there is an app called maverick (free or paid versions) which allow you to trace your routes right over google map tiles. it also allows exporting (geocaching) as well as acting as an offline version of google maps (once you download the tiles that is).
if you want an actual gps logging device.. cant help you there.
the trouble is that gps use really does take its toll on a device...be it phone gps or gps nav. my guess is that the device you want will likely have better battery life than a phone but not so long as to prevent daily charging.
the nice thing about using a phone is that its a free app which overlays directly on gmaps. for $50 you could buy a spare battery and swap it out.
other than that... i suppose you would have to look around and read reviews.
Well, some of the trackers I found had a 30 hour battery life. I'd just like a small little device I can put in my car and forget about. I don't want to go through the trouble of starting an app and potentially forgetting about it etc.
Drove a couple thousand miles with it across different states and got excellent results. The software takes a little while to figure out because there's a ton of options (you can tweak this thing like you couldn't believe), but once you do, you export it to all formats. I use kml files which can be read out in Google Earth and can be imported in Google Maps.
It has an accelerometer, too. So you can have it turn off after x time of inactivity and have it turn on again when it moves again. Battery life is around 25 hours of metering. I hooked it up to my lighter in my car (standard mini USB) and just left it there and forgot about it pretty much. It comes with a 1GB card which is enough for over a year of GPS recording.