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Navigate GPX with Compass ala Garmin Oregon 450

feeney_hollow 0 Points
edited September 2017 in GPS Recommendations
Good morning,

I'm new to the forum and haven't looked into gps much in the last several years. Unfortunately, I just lost my Garmin Oregon 450t which I've had for I don't know how long.

I'm looking to replace it. I would mount the unit on my mountain bike handlebars and use it to follow a gpx track by using the compass feature to point me in the right direction with its compass arrow.

That's really the only feature I need. I feel like my iphone and a printed map can do anything else I need. What would be me cheapest option? The thing I liked least about the Oregon was loading AA batteries that only lasted 1 or 2 rides. A USB or other charging device with longer battery life would be wonderful.


  • Boyd 2009 Points
    I think any recent Garmin handheld with the triaxial compass would be fine for that, and I think that would be an upgrade from the quality of the Oregon 450 compass. Screens on the newer handhelds should also be better than the Oregon 450. Have a look at the Garmin factory refurbs at popular sites like gpscity, etc.

    But it seems like your iPhone could do the same things with the proper app. I don't follow .gpx tracks myself so I can't suggest a specific one, but I have not been using any of my Garmin devices for awhile now. Spend some time looking at the App Store, there are an unbelieveable number of options and many (if not most) have free trials.
  • I don't like having my iPhone on my handlebars. Then nice thing about the Garmin was durability.
  • alanb 557 Points
    edited September 2017
    GPSCity has Montana 600 refurb for $300. I think it would be a nice upgrade from the Oregon 450. It has a larger brighter screen than the 450, but is also about 3.4 oz. heavier if that is a problem.
  • Boyd 2009 Points
    I have a Montana 600 and it's arguably the nicest of many handhelds I've owned. My impression is that most cyclists prefer something smaller though. You might want to visit a store like REI and look at the different units in person, it's hard to appreciate the size/weight from a website.

    I can understand why you would want a dedicated unit, but FWIW, the newer iPhones have comparable (if not better) shock and water resistance compared to Garmin handhelds. A case should offer even more protection. See this for example:

  • I have an IPhone 6. Maybe a case though....
  • Boyd 2009 Points
    edited September 2017
    I have a 6s Plus and an Otterbox case which is pretty rugged. I only use the case when I take the phone out on a hike though, it's pretty bulky and awkward for everyday use. Still very happy with this phone, and if I were to upgrade the only advantage I can see would be the better water/shock ratings.
  • I hope I don't need something as robust (expensive) as the Montana. Would Edge or Etrex i.e. something smaller and cheaper be able to load a gpx from my laptop which I could then follow? On my Oregon, when I navigate to a gpx track and then choose the compass, the compass arrow points in the direction I need to go in to follow the track.

    That's all I'm looking for. I'm wondering if a good handlebar mounted ciPhone ase is what I want. Maybe not though, because then I wouldn't have my iPhone ready to snap a picture easily.
  • sussamb 829 Points
    An Etrex would certainly do that, I occasionally use my Etrex 20 with just the compass page showing and follow the arrow.
  • Awesome thanks!
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