If you are looking for a great cheap handheld GPS unit there are some very good choices available that will give you a high qualify GPS signal in a durable unit without the high cost that you would pay for a more full-featured model. For simple GPS functions like tracking your location, distance to or from a point, or activities like geocaching, these entry-level GPS units offer a low price and a great value.
Apisphere Geomate Jr.
The Apisphere Geomate Jr. is pretty much the cheapest handheld GPS unit on the market. These neat little devices have been around for a short while and were made to fill a void in the market by offering the most basic of GPS funtions in a low-priced durable unit. Great for kids, beginners, or people who simply want the basic GPS tracking ability without spending a lot of money, the Geomate Jr. is a good choice.
Geomate Jr. has a very easy to recognize style with the built-in loop in the case. The unit will track distance and heading, of course, but also is capable of holding geocache entries and with an optional kit it will update the list automatically. It comes preloaded with thousands of caches so you are ready to go immediately, Geomate Jr. offers a high-sensitivity signal for accurate results and comes in different colors to meet your style.
Garmin eTrex H
The Garmin eTrex H has been leading the pack of the inexpensive handheld GPS market for quite a while and there is a simple reason for it. This unit is tough, very accurate, waterproof, and easy to hold onto and bring along. With an intuitive compass display it is easy to navigate with the eTrex H to get to the exact point you are seeking. The unit uses the high-sensitivity WAAS signal for great performance even in trees.
eTrex H offers all core features of an entry-level GPS including navigation, storage of hundres of waypoints or caches, altitude, and more. The screen is in grayscale but is easy to see even in the sun, and a convenient light makes caching at night just as simple. Most detractors complain that the buttons are a bit hard to push but they are solid and ‘click’ when pushed so that it is easy to use the controls. Garmin eTrex H is a superb choice as a cheap handheld GPS unit.
Garmin eTrex Venture
It’s priced a bit higher than the eTrex H, but if you want to move up to a handheld GPS with maps but don’t want to pay a lot of money for it, the eTrex Venture is the best value out there. Like the eTrex H, Venture has a high-quality WAAS signal and covers all of the same features, but with this unit you will get the maps as well.
The map includes geographical features like rivers and lakes, highways, and cities. It also shows a representation of terrian to give you a good idea if you are about to head up or down a steep hill, making it easy to select the best path to your destination. The unit is waterproof, sturdy nd strong, and the batteries will last all day. For geocachers or anyone who wants an inexpensive mapping GPS, the eTrex Venture is the place to start.
Get in the Game
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get out to do some tracking or geocaching. These great but cheap handheld GPS units will get you into the game at a price you can afford right now.