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JBase
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-07-01
Posts: 45
Location: La Crosse, WI

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I am looking for opinions on Garmin's new Montana series of GPSr's. I still own an eTrek Vista HCx and was looking to upgrade. I like the Garmin name and thought I would stick with them.

Did anyone get to test a Montana or own a Oregon that has pros and cons? I did a search for "Montana" and came up with nothing. Any suggestions for Geo Caching GPSr's that are a must?

Any help would be great. Very Happy
 
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JT Cache Finder
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-01-21
Posts: 62
Location: North Fond du Lac WI

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I just bought the Oregon 550 (2) weeks ago and so far I love it. The paperless Geocaching is great. If you go to Garmin.com you can see the specs on the new Montana series. It looks like to me that the screen is slightly larger than the Oregon and the camera's mega-pxels are a little higher.
 
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Team_Sandman
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-04-01
Posts: 293
Location: Green Bay

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have owned a oregon 400t and also a 550 I loved both of them. The camera on the 550 is great so now I can carry less. Yes the paperless caching is great. The 550 and 550t come wth Garmin rechargable batteries that you will get a whole days worth of caching, since have been caching,hunting,fishing,and hiking I have never had to change the batteries while out in the feild. With the rechargable batteries from Garmin your unit will float ive been told by garmin but have not had the coconuts to try it yet. If I had to do it all over again I would buy the same unit with out even looking around. Finally Garmin has the best customer service have ever dealt with.From everyone Ive ever alked to that has a oregon has never said anything bad about it. Ok thats my 20 cents worth

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raslas
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-09-10
Posts: 245

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 7:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We have the 400T, 450T, and 550T and we have no complaints with any of them. Have to agree with everyone about the paperless caching-it is great. I also make good use of the field notes. They make logging your find when you get back home much easier. The camera in the 550 ahs come in handy many, many times.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

JT Cache Finder wrote:
I just bought the Oregon 550 (2) weeks ago and so far I love it. The paperless Geocaching is great. If you go to Garmin.com you can see the specs on the new Montana series. It looks like to me that the screen is slightly larger than the Oregon and the camera's mega-pxels are a little higher.

I also have the 550 and love it....and concur with the comments on the Montana (better camera and larger screen).
 
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hack1of2
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 1128
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:19 am Reply with quote Back to top

My GPSr experience is limited to The Garmin Oregon 450/550, Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMAP62s, and the iPhone 4. Compared to the Oregon 550, the new Montana is very impressive. There are several positives and one (potentially) negative issue regarding the Montana. First the positives. It is now Garmin's new top of the line touchscreen GPSr. It basically has everything that the Oregon has but with several improvements/enhancements. It has a 4" high resolution glove-friendly touchscreen (Oregon is 3"), a 5MP autofocus geotagging camera (Oregon is 3.2MP). Like the Oregon it can make use of satellite imagery maps, topo maps, marine maps, and street maps, all of which can be purchased separately and loaded on a micro SD card. New with the Montana: it has dual orientation - it will switch automatically from landscape view to portrait view depending on how you hold the unit. It has a unique battery system - you can use either the rechargeable lithium ion battery (which they say lasts 20 hours), or switch to AA batteries. It supports both. Very cool. The pictures it takes are auto geotagged, so you could take a picture of something, and then navigate back to that same spot later. One of the big deals with this model is on the road navigation. Although it is a handheld GPSr, it offers turn-by-turn SPOKEN directions when used in the automotive mode. That alone may cause some to upgrade. In the automotive mode you would presumably snap it into the optional automotive mount, which will automatically switch the unit into the automotive mode in a landscape position.

The only drawback I see to it is its size. And for some they would consider it an advantage instead of a disadvantage. It's an inch bigger than the Oregon or Colorado, which themselves are .6" bigger than the Dakota. A question (at least for me) is when is the size too big. I saw a funny video on youtube where someone had the iPad hanging from a lanyard on their neck to do all of the things that a smartphone would do. I actually prefer the smaller size of a Dakota for a handheld, but that's just me. It fits comfortably in my hand, and I don't need glasses to see smaller images.

An issue for some may be the price of the Montana. Since it is new it will likely not be discounted much until after the first wave of purchasers. The Oregon is sometimes available at deep discounts from REI, Amazon, etc.

The Dakota, Oregon, and Montana models are all touchscreen models. It should be noted that the Garmin GPSMAP62st is an excellent model with buttons instead of a touchscreen. It is Garmin's other top-notch handheld GPSr. I recently switched to the GPSMAP, love it, and my better half likes the Dakota the best. I like both of them, as well as the Oregon. If our Dakota ever died, I myself would probably get another Dakota 20 or an Oregon 550t.

Here's my advice: check out the Montana, Oregon, and/or Dakota in a store and see which one you like the feel of. The shape, the weight, etc. Also evaluate which features are important to you. If you're considering a non-touchscreen then check out the GPSMAP62st also.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

hack1of2 is of course right about the extra features.... I forgot about those.

I did want to add an aside however; many smart phones now come with turn by turn spoken directions...The days of the Nuvi are numbered.
 
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Team_Sandman
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-04-01
Posts: 293
Location: Green Bay

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Lostby7 wrote:
hack1of2 is of course right about the extra features.... I forgot about those.

I did want to add an aside however; many smart phones now come with turn by turn spoken directions...The days of the Nuvi are numbered.




I love my nuvi even though Roy is a moron some times he's family

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CacheNoTrace
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-11
Posts: 2336
Location: Rothschild

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I got y Garmin Oregon 550 last year and I love it. I really love the Blue Tooth? wireless transmitting between other Oregon users. The only drawback with the Orgon is deleting caches. It can only be done while the Oregon i hooked to the computer.

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JBase
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-07-01
Posts: 45
Location: La Crosse, WI

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 12:12 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks everyone for all the input. I really want a touchscreen GPS. After using c:geo as my paperless tool I would love to have everything in the Garmin. The camera is a plus but I don't need it. The bird's eye view feature would be just awesome. I use this feature on c:geo all the time. I think Garmin was paying attention. I can't wait to go to Cabela's and check them out. Maybe a road trip to REI in Milwaukee! (I could do the 'Create a Route' feature and do caches all the way there along the Interstate, haha)

I have one more question. Whats the 3-way compass like? Does it still work when you're standing still? Oh yeah, and what is it like in heavy cover?

Thanks again for all the help! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
 
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CacheNoTrace
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-11
Posts: 2336
Location: Rothschild

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 2:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The 3-way compass is very nice. Works great for me in heavy cover and while standing still. Though there are some areas that makes it a lil jumpy. But overall, its grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

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hack1of2
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 1128
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 4:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I wouldn't even consider a GPSr without the 3-axis compass. The Dakota 20 we have has it; the Dakota 10 does not. That's why I don't recommend the 10. It is a pain to have to move 4MPH in the woods at all times for the compass to work. With the 3-axis compass, it points in the correct direction even when pivoting or standing still. But since you're looking at mainly the Oregon and Montana series, it's a non issue since they both have it.
 
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Team_Sandman
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-04-01
Posts: 293
Location: Green Bay

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

So I did a carmparison on the 550 oregon and the montana 650

diff.

1. its bigger
2. screen is a little bigger
3 more internal memory
4. has a 5 mpx camera the 550 has a 3.2 mpx
5. the price


On top of the differances the 650 Motana can't do Whereigo's a huge down fall.


So if I had to do it all over again I would NOT BUY A MONTANA not worth the money

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=143&compareProduct=75227&compareProduct=26875

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JBase
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-07-01
Posts: 45
Location: La Crosse, WI

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

No wherigo? I wonder why they didn't keep that feature? Maybe an update to get it? The only wherigo cache I have ever done was at the cache bash in West Bend last summer. I borrowed a gps.
 
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