Review and interview - Garmin GPSMAP 66sr and GPSMAP 65s
This interview is an extract from the 44th GPS Training Podcast. To listen to the Podcast in its entirety please click here.
We talk to Garmin about the all new Garmin GPSMAP 66sr and GPSMAP 65 range, what are the key differences from existing models and why is are they better than the existing models.
First thoughts and review of the Garmin GPSMAP 65 and Garmin GPSMAP66sr ranges of GPS units.
Garmin GPSMAP65 and GPSMAP65s – How do they differ?
Both the Garmin GPSMAP65 and 65s are a follow on from the Garmin GPSMAP64s.
The Garmin GPSMAP64s was Garmin leading buttoned GPS unit for many years.
After the Garmin 64s was replaces by the Garmin GPSMAP66s we then saw the return of the 64s in a slightly different trim, this time it was as a Garmin GPSMAP64sx. This was done very much because it fitted into a price point.
The Garmin GPSMAP65 – This is a very similar unit than the Garmin GPSMAP65s except it does not come with a barometric altimeter (to give more accurate height data) and a three-axis electronic compass which will give you better accuracy at small movements.
If you can afford the extra money it is very much worth going for the Garmin GPSMAP65s.
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 Multi band GPSS allows the unit to receive more than one signal from each satellite. The Garmin GPSMAP65 and GPSMAP66sr range and the first to use this technology.
Then it will cross references both signals to see if there are any discrepancies and errors.
There are four GPS signal specifications designed for civilian use. In order of date of introduction, these are:
L1 band – This is what Outdoor GPS units have been using in the past.
L2 band – This is used by the military.
L5 band – This, in the past was used for aeronautical but now this has been opened up to public use and this is the new band that these new generation Outdoor GPS units are using.
How much more accurate will a GPS using multi-band GPSS be?
You will get a quicker fix and the other key thing it will remove is multipath error.
This is where the signal can bounce off buildings, trees, steep ravines etc. Now the Garmin GPS devices have multiband it can remove any of these inaccuracies and errors.
The Garmin GPSMAP 65 range and 66sr range now come pre-loaded with Garmin’s TOPO Active mapping.
This is going to be the norm going forward on all new Garmin GPS units, with this updateable map set it gives us a great ‘base layer’. You can see a video review of the mapping options that are now available on a Garmin Outdoor GPS unit
Both the Garmin GPSMAP65 range and Garmin GPSMAP66sr are now compatible with Garmin Explore App.
The Garmin Explore app enables you to plan and transfer downloaded routes/ tracks etc from your mobile phone or tablet directly onto your Outdoor GPS Unit.
Garmin GPSMAP 66sr – what are the differences?
This over time will replace the current Garmin GPSMAP66st
Built in Battery - GPSMAP66sr
The Garmin GPSMAP66sr has a stunning 36 hours of battery life, at the time of the interview I was very sceptical about this, but since the GPS was launched we have tried and tested it and we are achieving this in the field.
Garmin Expedition mode
With the addition of Expedition mode, you can really improve the battery life even further, as this reduces the number of track points etc the GPS records.
And the rest …
1. Large Colour screen (3 inch)
2. ABC sensors – Altimeter, barometer to monitor weather and 3 axis electronic compass
3. Birdseye Satellite Imagery – The ability to download satellite imagery directly onto the unit
4. Garmin’s Active weather – when tethered to a smartphone you get real time weather forecasts
5. LED flashlight – this can also be used as a flashing beacon if need be
6. Live Geocaching – when tethered to smartphone or on a wifi
GPS Units discussed in this interview
Related articles that you may find helpful
1. 10 best-selling GPS units - Ian, who leads our GPS Training courses in the South of England upgraded to the Garmin GPSMAP 66sr (from a Garmin GPSMAP 66s).
You can watch him talk about his new unit in our video looking at the top 10 bestselling GPS units
2. Best handheld outdoor GPS unit - in these video reviews we look at the best budget, top end and large screen GPS units
3. Get a personalised GPS recommendation - If you are looking at a new GPS unit please do get a personalised GPS recommendation from GPS Training.
4. Power packs for outdoor handheld GPS units – As the Garmin GPSMAP66s now has an internal battery we look at the powerbanks that work alongside it to keep everything up and running when you are going off-grid.