Saturday, September 8, 2007

Do you own or have a favorite GPS unit

I own a discontinued Garmin model, GPS III Plus, I find it meets all my needs and more, although I wish it had a stationary compass. The compass only works while moving.

I'm shopping for a unit for my 19 yo son.

I'm looking at these two: link

Anyone have any opinions or comments?


darrell said...

Garmin Legend with digital compass.

Tom James said...


I looked at the specs on all the Legend models and didn't see a compass?

Andy said...

I'll chime in for the basic, compact gps. I carry the very basic eTrex. It does just great for marking favorite hunting spots and marking where I left the truck.

One thing I would add to consideration is the reception. There are times in a valley or under heavy forest cover where the basic gps doesn't cut it. If I were to choose a more expensive model, it would be for reception.

Tom James said...

Thanks for the input guys.

I think I'm going to choose the Garmin 60 Csx

Walmart has it for 346.98 and garmin is offering a $50 dollar rebate

Here's a good review I found.

You will find plenty of reviews on the web for this unit so I will point out the “gotchas” that come with buying this unit and my experiences thus far.

I had been doing my research regarding a good multipurpose GPS unit that was affordable yet functional in 3 areas: cycling, hiking and driving. The unit is a bit big for the bike considering I am upgrading form a small cyclometer unit about the size of a time piece or large wristwatch. The 60CSx met my criteria which were to be able to upload topo maps, customized routes, expandable memory, waterproof…well I won’t rehash all of its features here. Overall this unit rocks, I just wish it was a tad smaller.

I purchased this unit directly through since it was comparable in price compared to most online sellers. In fact it was one of the lowest and the reason I decided to buy through was because if the unit was damaged, defective, etc. I could take it back to a local store and not have to deal with the hassle of trying to do a return with an online reseller, paying shipping and dealing with a customer support rep. This was just easier. Also note that Garmin was offering a $50 rebate for this unit which got the price under $300 dollars which factored into my decision for this unit. Most other resellers were asking over $400 to start.

I used the site to store option which saved me about $9.00 which in hindsight I should have paid for shipping. This way I could have had tracking which would have been helpful because I really wanted to know if the unit would arrive prior to my vacation. Due to my impatience I had to call the store daily to see if it had arrived. The phone calls were unnecessary on my part; the moment the unit arrived and was received into stock I immediately received my confirmation email alerting me to its arrival. Overall it took 8 business days to arrive (13 total) using site to store.

Once I got the unit it was almost everything Garmin promised but because I did my homework while waiting for the unit I knew of its shortcomings. The unit comes with a US basemap only which if all you need is to drive around on the major highways that is all you will be able to do. You must prepare yourself to spend $70 to $200 more for purchasing more detailed maps that you can actually use off of the interstate highways. Out of the box I could not even find my street in a major metroplex. The auto routing feature is limited when using the basemap but drastically improves when you upgrade the map which I recommend City Navigator or the earlier Metroguide.

Please do your homework and research before purchasing this unit or similar so that you know the out of the box limitations. Once you realize that this is $400-$600 dollar unit after upgrades you will be quite satisfied and thoroughly pleased owner of a 60CSx. If you own a computer you will benefit greatly with the MapSource software and possibly save more money in the upgrade process by not having to buy additional microSD cards.