128 of 131 people found the following review helpful
First a confession: I am a Garmin fan. I previously had a eTrex Legend and when I had problems, Garmin customer support was excellent. I did say in previous reviews that when I came to replace the eTex, I would probably buy another Garmin and, yes, I did.
Now a bit about this device.
From the top:
Startup is slower than my previous model (I guess it is all to do with loading up maps), but once started it seems to lock on immediately.
Maps, being raster rather than vector, can also be a bit slow to load, but once loaded, they are fine. You do get to see the real OS map on the screen (the screen shots with this device don't show this - maybe a copyright issue???), so it is very easy to pick out new routes "on the hoof" depending on your mood as you walk along.
It must also be said that this Garmin is for walking / cycling. You can use it in the car, but the route guidance is not that great and you would do better to buy a device meant for the car rather than this model (and for much less than this model).
Battery life is excellent.
Plotting a track is good, however I must say that I prefer the old "Track and Waypoint Manager" rather than the newer "Basecamp". Maybe that is because I am using the tracklogs OS mapping software which allows me to print off OS maps on A4, so I don;t need to see the OS maps via Basecamp.
I have loaded up KMZ files scanned from paper maps (for Greenland where is no Topo map available - just bought the paper maps and scanned in the areas I needed). These seem to be good, but I will know in a few weeks time when I try using them in Greenland (where the magnetic variation is over 30 degrees) - will be interesting to see how the electronic compass copes with this. I'll report back soon...
Niggles: Only one. When you're out walking, the track that you leave behind you on the screen is very, very hard to see if you've already put in a track to follow. The range of colours don't really let you choose one that stands out nor is there the option to make the track line thicker.
However, with this as the only niggle, I would consider it unfair to award anything other than the full five stars.
UPDATED AS PROMISED
In my original review, I said that I would report back after having loaded my own maps (from scanned JPEGs) onto the device.
I am very please to say that that it all worked very well. I was able to verify how accurately the machine / my alignment of the maps was when I came to the crossroads of two farms tracks. The position shown on the screen was no more than 10 meters out from reality. This gave me significant confidence, particularly when I was on top of a very bleak mountain in a howling gale; I was pretty certain that both my Garmin and my map reading were good and I really did know where I was.
I have also thought, in the original review that I just assumed that people would know how to produce an appropriate KMZ file to load up. If you don't, then here are some basic steps:
- first buy your paper map of the area you wish to scan
- now scan at a resolution of no more than 300 dpi sections or not much more than half a sheet of A4. If you scan much more or in higher resolution, the Garmin won't be able to use the resultant KMZ file
- now open up Google Earth (if you need to load it, just Google its download page and install; it's a pretty neat program)
- view the area of your trip on the screen at a reasonable resolution
- now add in an "overlay" - this is your JPEG. When it is on the screen, it won't be quite right, but fixing that is the next step
- make it semi-transparent by moving the slider control so that you can see both the scanned map and the Google landscape
- drag the JPEG so that the centre crosshairs are accurately aligned with the same feature on the Google image (you might need to chose something close, a crossroads is ideal, but a clear edge of a a lake, or a meandering river can all work nicely as well)
- now drag the corners of your image to stretch / compress the image until it exactly matches the ground, you might need to use the rotate control to get things perfectly aligned. It is worth taking your time over this. If you spend much less than 15 minute on this step, either you have been very lucky/skilled, or you haven't got it exactly right.
- now exit from the overlay mode and you will see the image listed in the top left listing of Google maps it will be highlighted (if not just click on it to highlight)
- save / export the resultant image; this is your kmz file
- finally, when the Garmin is connected, copy this into the custom maps folder.
- When you restart your Garmin, the map should be there in the correct position in the world!!!
If the map doesn't read in, then check that the map is enabled (through the setup menu on the Garmin). If it is, and you got an error when the Garmin started up, my best guess is that you've created a file that is too big. Either reduce the resolution or reduce the area of the scanned image.
Finally, I more than endorse my original view that this is worthy of the full five stars.
Very highly recommended!
I'll put money where my mouth is...
I managed to lose the GPS in the Lake District (my own stupid fault - I drove off leaving it behind and it wasn't there when I returned) and guess what I replaced it with? Yes, exactly the same again. It is certainly the best option for me.
Finally, you may have considered a touchscreen rather than this one. I did. However, with my first one of these, I took a fall in Iceland and put a big scratch in the screen. Had it been a touchscreen, it would have been ruined. However, some serious work with some car chrome cleaner removed the scratch and it was as good as new again. I couldn't have done that to a a touchscreen.
Still highly recommended and, if I could, I would give it Six Stars!
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2010
This is probably the best hiker's GPS presently on the market. It is rugged, waterproof and strongly made, with excellent push buttons to access all the features on the menue. The satellite reception is almost perfect, even under dense trees and rocky outcrops. Battery life with rechargeable AA cels is much better than older Garmin GPS. The screen is clear, better than other Garmin touch screen models, and can be read even in strong sunlight. The ONLY problem, and hence the four stars and not five, is the ability to download into it customs maps. The software limits this to 100 tiles and this for a moden GPS is not good enough. Competitors GPS do not have these limitations. However other features of the GPS are excellent. Almost 5 stars and I hope Garmin will soon resolve this maps issue to earn what would be then, not five, but SIX stars.!!Garmin GPSMAP 62s With Full GB 1:50k Map Bundle
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I have now owned this fantastic device for a few months and have walked hundreds of miles with it.
Before buying, all of the technical stuff within the reviews concerned me a little (and the odd review stating it being difficult to navigate its many functions)... All I can say to that, is please don't worry. I'm no technology genius, and it can be used by anyone to navigate straight out of the box...
Yes, there is a LOT more it can do if you want it to, and all of that does come intuitively the more you use it. I personally think that it is a mistake to buy this and try to comprehensively understand how to use it to its full from day one.
Because of this, I'm just going to discuss the essentials here & a bit about "Basecamp", the free Garmin companion software with which you can plot routes and download them to the device.
You'll have all the time in the world to learn how to use its finer functions...
It seems there are two schools of thought about GPS for outdoor pursuits... The first school states that it is almost a crime to use one either on its own or without the backup of a good map and compass... My school of thought (the second) states that although I can use a map & compass, my time off work is so sporadic that I often have to cram my walking/hiking into half or one day bat best. Navigating with maps does take more time, often necessitates pauses and is very fiddly (consulting a folded paper map in the pouring rain whilst pleasurable to many is not for everyone).
With this device I can plan & download a trip of an evening, then simply follow it on the device without missing a step or missing out on the scenery.
I do always carry a map & compass if walking in an area in which an outright device failure would put me in any danger of getting lost, but these stay firmly in my bag...
In short, if you have a busy life & walk/hike outdoors for the exercise & beauty of your surroundings, then this device will suit you more than most.
Back to the device:
DO NOT BUY THE DEVICE WITH THE PRE LOADED ORDNANCE SURVEY LANDRANGER MAPPING! Why? Because it can be legitimately purchased for as little as £22 elsewhere (you have to Google quite a lot, but it CAN be done). All you do is slide the Micro SD card into the SIM like compartment underneath the batteries. Changing to other SD maps is simply a case of changing the card. Overseas maps can also be purchased for a similar figure. I purchased he Garmin TOPO France card (entire country of quality 1:25 IGN mapping) for just £22 (Garmin direct price £279)!!! All mapping loaded into the device is visible for preparing trips on Basecamp when your device is plugged into the computer via USB. You really need no more. Please note that some SD card mapping takes up to an hour to load onto Basecamp when using it for the first time.
As a matter of interest, some reviewer worked out that to buy all of the download OS maps that you get in the Landranger mapping it would cost an equivalent of over £1000!!!
Yes, SD card mapping is certainly the way to go...
The best batteries to get IMHO are the Energiser Recharge ACCU NIMH 2300 mah. I purchased four with a fab one hour charger for £15. Without the charger they are just £5 for 4. Purported battery life is up to 20 hours, which might just be possible with these energiser cells if backlight was turned down to minimum.
The truth is that you don't really need the backlight anyway, but I haven't even bothered turning mine down, as I still honestly get over 15 hours of use with the Energiser cells as is.
The battery warning guage is a bit of a joke, though, as it shows the full full 4 bars right up to the end. Once it drops to 3 bars, then your batteries are about to go kaput. All you do is take a spare fully charged set & changing them does not even require the current track to be reset. Just pop them in & continue for another 15 hours.
Finally, what's the GPS62s like?
1) It's tough & waterproof (although it won't float).
I use a carabiner clip and para-cord to attach it to a loop on my rucksack. That way I wont lose it & it wont sink to the bottom of a deep a water feature.
2) As stated above, it's battery life isn't beatable by anything else for comparable money. This is a big plus.
3) It will always find adequate satellite reception... It even works in some buildings... Deep forest will not phase it.
4) The device itself is extremely accurate. The Landranger OS 1:50 mapping does occasionally show a slight deviance from the taken path (but not more than, say 10 metres, so it isn't confusing at all).
I am certain that this is generally the fault of the OS mapping (and not the device), as utilising the same satellites the actual path might show slightly to your left only to correct and then drift to your right as you proceed.
Most of the time, it is totally bang-on, and to expect the OS map to be consistently bang on to the nearest foot might be expecting just a little too much.
I have no doubt that the GPS is also not always on the button too, but am convinced most of the anomalies are down to the mapping.
This is just an observation, as the OS UK mapping is just incredible in its detail & really does accurately show just about EVERY right of way you could wish to take. Despite not always being pinpoint accurate, I have never had a moment to pause or doubt where I am supposed to go.
Comparable to the TOPO France mapping (which does not show absolutely all walking paths but is adequate), the OS UK mapping is unbeatable.
I know I have said loads, but I have tried to keep it simple so that first time buyers of this type of technology can have the confidence that they can at least easily get started with this great little device. I have deliberately left all of the other technical abilities out (compass, elevation plotting, distance stat monitoring, barometer, teasmaid... only joking with that one...). as those things are easily learned after buying it if needed.
Finally, a word about basecamp:
The first time using Basecamp to plot your itineraries, you (like me) might find it a little (un) user friendly. All I can suggest is that you stick with it... There are tutorials available online from Garmin, although they are not always that helpful.
Can I suggest that you forget plotting a walk or hike with "route" (create a new route), as "route" is misleading, as it will only follow ROAD contours on mapping & not paths or trails....
To be precise, it will plot the route wherever you place it, but the minute you press "create route", your hard work goes to pot as the software modifies your plotted track to follow all of the surrounding road routes.,...
Always instead use create a new TRACK, and your route will be stored and transferred to your device exactly as you plot it...
I pulled a few follicles out sussing that one out (and in association with the other odd Basecamp foible), I now however completely love the Basecamp software, which DOES become easier to use with time...
It is actually great fun plotting your itineraries (either from walk books or by constructing a totally individual route from the hundreds of available rights of way) & downloading them ready for use to your device (which will hold loads & loads...).
Talking personally, I love walking & this device has honestly improved my walking experience far, far beyond it's actual cost...
I hope that that lot is some help to someone...
70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2012
The 62S is part of the 62 series of GPS receivers from Garmin. It was meant to replace the 60CSX series. The functions are largely the same as the 60CSX, for details of this click here:Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx Handheld
Rather than repeat the information, I'll just say the differences between the two.
First, the price. The 60CSX being "obsolete" now, is half the price of the 62S in the shops. Online it's a little cheaper. However I actually believe, given my experiences of both units, that the 62S should be CHEAPER!
The build quality between the 2 units is also noticeably different. The 60CSX is made from a hard wearing, rubbery plastic, that can take a lot of knocks without much sign of wear, and feels solid and reliable in the hand. The 62S on the other hand is made from a lighter plastic material, which makes the unit feel like a cheap plastic toy in the hand. It also is plagued by problems such as a "squeak" when the side of the unit is squeezed or buttons are pressed. Finally, the material the screen is made from is also highly prone to scratching. Whereas my 60CSX survived years of abuse, getting dragged through all kinds of terrain without any significant scratches on the screen, my 62S survived less than a week before it had a large scratch running down the screen, making it hard to read the text. If you opt for this unit, get a screen protector!
And finally, how the unit handles. I honestly found the technical aspects of the 62S pretty similar to the 60CSX. Accuracy wise they are pretty much the same. If anything I found the 62S took a little longer to get a signal lock than the 60CSX. A pleasant upgrade is the text entry menu is easier to use on the 62 than the 60 series, with a better onscreen keyboard layout.
The 62S felt a little less responsive when I was using it, compared to the 60CSX. This I think is to do with the more flashy menus, with animated menu transitions etc. As I use these devices in my work, I just want a unit that does its job well, and quickly, and as such much prefer the 60CSX when it comes to the menus.
The 62S supports nicer colour maps, including satellite imagery. One thing to note regarding the satellite imagery is to preview/check the coverage of the areas you want before you fork over your money. I learnt the hard way a few years ago, and bought the "Birds eye satellite imagery" upgrade for a trip to the lake district. When I went to download the imagery, I found the entire lake district covered in cloud, making the maps pointless. I tried to get a refund, but Garmins customer support didn't want to know. In my humble opinion it was extremely poor to sell satellite imagery with such cloud cover, especially when it blankets the UK's most popular national park & walking destination!
AFTER SALES SUPPORT (GARMIN)
My final note is regarding Garmins customer service. They don't really care that much about owners of their products. If, like me, you want to repair your scratched screen, they won't just replace the screen, they'll replace the whole unit, and charge you a premium for it. My troubles didn't end there, as the replacement unit they did send (yes, I was a fool and paid the premium!) was faulty, and will actually lose power if it is knocked (pretty shoddy I know!) for ages I thought I didn't know what was happening as I'd be out walking and then discover the unit had turned off, thinking it was dodgy batteries at first!
After finding out what was happening I contacted Garmin, who wouldn't do anything without proof of purchase. This was highly annoying, as the unit was a replacement SENT by Garmin (so no proof of purchase for it) AND it was actually listed on my Garmin account page as being in warranty still, so all the details were actually on their system, but they wouldn't help anyway, despite supplying a faulty product.
My concluding remarks are that in all honesty the 60CSX is still better than it's successor, and cheaper too. The 62 series is still getting its kinks ironed out, and my experience with Garmins customer support has been such that I will no longer consider their products, both for personal or work use, as I require actual customer SUPPORT. I do hope you find this useful!
I've now finally had Garmin concede the issue with my unit, and they have replaced it with a refurbished model. The previously mentioned issues regarding build quality appear to have been resolved, with the casing feeling slightly more robust and no squeak present. The unit certainly feels less like a plastic toy. Does this mean I prefer the unit to the 60 series? I'm afraid not. I still feel that the 62 series attempts to do too much for its hardware, with the user interface seeming a little bloated and slightly slow to respond (compared to the 60 series interface). I'd only consider the 62S if you can't get a 60CSX for cheap, or find the 62S for less money!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2011
The garmin GPSmap 62s was next in line to replace the old garmin quest I had.
As a frequent Garmin user I am very familiar with the mapsource mapping program, however this program becomes old and is replaced with Basecamp. This required from me to relearn how to map with garmin. The gps unit has been used on many places (MTB, Car, sailing and hiking/geocaching). Paperless geocaching works nicely, for MTB I bought the heartrate sensor and use garmin connect to keep track of my training. In the car it can route, however not as good as dedicated automotive GPS systems.
Good system, very good reception
Works fine with openstreetmap and topo maps
uses AA batteries
Buttons show wear after 1 year of use, had not with 5 years of using my quest
Not as good as automotive gps in car, but ok enough for me
Garmin bike holder must be avoided, get ram mount instead
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2011
A fast, easy to use handheld GPS with a very good antenna. Worked well for me in light/moderate forest and mountainous terrain. Far superior to the Etrex I used to have in terms of signal and response time. Barometer/altimeter also seems to work very well.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2012
I've been using an old Legend for about ten years now - I think, in fact, I got one of the first ones. Everything was great apart from the sensitivity - don't quote me for that, but I've been told mine used an old chipset. It would lose sats not just from a pocket, but from under not very dense foliage too and even just hanging upside down.
So I've decided to replace it finally.
Well, wise decision. All good features and the functionality of the old ones, plus lots improved. Feels great, sensitivity superb, the interface intuitive and convenient, so pretty awesome.
A neutral point: the basemap is a complete joke and other reviewers are right, it's nothing like what's depicted on the box. The VERY good point is that you can get free open source maps from Talky Toaster, and they are very accurate as far as I could test. Two problems with them in combination with Garmin, though, is that you can't search for a city (a bug widely known as the "state/province bug" - google it), and routing doesn't work too well: if I choose on-road, it thinks I veer off track and tries to get me back to the beginning of the plotted route, so the navigation screen turns useless. Well, it's a neutral one for me as I won't be using the handheld for street navigation, so it's not a problem; besides, it's not an issue with Garmin, but more a matter of compatibility with a free and open map, so you get what you bargain for and there's no grounds for complaining.
Now, the somewhat negative point is that when I am walking or canoeing with it, the current speed shown fluctuates a lot - from 3 to 6 km/h. Jumps up and down once a second or so. I'm pretty sure that's not me, I'm moving quite smoothly (although I've noticed that if you put it in a cargo pocket on your pants, it registers interesting maximum speeds, it's that sensitive). I've been in touch with Garmin, and they said that it's because of the inaccuracies in position measurements, and apparently even the best I've seen - 3 m. - is enough for it to keep jumping. They said, the solution would be to lower the measurement frequency so that it basically shows an average speed over a longer period of time - say, a few seconds - however, there's no such option in the 62. So that's the only really annoying thing. The current speed reading is pretty useless; not the end of the world and probably not enough to say that the device overall isn't good, but still... Not quite perfection. I must admit, though, the customer service got back to me really quickly, and it didn't sound like a stock answer - there seems to be a real person dealing with it.
If you have any experience with the current speed issue - leave a comment here, please, I am curious, one way or another. I've tried Garmin forum, but didn't get anything apart from a suggestion to update the firmware, which I did to no result.
But very good overall, really happy with it, looking forward to putting it to good use in Scotland this summer.
Update: I've spent three weeks with it canoeing and walking in Scotland. A few things to say. A set of NiMH batteries lasts for about two days in summer - that's about 24 hours continuous working without backlight. The actual speed issue isn't a big problem, I got used to it, and after some time could have a god idea what the speed was despite the fluctuations. The waterproofing turned out to be not as good as what it was in older models: after about three or four days of wet abuse, the screen started misting up from the inside, which I've never seen before. The plastic front panel scratches a bit too easily, but would do. Talky Toaster's maps are impressively accurate, I've used them all the time often being able to compare to the OS paper maps, and found only one inaccuracy in twenty days.
So overall, a great workhorse of a GPS.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2014
I bought this and loaded routable open source maps from Talky Toaster onto a memory card for hiking around various bits of the UK and cycling.
I would recommend putting new batteries in for long days, and then keeping partly used batteries for your half-day walks. If you wanted to be really sure, use the lithium batteries. Even high capacity rechargeables give variable performance and I'm wary of relying on these as their charge does deplete when stored. However, if batteries do give up on you they are easy to change and when you switch the unit back on it remembers you position and current selected track.
I'm still learning all the features that this unit uses and it is well worth spending time researching the tips and tricks available for setting custom features. As the number of keys is limited, you do need to practice key sequences to get to different features but some of this can be customised if you use particular features more often.
The accuracy has been very good in wooded areas and at the bottom of steep valleys and enabled me to locate tracks and paths partly hidden in bracken that I otherwise might have missed.
The unit looks to be well sealed and the buttons seem to be OK so far. I have bought screen protectors having seen reviews from others.
The small screen does make it difficult to get the zoomed out overview you get from a map which can be useful at times to get a general idea of what direction you want to be heading. Reducing viewable detail can help but then you need to navigate to and from that menu item. The screen resolution is good with the Talky Toaster maps with very little loss of resolution when zooming in.
Using the unit with Garmin Base Map to either plan routes or to review your saved tracks takes practice. Stick with it and you will get there eventually.
Would I let it replace a map? Never, is the simple answer. I would always carry a map and compass and use it to cross check regularly so if the GPS gave up due to failure of the unit or the system it runs off, I would know where I was. They complement each other and you should still be able to navigate by map and compass if things went wrong and you needed help.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2014
The above comments do not need further observation. However, in my view, there are at least three significant drawbacks to the Garmin GPSMAP 62s (and I assume to the other units in the series).
1 The unit is capable of storing 200 routes. Yet amazingly, it is not possible to place their names in alphabetical order on the unit. Reporting this to Garmin results in the reply which essentially says "That's the way it is!" Thus, if you download say 80 routes (which are in alphabetical order in Mapquest or Basecamp), they will not be displayed in alphabetical order on the unit and you cannot sort them alphabetically. Very inconvenient!!
2 When a Route is created with say 10 waypoints and it is desired to navigate those waypoints in that order, it can't be done UNLESS the first waypoint in the list is nearest to your current location. It is not always desirable to proceed to the nearest waypoint when navigating. There should be a choice. This means that it is not possible to use the Route facilities until such time as you approach the desired first waypoint; invoke the routing feature; and then proceed from there in the order in which the waypoints have been entered.
3 If you are not using the Route facility and , for example, merely select a single waypoint, it is NOT possible to display the name of that waypoint in the "in-use" window. Only if the Routing facility is operating will the waypoint name be displayed. Why? Again, Garmin just say "That's the way it is" and would appear to be totally disinterested in users' suggestions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2012
I have bought a GPSMap 62S to replace a Garmin Colorado that has started to malfunction. I considered touchscreen models like the Dakota and new ETrex 30, but preferred the button approach for navigation. So far, I am delighted, and I have now taken it on two pretty intensive geocaching sessions. The interface is slightly different to that of the Colorado, but intuitive enough that I have pretty well mastered it. I confess I was drawn to a Garmin to make use of prior investments like maps on Micro-SD and my bike mount, and I have not been disappointed. On my experience so far, I would not hesitate to recommend this product.