Overlanding has become more popular in recent years. With this increased popularity, it can be difficult to come up with all the gear needed, including finding the best tablet for overlanding.
To help you out with your search I have made a list of some of the top tablets for navigation that are on the market right now.
Why Do Overlanders Need A Tablet?
Overlanding is the act of traveling from one place to another in a self-reliant means, specifically by car, truck, or motorcycle. More on overlanding basics here.
Typically, overlanding involves adventure traveling on roads and trails that most other people and vehicles never go to. So, having a vehicle that is outfitted to travel off-grid is a big deal.
From all-terrain tires, medical kits and shovels, your GPS Navigation equipment is just as important.
What To Look For In A Overlanding Tablet
Before running out and grabbing the first cheap android tablet you can find, there are a few considerations to make when selecting a tablet for overlanding. Below are the five areas you will want to consider in no particular order, but all equally important.
It Needs To Be Tough: I suppose many of these go without saying, but so does wearing a seatbelt and you know how that goes.
So, to kick things off with the obvious, the tablet you pick for overlanding needs to be tough. Let’s face it, you won’t be skimming Facebook from the comfort of your Lay-Z-Boy at home.
You will be off-grid, on rough roads and the number of times your tablet will get coffee spilled on it or sat on will be greater than you are expecting. So, first up, it needs to be tough!
It Needs To Be Dependable: Sometimes it’s a bit tempting to grab those $50 tablets off Amazon or Wal-Mart with the thought that at that low price point, you won’t be to sad when (not if) it breaks.
Going with a better brand and model will be well worth the investment as you won’t be dealing with an operating system that’s freezing up due to the processor lacking the speed to deal with all the info moving in real-time from GPS and maps.
It Needs To Have a Strong Battery: A good battery is another place to consider when selecting a good tablet for overlanding. Sure, you could just run a power cord to it 24/7, but, chances are you already have 5 other things charging all the time.
Anytime you can run on good battery life, it’s a step up instead of trying to keep it charged all the time. At least then you can cycle through devices from the power source as needed.
It Must Have Good Global Positioning Hardware: I can imaging the frustration of getting into overlanding, heading out for a long trip, getting off-grid, and then just finding out your cheap tablet cant keep up with the GPS signal updates as it should.
Sending you and your family down the wrong path could end in all sorts of bad things we dont need to elaborate on.
It Needs To Have A Good Selection Of Protective Cases: I dont care how “tough” your tablet is, you will need more protection.
If you have ever been fully-self contained and self-reliant in your vehicle for any length of time longer than a couple of days, you know how cramped and scattered things can get, fast.
You don’t want to step on something, hear a crack and find out that was your overlanding tablet.
By going with a better-known brand, you dramatically increase your device protection items like protective body cases and tempered glass screen protectors.
Garmin Overlander For Overlanding
Garmin Overlander is perfect for exploring off-road trails or long on-road trips. When the trail calls, don’t go it alone – this rugged handheld Garmin has everything you need to help avoid getting lost! Rugged waterproof quality makes navigation through streams and snow hills no problem.
A Garmin Overlander comes standard with built-in pitch and roll monitoring as well as inReach capability giving you the option to keep in contact with help or loved ones while off-grid.
Garmin Overlander comes equipped with a powered magnetic mount and a AMPS adapter that is RAM mount compatible.
You’ll never be without a map with 50 GB of memory, storage for 2 maps at one time, all the basemap contours lines data needed to avoid unnecessary backtracking.
An extensive library of BirdsEye imagery is ready for use in any area covered by Blueridge Imaging’s premium digital mapping solution that includes North America and South America.
Ipad For Overlanding
An Ipad is an excellent option for overlanding. With a strong processor (in the Pro models), you can expect to have the processing power needed to run all your apps, keep your GPS up and running and also has compatibility with Gaia GPS.
Also, as mentioned above, good battery life and tons of aftermarket protection covers make the Apple Ipad a great choice for overlanding.
The downside to an Ipad for overlanding is the lack of any IP rating from water or dust. Therefore, if you do decide to go with an Ipad for overladning, you will want a protective case that offers beefed-up protection from the elements.
Galaxy Tab For Overlanding
Samsung has done a tremendous job of keeping pace with Apple over the years. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is another great flagship tablet that can compete with anything that Apple has out.
Galaxy tabs offer excellent battery life, strong processing speeds and also have endless aftermarket protective case items to project the body and screen of your galaxy tablet when out overlanding.
Just like the Apple Ipad, the downside to a Galaxy Tab for overlanding is the lack of any IP rating from water or dust. Therefore, if you do decide to go with a Galaxy Tab for overlanding, you will want a protective case that offers beefed-up protection from the elements.
Well, folks, that’s all! Hopefully, this was helpful in making a choice when it comes to the best tablet for overlanding. Remember, you have lots of options, but, like all things, this may not be the area you want to be cheap on. Getting deep into the back country and relying on your tablet’s GPS to get back home is not the time for a tablet to fail. Be safe, and GET OUTSIDE!