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Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

Review Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

This week Garmin launched the all new Garmin GPSMAP 66sr, the first multi band/ Multi GNSS handheld GPS from Garmin.

So, what do we think of the unit? Here’s our review of the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr

First of all, we have to ask ourselves a few questions, so we understand the GPS unit a little better.

Is the GPSMAP 66sr a replacement for the Garmin GPSMAP66st?

In some ways it is a replacement, but honestly it is more like a GPSMAP66st on steroids.

It will, I suspect, be a direct replacement for the existing GPSMAP 66st but it’s better, far better.

So how does the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr differ from the Garmin GPSMAP 66s, GPSMAP 66st or GPSMAP 66i?

What are the key features on the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr, lets review them.

  1. Multi-band GPSS

    – This is Garmin’s first Outdoor GPS unit to use five satellite systems. This being the GPS (American), GLONASS (Russian), Galileo (European), QZSS (Japanese) and IRSS (Indian).The key things, compared to previous Outdoor GPS units is you can choose all 5 types of satellite systems. On some previous models you have been limited to being able to choose two i.e. GPS and Glonass OR GPS and Galileo.

    This improves the speed the GPS locks onto the satellites dramatically and also improves the accuracy.

    There are four signals from the satellites available, in the past Outdoor GPS units has used L1, but this new unit also uses L5, in the past this has been used by the aeronautical industry. Wikipedia gives you a great understanding about how it all works.

    With this unit being able to use both bands it improves both the accuracy as it can double check and confirm your current location. This removes any errors that have been thrown up in the past from things like the signal being bounced off buildings etc.

  2. Pre-loaded TOPO Active mapping installed

    Like the Garmin GPSMAP66st and Garmin GPSMAP 66i the new Garmin GPSMAP 66sr comes pre-loaded with Garmin TOPO Active mapping. This is mapping for not only the UK but for all of Europe.

    As this map set originates from Open Sourced mapping it is super accurate, but, and this is the big but, it shows everything as a path. It does not decipher between a footpath, bridleway, BOAT, permissive path or frankly a private drive or far track.

    Therefore if you are walking in England or Wales (where we have trespass laws) you really need to add Ordnance Survey maps to this GPS device.

    Don’t get me wrong, TOPO Active mapping is great to compliment the Ordnance Survey mapping or as your only map if you are overseas. But in this country, UK, we are all so used to OS maps, we really need it on our GPS units.

  3. Built in battery – 36 hours battery life or 450 hours in Expedition Mode

    OK now, let’s take this with a pinch of salt. I always halve what Garmin tell you when it comes to battery life.

    But saying that, the case and battery on the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr is the same as we find on the Garmin GPSMAP 66i and I have been very impressed with this.

    I have never been a fan if built in batteries on a GPS unit. But I am a massive fan if the built in battery on the Garmin GPSMAP 66i. Over lots of long walking, in winter months, it has performed exceptionally.

    So therefore it stands I am an even bigger fan of the internal battery on the GPSMAP 66sr. Bigger fan you ask? Well the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr battery is not having to power the inReach technology that is built into the Garmin GPAMAP 66i so it performs even better.

  4. And the rest …

With the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr you still get all the rest –

– Large Colour screen (3 inch)

– ABC sensors – Altimeter, barometer to monitor weather and 3 axis electronic compass

– Birdseye Satellite Imagery – The ability to download satellite imagery directly onto the unit

– Garmin’s Active weather – when tethered to a smartphone you get real time weather forecasts

– LED flashlight – this can also be used as a flashing beacon if need be

– Live Geocaching – when tethered to smartphone or on a wifi

– Garmin Explore App – The Garmin GPSMAP 66sr works alongside the Garmin Explore app. With the app you can download .gpx files onto your mobile phone or tablet and transfer directly onto the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr.

Personally, I think the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr it a great piece of kit.

As a former Garmin Oregon GPS user I first started using the Garmin GPSMAP 66s when it was launched and then I moved onto a Garmin GPSMAP 66i.

The Garmin GPSMAP 66sr is really just a Garmin GPSMAP 66i without the inReach two way satellite communication.

BUT it also has this very impressive Multi-Band/ Multi-GNSS technology built in. So on paper it is a better spec GPS.

I will have my haters for saying this. But I am now totally taken by having a built in battery in an Outdoor GPS device and the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr has just that.

With the battery performing as it is, I would never go back to AA batteries. If you are going off grid, buy yourself a power pack or even better a solar panel to charge your power pack and you will never run out of battery life again.

So, what’s holding you back, it’s a must for the outdoor enthusiast. The Garmin GPSMAP 66sr is the best Outdoor GPS unit in its category.

Please take a look at the product on our website with all the different map options available – more here

What Is The Best Outdoor GPS Watch?

What is The Best Outdoor GPS Watch?

As we approach the end of the year it’s time to look at the best outdoor GPS watch for outdoor activities, for walkers, runners, cyclists and the many other activities GPS watches are made for.

What is the best GPS watch on a budget?– Under £400.00

So in this category, we have only got a couple of watches –

  1. Garmin Instinct (available in four colours)
  2. Casio ProTrek WSD-30 (works with Viewranger app)

The Garmin Instinct is a great black and white screen GPS watch where the Casio ProTrek works alongside the Viewranger app.

The Garmin Instinct has a stunning battery life but it does lack because it does not show any maps, therefore as a walker who wanted to navigate using a GPS Watch we think the best budget GPS Watch is the Casio ProTrek WSD-30, it also comes in some great colours.

– Best budget GPS Watch – The Casio ProTrek WSD-30

 

Best top end GPS Watch (unlimited budget)

In this category we have the following GPS Watches –

  1. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
  2. Garmin Fenix 6s Pro
  3. Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire
  4. Garmin Fenix 6s Sapphire
  5. Garmin Fenix 6x Sapphire
  6. Garmin Fenix 6x Solar Edition

So let’s help you understand the differenced between each of these Garmin GPS Watches –

  1. Pro v Sapphire – This is the screen type
  • Pro is a gorilla glass screen
  • Sapphire is chemically hardened creating a strong anti scratch screen

  1. S version v non S version

S Garmin GPS watches are smaller, so meant more for those with a smaller wrist perfect for ladies. You will notice all the GPS watches in the lady’s colours are produces in s versions – Garmin Fenix 6s Pro and the Garmin Fenix 6s Sapphire.

The trade off though, of the small watch body is the reduced battery life (6 hours of battery life in GPS mode compared to 10 hours with the normal version).

  1. X version

The Garmin Fenix 6x versions have larger body, this therefore holds a larger battery so you get better battery life (15 hours of GPS usage compared to 10 hours of GPS usage that you get with the normal version).

  1. Solar Edition – With this version of the Garmin Fenix GPS Watch you will get an additional 3 days when solar charging, and 15 hours in GPS mode with an additional hour when solar charging (All-day wear, three hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions).

– What is the best top end GPS Watch – The Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire

Further Reading and Useful Information;

We have teamed up with GPS Training to put together a online training resource for the Garmin GPS Watches. They take you through all the steps from turning on the Garmin GPS Watch and getting it paired to the Garmin Connect App too putting routes on your Garmin Watch to use for your chosen activity.

You can achieve access to this through the GPS Training Website – https://gpsonlinecourse.co.uk/