Tech and Gadgets

Top 10 Navigation Devices for Hiking in the UK 2023

From the rugged Scottish Highlands to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the diverse countryside of the UK offers spectacular hiking adventures. But navigating the winding trails and open moors requires a reliable GPS navigation devices to keep from getting lost in these stunning landscapes.

From coastal paths to mountain ascents, hiking the United Kingdom offers stunning views and diverse terrain. But the changing landscape, variable weather, and maze of trails demands a sturdy, weatherproof navigation device you can count on.

With its ever-changing terrain and weather, hiking the trails of the UK presents navigational challenges. Blustery conditions on an open ridge or a flooded footpath through dense forest demands a rugged, reliable GPS device designed for the demands of UK hiking.

Having an optimal navigation device can make all the difference in confidently exploring the country. Here are the top GPS navigation devices that’ll keep you on track.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

Our Top Pick’sProductOverview
FirstGarmin Oregon 750iWith its brand new release in early 2023, detailed topographic maps, long battery life, barometric altimeter, and 3-axis compass, the Oregon 750i is my top choice for hikers who want the best standalone navigation device optimized for the UK’s terrain.
SecondGarmin Fenix 7This recently updated multi-sport GPS smartwatch excels at navigation with its top-notch TOPO mapping, breadcrumb trail tracking, compass, and long battery life. It’s packed with features hikers need while also serving as a rugged fitness tracker and outdoor smartwatch.
ThirdSatmap Active 20For hikers who specifically want excellent integration of official Ordnance Survey maps, the Satmap Active 20 is a great pick. Easy route planning and a sunlight-readable screen make this purpose-built device for UK hiking trails a sensible option.
The 3 best navigational devices for Hiking in the UK

Top 10 Best Navigation Devices every Hiker needs

1. Garmin Fenix 7

Release:

Early 2022

Cost:

£599 to £699

Key Features:

Detailed topo maps, breadcrumb navigation, 3-axis compass, multi-band GPS, solar charging, up to 18 days battery life in smartwatch mode

Review:

The Fenix 7 takes Garmin’s top outdoor GPS smartwatch line and improves it even further for hikers. The excellent topographic mapping with popular UK trails pre-loaded provides turn-by-turn navigation to keep you on track. Breadcrumb navigation lets you retrace your steps if needed. The 3-axis compass and multi-band GPS with support for multiple satellite systems ensures accuracy in positioning and heading. Solar charging gives you extra battery life. Water rating of 10 ATM means it’s safe for stream crossings and rain. For UK hikers, the Fenix 7 is quite simply one of the most advanced and reliable navigation devices on the market.

Garmin Fenix 7 GPS watch in black

2. Coros Vertix 2

Release:

Early 2022

Cost:

£599

Key Features:

Precise maps, 240 hours GPS battery life, barometric altimeter, 3-axis compass, waterproof to 100 meters

Review:

With its staggering 240 hours of GPS tracking battery life, the Coros Vertix 2 is a top choice for hikers going on multi-day backpacking trips. Its accurate mapping includes contours and trails, providing detailed top-down navigation so you can follow paths confidently. The digital 3-axis compass keeps you oriented when reading the map, while the barometric altimeter tracks elevation data. Made from durable titanium, it’s built for harsh environments. Any hiker who regularly goes off-grid for days at a time will love the Vertix 2.

Corox Vertix 2 navigation device watch with orange strap

3. Suunto 9 Peak

Release:

Late 2022

Cost:

£479

Key Features:

Up to 170 hours GPS battery life, heatmaps, waypoint navigation, storm warnings, waterproof to 100 meters

Review:

Suunto packs lots of great navigation and tracking features into the 9 Peak. Up to 170 hours of GPS operation means you can track a full week of hiking. Heatmaps help navigate tricky trail sections, providing data on how others have hiked that area before. Waypoints can be set to navigate back to camp or other locations. Storm alerts give advanced warning so you can get to safety. For multi-day hikes in rough conditions, the 9 Peak provides data to keep you on course and out of trouble.

Suunto 9 Peak GPS smart watch

4. Garmin Instinct 2

Release:

Early 2022

Cost:

£299 to £499

Key Features:

Rugged design, up to 30 hours GPS battery, easy to read display, ABC sensors, solar charging.

Review:

Built to U.S. military standards for durability, the Instinct 2 handles tough terrain and extreme conditions while tracking your hike. The easy to read display shows your data even in direct sunlight. Topographic maps give excellent situational awareness and navigation around trails. The ABC sensors (altimeter, barometer and compass) provide key environmental data to navigate effectively. With solar charging, you can extend battery life to last through longer expeditions. It may not be as full-featured as pricier models but for a rugged and reliable GPS sports watch, the Instinct 2 delivers excellent value when comparing navigation devices.

Garmin Instinct 2 navigational device smart watch

5. Polar Grit X Pro

Release:

Early 2022

Cost:

£429

Key Features:

Military-grade build, 40 hours GPS battery life, topo maps, compass, altitude, weather

Review:

The Grit X Pro stands out for its tank-like durability and comprehensive outdoor activity tracking. Meeting U.S. military standards, its robust build and display can handle anything the trails throw at it. Topographic maps display your real-time positioning overlaid on contour lines, helping navigation over steep inclines and through dense woodland. The digital compass provides orientation when reading the map. Altitude, barometer and weather data offer helpful environmental insights when you’re deep in the wilderness. For hikers who go off the beaten path, the Grit X Pro’s sturdy build and in-depth tracking features make it a sensible choice when looking for navigation devices.

Polar Grit X Pro smart watch with GPS

6. Garmin Montana 700i

Release:

Late 2022

Cost:

£550

Key Features:

High resolution touchscreen, TOPO maps, GLONASS support, 16 hours battery life, 8MP camera

Review:

The Montana 700i’s gorgeous high-res color touchscreen makes interacting with its excellent topographic mapping a breeze. Support for GLONASS and other global positioning systems in addition to GPS improves tracking accuracy under thick tree cover or in valleys where satellite line-of-sight is limited. With its camera, you can snap beautiful vistas and geotag your photos right on the map. The 700i provides next-level topo map navigation and tracking to elevate your hiking experience. Just be sure to bring an extra battery pack for longer trips.

one of garmins flag ship navigation devices the Montana 700iGPS

7. Garmin Oregon 750i

Release:

Early 2023

Cost:

£600

Key Features:

Topographic land maps, 72 hours GPS battery life, barometric altimeter, 3-axis compass

Review:

Garmin’s latest addition to the Oregon series improves an already superb handheld navigation devices for hikers. The detailed topographic maps depict contours and landscapes in great detail and are viewable in various orientations. Paired with the digital 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter to pinpoint your positioning on mountainous terrain. In max battery GPS mode it lasts up to 3 days of continual use. For UK hikers who want the very best standalone navigation devices with excellent mapping capabilities, the Oregon 750i hits the mark in every respect.

Garmin Oregon 750i handheld navigation device/GPS

8. Garmin GPSMAP 66i

Release:

Early 2022

Cost:

£450

Key Features:

3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, preloaded TOPO maps, 4 weeks battery life

Review:

The GPSMAP 66i provides a great balance of navigation, tracking features and price point for the casual hiker who still wants quality topo mapping. Preloaded topographic maps with relief shading provide detailed at-a-glance situational awareness. The 3-axis tilt-compensated compass keeps you oriented properly when moving through changing terrain. The barometric altimeter tracks elevation changes precisely. In basic battery saver mode, it will last up to a month before needing a recharge. For those looking for a versatile, affordable, pocket-sized navigation devices / GPS for hiking, the 66i hits a sweet spot.

Garmin Map 66i handheld GPS device

9. Bryton Rider 15

Release:

Early 2022

Cost:

£79

Key Features:

15 hours GPS battery life, turn-by-turn navigation, altitude and grade data

Review:

Though designed with cyclists in mind, the Rider 15 works great as a budget GPS device for hikers needing solid navigation and tracking capability. The turn-by-turn navigation features let you upload GPX routes and follow them closely on the trail. Altitude and grade data provide helpful environmental insights for ascending and descending hills and mountains safely. While the mapping won’t be as detailed as a higher-end unit, the Rider 15 gives you excellent GPS capability and is a solid navigation device for the money.

Bryton Rider 15 budget GPS

10. Satmap Active 20

Release:

Late 2022

Cost:

£379 – £600

Key Features:

OS mapping, route planning, 20 hours battery life, sunlight readable screen

Review:

The Satmap Active 20 stands out for its excellent integration of official Ordnance Survey topographic mapping, providing the level of detail UK hikers need to navigate trails effectively. Additionally, the route planning features make it easy to plot out routes in advance and share wirelessly with the device. The 20 hour battery life is plenty for most single day hikes. The bright screen is easily visible even in direct sunlight. For hikers who stick primarily to established trails and desire top-notch OS map integration, the Active 20 is a great option.

SatMav Active 20 handheld GPS Device

Conclusion:

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, having the right navigation devices can make all the difference on the trails. GPS technology has opened up new possibilities for safely exploring the beautiful but challenging terrain of the UK countryside. The top-rated devices provide detailed mapping, extended battery life, durability, and key environmental data to keep you confidently on track.

Choosing the right model for your needs and budget helps ensure you can focus on the hiking adventure itself rather than worrying about getting lost. With a reliable GPS unit in hand, you’re free to embark on your next memorable journey across the stunning landscape of the United Kingdom.