Garmin has been at the forefront of GPS (Global Positioning System) technology since the early Nineties. However, the company’s recent touchscreen Oregon series was perhaps a low point compared to some more dedicated outdoor GPS receivers. But Garmin could be back on course with the latest GPSmap 62st, which promises much greater performance while displaying the now obligatory OS mapping in full colour on-screen.
The Garmin GPSmap 62st is clearly a development of the GPSmap 60 that won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ back in June 2006, which was just before OS mapping made its appearance on the screens of GPS receivers. So you get a waterproof and rubberised housing with good-sized buttons and an antenna projecting from the top. The screen is similar to most GPS receivers in terms of size, but it is not a touchscreen unit like the Oregon series and the result is clearer detail. The main difficulty I had with the Oregon was the slow on-screen map regeneration, but that problem has been swept aside on the GPSmap 62st as the OS maps rebuild very quickly when scrolling.
Garmin has always had the best GPS receiver operating systems in my view, but they have notched the standard up another level with this receiver, which just makes it easier and quicker to get to the functions you need. On-screen route creation is very easy too.
There are a host of other features that make this attractive to a wide variety of users. However the one drawback is that compared to a Satmap Active 10 the screen is smaller. It is perfectly useable of course and it is actually big enough most of the time in my view. But perhaps you can never have a big enough screen when you are planning routes or when you are trying to navigate in the wind and rain?
Price £400 for GPSmap 62st including worldwide base map and European recreational mapping with street-level detail (excluding OS mapping); £200 Garmin GB Discoverer 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey Mapping All of Great Britain (smaller areas available for less); coming soon: £400 Garmin GPSmap 62s (does not have European recreational mapping) bundled with Garmin GB Discoverer 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey Mapping
Display 3.6x5.4cm colour
Power 2 x AA batteries
Memory MicroSD cards
Computer interface USB port
Weight 218g (inc batteries)
Made in Taiwan
Stockist details – tel. 0808 238 0000; www.garmin.com
The clear OS on-screen mapping coupled with a great operating system and navigational performance make the Garmin GPSmap 62st an excellent choice for hill-walkers.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2010