We included the SatMap Active 12 GPS in the winter edition of the Outdoor 100 and it’s made it back in this time, because there isn’t a summer-specific product that’s superceded it since then.

The popular GPS system is a regular victor of best-in-test awards and is used by everyone from Mountain Rescue teams to the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI). It’s accurate and incredibly easy to use.

When you're out in the wild and the conditions turn, you need directions that you can rely on and access without any hassle. The large screen on the Active 12 GPS and clear high res mapping make it easily visible and a pleasure to use no matter what the conditions.

“A GPS system that’s sturdy, reliable and simple to use, which is exactly what you should be looking for."

The interface is simple even for those who have never used a GPS before, with orange side buttons helping you erm… navigate around the navigation system. You can zoom in or out on the map as you would expect and move it around by playing with the joystick. The device also records a range of statistics and there's a plethora of different data display options too.

A good GPS system needs to be able to withstand the hardships of a bit of time in the backpack of course, often clunking around with other bits of kit. Thankfully the Active 12 case is sturdy, and it doesn’t mind getting a little bit wet either. We wouldn’t recommend chucking it in a lake or drowning it in a bottle of water to try and prove a point to your mates, but the rain won’t hurt it when you put it into action.


The barometric altimeter means that the elevation and pressure readings are accurate as they can be too, so you know as long as you're reading it right, you're going in the right direction.

The Active 12 has a solid battery life, but if you’re going to be using it in the cold day in and day out, it’s inevitably going to run out sooner or later, which is why there’s space for additional AA batteries in the pack.

This is a GPS system that’s sturdy, reliable and simple to use, which is exactly what you should be looking for. If you’re after a bit of help with directions then take the nudge from the professionals and have a serious look at the Satmap Active 12.

Satmap Active 12 GPS