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Which GPS is better for military

I am currently in the military and I am looking for the best GPS that can facilitate all my military needs. I.e. 6, 8, and 10 digit grids coordinates. Current location and movement between two points in highly vegetation terrain.

Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.


  • Boyd 2043 Points
    edited September 2019
    "Better" is hard to say. But, if you are in the US, Garmin is the only company still selling dedicated handheld GPS devices. And for the most part, you are getting the same thing in different packages when it comes to the primary functions. The differences are mostly in the type of display, user interface (buttons vs touchscreen), amount of internal memory, and pre-loaded maps (typically just a 100k US Topo that isn't very good). All models can use microSD cards for storage, so the lack of internal memory isn't too big of a problem.

    Battery life is another consideration, the eTrex line has smaller screens and longer run times. The new devices with satellite communicators (technology Garmin acquired when it purchased DeLorme) have limited run times and built-in batteries that can't be removed (like an iPhone).

    Can you visit a local outdoor/sporting goods store to actually hold some of the current models in your hands? It's hard to appreciate the differences by looking at pictures online. Sorry, not familiar with your grid usage, but this FAQ might help. And again, I think all Garmin devices have the same options for this

    Thanks for your service!!
  • Thank you for your help
  • Recommend you use what you're issued. If the military expects you to use a piece of equipment, they'll pay for it, teach you to use it, maintain it, fix it, supply the batteries, and if needed replace it without you ever touching your wallet. You should already know how to figure your location, and movement using a map, compass and protractor.
    If you still want the GPS, know that you can determine your location with a smart phone using a free app to convert lat lon to Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) coordinates.
    In addition to Boyd's points for consideration, look at how you want to use the GPS. With a built in map, or using an issued (paper) map. Will it be installed in a vehicle? They usually have 24v systems. Armored vehicles will likely need an external antenna. Will light from the screen be a problem after dark (light discipline)? How rugged is the case and screen?
    Last, but definitely not least, if you're on foot will the GPS survive when (not if) it gets soaked or totally immersed in water?
    Never leave your issued map and compass behind. Batteries die, electronics break, and you don't want a radio conversation where both sides aren't referring to the same map. Bad things happen that way.
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