Garmin GPSMAP 62 Series

The newly designed GPSMAP 62 handheld navigator features a 2.6 sunlight-readable 65K color screen that supports BirdsEye Satellite imagery (subscription required) and Custom Maps. Rugged and waterproof, GPSMAP 62 features a quad helix antenna for unparalleled reception and sleek new design.

* Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads): yes (with optional mapping for detailed roads)
* Electronic compass: no
* Touchscreen: no
* Barometric altimeter: no
* Camera: no
* Geocaching-friendly: yes (paperless)
* Custom maps compatible: yes
* Photo navigation (navigate to geotagged photos): yes
* Outdoor GPS games: no
* Hunt/fish calendar: yes
* Sun and moon information: yes
* Tide tables: yes
* Area calculation: yes
* Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest): yes
* Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units): no
* Picture viewer: no
* Garmin Connect compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data): yes
* Item: 6575-010-00868-00

Customer Reviews

337 of 349 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Some initial problems; now mostly fixed!, August 11, 2010
S. Drake (San Jose, CA) – See all my reviews

UPDATE September 7 2010. The issues resolved below are solved by release 2.50 of the 62st firmware. I have no trouble recommending this unit at this point!

I purchased the 62st recently and took it out for a 9 mile geocaching adventure. While I like the unit very much in general, it has one major problem. Like any hiking GPS, the 62st will record your track as you hike, letting you upload it to your computer when you return home. This is very useful for keeping track of your adventures. The accuracy of the 62st’s GPS, combined with its barometric altimeter, lets you accurately record your track for later use.

Sadly what I discovered is that on the 62st simply pressing buttons on the GPS interferes with the barometric altimeter. Pressing even a single button on the GPS can result in spikes in the recorded data of 30 feet or more! On my first test hike, my 62st GPS said that I had climbed more than 8000 vertical feet, while the other GPSes carried by my friends on the same hike recorded only 2000.

I did apples-to-apples comparison experiments of the Garmin 62st, Garmin 60csx and Delorme PN-40, and only the 62st exhibits this bug. Pressing buttons on the other GPSes does not interfere with the recorded track data.

I have been in contact with Garmin Support about this issue, but as of today there is no fix.

Until this issue is resolved sadly I cannot recommend the Garmin 62s or 62st. I hope for a fix soon!

UPDATE as of 8/12/2010: Today Garmin released a new set of beta firmware for the 62 series GPSes. In preliminary experiments, the new firmware seems to have significantly improved things with respect to the altimeter. I will do more testing this weekend, but the situation seems to be improving! I’ll report back early next week.

UPDATE as of 8/22/2010. The beta firmware has fixed the altitude issue. Some users have reported problems in updating to the beta, so I’d still suggest holding off on a purchase until Garmin releases a new “official” firmware release. I’ve taken the GPS out on several hikes totalling over 20 miles, and am quite impressed with it. I upgraded my review to three stars today, and will give it another star once a new firmware release is available.

UPDATE as of 9/7/2010. Garmin has now released firmware 2.50 for the 62st. If you update your unit to the new firmware level, I have no problem recommending it. My earlier problems are fixed.


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243 of 254 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Works OK, but could be improved, July 16, 2011

The 62S is my third GPS, purchased April 2011. With it, I purchased the MapSource City Navigator DVDs for NorthAmerica/Mexico (2011.1 NT) and Europe (2012.NT), a DaneElec 4 GB microSD card, and a Colorado Series Bike Mount (#11023). I purchased the 62S & mount from DigitalOasis & the card plus Software from GPScity. Both companies shipped promptly. The 62S has v2.8 software.

My previous two GPSs are the GPSmap76 (purchased 2001) and the Edge 305 bike GPS (purchased 2009). I have used the 76S successfully with Bluechart software for kayaking in the Pacific NW, and with Garmin MetroGuide 2007 for biking around WA State. I give the 76S a 4/5 rating – a great device, which has saved me many times out in the fog. The 305 I give only 3/5 rating – too expensive for what it is (essentially a fancy bike computer, without maps). Also, the 305 suffers from vibration and will turn off when my bike hits a bump.

I am an Electrical Engineer who writes control software for a living. I have been using the 62S for about 3 months – two months while biking around Seattle, and one month during a trip with my wife to Europe. It has worked OK, and has helped us drive about 1000 miles around Sweden, Norway and S. England. However, I have encountered some frustrations with it and the CN software. Overall, I rate the 62S and CN software 3.5/5 – good, but could be improved. I haven’t used other manufacturer’s GPSs so maybe this is as good as it gets right now. I have a number of comments about the CN software and the 62S user interface, in the hope that these may be improved in time. I am not an expert in using the 62S so perhaps some criticisms are invalid. In that case, I hope a reader can update me.

Things I Like: =============
1. The 62S has a more sensitive antenna than either the 305 or 76. The 62S will lock onto satellites inside a moving car (with the device on the passenger’s seat or between the driver’s legs), in a train (near Amsterdam), in a tram (in Prague), in an airplane (window seat), and inside my home in Seattle (within 5 ft or so of a window). Sitting in an airplane window seat en route from Iceland to Seattle, I could follow our position on the GPS map, and read the airplane’s speed. Altitude was invalid, of course, as this depends on barometric pressure and the cabin was pressurized. Sitting in the passenger seat or our rental car, my Wife used the 62S successfully to navigate about 1000 miles through Norway, Sweden and S. England. When out walking, one can keep the 62S in one’s pocket with the antenna facing down and it will log one’s track and distance covered quite accurately.

When I bike under a thick canopy of trees (e.g. Interlaken Blvd, Seattle), the 76 loses position and stops tracking. The 305 is better but sometimes stops tracking too. The 62S keeps tracking but its speed sometimes goes off 2-5 mph (compared with my bike speedometer). Its overall distance logged seems unaffected, but sometimes its track goes off map under these circumstances- perhaps by 50- 100ft.

2. Quick to find Satellites. Once the 62S has been used in or near your current location, it takes about 45 sec from pressing the power on button until it locks onto the satellites and the blinking question mark on the position arrowhead goes away. However, the first time it is powered up in a radically different area (e.g. in a new country or city), it must be allowed several minutes (sometimes 5) to search for the satellites. By comparison the 76S and 305 take about the same time in a new location but 2-3 times longer in a known location.

3. The large white “Change of Direction Pending” arrow is large and clear. This appears when one is navigating a route and a possible turn is coming up, for example a traffic circle, or L/R turn. Usually, this arrow is absent when one is following a road without any turns. Sometimes it appears at a bend in the road which is obvious and shouldn’t need the white arrow, but no matter. The device also emits a discreet but audible beeping when a turn is approaching. Useful on a long boring road when one may not be watching the GPS. (There are no spoken directions to alert one, only the beeping and a text direction message at the top of the map).

4. The USB transfer rate is fast. Using USB2.0, it takes only a second or so to upload 20 routes and 50 waypoints to/ from the device and one’s PC.

5. It has a large memory. I wasn’t able to fill the native RAM plus 4 GB SD card. I downloaded all the maps of Western Europe and Scandinavia, or those of WA State, and created perhaps 20 routes, 50 waypoints, and 10- 20 tracks, some lasting 4-5 hrs. I was also able to upload tracks and routes made with/ for my 305 and 76. Some were 4-6 hr long bike rides- no problem. In contrast, the 76 and 305 would often run out or memory.

6. Batteries last a long time, and are quick to change. It uses 2 x AA batteries. I use the…

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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
All-around great GPS, October 17, 2010
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
I absolutely love this GPS. I’ve used a Garmin Oregon 300, Garmin Etrex and vista, Garmin gpsmap 60Csx and a Garmin Rino 530 and this GPS is better than all of them. The accuracy is great on this, usually around 9 ft regardless of whether or not I’m under tree cover or near large metal objects. The unit is also incredibly sensitive and does a good job measuring speed whether walking (slow pace to fast pace), biking, or driving in the car. The screen is very easy to see in direct, bright sunlight or at night. The paperless geocaching is amazing. So far, I have mostly used it for geocaching and it generally takes me directly to the cache. There is a menu bar that allows you to add shortcuts you easily jump to by using the quit and page keys, which makes switching from map to compass, to geocaches to elevation plot extremely easy, especially while riding a bicycle. I had trouble navigating the touch-screen oregon on my bike, and this gpsmap 62s is a breeze.

The only issue I have had with this GPS was when I updated to the 2.70 software. It was loaded on, booted up then turned off after about 30 seconds to a minute. I reset the gps (by using the appropriate button combination, I don’t remember what it is at the moment) and since I reset it, everything has worked perfectly. I took this unit hiking yesterday and it tracked my route/elevation very accurately.

A lot of people have complained about this unit “squeaking”. Yes, mine squeaks too. Only near the power button, and only on the side the power button is on. I guess this would be a personal preference, but the squeaking doesn’t bother me at all. The gps still feels very rugged and tough. I took this out in the pouring rain and since the unit isn’t broken, I’m assuming the waterproofing isn’t comprised by the squeak. Also, I feel that the whole squeaking thing has been way over dramatized. To me it’s not a big deal at all.

I’ve only used the 60 csx once, but from what I’ve read about it, it seems that this gps is just as accurate (if not more so) than the 60 csx. If you’re into geocaching, I would highly recommend this unit because you can utilize the paperless geocaching, which is incredibly convenient. Previously I had used my phone to view logs/hints, but there is no way I would have been geocaching in the rain if I had to lug my cell phone with me. All around amazing gps unit, especially if a little squeak doesn’t bother you.


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