How to Find the Best GPS Units

Couple looking at a navigation app

There is no excuse to be lost nowadays as many apps on even the most basic smartphones can provide directions and navigation. While that’s good for normal, day-to-day jaunts to the store or mall, you need a full-blown GPS unit to go further – especially if you need navigation work or for an outdoor adventure.

From durability to a multi-element GPS simulator, here are three things to look for to make sure you get the best.


One of the qualities that distinguish a quality GPS unit is that they feature enhanced durability. Common protection options include weatherproofing. This means that a unit can withstand rain and even submersion in water—as well as extremes of temperature.

The best units also feature military-grade drop protection to ensure that they’re still highly functional no matter how badly they’re jostled around your vehicle or even the trail.


With a GPS unit, it’s critical to be functional at all times. The only way to do that is to place it into an internal test environment. That’s what a multi-element GPS simulator does. It allows you to test each component of the unit effectively without having to risk it on the road or on the trail.

Everything from connectivity to the inertial components can be tested safely to ensure that everything is working fine before you go out.


Even the most basic units rely primarily on connections to up to four satellites to triangulate your position properly. While that is the most basic requirement of every GPS unit, what distinguishes a great GPS unit is the ability to handoff to other satellites when they leave coverage areas.

This is critical because the speed of handoff will allow you to constantly stay on track while you travel – keeping you safe no matter where you go.

Look for these three things, and you’re sure to get the best unit through your long drives and hikes.