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New GPS? Garmin 62 series or Montana?

Confused Chimp
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Ok so I know there are quite a few posts about this. However I'm looking at the newest models of GPS,

All of which are by garmin. I currently have an iPhone 4, which I'll always have with me as it's my phone and will continue to use it to log caches. I also have an etrex vista HCx, which is great. I recently bought a satmap as I wanted a new gps with OS mapping on it and was attracted by the large screen, being able to buy 1:25k maps for anywhere over the uk.

However my advice to anyone thinking of doing so is don't! It crashed all the time, was incredibly slow and was for menl effectively unusable. I really did try to like it, it's a bristish company so wanted to support them, but had far too many problems; the compass was very slow updating which ment I over compensated for it, there was very little customisation on what data was shown and being a quite demanding user (I use several thousand wps loaded at a time) the map slowed to a crawl. There is a feature that can turn on a set of wps and turn others off. But the length of time required to do so is unmanagable especially in the field (over 20mins) and would often crash. But it ment you could do anything with it while you waited for it to carry out it's task. It's basically outclassed.

Although my etrex vista doesn't have mapping, it's better than the satmap in every other aspect IMO.

Hence I am looking for another gps, but garmin have just released a new range of gps units.

So now I'm trying to decide between:

62s, 62st, 62sc, 62stc or one of the Montana series 650, 650t??

I will still have my iPhone with me, and am likely to have a dedicated camera with me as well.

But there may be times when I leave the camera behind. I'm just wondering which one to go for?


My thinking is the Montana has a nice big screen. But I do wonder if the exposed antenna on the 62 series might lead to better accuracy. I've in the past been against touch screens on gps units. But they are supposed to be glove friendly which is good. And I've been reading unconfirmed reports that the 62s has less internal memory than the 62st and that the topo on the 62st is an out of date one as they can't fit the upto date topo on the internal memory.

What does the topo cover? Is it world wide? European wide? Or just your own country?

Sorry for the long post.

Regards and thanks.


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Great thing about these Garmin units is the wide range of map options. You can buy the maps from Garmin or find similar maps for free. GPSFileDepot is a good source fro topo and other maps for Garmin units. Your eTrex Vista HCX can hold any maps offered there so have a look and see if they are what your looking for.



You mentioned you like having buttons and you already on an eTrex. Have you looked into the new line of eTrexs units due out in the next few months. They have the same button configurations and navigation as the older eTrex lines. They are going to be a great affordable option for geocachers and come with paperless caching.


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Do you know which version of software you had on the satmap? I've had mine for nearly three years and I know that earlier versions of the software had limited support for geocaching. However, the latest software, 1.5, which was released in November 2010 is fantastic for geocaching and enables the device to display spoiler pictures in addition to other useful information. You can check out the new features by using this link. The device can now also hold considerably more caches.


Customisation has always been straightforward via the Settings Menu, e.g., you can decide what information appears in the 2 or 4 data boxes on the GPS Map Screen. It may be worthwhile to reconsider the satmap or contact the support team as they are quite helpful.

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Fighting some firmware issues today though and it's been frustrating.

Same crap with any new Garmin product. You pay your money and it makes you a beta tester.


You know the Montana rocks. They'll get the issues worked out and you'll have that $#!+ eating grin again as your avatar. :laughing:


Seriously though, the Montana does rock, just not at the moment (v2.6 is a loser).

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I went for the 62st as I have a touch screen Nuvi as well. I found that once you put a

screen protector on a touch screen it becomes a PITA to use. For the car it`s ok as I

can get where I`m going with a few taps, but for geocaching I would think it would be a pain.





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I also went with the 62s. Main reason being all of the Garmin touch screens I have played with have been kinda unresponsive. My nuvi drives me nuts typing on and the display Oregon I tried out wasn't much better. I did not get to try out the Montana touch screen though, so maybe they have improved it some. Could also just be my fingers. To be honest though I much prefer buttons over touch screen. Although I am using my touch screen PlayBook to type all of this right now lol.

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In my opinion, because I have no scientific data to prove it, the touchscreen on the Montana has been improved over the Oregon (having owned both). The 62 and Montana are both great units. The 62's firmware is much more mature at the moment but that will change. There are drawbacks to both when comparing to each other. That's why your question is so hard to answer, only you know what you need.

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