2017 GPS Holiday Gift Guide For Hikers and Runners

2017 GPS Holiday Gift Guide

Some of the toys that I love using when outdoors. I’ll be honest, this section is mostly on GPS devices, but if you are running, or hiking centric; these items I will take with me anytime. Hopefully the guide will help you make some decisions this holiday season.


Hot GPS Devices For 2017 Holiday Season

In general, wearables are the hot GPS devices for 2017. As such, there is a lot to choose from. If you are focused on hiking, paddling, running or activity tracking, these devices are the hot sellers.

GPS Gift Ideas For Hiking

Garmin inReach Explorer+

While not the same experience as a full blown outdoor GPS, the inReach is a unique device for those who do outdoors, do basic GPS functions but need to be connected via iridium satellite network to send short messages via text, email or other. After 5 years of use since the inReach original, I can say that this is a must. Note that if you prefer to have Garmin maps, or need to use a garmin handheld like oregon, GPSMAP 64, then the SE+ is as good. The only exception is that basemaps are not pre-loaded on the SE+


Garmin Oregon 650t

Dedicated GPS handhelds are a dying breed. However, this touch screen version from Garmin would be great for the geocaching user out there. Note that we may see a new version soon, I’ve found that the software doesn’t change that much, so it’s ok to get a slightly older version as the firmware has matured which results to a reliable unit.


Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Gold standard for handheld GPS for many years. The external antenna, buttons, great battery life and robust feature set. You can’t go wrong with this unit if you spend time in the woods and need something to log your track or collect field data.

Garmin eTrex 20x

What’s the best bang for an entry level GPS? The eTrex 20x got you covered. Small design, bright screen, old fashioned joytick, great battery life and has all the features you’d want to get started hiking or geocaching.


GPS Gift Ideas For Running

Garmin Forerunner 35

This is a great base GPS running watch with a wrist heart rate monitor. If you thinking about couch 2 5k, this combined with Garmin Connect on your smartphone will keep you on track.


Garmin Forerunner 235

For runners who are above 10k distance and looking at half marathon training, you can’t go wrong with this Forerunner, now with the wrist heart rate monitor.


Garmin fenix 3 HR

This could be in either hiking or running, but I’ve been using my fenix 3 more for running in the past year. Custom workouts and downloading training plans from Garmin Connect makes this a good choice for those who want a more rugged look. The fenix 3 HR should have a nice price drop as I expect it to be retired.

GPS Gift Ideas For Activity Tracking

Garmin Vivoactive 3

The redesigned look for the third version of the Vivoactive series makes this an attractive buy.


Fitbit Alta HR

For those who just want a slim and stylish band instead of a watch, you got the Alta. Fitbit has by far one of the best communities once you unlock the device with your smartphone.

Apple Watch Series 3

When I had the series 1 watch, I did like it as a general activity watch, but having spent so many years uploading my hiking & running data to garmin, I just didn’t like how Apple had things setup when it came to data sharing. That being said, the series 3 should please those who are active in the city, great HR accuracy and love their iPhone.