Garmin Monterra Hiking GPS Review

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For the modern adventurer, going out into the woods – even woods that you spend your entire life in – without a GPS is unimaginable.

Global Positioning Satellite units have completely and totally change the way we navigate our world today, and have given us the ability to explore areas that we may have never had the confidence to previously. So much more than a map and compass (though they are built on the back of the same navigational ideas), the right hiking GPS unit can get you far back into the wilderness where few people have been in the last hundred or more years – and then back home again!

And while there are a considerable amount of high-end handheld hiking GPS units out there today, few of them can compete directly with the Garmin Monterra. Widely recognized as one of the best, most accurate, and feature-rich navigational units on the market right now, the Garmin Monterra is a nearly indestructible beast that you’ll be able to lean on and count on even when conditions aren’t perfect.

Garmin Monterra Hiking GPS

Garmin Monterra Wi-Fi Enabled Handheld GPS

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If there was a singular GPS unit out there designed specifically for outdoorsmen that ranks head and shoulders above all others, it would be the Garmin Monterra.

Absolutely packed to the gills with top-of-the-line features (many of them described below), this is like having your very own backwoods scout or guide shoot you down step-by-step directions from multiple satellite of arrays in space so that you’re never lost – no matter where you find yourself!

Loaded with:

  • A 4 inch high definition LCD display that includes multitouch interface controls
  • The Android operating system (with the Google Play store built right in for extra applications and accessories)
  • An eight megapixel camera capable of taking the videos in 1080p high definition
  • The ability to connect to highly sensitive GPS/GLONASS positioning satellites
  • 3-D map merge capabilities
  • And so much more!

It’s easy to see why so many people choose the Garmin Monterra over just about everything else out there on the market right now.

Combine all of that with the fact that it works perfectly right out of the box (though you can also load as many apps and as many maps as you want to the device from third-party resources) and that it is nearly indestructible and enjoys a ridiculously long-lasting battery and you’re looking at the clear-cut winner in hiking GPS unit of arena.

Form Factor

As mentioned above, the unit is relatively compact thanks to the 4 inch high-definition display, and measures just 6.5” x 3.3” x 6.5”, with an overall weight of just 1.5 pounds.

To say that this is an incredible amount of advanced technology packed into a ridiculously compact form factor would be the understatement of the century!

Easy to hold in your hand no matter what you’re doing, and even easier to pack away in your gear without noticing it’s there (even if you are a minimalist hiker, camper, or explorer), it would be absolutely insane to leave base camp or home without the Garmin Monterra charged up and ready to go.

It’s also easily able to mount to just about any surface thanks to the variety of Garmin Monterra mounting tools and accessories available. Most of them are manufactured by Garmin themselves, but there’s a number of third-party options that are fantastic as well.

This means that your hiking GPS unit can quickly become a marine GPS unit, a bicycle GPS unit, and ATV unit, or even one you used to navigate in your vehicle!


Because it connects to at least 12 different global positioning satellites at any one time (and as many as 24+ depending upon your specific location and a number of other criteria), the accuracy that the Garmin Monterra can produce is unparalleled in the commercially available GPS unit marketplace.

On top of that, the Garmin Monterra includes 3-D map merging technology that can combine topography maps and BirdsEye satellite imagery into a single map that shows you incredibly vivid and rich textures while allowing you to zoom and pan around. Therefore it’s really a good GPS device for geocaching. Don’t know what geocaching is, then read our “What is geocaching” article about it.

This means that you’ll never be lost no matter where you find yourself on the planet, especially if you’ve taken the time to preload these maps into the device. You can use the included USB cord, the available 64 GB of microSD memory, or that the Wi-Fi connectivity option to get those maps onto your device almost in an instant – and once they are there you are good to go!

You’ll also be able to take advantage of a three axis electric compass, accelerometer, and gyro. Each of these are incredibly powerful navigational tools that any and every explorer will want to have in their pack, but combined to gather with the GPS unit (or even operating without GPS) you’ll be able to quickly and easily grab your bearings and head towards your waypoints and destinations with absolutely no headache or hassle at all.


Durability is off the charts with the Garmin Monterra, which is to be expected when you’re talking about a Garmin device.

After all, you don’t get to the top of the commercially available GPS world without some very high-end construction materials used in your devices – and Garmin spared no expense when they made this one! Everything feels rock solid and steady and is encased in a rubberized material that avoids dense, dings, and damage better than just about anything else out there.

Final Verdict

Garmin Monterra Wi-Fi Enabled Handheld GPS -2

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For those searching high and low for the next GPS hiking unit that they will trust when exploring the great outdoors, nothing can quite cold a candle to the Garmin Monterra. It may not be the cheapest GPS unit on the market right now, but if there is a single tool that you are going to count on to get you into the woods and then back out safely, without any wrong turns, hassles, or headaches, then this decision is almost a no-brainer.

The Garmin Monterra is the unit that everyone wants for a reason.