Need a New Handheld GPS ! :) - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: mission, bc, Canada.
Posts: 5
Default Need a New Handheld GPS ! :)

Greetings folks .. you all helped me out in a big way back in 2009 looking for a GPS and hoping you can help me again looking for same.

my Garmin 60CSx took a trip into the fraser river this weekend (*moment of silence*) and i am needing to replace it now.

Im in the budget of around $500 and was hoping for some suggestions of whats new nowadays.

Im mapping points of interest hiking, fruit trees locations around the fraser valley and spring water loc's

Thanks for any help/suggestions you can provide

- Jo
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981

I just upgraded from 60csx to Montana 650 and very happy I did

The 60csx seems like a fine GPS until you get to use a more modern unit, like Montana. There is no going back.

Here is what I hated about the 60csx:

- Very, very slow. Slow to scroll, slow to search, slow to go between pages.
- Waypoint character limit is something like 14-16 characters. You can hardly fit anything in there.
- Entering text on the GPS was a real pain, because you had to scroll through characters.
- No shaded relief support

All of the above is solved with the Montana. It is fast, no character limit as far as I know, has a keyboard layout on the touchscreen, and the shaded relief is awesome!

In addition, it has a nice, big 4" touchscreen. The screen is one of those things that greatly affects usability. If you also use it for driving, then you will really appreciate the larger screen. It even has voice directions (and dozens of languages) when connected to the Garmin suction cup for Montana 650.

The screen rotates from horizontal to landscape view, depending on how you hold the GPS. That really helps with driving and when you need to view the map horizontally.

At 100% brightness the screen is super bright and can be read in sunlight. This wasn't possible with the 60csx.

The menu is fully customizable and I have all the icons I use most on my front page. It also supports profiles, where you can have a profile customized for hiking, for driving, and for everything else you do, as each activity will have it's own most used menu items, map layouts, settings, etc.

It has a camera (unless you buy the version without it). Now, this camera really sucks, the quality is garbage, and I wasn't really interested in it for pictures anyway, as I always carry a Canon DSLR with me and some nice lenses. But, it can come in handy in visually "memorizing" your route, when you need to track back or save a track for later references (or maybe you want to take pictures of the fruit trees). Every picture you take is then put on the map at the location it was taken. Quite neat. But don't expect it to replace your good camera, as image quality is just not there.

It uses a dual battery system, which makes some things easier. You can put the lithium battery in the GPS, or 3 AA batteries instead. The lithium battery recharges when GPS is plugged in to the PC or is plugged in the car. That's great, because I don't have to use rechargeable AA as much. It is also a bit lighter when using the lithium battery vs 3 AA batteries. I can't comment on battery life yet, as I just got it, and used it only once, last weekend on a showshoe trip. Lithium battery level was at about 56% after a bit over 4 hours (yes, it even shows you battery level in percents). I had the screen on battery saving mode, so it was turned off when not in use. However, it got a lot of use, as I was breaking trail and had no idea where to go without referring to the GPS. Screen brightness was also set to 100%. And the compass is always on when it can't figure out which way you're moving (because you're not moving fast enough). So, for a normal weekend trip, I think 1 lithium battery and a backup of 3 AA should suffice.

Some other nice features it has:

- 3D view of the map
- 3 axis compass (means you don't need to hold it level anymore)
- Much nicer and more enjoyable graphics (it adds a lot to usability and user experience)
- Supports custom maps and satellite imagery
- When uploading new map sets to GPS, there is no need anymore to reupload all the maps that are already on GPS.
- Has built in 3GB memory, in addition to the micro SD card slot.

Now, I know there were a lot of bad reviews, specifically about firmware problems. I think all these problems got fixed and I haven't experienced anything of the like. Everything worked flawlessly for me. Well, maybe the camera crashed once, but that's not a big deal.

It is bigger than the 60csx, but not so big that it becomes impractical. It still fits nicely into my pocket.

I got it for $530 off ebay and shipped to Blaine. sells them for about same price.
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