5 best travel navigators

Navigators designed for use in tourism are compact devices that are capable of plotting routes and capturing travel data offline. Their operation is based on the same principle as their automotive counterparts, but they are more compact, have a shock-resistant housing and are designed to work in adverse conditions. A high-quality tourist navigator is able to save the life of the owner in case of unforeseen situations. For this reason, his choice should be approached thoroughly.

How to choose a travel navigator

Most travel navigators have a small screen and a low-power processor, but for these devices the most important thing is not the amount of RAM, but a detailed display of the area and good satellite signal reception. When choosing a navigator for tourism, the following features and functions are taken into account.

Location determination

The device must determine its location with high accuracy. The speed and correctness of this process is affected by the number of satellites and the sensitivity of the receiver itself. Considering that GLONASS works better in the northern regions, and GPS works better in equatorial and temperate latitudes, the support of both satellite systems ensures the versatility of the navigator.

Hull protection

Unfavorable weather conditions often accompany hiking trips. For this reason, the navigator must have reliable protection against exposure to low and high temperatures, a humid environment, and continue to work even in the event of a fall from a great height.


The device must operate for a long time on one charge of the power source. The ideal solution is when the navigator is powered by a rechargeable battery and from ordinary batteries, which can always be replaced. The period of continuous operation must be more than 10 hours. This parameter is affected not only by the capacity of the power supply, but also by the power of the computing system, so a compromise should be sought.


There are buttons and touch controls. The first option is preferable for extreme operating conditions. The buttons are easier to use with gloves on. Touch control is equipped with expensive multifunctional models, and there are 2 types of sensors:

  • resistive can be used with gloves;
  • capacitive reacts only to the touch of bare fingers.

Push-button control works great at any ambient temperature, even with a damaged screen, while touch models are preferable to take on summer hikes.


You can not focus on this aspect, as modern models have enough RAM and processor power to quickly scale maps and store data. The greater the computing power of the device, the faster it will drain the battery.

PC Compatibility

For those tourists who go hiking along pre-prepared routes, the ability to connect a navigator to a computer is required. The fact is that any routes are prepared on a PC, and only then transferred to the device. For these purposes, there is Bluetooth and USB.


Modern devices with a large set of functions can be sold without pre-built maps, which means that you will have to upload them yourself. In this case, it is necessary to find out in advance whether it is possible to install custom cards or whether they will have to be purchased from the equipment manufacturer for a fee, which will ultimately increase the cost of the device itself.


The main difference between a navigator and a similar application on a smartphone is reliability. The fragile design of the phone and its short operation on a single charge cannot be compared with a full-fledged navigation device. As for specifically travel navigators, the only company that mass-produces them for a long time remains Garmin.

The main feature of models from this manufacturer is detailed topographic maps. Among them, you can find a model that is suitable for specific operating conditions better than any analogue.

The best travel navigator for the forest

Functional navigator Garmin Oregon 650 with powerful firmware – a good option for hiking in rough and forested terrain. The main advantage of this model lies in the high quality of the hardware, but the developers did not think enough about the waterproof case: low reliability and durability.

Oregon 650 – the oldest model in the line of touch navigators, at the same time being one of the most popular among tourists. Among the advantages: recognition of satellite signals in a few seconds, stable operation, built-in magnetic compass and barometer, 8 megapixel camera with flash. In addition, there is a flashlight function, a strobe light and an SOS signal is possible. A rechargeable battery pack or 2 AA batteries acts as a power source. The functionality is supplemented by a calculator, a stopwatch, an alarm clock and the ability to quickly calculate the area.


  • Type – portable universal.
  • Screen parameters: type – LCD, diagonal – 3 inches, color – yes, resolution – 240 * 400 pixels.
  • Memory – built-in 3.5 GB.
  • Antenna parameters: type – internal.
  • Way parameters: points – 4000, routes – 200, points per route – 10,000.
  • Power parameters: type – AA, quantity – 2, operation time – up to 16 hours.
  • Interfaces: USB, microSD slot.
  • Dimensions: 61*114*33 mm.
  • Weight – 210 g.


  • The presence of a camera of 8 megapixels.
  • Touch display support.
  • Quality software.


  • Insufficient backlight brightness.
  • Insufficient body strength.
  • Price.

The best travel navigator for hiking

Compact navigator with advanced functionality Garmin GPSMAP 64 ST – an excellent choice for tourists who prefer hiking on difficult routes. Equipped with a clear display that does not glare even in direct sunlight. The model is actually designed for hiking, as it has a shock-resistant and waterproof rubberized case, it can easily cope with work in the rain, the sensor can withstand falls from a relatively large height. The developers implemented push-button control. The navigator has all the necessary functionality, including the ability to download your own maps, connect sensors via ANT +, support for the BirdsEye service. Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth, pairing with smartphones is implemented.

Working with Model Satellites Garmin GPSMAP 64 ST possible through GLONASS and GPS modules with high sensitivity. To increase the latter, an external antenna is connected. In the event of a prolonged loss of communication with the satellite, the tourist can rely on the readings of the built-in altimeter, barometer and compass, which can compensate for the tilt.


  • Type – universal portable.
  • Screen parameters: type – LCD, diagonal – 2.6 inches, color – yes, resolution – 160×240 pixels.
  • Memory – built-in, volume – 8 GB.
  • Antenna parameters: type – external, the possibility of connecting an additional one.
  • Way parameters: points – 5000, routes – 200, points in the route – 10 thousand.
  • Power parameters: type – AA, quantity – 2, operation time – up to 16 hours.
  • Interfaces: Bluetooth, USB, microSD slot.
  • Dimensions: 61*160*36 mm.
  • Weight – 230 g.


  • High quality firmware.
  • Slot for microSD memory card.
  • The case protected from moisture.
  • Economical processor.
  • Multifunctionality.


  • Screen resolution.
  • Price.

The best travel navigator for android

ViewRanger is one of the best navigation apps for Android and iOS with impressive functionality. In the absence of a full-fledged navigator, it allows tourists to search and record routes, use a variety of topographic maps and route directories. When purchasing a premium package, users get access to Skyline technologies (reality augmentation), Flyover (3D air tours), an unlimited number of maps of various types available for download. The application is a standalone navigation service with the ability to build routes.

Benefits ViewRanger similar applications stand out for the ability to save maps, work with an unavailable mobile network, record routes, statistics displaying the distance traveled and speed of movement, integration with social networks. Fans of outdoor activities can use the voluminous log of routes compiled by both the tourists themselves and travel magazines. The software is suitable for everyone who is engaged in hiking or likes to travel by any means of transport, including bicycles, motorcycles. The application will also be useful for aeronauts, paragliders and hang gliders.


  • Type – an application for smartphones running Android and iOS.
  • Distribution: Free with in-app purchases.
  • Interface language: multilingual with support for the Russian language.
  • Availability of offline mode – yes.
  • The amount of memory used is 18.1 MB for version 9.0.6.
  • Platform Android: 4.1+.
  • Update: Periodic.


  • Russification.
  • Skyline augmented reality technology.
  • A large number of topographic maps.
  • Accurate navigation.
  • Work in the absence of mobile network coverage.
  • Sending location data.
  • The presence of an energy-saving mode.
  • Synchronization with other devices.


  • No synchronization of points of interest between devices.
  • Limited functionality without premium package.

The best inexpensive travel navigator

Practical navigator Garmin eTrex 10 at its low cost, it has all the functions necessary for tourism. It is remarkable for its high sensitivity and compact size, while it has a simple monochrome display with a diagonal of 2.2 inches. The model is not suitable for operation in the cold season, for example, on ski trips, as it has a high sensitivity to low temperatures. The main dissatisfaction of users lies in the control joystick, which is located above the monitor. Since the manufacturer did not provide a blocking from accidental pressing, after carrying it in your pocket, new points will definitely appear on the map. The problem is solved by purchasing a special protective cover.

As an independent power source for the model Garmin eTrex 10 two AA batteries are used. The device comes with a USB cable and a user manual. The developers implemented support for WAAS and GLONASS, added the Track-Back function. There is a built-in card in the drain.


  • Type – universal portable.
  • Screen parameters: type – LCD-monochrome, diagonal – 2.2 inches, resolution – 128 * 240 pixels.
  • Antenna parameters: type – internal.
  • Way parameters: points – 1000, routes – 50, log – 10 thousand points.
  • Power parameters: type – AA, quantity – 2 pcs, operating time – up to 30 hours.
  • Interfaces: USB.
  • Dimensions: 54*103*33 mm.
  • Weight – 142 g.



  • There are some firmware issues.
  • Small display sizes.
  • The memory card cannot be inserted.

The best car travel navigator

One of the best navigators for car tourism, in particular for off-road raids – Garmin GPSMAP 276Cx. The five-inch color screen is protected by durable glass. The model is designed in such a way as to easily withstand rough use. Responsible for uninterrupted power supply is a lithium-ion battery that provides work for 16 hours. Under it is a compartment for installing batteries. In addition, power is supported via a 12 V USB interface. The built-in antenna provides excellent reception quality both on the road and on rough terrain, and the functionality is comparable to ERTF navigation systems. The confirmation is the fact that this particular navigator is used on the support vehicles of the KAMAZ-Master team.

Among the advantages of the model Garmin GPSMAP 276Cx a whole list of functions will stand out, including sound alarms and voice messages, route calculation, and the use of raster maps. In addition, the device supports WAAS and EGNOS. Useful additions: tide tables, fishing and hunting calendars.


  • Type – portable universal.
  • Screen parameters: type – LCD, color – yes, diagonal – 5 inches, resolution – 800 * 480 pixels.
  • Memory – built-in, 8 GB.
  • Antenna parameters: type – internal, there is a connector for connecting an external one.
  • Way parameters: points – 10,000, routes – 250, log – 20 thousand points.
  • Power parameters: type – Li-Ion battery, quantity – 1, operating time – up to 16 hours.
  • Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, MicroSD slot, NMEA support
  • Dimensions: 192*95*44 mm.
  • Weight – 450 g.


  • The strength of the case and the reliability of the components.
  • Functionality comparable to professional navigational systems.
  • Possibility to connect an additional power supply.


  • The performance of both the peripherals and the processor is limited.

When choosing a navigator for travel purposes, it is important to understand that you will have to pay extra for functions such as a thermometer, altimeter, barometer, and even a compass. In the vast majority of cases, all of the above are excesses that are unlikely to be used at all. The focus should be on how the device copes with its main task.

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