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GPS Recommendations

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Mods, if this thread is in the wrong place, just move it along. I wasn't sure where it fit.
=================

I can get lost in a phone booth. Really. So it's time to buy a GPS.

What have you used and what would you recommend? I'd prefer one that's portable, easy to read at night as well as during the daylight hours, and simple to program.

Thanks, Bears!
post #2 of 29
When my Vista started acting weird I did a bit of research and if I were to pull the trigger on one it would probably be the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx GPS



or it's floatable cousin, the Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx GPS



What computer system are you using?

For Mac check out MacGPS Pro.

For PC, The National Geographic maps look very good.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I followed the link and read some reviews. Sounds like it's excellent on the trails, though I'd use it a lot for driving as my work takes me all over the place and these days it's often easier to drive than fly and do the car rental thang.
post #4 of 29
Are you looking at a talking one and purely for vehicles, yet portable?

FTR, if you are on a Mac laptop, you can hook up a GPS while driving and use MacGPs pro and any maps you have installed. Not sure about PC options. It allows you to set up routes ahead of time on your computer.

You can also mount handhelds in vehicles and bikes, boats, llamas, etc...
post #5 of 29
I got my wife (who suffers from the same "phone booth" affliction) the Garmin nuvi650 for Christmas last year and she has been happy with it. It doesn't have many advanced features (built in traffic, bluetooth, etc.), but the widescreen and announced street names are nice - https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=31944 Its apparently discontinued now - so maybe you can find a good deal.
post #6 of 29
Sugarcube, I've been looking for a GPS for sport purposes, (skiing/mtbiking) and while doing a search, found this review from Philpug
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ghlight=Garmin
I'm sure there are newer versions, such as Scott posted, but this sounds like a decent option.
post #7 of 29
I think what you want for sports and driving cars are not really compatible. I don't have a car GPS, but I've borrowed them and thought they were wonderful. But I tried to navigate using the GPS on my son's iPhone (which is more like a sport model) and found it not very helpful at all.

I do have a very old, no-longer-waterproof Garmin 301 which I like for skiing. It can hook up to my laptop, but I've never considered using it for navigation. (Other than making sure it was in the car in case I got really, really, really lost.)

(The 301 is getting cranky -- it eats batteries a lot faster than it used to, and turns itself off for no reason sometimes. I'd like to replace it with another toy, but they all seem to be quite a bit larger now. Any suggestions on good, small GPS's that record data and can dump it to a computer?)
post #8 of 29
The Garmin etrex Vista is worth considering, mdf. It's light and small 4" or so and has been for years. You can accessorize it (FWIW, I mount it on my bike). I'm with you, a handheld is far more useful and versatile, IMO.

post #9 of 29
I don't know if they make a handheld model, but I am hearing good things about TomTom and surprisingly I also heard that they are the worlds largest GPS manufacturer....I always thought Garmin was the leader.
post #10 of 29
My wife also has the Nuvi and loves it. We just bought the Nuvi 650 for my inlaws too. You can get one from Amazon for a good price right now with free shipping as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-650-4-3...816 47&sr=8-1
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I think what you want for sports and driving cars are not really compatible. I don't have a car GPS, but I've borrowed them and thought they were wonderful. But I tried to navigate using the GPS on my son's iPhone (which is more like a sport model) and found it not very helpful at all.

I do have a very old, no-longer-waterproof Garmin 301 which I like for skiing. It can hook up to my laptop, but I've never considered using it for navigation. (Other than making sure it was in the car in case I got really, really, really lost.)

(The 301 is getting cranky -- it eats batteries a lot faster than it used to, and turns itself off for no reason sometimes. I'd like to replace it with another toy, but they all seem to be quite a bit larger now. Any suggestions on good, small GPS's that record data and can dump it to a computer?)
The small amount of research I've done in this, thus far, suggests the same thing.
I'm leaning toward the Garmin Vista HCx.
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145&pID=8703
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
I don't know if they make a handheld model, but I am hearing good things about TomTom and surprisingly I also heard that they are the worlds largest GPS manufacturer....I always thought Garmin was the leader.
Dude, buy American. (Tom Tom = French)

You already have the SUV.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
The small amount of research I've done in this, thus far, suggests the same thing.
I'm leaning toward the Garmin Vista HCx.
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145&pID=8703
Garmin eTrex Vista HCx is a lovely little handheld unit. Had mine for a year now and I love it. I upgraded from a slow-but-steady black & white Legend which is why I kept with the handy eTrex format. Sensitivity with the MediaTek chipset is fantastic - full satellite coverage in your living room!

The 60CSx has a bigger display, very reliable SIRFstar-III chipset, a few more bells and whistles. Its physically bigger than the Vista, but it also packs a helix-antenna which in theory is better than the Vista's patch-antenna.

If you don't need an electronic compass and barometric altimeter you can save a few $$s on either model by buying the eTrex Legend HCx or the 60Cx respectively. With a dash mount the 60CSx/Cx is an okay satnav for the car, though a Nüvi is better.

For the handheld units you'll need to buy either Topo maps for hiking or City Navigator for driving. Remember to factor in the cost of maps.

I have a Nüvi 660 for the car. Again, I'm very happy with it. It came with City Navigator Europe 2008 NT. The US models obviously come with CN US 2008 NT instead. You can load Topo maps onto a Nüvi but its not waterproof and not great as a handheld.

Which brings us to the latest, greatest offerings from Garmin.

The Nüvi 5xx series is apparently waterproof and ruggedized making it a better hiking option than previous Nüvis. Still primarily a car/motorbike navigator though.

And finally the Oregon series - touchscreen handhelds which are aimed primarily at the outdoor users. Add a car mount and City Navigator and with their touchscreens I bet they'd be just about the best all-round compromise models out there.

I'm very happy with the Vista HCx and the Nüvi 660. I hike, geocache and drive a decent amount and I've got all the bases covered.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Are you looking at a talking one and purely for vehicles, yet portable?

You can also mount handhelds in vehicles and bikes, boats, llamas, etc...
Terry, yes, I see this primarily as a driving tool, but with the option of taking it out to use on foot, ski, llama, etc. (Like the llama option--a real must! )

I'm forever printing out maps and most of the time they're accurate but sometimes they're not. Another advantage is being able to take it with me when I have to rent cars in unknown cities; instead of spending client's money on cars with them installed, I just bring my own. Beats reading maps at 11:00 p.m. when you're already sleepy!

Thanks to all for your thoughts here--I will begin my research (as soon as I get home from yet another driving trip!)!
post #15 of 29
I am very happy with Garmin GPSMAP76CS. The newer csx reads cards. A bigger screen and voice commands would be nice for the car, but then I would lose portability for skiing, canoeing etcetera. Occasionally, hey rebuid the highway and it tells you you are off-route. When the battery gets low, it can give wierd results. Other than that, thereare no problems.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well, I just pulled the trigger on a Garmin nuvi 660. Pretty good pricing at Amazon, and it's got features that should keep me confused and entertained for months to come.
post #17 of 29
This is actually the same unit I have. Its great for receiving calls hands-free, and even works on the motorcycle.

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
Well, I just pulled the trigger on a Garmin nuvi 660. Pretty good pricing at Amazon, and it's got features that should keep me confused and entertained for months to come.
You'll love it! My wife finally discovered the bluetooth and will probably get much use from the "ignore caller" feature ;-)

You might want to get this dash mount thingy too. Ours falls off of the windshield when the inside temp changes after we park it so we are going with this instead.

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Portabl...679 64&sr=8-1
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
You might want to get this dash mount thingy too. Ours falls off of the windshield when the inside temp changes after we park it so we are going with this instead.

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Portabl...679 64&sr=8-1
Matt, I did order that little gizmo. Decided if I was going to buy the GPS, best to keep it in one place instead of having it slip-sliding away. And Sadie might think it was a new chew toy!
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
Matt, I did order that little gizmo. Decided if I was going to buy the GPS, best to keep it in one place instead of having it slip-sliding away. And Sadie might think it was a new chew toy!
BTW women take to it right away but men I noticed have to learn to trust it. I still even know better routes that I have never taken!
post #21 of 29
I have a Vista HCx. Upgraded from the non H version and the satellite reception is MUCH better with the HCX version. I use it hiking, mounted on my bike, and in the car.

And for those people that don't want to buy maps. Check this site out. I use the maps put out by garmin but I have heard these are good alternatives. And most of them are free. yes... FREE!!! Some states have more maps available than others. Use at your own risk, your milage may vary, I have not actually tried any of these yet.

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/

Oh, yeah.. These are for Garmin.
post #22 of 29
You can load the openstreetmap onto any garmin unit. Have a look at the map at www.openstreetmap.org

In Europe Coverage around big cities is great and BETTER than any commercial topo map. Especially n the countryside where citypeople go for their workout on mtb or running. On real countryside data is apart from mainstreets however rather nonexisting. With data doubling about every 5 month, progress comes fast however. There are routable maps also available, but last update was in August, sor for OSM this means heavily outdated.

I too use a Vista HCx. For in car use I would probabely buy a cheap car navigation system by Garmin or TomTom. For outdoor in Austria only non PDA option is the Vista an 60CSx IMHO. Oregon still has too many bugs. Battery life on rechargeables is best on Vista HCX (around 25-30hrs) of any handheld, as well as best screen readability.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
Terry, yes, I see this primarily as a driving tool, but with the option of taking it out to use on foot, ski, llama, etc. (Like the llama option--a real must! )
Had to take this shot for ya, SugarCube:


post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
Another advantage is being able to take it with me when I have to rent cars in unknown cities; instead of spending client's money on cars with them installed, I just bring my own.
I have a couple of Garmins, Tom Toms and Magellens scattered around the family that I've handed down, and my favorite is the GPS in my Blackberry. Much better than many of the available units, the software gets updated automatically, and it's one less device you have to take with you, keep charged, bring a cord for, etc.

Excellent software that does a very good job most anywhere. Make life easier and get a great do-all unit - if you travel a lot, you know what I mean.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
I have a couple of Garmins, Tom Toms and Magellens scattered around the family that I've handed down, and my favorite is the GPS in my Blackberry. Much better than many of the available units, the software gets updated automatically, and it's one less device you have to take with you, keep charged, bring a cord for, etc.

Excellent software that does a very good job most anywhere. Make life easier and get a great do-all unit - if you travel a lot, you know what I mean.
The Blackberry is still dependent on cell service not a satellite, correct?
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
The Blackberry is still dependent on cell service not a satellite, correct?
When out of cell range you lose the extremely detailed information, including voice for turns, traffic check etc., but you do get the basic information such as how far to a turn etc.
post #27 of 29
Thanks for this. I downloaded CO topos to my nuvi 200. Should be good for four wheeling.

Steve


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnum420 View Post
I have a Vista HCx. Upgraded from the non H version and the satellite reception is MUCH better with the HCX version. I use it hiking, mounted on my bike, and in the car.

And for those people that don't want to buy maps. Check this site out. I use the maps put out by garmin but I have heard these are good alternatives. And most of them are free. yes... FREE!!! Some states have more maps available than others. Use at your own risk, your milage may vary, I have not actually tried any of these yet.

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/

Oh, yeah.. These are for Garmin.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Had to take this shot for ya, SugarCube:


Ah, it passes the llama test: excellent news! Since I have been adopted again by Sadie the Pit Bull, I wonder if it will pass the PB test??

BTW, my new toy has arrived but I've been too busy to unpack it. Looking forward to getting lost...and found!
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
Well, I just pulled the trigger on a Garmin nuvi 660. Pretty good pricing at Amazon, and it's got features that should keep me confused and entertained for months to come.
Have fun

Now get an 8GB SDHC card and fill it up with mp3 files (and extra maps, audible books etc).
Set the 660 to transmit its output on FM.
Tune the car radio to the FM channel for the 660.
Pair the 660 with your cell phone via Bluetooth (and download your address book) for handsfree operation.

You just got a music player for the car that stops the music to give you directions or else when the phone rings.

Subscribe to the speedtrap/camera updates from Garmin, or find a free source of equivalent data.

And in the States (sadly not in Norway) you should be able to use the TFM accident/roadworks/congestion avoidance system.
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