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Best GPS For Overlanding In 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

Overlanding is one of the most exciting ways to travel. Heading across vast tracts of land with the most remote of destinations in mind. The problem? Half the destinations that you want to head to won’t be sign-posted. Solution? Pick yourself up a GPS.

There are a lot of GPS options on the market. Not all of them are suitable for Overlanding. However, don’t worry. We have you covered. After extensive amounts of research, we have put together a list of the best GPS for Overlanding options. Stick around. We have five picks for you.

Best GPS For Overlanding Reviews

Here, we want to walk you through your options when it comes to the best GPS for Overlanding this year. 

We know that everybody is unique. Some people have limited budgets. Other people want different features. This is why we have included multiple options. We hope that you will find a GPS that is right for you by going through these five choices.

best gps for overlanding cover

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IMAGE PRODUCT
Garmin Overlander, Rugged Multipurpose Navigator for Off-Grid Guidance 1. Garmin Overlander
  • Wireless
  • 7″ touch screen
  • Topographical and street maps
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Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach Technology 2. Garmin GPSMAP 66i
  • Wireless
  • 3″ screen
  • Topographical maps
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Garmin zūmo XT, All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device, 5.5-inch Ultrabright and Rain-Resistant Display 3. Garmin Zumo XT
  • 5.5-inch TFT display
  • Wireless or wired
  • Topographical and satellite imagery
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Magellan TN1840SGLUC TRX7 CS PRO Dual-Mount Trail & Street 7-Inch GPS Navigator with Rear-Facing Trail Camera, Black 4. MagellanTN1840SGLUC TRX7
  • Rearview camera
  • 7-inch display
  • Topographical maps
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Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation 5. Garmin InReach Explorer+
  • 2.3-inch full-color display
  • Can put in a pocket
  • Topographical and satellite maps
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1. Garmin OverlanderBest Touchscreen GPS

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Garmin Overlander, Rugged Multipurpose Navigator for Off-Grid Guidance

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Garmin Overlander, Rugged Multipurpose Navigator for Off-Grid Guidance

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Garmin Overlander, Rugged Multipurpose Navigator for Off-Grid Guidance

Features

  • Topographical and street maps for North America
  • Touchscreen
  • Easily mountable with magnets
  • 100% wireless.
  • It is preloaded with camping sites and POIs that could be useful for overlanders. 
  • Up to 64GB of additional storage space for downloading new maps via Garmin Explore.
  • Compatible with InReach (subscription required)

Specifications

  • Screen size: 6.95-inches
  • Dimensions: 7.84 x 0.93 x 4.79 inches 
  • Display Type: Touchscreen, full-color LCD screen.
  • Map type: Topographical and street maps for North America.
  • Connectivity Type: Wireless
  • Battery lifespan: 3-hours

If there has ever been a GPS designed specifically for overlanders, it would be the Garmin Overlander. Every single feature that you find packed into this gadget has been designed to make Overlanding so much easier.

For starters, you have full topographical and street maps for the whole of North America. This means that once you have unpacked this and charged up the batteries, you can head out on the road right away. There is no need to slave away in front of a computer. Although, of course, you can use the Garmin Explore feature if you want to download maps for other destinations or perhaps update the ones on the device. You have 64GBs of storage for you to do that.

The maps aren’t basic either. These maps come preloaded with lists of sights and campsites that may be useful when you are out there exploring. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of heading off-road.

One of our favorite feature inclusions is ‘Know Your Vehicle’. When you tap in details about the size, weight, and type of vehicle that you own, the Garmin Overlander software will plan a route based on your specific vehicle. No longer will you be guided down tight and narrow lanes when you are driving a massive vehicle.

This is a fully wireless system. The battery lasts a solid 3-hours, which can be great for taking on motorcycles and ATVs, i.e., situations where you may not necessarily have a port that you can plug the system into.

That’s barely scratching the surface of what this GPS can do. Take a look at the Garmin Overlander’s features and specs above.

WHAT WE LIKE

We do love the fact that this has been designed for Overlanding. While we do not doubt that people will eventually start to download their maps, there have been many cases where we found the preinstalled POIs and campsites useful, particularly on multi-day trips.

We also loved how easy the system is to use. While there is a lot of customization, the basic features can be accessed with no more than a couple of taps of the screen.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

While the Garmin Overlander has been designed for overland use, it is more of a hybrid GPS. This means that it does leave off some features that you may find useful when it comes to street travel, e.g., traffic data. It also leaves off a few features that you may find in other overland devices, although nothing particularly striking. Just bear in mind that the device attempts to be a jack of all trades.

PROS

  • Easy to mount
  • Easy to navigate
  • Plenty of map data
  • You can easily add your maps

CONS

  • Battery life is a little short for long trips
  • It lacks some street-focused features
  • The sound quality isn’t always completely clear.

2. Garmin GPSMAP 66iBest Handheld GPS

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Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach Technology

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Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach Technology

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Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach Technology

Features

  • Topographical maps with satellite imagery download
  • Weather forecasting and LiveTrack when connected to WiFi
  • It can be used with Garmin Explore software to plan routes, look at past routes, etc.
  • Connects to Global Iridium satellite network for SOS, rescue monitoring, and two-way messaging (subscription required)

Specifications

  • Screen size: 3-inches
  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.6 x 1.4 inches 
  • Display Type: TFT color display 
  • Map type: Topographical maps 
  • Connectivity Type: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ant+
  • Battery lifespan: Up to 200-hours

Sometimes you don’t need a fully-fledged GPS. You just want something that ensures that you are heading in roughly the right direction. You want something with a long battery life that you can pull out just to keep tabs on where you are. This is where a handheld system such as the Garmin GPSMAP 66i can come in handy.

Right off the bat, some features can be useful for new overlanders. Yes, there are topographical maps built into the 66i. However, you can also download satellite imagery. This is free. There is no subscription required. This can help you to place yourself a little bit better if you aren’t used to the reading topology. Satellite imagery, in our experience, is so much easier to read.

This is a small device, but the type of gadget that you can easily slide into your pocket when it isn’t being used. If you set it to track your location every 30-minutes, you can get a whopping 200-hours of battery life out of it. Are you tracking every 10-minutes? About 36-hours. This means that it is one of the longest-lived wireless GPS for Overlanding. It is ideal for those that want multi-day trips.

WHAT WE LIKE

This is a highly portable GPS unit. It is no bigger than a walkie-talkie. Just slide it into your pocket, and it will keep tabs on your movements. It is perfect for those that want a GPS for basic navigational purposes but don’t want to lean on it too heavily.

We especially loved the battery life. As we stated, the battery can last up to 200-hours, which is huge. However, we love the fact that the system allows us to turn on and off features to increase or reduce battery life. For example, if you know that you can reach a charger within the next day or so, then you can tell the GPS to update your position every minute. If you need to improve the battery life, you can set this up to every 30-minutes.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

The screen doesn’t have a huge amount of detail. Although, we suppose this can’t be helped since it is a 3″ screen. This isn’t a brilliant GPS for fully-fledged navigation. It is more of a GPS that you can use to ensure that you are going in the right direction.

It is also not a touchscreen device. This can make it a little bit trickier to use. There are a lot of features here, but navigating through them with the buttons can be cumbersome at times.

PROS

  • Very portable
  • Satellite imagery is useful
  • Great battery life
  • Easy to update

CONS

  • Tough to navigate using the buttons
  • Small screen
  • Lack of detail in topographical maps

3. Garmin Zumo XTBest Motorcycle GPS

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Garmin zūmo XT, All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device, 5.5-inch Ultrabright and Rain-Resistant Display

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Garmin zūmo XT, All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device, 5.5-inch Ultrabright and Rain-Resistant Display

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Garmin zūmo XT, All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device, 5.5-inch Ultrabright and Rain-Resistant Display

Features

  • Pre-loaded topographic maps, including full off-roading maps.
  • Spoken instructions directly to Bluetooth headset
  • Track your routes
  • Battery-powered or can be wired to your motorcycle
  • Compatible with Garmin Drive app to share or download routes.
  • It makes you aware of hards on the off-road trails.
  • Water and drop-resistant

Specifications

  • Screen size: 5.5-inches
  • Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 3.5 inches 
  • Display Type: TFT color display 
  • Map type: Topographical, street, and satellite imagery 
  • Connectivity Type: USB
  • Battery: Not included

While you can easily use this GPS for all forms of Overlanding, the Garmin Zumo XT has been designed with motorcycles in mind. This fully waterproof and rugged device is easily capable of being attached to your motorcycle cockpit. It is incredibly durable, and it will survive even the most horrendous weather when you are out there off-roading. So, don’t be afraid to use this GPS in a bit of wind or rain.

It offers a 6-hour battery life, which is great for most trips. However, if you plan on heading out for those longer adventures, then you can hardwire the Garmin Zumo XT onto your motorcycle. This ensures that the GPS has power for as long as your motorcycle does.

The Zumo XT offers a wealth of mapping options. You have street and topographical maps as standard. You can also load on some satellite imagery. You can flick between each mapping method with a tap of your screen. This ensures that you always have the best map up for the situation you find yourself in.

The most motorcycle-centric feature of the Garmin Zumo XT is the adventure routing. This system will turn even the blandest of rides into a thrill-a-minute adventure. It will steer you clear of straight roads and instead will have you on an adventure full of twists and turns. It is ever so exciting.

WHAT WE LIKE

We enjoyed how rugged this device is. It is clear that it can take quite a beating. By all accounts, it has met military drop-test standards, which we can only imagine means that this thing is virtually indestructible. This is ideal when you are off-roading on a bike. After all, we have all had our falls while traversing the outdoors.

The screen on this is stunning too. It is full color and backlit. This means that you should have no issues reading it, even as you attempt to navigate around tight angles or at blistering speeds. The GPS works perfectly, which means that your position on the screen is kept up to date.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

The UI is not the most intuitive. There are a lot of options on the screen, and tapping the wrong one can bring up a menu that you didn’t want to bring up. This isn’t exactly ideal when you are riding a motorcycle. After all, you often only have one hand free to control whatever it is you need to be doing.

PROS

  • Easy-to-read display
  • Various mapping options
  • Plan motorcycle-specific routes
  • Probably the most rugged GPS on the market

CONS

  • Difficult to navigate
  • USB connectivity only
  • Have to purchase the battery separately

4. MagellanTN1840SGLUC TRX7Best GPS With Camera

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Magellan TN1840SGLUC TRX7 CS PRO Dual-Mount Trail & Street 7-Inch GPS Navigator with Rear-Facing Trail Camera, Black

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Magellan TN1840SGLUC TRX7 CS PRO Dual-Mount Trail & Street 7-Inch GPS Navigator with Rear-Facing Trail Camera, Black

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Magellan TN1840SGLUC TRX7 CS PRO Dual-Mount Trail & Street 7-Inch GPS Navigator with Rear-Facing Trail Camera, Black

Features

  • Topographic mapping
  • Crowd-sourced route planner
  • Ability to plan off-road routes
  • Rearview camera for recording your adventures
  • Touchscreen navigation
  • 3D base maps

Specifications

  • Screen size: 7-inches
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.82 inches 
  • Display Type: LCD color display 
  • Map type: Topographical and street imagery
  • Connectivity Type: Wireless 
  • Battery: 4000 mAH Lithium-Ion

Always want to keep a photographic or video log of your Overlanding trips? The TRX7 could be ideal for you. It comes with an 8MP rearview camera. You can switch this to multiple modes including video recording and time-lapse. You can start the recording yourself, or you can program it to start as soon as you hit a trail. Whatever you do, once the TRX7 camera is turned on, it is going to record all of the action.

The TRX7 comes preloaded with 160,000 different off-road trails across the United States. This number is always expanding. This is because the team at Magellan has designed a crowd sou8rcing system where people can share their routes. This means that there will always be something a bit different to explore. 

The rugged construction, which is also water and dustproof, will allow you to use this GPS with whatever vehicle you plan on taking off-road.

WHAT WE LIKE

The inclusion of the cam is the real highlight here. While 8MP is hardly the greatest camera in the world, it does still create crystal-clear videos. We enjoyed the fact that you can review them on the screen right away.

We also liked the fact that you can control the TRX7 using both touchscreen and button controls. Very few overland GPS do this. They mostly opt for one or the other.

You will also find expandable storage. As long as you have an SD card, you can boost the amount of storage space on the device. This will allow you to save more videos and maps.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

While you can add an SD card to the GPS, the onboard storage space isn’t that high. It is just 16GB, which means you will barely be able to save any video or maps. When most other systems on the market opt for at least 64GB, this is a little bit disappointing. 

The street maps are also appalling, which is somewhat annoying since it is an advertised feature for the TRX7. This is purely an off-road GPS.

PROS

  • The camera is of good quality
  • Plenty of pre-installed routes to explore
  • Thousands of crowdsourced routes
  • The ability to create your off-road waypoints is useful

CONS

  • Low on-board storage 
  • Poor quality street navigation
  • Sometimes the camera doesn’t ‘trigger’ when you want it to.

5. Garmin InReach Explorer+Best Portable GPS

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Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation

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Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation

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Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with Topo Maps and GPS Navigation

Features

  • Topographical maps
  • A subscription service can provide you with access to weather and two-way messaging.
  • Share details of location automatically.
  • 30-hour battery life
  • Can pair with a mobile device to add additional maps

Specifications

  • Screen size: 2.3-inches
  • Dimensions:1.5 x 2.7 x 6.5 inches 
  • Display Type: LCD color display 
  • Map type: Topographical and satellite imagery (must download)
  • Connectivity Type: Bluetooth connectivity to phone. Fully wireless otherwise.
  • Battery: Included. 30-hour lifespan.

The Garmin InReach Explorer+ is an ideal GPS for those that want something they can just slide into their pocket. This is a GPS that has been built for those that truly love the adventure of heading off the beaten track.

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ supports topographical maps as standard. The device comes loaded with a ton of them. However, if you pair it up with your phone, you will be able to download some satellite imagery too. This is surprisingly rare on smaller devices like this, and we are sure that satellite imagery can be a lot more useful for some people.

Safety features are at the forefront of this GPS too. While some are locked behind a subscription service (Global Iridium for two-way messaging), others are free, including the ability to send an SOS or keep your friends and family up to date with your current location. 

While the screen of this device is small, it is easy to read. You should be able to easily pick up your routes and spot key features on the maps.

WHAT WE LIKE

We do like how small this GPS is. It can easily fit into a pocket. Despite the small size, Garmin has managed to fit a huge number of features into it. It is also one of the only portable GPS units on the market that you can download satellite imagery to.

This device has a great battery life too. 30-hour lifespan, even if the device is constantly tracking your location. This can be good for a couple of days out there on the trails.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

Most of the features of this GPS are locked behind a paywall. If you are not willing to give cash to Garmin each month, then you will lose around 50% of all features of the device. This means no access to the namesake service, InReach.

PROS

  • Very portable
  • Long battery life
  • Brightly colored screen
  • Can download satellite maps

CONS

  • Most features require a subscription service
  • Some maps lack a little detail
  • If you don’t have a phone, you can’t update the device.

Why Do Overlanders Need a GPS?

People went Overlanding for years without a GPS. Why do you need one now? Well, because it is going to make your life on the off the road a lot easier.

Easier Route To Your Destination

Some would argue that Overlanding is all about the journey, not the destination. However, the chances are that you do have a destination in mind. It is likely going to be a remote destination that will have you heading over vast expanses of land. There will be no signposts along the way.

Sometimes, you don’t even need a route to your destination. You need a route to pick up gas or other essential supplies for life on the road.

Using a GPS designed for Overlanding will help you check that you are going in the right direction. It may give you a rough route to get there, but you don’t have to follow the route. A GPS is just going to be a handy set of guidelines rather than rules.

You Probably Won’t Get Lost.

As any overlander can attest, eventually you will get lost. It happens. Even if you are looking for key landmarks when you are driving, some places look too similar.

Even if you don’t have your GPS on most of the time, when you are lost, it can be switched on. You can get a rough idea of where you are and get back on route.

Can Easily Communicate Destination If You Run Into Problems 

Hopefully, it never happens, but you should always plan for the worst.

Overlanding can be perilous. Your car could break down in the middle of nowhere. You could suffer from an injury, etc.

These problems are easier to deal with if you are on the roads. In the middle of nowhere? Difficult, especially if you can’t tell people exactly where you are.

This is why it is ever so important to have a GPS when Overlanding. Even if it is not switched on most of the time, you will be glad that you have it should you run into any issues. It could save your life. 

What Features To Look For In a GPS For Overlanding?

There are a lot of features that one would ideally have in a GPS destined for Overlanding adventures. Far too many to list here. So, we decided that we wanted to list the absolute ‘must have.’ We wouldn’t even consider a GPS that didn’t have these features; they are just that useful.

Topographic Maps

This is the essential feature when you are looking for the best GPS for Overlanding. You need topographic maps.

You are going to be off-road most of the time. You need to be able to read the landscape. You need to be able to see whether there will be any hurdles (i.e., large hills or forested regions) if you keep heading forward. If your GPS doesn’t do that, then it is going to be a rather useless GPS.

Road Maps   

You aren’t always going to be traveling off-road. This means that you do need a GPS that has road maps built into it. It is going to save you from needing two different GPS. Thankfully, this is less of an issue than it was in the past. The vast majority of GPS designed for Overlanding should have road maps built into them.

Ability To Add Own Maps

The best GPS products will allow you to add your maps to them. This will allow you to easily update regions that don’t quite have a huge amount of coverage.

Many of the maps that you can download will be far superior to anything that you can find on a GPS.

You will also want to ensure that there is a decent amount of extra storage space on the GPS for those additional maps.

Durability

Heading off-road can get pretty bumpy. You know that.

Your typical GPS is not going to be able to put up with the constant vibrations of Overlanding. This is why you need to invest in a quality system. You need to invest in something that can deal with the bumps and scrapes of intense road travel.

That GPS is going to be your lifeline. The last thing you want is for it to have vibrated to death.

Waterproof

This may not be a huge ‘need’ if you are traveling in a car or truck. However, if you are on a motorcycle or an ATV, you need to pick up a waterproof GPS.

Route Logging

When we go overland, one of our favorite things to do is go back and look at our covered routes. It allows us to decide where we want to head next.

A GPS that tracks your route is an absolute godsend. Being able to see where you are headed, the landmarks, camping spots, etc., is great. It allows you to ensure that you have explored an entire area.

Route Planning

We know that some people will head wherever the roads (or lack of roads) take them. This is great and all. However, a lot of people also like to follow a specific route. Perhaps because they have their eye on an awesome destination or landmark, a good route planning system will help you to get to where you need to be.

Ease of Use

Nobody wants to be spending an age fiddling about with their GPS. They want to enjoy the driving experience. This means that you want to pick up a GPS that is easy to use. Touchscreen controls are preferable here. No hefty manuals either.

Conclusion

If you are going Overlanding, you need a GPS. Even if you do not plan on using it often, it can always come in useful for safety reasons. Since Overlanding has become more popular, you should have no issues tracking down a quality product. We recommend the Garmin Overlander. It is one of the best GPS options for Overlanding. It has been designed specifically for overlanders. Every feature is there to ensure that life off the road is as easy as possible.

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