Garmin GPSMAP 62
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: €250
The GPSMAP 62 is a fantastic choice for geocachers in particular. Easy to use, rugged and waterproof, its only real weakness is the lack of an SD slot (to be found in slightly more expensive 62s).
- Free OSM maps galore
- Rugged case
- Good screen
- Regular firmware updates
- Lack of SD slot (as advertised)
- BaseCamp software
We bought this device back in November 2010, and it has seen hundreds of hours of action since then. It never failed to deliver, even in difficult terrain and weather conditions.
The product comes in a nice package. The quick start manual is adequate. The lanyard is still good as new after two years of heavy use.
Construction and Durabilty
The device feels good in the hand. Its narrow design makes it easy to hold firmly even for small hands.
Our GPSMap has by now survived several drops from trees and facades and into lakes and ponds, but is still intact.
The screen is sufficiently large and excellent to read even in difficult lighting conditions.
Battery life is great. Using Eneloops, we hardly ever have to change batteries more than once during one day of caching. 6-8 hours are to be expcected.
The rocker used to navigate the device works well. Entering text is nothing I would recommend to anyone but the very patient, but entering waypoint co-ordinates works well. Even when wearing heavy winter gloves, the device is easy to use. The only drawback is that using our climbing gloves, we have by now managed to wear off the surface of the rocker and most buttons, but they are still readable.
The lack of an SD card slot is the only real con. You will have to purchase the GPSMap 62s if you want one, and I would strongly suggest that you do if you intend to load the device with larger maps or images.
The most important feature in GPS receiver, though, is its GPS hardware. The GPSMap 62 sports a "quad helix antenna and high-sensitivity, WAAS/EGNOS-enabled GPS receiver with HotFix® satellite prediction" according to the manufacturer. And indeed, reception is excellent, making locating one's position fast and precisely a routine. Even in difficult terrain (heavy foliage, valleys), the device picks up and keeps it fix well.
With recent firmware revisions, the GPSMap 62 has become a great choice for paperless geocaching. Loading the device with caches using GSAK (the Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) is easy enough. There is a limit on the number of waypoints and geocaches that can be loaded onto the device, but we never bumped it.
Cache descriptions are detailled, and the converter for HTML descriptions on geocaching.com works well. It would be nice if the device supported inline images, though.
The firmware is adequately responsive. Both OSM and Garmin's proprietary Topo maps work well even with details set to high.
Garmin offers free firmware upgrades although the device has been in the market for quite some time now. Recent beta versions offer the much missed capability of different routing profiles (car, hiking, pedestrian and more) that work even with OSM maps.
BaseCamp - Garmin's PC software
BaseCamp has much improved since we first used it. It is still a little slow, but does everything we need it to do, and does it well. Geotagging photos is a breeze, cache and waypoint handling are great (unless you compare it with dedicated geocaching tools like GSAK or OCM), and map handling is also good (including track and route management).
We bought the Garmin with a Topo 100 for Germany. We would not buy another because OSM material has become so good that the commercial map does not offer any advantages that would justify spending another €100 or more.
What a great device. We bought a Magellan eXplorist 510 earlier this year, and the GPSMap 62 outperforms it by leaps and bounds for our purposes. It may look a little old fashioned, and its rocker input mechanism may also look dated compared to modern touch screen devices. But where the GPSMap 62 really shines is under heavy conditions. Bunkers, trees, snow, heavy rain — it never failed to deliver. We like it a lot, and highly recommend it.
Only caveat: If you can spare the premium, do get the 62s with its SD card slot by any means — you will not regret it.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The rugged Garmin GPSMAP 62 GPS sports a sleek, waterproof design that includes a crisp color screen, support for satellite imagery, and a reliable quad helix antenna with a high-sensitivity receiver. Built-in worldwide basemap with shaded relief helps you navigate with ease; photo navigation lets you download Garmin Connect(TM) photos and navigate to their locations. Quad helix antenna and high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled receiver with Hotfix(R) satellite prediction locate your position quickly and maintain reception under heavy cover. 1.7 gigabytes of onboard memory make it easy to add maps; choose from Garmin's wide array of detailed topographic, marine and road maps (sold separately). Garmin GPSMAP 62 supports BirdsEye(TM) satellite imagery (subscription required) that lets you download satellite images and integrate them with your maps. Compatible with free Custom Maps software that transforms paper and electronic maps into downloadable files. Easily connect GPSMAP 62 to your computer and the Internet to get a detailed analysis of your activities and add tracks using Garmin Connect(TM). Garmin Connect(TM) lets you map your movements on Google Earth, explore routes uploaded by other Garmin users and share your experiences on social networking sites. Supports OpenCaching.com GPX files for downloading detailed geocache descriptions, terrain, difficulty and hints directly into GPS unit; visit OpenCaching.com to start! Waterproof design meets IEC 60529 lPX7 standards (can be submerged to 1m for up to 30 min.). Comes with a wrist strap, USB cable and quick start manual.
Garmin's GPSMAPs sensitive antennas keep you moving in the right direction, the 62s & 62st have a compass and barometric altimeter for even more precision. The 62s & 62st accept microSD cards for extra memory, and the 62st comes preloaded built-in U.S. 100k topographic data for the continental U.S. and a worldwide basemap.
- Mountain Gear
When the terrain gets tough, you can depend on the GPSMAP 62 handheld navigator to guide you through. Inspired by the powerful GPSMAP 60 series, this rugged and waterproof GPS combines high-precision accuracy with high functionality to brave the demands of any terrain you dare to tackle wherever the adventure, whatever the activity. GPSMAP 62S has a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass. Its barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude. View elevation and profile on the altimeter screen and you can even plot barometric pressure over time to keep an eye on changing weather conditions. With GPSMAP 62S you can also share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with other compatible Garmin GPS handhelds.
- Altrec Outdoors