As part of our testing process, we compared generic GPS trackers to ones geared specifically to kids, concluding that kid-friendly trackers are better for keeping tabs on your child. For one, kid-friendly trackers’ compact size let them fit neatly in backpacks or on smaller wrists. And many offer features that put parents’ minds at ease, like geofencing capabilities and SOS buttons that can ping multiple contacts. Not every mass-market tracker offers these kinds of kid-focused capabilities, so turning to a device built specifically for kids will be money well spent for moms and dads.
The Spot Gen3 ($150) offers pinpoint accuracy in a durable device, but younger kids would have a hard time knowing which button was which — including an emergency button that sends location data to rescue personnel. Likewise, the Trackimo ($115) has an appealing data plan and a useful geofencing feature, but it’s simply too much for a young child to master. (Read our Spot Gen3 and Trackimo reviews if you’re interested in a more general purpose GPS tracker.)
Design: We considered the size of the GPS tracker and whether it was something a child could easily carry around. We also looked at durability: Could the device withstand rough-and-tumble trips to the playground?
Ease of use: We wanted to find devices that were easy enough for a small child to use, certainly, but also ones that wouldn’t give mom or dad fits during the setup and activation process. Here’s one universal tip: Make sure to activate your GPS tracker in as wide of an open space as possible — not from inside a building. Trackers hate being enclosed, especially at the beginning.
Price: In addition to paying up front for a GPS tracker, there are monthly service fees. We considered what each GPS tracker will cost you on a monthly basis and whether you’re required to sign a service contract. We also note when GPS trackers include the cost of service in the initial price tag, such as offering the first year of service for free.