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Garmin - GPSMAP 62S review by RMOTO

For a few years I have been using a Garmin 62s and it has proven itself to be a great unit for both adventure riding and tramping/flyfishing.

A Garmin 62s sitting in a RAM Mount and mounted to a DRZ400 dash

The Garmin 62s is far from perfect however overall it is a great unit, below is a list of pros and cons based on using the 62s since 2009.

Garmin 62s Pros

Durable, rugged, waterproof: the unit gets a lot of abuse both on the bike and our tramping. To date, after years of heavy use and abuse it has never failed

Map loadable: for off-road/bush use having quality maps is essential. Of the many map options available I loaded a program called FreshMap which provides up-to-date colour topographic maps with easy to read contour lines

Reasonable sized colour screen: there are units with much larger screens available but of course that naturally increases unit size. The screen on the 62s allows for easy reading/navigating while riding

User-friendly menus: some GPS units seem to have menu layouts designed by a drunk monkey, many defy all laws of common sense. The 62s however has a really user-friendly menu layout. It is easy and logical for both initial setup and general use

Glove friendly:  The 62s is fairly easy to operate while wearing gloves on the move

Cradle availability: a solid cradle is important, my preference is a RAM Mount and they do a really nice cradle for the 62s

AA batteries/battery life: although you can power the 62s from the bike I personally prefer to use batteries. One set of rechargeable batteries lasts a full day plus, by running solely on batteries it allows me to switch between riding and tramping without having to switch power sources

Powerful satellite receiver: previous units I've used would often lose satellite reception as soon as you enter a wooded section or any other minor sky obstruction. The 62s however has remarkable reception capabilities and maintains accurate track logging even under heavy tree canopy or deep valley

Garmin 62s Cons

Processor lag: this is probably the only thing I would point out as a negative for the 62s. It usually only ever happens when you are viewing the map while also using the mouse pointer to scroll around the map. The unit will appear to freeze/lag for around 3 seconds and then it will come right as the GPS processor catches up. It may do this only once, or it may do this numerous times within a session of using the mouse pointer to search for a particular location or feature on the map. It is far more likely for the unit to freeze/lag if you are using the pointer while also actively navigating a route. It's not the end of the world, with consideration to all of the pros above it is only a minor inconvenience as this action is not performed all that frequently. It is simply a natural result of the unit having an underpowered processor, more than likely based on the fact this is not an ultra high end unit and the performance level of the processor is dictated by budget.

 

This is by no means an exhaustive review on the Garmin 62s, just the main observations over a number of years of use. All in all it is a unit I would recommend to anyone looking for an off-road routable, rugged and easy to use GPS for both/either adventure riding or tramping/flyfishing.

RMOTO
review by RMOTO
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