waterproof wrist mounted gps?

pros and cons? (compared to mounting a conventional one on the deck as the recent thread describes)


and next question would be
with the garmin foretrex 101 you replace with 2 AAA batteries while the 201 version is rechargeable lithium (15 hour) which one makes more sense? (meaning waterproofness I guess since I always hear of leakage from the batery compartment.)


I think your hardest challenge will be finding a wrist GPS that actually is waterproof to the level claimed. It is very easy for a manufacturer to claim IPX-7 standards but very few will actually meet that standard. Sure you can send them back and they will send you a replacement. But I would much rather have one that never has to be returned. Last summer I tried a GlobalSat 615B. Again this claimed to be waterproof to IPX-7 standards. But I used it while kayaking and it was subjected to light splash. The third time out it quit and had water inside. I got a full refund but it was a great system while it worked. I have had little luck finding a Garmin or Magellan model that is actually waterproof as claimed. Good luck.

don’t know how it could be accurate
The GPS will pick up the speed and distance of your hand movements. But, I’ll bet you’d see some wicked-fast average speeds.

Suunto X9i
is waterproof, at least mine is, and has been proven as such on many paddles. Used the Garmin Foretrex (the one with replaceable batteries) but replaced it with the Suunto for more functions in one spot–this to get stuff off the deck------BUT with a kayak with a 4th hatch its moot because I’ve discovered my Garmain 76 can see satelittes through the deck while in the 4th hatch…it can accepts maps while the Suunto cannot…so many choices, all good and all fun.

Wrist mounted works

– Last Updated: Dec-07-07 7:25 AM EST –

It picks up the distance between spots on the surface of the earth to calculate speed, which is how the larger ones work as well (even in a dry bag inside a day hatch). Being wrist-mounted doesn't affect its accuracy since all that movement doesn't change that distance. (Tho' there are times at the end of a long paddle I wish it did.)

the wristmounts use different software?
My Map76csx will count any movement of the unit to count speed and distance. I just did it to prove it. Four windmills, standing in place, yielded about 10 mph and 41 feet.

Maybe …
You are standing on two of those spots…

Con - It’s on your wrist!!!
What more do you need to know?

OK - also small, meaning harder to read, and you have to alter stroke to read…

Why not let the kayak carry your gear - and have it where you can see it - without interfering.

If you could rotate the display 90 degrees you could use one of the wrist models and slip it on your spare GP or norsaq intead…

I have nice simple Garmin mount. A small rounded part remains on deck on my QCC. The cradle that snaps into it usually stays on the GPS. I’ve also used it in on the SOF and just trap that part between overlapped deck lines instead (tethered also - in both cases).

Another easy option would to be to attach a mount/base to strap that could go on a norsaq or paddle - commercial base or DIY a small foam cradle.

If looking for a bargain - they still sell the original GPSMAP 76 in B/W - cheap. Great unit, decent screen, and nice one finger operation on decent sized buttons (many units controls are not as nice for on deck/paddler use). Mine went 4 years - never bagged - many rolls/waves. Only thing they need is a check of the battery compartment after each use. It is a minor weak point, but only an issue if a droplet gets in there you leave a for a prolonged period…

I have to tell you the newer color ones are nicer though. Really easy to read, more display options, and batteries last longer.

No maps/crappy little screen
No maps/crappy little screen

As NJPaddler said…
Watch the waterproof ratings. Both of these units are IPX7 rated, which is not a waterproof rating, but a dustproof rating (as a comparison, the Pentax Optio Cameras that many people here use are the equivalent to IPX-8, which is waterproof).

I am on my second Foretrex 101 - after having to replace one due to water ingress. Now the unit lives in a dry bag when kayaking (so the wrist strap wouldn’t work any more for me).

On 101 versus 201 - if you plan to do just day trips, the 201 would likely be better. You can recharge the battery at night, and the lack of a battery hatch may make it a bit more waterproof.

If you are going to do multiple day trips where you can’t get to a recharge point, then you would probably do better with a 101 and its replaceable AAA batteries.

Stick it…
on the deck bungees! Makes a nice little dashbord giving you just the info you want to see.

My Garmin Foretrex 201 hasn’t died yet, and I’m tough on gear. Gives me the basic info, very good at helping determine tidal infulence on speed, stores routes, can program in waypoints, etc. Comes with charger, charge lasts 14 hours, I only use it 2 hours at a clip, haven’t figured out how to have The River Connection run itself for 14 hours (it’d be great though).

Costs $185.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


Go with rechargeable unit…
The Garmin Foretrex 101 I had died due to water getting into the AA battery compartment. The seal for the compartment door is not all that robust. I suspect the 102 with rechargeable battery would eliminate this weak spot. Other than that, it worked quite well. I hooked it to the deck bungees and used it as a kind of dashboard.

IP ratings
IPX7 is a waterproof rating, just not as waterproof as IPX8.

Dust proof ratings use a number where the X is.

eg: IP67 equals “Total dust ingress protection” and “Protected against immersion between 15cm and 1m depth”,

IP68 equals “Total dust ingress protection” and “Protected against long term immersion to a specified pressure”.

More details at http://www.sensorsone.co.uk/ip-rating-checker.html