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What are the best batteries for a Garmin GPS?

What are the best batteries for a Garmin GPS?

Batteries, Chargers and Power Saving for a Garmin GPS

Why has this become such a hot topic? The reason is the change of use from a basic GPS with no maps to the use of GPS with digital maps that scroll when you are in motion and the tendency to leave the map page active when on the move (recommended). GPS when active with the map on display uses much more power; an issue recognised by companies like Garmin and SatMap who are moving towards offering rechargeable battery options with some of their devices.  

With the larger GPS devices like Garmin Montana & Monterra and SatMap Active 10/12/20 there is room in the housing for a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with the option to switch to 3 x NiMH or Lithium AA batteries if required. This works fine for these larger devices but not for the most popular devices where there is insufficient room in the housing for this option most devices are powered by two AA batteries with NiMH or Lithium recommended.    

As Lithium batteries tend to be on the expensive side most of our customers logically tend to go for the rechargeable (NiMH) option and setup their GPS accordingly; when discussing batteries the big question has always been can you recommend anything? Up to now weíve kept our response to make sure you purchase good quality rechargeable batteries preferably with a capaacity of 2300mAh or larger with no product recommendation.  

Like most of you Iíve had issues with batteries use over the years and until recently had been using the Garmin NiMH Battery Pack that came with my much loved Oregon 650 but if I had to be perfectly honest Iíve been less than impressed probably because they are only 2000mAh donít seem up to the job not only for time but speed of recharge. One major advantage of the Garmin Battery Pack though is that it charges with your Garmin GPS, where normal rechargable batteries have to be put in a separate battery charger.

So what are the best rechargable batteries for your Garmin GPS?

1. Panasonic High Capacity Eneloop Pro 2500

2. Energizer Rechargeable Precision AA 2300mAh Batteries

3. Ansmann Digital NiMH 2850mAh AKKU

4. Maplin Extra High Capacity NO5BW


Power Saving tips for Garmin GPS

GPST Tip – to get the maximum return on your batteries you should edit the setting in your GPS to match the type of batteries you are using > from the Main Menu > select Setup > select System > select AA Battery Type > for rechargeable batteries select >NiMH. for Precharged Rechargeable Batteries such as Eneloop set this to Pre-charged NiMH.

Making the most of your batteries Most GPS have comprehensive power saving options on a Garmin GPS which you should make use of if you want to get the maximum out of your batteries. They fall into two categories editing the backlight timeout and putting your device into power saving mode.  

1. Backlight Timeout – allows you to edit the time the backlight is on. Once you have selected an option your device will reduce the backlight saving power (stays on but with reduced power to the screen. (The GPS is still active and logging tracks & data)

2. Battery Save – takes backlight timeout one step further. Once you have selected this option when the backlight timeout is triggered > then the screen goes blank (the clever bit is the GPS is not off but is still active and logging tracks & data) 

So to get the best from power saving you should edit both settings which will be found in Setup > Display we recommend Backlight Timeout set to 30 Seconds and of course Battery Save should be set to On as seen in screen capture right (you donít need Screen Capture On – I needed it to capture the screen) 

GPST Tip – thereís one final thing you can do to extend battery life on a Garmin GPS; itís a bit extreme and seems to us to go against the idea of maps in the GPS but if you find yourself in a situation where you need to prolong your battery life it may be worth a try.  Simply switch way from the map page and your device will no longer be redrawing the map which would save power. 

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Posted By: Paul Buckley | Thu 19th March 2015

Great advice, thanks for this.

Posted By: Kevin Smith | Sat 6th February 2016

Great review

Posted By: Graham White | Sat 9th April 2016

Glad I read this after reading the reviews about battery replacement on Amazon. Thank you.

Posted By: Peter Briggs | Sat 8th October 2016

I bought the Energiser Rechargeable Precision 2400mAh batteries after speaking with gps training. I also carried out the battery life saving techniques described and over six months can confirm that there is a considerable difference. I can usually go out on two 6 hour walks and still see life in the battery.(I always carry a backup set!)Make sure you purchase the 2400mAh batteries, as Energiser have quite a range. Brilliant advice, thank you

Posted By: Diane Bousfield | Sun 15th January 2017

Great advice have just done this to my Oregon 600, next I'm going to try and put a personal message on my screen.Did this to my last Garmin which I lost on a walk, was returned because I left my phone no. and a reward if found, well worth it as these Garmin are expensive .

Posted By: J | Tue 18th April 2017

Is possible to save battery power by having Glassnos switched when not needing greater accuracy ?

Posted By: Jon Monks - GPS Training | Tue 18th April 2017

Thanks for your comment. We have never tried that, I would be interested if you have found this to work. The biggest battery savings come by putting good quality batteries in and using the Battery Save option. I hope this helps.

Posted By: Yvonne | Sat 2nd September 2017

About your final GPS tip above: if you switch away from the map page, will it still track you and log tracks etc?

Posted By: Jon Monks - GPS Training | Mon 4th September 2017

Thanks for your comment, yes if you move away from the map page the unit will still record your track and also continue to give you ongoing data on your trip computer page. I hope this helps.

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