5 Best Kayak GPS Systems On The Market in 2020

Imagine; you are out on the water in your favorite pontoon boats with out kayak GPS, with a fishing pole dangling on your knee, and a cold beer in your hand. This sounds like heaven to me, that is, until I get lost!

It’s not uncommon for people to get lost out on open water, even professionals lose their way sometimes. It’s not uncommon for people to get lost out on open water, even professionals lose their way sometimes.

5 Best Kayak GPS Systems Review in 2020

Below are top five best kayak GPS systems for your best fishing kayak, based on their features, functions and performance. Pay close attention and enjoy them.

1. ​Montana 650t GPS by Garmin

The Garmin Montana 650 revolutionizes the way we see and interact with GPS systems, by exploiting advanced technology and including a camera.

so that your kayak experience is taken to a whole new level.

The Garmin Montana 650 is equipped with a large and rugged outdoor camera. This 5 megapixel sunlight-readable autofocus camera has geotagging options, which gives you the opportunity to document your experience with crystal clear clarity.

For those who may not know, geotagged pictures automatically include the location where the picture was taken, giving you the chance to navigate back to the exact spot at a later date.

You can also wirelessly share these pictures with your friends and family.

The Garmin Montana 650 also has a 4 inch color touchscreen that can be easily operated even when you have gloves on.

Furthermore, this dual orientation display has a 3-axis compass and a barometric altimeter, which ensure that you can make use of multiple and precise mapping options when you are on the kayak.

When it comes to the construction of the GPS, you will be glad to know that this high-resolution system is waterproof, durable, and resistant to bumps, dirt and dust.

In addition, the GPS system uses a lithium-ion battery pack with rechargeable batteries, so that you can remain powered throughout your journey.

Highlighted Features

  • 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter
  • High-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver
  • 4-inch LCD display
  • 5 MP autofocus digital camera
  • Bright sunlight readable touchscreen color display
  • Automatic geo-tagging
  • Worldwide built-in base map with shaded relief
  • Preloaded U.S. Topography

The eXplorist 510 is a Magellan innovation that is both waterproof and rugged in construction, managing to combine all the best features from standard GPS devices with the geocaching benefits Magellan is widely known for.

This device merges accurate navigation, aesthetic mapping and high-sensitivity GPS reception, in order to help you find your way to your favorite kayaking and fishing locations out on the water.

The Magellan eXplorist 510 has an intuitive 3 inch touch screen with a one touch menu, which you can easily navigate using the 2 customizable buttons to get instant access to your personalized data and searches.

The hiking GPS also has an incorporated 3.2MP camera with a mic and speaker, so that you can take geotagged images and share them with your friends and family.

Last but not least, this GPS device has a pre-loaded world edition map that has detailed water features for your benefit.

Highlighted Features

  • 3.0" Touch Screen and Button
  • World Edition Pre-Loaded Map
  • Rugged and waterproof
  • High sensitivity GPS reception with aesthetic mapping and accurate navigation.
  • Features easy online experience sharing
  • Supports GPX file format and connects to PC as external drive
  • Integrated 3.2 mega-pixel camera, microphone, and speaker enables outdoor enthusiasts to record geo-Referenced images and voice notes.

When planning your next trip, Garmin eTrex 20x is one gadget you should not forget to have.

The Garmin eTrex 20x allows you view and organize maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks hence you can never get lost with this.

It is lightweight and has a good battery life.

The Garmin eTrex 20x stores and displays key information such as location, terrain, difficulty, hints and descriptions, which means no more manually entering coordinates and paper printouts. It can track both GPS and GLONASS satellites simultaneously. It is rugged, highly reliable and affordable.

With an array of compatible mounts, Garmin eTrex 20x is designed as a handheld or for use on bicycles, boats or cars. With its micro SD card slot and expanded 3.7 GB of internal memory, GarmineTrex 20x lets you load more images.

With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and Hotfix satellite prediction, Garmin eTrex traces your location fast and accurately, and it maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.

This gadget allows you to download maps and details to your gadget since it supports geocaching GPX files. It is a gadget I would highly recommend to anyone that is looking for reliability, convenience, and affordability.

You can never go wrong with the Garmin eTrex 20x. It has received great reviews and ratings, and every user I have come across says that it is a good gadget.

Highlighted Features

  • Upgraded display - readable display offering increased resolution with a 2.2-inch color display.
  • Large storage area to load more maps - It has an internal memory of 3.7 GB and a slot where you can insert your micro SD card hence you have a large space to load more maps.
  • It has a preloaded base map which includes a worldwide base map with shaded relief.
  • It helps you keep your fix - It locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.
  • High-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver with Hotfix and GLONASS support.
  • Durable and water resistant.
  • Supports geocaching GPX files for downloading geocaches and details straight to your unit.

You can never go wrong with the Magellan CX0310SGXNA  Hiking GPS. It is a waterproof handheld GPS receiver with core outdoor navigation features, expandable mapping, and paperless geocaching.

The fact that it is waterproof means it can withstand and form of weather whether foggy or rainy. What's to like about this unit is the fact that it is lightweight and has good battery life of up to almost 18 hours.

This gadget's screen, despite being small, can be read in the sunlight easier than a touchscreen of the same size. It is small and can fit in your pocket well, and also takes up less space in a backpack. It offers crucial outdoor triangulation with a high-resolution color screen.

The Mage llan CX0310SGXNA Hiking GPS provides superior mapping and has a GPS chip that provides a 3 meters accuracy with the help of other incorporated features hence it can provide accurate details a geographical data anywhere. This proves that the Magellan CX0310SGXNA Waterproof Hiking GPS has high sensitivity.

It is easy to use and has a simple menu that one can go through with ease hence avoiding frustration. This is a gadget I would highly recommend to anyone looking forward to having a proper navigation experience with to strain or strain.

It is reliable, convenient and affordable hence providing the best experience for a good value. The Magellan CX0310SGXNA Waterproof Hiking GPS will help you keep tabs on useful statistics such as distance traveled, average speed, elevation gain and descent.

Highlighted Features

  • This device easy to use and has simple menus.
  • The device has a sunlight-readable color screen enhancing readability.
  • It is Rugged and waterproof hence can withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • This gadget has a high-sensitivity so that it may provide a superior navigation experience and accuracy.
  • It is preloaded World Edition map which will give you more geographical details.
  • It has a good battery life.
  • This device has a suspend mode so as to conserve battery life.
  • Paperless geocaching.
  • It includes a detailed road network, water features, urban and rural land use, and a realistic shaded relief background.

When it comes to convenience and performance in GPS systems, the waterproof, lightweight and compact Garmin 72H is the way to go.

This handheld GPS system with the ability to float in water is simple to use and rugged in construction. It is packed with high-performing features and functions that will make your time out on your kayak much easier.

The marine-friendly GPS comes with a high-sensitivity receiver that can quickly retrieve satellite signals, as well as a USB connection which will allows you to transfer data to and from your computer.

When it comes to displaying the retrieved information, you can take advantage of the 120 by 160 pixel grayscale screen, which is intuitive to use and clear to read.

This Garmin 72H is also known for its superior tracking, which can locate your current position, even in difficult conditions such as waterways covered heavily with trees.

When you are in your kayak you can make use of the inbuilt celestial data that gives you access to sunrise and sunset times, tide information, and a fishing calendar. You can then use this information to your advantage.

And you do not have to worry about the battery life of the 72H, this GPS system will provide you with over 18 hours of battery power.

Highlighted Features

  • Marine-friendly handheld floats in water
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • 120 x 160 pixel grayscale display
  • 18 hour battery life
  • High-sensitivity GPS
  • Tracks your location in heavy tree cover or deep canyons
  • Data includes tide information and sunrise/sunset times
  • Hunting/fishing calendar

Additionally, marking your favorite fishing spot with a fallen tree is not always accurate, and this is where a GPS system comes handy. With a GPS device not only will you avoid getting lost, you will also be able to arrive at your favorite destination on time, and without turning yourself around.

A best kayak GPS system is the probably the accessory to your kayaking, and that is what we are going to look at in greater detail below.

Why You Need Best Kayak GPS other than Smartphone

  • Stores power for longer hours compared to Smartphone
  • Smartphones are too delicate to be used on water
  • Unlike smartphones, GPS devices do not need data connectivity for mapping

Things to Consider

Fishing or kayaking for adventure requires a dependable GPS device. If you want to avoid instances where you can’t tell where you came from, where you are or headed to, then you have to invest wisely on a GPS with great features, if not completely perfect.


The worst case scenario is remaining stuck in water without the idea of where you have come from and where you are headed. A bad GPS battery can get you in such a terrible situation. This is why when purchasing a new kayak GPS, you need to invest your time in finding one with a perfect battery option.

Longer battery life, easily rechargeable, in-built batteries are always the major concerns for GPS devices. I personally prefer: a) Lithium batteries since they offer the longest life possible. b) Inbuilt batteries are convenient and make your device more portable. c)Rechargeable batteries are more economical.

Reception and Coverage

WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) enabled GPS receiver are perfect for locating your route, landmarks and coastlines while on water. A fast receiver is advantageous on your kayak because you are guaranteed of nailing your intended points in seconds.

A great location tracking device should be strong enough to receive coordinates even in a dense tree surrounding. That way you can be sure its strength is totally worth depending on in case you find yourself sailing in the blindest spot possible.


The worst part of having such small gadgets is that they easily get spoilt. Synthetic polymers and metallic casings are more promising as far as durability is concerned. This is because most synthetic polymers are water resistant and therefore are not prone to damages by water or humidity. On the other hand, GPS devices with metallic finish are much stronger and impact resistant.

At least, each and every kayak owner would love to have a GPS device, strong enough to stay for long and offer service worth its money. Therefore, considering features like waterproof construction, screen protectors and much more, is so important.

Display size

Shopping for kayak GPS according to sizes is allowed. Remember, the larger the screen, say 5.7 inches, the better the display and precision. While smaller screens, below 3.5 inches, can be so petty and tedious hence slowing your operation down. Consider 4-inch and above display size for regular use, since this will allow for more information to be viewed at a single glance.


Buying a GPS for your best fishing kayak might mean acquiring an all-round gadget. If your GPS device can offer more than just locating and directing your kayaking adventure, then why not? When investing your bucks on a new GPS system for your interaction with nature and touring the water, you need a device that can offer as much as possible.

Latest models of Kayak GPS systems come with voice command control to make operation much easier. Nevertheless, your locating device should also have a powerful digital camera, to improve its usefulness once you are out to get the better taste of nature. Don’t forget to consider waterproof casing as well.

Final Verdict

As you can see from the information provided, the 5 aforementioned best kayak GPS devices are definitely the highest-performing in their class.

These devices will without a margin of doubt proved you with an amazing kayaking experience, by providing you with the necessary features and functions you need out on the water.

So do not hesitate, buy one of these GPS devices before you set out on your next water adventure.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

  • Jay Wright says:

    Several of these look like they only deal in land maps. Do they have show offshore water features

  • Tony says:

    72H,is this the only waterproof GPS you have?. You are advising a lager device and 72 H is quite small.
    What about visibility at night time? I’m going to paddle Hawkesbury Canoe Classic (111 KM) all night.
    Would you have a mount to fix it firmly against kayak’s deck?

    Kindly reply


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