gps – Garmin Rino 520HCx

The accuracy ratings are average, the battery life is comparatively short and there is no barometric altimeter or electronic compass. So what is there to like about the Garmin Rino 520HCx? The answer is: one amazing feature. This unit has something we did not see in the other GPS systems in our lineup – a two-way radio. You pay for that feature in a higher price and with a comparatively hefty weight in your backpack. While we’re not sure that one feature outweighs all of the things you subtract to get it for most users, it is still a pretty cool idea to combine a two-way radio with a quality GPS system.


The Rino series GPS systems use the standard FRS/GMRS radio, so you can easily communicate with other handheld radios over a 14-mile distance (line of sight). One of the more unique features about having a two-way radio built into a GPS device is that the Garmin Rino 520HCx can track the locations of any other Rino users in your group with ease. No more trying to explain where you are and how to get there, simply pull up the other Rino GPS system’s users and walk to their location. The Rino 520HCx offers 22 channels and an amazing five watts of transmitting power, so even if your friends are a few miles away you can still contact them.

The Rino has an amazingly clear 256-color TFT display, so finding your exact location anywhere is simple. It has pre-installed basemaps that include U.S. rivers, lakes, main cities, roads and a few more extras. However, the the amount of maps you can have is practically endless due to the ability to add more maps at any time with the microSD card slot. Like many of the other GPS systems on the market today the Rino is fully waterproof, so it not only works on land but also when fishing at your favorite lake or exploring the coastline. If you choose to, you can even pull up city maps and find step-by-step and turn-by-turn directions when traveling to your favorite camping spot or while on your way to a national park for a few days.

The Garmin Rino 520HCx may not have all of the add-ons that come standard with other handheld GPS systems. However, everyone knows how frustrating it can be to lose someone in your group and spend all day, and even at times all night, searching for each other. For some users this one awesome feature – the two-way radio – may be worth it. The Rino 520HCx delivers an impressive, clear GPS unit which can pinpoint your location in seconds. With 500 Waypoints, 50 navigational routes and 20 navigation tracks you will be able to save your favorite trips and enjoy them at any time.

Quality not quantity is what you will find in the Garmin Rino 520HCx, it may not have a ton of extras but what it does have it does well. If you are willing to put the price aside and know a few others who want to get out and have some fun this summer you can all have more fun exploring the outdoors than ever before with the Garmin Rino 520HCx.