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Garmin GPSMAP Series – Which GPSMAP should I buy?

Garmin has been distributing GPS devices under the brand name "GPSMAP" for almost 20 years. These are rugged GPS handheld devices especially for

  • outdoor &
  • marine applications.

A key feature of many GPSMAP models is the typical quad helix antenna. This type of antenna usually provides an excellent GPS reception – a particular strength of GPSMAP devices!

In contrast, the floating marine handhelds are mostly equipped with a patch antenna – accordingly the antenna stub is missing (exceptions: 86i/86s)

The following pictures show four typical GPS models (from left: 66st, 64sx, 86i, 78s; ©Garmin)

GPSMAP 66st
GPSMAP 66st
GPSMAP 64sx
GPSMAP 64sx
GPSMAP 66i
GPSMAP 66i
GPSMAP 78s
GPSMAP 78s

How has the GPSMAP series evolved over the years?

The Garmin GPSMAP success story began in 2001 with the GPSMAP 76 marine unit and in 2003 with the GPSMAP 60C outdoor unit!

The models in detail

Outdoor

  • 60C / 60CS
  • 60Cx / 60CSx
  • 62 / 62s / 62st
  • 62sc / 62stc
  • 64 / 64s / 64st / 64sc
  • 64x / 64sx / 64csx
  • 65* / 65s*
  • 66s / 66st / 66i / 66sr*

* 2020

Marine

  • 76
  • 76s
  • 76C / 76CS
  • 76Cx / 76CSx
  • 78 / 78s / 78sc
  • 86s / 86i
Garmin GPSMAP outdoor handhelds
Garmin GPSMAP outdoor handhelds: 60Cx, 62st, 64s, 64sx, 65s, 66s, 66sr

Which GPSMAP devices are available 2021?

Outdoor devices (*)

  • GPSMAP 66 series (66i, 66s, 66st, 66sr)
  • GPSMAP 65 series (65, 65s)
  • GPSMAP 64 series (64x, 64sx, 64csx)

Marine devices (*)

  • GPSMAP 86 series (86i, 86s, 86sc, 86sci)
  • GPSMAP 78 series (78, 78s, 78sc)

(*) depending on your country

  • Large 2.6” sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing
  • Expanded global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and multi-band technology allow you to get optimal accuracy in challenging locations, including steep country, urban canyons and forests with dense trees
  • Includes routable TopoActive mapping and federal public land map (U.S. only)
  • Go-anywhere navigation with 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter
  • Compatible with the Garmin Explore website and app (compatible smartphone required) to help you manage tracks, routes and waypoints and review statistics from the field
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
×
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Garmin GPSMAP outdoor handhelds – buyer’s guide

GPSMAP – suggested outdoor and cycling activities

Depending on the model, the GPSMAP outdoor handheld devices are particularly suitable for

  • Mountaineering (*)
  • Bicycle touring
  • Mountain biking
  • Kayaking (*)
  • Trekking (*)
  • Long distance hiking (*)
  • Hiking
  • Geocaching

(*) especially 64 and 65 series

How do the GPSMAP outdoor devices differ?

GPSMAP 64 series

The GPSMAP 64 series is currently represented by the 64x, the 64sx and the 64csx. The 64sx and the 64csx have the following functions compared to the 64x:

  • ANT+ & Bluetooth LE to connect to a smartphone or to sensors
  • Smartphone notifications and live tracking
  • Sending and receiving data wirelessly from compatible Garmin outdoor devices (e.g. tracks, routes, waypoints, geocaches)
  • Data exchange via the Explore App
  • 3-axis compass for accurate directional information when stationary or at low speeds
  • Barometric altimeter for exact altitude readings or for weather forecasting
  • 8 MP camera and flashlight (64csx only)
GPSMAP 66sr - weather station
GPSMAP 66sr – weather station

Compared to the predecessors (64, 64sx, 64st), the current models (64x, 64sx, 64csx) offer with Galileo an additional satellite system, more internal memory (8 GB vs. 4 GB) and a few small changes in the menu.

GPSMAP 65 series

The brand new 65 and 65s models stand out from the GPSMAP 64x series as follows:

  • Multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, OZSS, IRNSS)
  • Multi-Band L1/L5 (GPS) and E1/E5a (Galileo) frequencies
  • No SBAS (WAAS/EGNOS) (? still to be confirmed)
  • Preinstalled TopoActive maps (routable)
  • 16 GB internal memory

GPSMAP 66 series

The models differ as follows:

  • The 66st has pre-loaded maps (*) compared to the 66s.
  • The 66i also features inReach technology (communication via Iridium satellites) and a built-in lithium battery.
  • The 66sr has multi-GNSS & multi-band (same as the 65 series), a built-in lithium battery (same as the 66i) and the tone volume is controllable.

(*) depending on your country

The GPSMAP 66s, 66st and 66sr offer additional features over the 64 and 65 models (selection):

  • Large 3-inch display
  • Universal connectivity via ANT+, Bluetooth & Wi-Fi
  • RINEX logging and EPO download
  • Additional online functions via smartphone (geocaching live, weather)
  • Extensions with Garmin Connect IQ apps (e.g. gimporter, komoot), widgets and data fields
  • Compatible with the Garmin Explore app (also: 64s, 64sx, 65, 65s)
  • Expedition mode for extra long battery life
  • LED Flashlight
  • Download BirdsEye satellite images via Wi-Fi (free subscription included)

With the GPSMAP 66i it is even more:

  • Worldwide communication independent of the mobile network via the Iridium satellite system (inReach technology)
  • Send SOS messages
  • Send & Receive Text Messages

The latest GPSMAP 66sr offers additional features:

  • Extra bright display
  • Super accurate GNSS receiver (also 65 series; however, all GPSMAP devices provide a great satellite reception and accuracy)
  • Adjustable tone volume
  • Long battery life
Garmin GPSMAP 65s
Garmin GPSMAP 65s

Comparison – GPSMAP 66s/66st vs. 66sr vs. 65s vs. 64sx

GPSMAP 66s / 66st GPSMAP 66sr GPSMAP 65s GPSMAP 64sx
Reviews GPSMAP 66s/st GPSMAP 66sr GPSMAP 65s GPSMAP 64sx
Suggested retail price $399,99 (66s) / $449,99 (66st) $499,99 $399,99 $449,99
Year 2018 2020 2020 2019
Dimensions (cm) 6,2 x 16,3 x 3,5 6,2 x 16,3 x 3,5 6,1 x 16 x 3,6 6,1 x 16 x 3,6
Weight (weighted) 215 g (incl. lithium batteries) 231 g 201 g (incl. lithium batteries) 202 g (incl. lithium batteries)
Display
  • transflective color TFT
  • 3″
  • 3,8 x 6,3 cm
  • 240×400 pixels
  • 4.010 pixels/cm²
  • transflective color TFT
  • 3″
  • 3,8 x 6,3 cm
  • 240×400 pixels
  • 4.010 pixels/cm²
  • transflective color TFT
  • 65.000 colors
  • 2,6″
  • 3,6 x 5,5 cm
  • 160×240 pixels
  • 1.940 pixels/cm²
  • transflective color TFT
  • 65.000 colors
  • 2,6″
  • 3,6 x 5,5 cm
  • 160×240 pixels
  • 1.940 pixels/cm²
Battery
  • 2x AA
  • NiMH battery pack (rechargeable in device)
  • internal lithium-ion
  • not interchangeable
  • rechargeable in device
  • 2x AA
  • NiMH battery pack (rechargeable in device)
  • 2x AA
  • NiMH battery pack (rechargeable in device)
Battery life
  • 16 h (GPS mode)
  • 170 h (expedition mode)
  • 36 h (GPS mode)
  • 450 h (expedition mode)
  • 16 h (GPS mode)
  • 16 h (GPS mode)
Rating
  • IPX7
  • MIL-STD-810 (thermal, shock, water)
  • IPX7
  • MIL-STD-810 (thermal, shock, water)
  • IPX7
  • IPX7
GPS receiver
  • GPS
  • GPS/GLONASS
  • GPS/GALILEO
  • SBAS (WAAS/EGNOS)
  • RINEX logging (L1 Band)
  • EPO download
  • GPS
  • Multi-GNSS (GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/OZSS/IRNSS)
  • Multi-Band (L1/L5/E5/E5a)
  • RINEX logging (L1 Band)
  • EPO download
  • GPS
  • Multi-GNSS (GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/OZSS/IRNSS)
  • Multi-Band (L1/L5/E5/E5a)
  • GPS
  • GPS/GLONASS
  • GPS/GALILEO
  • SBAS (WAAS/EGNOS)
GPS antenna
  • Quad-Helix
  • Quad-Helix
  • Quad-Helix
  • Quad-Helix
  • External antenna (MCX)
Interfaces
  • High-Speed USB (micro-B)
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth LE
  • Wi-Fi
  • High-Speed USB (micro-B)
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth LE
  • Wi-Fi
  • High-Speed USB (micro-B)
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth LE
  • High-Speed USB (micro-B)
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth LE
device to device transfer
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth
  • ANT+
  • Bluetooth
Memory
  • 16 GB (66s: 15,4 GB available; 66st: 5,5 GB available?)
  • microSD (up to 32 GB)
  • 16 GB (ca. 5,5 GB available)
  • microSD (up to 32 GB)
  • 16 GB (8,4 GB available)
  • microSD (up to 32 GB)
  • 8 GB (7,7 GB available)
  • microSD (up to 32 GB)
Output format
  • FIT
  • GPX/FIT
  • FIT
  • GPX/FIT
  • GPX
  • GPX
Sensors internal
  • Barometric altimeter
  • 3-axis compass
  • Barometric altimeter
  • 3-axis compass
  • Barometric altimeter
  • 3-axis compass
  • Barometric altimeter
  • 3-axis compass
Sensors / devices external
  • ANT+ (heart rate, speed, cadence, speed/cadence combined, temperature, chirp, Virb, inReach Mini, XERO)
  • Bluetooth (heart rate, speed, cadence, speed/cadence combined)
  • ANT+ (heart rate, speed, cadence, speed/cadence combined, temperature, chirp, Virb, inReach Mini, XERO)
  • Bluetooth (heart rate, speed, cadence, speed/cadence combined)
  • ANT+ (heart rate, speed, cadence, speed/cadence combined, temperature, chirp, Virb)
  • ANT+ (heart rate, speed, cadence, speed/cadence combined, temperature, chirp, Virb)
Sound
  • Buzzer
  • not adjustable
  • Buzzer
  • adjustable (5 levels)
  • Buzzer
  • not adjustable
  • Buzzer
  • not adjustable
Maps (pre-installed)
  • basemap
  • topographic (not routable) (66st only)
  • BirdsEye subscription
  • basemap
  • TopoActive (routable)
  • BirdsEye subscription
  • basemap
  • TopoActive (routable)
  • basemap
Data
  • 20.000 points per track log
  • 2.000 gpx files
  • 250 saved gpx tracks
  • 2.000 archived tracks
  • 300 saved fit activities
  • 10.000 waypoints
  • 250 routes (250 points each, 50 points for on-road
  • Geocaches without limit (depending on the memory) (GPX/GGZ)
  • 15.000 map segments
  • 500 custom map tiles
  • 250 BirdsEye maps
  • 20.000 points per track log
  • 2.000 gpx files
  • 250 saved gpx tracks
  • 2.000 archived tracks
  • 300 saved fit activities
  • 10.000 waypoints
  • 250 routes (250 points each, 50 points for on-road
  • Geocaches without limit (depending on the memory) (GPX/GGZ)
  • 15.000 map segments
  • 500 custom map tiles
  • 250 BirdsEye maps
  • 10.000 points per track log
  • 2.000 gpx files
  • 200 saved gpx tracks
  • 2.000 archived tracks
  • 5.000 waypoints
  • 200 routes (250 points each, 50 points for on-road)
  • Geocaches without limit (depending on the memory) (GPX/GGZ)
  • 3.000 map segments
  • 500 custom map tiles
  • 250 BirdsEye maps
  • 10.000 points per track log
  • 2.000 gpx files
  • 200 saved gpx tracks
  • 2.000 archived tracks
  • 5.000 waypoints
  • 200 routes (250 points each, 50 points for on-road)
  • Geocaches without limit (depending on the memory) (GPX/GGZ)
  • 3.000 map segments
  • 500 custom map tiles
  • 250 BirdsEye maps
Navigation
(in addition to Garmin standard features)
  • ActiveRouting
  • Roundtrip routing
  • ActiveRouting
  • Roundtrip routing
  • ActiveRouting
  • ActiveRouting
Geocaching
  • Paperless
  • Geocaching Live
  • Paperless
  • Geocaching Live
  • Paperless
  • Paperless
Smartphone apps
  • Garmin Connect
  • Garmin Connect IQ
  • Garmin Explore
  • Garmin Connect
  • Garmin Connect IQ
  • Garmin Explore
  • Garmin Connect
  • Garmin Explore
  • Garmin Connect
  • Garmin Explore
Online
(*: Bluetooth, **: Wi-Fi)
  • Live geocaching (*/**)
  • Smartphone notifications (*)
  • Connect IQ (*)
  • Weather (*/**)
  • Downloading tracks, routes, waypoints (*)
  • EPO download (*/**)
  • LiveTrack (*)
  • Activity upload (Garmin Connect) (*/**)
  • Software updates (*/**)
  • BirdsEye download (**)
  • Live geocaching (*/**)
  • Smartphone notifications (*)
  • Connect IQ (*)
  • Weather (*/**)
  • Downloading tracks, routes, waypoints (*)
  • EPO download (*/**)
  • LiveTrack (*)
  • Activity upload (Garmin Connect) (*/**)
  • Software updates (*/**)
  • BirdsEye download (**)
  • Smartphone notifications (*)
  • Downloading tracks, routes, waypoints (*)
  • EPO download (*/**)
  • LiveTrack (*)
  • Smartphone notifications (*)
  • Downloading tracks, routes, waypoints (*)
  • EPO download (*/**)
  • LiveTrack (*)
Connect IQ Apps, widgets, data fields Apps, widgets, data fields not compatible not compatible
Diverse
  • Recording controls
  • Expedition mode
  • Prefix/Suffix for waypoints
  • LED flashlight with SOS
  • Recording controls
  • Expedition mode
  • Prefix/Suffix for waypoints
  • LED flashlight with SOS
  • Batterieverordnung: Batterieverordnung Sie sind gesetzlich verpflichtet, Batterien zurückzugeben. Sie können diese nach Gebrauch in einer unserer Filialen oder in einer kommunalen Sammelstelle vor Ort zurückgeben. Hinweis nach BattV Batterien und Akkus gehören nicht in den Hausmüll. Verbraucher sind gesetztlich verpflichtet, gebrauchte Batterien zurückzugeben.
  • Elektroschrott: Elektro- und Elektronikgeräte gehören nicht in den Hausmüll. Hierfür stehen Ihnen städtische und kommunale Sammelstellen zur Verfügung. Die Sammlung der Elektro- und Elektronikgeräte ermöglicht das Recycling von Wertstoffen, die Wiederverwendung und die ordnungsgemäße sowie gefahrenlose Entsorgung.
  • Teile tierischen Ursprungs: Nein
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
×
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.de/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Garmin GPSMAP 66sr
Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Garmin GPSMAP outdoor handhelds?

Advantages of the GPSMAP outdoor devices

All models

  • Excellent GPS reception by GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, SBAS or by GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, IRNSS in combination with L1/L5/E1/E5a frequencies
  • Helix antenna
  • Excellent displays
  • Very good battery life
  • Operation with gloves
  • Keyboards on the front (practical for cyclists)
  • Illuminated keyboards
  • More than sufficient memory space
  • All important outdoor functions
  • ActiveRouting technology (activity specific routing)
  • Paperless geocaching
  • Data transfer from device to device (not GPSMAP 64x)
  • Large selection of commercial maps from Garmin
  • Compatible with free OSM maps
  • Waterproof & rugged
  • Proven design & functionality

GPSMAP 64 series

  • Lighter and handier than the 66 series
  • External GPS antenna connector
  • Reliable software
  • No "unfortunate" combination of GPX tracks and FIT activities
  • Compatible with Garmin Explore (models with Bluetooth)

GPSMAP 65 series

  • Multi-GNSS & multi-band
  • Compatible with Garmin Explore
  • Otherwise similar to the 64 series (but no external antenna is possible)

GPSMAP 66 series

  • Best-of-class GNSS reception (especially the 66sr with multi-GNSS & multi-band)
  • Immense range of functions
  • Connectivity
  • Large displays
  • Bright displays (especially 66sr)
  • Plenty of memory for waypoints, routes and tracks
  • Tracks with 20,000 points
  • RoundTrip routing
  • Connect IQ (installation of apps, data fields, widgets)
  • Compatible with Garmin Explore
  • Track download via Bluetooth
  • Built to military standard MIL-STD-810
  • RINEX logging and EPO download
  • Batterieverordnung: Batterieverordnung Sie sind gesetzlich verpflichtet, Batterien zurückzugeben. Sie können diese nach Gebrauch in einer unserer Filialen oder in einer kommunalen Sammelstelle vor Ort zurückgeben. Hinweis nach BattV Batterien und Akkus gehören nicht in den Hausmüll. Verbraucher sind gesetztlich verpflichtet, gebrauchte Batterien zurückzugeben.
  • Elektroschrott: Elektro- und Elektronikgeräte gehören nicht in den Hausmüll. Hierfür stehen Ihnen städtische und kommunale Sammelstellen zur Verfügung. Die Sammlung der Elektro- und Elektronikgeräte ermöglicht das Recycling von Wertstoffen, die Wiederverwendung und die ordnungsgemäße sowie gefahrenlose Entsorgung.
  • Teile tierischen Ursprungs: Nein
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
×
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.de/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Weaknesses of the Garmin GPSMAP outdoor devices

All models

  • Due to the protruding helix antenna they do not fit in every pocket.
  • Not everybody likes the size.
  • The operation via keyboard might not be loved by touch screen fans.

GPSMAP 64 series & GPSMAP 65 series

  • Outdated USB interface
  • Relatively small display
  • Low display resolution
  • Position determination after power-on takes a comparatively long time (only 64x/64sx)

GPSMAP 66 series

  • Quite big and heavy
  • Not so handy
  • Switching off the battery save mode is only possible via on/off key
  • No connection for an external GPS antenna
  • No USB-C
  • Fixed battery pack (66sr & 66i only)

GPSMAP reviews

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