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      The Best Hiking GPS of 2021     

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schweady
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05/11/2021 03:32PM  
Well, according to besthiking.net, anyway.
The Best Hiking GPS of 2021

I thought I'd post this for those still looking for the "right" gps. Well written, current, and particularly spot-on in most respects. A good comparison chart. I agree with just about everything in the article; I feel like I could have written much of the same myself, save my limited experience with touchscreen-equipped models. The only real surprise was the lack of mention of any Garmin 66-series models, given the February 2021 posting date.
 
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05/11/2021 04:34PM  
Yeah, basically the 64 on mild steroids. I wonder about that also!
But then the article's date and the time frame of the comparison may put it just before the 66 release.

butthead
 
Wayouttroy
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05/12/2021 11:06AM  
Been looking at getting the Garmin Inreach Explorer+, mostly for the satellite communications feature. What is your opinion on this GPS?
 
schweady
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05/12/2021 04:43PM  
I have the (very similar, older) DeLorme InReachSE. Enjoy it very much for the peace of mind. SOS feature, obviously. Also, the ability to send an 'I'm OK'-type of text with the automatically updated map location to folks at home. (I have told them no need to reply, although the infrequent times that they do provide added assurance that the messages are getting through.)

I don't rely on it for any sort of navigation; the mapping is too rudimentary for that. I use my Garmin 64st and McKenzie paper maps for that.
 
05/12/2021 05:39PM  
Pretty much the same opinion after an in use demo with a Garmin product developer.

butthead
 
Savage Voyageur
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05/12/2021 07:02PM  
Wayouttroy: "Been looking at getting the Garmin Inreach Explorer+, mostly for the satellite communications feature. What is your opinion on this GPS? "


I have the InReach Explorer + unit for about a year now so I’m really familiar with it. If you are going to primary use it for the satellite communication feature then by all means get it. It is an awesome unit. At the time I bought it there was not an option for weather on the new 66i units that were out, now they also have the weather forecast feature. I use the InReach for the communication and weather. For navigation I use my Garmin Montana 650t because it has better mapping. If you are starting out from scratch and do not own a GPS I would suggest looking at the 66i. It has good GPS mapping and the satellite communication feature. The InReach mapping feature i would give a B-. The 66i mapping I would give an A+. For me it’s no big deal because I only use my InReach Mapping as a backup for my older Garmin Montana with a 24000 topo chip.
 
Wayouttroy
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05/12/2021 08:40PM  
Thanks for the replies, gave me somethings to consider. The main reason for the Inreach vs the 66i was cost, Savage Voyager you make good points. There are good reviews on the 66i, the only concern with 66i is battery life, but things can be shut down to conserve battery life.
 
Savage Voyageur
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05/12/2021 09:46PM  
Wayouttroy: "Thanks for the replies, gave me somethings to consider. The main reason for the Inreach vs the 66i was cost, Savage Voyager you make good points. There are good reviews on the 66i, the only concern with 66i is battery life, but things can be shut down to conserve battery life."


You bring up a great point. It’s always about power and memory with electronics. This unit has a rechargeable, internal lithium-ion battery. Not a replaceable battery? This is a bummer in my opinion and I have no idea why Garmin went this way. Same as my InReach a rechargeable, internal lithium-ion. So I take a portable battery pack to recharge my InReach in the field. My Garmin Montana 650t has a replaceable rechargeable, lithium-ion battery, a spare battery and the option for 3-AA batteries. That is a huge bonus and that’s why I use my Montana for navigation. I save my internal battery in my InReach for communication and weather and possibly a SOS rescue.

Sorry I apologize for the hijack, just trying to help
 
05/12/2021 09:52PM  
The 66i is one of a series of 66 units. st for $450, uses 2 AA but 1/2 the battery life, i includes Inreach $600, sr has multi-band capability for better accuracy $500. Most of the rest of the specs are shared.

butthead
 
05/13/2021 07:56AM  
Just for an exercise in reading reviews online go to REI website and look for Garmin 66 series. Lots of rants about 66st and 66i, full 5 stars for 66sr. The basic operating system and electronics are the same thru-out the line. That's why I have little trust for online reviewers.

butthead
 
Wayouttroy
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05/13/2021 09:37AM  
Butthead, Great point and thanks for pointing that out.
 
schweady
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05/13/2021 07:13PM  
Here are some tables of specs on several current Garmin gps models (plus the recently discontinued 64st). Yes, you can search and make these comparisons online, but it helped me to see the specs formatted in charts like this, side-by-side. Pricing as of April 2021.

64st:






65s:






66i:






66sr:






66st:






86i:

 
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