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Is a GPSMAP 64st w/City Navigator card a workable nuvi substitute?

Recently retired and just upgraded from an iPhone to a 64st for geocaching. I was wondering if adding a City Navigator map chip means the 64st can be used similar to my nuvi 2557 for highway/city driving. A smaller screen and no voice I understand, but is this pairing practical? When flying it would mean taking only one device and if I am switching back and forth over and over between driving and walking is a GPSMAP w/sd card good at turn by turn in a moving vehicle? I found nuvi reception and battery life stinks in surroundings like NYC. Is this the intended use of the city chip?


  • sussamb 798 Points
    Your 64 will work using a CN map, I occasionally use my Etrex 20 that way. As you say though it's a small screen and you only get beeps instead of a voice but if you're happy with that your 64 will do what you want.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    By "chip" do you mean a Garmin memory card that is pre-loaded with City Navigator? if so, realize that this kind of map cannot be updated. So if you want a newer map after a year or two, you would need to buy another card at full price.

    Personally, I think this would be a poor use of your money. For starters, it will cost as much a refurbished nuvi, and the Nuvi will include lifetime map updates. For example, GPSCity has a Refurb Nuvi 52LM for $80 (Garmin refurbs have full 12 month warranties).

    But for me, the real deal breaker would be the lack of a touch screen on the GPSMap 64. It will be very awkward to enter street names, etc. by picking little letters from a grid.

    In Manhattan, my Nuvis don't perform very well either. I get a little better results with my Montana - guessing that it might have a better antenna than the Nuvi. But my iPhone is by far the best there, because it uses a combination of cell towers, known wifi hotspots and satellites to locate your postion.

    If you only want one device for hiking and driving, the Montana is the best choice IMO. I use mine with City Navigator in the car sometimes. Screen is big and bright, and you have touchscreen input like a Nuvi. Garmin makes a special automotive mount that includes a speaker for voice guidance.

    Another option would be just using a smartphone for everything, if you have one. Garmin has the StreetPilot Onboard App for iOS. It is very similar to the Nuvi. Downside here is that the app costs about the same as the Nuvi I mentioned above.
  • Just got Topo US 100k with navigation works great on a Nuvi with a pre built route. Doesn't do the route except as a point to point straight line on my 76csx. The poi data base is nice when working with the 76csx.
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