Tips & Tricks

The Best off-road GPS: Reliable and Affordable Variants

GPS is used for specification of coordinates consisted of a group of satellites located in the Earth’s orbit.

Using it, the navigator receives special data from them, and based on the received information, calculates the current location.

In this case, the sputniks themselves should be within sight, and their number should be at least four (three, if only length and width are to be defined).

PhotoProduct nameView on Amazon
1. Magellan TN1700SGLUC EXplorist TRX7 Off-Road GPS Navigator1. Magellan TN1700SGLUC EXplorist TRX7 Off-Road GPS NavigatorView on Amazon
2. Garmin eTrex 20x2. Garmin eTrex 20xView on Amazon
3. Lowrance 000-12611-001 Elite 93. Lowrance 000-12611-001 Elite 9" Baja, Off-Road Chart PlotterView on Amazon
4. Garmin Edge 1030 Cycling Computer4. Garmin Edge 1030 Cycling ComputerView on Amazon
5. Garmin Edge 520 Bike Computer5. Garmin Edge 520 Bike ComputerView on Amazon
That is why positioning accuracy depends not only on the technical characteristics of the navigator (receiver sensitivity, antenna quality, calculation algorithms, etc.).

But the disposition of the terrain is also important (in a garage, tunnel or on a narrow street with high-rise buildings, the signal simply does not reach your navigator) and even weather has meaning (in cloudy weather and rain the signal fades).

There are 2 main characteristics: screen and the processor with the GPS receiver chip.

All car navigators are equipped with color touch screens. In obsolete and/or budget models, the diagonal of the screen is up to 4.8 inches – the readability of navigation information, in this case, is not high.

It is better to choose models with at least a 5-inch screen or more. These navigators are larger and occupy more space on the windshield of the car, but they are more convenient to use.

The processor and the GPS receiver chip. This “duet” ensures the reception of navigation signals, their processing, and output to the screen.

The expensive navigators have multi-core processors with high speed; they can be used for playing games, watching movies and surfing the Internet.

Using the navigation program on a powerful “iron” is more pleasant – when scrolling the picture is smaller, the image is drawn faster.

Some navigation programs will work annoyingly slowly on weak processors (with a frequency of up to 600 MHz).

Read attentively and you’ll find the best off-road GPS.

There are 5 diverse models for everyone

Read attentively and you’ll find the best off-road GPS.

1. Magellan TN1700SGLUC EXplorist TRX7 Off-Road GPS Navigator

Practical use77%

This unit has a stiff solid setting mechanism. It will take me from my house and through an off-roadway.

You will get the lifetime map for free and software updates. And it’s an impeccable tool for getting the maximum out of its OHV practice.


There are 3 main installation systems that will fit any 4×4, UTV/SxS or ATV automobile. There is an instruction where you’ll find the main recommendations about a setting.

A battery is one of the pros. It can’t be replaced but can be recharged. Here it can help an external battery pack. It has to be fit with the 2amp/5v output. A battery can recharge 2 times in the field.

But there is no music playback. You can’t use it also as the mp3 player.


There is a 7” HD touchscreen. It is under the solid protection of IP67 casing. The screen has only one position.

An interface can be difficult for use if you are a traveler and need to put in names of mountains, rivers or lakes.


Disposition is based on observed characteristics of the road like 4wd use, conditions, barriers along the way.

Off-trail notifications and backtrack (helps to return to the start) are features that provide safe using. Among the trail, features include route recording and saving.

You can also establish waypoint and share variants on social media. It can become a helper from the first day of use.

Practical use

This model simplifies the planning of the trip and supplies more trail information. It contains various trail safety features in contrast with other variants on the market.

To find the right road, you have to say where your head and the unit will take you there from where you are with simple directions like ordinary GPS.

This model has differing functions but you can use it for the street navigation.


2. Garmin eTrex 20x

Practical use88%

Garmin developed the eTrex series as the first navigators with a GPS / GLONASS receiver at a low price for a mass market segment.

The benefits of combined use of GPS and GLONASS satellites are well-known to you: finding satellites and locating becomes many times faster and more accurate.

The WAAS system and the HotFix technology further simplify the orientation process even if you are in a canyon, cave or moving in difficult weather conditions.

So, can it be the best dirt bike GPS?


The navigator has a highly sensitive GPS / GLONASS receiver. It has a WAAS system and HotFix technology. It shortens the satellite search time for locating coordinates on the terrain.

Preloaded topographic maps are in the set with the navigator.

The facade of the navigator is pleasant; it feels well in the hand. On the front panel, there is a joystick. It is very sensitive, this is a drawback.

Due to the fault of the joystick, for example, the backlight may turn on while the navigator is in your pocket or the waypoints

On the right side of the navigator, there are 2 buttons. The power button (it’s the backlight setting button) and the back button.

Left zoom in /out t buttons and the menu entry button. At the rear there is a USB cable connection slot. And the lid is very rigidly fixed.


ETrex 20x has an increased memory capacity and a large screen with a diagonal of about 5 cm and a resolution of 240 by 320 pixels.


You will get full information about each hidden cache: photos, description, tips. You will be able to sort the caches by type, size, nature of the terrain, complexity of the route.

In either case, you will not need to enter the coordinates yourself.

Practical use

To plan a new trip, use the free BaseCamp application. With it, you can use maps, save routes and share with family and friends impressions from trips and trips through the service of Garmin Adventures.

View terrain maps in the BaseCamp program on your computer and upload satellite images to your navigator, by subscribing to a paid subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery.

Want to go trekking for a treasure? It’s simple! Go to and download new tasks.


3. Lowrance 000-12611-001 Elite 9″ Baja, Off-Road Chart Plotter

Practical use89%

This model can be installed easily on the motorcycle, bike or car. It is rigid and long-term use unit for people who like extreme and ordinary trips.

It is completely loaded with various functions acceptable to everyone from seasoned rock-conquerors to families that arekeen on nature rides.

The interface can be better but overall it does all functions declared on the box. Can this variant be the best GPS for dirt bike trail riding or for SUV?


This variant has an intuitive interface for users to navigate, mark important waypoints and save your tracks.

The street navigation is a detail of the software updates that are due out occasionally. The model owners get these updates, map updates and off-road trail updates for free.

The mechanism of interface restricts access to other elements except choosing waypoint type.

Point-1 Baja antenna helps bigger precision when moving at high speeds.


There is a special large 9″ LCD screen with bright colors.


When you record a way of riding, the model will keep personal observations. There is an active track mode. It helps to retain the driver’s attention on the trail.

Practical use

The battery can’t be replaceable. But you can recharge it with an external battery pack. This element can power the battery.

There is integral Sonar for use on the water. But you need transducer.


4. Garmin Edge 1030 Cycling Computer

Practical use78%

This model has Garmin Cycle Map. Battery works effectively during the 20 hours. Messaging between members of the crew is available.

You will also find incident detection and improved Group track. This variant has awkwardly made interface but can be useful during riding for a long distance.


This model has Garmin Connect trip info which selects better variants of roads with good and poor quality.

There is also comfort messaging installed. You can be in touch with various members of your cycling crew.

This unit has comprehensive moving details that help to ride freely among various roads.

It doesn’t have audible voice notification. But it isn’t important. Even if you take a look at your metrics, you don’t pass turn or go away from your road.


This model is equipped with an excellent color monitor with a diagonal of 2.3″ and big resolution.

Producer saved small size of 520, but increased the rate of the screen. You will estimate images high quality under various lighting.


The model can lose connection with transducer constantly. You try to reconnect but it is ineffective.

Practical use

You can use loaded Training Peaks to complete workouts from your coach. The imbedded FTP test sets driver base level on the simulator or on the bike path.

Add a heart rate monitor3 which helps to calculate your VO2 max rating level, and also reports the recommended recovery time after training.


5. Garmin Edge 520 Bike Computer

Practical use76%

If you buy a new mountain bike and want to track rides, this model will be good for you.

It’s simple to use. This model tracks all rides and you’ll get lots of usable information.


The Garmin Edge 520 cycling computer is made from sealed plastic that has the IPX7 protection standard.

The overall size of the device doesn’t exceed 49 mm in width, 73 mm in length and 21 mm in thickness, the weight of the device is 60 grams.

The bike computer is powered by a lithium-ion battery, the full charge of which should last for 15 hours of operation, which is 5 hours less from the previous version.

This model automatically uploads, has live tracking, and smart notifications. Via social media, you can recommend various tracks and see its rating.

This model has a mechanism where you can find out the weather. You can’t use mini SD card. The base map with details on local places are represented a tiny file.


This model has a display of 2.3 inches and high-resolution color. It is maximized. This variant brings the most live area in relation to the compact size of the 520.

The screen has high lucidity in any lighting.


You can enjoy the long battery work. If you ride about 140 miles a week which takes approximately 7-8 hours, it will have suitable mechanism. You will have to charge the battery once every week.

It can work 12 to 14 hours of continuous display.

Practical use

You can look at your speed, tempo and heart rate. It is possible in different areas of the ride and helps to bring all those things together.

The Varia Rearview Radar system, first of all, performs several functions, the rear headlight.

Secondly, it is equipped with a special sensor that monitors the approaching transport (number, distance and approach speed from 140 meters).

The system simultaneously notifies a rider, displaying data on a separate Varia module or on the display of compatible Edge cycle computers, and the approaching motorist by increasing the brightness of the built-in LEDs.


There were 5 different and qualitative variants of off-road GPS. This model has an average price and various functions, so you can find the perfect one.

Navigator is a fairly complex electronic device, equipped with a powerful processor, a large screen, and an operating system.

That is to say, this is an ordinary tablet computer that can and should be used, not only for navigation: video, photo and music playback.

Medium and high-end models, as a rule, have support for all common media formats (JPEG, MP3, AVI), which will allow you to pass the time in dead traffic or waiting to watch your favorite movie.

In this case, movies are usually recorded on a memory card, and the most advanced models can also be equipped with a standard USB-connector, to which you can connect a USB flash drive.

Navigators equipped with a built-in FM-transmitter, allow you to broadcast the soundtrack on a regular recorder, and therefore, listen to it with the help of high-quality car speakers.

When choosing a navigator, it is very important to understand that this is not just a piece of hardware, but a full-fledged hardware and software system, in which both components are important.

On whatever advanced platform your device is based, it will not be able to fully satisfy your requests if it has navigational software with an inconvenient interface and no address search.

Similarly, the most expensive and high-quality maps installed on a navigator with a morally outdated GPS chip cannot save you from the annoyance associated with the permanent loss of satellite signals.

That is why it is worth choosing devices from well-known manufacturers, long and seriously proven in this class.

And they themselves will take care of selecting your navigator reliable electronic components, a modern GPS-module, a productive processor.

And also there is a sufficient amount of memory. It is in the complex and provides a comfortable navigation.

I can recommend first of all, focusing not on the initial models, but on the middle class with the optimal price/opportunity ratio.