Best GPS with Radio

Top Models:

Don't be without a GPS with Radio in the Backcountry

Garmin Rino 530HCx : $356

Garmin Rino 520HCx : $342

Garmin Rino 130
: $277

Garmin Rino 120 : $199

Garmin Rino 110 : $140

GPS with radio is a concept that has only been available to the average outdoorsman for the past 10 years or so. Both GPS and 2 way radio have forever changed the way we navigate and communicate, but until GPS with radio became a reality, outdoorsmen were forced to lugboth units around. Not only that, but now the units are strides abovewhat they once were. Below is a list of the top GPS with radio manufacture’s products, and below that we will discuss the benefits and applications of a GPS with radio and which one may be best for you.

Garmin Rino 520 GPS with Radio

Garmin Rino 520

Garmin Rino 520HCx Two-Way Radio and GPS :
Top of the line radio with GPS. Waterproof, 22 channel, 5 watt, 14 mile radio range, 10 foot GPS accuracy. Many more features discussed below and at the link below.

Click here for more info or to buy:Garmin Rino 520HCx Radio and GPS: Best Price: $342

Garmin Rino 530 GPS with Radio

Garmin Rino 530

Garmin Rino 530HCx 2-Way Radio with GPS:
Has all the features of the Rino 520HCx, plus 7 channel NOAA weather receiver with weather alert detection, Electronic Compass and Barometric Altimeter; great additions for small price.

Click here for more info or to buy: Garmin Rino 530HCx 2-Way Radio with GPS: Best Price: $356

Garmin Rino 120

Garmin Rino 120 2-Way Radio with GPS:

A smaller radio with GPS version that has been around a long time. 4 mile radio range, 8 mb internal memory to store maps.

Click here for more info or to buy: Garmin Rino 120 GPS with 2-Way Radio: Best Price: $199

Garmin Rino 110 GPS and Radio in one

Garmin Rino 110

Garmin Rino 110 2 Way Radio with GPS:
All the capabilities of the Rino 120, except the ability to store maps. The base model of the Rino products.

Click here for more info or to buy:Garmin Rino 110 GPS with Radio : Best Price: $140

Choosing the Right GPS with Radio
The GPS with Radio market is basically cornered by Garmin and their Rino product line. People have been relying on them for more than 10 years now, and they have only gotten better. So then, the decision lies in which Garmin Rino to buy. The answer comes down to the amount of money you want to spend. The Rino 530, at the top of the list, offers the most features but also costs quite a bit more than the bare bones Rino 110 model. Use the points below to decide which GPS with Radio unit will be best for your situation.

All Rinos: The entire line of Garmin Rino’s are all GPS units and 2-way radios combined in one easy package. Each have the ability to display to one another, their location, making it easy for people to find each other.

Rino 110: this is the bottom of the Rino line, but will do almost anything the average outdoorsman will want it to. The radio is somewhat short range when compared to the other models, but works well and can be used with other hand held radios that run on the FRS/GMRS bands. The biggest difference between this and the other products in the line up is that it does not have the ability to download maps. When I first bought my Rino 120 I thought it I probably should have stuck with the 110 as I did not think I would ever download the maps. Finally I did download them onto the Rino 120 for a backpack trip, and now I would not buy a unit without that capability. For more information on the Rino 110 GPS with 2 way radio, click on the link above.

Rino 120: This Unit has everything the Rino 110 has, but also has the capabilities to download 8mb worth of topographical maps from Mapsource Maps.

Rino 520: Garmin took what they had going with the Rino 120, and blew it out of the water with the 520. First of all, the two way radio is powered by 5 watts, extending the useful radius out to 14 miles. The internal hard drive is 56mb, so you can store a huge area of topographic maps and view them on the color display. They have also added a micro SD card slot so you can store more maps and information. The only notable downside to the Rino 520 is the fact that it is a little bigger than the previous models making it 2 ounces heavier.

Rino 530: This GPS with radio unit has all the features and looks as the Rino 520, plus it comes with a few other features that make it worth spending the extra money to have. These include a seven channel NOAA weather band and electric compass and barometric pressure gauge. The weather band and barometric pressure will let you know what type of weather is coming your way, and the compass works without moving (without an electric compass you have to be moving to show a direction of travel).

Benefits of Having a GPS with Radio
There are many advantages of having a GPS with a radio. When exploring the backcountry a person should never go without some type of communication. Until cell phones work in remote areas or satellite phones become more reasonably priced, 2 way radios will have to work. Also, once you have used a GPS and become proficient with it, you will see why it is an important item to pack along. It is almost impossible to get lost with a functioning GPS, especially if you mark your starting location. The problem is though, most people carry both units or one or the other. With the Rino, you have both in one unit. If you have a broken leg, you want to be able to communicate your exact location to emergency personnel; with a radio you can tell them the exact coordinates that you read from your GPS. There is no need to pack around both a GPS and 2-way radio. Also, the cost is not terribly more, and you may even save a little by not buying both units separately.

MapSource Software
MapSource is Garmin’s mapping software that is downloadable to all their GPS with


Radio units except the Rino 110. All the units come standard with a basic map of North and South America, but it only shows key landmarks such as highways, state lines, rivers, and a few natural landmarks. With MapSource installed in your Rino, you will be able to read the land with contours, creeks, lakes, trails, and city streets. It is nice not having to carry a map with you while backpacking and to never worry about getting lost, because with MapSource and on a Garmin Rino GPS with Radio, you will always know exactly where you are.

For most people, the standard MapSource will have more than enough detail. If you are after more detail, then you might want to consider buying the region specific mapping software by following the link below.

For more information or to buy Mapsource, click here: MapSource Topographical Maps

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