Satmap active 10 plus

I took delivery of a Satmap active 10 plus last week. To put it mildly, this is not a cheap toy at £399.99 from Ultralight Outdoor Gear. However, it does include a 1:50,000 for the whole of Great Britain. Having tried RoadTour maps on my iPhone, I liked the idea, but the iPhone does not have the battery life to make it work as a navigation tool. Murphy’s law suggests that the battery will be low when I need to use it. A low battery seems to compromise the GPS. My old Garmin Gecko 101 was great in its day, but it takes an age to get a satellite fix. Hence, my renewed interest in Satmap.

I really do like being able to fix my position visually on a map. Most of my navigation is by map and compass and that won’t change, but for bad weather, especially bad visibility, the Satpmap is a great tool. I like the fact that its weather proof and the battery life should be much better than the iPhone in GPS mode. My version has the option of using lithium AA batteries or a rechargeable one. For day walks, the rechargeable option should save money, but for longer trips, lithium batteries are a better option.

I’ve only played about with it so far. It is quite chunky and weighs a not inconsiderable 229g. However, the controls are straightforward and can be used with gloves. The screen resolution is a bit disappointing, but overall I think the package is good. The only design flaw I’ve found is that the small joy stick can be accidentally knocked, toggle the screen between GPS tracking mode and planning mode.

Having been a bit sceptical about Satmap, because of it cost and the competition from smart phones, I’m now much more positive. I think it is a worthwhile backup navigation tool, albeit rather expensive. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but the robustness compensates for that.


8 thoughts on “Satmap active 10 plus”

  1. Hi Robin,

    I’ve just bought one of these. Are you still happy with yours? I’ve wanted a mapping GPS for ages but they’ve been so horrendously expensive that I’ve held back. Suddenly, though, they seem to be available for much less: mine was £309 from Amazon, including the GB 1:50k card.

    Any tips?

    1. I’m really pleased with mine. The battery life with the supplied rechargegable one is very good, especially if you turn off the tracking. It’s very robust and easy to use. I’ve found it particulalry useful for checking my position in farm land and at path junctions. I use it in conjunction with maps for confirmation rather than relying solely on it.

      1. Thanks, Robin.

        The little rubber ‘plug’ over the USB slot won’t stay in place on mine. Is yours the same? I’m a bit concerned because I’ll certainly be using it in rain.

  2. Hi Robin,

    I’m a bit late to the party but what are your views on the Satmap? I already have a GPS (Garmin 62s) and like you, use it as a secondary navigation device. In fact over my last 4 or 5 trips it never really got used except to record my walk.

    I’ve always been interested in the Satmap, especially with regard to its screen size and Ordinance Survey mapping. The ‘gadget’ part of me wants to pull the trigger and buy one, with the intention of using it to replace the Garmin.

    What is the battery life like on it? Can it be used to record one’s travels? and does it retain lock in the woods?

    If you’d like to reply privately, my email address is at

    Thanks 🙂

    1. The Satmap is very good with a clear screen, good GPS and weatherproof. However, I now use my iPhone 5 with a Lifeproof waterproof case. It’s just as good and multifunctional. If you are running it all the time as a GPS, the battery life is probably not as good S the Satmap, but I navigate from a paper map with a compass and only use the iPhone as a double check. Occasionally I’ll navigate from it in a built up area or where the paths are complex.

      My advice is to go the the smartphone route as you’re probably carrying one anyway. Aquapac do some waterproof cases to fit various phones if you’ve not got an iPhone. If you’ve got an iPhone, then the Lifeproof case is good.

      I use RoadTour and 1:50,000 area maps or Nat Parks cost £9.99 each. I’m not an expert and RoadTour is a legacy from having bought the Nat Parks pack. RouteBuddy and ViewRanger are other systems that others rate. Lastly, there are free apps which will give you a grid ref on your phone.

  3. Thanks Robin, this information is most useful. Looks like I will be doing some research into using the smartphone for this purpose!

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