A common question we get asked here at the Outdoor GPS Shop is what are the best batteries for an Outdoor Garmin GPS unit.
Because there is never a straight answer there some questions you need to ask.
1. Does you GPS have a built-in power cell (units like the GPSMAP 66i, GPSMAP86s, GPSMAP86i and the Garmin Montana range.
If the answer is yes, you can charge your unit both from the mains or by using a portable power pack like the –
In my experience Goal Zero are the market leaders in outdoor power. Both these products above can be charged by mains power of with a solar panel if you are heading ‘off grid’ –
2. Does your Outdoor Garmin GPS run on AA batteries?
The majority of Garmin Outdoor GPS units are powered by 2 x AA batteries.
The reason for this is then you can easily double your power time by taking a further 2 AA batteries in your rucksack, an easy solution.
BUT, not all AA batteries are good batteries to power your Garmin GPS unit with. If you buy cheap disposable batteries, they, frankly, will not last very long, and throwing away the batteries will also have an environmental impact.
Therefore, you really should be powering your Outdoor Garmin GPS unit with rechargeable AA batteries. Depending on if you are walking just day walks or multiple days there are several battery options to choose from.
Day walks – best batteries for your Garmin GPS unit
The assumption for your day walks is that you will have access to mains power before your walk, so you can charge
– Best budget option – Energizer Battery Charger 1 Hour inc 4 batteries – more
Which did a test a couple of years ago and they rated these as the best rechargeable batteries currently on the market. In one hour of charging you have got yourself two batteries to power you for one days walking and a second ‘backup’ set just in case.
– Panasonic Eneloop Charger, Including 4 x AA batteries – more
Over the past year, we have had lots of customers raving about these batteries, so we gave them a go ourselves. In our eyes, they are worth the money.
This battery charger charges each battery cell individually, so if a cell is 40% full it will charge it the further 60% then stop charging it. It treats every battery cell individually.
If you can afford them you will not be disappointed.
Long-distance walks – best batteries for your Garmin GPS unit
If you are doing a multiple-day walk, do not have access to mains power or just don’t fancy carrying a battery charger with a three-pin plug on the back in your rucksack the option to go for is the –
– Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus – Recharger – more
This you can charge from a USB plug (like the one you more than likely use to charge your smartphone), alternatively, you can also charge this from a solar panel.
– Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Panel – more
The great thing about the Goal Zero Guide 10 plus is not only charges 4 AA batteries but if you leave those batteries in it also becomes a power pack that you can charge your phone or other electronic devices with. Therefore a top tip is to buy both a Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus and a second set of 4 x AA batteries.
Then you can charge your four batteries, put two in your unit, two in you rucksack as your backup. Then charge another 4 batteries in the Guide 10 and use that then as a power pack.
To do this all you need to buy is a further –
– 4 x AA rechargeable batteries – more
How long do batteries last in a Garmin Outdoor GPS unit?
The six-million-dollar question, how long will my batteries last in your Outdoor Garmin GPS unit.
Aa good set of batteries should enable you to get a good day walking under your belt, this would be 7 – 8 hours.
I know Garmin says you will get twice as long as that, but frankly, if you are using your GPS properly, to navigate you I would expect a good 7 – 8 hours of battery life.
There are a number of things you can do to extend your battery life on an Outdoor Garmin GPS unit. GPS Training created this short video that will help you look at how to preserve your batteries on a Garmin Oregon GPS unit.