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Which GPS for worldwide travel, please?

Gill 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
I'd like to buy "the man who has everything" a handheld GPS but haven't a clue where to begin. We travel widely and I know he's like to know where we are as well as track where we've been (and dl it to his PC). We're about to start a road trip in the USA and that would be the first outing for whatever GPS I choose.

To summarise, is there a GPS which will work anywhere in the world, both in a vehicle and outdoors, at sea and on land, will track a journey for later download to a PC and show a map rather than coordinates? Or am I asking for too much :?

Many thanks for whatever advice you can offer me!


  • Tim 1500 Points
    There isn't anything that will do everything on your list, except perhaps a smartphone. But then your data costs will be astronomical.
  • Gill 0 Points
    Tim, thank you for such s speedy reply. So what feature is best disregarded? Which bit is the challenge?
  • Tim 1500 Points
    The most difficult part is map coverage. Most GPS devices may cover North America, or they may cover Europe. A few models will cover both North America and Europe, but that leaves out quite a bit of the world. (Middle East, Asia, Oceania, etc.)

    I think the best way for you to figure out what will meet your needs is to make a list of the map coverage you need. Both in terms of regions and breaking it down between road maps, topographic maps, and marine charts. You may realize that you need less than you think.
  • Gill 0 Points
    Thanks Tim - OK, so I need to rethink the map area. I feared I was asking too much ;-)

    I've seen some GPS come with US maps, others with Europe. I've also seen that it's posible to download or import extra maps (on an SD card?) My idea was based on watching a chap using a handheld GPS on a recent cruise (Sydney to Singapore) - and observing the curiosity of my other half, who clearly would have given his eye teeth for such a gadget. However, we travel to such far flung parts only occasionally, and generally speaking, Europe and the USA would suffice. Can you recommend one or two which would fit that brief? (Or perhaps offer a starting point of where to look?)

    Many thanks - I am already better informed than I was half an hour ago!!

    (I ought to have said first off that we're in the UK, but travel to the US frequently, usually travelling by road)
  • Tim 1500 Points
    How do you think you (or your other half) will primarily be using the GPS? Will it be point-to-point navigation on roads. In other words have the GPS give you instructions on how to get from point A to point B? Or will it be more of just curiosity and wanting to see where you are on a map?

    (I'll be headed out soon for a few hours but I'm sure others will chime in too.)
  • Tim 1500 Points
    @Boyd-- thoughts on using a Montana for this?
  • Gill 0 Points
    Tim, I don't envisage using this for direction finding at all, but simply a "where am i now/where have I been?" facility. Perhaps, set up correctly, it could be used to tag photos too ( thinking of synchronising the clock on camera and Gps here)

    Does that make sense? I fear I am revealing my ignorance here!
  • Boyd 2028 Points
    Well the Montana is certainly the most advanced GPS that Garmin makes, so if you are looking for a top of the line product, that would be it. The basic model is the Montana 600, or you could get the Montana 650 if you want to also use it as a camera.

    If you add a memory card you could have maps of much of the world on it. Garmin makes maps for just about everywhere, but it could get expensive. There are also free street maps for most of the world from the OpenStreetMap project which would be compatible.

    The Montana is a rather large, and also rather expensive however. It would be good to visit a store where you could see it in person. We have several threads discussing the Montana in our Garmin handheld forum.
  • Gill 0 Points
    That's great - thanks! I have a starting point and will look at the Garmin Montana to begin with (and probably work down from there ;-))

    With regard to the Tomtom suggestion, I'd really thought of those as a satnav for a car, and had therefore discounted them. The handheld Montana seems more of what I had in mind, even if I didn't have a clue as to specifics. The camera would be an unecessary feature I think - it's the specific GPS facility I'm looking for above all.

    I will now go off and investigate....welcome all further suggestions and advice but very much appreciate the great experience shared already.
  • Boyd 2028 Points
    With regard to the Tomtom suggestion, I'd really thought of those as a satnav for a car, and had therefore discounted them.
    TomTom will limit you to only using their road maps, with no third party maps, no topo maps, no satellite imagery, no scans of USGS or UK OS paper maps, no maps that contain 3d data. The Montana (and other new Garmin handhelds) will give you all these other things.

    The Montana has the biggest, brightest, highest resolution screen of any handheld plus many advanced features not available on other models. I love mine and use it in the car as well as hiking.

    But if the size or cost put you off, and if you don't want to use it in the car, the Oregon 450 is similar to a small Montana with a few less software features. However we have seen it on sale at very attractive prices.
  • Gill 0 Points
    Boyd, it's most certainly the Montana features you're describing that I'm after, rather than a simple roadmap. I'll compare the Oregon but will probably push the boat out for the all singing all dancing Montana handheld if it looks as though it'll fit the bill. The most difficult thing right now is finding the odd half hour when I can get to my PC with no-one looking over my shoulder!

    Thank you for your advice. I'll let you know how I get on.
  • Arthur 0 Points
    Hi, from Australia, looking at buying a vehicle gps for my parents and they wish to take it with them to Europe. Which one would work there without too much complication ??
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