If you’re an adventurous kayaker who loves to explore unfamiliar waters, a reliable kayak GPS is a vital navigation and safety tool. If you’re training for a race or go kayaking for the health benefits, a kayak distance tracker can help you track your performance. A GPS watch is a convenient and paddler friendly option. All you have to do is ensure that you choose the best GPS watch for kayaking that has accurate location tracking, is water resistant, comfortable to wear, easy to read, has a long battery life, and is rugged. 

The watch will track your location, paddling speed and distance covered and let you know the calories you’re burning, and when its time to call it a day. You will be able to set waypoints and if you want barometric altimeter, compass and tide functions, some watches also offer them. Below are ten best kayaking watches with in-built GPS and other great features for paddlers. Following the reviews is a buying guide on how to choose the right navigation watch for a kayak.

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How To Choose A GPS Watch For Kayaking – Buying Guide

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When looking for a GPS watch for kayaking, the first thing to consider is, of course, the GPS functionality. Here are the other features you should assess to ensure you choose a paddling GPS watch with the functionality and features you need and want:

Water Resistant

First and foremost, a GPS watch for kayaking should be a water-resistant watch. It should be able to withstand splashes, downpours, and shortlived submersions and remain functional. It is impossible to find a 100% waterproof GPS watch but a water resistance rating of at least 5ATM/50meters will be sufficient.

Size

The watch’s face should be large enough to be easy to read even if you choose to mount it on the deck but not so large that it is bulky and uncomfortable on your wrist. The band length should be sufficient for your wrist size. A lightweight GPS watch is ideal as it won’t impede your ability to paddle.

Battery Life

GPS tracking drains batteries very fast. Choose a unit whose battery life in GPS mode is long enough to outlast your kayaking expeditions. This will prevent situations where your safety and navigation watch dies in the middle of your journey.

Accurate and Detailed Maps

Accurate and detailed maps add to the functionality and usefulness of a navigation watch. Choose a GPS watch that is preloaded with high quality maps and/or allows you to load more maps onto it.

Compatibility

Most GPS smart watches are compatible with both iPhones and Android smartphones. This connectivity enables you to send data to your phone for storage and for more convenience when analyzing the data. You can also receive smartphone notifications and control the music on your phone via your watch. Ensure you choose a GPS watch that is compatible with your smartphone’s operating system.

Amount of Memory

The watch’s internal memory should be sufficient to accommodate the maps, tracks and apps you will need, hold the data you will collect and still respond fast. The ability to insert a memory card or a cable to transfer some of the stored data to a larger device is also important. The GPS watch for kayaking reviews above are composed of top rated kayaking watches that have sufficient memory.

Display

The watch display should be clearly visible in all conditions and at a glance whether you choose to strap it on your wrist, mount it on the deck or strap it on the bungees. A large face with a high resolution, sunlight visible display and backlight for low light viewing is essential.

Ease Of Use

While on the water, you want an easy to navigate and operate GPS watch for kayaking even with wet or gloved hands. A button based interface is easy to use with wet hands or with kayaking gloves on. It is also great is you can customise the display so that it suits kayaking. 

FAQs

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Q: Why Do You Need A Kayak GPS?

A: You need a kayak GPS for navigation, safety, and for tracking your trips. A solid GPS watch kayaking helps you navigate with ease and ensures that you don’t get lost . You will also be able to track stats like speed, distance, calories burned, etc.

Q: How To Use A Watch GPS?

A: Select the relevant mode for the activity you’re about to engage in. Turn on the GPS and wait for it to find and establish a link with GPS satellites. Once this is established, the watch will provide visual feedback such as a satellite icon. Press start and embark on your adventure.

Q: Is Watch GPS Accurate?

A: The watch GPS in the best GPS watches offered by reputable manufacturers such as Garmin are accurate. If you’re doubtful, you can test the accuracy of your watch’s GPS against other GPS devices.

Globosurf Overview

A kayak GPS is an important navigation, safety and tracking tool. With the best gps watch for kayaking on your wrist, you will be able to navigate with ease and create maps of your routes. You will also be in tune with your speed, distance, and performance. Be sure to fully charge the device and practise using it before venturing into the water. The top rated kayaking watches above are some of the best gifts for kayak enthusiasts

More Kayak Reviews:

Globo Surf GPS Watches For Kayaking Reviews

★★★★★
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Just what I needed. A friend suggested that a gps watch would be more useful than an actual gps and he is absolutely right. I recommend this to all kayakers.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!