If you're a big buttons kind of person, the Garmin GPS MAP 64s may your next handheld GPS. This Top Pick for Reliability blows all other buttoned units out of the water. The quad-helix antenna not only provides accuracy up to 10 feet but keeps your position on lock-down while trudging through deep forest canopies. The 16 hours of battery life allow you to take longer trips while the 4 GB of built-in memory allows you to store up to 5,000 waypoints and 200 routes. We were also impressed by some of its unique features. Wirelessly share waypoints, tracks, and trips with compatible devices. If you are out for days and need a weather report, track pressure changes over time to guesstimate if a storm is about to roll in. We also loved how this device has "smart notifications" that syncs with your smartphone. To put the cherry on the cake, it comes with 250,000 pre-loaded geocaches. Take it out for a treasure hunt anywhere you go.
Even though this unit is reliable, it's not perfect. The base map that comes with the unit is quite limited, so don't go on any big adventures without uploading a topo map. Also, this is not a touchscreen. It's more reliable in extreme conditions, but it does not perform as smoothly as touchscreens. In all, we thought this unit was incredibly reliable, earning a Top Pick award.
Get the Most Out of Your Garmin
Garmin has come out with its Cadillac of a model, the Garmin GPSMAP 64sc. The 64sc comes with an 8-megapixel camera, GPS and GLONASS quad antenna, a 3D compass, and an altimeter. If money is not an issue, or you just want the best Garmin you can buy, check out the 64sc.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Garmin GPS MAP 64s features large buttons for easy use in all weather conditions. The large antenna locks-down on position while trudging through the most tangled terrain. This is our Top Pick for Reliability.
This unit has Smart Notifications technology. Receive text messages and updates on this handheld GPS when connected to your phone. No need to take your phone out of your backpack!
Combining a highly sensitive quad-helix antenna with GPS + GLONASS + WAAS compatible technology, this unit sees high accuracy in both open spaces and shady places. Signal acquisition is fast and, once it finds your position, it stays locked in. Take it through heavy canopies or deep canyons.
The electronic compass makes it easy to navigate back to old tracks and hit old waypoints. Of all the units tested, this unit provided some of the best satellite reception and accuracy in all types of terrain.
Ease of Use
The large buttons on this unit make getting from one place to another easy breezy. In total the unit features ten large and easy-to-use buttons. They work well with both thick and thin gloves.
The operation keypad features a large multi-directional pad, zoom in/out, find, mark, quit, enter, menu, and page button. We especially loved the mark button which made marking waypoints very accessible. The menu, like many Garmin units, is easy to use and customizable.
Of all the buttoned units tested, we felt like this was one of the easiest to get to know and understand. Some of our testers mentioned that getting to know more intricate features takes a little research, but the same is true for all units.
The display is not as large and brilliant as some of the touchscreen models, but it's also not far behind. It features a 2.6" display with 160 X 240 pixel resolution. Even though this is one of the lower display resolutions in the test, our testers really couldn't tell the difference when comparing unit screen quality.
The transflective display is quite durable and shows up quite nicely in both high and low light conditions. Unlike the dual-orientation touchscreens, the display is locked in portrait view and does not rotate.
Even though the device doesn't respond to button pushes nearly as fast as any touchscreen units, we were pleasantly surprised to see there was very little lag time between pushing a button and the device carrying out its function. We were also surprised to see how fast it redraws maps.
Weight and Size
Not too big, not too small. The Garmin GPS MAP 64s is only 7.6 oz. Its thin design will easily fit into a larger breast or pant pocket. It also comes with a loop option at the base of the unit to attach it to a lanyard.
With all of its great features, we thought this unit was incredibly versatile. Many of our testers felt like it was incredibly durable and easy to use in all weather conditions. With that, we selected this GPS as our Top Pick for Reliability.
When submerging the unit, we didn't notice any leaks. When marking waypoints and performing functions while wearing gloves of varying thickness, the buttons were easy to press. To top it off, this unit comes with 250,000 pre-loaded geocaches. So if you're into hunting for hidden treasures, this unit is perfect. That said, plan on uploading maps for your hikes. The base map that accompanies this device provides little to no detail.
Buttoned units are typically more reliable than touchscreens because of their versatility in gnarly weather.
This device is also a little bit heavy. Even though 7.6 oz isn't bad for most missions, it's not ideal for adventures that require a minimalist approach. Overall, great to use for most activities and all weather.
Take this versatile and reliable unit anywhere. Go geocaching, hiking, or backpacking. The world is your oyster.
This unit is high value all the way around. For just $299.99 you get a handheld GPS with excellent reception and more reliable design.
The Garmin GPS MAPS 64s is perfect for the adventurer that loves geocaching, buttoned units, and high-value items. Enjoy our Top Pick for Reliability.
Tracking and Navigating Your Outdoor Activity In the...
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