Adventure is most definitely good for the soul. It’s always great to get outside and explore the great outdoors, whether that be on foot, on wheels or a mode of transport of your choice. There’s something special about getting lost in an adventure to escape everyday life. What’s not so special, is getting lost for real. That’s why in our latest blog post, we’re taking a look at the best map navigation apps that will get you where you want to go both on the road and off. Fifty years ago, the only way you could find your destination was with the help of a good old trusty paper map. Thankfully, in the 21st century, you now have the power of the map at your fingertips, simply download one of these apps and you’ll be good to go.
There is a whole host on the app store for both iOS and Android users to make the most of. So many in fact, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. So, we’ve broken it down to bring you our top picks so you can spend less time choosing and more time exploring.
If you’ve ever traveled to Asia, you probably would have come across Maps.me somewhere along the way. It’s one of the most straightforward apps on our list and doesn’t come packed with many of the features of the other options. That being said, what it lacks in fancy features, it compensates in content. Easy to use and functional, Maps.me in one of the most detail-oriented apps we’ve come across, boasting highly detailed maps of some of the globes most isolated and unknown places. As if that isn’t enough, it works offline making it ideal for those heading off on a remote travel adventure. But the best bit? It’s free for both iOS and Android. It’s ticking a lot of boxes for us. You just have to pack your luggage sets and hit the road!
Waze navigation comes complete with a whole lot of features that are sure to make life on the road easier for you. With the latest traffic updates from fellow drivers on the road, Waze has created a close-knit community of travelers who can help each other out. Whether you’re receiving updates on accidents or police stops, you can enjoy peace of mind when you hit the road thanks to Waze. What’s more, it’s free for both iOS and Android users.
3. MotionX GPS
MotionX GPS has been in the game for some time now, but don’t be fooled, it still covers all bases. The features you’ll find on this app actually make it quite hard to beat, even for the newbies with the big budgets. Now, this one doesn’t come without a price tag, but at just $1.99 you might want to invest anyway. With MotionX GPS, you’ll get live altitude graphs, the ability to track personal waypoints and even share geotagged photos. When you’re getting from A to B, this app is a pretty good choice for the iPhone users out there.
4. Gaia GPS
With Maps.me covering all bases on foot and by road, and Waze and Motion best suited for driving, we wanted to feature an app that’s specifically made for the hikers amongst us. The Gaia GPS is one of the best outdoor navigation apps on offer right now. Boasting an extensive catalog of maps including topographical, road, satellite and the NatGeo trails illustrated map series, it might just become your new best friend for your hike. In addition to tracking hikes while measuring pace, distance, and elevation, you can also make use of offline maps offering off-grid access. If you prefer to use a paper map for your hikes, you’ll be glad to know this app allows for printing too, the choice is all yours!
The app itself is free of charge with an option to import and synchronize data from other sources, although you can access premium features from $19.99-$39.99.
5. Mountain Collector
In a nutshell, Mountain Collector is the Google Maps for the mountain lovers using Android amongst us. This super straightforward and easy to use hiking app allows its users to access a vast range of mountain lists, routes, locations and even statistics. In just two simple taps you can view all the mountain ranges in your chosen area, and easily import your hiking routes from other smartphone apps. What’s more, you can tick off a mountain on your custom list and/or calendar so you can record each and every hike. The app is free of charge.
Spyglass might just be one of the coolest outdoor apps available right now. One thing’s for sure, it’s by the far the most visually impressive option on our list. Spyglass is a complete GPS toolkit that allows users to enjoy all the standard tracking features with the added benefit of an augmented reality view. The app was crafted to incorporate a heads-up display, a gyrocompass, speedometer, and a high-quality compass with map overlays, just to name a few features! Compatible with both iOS and Android, if you’re looking to purchase a navigation app, you get a lot for $7.99 with this option.
Spanning more than 50,000 US and Canadian trails with 3.5 million downloads, AllTrails is one of the most popular trail apps on the market. The free of charge version enables users to create your own trails with GPS tracking, text and photos, whilst allowing you to share them with others. Furthermore, you can upgrade to an annual membership in partnership with National Geographic Maps for an even better hiking experience!
There you have it, the best of the bunch of map navigation apps on offer right now. No matter which app you choose, we’re sure of just one thing, you’ll have a great time on your next adventure armed with one of these handy little apps in your back pocket!