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Best GPS trackers for kids in 2024

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Jiobit Smart Tag

Whether your kids are the light of your life or the rambunctious monsters you tolerate because of shared DNA, you’re legally obligated to keep track of them. You could always accept a helping hand by putting something in your own kid’s hands by way of the best GPS trackers available, which can help you keep tabs on them at all times (some of which even give you a sense of what exactly they’re doing).



There’s certainly more where that came from when you consider how a great GPS tracker, like the best smartwatches, can also provide useful features, including games and apps, to distract youngsters during longer car rides and when it’s necessary to patiently wait like everyone else.


The best GPS trackers for your little angels (or devils)

Jiobit Smart Tag Gen 3

Best overall

The best straightforward GPS tracker for kids

Jiobit earns our top spot for being incredibly easy to use, lightweight, and durable. It’s perfect for kids because it’s easy to forget they’re wearing or carrying it in the best way possible. Just tuck it into their backpack or clip it to their belt, and they’ll hardly notice it’s there. But it’s still packed with functionality, including stuff like smart alerts that trigger based on location settings you can program yourself.

Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Durable with long-lasting battery
  • Packed with useful features
Cons

  • Requires a subscription
  • No two-way communication
  • Uses a proprietary charger

Jiobit’s Smart Tag tops our list because it’s the perfect GPS tracker for kids, in that all you need to do is “set it and forget it.” Its compact size and light weight make it easy to snap onto a belt or shoe, or secure in a backpack, so it won’t bother your little one or get lost easily. And it’s built tough enough to withstand the bumps, knocks, and dings that come with kids horsing around.

Unlike some alternatives, there’s nothing distracting or otherwise complicated about the Jiobit; It won’t attract any attention at school or any wandering eyes on the playground. Of course, most situations don’t require full-on smartwatches just for keeping tabs on location. Instead of a phone SIM card or simple Bluetooth radio, the Jiobit uses a combination of cellular, GPS, Bluetooth-LE, and Wi-Fi networks to deliver an impressively consistent and precise signal, with no unnecessary bells or whistles.


Though the Smart Tag looks simple on the surface, it’s still packed with many helpful features. For example, Smart Alerts let you set custom triggers if your kid strays outside a certain area or past designated boundaries, and a location timeline feature lets you see exactly where the little one has been and when. Its battery will also last up to ten days without charging, so you won’t need to constantly fret about plugging it in when your kid gets home. Do be aware, however, that Jiobit requires either a monthly or yearly subscription to stay connected.

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Tracki GPS Tracker

Tracki GPS Tracker

Best value

No frills, no headaches, and a low price

If all you’re looking for is a cheap way to keep track of your kid across any distance, the Tracki GPS Tracker is right up your alley. While it has virtually no additional features outside of tracking, it’s cheap, tiny, and will survive some rough use without falling to pieces.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Unlimited range
  • Tiny and light
Cons

  • Minimal advanced features
  • Does require a subscription

While a lot of the trackers on this list come with a bevy of dazzling features, if you’re looking for a no-frills tracker without all the cruft, Tracki’s got you covered. This is a GPS tracker and absolutely nothing else, which comes with its own set of advantages. For one, its simplicity means it’s incredibly small, so you can attach it to practically anything without adding much weight or bulk.


That single-mindedness means Tracki can focus on what it does to the exclusion of any distractions. In practice, this means a tracker that’s easy to find with the app and one that can keep track of your kids (or car, pet, or anything else you affix it to) literally anywhere in the world. It also means that there’s not a lot of power draw, so the battery can last up to five days with real-time tracking enabled or while in the 1-3 updates or day mode, up to a staggering 75 days.

And while it’s simple, it can do more than simply show its location on a map. It can deliver a number of basic but useful alerts, like telling you when it starts to move, how fast it’s moving, if it’s crossing a predefined geofence, or if the built-in SOS button’s been pressed. Note that while it does need a subscription to operate, they range from about $4 to $10 monthly, which isn’t much in exchange for keep your family member safe.


Apple Watch SE with green sports band on a white background

Apple Watch SE

Premium pick

Can serve as a phone, with parental control lockdown

While it might not come to mind when you first imagine a kids’ GPS tracker, the Apple Watch SE gets a decent amount of attention from parents these days. That’s due in large part to the remarkably capable and reliable hardware, which results in precise tracking, firm parental controls, and the ability to make phone calls without an actual smartphone around.

Pros

  • Extensive smartwatch functionality
  • Precise geolocation
  • Decent selection of parental controls
Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Cellular-enabled model costs extra

Over the last few years, Apple’s effectively shed the reputation that even its baseline products cost way too much, with the 2nd-gen Apple Watch SE making a great example. And you might be surprised how many parents in the last couple years have turned to the entry-level smartwatch as a means of not just tracking their kids, but helping them to learn and grow into their own developing freedom.

As far as precision, only the most high-end alternatives come close. The GPS module inside the SE 2 delivers consistent, up-to-date readings via the Find My app, with better results than almost anything else. But that’s only a portion of what it offers, as you and your youngster can communicate via FaceTime voice calls when connected to a Wi-Fi network (on the base model version) or anywhere there’s cell service (on the 4G model). There’s even the option of configuring your child’s SE 2 to function essentially as a standalone smartphone.


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Whether you opt for the Wi-Fi or 4G model, Apple provides a few helpful settings to keep your spawn’s digital wrist tracker somewhat locked down. A simple screen time control keeps them from getting too dsitracted by the potential of games, messaging, and other flashing lights. It even offers a specific Schooltime setting (not unlike the adult-flavored Work Focus) and a mode for when the wearer’s on public transit. If you’re confident your young one will keep it on their wrist without losing or damaging it, it’s hard to argue against Apple’s entry level smartwatch. We’ve even heard of kids as young as 8 years old donning some of Apple’s digital jewelry.

Garmin Bounce smartwatch against a white background

Garmin Bounce

The in-between smartwatch

Full-featured connectivity for kids

If you’re looking for a GPS tracker with many features wrapped around it, look no further than the Garmin Bounce. Positioned as a way to hold off on buying your kid a punishingly expensive smartphone, the Bounce duplicates a lot of a phone’s features (like voice and text messaging, LTE connectivity, and games) at a fraction of the price. However, it’s still one of the pricier options on this list.

Pros

  • Voice and text messaging
  • Multi-day battery life
  • Built-in games
Cons

  • Bulky
  • Uses a proprietary charger

Garmin’s pretty clear about how they’re positioning the Bounce, kicking off the promo video for the smartwatch with the “Don’t buy them a smartphone” tag. As a smartphone replacement, the Bounce is pretty fully-featured, with text and voice messaging, games, activity tracking, kid-friendly weather updates, and a bright color display. But unlike a smartphone, it’s not cripplingly expensive and won’t require a second mortgage to keep track of and entertain your child.


It lets the young user create custom watch faces and stay connected with the entire family in fun ways, like the “family leaderboard” of steps taken, or built-in chores tracking to help keep kids on top of taking out the trash. Parents can also add one-off items to these to-do lists, so especially important tasks are sure to get attention. On the parents’ side, the companion app makes it relatively easy to configure and control each Bounce unit, and Garmin’s done a good job of integrating wireless connectivity here in a family-focused way.

That said, the Bounce is pricier than most options on our list, so it’s probably not the best choice if you’re looking exclusively for a GPS tracker. But if you like the idea of your kid having a smartwatch or are looking for a smartphone analog for a fraction of the price, the Bounce does the job with panache.


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Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch and fitness tracker

Fitbit Versa 3

Best for teens

A great smartwatch, especially for older kids

The Fitbit Versa 3 is the most fully featured tracker on our list, and while it’s not explicitly designed for kids, its durability, big, bright screen, and colorful design mean kids will love it as much as adults. With Alexa and Spotify support, activity tracking, and tons of other features, it’ll keep your kids distracted and entertained while giving you peace of mind. Best of all, because it’s no longer the latest generation Versa, it’s available for much less than at launch.

Pros

  • Tons of features
  • Big, bright display
  • Alexa and Spotify support
Cons

  • Not specifically for kids

If you’re shopping for a tracker for older kids, the Versa 3 from Fitbit is an excellent choice. Because it’s no longer the newest model, you won’t pay an arm and a leg for it, but it’s still jammed with features that older kids will appreciate, like Spotify and Alexa support, fitness tracking, and a quick-charging battery. Even younger kids will enjoy the colorful design and large, vivid display. You could also get the same experience with the newer Versa 4, including the more reliable physical button and updated Wear OS-ish software features, but you also won’t go wrong if you’d rather save a few bucks.

For older kids looking to delve deeper into what the Versa has to offer, there’s a lot here. The Versa incorporates Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes tech, which means it’ll track any activity that gets your heart pumping toward a daily goal (Fitbit recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity of 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week). If you want to spring for Fitbit Premium, you’ll also get access to stuff like meditation sessions and guided yoga to help ensure your kid’s mental health alongside their physical well-being.


Angelsense GPS Tracker against a white background

Angelsense GPS Tracker

Best for special needs

Specially designed with safety in mind

If you’re buying for an individual with special needs, the Angelsense GPS Tracker is a great choice. Features like an assistive speakerphone, an SOS call button, emergency search tools — and an intelligent alert system that learns the wearer’s routine and can ping you if they deviate from it all — combine to ensure the wearer can get help anytime they require it.

Pros

  • Two-way calling
  • Powerful alerts system
  • SOS call button

A good all-around choice, the Angelsense GPS Tracker especially shines in that it’s intentionally designed for individuals with special needs. The majority of the headlining features are built to ensure the wearer’s safety and that they always have access to help if needed. There’s two-way calling, an SOS call button, and emergency search tools for precise, up-to-the-minute tracking.

Of particular note is the intelligent alert system. This feature will learn the wearer’s routine and send an alert any time they deviate from it. It can also alert you anytime the wearer enters an unknown space or any location you’ve preset and labeled, and the auto-answer speakerphone ensures that you can get in touch whenever you have questions or concerns.If you’re already a Verizon subscriber, you might feel like the door swings open for you to put the Gizmo Watch 3 on your kid’s wrist. It’s been built to appeal to kids as wide-ranging in age from 3-11, though you’re probably going to get more mileage out of it if your kid skews a little younger on that scale.


The onboard games tend to be more in line with a child’s development in the younger half of that spectrum, even if there are activity tracking tools to keep tabs on how much they’re moving. The 5MP camera is good enough for video calls and the odd selfie when your kid wants to express some personality, and while quality may not be at the top of the list, it’s worth noting the previous Gizmo Watch 2 didn’t have a camera at all.

Verizon will charge an extra $10 to cover this smartwatch, but that gives you nationwide 4G LTE coverage, so you’re good to go even if you travel within the country. That also enables real-time location tracking to know where your kid is while apart to ensure safety and security.

A render of the BrickHouse Spark Nano 7 GPS tracker and its accompanying smartphone app

BrickHouse Spark Nano 7

Best for drivers

An advanced, precise, subscription-based GPS tracker

$20 $50 Save $30

An incredibly effective GPS device, the Nano Spark 7 sports powerful components capable of tracking vehicles with remarkable precision, even when moving at speed. While the device is cheap, the subscriptions aren’t but they deliver anywhere from good to downright incredible accuracy, consistency, and response time.

Pros

  • Hard-to-beat precision and accuracy
  • An extensive feature set
  • Various accessories like cases and batteries

More of a traditional GPS tracker than something specifically engineered to watch your offspring, the Spark Nano 7 leverages efficient, high-end tracking hardware with your choice of a few comprehensive subscriptions that provide exactly the amount of data you need. At its best (and most expensive), a BrickHouse GPS tracking subscription delivers location updates every 5 seconds, a year of tracking hitsory, unlimited geofencing, along with a variety of other reports and features.


To be clear, this type of device is often used to track vehicles for security purposes, and it does so fantastically. If you’re looking to keep a surreptitious eye on your kids’ vehicle usage, you won’t find many better options. It offers nothing in the way of communications other than an SOS button, but its precision and consistency beat nearly all the competition.

You can also find a variety of add-ons that enhance its functionality. At press time, you could actually get the Spark Nano 7 and a waterproof vehicle exterior enclosure for $5 less than the actual device’s list price. There’s also a selection of batteries and DC wiring kits available, so you don’t have to worry about it going dead after a few weeks. Also keep in mind that the higher-tier your subscription (and therefore the more pings and data transmission it requires), the shorter the battery life lasts. But if you want accuracy and fast, in-depth results, this one’s for you.


Keep a virtual eye on your kids like an information-age Sauron

A good GPS tracker for children shouldn’t make them feel incapable or highly dependent. They may be young, but they also expect things to work, and that applies just the same for devices like those on this list. No kid should feel like they’re using an inferior product just because of their age, and the products here reflect that philosophy, from the top pick — the Jiobit Smart Tag — with its nearly unbreakable shell, great features, and understated design, to the top value Tracki GPS Tracker with its no-frills, just tracking solution.

After poring over tons of real-world testimony from caring parents, it became clear that the Apple Watch SE 2 is the best new high-end device for tracking kids’ location and activities. It’s the most expensive option on our list, but easily the most capable, as the LTE version can basically act as its own standalone smartphone. Couple with Apple’s reasonably power parental control suite, it’s no surprise parents are turning to the Apple Watch lineup to keep an eye on kids as young as 8 years old.


So, then why are Apple’s AirTags not on this list? After all, you can track them on Android devices, but Apple itself cautions against using AirTags to track people, so instead, this list of select devices specifically work as GPS trackers for people. Most are designed specifically for children, but even those without the little ones in mind, they’ll work really well for people of all ages. Regardless of what use case you have in mind, you’re likely going to find a tracker that suits you and your progeny.

If you do want a nondescript, compact GPS tracker and the Tracki doesn’t offer what you need, consider the BrickHouse Spark Nano 7. It’s an all-around fantastic GPS tracker, and although it’s not specifically geared toward keeping your children safe, it’d be a great inclusion in your kid’s things, or on any belongings you want to keep an eye on.

Jiobit Smart Tag

Jiobit Smart Tag Gen 3

Best overall

The best all-around tracker for kids

Jiobit earns our top spot for being incredibly easy to use, lightweight, and durable. It’s perfect for kids because it’s easy to forget they’re wearing or carrying it in the best way possible. Just tuck it into their backpack or clip it to their belt, and they’ll hardly notice it’s there. But it’s still packed with functionality, including stuff like smart alerts that trigger based on location settings you can program in yourself.

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