Best Off Road GPS

by | Dec 13, 2022 | News

Best Off Road GPS Review

Overlanding will require you to go out of your way, meaning you will need to get off the highway, ditch your well-known city streets and roads and do some off roading on both difficult and easy terrain. On top of that, you will not always have the strongest cell signal. Therefore, preparation and having the right gear is key if you don’t want your adventure to turn into a nightmare.

When thinking about what gear to bring, you might want to consider a good off road GPS. Since there will almost certainly not be any signal more often than not when off roading, having an off road GPS will prevent you from getting lost. Moreover, you can always know your location, have access to maps, and plan your routes in addition to other interesting features and apps depending on the GPS.

Stick around until the end of this article to learn what is the best overlanding GPS for your needs as well as what features to look for in an off road GPS.

Name & BrandDimensionsWeight
Garmin Overlander7.84″ W x 4.79″ H x 0.93″ D15.4 oz
Lowrance HDS12.5″ W x 10″ H x 9″ D‎8.74 lbs
Magellan Tn8.3’’ W x 5.2’’ Hx 0.82’’ D3.08 lbs
ONX Off Road App7” W x 5” H x 0.3” D‎/
Garmin GPS map 662.5” W x 6.4” H x 1.4” D8.1oz
Garmin GTread Overland Edition8.1″ W x 6.7″ H x 1.2″ D22.8 oz

Types of GPS

Technology is advancing rapidly and as a result, many GPS types have been made to use for a multitude of purposes, let’s check them out.


The most popular type of off-road GPS is a car GPS, a device is similar to the basic GPS devices you are familiar with. This type of GPS is made to be mounted on your vehicle’s dashboard and features a portable yet easy-to-read display that shows you where you are and, in most cases, offers turn-by-turn navigation along trails or off-road routes. It’s a hands-free method of always knowing where you are.

Hiking GPS

An alternative device to the aforementioned one is the portable handheld hiking GPS. This overlanding GPS is meant for those who prefer mobility and don’t mind leaving navigation to their co-passenger. Since this type of GPS is not meant to be mounted and is usually more compact that it can easily fit in a pocket, it can be used beyond the vehicle.

Watch GPS

With the invention of smartwatches came a blessing for overlanders. Having a durable smartwatch enables overlanders to download and install various offline and online off-roading maps. This is a 2-for-1 deal since it eliminates the need to purchase another device that you will need to carry with you. Simply put the watch on your wrist and download the maps and you are good to go.

Phone GPS

Similar to the prior, this type of GPS comes in the form of downloadable maps on your smartphone. These days, everybody has a smartphone and not everybody wants to invest in a separate GPS device; therefore, a good solution is free or billed annually or monthly downloadable maps. Some of them can even be accessed without an internet connection, which comes in handy when in remote places.

Features To Look For In A GPS

So, what to look for when buying an overlanding GPS? There are some essential features that every good off road GPS needs to have, should the GPS that you are considering lack any of them, it would be better to pass on it. Let’s check them out.

High Detail Topographic Maps

Off-roading, while using a GPS is very different since turn-by-turn instructions are just not very helpful, aside from assisting you to get back to your points of interest and other waypoints, highly detailed topographic maps are essential as they can depict the three-dimensional landscape in two dimensions.

The positions of peaks, valleys, ridges, and saddles, among several other land features, can be determined by someone who can read a topographical map. On a specific route or trail, topographic maps can also indicate whether you’ll be climbing or descending.

Downloadable Offline Maps

Overlanding is not synonymous with cell signal, so most of the time you will not have internet access. Ironically, that is one of the many reasons why people like it. Therefore, getting a GPS that can work offline can go a long way in helping you navigate and find your way home if you get lost and can’t get real-time updates.

Offline maps are an essential feature to include when browsing through the features of a GPS device, but it requires responsibility on your end as well. Just keep in mind to regularly update those maps or right before setting off on your journey to the great outdoors and you will avoid inconveniences.

Points of Interest

A data set with GPS coordinates called a “point of interest” is used in navigation applications to represent significant locations. It is a quick, simple, and accurate way to see and add significant locations, features, campsites, routes, national parks, and landmarks to the mapping project.

A POI has several attributes that offer useful details about a location. Users can plan activities and make decisions based on this information and their individual needs. We can see and analyze how the importance of navigation services has been recognized by many organizations, and how they have expanded significantly over the past ten years.

Durable and Drop-Proof

Sometimes you will find yourself on rocky off-road trails that can prove to be quite the challenge. While handling the GPS device, you may slip and drop it, in that case, the last thing you need is to have an easily breakable device as it may severely impact your chances of getting back home should it break.

In that case, getting a durable device that can withstand any harsh terrain you may face may be more important than you think. Additionally, getting a waterproof GPS is also great, but not essential unless you are in the habit of riding motorcycles and ATVs.

Ability to Add Maps

This one should go without saying, but let’s mention it just in case. The ability to add new maps is the reason why you can’t just use any GPS device.  Most devices come preloaded with a standard road map of the nation you bought it in and possibly the remainder of the continent and don’t support new maps. However, as soon as you take a step off the main road, you will just see a green surface on the map.

You can see the line on the map once you download a track from the web and load it to a GPS device that doesn’t support adding new maps, but it will be difficult to follow and not much more helpful than a drawn paper map. Most new GPS devices have this option, but keep a keen eye out for this feature just in case.

Best Off Road GPS Devices

Since we have covered which features a good off road GPS should have and the various types, we have compiled a list of the best devices and apps that will give you the best quality for the price.

Garmin Overlander

This off-road GPS comes with a multifunctional, rugged sat-nav with 7 “turn-by-turn directions and a color touchscreen are both available for off-road and on-road navigation. Overlander is created under US military standard 810 for thermal and shock resistance.

A suction cup and one powered magnetic mount are included “It can be mounted anywhere thanks to a ball adapter with an AMPS plate compatible with RAM mounting systems. Additionally, even when offline, you can easily import and export GPX files to the Garmin Explore app as well as download additional maps with it.

You can quickly record the tracks you pass using the record feature, examine them later, and share them with friends. Pitch and roll angles are integrated into the Overlander to assist you and your vehicle in negotiating rough terrain.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Lowrance HDS

Due to its most cutting-edge fishfinder technology, which enables you to concurrently view CHIRP Sonar with StructureScan 3D or StructureScan HD to get the best view of fish and structure, below and to the sides of your boat, this GPS is primarily designed for those looking to go offshore.

Additionally, it has a color solar with a new dynamic color range that produces a high contrast that has never before been seen in scanning fish finders. The fairly close image of SideScan, DownScan Imaging, TotalScan, and StructureScan HD/3D quality is improved by a wider range of colors.

Get around fixed hazards more quickly with automatic route optimization that calculates the shortest, least dangerous course based on a boat’s draft, beam, and height. However, keep in mind that it requires Navionics+, Navionics Platinum, or C-MAP MAX-N+ charts.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Magellan Tn

The TRX7 CS Pro includes Magellan’s highly regarded street navigation to guide you from your initial point to the trail and comes preloaded including over 160,000 designated OHV trails from public and private lands. Search for trails with your TRX7 CS Pro or in a crowdsourced track database that is constantly expanding.

The TRX7 CS Pro’s integrated 8MP camera will automatically begin recording as you get close to trails. For adventure videos, using the time-lapse or gauge overlay modes is optional. Watching your extraordinary performance again is always a good idea with instant video playback on the device.

With its user-friendly interface, you will be able to simply follow trails and record your own tracks. Just tap “Follow” after choosing a saved trail from your favorites or a preloaded trail from the device. When you’re on the trail, the high-resolution (10M) 3D terrain map view and a 2D topo view with contour lines that cover the USA and Canada help you identify land features and reduce surprises for safer off-road navigation.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

ONX Off Road App

The most precise and clever off-road GPS mapping tool gives you access to 400,000 miles of off-road trails across all 50 states. View OHV riding areas, national forests, the BLM, and public and private lands. To quickly identify which trails are open, trails are colored.

 For details on a trail, closure dates, difficulty levels, photos, and more, tap on the trail. Over 985 million acres of public land are covered by onX Offroad, which also includes thousands of recreation areas like campgrounds, non-ethanol fuel stations, and trailheads.

You can use this fantastic app on your iOS or Android phone, tablet, or computer, and all data syncs between them. Download your maps easily when there is no service, and your GPS will still track your location. Your membership includes access to the computer-based Web Map from onX Offroad, which is ideal for convenient e-scouting and research from the comfort of your home.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Garmin GPS Map 66

An increasingly sophisticated 3-inch sunlight-readable color display is offered for basic viewing. Utilize the 100% Global Iridium satellite network to send a two-way interactive SOS to the geos 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required).

The preloaded Garmin TOPO mapping supports direct-to-device Birdseye satellite imagery downloads and has multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) compatibility and navigation sensors (no annual subscription). With cellular connectivity, geocaching and real-time weather forecasts are both possible.

For managing waypoints, routes, activities, and collections as well as using tracks and reviewing trip data in the field, this GPS is compatible with the Garmin Explore website and app. In the 10-minute and 1-minute tracking modes, the internal lithium battery can last up to 35 hours, and in the expedition mode with 30-minute tracking modes, it can last 200 hours.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Garmin GTread Overland Edition

With this incredibly sturdy on and off road GPS from Garmin, your overlanding adventure will be even more convenient. With an IP67 water resistance rating, it is designed to withstand difficult terrain. In bright sunlight or total darkness, the navigator’s ultrabright 8″ glove-friendly touchscreen makes viewing simple. You can use it either in portrait or landscape mode.

The built-in inReach technology offers interactive SOS, two-way text messaging, and global satellite communication. As a result, you are not required to rely on your phone. You can use the same maps, vehicle profiles, and route preferences that you have on your Tread device to plan routes using the Tread app.

Finally, the Tread app gives you access to weather forecasts, making it simple to avoid the inconvenience of bad weather by simply checking the device. To get started, simply mount the navigator to your car using the lockable magnet-assisted mount that is included.

CLICK HERE to learn more.


Do I need a GPS?

In short, yes.  When off roading, a GPS is the most trustworthy way to stay secure, connected, and on course.

Which GPS is the best?

There is no such thing as the best GPS device, it is subjective and totally depends on your needs. Therefore, keep in mind what you read in this article and find the best one for your needs.

Can a GPS device work without internet?

Some GPS devices can work without internet, while others require a constant connection. One of the best features that you should look for in a GPS device is that can function without being connected to the internet.

How does a GPS device work?

The Global Positioning System or GPS consists of more than 30 orbiting navigational satellites. Because they are constantly sending out signals, we know where they are. Your device’s GPS receiver watches for these signals. The receiver can determine your location after calculating your distance from four or more GPS satellites.

Let’s Wrap It Up

Getting away from everyday life in the city and leaving everything behind you for an overlanding adventure in the great outdoors is what seems to be increasing in popularity more than ever. Being disconnected from the rest of the world in the company of your friends or family while camping in the middle of nowhere is truly a bond-deepening experience.

However, always make sure to bring a reliable GPS that will workout without being connected to the web to avoid having to worry whether or not you will get lost. We hope that you found this article useful and that you will have an easier time figuring out which GPS to get.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join The Newsletter