Which GPS application or tracker should I choose for skiing / snowboarding?

There are a multitude of trackers GPS cardio applications. From the cheap, low-priced ski / snowboard application to the ultra-sophisticated, prices can vary from €100 to over €800. How to find your way around and which application to buy to hike? Should I choose an altimeter application, a GPS ski / snowboard application or a multi-sport application? Here are some tips to help you in your choice and a selection of the best current applications.

Multisport outdoor application: if, in addition to walking, you practice other sports and you are looking for a GPS application to support you in these activities, opt for a multisport or outdoor application. This type of application includes an impressive number of features and sports, including ski / snowboard, ski, trail, etc. However, it will be more expensive and, in general, a little more complex to use because of the many possibilities it offers.
The GPS application or altimeter dedicated to the mountains: if you are looking for an application dedicated exclusively to ski / snowboarding or any other mountain sport such as mountaineering, trekking, ski / snowboarding, climbing, or an adventure sport (exploration, bivouac, etc.), it is better to choose a model designed for this activity. There is no need to pay more for a multi-sport application if you don’t need it. It’s a bit like buying a computer where a calculator would be enough. The altimeter application indicates the altitude and altitude difference as well as the weather trend thanks to its barometer (used for altitude measurement). Current applications also have GPS, which is used to indicate the position, follow a given route or record a route and then display it on a map. They offer other useful functions for hiking activities.

Criteria for choosing the ideal application for ski / snowboard

To choose your ski / snowboard GPS application, you must take into account the functions offered, the robustness of the application, its reliability, its autonomy, its ease of use and its simplicity of use.

The functions: the best ski / snowboard applications are ABC applications, i. e. with Altimeter, Barometer and Compass (compass) and possibly a thermometer. These instruments allow you to find your way around and orient yourself from a map and predict changes in the weather. Most current ski / snowboard applications also offer GPS, a very useful function. The GPS indicates your position, altitude, speed, distance covered, rate of climb and many other data that it can record for display (course completed, graphs, statistics, etc.) on a PC or Smartphone. We recommend this type of application. The ideal is an application that allows you to program and follow a given route, record points of interest along the route and, if possible, indicate how to return to your starting point. Some applications can even display topographic maps. In addition to these functions, the ski / snowboard application can inform you about sunrise and sunset times, weather trends and alert you in case of storms or storms.

Robustness: prefer a solid application (polymer or metal case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal bezel) and water-resistant (at least 3 ATM). Some brands offer interchangeable bracelets in various materials (leather, metal, silicone) to best adapt its application to its environment.

Reliability: an application for ski / snowboard must be reliable. The best GPS ski / snowboard applications have GPS and increasingly GLONASS (Russian satellite system), a barometric altimeter (more accurate than GPS) and well designed software (prefer a well-known brand).

Autonomy: GPS applications are energy-intensive, especially with the use of GPS. Be sure to choose an application with sufficient autonomy, especially if you plan to ski / snowboard for several days (trekking, trekking, bivouac). Some applications offer a power saving mode (more spaced GPS recordings) that increases the battery life tenfold.

Comfort of use: ski / snowboard applications can be more or less thick and heavy. With its latest Fenix 5, Garmin offers several case diameters to adapt to thin wrists and interchangeable bracelets. Also check the screen and its ease of use (size, number of pixels, with or without color, anti-reflective, sunlight readable, tactile or not).