Best off road GPS units and what to look for

Best off road GPS

Countless individuals use GPS devices for navigation, as they allow drivers to get from point to point without getting lost; however, it is important to know what to look for in best off road GPS Units before purchasing one.

Whether looking for a handheld or best off road GPS unit designed for camping, hiking or off road activities, or an in-car auto GPS system, it is best to first decide which features are really needed. The most common essential feature would be a dependable map system that provides precise street names, instinctive routings for the fastest routes and expandable memory.

General Pitfalls in best off road GPS Systems

Best off road GPS systems that are missing specific features often score a lower rating. Many common complaints from users relate to the map system. Consumers have often stated units that show directions using feet instead of street names can bring about confusion.

In addition, individuals appear to have a preference for wide-screen auto units, because they tend to have less reading problems. Another downside is some of the handheld best off road GPS systems lack the selection for expanding the memory for entering routes.

What do GPS units cost?

For the greatest value in GPS units, it is best to focus on the map system ratings and the features that are most needed. Stay away from the ones that have features that won’t be used. The majority of essential handheld or auto GPS units will range in price from $100 to over $200. Other units that include additional features such as voice command and other options can cost $500 or more.

Where To Purchase best off road GPS Units

Numerous kinds of GPS units are available at local sporting good stores where the features can be tested out on site; on the other hand, many good deals on GPS systems can be found Online just by searching. When searching for what to look for in GPS units, Amazon’s customer reviews or BuyDig reviews are just a couple of many great places with knowledge and opinions that will help in making a decision on which unit to purchase.

GPS devices really are important for navigating, but when it comes to what to look for in GPS units, it is vital that the GPS units contain a dependable map system that provides precise street names, instinctive routings for the fastest routes and expandable memory. For those who don’t want to spend a large amount of money on a unit, it is equally imperative to look for a GPS system that does not contain more features than the ones that are necessary.

Top Portable GPS Models

Read reviews before buying a GPS for business travel – Consumer Reports, Amazon and other sites.

Consumer Reports is not a free service but their online subscription site offers well-researched GPS model chart comparisons. Amazon’s reader-reviewed posts are a random grab bag of rants/raves, but can be a worthy place to get a general sense of popular opinion. GPS Review is an excellent source. There are many other detailed GPS review web sites worth looking into.

Look for sites rating specific model pros and cons: read about hardware, screen views, navigating, POI, route planning, re-routing, voice quality and extra features. Business Travel says: decide what you really need in a GPS and read many reviews before you buy!

Top New GPS Models – Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom

A few quick comments on the Big Three makers of portable GPS devices:

1. Garmin – When asked about easy navigation, the Nuvi line is considered tops by the Bellevue, Washington Best Buy sales team. Staff also reported less returns on Garmins overall as compared to Magellan and Tom Tom units.

Garmin Nuvi devices also have the largest POI databases in the industry (six million pre-loaded points of interest).

Note – this entire line is pricey. If you have the budget, buy Garmin’s Nuvi 660 or 360 for the best array of usable features and ease of use.

2. Magellan – Maestro – Commonly considered next best after the Garmin lines, this is the business traveler’s best bet for great features and ease of use at a more economical price point.

Got AAA? The Maestro 4000 and 4040 also points out Triple A approved vendors, where business travelers can flash their AAA card to get good discounts on hotels, motels, car parts, auto repair shops and misc retailers like Lenscrafters. For non-AAA members, the Magellan 4000 POI directory is a let-down; it’s not as comprehensive as Garmin’s database (the new 4040 is a big improvement with 4.5 million entries).

The navigation is not nearly as intuitive as the Garmin Nuvi series either, although Business Travel found the learning curve on the Magellan Maestro 4040 pretty easy after a few test drives.

3. Tom Tom – Since the Tom Tom doesn’t call out specific street names, the otherwise top of the line Tom Tom One trails a distant third after the better newest Garmin and Magellan units. In several freeway practice drives with Tom Tom One, Business Travel found it’s waaay too easy to miss the correct turn or exit in multiple turn instances. “Turn LEFT in 200 feet” just isn’t as helpful as “Turn LEFT on Market Street.” Even the Multiple Point Routing doesn’t make up for that lack. Enough said.

Altogether, Business Travel’s Test-Driven Findings Conclude:

The Garmin Nuvi 660 and 360 are the best units at the highest price range.

Magellan Maestro is the best unit at a mid-range price.

No GPS model is actually perfect – all reviewers across the Internet report problems with all makes and models. Choose the best one for your needs and price range.

Don’t be tempted by otherwise useless and redundant applications when all you need is an actual GPS unit.


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