Lowrance Elite 5 Ti Complete Review (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

Have you ever wondered what’s beneath your boat, are there fish down there? Or wish you didn’t have to take a bearing of a palm tree and a chimney to work out how to remember where your favorite fishing spot is? 

I used to fish like that until I stumbled upon a new fishfinder chartplotter like the Lowrance Elite 5. 

The Lowrance Elite 5 removes ambiguity from your fishing life.

You can see if there is a good structure beneath your boat and if it holds fish, you can mark your fishing spots, know where you’re at, and view the in-built GPS and chartplotter to understand the bottom contours and start to fish more productively. 

If you’re a boat fisherman, the Lowrance Elite 5 can change the game. 

Things To Consider Before Buying a Fish Finder Chartplotter

While a fish finder such as the Lowrance Elite 5 can show you what’s beneath the surface and guide you around any waters in the world with the chartplotter and GPS, do you need one in your fishing life? 

The Lowrance Elite 5 Ti is the perfect unit for anyone who owns a boat with power and fishes on large lakes or in the sea.

It’ll let you mark your fishing spots, guide you safely through shallow waters, and a whole lot more.

Purpose

If you fish mostly from a kayak or the shore, the Lowrance Elite 5 is not the unit for you as it requires onboard power to work and it’s not portable.

The right unit for you is a new portable or castable fishfinder that comes with a battery and can easily be taken on and off your vessel. 

Here is a list of the key factors to think about to ensure the Lowrance Elite 5 is the fish finder for you.

  • Where do you plan on fishing with it? 
  • Does the sounder go deep enough for the area and your fishing style? 
  • What types of sonar does it use? 
  • Does it come with a transducer? 
  • Is it simple to install? 
  • How accurate is the GPS? 
  • Does it come with a good basemap of your area? 
  • Can you add other maps to it easily? 
  • Can you add ocean and freshwater charts of the areas you want to fish?
  • How easy is it to use, will you be able to navigate around the software? 
  • How big is the display, will you be able to see it clearly? 
  • Is it durable and waterproof? 
  • Does your vessel have onboard power to connect to the unit?
  • Are there any connection or software issues you should be aware of? 

The Lowrance Elite 5 Overview

Lowrance Elite 5 Ti

Get detailed images of the bottom down to 1000ft, plan an around the world trip with the right maps and track yourself as you go.

Lowrance Elite 5 Ti

The Lowrance Elite 5 is a fishfinder, GPS, and chartplotter all rolled into one.

With this unit you can: get detailed images of the bottom down to 1000ft, plan an around the world trip with the right maps and track yourself as you go.

GPS and Maps

The Lowrance Elite 5 comes with C MAP coastal preloaded. C-MAP coastal is a very detailed map showing you the US shores that you can utilize to start finding and marking new fishing spots. 

The Elite 5 will also give you some extra confidence to go to waters further afield because you’ll always know where home is thanks to the accurate GPS. 

Sonar

The Elite 5 is also full of great sonar technology that’ll show you exactly what’s on the bottom of the crystal clear 5-inch high-resolution touch screen display. 

You can view the CHIRP Sonar while cruising and add DownScan to it with FishReveal to see more detail.

You can also go into deep inspection mode with StructureScan and DownScan imaging features to get a good look at what’s to the side and on the bottom. 

Transducers 

The Lowrance Elite 5 Ti comes in just one model but you have the option to choose from a few transducers depending on how much of the sonar technology you want to have at your fingertips. 

All the transducers come with a quick release, quick access transom mount. The transom mount fits on any transom and comes with a quick-release mechanism for fast access when you want to take it home. 

Sonar Package

With the more expensive Med/High TotalScan transducer you get the whole sonar package including TotalScan, SideScan, DownScan, StructureScan, and CHIRP. 

You can opt for the HDI Transducer which is more affordable and gives you CHIRP and DownScan which is what you’ll utilize most of the time anyhow. 

If you’re a leisure fisherman, the Lowrance Elite 5 with the HDI transducer is more than enough but if you’re a pro fisherman or just what to have all the options, it’s best to go for the Med/High TotalScan transducer option.

Pros

  • Easy to use the touch screen display
  • Crystal clear Solarmax sunlight-readable screen
  • Easy to see 5-inch display size
  • You can go into split-screen to see two data views
  • Accurate high sensitivity sonar images up to 1000ft
  • Lots of different sonar options to choose from
  • The GPS is super accurate and comes with C MAP US coastal preloaded
  • Waterproof and durable
  • 1-year warranty and a 5-year upgrade program
  • It has excellent NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, and wireless connectivity
  • It’s an intuitive software system
  • Easy to add a map such as Navionics Gold and Nautic Insight
  • Has great features such as FishReveal and Trackback

Cons

  • Doesn’t work without a full 12 V power supply, check your onboard battery
  • Doesn’t go as deep as other units of the same price

Features & Benefits 

Display & Usability: What you See

Lowrance Elite 5 Ti
Lowrance Elite 5 Ti

The Lowrance Elite 5 comes with a 5 inch screen size.

While this isn’t the biggest display in the world as you can get a display size of up to 12 inches, a screen size of 5 inches is large enough to see all the details you need when you’re fishing. 

It features a SolarMAX display so you can see it in direct sunlight and it’s also a touch screen for ease of use.

The touch screen is very responsive, even with wet fingers, and you can navigate through all the features with ease. 

The display on the Elite 5 can also be used in a split-screen mode.

You can view the GPS on one side and the sonar and DownScan imaging on another giving you all the data you need at your fingertips on one screen. 

Keep Safe with GPS 

All the Lowrance Elite 5 Ti fish finders come with an in-built GPS.

The GPS antenna and GPS receiver in these units are top of the line and give you accurate positioning down to 20m RMS. 

The GPS receiver works across 16 channels and the GPS antenna is a double helix GPS antenna to ensure you always get a reliable signal. 

No matter where you are in the world the Lowrance Elite 5 will find and track you with ease on the included chartplotter basemap.

Maps and Storage

Lowrance Navionics Sonar Chart
Lowrance Navionics Sonar Chart

You will be able to follow your course, plan a route, know your speed, and see your heading.

All your data is saved to the SD card slot and you can add a maximum of 3000 waypoints, 100 routes, and 100 trails with up to 10,000 points per trail to the chartplotter which is more than enough to mark, find and view all the fish spots you could want on the water. 

The SD card also makes it easy for you to add your preferred maps to the chartplotter such as Navionics Gold and Nautic Insight. 

You can transfer your old data to your new Lowrance 5 Elite unit via the SD card with ease. 

How Does Sonar Affect Fishing Adventures? 

The Lowrance Elite 5 fishfinder comes with a huge amount of sonar capabilities depending on the transducer you choose. 

The imaging available includes CHIRP sonar imaging, downscan imaging, a broadband sounder, traditional sonar, side imaging, and more.

You can even record, scroll back, and review sonar history on these fish finders. 

All of this imaging tech together helps you view a picture like fish targets on the display but what does all of this imaging technology mean? And how does it work/help you find and view fish? 

What is CHIRP?

CHIRP is what you’ll have on when cruising or trolling.

It sends out multiple frequency waves to give you a full picture of what’s happening at the bottom, in the middle, and at the top of the water column.

It works with both HDI and TotalScan transducers.

How Does DownScan Imaging Help When Fishing? 

Lowrance Elite Ti DownScan and StructureScan

DownScan imaging focuses the HDI or TotalScan beam to get a detailed picture of the bottom contours on the screen.

Downscan imaging is perfect for exploring any structure to see if and where fish are holding so you can save the spot for next time. 

What is FishReveal? 

FishReveal is a new feature and it works to show you fish targets accurately by using CHIRP and Downscan imaging at the same time.

It gives you the broad detail of CHIRP and the focused detail of downscan imaging overlaid on to one screen on the display.

You’ll be able to see fish targets a lot more clearly with this sonar feature and it works with the HDI or TotalScan. 

How a Broadband Sounder Improves Fishing

Every Lowrance Elite 5 comes with a broadband sounder and it works similar to a little black box that turns an SD image into an HD image but in fish finders.

The broadband sounder takes all the information from the HDI transducer (or other) and intensifies the signals before they are processed by the display. 

By doing this, the broadband sounder cleans the signal image, making it cleared, more defined, and ultimately more useful. 

Lowrance TrackBack Feature

What is TrackBack?

TrackBack lets you record sonar history on your fishfinder and then gives you quick access to scroll back and review your sonar history with ease. 

Through these reviews, you can pick on where fish were and when so you can plan your next fishing trip with more precision. 

Connectivity on the water: Staying Connected

The Lowrance Elite 5 features excellent wireless connectivity with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You can connect it to your smartphone to see the fishfinder display on your phone and connect the fish finder to a wifi network to find and download software updates without it leaving the water. 

The Lowrance Elite 5 fishfinder also features both NMEA 0183 and 2000 ports that you can use to network your boat.

The NMEA 0183 ports send and receive data to other instruments for comms while the 2000 port lets you take logs of your engine’s performance and more. 

What Do Owners Of The Elite 5 Think Of It? 

I have been trawling the internet looking at all the Lowrance Elite 5 reviews I could get my hands on. 90% of the reviews were extremely positive and have shared some of these reviews with you below from lowrance.com.

There were some negative reviews too but each review seemed to come down to a technical fault or power issue that was easily fixed once Lowrance responded to the reviews in question. 

Lowrance Elite 5 Alternatives

It would, of course, be prudent to review some other products before buying the Lowrance Elite 5 which is why I have included 3 for you to review below. 

Garmin Echomap 94Sv

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable than the Lowrance 5 Elite with a bigger screen, this is worth having a look at.

Garmin Echomap 94Sv

The first to review is the Garmin Echo Map 94Sv is both a GPS, chartplotter, and fishfinder like the Lowrance 5 Elite.

Here’s a summary of the differences. 

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable than the Lowrance 5 Elite with a bigger screen, the Garmin echoMAP 94sv is worth having a look at.

The Garmin echoMAP 94sv is:

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has a larger screen
  • Comes with blueChart® G2 coastal maps preloaded
  • Comes with features to make your maps with

Cons

  • Lacks a similar feature to FishReveal

Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 SplitShot

A little more affordable but with fewer features than the Lowrance Elite 5

Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 SplitShot

The Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 SplitShot is another fishfinder and Chartplotter all in one, just a little more affordable but with fewer features than the Lowrance Elite 5.

Again, if you’re on a budget you might want to review the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 before you buy the Lowrance Elite 5.

You’ll miss on the wireless side of things, side imaging, and the touch screen but the rest is pretty much the same for a smaller price. 

Here’s a summary of the differences.

Pros

  • Is more affordable
  • Has a larger screen
  • Comes without a touch screen
  • Comes with inland maps for lake fishing

Cons

  • Can’t do side imaging
  • Lacks wireless connectivity

Humminbird HELIX 7 MSI

If you’re happy to live without a touch screen and wireless connectivity in return for some savings and a larger screen, the Humminbird HELIX 7 MSI might be up your street.

Humminbird HELIX 7 MSI

If you’re happy to live without a touch screen and wireless connectivity in return for some savings and a larger screen, the Humminbird HELIX 7 MSI might be up your street. 

It has all the same sonar capabilities as the Lowrance Elite 5 so if you still want crystal clear images of every angle, the Helix 7 also has you covered.

The Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 SplitShot is another fishfinder and Chartplotter all in one, just a little more affordable but with fewer features than the Lowrance Elite 5.The Humminbird HELIX 7 MSI is a good fish finder option for both lake or sea fishing, as long as you don’t have your heart set on a touch screen.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has a larger display
  • Creates real-time maps with AutoChart Live

Cons

  • Comes without a touch screen
  • Comes with no wireless

Conclusion 

The Elite 5 is an excellent chartplottter, GPS, and fish finder all rolled into one and with it, there isn’t much you can’t do. 

The Elite 5 sonar is excellent and gives you every view you could ask for in amazing detail. The GPS on the Elite 5 is deadly accurate and easy to use and the chartplotter comes with a great map, plus you can add your preferred ones as you wish. 

You’ll always know where you are with the Elite 5, where you’re going, where you’ve been, see exactly what’s beaten the surface of the water, and be able to mark all your favorite fishing spots so you can find them again later.

Time To Get Your Fish Finder

I hope having read this article you have discovered everything you needed to know about the Elite 5 in order to know if it’s the sounder for you or not. 

Owning a sounder and chartplotter combo such as the Elite 5 does change the game. 

Being able to track, mark, follow tracks, and see things that otherwise you’d have to guess about makes a huge difference to your fishing tactics. 

If you enjoyed the article, please share it around with your friends.

If you’re in the market for a unit similar to the Elite 5 but don’t think the Elite 5 is quite right then we have a ton of other info for you around a load of different sounders from both Garmin and Hummingbird, feel free to dig in.

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.