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Garmin GPSMAP 65s or GPSMAP 66s for Geocaching?

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I am having a difficult time deciding which of these handheld GPS units would be a better choice for Geocaching.

On one hand, the younger tech GPSMAP 65s is highly accurate due to multi-bands, etc. and the slightly older (by two years, I believe) GPSMAP 66s has a lot of functional abilities that the 65s doesn't have - like wifi uploads, weather, bird's eye view (blurry as it is).


I guess it is a choice between accuracy and function. Can any experienced geocachers offer their opinion or suggestions?

Thanks to all!

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Being a somewhat experienced cacher, here is my take:


I don't know that any accuracy above what is available on the 66 is necessary. The additional QZSS may be better for urban caching, but I don't have experience with it. Even if those two things help by getting you within, say 15 feet of a cache rather than the normal 30 feet (and you still need to consider the hiders accuracy too), the ability to download caches directly to the 66 is much more useful to me.

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I have the 66s and I love the accuracy compared to my much older Magellans (Triton and Explorers) have had it a little over a month now and found our last 25 caches with it and love it.  I haven't even used some of the features yet.  My absolute favorite thing is wirelessly loading up my cache list without any cables, aps or anything else, just hook to a wifi and tell it to sync live caches and bam done!  I am someone who started out with an old 2005 Garmin eTrex hand putting in all coordinates (no smart phone then) and taking a clipboard with loaded up caches for the day,  since getting back into this a couple months ago I am thrilled with this new technology that makes geocaching so much more fun.  I did use my phone a couple times but honest not very accurate, but I do use the app for logging only and saves much on battery life for the phone.  Way TMI but basically trying to say the 66s is the bomb!  

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Thanks to all that have replied. I would like the 66sr but it's over $100 more than the 65s and 66s (which are both priced the same).


If there was GPS funding assistance for retired and disabled people, I would be in line! LoL!!


Anyhow, the functions of the 66s appear to outweigh the accuracy of the 65s.


BTW: I informally tested both models next to each other by a window in my house. Set them both to plain GPS with no multi bands, etc. I was surprised that the 66s shows a lot more GPS satellites as compared to the 65s. (I wonder why that happened. Couldn't just be the screen size?)


Yes, the 66s takes several seconds longer to settle on the location than the 65s but both were easily within a foot or so of each other. However, altitude shows a 20-50 foot difference between the two units that are resting next to each other.

Obviously, setting the 65s to full multi band gets faster location within 4-6 feet as compared to the 66s.


I'm just pointing out the differences when both are set the same.


Perhaps, I should go with the 66s, because of the additional functions that the 65s doesn't have, purchase a route able topo map (which the 65s has and the 66s doesn't) and bide my time for when Garmin offers a greater variety of multi-band gps devices?


Opinions or observations?

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Avoid the 66sr and 66i like the plague as both come with non-replaceable internal batteries. Those batteries will degrade over time, and leave you with an expensive paperweight 5-10 years down the road.


Stick with the 65, 66s or 66st models.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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11 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Avoid the 66sr and 66i like the plague as both come with non-replaceable internal batteries. Those batteries will degrade over time, and leave you with an expensive paperweight 5-10 years down the road.


Stick with the 65, 66s or 66st models.


Just to even things out a bit here, there are just as many, if not more users here that will encourage you to do the exact opposite, and embrace the 66sr (superior GPS accuracy and precision) or 66i (if inReach is desired).


These devices will not become paper-weights, this is pure fear mongering based one individuals irrational fear of new technology.

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If I am to be honest, internal or removable batteries don't bother me. I take Classic iPods and increase their storage and replace the internal battery. It can be costly and require a bit of patience since iPods are not 'user serviceable!'


My focus is on the units themselves.

For Geocaching, which is more important: accuracy (65s) or functions (66s) of the GPS device to aid in geocaching?


I noticed each device has some GPS quirks (read my earlier response when I set the 65s to the same GPS common denominator as the 66s' GPS settings) and each device has its individual strengths.


As with all technology, I am sure that Garmin's research and development department are keeping a close eye on their newer technology. It may take years but I believe that we will eventually see multi-band, multi-satellite features become more common place in Garmin GPS units.


Basically, I believe that I am hearing two camps in relation to my question - go with a unit with proven stability and functions (the 66s) or go with the newer tech (the 65s).


As I mentioned earlier, I wish I had the funds for the more expensive 66sr. So, I am left choosing between the 65s or the 66s.


I appreciate the experience that all of your feedback has been offering!

I thank everyone for that!

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I have both 65S and 66SR and use them both on weekly basis for Geocaching. Both great devices. The 65 is a spare GPSr for me. 


The Garmin Explorer software is CRAP but the GCLive download can be a geocache-lifesaver on the 66SR :D. The built in battery is an absolute winner, easily 30+ hours of geocaching-fun from one charge. I would definitely go for the 66SR if you have the $$$.


Just my 0.02.

Edited by rgschmidt
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