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Best GPS for navigating?

Old 06-17-15, 11:30 AM
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Best GPS for navigating?

I'm looking for car-style bicycle GPS with very detailed maps (like google map quality). Preferably ones that run on AA batteries. Do such devices that meet those criterias exist?
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Old 06-17-15, 07:36 PM
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Garmin eTrex series runs on AA batteries... but not sure if you can run the typical street style navigation on them.
It looks like the Montana series and maybe the Oregon series will do that - either on an Lithium or AAs.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/cata...Product=518046

I use the eTrex20... but I do alot of offroad in addition to onroad, so I'm building routes at home, and loading extra tracks / options for use on the go.
I have no idea how well the Oregon or Montana series work in the rain (touchscreen)...
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Old 06-17-15, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
I'm looking for car-style bicycle GPS with very detailed maps (like google map quality). Preferably ones that run on AA batteries. Do such devices that meet those criterias exist?
The Garmin GPS units like the Etrex use batteries but don't have the wide screne like the ones you see in a car. However, it's not the end of the world because if you construct your route on your computer before heading out, a detailed map would not be necessary.

However, there are no GPS units out there created for cyclist that use AA batteries and come with a large bright screens like one would use in a car. You can atach a car GPS to your handlebar and carry an external battery. The Montana is just way too expensive at the moment to even think about.
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Old 06-18-15, 08:00 AM
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No consensus on 'Best', but, It's Discussed on and on in this section Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
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Old 06-18-15, 08:15 AM
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I picked up a garmin oregon 600 as I like a touch screen and I like that it can run off of double a batteries. It's waterproof rating is IXP7 which is the same as the extrex 20. The battery life should be better on the etrex 20 but the oregon has the touch screen.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:02 AM
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dakota 20 AA batteries and touch screen and small
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Old 06-18-15, 05:41 PM
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I think they run thru batteries pretty quick. Or my old Etrex did. I have the Garmin 800 now and I like it pretty well. Rechargeable and lasts a lot longer.
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Old 06-18-15, 05:42 PM
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I have looked at all the models that you guys mentioned. They seem to do the job. I'm just wondering if you can download unlimited OSM on them all?
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Old 06-18-15, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
I have looked at all the models that you guys mentioned. They seem to do the job. I'm just wondering if you can download unlimited OSM on them all?
i ran OSM on my eTrex20 for awhile, but I prefer Topo as most riding I do these days if on / off / mixed.
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Old 06-18-15, 11:28 PM
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Any reason why your phone wouldn't work? You will need a phone anyway, and it's one less device to worry about. There are AA battery powered phone chargers available, if you insist against lithium ion.
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Old 06-19-15, 01:58 PM
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I bought a Garmin etrex 20 + maps for Europe but found operating it as a navigation tool beyond my abilities. It'll tell you where you are and it's nice to watch your progress on the screen but planning a route or finding my way to a desired destination was virtually impossible using the tiny screen.

It may be because I'm in the older age category.

On the 9 day tour I did in France at the beginning of June I left it at home and brought a map instead.
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Old 06-19-15, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
However, there are no GPS units out there created for cyclist that use AA batteries and come with a large bright screens like one would use in a car. You can atach a car GPS to your handlebar and carry an external battery. The Montana is just way too expensive at the moment to even think about.
Attaching a car GPS to a bicycle is a horrible idea, they simply do not play nice when it rains because they are not one bit waterproof unless you get the units built for motorcycles. Plus they are much more wasteful on energy then a handheld unit.

Any Oregon series, Montana, Monterra, Etrex 20/30, or Dakota 20 will do what you want. Will auto-route, maps (free or paid).
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Old 06-19-15, 02:43 PM
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I keep my iPhone in a transparent map case on top of my handlebar bag. It is running the tomtom app which makes great bicycle routes and shows a big fat turn arrow as I approach them.
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Old 06-19-15, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Any reason why your phone wouldn't work? You will need a phone anyway, and it's one less device to worry about. There are AA battery powered phone chargers available, if you insist against lithium ion.
I have considered that option and decided not to go in that direction, for a number of reasons. 1. I don't have a smartphone. I have one of the old phones with no cameras and colour. (Battery life is a month). I think smartphones are expensive and very power consuming so you would need a power source on the road. This means buying dynamo hubs, installing, power cords and all that kind of stuff. Its too complicated for me. The option of powering them with AA battery seems interesting, but I doubt it will work long term since smartphones use ridiculous amounts of electricity. How far will 2 AA batteries get a smartphone? I might be wrong

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Old 06-19-15, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
I bought a Garmin etrex 20 + maps for Europe but found operating it as a navigation tool beyond my abilities. It'll tell you where you are and it's nice to watch your progress on the screen but planning a route or finding my way to a desired destination was virtually impossible using the tiny screen.

It may be because I'm in the older age category.

On the 9 day tour I did in France at the beginning of June I left it at home and brought a map instead.
Thank you for sharing that. I was suspecting that too with the eTrex series. The screen does seem very small and I can't imagine navigating on a screen that isn't touch. Can I ask what maps you used? OSM or paid ones?
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Old 06-19-15, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
I have considered that option and decided not to go in that direction, for a number of reasons. 1. I don't have a smartphone. I have one of the old phones with no cameras and colour. (Battery life is a month). I think smartphones are expensive and very power consuming so you would need a power source on the road. This means buying dynamo hubs, installing, power cords and all that kind of stuff. Its too complicated for me. The option of powering them with AA battery seems interesting, but I doubt it will work long term since smartphones use ridiculous amounts of electricity. How far will 2 AA batteries get a smartphone? I might be wrong
Your concerns are reasonable. AA batteries don't go very far on phones. I usually keep mine turned off unless I'm lost. I use paper maps primarily. This way I make my phone last days between chargings. I use a lithium ion battery bank, which along with the phone itself, I top off whenever I stay at a hotel. Due to laundry requirements, this is usually every five days.
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Old 06-20-15, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
Thank you for sharing that. I was suspecting that too with the eTrex series. The screen does seem very small and I can't imagine navigating on a screen that isn't touch. Can I ask what maps you used? OSM or paid ones?
Paid, Garmin City Navigator Europe (covers all of Europe).
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Old 06-20-15, 12:18 PM
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I hike as well as bike and have a Garmin Monterra. Expensive, heavy for biking and goes through battery power (can also use AA's). I have topo maps and City Navigator so that routable tracks can be created. It is also easy to read with my aging eyes!

When I have the money I plan to get an Edge 1000 which I understand I can use my topo software with. Ease of reading is important to me.

We travel for more than 6 months of the year in fairly remote areas so that mapping is important to me.
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Old 06-20-15, 04:07 PM
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I have loaded maps from these sites into Mapsource on my computer, then loaded them into my Garmin 62S with an extra micro SD memory card in it.

GPSFileDepot - maps4gps's Garmin Compatible Maps

Free worldwide Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap

I do not recall, I might have loaded maps from this site too?

OpenMapChest - Maps for Garmin GPS devices

On my bike handlebars I prefer an old Etrex Legend that does not do routing, but sometimes I use my 62S (in photo) that is capable of routing. But it does not speak like a car GPS.

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