Garmin Astro 320 Review: What we Thought About This Dog GPS Tracker

The Astro 320 is a nice addition for any dog owners who enjoy letting their dogs run about without their leash as well as owners who go hiking, camping and hunting. It’s main feature is for pet tracking, but it can also be used as a GPS as a double feature making the device itself as one of the most expensive ones in today’s market. It's the upgraded model to the Garmin Astro 100 which we reviewed earlier.

The Garmin is a handheld GPS locator which features a lightweight design making it perfect for anyone who wants a compact GPS tracking device while out and about.

With this unique model the package comes with everything you’ll need to operate the device and more. If you’re interested in purchasing the bundle deal, it comes with the Garmin Astro 320 as well as a T5 dog device and a few other extras depending on where you purchase it.

Items included in the bundle are: The Astro 320, T5 dog device, four different length antennas, belt clip, charging clip, USB cable, AC adapter and a vehicle charging adapter. This makes it a worthy investment with all the accessories that you can get at once.

Setting Up

You may be familiar with other tracking gadgets and it’s true that the 320 works very similar to these - but it also has its own unique set of features. The new setup is even easier to navigate and customize. Here are the instructions on how to set up trackers for your dog:

Dog Set Up

The newer model allows you to set different dogs’ names into the system so you will know which ones you’re tracking. To set this up, you will have to go into the Dog info screen and change the dog's name, then update by touching the device to the unit and then finally adjust which type of dog is which (aka if you’re hunting, you may have a lead dog).

Universal Dog Setting

Through the settings, you can easily change the refresh rate (updates the dog's movements every set number of seconds), these can be changed from 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or two minutes. If you also need to, you can change which dog is the lead and what role they have; you can change these settings at setup or whenever you choose to.

Customization of Maps

The usual map already installed on the Astro 320 are currently updated in an easier to navigate fashion. They are more accurate than older versions and include more landmarks and roads.

Other Options

The option to track through dog history of where the dog has been or where it traveled to. Meaning you can see where they went first and follow that trail up until you find your dog.

Quality

Physical Changes

With this GPS, you’re guaranteed to always keep a close track of your dog(s) while you’re outside. The newer model can track up to 10 different dogs at a time, making it perfect for letting all of your furry friends off their leashes.

The quality of the device offers a body type based on the Garmin 62ST. It has a fully rubberized outer coating which makes it easier to hold onto throughout all weather conditions. This includes rain, wind, snow, water and hail.

The outer appearance has a nice orange and black exterior; this offers a nice touch because if you happen to set it down, it won’t blend into the environment. Newer upgrades also include a more convenient power button and an improved rubber antenna which prevents the buttons and the antenna from wear and tear.

Software Changes

With the newer model, you will also have access to some upgraded software that comes with the device. These changes make it even easier to use and offers a wider set of customizations. The Astro 320 now includes an updated 3-Axis compass, meaning that no matter which direction you hold the device, it will show the correct direction of your dog.

Calibration for this device is also different from their previous models. The newer process is a little more complicated but is well worth the setup. The older version would only have to be calibrated by turning in a circle for three times, however, since the newer model includes a 3-Axis compass instead of a 2-Axis compass, you will have to turn the unit in all three directions.

How Did Other Reviewers Find It?

A majority of people who have purchased the Garmin have all come to the agreement that it’s a great addition to their tracking devices. Most of these pet owners all enjoyed taking their dogs on walks without a leash and agreed that it gave them peace of mind to know where their dog is walking.

Not only do people review it for hiking, they’ve also put this tracker to the test for hunting. Many hunters have said that this not only helps them navigate, it also helps keep track of where all of their dogs are and which ones are on the prowl when hunting down other animals. The only downside was that sometimes, set up was confusing to navigate through. However, once the user used it multiple times it became easier.

Do We Think It’s A Worthy Investment?

Luckily, we think that this newest device from the Garmin Astro line is a huge improvement and a very good investment. Some people may find that the cost of the device a little too pricey. However, if you and your dog(s) spend a lot of time outside, you will definitely find this a worthy investment as well.

Never again will you have to worry about losing track of your furry friends when you’re enjoying the outdoors together and it’s especially useful for when your dog wanders away or chases other animals. If you consider the safety of your dogs, you will gladly appreciate the benefits of owning this device.

Even if you’re not set on the feature for tracking dogs, the Garmin Astro also makes a very convenient GPS while hiking or hunting. You can use the device to track about anything, even if it’s not a dog. This means you can easily put the device on any camping grounds or landmarks and find your way back using the tracking device.

What We Loved

Light Weight

The Astro 320 weighs around 9.2 ounces, this makes it super light and easy to transport and carry around. We know that when you’re planning to go camping, you want to have the lightest amount packed.

The Astro 320 virtually takes up almost no space at all and is super light. This makes it a very useful item when hiking and tracking. With it virtually taking up no space and isn’t that heavy, it's the perfect tracking device for its size.

Water resistant

We all know that you can’t always plan for the correct weather when camping. Sometimes, the weather changes drastically and certain devices can’t be used in rain or wind. Well, the Astro 320 is waterproof, making it ideal for rainy or snowy days.

It can get very messy outside and sometimes you’ll find yourself having to track through streams, rivers and dirty terrain. The Astro 320 has a unique design that repels water and other dirt from sticking to it’s surface.

Great Reception

Other devices can lose its reception if you go too deep into a remote location. The Astro 320 promises that you will have a consistent update of wherever your dogs are and all the landmarks around you.

The device can simultaneously track up to 10 different dog locations as well as function as a great GPS for yourself. This makes it a good deal when adding it to your tracking adventure.

Versatile Setting Customization

Unlike other models of the Astro device, this one includes more features to let you easily customize it to your liking. You can edit the name of your dogs, which position they are, how fast you want the maps to update and also download maps to the GPS, making it even easier to stay on track and know where you are.

Long Battery Life

The battery life of this device will usually last around 20 hours, which is enough time to hike for one day. If you’re planning on hiking more, you should plan ahead and bring extra batteries or plan on recharging the device.

USB interface

This interface offers a larger font, a 1.7GB memory, a barometric altimeter and an electronic compass, as well as the ability to install a base map and other maps on the device.

Bird’s Eye Subscription

The feature is useful for people who plan on hunting in clubs. The reason for this is because you can not only see a map on the GPS, but also see roads, tree cover, power lines, waterways and track your dogs on that exact map, too.

Other Maps

Recently, state wildlife centers have started offering free downloadable maps of public areas, hunting areas, as well as custom maps that you can download and install onto your Astro 320.

What We Didn’t Dig As Much

Complicated Setup

The setup to this device usually takes a long time of typing in repeated info for multiple dogs. While the screen will prompt you exactly what you need to do, it will take a while to actually configure your device when you use it.

This could cause a hassle for people who don’t want to waste time typing in info every time they use the device. This also could be a problem if you’re not very tech savvy because you will have to setup the device multiple times after they are powered off.

Learning Curve

Learning how to navigate and download maps, etc. on the device is something that you have to practice. It’s not very easy to find maps online, download them and get them to work on the screen.

This may present a problem for most people, however, as long as you do research on which map databases are compatible, you should be able to add a few different maps onto your Astro 320 with T5 Collar.

Hefty Price

The price is pretty expensive in itself and adding on all of the extra dog collars and accessories can accumulate to a significant amount of money. If you want to add any other items to the bundle, you’re going to be looking at a few hundred dollars more.

We understand that most dog users do want to keep their dogs safe, but sometimes, that comes with a price. There are cheaper versions of trackers on the market, but they may not work as well or have as many features.

Signal loss

This was a huge drawback on our end. Everyone expects the device to work as it’s stated. However, sometimes there can always be little hiccups that can cause the device to malfunction.

People have stated that they either had their signal lost and would have to keep extended and adjusting the antenna and point in directions to get it back. They also report sometimes it will freeze for a while instead of updating. These instances are very rare though.

Batteries

They do recommend that you use batteries to power your device. While it’s not the most efficient method and can end up costing a lot over time, it can be avoided by using the USB plug or buying rechargeable batteries.

The Verdict

Apart from a few features that may be a bit harder to program and use, the Garmin Astro 320 can be a very useful investment. Not only do you no longer have to worry about losing and tracking your dogs, you can also set specific dogs’ (up to 10) names so that you know which one is going where.

On top of that, the GPS system works very fast and never loses connection when moving into heavy terrain or weather conditions. It’s easy to use with its small, convenient design and offers a big enough screen so that you can easily read what's on the screen in a second. This can become useful for people who want to keep their adventure going at a fast pace.

The battery life lasts a long time compared to most other devices that can track animals. If your tracking device runs out of power, you can always check the collars on other devices such as a laptop or cell phone, provided that they have access to the internet.

And while batteries sound like they could be a hassle to always pay for, if you use them to charge the device, you can essentially use the devices for as long as you want as long as you continuously replace them.

If you’re worried about the T5 dog devices with collars, they are compatible with the device as are most other accessories provided in the bundle so you don’t have to worry about buying other accessories and them not working with this new device. We hope this Garmin Astro 320 review as convinced you what a great device this is.

Garmin Astro 320 Review: What we Thought About This Dog GPS Tracker
9.5 Total Score
We rated this dog gps based on

Ease of use
6
Performance in the field
9
Durability
8.5
Battery Life
9
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