensitivity GPS receivers. In the United States, 31 satellites are used in the GPS system. But a number of devices have GLONASS integration, which integrates 24 more satellites to its service, providing quick and accurate results.

Your GPS may include a feature called HOT Fix, which works by having your device guess the location of satellites by using information it gathers over the course of days.

Electronic compasses and barometric altimeters detect altitude and weather changes and help you navigate the water. If you’re going on a kayaking adventure in a place where there are steep or isolated mountain areas, it’s helpful to have a map and compass on hand.

When making your decision, what is the most important thing to you. There are different options in terms of how to track; some track better than others, some have larger screens, and some have more flexible mapping options.

Whether you’re using your GPS for kayak navigation or paddling long distances, you must be able to chart your course and mark waypoints. You’ll not only be able to get back on your own, but your GPS will allow you to track your speed and know when you’ll get there.

In terms of geographical information, the included base map covers most of North America and the globe, but if you need a specific region, you may want to purchase more maps. Maps that show information like contour lines, streets, coastlines, forests, and so on are fairly common. It’s vital to guarantee that your GPS has storage capacity for an SD card or internal memory for additional maps. If you have multiple uses for your GPS in mind, this will be very relevant to you.

Water Resistance

One of the most important considerations when going kayaking is having something that is water resistant, so it doesn’t get easily drenched by your paddle or rain, or even simply tumble overboard.

You’ll discover that many GPS devices are only water resistant and not waterproof, which means they’ll probably work when submerged in water, but they may become wet.

Higher IP ratings correspond to greater water resistance, as is generally indicated by the IP code system. To kayak, you need a device with an IPX7 rating, meaning it can withstand being in the water.

If you have (or plan to get) a device with a rating of 6 or lower, you may want to buy a waterproof case to protect it!

Size Matters: Keep It Small and Lightweight

Having a portable, lightweight GPS unit that is easy to hide and blends in with your gear will be a smart choice, especially if space and weight are at a premium. For those who don’t have much room or who don’t want to attach a unit to their kayak, some wearable devices exist.

Almost all GPS devices can hold memory or insert a memory card for storage expansion. It’s not a bad idea to pick up a large-capacity device if you plan on making several records and maps in your trek.

Many devices are including memory on the inside, but also the option to expand using a microSD card.

A lot of navigation systems that utilize GPS will be able to save waypoints, tracks, and routes. A route is a path that has already been created, whereas a track is one that has been traveled on in the past.

Long Battery Life

The last thing you want to do on a day or multi-day trip is to kill your GPS battery in the middle of nowhere. Think of a long-lived battery device and how you’re charging it while you are on the go.

In some devices lithium-ion batteries can be found such as those found in phones and other small electronics. These are small and mobile and can be charged just as your phone can.

Other batteries, like AA, are often cheaper, and you can find that you are easier to use a device with these types of batteries if you stay away from electricity for a long time, since you can just take a couple of replacement batteries on a longer trip.


GLONASS, the Russian satellite navigational system, uses 24 satellites instead of 31 in the USA.

With a device that supports both systems, you can find a better position and map.

How To Power The GPS On Long Trips?

Similar to a fish finder, a GPS can be powered by using a battery.

Some USB charging devices may also be charged with solar chargers.

Solar power can be useful if you’re out of the grid for several days.

You can mount your GPS to your yak, just like a fish finder. It may be a good option to use gear tracks to install and remove GPS.

Install the mounting device that holds the GPS on the water if you have an appropriate flat spot on your yak.

Can I Use A GPS With A FIsh Finder?

Yes. This helps you to find fish, navigate underwater landscapes, mark ways and come back home. Some fish finders may include GPS.

Types of GPS

A plotter with chart, also known as a stand-alone GPS, shows nautical chart data and can be used for large areas such as the sea. They also have the capability to detect GPS and sonar fish.

Fixed Mount GPS has higher features and a slightly bigger screen and is designed to be fixed on your ship permanently.

Portable and handheld GPS systems are the most versatile of all.

Finally, handheld GPS systems are small, user-friendly devices that fit into your palm of hand. The snag alone? It will be impossible to paddle with both hands.