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Garmin GPSMAP 64

I read a review that this type of Garmin GPS is much better to use in areas like Utah's slot canyons, because it has better reception (than say an eTrex 20 or 30)

Can anyone confirm/comment on this?



  • Boyd 1953 Points
    edited October 2016
    That notion comes from the original GPSMap 60 series, a design that Garmin introduced more than 10 years ago (I have an old GPSMap 60csx). Many people felt it was the best GPS Garmin ever made for two reasons. First, it had a unique quad helix antenna that the 64 series still uses. Second, it used the SiRFStar chipselt which has been very popular, although long discontinued. Some cynics have suggested that the 62 and 64 series are more of a "fashion statement" than a relevant design in today's world. ;)

    I did some accuracy testing of my 60csx against a couple newer units a couple years ago, and it did still hold up pretty well. But really, I think a lot of this is just "urban legend" today. Modern chipsets may not benefit as much from the quad helix antenna.

    IMO, it comes down to exactly what you want and expect from a gps. Some people like the pushbutton interface - easier to operate with gloves for example. Personally, it seems really dated and it's painful to try and enter information like coordinates or names by picking letters from a little grid with the cursor.

    The screen is also very low resolution on these units, a real anachronism in today's world for smartphones. The plus is that it's easy to read in bright light and it conserves battery power.

    I don't have any canyons around here so I don't really know whether it would be an advantage there. I'd think that GLONASS would help, since there are more satellites. But all the models you mentioned have that feature.

    Have you seen all of these in person? It woul be well worth your while, the eTrex is really tiny. Some people like that, others don't. Things like that aren't so obvious when you look at pictures online. :)
  • DaveM 104 Points
    I have a GPSMAP 64s and an eTrex 20. They both have GLONASS and work better in areas with bad reception which include slot canyons than a unit with GPS alone. I don't notice the 64 being any better or worse than the eTrex in the same location. There are differences in the two units but I don't think accuracy is one of them.
  • Thanks Boyd and DaveM for your input! I think I'll decide now between the eTrex 20 or 30.
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