We tested kids GPS trackers—including kids smartwatches—to bring you our top five faves.
The Best Kids GPS Trackers and Wearables of 2022
Want to keep your little one safe at school, play, and everywhere in between? We think AngelSense is the best kids’ GPS tracker. AngelSense’s parent app provides you with frequent updates and virtual fence capabilities so you can see your kids arrive safely at school and friends’ houses.
But AngelSense is pricey, so we've selected several budget-friendly trackers too. Looking specifically for smartwatches? We've got you covered.
Top 5 GPS trackers for kids
- : Best overall
- : Smartwatch pick
- : Budget pick
- : Best battery life
- : Best for crowded events
Compare best GPS trackers for kids
|$69.00 (sale price)||$39.99/mo.||24 hours|
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|Best for crowded events|
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Kids' GPS tracker comparison video
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1. AngelSense Kids’ GPS tracker: Best overall
AngelSense GPS tracker was created with one purpose in mind: to help protect children with special needs. But it works for any little ones.
Its comfortable design won’t interfere with your kiddo’s range of motion. And it locks tight onto school bags or clothes to stay with them from home to bus to classroom and beyond.
Beyond plenty of tracking capabilities—from safety-zone setup to 10-second updates—AngelSense’s Listen-In function lets parents listen to how their child’s day is going, ensuring they’re not mistreated, neglected, or lost.
With AngelCall two-way voice, you can talk to your child at any time, and they don’t need to worry about buttons or clicking on anything to chat. Plus, you can see what your child has been up to with diary logs that input data every 30 seconds.
AngelSense’s great features do come at a price. Plans start around $30 and go up from there, depending on whether you pay up front or in installments.
This location tracker isn't just for kids, either. We recommend AngelSense for people with dementia prone to wandering off.
Read our full review of the AngelSense GPS Tracker for kids.
Standout feature: Regular updates
AngelSense sends consistent updates throughout your day, so you can check in, listen in, and hold onto your peace of mind while your kids go about their day.
New AngelSense GPS trackers purchased in 2021 include the following upgrades:
- 30% better battery life
- Direct SOS calls
- Fall detection (in beta testing)
- New wearing options
- More weatherproofing
2. TickTalk 4: Smartwatch pick
In addition to regular GPS tracking, you can set GPS boundaries (also called geofencing) to keep your kids safe. If they cross a boundary, you’ll get an automatic alert. This feature is especially handy if you’ve got a wanderer. You can see their location through the parents' app and check their status live.
Standout feature: iHeartRadio streaming
TickTalk4 doesn't include games, but it does allow kids to stream family-friendly music and stories on iHeartRadio. We think this is a great compromise for limiting screen time while still giving kids an entertaining device they'll want to wear.
3. GeoZilla GPS tracker: Best for budgets
With the lowest price on our list, the GeoZilla GPS tracker offers worldwide GPS coverage, and its SOS feature make it easy for your kids to get in touch if they get separated.
This tiny wearable tracker has an impressive battery that lasts up to five days (or 120 hours) and can pinpoint the tracker within 15 feet.
You can adjust the update frequency to make the battery last longer to change the frequency of updates (basically, the more frequent the updates, the higher drain on the battery).
GeoZilla's app includes a bunch of bonus features that make tracking and communication easier. Perks include location history, place alerts, schedule alerts, and even to-do lists.
You can opt for a seven-day free trial followed by contracts around $80 yearly or $50 every three months (about $16 monthly).
4. Jiobit Next: Best battery life
The Jiobit GPS tracker for kids is lightweight and smaller than an Oreo—making it easy for little ones to wear all day. But there’s no way to call or listen in with the Jiobit, so if two-way communication is a must-have, this device won’t fit the bill.
Speaking of bills, Jiobit offers a one-year contract plan at around $9 per month or a month-to-month plan for about $13 per month.
The Jiobit tracker can go up to one week without charging. But its real-time GPS may drain the battery if your child is on the move often. This means you don’t have to worry about charging it daily, which gives you one less thing to worry about before bed every night.
Jiobit can attach securely with a built-in loop, waistband clip, secure loop, strap clip, or an outer sleeve attachment.
While the Jiobit offers accurate GPS tracking, there’s no speaker, so your child can’t call for help, and you can’t listen in to make sure they’re okay.
Standout feature: Self-learning
Jiobit has learning technology that will remember your child’s routines, routes, and regular locations. That means Jiobit knows if your child goes somewhere they aren't supposed to or doesn't arrive where they need to be.
Learn more by reading our in-depth Jiobit review.
5. Lynq Smart Compass: Best for crowded events
The Lynq Smart Compass ditches the traditional "map app" approach to tracking kids' whereabouts. Its simple screen shows your child's location compared to your own and updates in real time.
You'll know exactly which direction to travel and how far to go to find your child. Other trackers don't offer this level of precision, so Lynq is perfect for crowded events.
It's also the best kids GPS tracker for outdoor adventures. Lynq trackers don't rely on phones, Wi-Fi, or cellular signals, so it still works even if you're far from civilization. But, because it only works if the devices are within 3 miles of each other, it's not practical for everyday use.
Pair up to 12 trackers
You can pair up to 12 Lynq Smart Compasses. The central button lets you scroll through each tracker so you can easily get a sense of where everyone is and who might've wandered off alone.
Lynq's geofences aren't limited to specific GPS coordinates. Instead, Lynq lights up and vibrates when one of the paired devices gets too far away. You get to define "too far away" by programming a custom Safe Zone.
Lynq also lets you set up a Home Base where everyone can meet up later.
Expensive, but no monthly fee
A pair of Lynq trackers costs over $400, making it the most expensive GPS tracker on our list by a longshot. But there's a silver lining: there's no monthly subscription.
Relay Kids Smartphone
Previously one of our top picks, Relay has switched over to the business market and has no plans to restock their kids' GPS trackers. Only refurbished units are available, and they get scooped up fast. Existing customers shouldn't experience any service issues.
If you can get one, we think you'll like it. This innovative take on a kids' smartphone has GPS tracking, nationwide coverage, and one-touch communication. And its lack of a screen means you don't have to worry about monitoring your kid's screen time.
This screenless GPS tracker also includes customizable channels that let you set up individual or group chats. This means your child can reach a parent or the whole family with the touch of a button. And there are a few fun features like a music player and a voice changer with sound effects.
There are no long-term contracts with Relay, so you pay for service only as long as you want it.
Learn more in our full Relay review.
Active Halo from Amber Alert GPS
Child GPS trackers like Active Halo from Amber Alert make the darkest scenarios a little brighter.
This child tracking device uses 4G LTE to track location, send alerts, and detect speed. The Amber Alert GPS locator helps you keep tabs on your child’s whereabouts at all times.
You can program up to 20 safe zones and get updates on your child’s location every five minutes. To prevent distractions during school, you can place the device in silent mode.
All of these features come at a price, though—the Amber Alert GPS Locator is one of the most expensive devices on our list.
Standout feature: Sex-offender detection
Amber Alert GPS is the only device that alerts you if your child is close to a registered sex offender’s address.
—Mary Anne Keegan, CMO of Amber Alert GPS
OurPact is billed as a GPS tracker for kids, but we found that isn't its strong point. Since it's an app on your child's device, if your kiddo sets down their device and wanders away, then OurPact is useless. If you don't have a computer to sync it with your child's device, it's also useless.
My Buddy Tag
My Buddy Tag is a Bluetooth tracker disguised as a wristband that's comfortable for kids and easy to track for parents. It comes in a range of bright kid-friendly colors and is super easy to setup.
It is currently out of stock.
The My Buddy Tag kids GPS tracker is a (mostly) fuss-free way to keep an extra eye on little ones. There are no monthly fees or subscriptions, and the device itself costs around $40.
One feature that sets the My Buddy Tag apart is the water safety alert, which is great for pool or lake safety since it helps to prevent drowning. If the Buddy Tag is submerged in a foot or more of water, its signal weakens and sends an alert to your phone.
Unless you have one to hand down, the Apple Watch is an expensive choice for a kid's GPS tracker. But it does work. Choose an Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch 4 (or later series) with LTE connectivity and add it to a Family Sharing account to get started. You'll be able to manage apps, control contacts and screen time, and see your child's location from your own iPhone.
The most affordable option we found retails for around $260. Expect to pay more for different colors or the latest release. The watch also needs a cell plan, which typically costs around $10 per month.
On the plus side, your kid will have a full-fledged smartwatch once they outgrow the parental controls.
The Tracki is a tiny, no-frills GPS tracker with geofencing and an SOS button. It's small enough to fit inside a child's pocket, or you can attach it to the included lanyard, keychain, or belt clip to turn it into a wearable tracking device for kids. The Tracki also comes with a silicone cover to protect it from water damage.
From your online account or companion app, you can set up geofence zones and change the frequency of location check-ins. The Tracki's battery lasts up to 72 hours with minute-by-minute check-ins. If you check in once a day, the battery can last more than a month.
The Tracki itself costs around $20, but you'll pay that same amount each month for service. If you pay annually, the price lowers to around $10 per month.
We chose AngelSense as our top pick for its inclusive features for kids with special needs as well as its practical wearability.
With features like geofences, mobile app alerts, and activity tracking, GPS trackers for kids make family outings and their solo adventures a little safer. These simple devices give you the confidence to let them explore their world at a young age.
We like smartwatches to help keep kids and parents in touch, but your child's device might not be welcome in the classroom. Schools are concerned about distraction, privacy, and cheating.
Be sure to talk to your child's teacher or principal before sending them to school with a smartwatch. And you can help educators out—use parental controls (it's called "Do Not Disturb" on the TickTalk 4) to shut down the device during class.
What to look for in a kids GPS tracker
Whether you’re looking for a kids’ GPS tracking watch or a GPS tracking device you can conceal in a pocket, get to know the basics before making a purchase.
The best GPS tracker is comfortable and fun for kids to use, durable enough to last all day, and accurate in its readings. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- User-friendliness: Choose a tracker that’s easy for you and your child to use. It shouldn’t interfere with their range of motion or get in the way.
- Age range: Check the recommended age range on any tracker you’re considering. Some have anti-tamper features for older kids if you’re worried they will remove it.
- Durability: Kids play rough, so be sure their tracker can withstand all the roughhousing, horseplay, and hazards kids can throw at it. Look for waterproof models that can handle puddles and spills too.
- Range: Not all GPS devices are created equal. Those that use cellular 4G LTE tracking can handle long range connections if your kids visit somewhere out of state while Bluetooth devices are meant for close range.
- Alerts and notifications: Look for a device with adjustable settings to avoid false alarms or blowing up your phone. Your device should be customizable to let you check on your kids when you want and notify you when there’s trouble.
- Panic button: Some kids GPS devices come with a panic button that let your child alert you when something’s wrong or they need help.
- Two-way communication: This feature lets you speak to your child through their tracker like an intercom so you can ask them where they are or if they need help.
- Games: Features like games and step counters give kids more motivation to wear their tracker. After all, the device isn’t helpful if your child doesn’t want to wear or use it. Just make sure the games aren't too distracting.
- Real-time tracking: When you need to know where your child is, this is the most important feature. You can adjust the settings in your tracker’s app to send an updated location to you every minute to every fifteen minutes.
Parent survey statistics
How often do parents lose track of their kids?
One minute you’re cruising through the grocery store with your kid in tow, the next minute your little one has disappeared without a trace. At least one in three parents have been there.
How often do parents lose their kids in public? And how does this affect parents’ decisions about purposely letting their children out of sight or keeping tabs on them with a GPS tracker? In October 2021, we surveyed 1,000 parents with kids between the ages of 7 and 17 to get some answers.
Survey Results: All parents
Our surveyed parents reported the following:
- One in three parents have lost a child in a store.
- Around 32% have lost a child at a crowded event.
- Over one in five have lost a child at a park.
- Nearly one in five have lost a child for more than an hour.
- Nearly one in five have called police about a lost or missing child.
We wanted to understand how these scary situations affected parents’ willingness to let their kids roam free. According to our survey, the average parent lets their kid do the following:
- Walk home alone at age 12
- Take public transportation alone at age 14
- Play outside unsupervised at age 11
- Stay home alone at age 13
- Trick or treat unsupervised at age 13
- Have a cell phone at age 12
Those ages didn’t change for parents who had lost a child at least once, with one exception: cell phones. Parents were more likely to allow their children to have a cell phone by age 10 if the following applied for them:
- Had a special needs child
- Had lost their child in a store
- Had lost their child at a crowded event
- Had lost a child at a park
- Had called police about a lost or missing child
Parents with only one child were less likely to have lost their child in all circumstances. Parents with at least one special-needs child were more likely to have lost a child.
Survey Results: Parents of children with special needs
Surveyed parents with at least one special needs child reported the following:
- Nearly one in two have lost a child in a store.
- More than 50% have lost a child at a crowded event.
- Over two in five have lost a child at a park.
- Over one in three have lost a child for more than an hour.
- Nearly two in five have called police about a lost or missing child.
With a kids GPS tracker, you and your child won’t become a scary statistic. If your child slips away in a crowd or is late coming home from a friend’s house, you can look up their exact location before your imagination runs wild.
Around two-thirds of all parents think their oldest child wouldn’t mind them tracking their location. If your child seems too old for our recommended kids GPS trackers or smartwatches, consider installing a parental control app with location-tracking on their phone.
GPS trackers for kids FAQ
While helicopter parenting is rarely necessary, there are some cases that call for giving your child a GPS tracker. For example, a GPS device can help parents with kids who live in multiple households or have special needs keep tabs on their whereabouts. Toddlers and little tykes may also benefit from a small tracker on their shoelace or clothes in crowded places.
Watch our video to learn more: Why kids GPS trackers are a great alternative to a cell phone
Of course. GPS trackers use the same technology we have in our phones. Bluetooth, GPS locating, and cellular signals are the main methods these devices use.
Most charges last for a couple days. If you plan to use a tracker every day, charge it at night when they get home just like you would charge your cell phone.
Geofencing is a feature found in many different types of GPS trackers. It allows you to draw digital boundaries around trusted areas like schools, homes, and neighborhoods. When your child enters or leaves that area, you’ll get a notification.
How we reviewed GPS trackers for kids
We tested each of these for features like location accuracy (hide and seek, anyone?), portability, and tracking range.
We also wanted to make sure we picked products kids actually wanted to use. So features like games and activity tracking earned extra points in our testing.
Learn more from our methodology page about how we conduct reviews like this one.
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