GPS trackers are getting thinner, cheaper, and more useful for security and outdoor activity than ever before. In fact, several excellent models may have crept into the market without you realizing it. Here’s a list of the top personal tracking devices for the safety of your kids, pets, and hiking adventures.
Trax stands out by being highly consumer-oriented in its approach to GPS tracking devices. The company offers one Trax package that includes two different clips (albeit only one tracker), one for clothing and one for a collar, indicating the company’s two different approaches for kids and dogs. The app features are similarly designed for split purposes. You can create schedules, track phones, design your own geofences or proximity fences, and set up speed alerts for unexpected behavior. There’s also an interesting augmented reality options that helps show where the tracker is nearby when using your phone camera, a feature unique to Trax.
2. Spot Gen3
Spot Gen3 takes a different approach to GPS tracking by using a personal GPA tracking device that’s much more than just a tracking chip. This larger tracker comes without a screen (to be even more durable, it seems) but does have several buttons for different commands. It can track exactly where you are, record where you’ve been, allow you to check in at specific places, and even send specific pre-planned messages or SOS signals when necessary. Make no mistake, Spot is for hiking and adventuring enthusiasts, not for making sure your kids come home safely – but it’s also very good at what it does.
3. DeLorme InReach SE
The DeLorme inReach SE, despite its odd capitalization, is an excellent modern GPS tracker if you want something more social than the Spot Gen3. This device has a tiny screen and basic direction buttons you can use to tap out a text message no matter where you are or what mountain you just scaled. It also has SOS capabilities, extensive tracking, and a highly impressive 100-hour lithium battery. It’s a bit more professional and feature-filled than the Gen3, but the price is also significantly higher.
4. Amber Alert GPS
Back to the basics: If you just want to make sure that your kids are safe, check out this little tracker dongle, designed specifically for parents. Actually, it’s a little unfair to call it merely a tracker, because this GPS tracking dongle also include two-way voice communication that can be activated with a single button. It offers basic tracking and safety alerts for worried parents, connecting to a smartphone app that can show location and more. It’s a great little device for safety-based tracking, but it does come with a catch. The GPS tracker requires a coverage plan that costs at least $15 per month plus an activation fee, which may not compare favorably to options like Trax depending on your needs.
5. Garmin Chirp Geocaching Wireless Beacon
Garmin Chirp Geocaching Wireless Beacon is something of a supermarket in the personal tracking devices world, with options for people, pets and vehicles, each with its own characteristics. The personal GPS locator is designed for kids, teens, seniors, and anyone else who wants them. The small pocket sized tracker makes it conveniently small and will ping a GPS satellite every 2-second to update its location. The battery is good for up to 1-year, whereupon it will need to be replaced with a new set. Geofencing also gives you important updates on location. If you aren’t quite sure what features you want in a tracker, Garmin’s Chip model makes a good starting place given its low price.