One of the most common problems for bikepackers is navigation so we have compiled a list that you should consider for your next bikepacking GPS Computer. You might not have a map, or you may be lost out in the middle of nowhere without any kind of directions at all.
This can lead to an unpleasant experience and could even put your safety into jeopardy! Thankfully, there are ways around this issue; one option would be to bring a bikepacking GPS computer that works independently from your smartphone so when cell service fades away, you’ll still know where to go.
Currently, many people rely on their phones as a means of navigating. But one thing to consider when bikepacking is the battery life for your phone. If you use it all day long to navigate, then chances are that your battery will run out by the time night falls!
One reason why some bikepackers opt for stand-alone GPS devices rather than using apps is they want to preserve their cell phone’s batteries–so they can still make calls or do other tasks while at camp without draining its power completely.
Some bikepackers have also opted away from smartphones because they don’t like being so dependent on them while cycling offroad in remote locations where there may not be any cellular service anyways; instead opting purely for a standalone bikepacking GPS computer.
Believe it or not, location sharing can be a safety feature! Some even include a rearview camera and incident detection. The former offers the ability to see approaching cars in real time on your GPS screen while incident detection alerts emergency contacts if you have an accident.
Fancy data collection and analytics are a feature that dramatically affect the cost of your bikepacking GPS computer. Some bikepackers use this as an opportunity to explore their creativity, filling in hundreds of customizable fields on their GPS device with whatever they want!
Others have more basic needs for surveying trails or remembering where food caches can be found near them during long journeys. If you’re looking for some fancy features then it is up to you how much customization you would like because there’s virtually no limit, well except for your wallet.
If you find that some of these computers are unavailable or know of some I should add to the list please let me know by clicking here and sending us an email.
In short, here are the best computers for bikepacking and bike touring.
The WaHoo ELEMNT Bolt is one of the most advanced bike computers on the planet, and it’s built for every cyclist, including bikepackers. With all the connected features, you can create a more enjoyable ride experience than ever before.
Download routes from Strava or Ride with GPS, sync your favorite music for offline play, follow friends and family members on live tracking, add voice prompts like “turn left” to keep you focused on the road ahead—it’s up to you.
With its three-axis accelerometer and barometric altimeter, the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt accurately tracks your ride data like speed, distance, heart rate and cadence. The large color screen is easy to read even in bright sunlight.
The Bolt also supports ANT+ sensors so you can add a power meter for more detailed performance tracking. No matter which bike computer you choose from Wahoo, you’ll be able to enjoy the freedom of riding with GPS on every ride.
You can create routes on the companion app and upload them directly to the device via WiFi. Once you have completed your route, it can automatically upload to Strava or other compatible apps.
The Garmin Edge 130 Pro is a compact bikepacking GPS computer packed full of features for cyclists looking to stay connected, motivated and protected on the road. It’s simple to use with a big screen and clear display that’s easy to read in sunlight or low-light conditions.
The Edge 130 has plenty of battery life and is rugged enough for any weather condition so you can ride your way through city streets or backcountry trails with confidence. It has a compact, lightweight design that’s easy to mount and fits in your pocket when you’re off the bike.
It also features advanced performance and power analysis, including VO2 max estimate, recovery advisor with recovery time indication and cycling dynamics that provide a deeper understanding of your ride data.
The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus GPS Cycling Computer is the most advanced bike computer ever made. It’s packed with new cycling specific features and connected features that let you compete, share and challenge yourself like never before.
The large, easy-to-use touchscreen display lets you ride longer, in more places with the confidence of real-time information and turn-by-turn navigation guidance. Whether you’re on an epic ride or just out for a quick spin, Edge 1030 delivers the stats that matter most including distance traveled, time in zone, speed/cadence.
It features Garmin’s largest, highest resolution display yet, and is packed with innovative technology to help you ride better and improve your performance. The Garmin Edge 1030 Plus GPS Computer has a large, full color touchscreen display that measures 2.3 inches diagonally (2.2″ x 1.5″). It lets you view multiple screens at once, zoom in on data fields or even create your own custom pages to go where you want them.
Garmin eTrex 20x is the perfect partner for outdoor enthusiasts. It features a high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver with HotFix satellite prediction that enables it to locate your position quickly and precisely to maintain its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.
The built-in 3-axis electronic compass keeps your bearing whether you’re moving or not. The sunlight-readable, 2.2″ 65K color display has a backlight that lets you check the screen easily in any lighting conditions so you can keep moving while navigating. It even supports geocaching GPX files and includes a worldwide basemap.
Can you tell I’m a fan of the Garmin’s? This one is the eTrex 32x that has a high-sensitivity GPS navigator that is preloaded with detailed maps. The 3-axis electronic compass keeps your bearing whether moving or not and the barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude.
It has an enhanced 2.2″ monochrome display, which makes it easy to read in any light condition. The eTrex 32x supports both GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster fix times and improved accuracy, even under dense tree cover or deep canyons. It also features 8 GB of internal memory for map downloads plus a micro SD card slot.
The Mega XL is a feature packed bikepacking GPS computer. It features the ability to record your ride data in real time via Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ wireless technology. It also has an integrated heart rate monitor that will sync with any Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ heart rate monitor strap.
The Mega XL can be mounted horizontally or vertically. The display is backlit for use in low light conditions or at night. The device comes with a large 1.5″ display that shows all the information you need to perform at your best, including speed, distance, time, and heart rate data. It also features preloaded maps of North America and Europe so you can always see exactly where you are on the map while following your route.