CHEYENNE, WYâ€”OutdoorGearLab.com revealed today the results of the 2011 Editors’ Choice Awards for the category, listing this year’s best and best value for handheld GPS devices. The OutdoorGearLab Review Editors chose the following winners after testing seven of the latest and greatest handheld hiking GPS units in a head-to-head competition that assessed satellite reception, ease of use, speed, display quality, and mapping software. Each underwent extensive side by side tests to evaluate these key performance metrics. Tests occurred over a six month period and included lots of outdoor recreation: from hikes under dense redwood canopies to sea kayaking, driving, mountain biking, and developing boulders, as well as numerous environmental science applications: we mapped plant populations, hiking trails, recorded tracks for California Department of Fish and Game boats, and plotted locations of environmental monitoring equipment. View the complete Handheld GPS Reviews
The winners are:
Garmin GPSMAP 62sc â€“ winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for 2011. According to Gear Editor Max Neale, “The Garmin GPSMAP 62sc is powerful, accurate, reliable, and highly customizable handheld hiking GPS unit that features a bright sunlight-readable display, 3-axis electronic compass, barometric altimeter, 5 megapixel camera, and a rugged waterproof body. The 62sc locates your position quickly and precisely; it’s more accurate and has better satellite reception than the other six devices we tested. The unit’s well-designed push buttons and excellent menu system provide an easy to use and reliable interface.”
Garmen ETrex 20 – winner of the Best Buy award for 2011. This award is given to a product that balances an extremely high score in our tests and a very reasonable price. According to Max Neale, “It’s small, lightweight, highly efficient, and a very good value. This is the smallest and lightest GPS unit we tested, and it also has the best battery life (25 hours!!). The Garmin eTrex 20 was our testers’ device of choice for lightweight backpacking and climbing. It’s also a great option for those who want the best bang for the buck.”
Garmin Oregon 550 – winner of the Top Pick award for 2011. This award is given to a product that excels at a specific application. According to Max Neale, “The Garmin Oregon 550 is a powerful and easy to use touchscreen GPS device that features a large high-resolution display, 3-axis electronic compass, barometric altimeter, 3.2 megapixel camera, and a rugged waterproof body. The 550’s main advantage over our top rated Garmin 62sc is its touchscreen, which is much faster for text entry and enables the device to function equally well in the car and on the trail.”
OutdoorGearLab LLC is a company headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming dedicated to creating world’s best outdoor gear reviews. The company’s website, www.outdoorgearlab.com’, is a free resource for people who love the outdoors and participate in activities such as hiking, climbing, backpacking, and camping. The company performs side-by-side testing of outdoor gear and publishes the results in comparative reviews. Each product is scored across a range of weighted categories, competing products are ranked, and awards are provide to top performing products.