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Garmin Oregon 450t vs Oregon 550t vs Montana 650t


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Hello everyone. I am looking into getting a dedicated GPS for geocaching. I have been using my Android based phone and the battery life stinks not to mention accuracy and ease of use. I was hoping for something really awesome with the dedicated handheld. I've been looking at the three models listed above but I am really not sure what is best. Also, will I need additional maps for each of these? I am willing to spend up to $500 on the device but probably less if I need additional maps. Any ideas, thoughts, or guidance would be great! Thanks!

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Hello everyone. I am looking into getting a dedicated GPS for geocaching. I have been using my Android based phone and the battery life stinks not to mention accuracy and ease of use. I was hoping for something really awesome with the dedicated handheld. I've been looking at the three models listed above but I am really not sure what is best. Also, will I need additional maps for each of these? I am willing to spend up to $500 on the device but probably less if I need additional maps. Any ideas, thoughts, or guidance would be great! Thanks!

 

I would suggest a Montana 600 and free topo and driving maps unless you have to have a camera. Don't buy the T after it models. The GPSFileDepot maps

I have used are just as good or better. More info on Montanas and map choices here http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=294623

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Well, the screen on my old Etrex Legend was becoming problematic so in Jan '12 a friend lent me an Oregon 450 for a couple of weeks. I liked the features (paperless geocaching, touchscreen, geotagging etc). There was a pretty good deal on at GPSCity Calgary at the end of Feb for an Oregon 550 so that was my choice. I like the unit even though the camera is not very good, best described as simply acceptable. I quite like the concept of geotagged pictures and have planned a major tour of Eastern Europe in the fall. For this I plan to use GoogleEarth images that I have geotagged. Geotagging is a feature of the other Oregons as well.

 

In my experience the 550 is a bit of a battery hog but I use only Sanyo Eneloop NiMH batteries in my gps, digital camera, and tv remote, and I have a quality LaCrosse BC900 charger so I survive quite nicely.

 

Maps can be obtained from OpenStreetMaps. Bit of a learning curve but well worth the effort. Although I live in Canada and have complete North America maps, I alse store maps of various countries in Europe, all of the UK, and city maps of Budpest and Prague.

 

I store everything; maps, geocaches, and hundreds of POIs on the micro sd card. I would recommend a 4gb or bigger.

 

Finally, regardless of which gps you purchase, buy and install a screen protector - worth every penny!

 

Cheers from the Canadian Flatlands

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Hi all! I am in the same boat right now, and am still wondering what the difference is between the Montana and the Oregon? We currently own the Garmin 76CSX and are looking to downsize and go paperless. We pretty much have it narrowed to the Oregon 550 or the Montana 650, but I'm curious if there is any interesting feedback on these that will help me decide which to go.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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I have the Montana 650t and love the large screen. The readability of the screen sold it for me over the Oregon. Now, I use the 650t for everything, geocaching, driving (nuvi mode), boating, and hiking. The 4 inch screen is very clear in sunlight and the backlight is bright in the shade/night. I suggest you go and hold both in your hand to really compare on size and weight. Bottom line for me, the Montana allows me to easily read the geocache descriptions, logs and hints. Its also easier to input text on the larger screen.

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I have the Montana 650t and love the large screen. The readability of the screen sold it for me over the Oregon. Now, I use the 650t for everything, geocaching, driving (nuvi mode), boating, and hiking. The 4 inch screen is very clear in sunlight and the backlight is bright in the shade/night. I suggest you go and hold both in your hand to really compare on size and weight. Bottom line for me, the Montana allows me to easily read the geocache descriptions, logs and hints. Its also easier to input text on the larger screen.

 

Agent45, thanks for your thoughts. Since we are military living overseas, so there is no hands on testing for us! We're all about buying online :( I do like the idea of a larger screen, so I'll check out the Montana some more.

 

Thanks!

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I also have an Oregon 550. I like the way everything works, but don't care for the screen brightness. This might not matter to you, but I use a handlebar mount on a motorcycle, and it really isn't bright enough to see in direct sun on any setting. But, I've switched out and use my Rino for that now. The Oregon is great for Geocaching, but I think the screen on the Montana might make it the better deal.

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