27 comments on “Garmin GPSMap 64s Review

  1. Any suggestions now as a better alternative to the 64S with Topo maps loaded from seller for $500 inc shipping?

    • Hi David,

      From the Garmin lineup, if you want a cheaper alternative, there are going to be compromises. If you want to stay away from the touch screen models, you can look at the Etrex 30, I compare it in the review as you are well aware and it will be slower and smaller, on paper the functionality is similar, but they are very different in terms of how practical each are for a given function. You can also look at the base model 64 that eliminates the compass and altimeter, but I personally would not make those sacrifices for real world use.


      • I will also add a small note on battery usage. The 64S does use significantly more battery power compared to the other models I have used. I maximized battery life by using the battery save function which turns off the screen after a pre-set amount of time. This enormously increases battery life. When you want to look at the screen, you just hit any button on the unit and it flashes up instantly. It only turns the screen on and off and does not affect continuous data acquisition and tracking.

  2. I am considering to buy the Garmin 64s here in NZ but will be using mostly in the mountains of Nepal. Does preloaded topomap makes a big difference? I can buy with topomap NZ; but have no idea whether I can add topomap of Nepal later or not. Can you suggest about main advantage of topomap? I am also thinking to update trekking trails in Nepal mainly in Annapurna region using this device incorporating with GIS and Open Street Map.

    • Hi Krish, thanks for commenting. I suggest not buying the preloaded maps at all. You can make custom maps and upload any of the .gmap map files for anywhere on earth you find online. I found a number of them with Nepal Topo maps you can download, some free, some $.

  3. I just replaced my 3 year old ETrex 30 with the 64s. The new 64s is a wonderfully accurate device but as you said about 16hr battery life max compared to the 20+ hours of the Etrex 30. I found this page looking for battery life options.

  4. Owned a 64s for 3 months. Had problems downloading Canadian topo west map…for a ski-touring trip to Rockies. Eventually got Garmin to sort out. Went off for trip and 64s worked fine for first week. Replaced lithium batteries and the machine refused to switch on. Tried other batteries…but couldn’t get machine to start. Very disappointed that the GPS unit couldn’t be relied upon in the field! Fortunately we had map and compass. Hope my PLB proves more reliable if I ever need to use it in an emergency!

  5. Hi Jeff,
    I have been reading about different GPS devices, I want one for a trip to Costa Rica, do you think this one might be a good option to use it down there?? Thanks in advance for your help and review.

    • Hi Eddie, for backcountry use, it is a great option for amywhere you can get decent topo maps for…i assume costa rica included.

  6. I am searching for info about the best accuracy you can get for waypoints using etrex30 and GPSMAP 64 series, with GPS and GLONASS communication, and collected at 0 m/h. Can you help me with that? Thank you!

  7. Hey there, I am wanting to know also about the accuracy of the 64s model. I am needing it to be about 3-5m accuracy – would this be the best model to get the accuracy needed? I also need it to be able to work in NZTM is this also ok on the 64s? Last question, how much space is there on it to have the ability to add aerial imagery onto it? Thank you!!!

    • All GPS units vary in their accuracy depending on the quality of the reception. The best I have seen displayed on the 64S unit is 3 m on the screen, tough to confirm this exactly in the field but it does get very accurate with a better view of the sky. IT does list the NZTM position format in the advanced settings so you should be good. IT has an expandable memory (Micro SD card) slot so you have lots of room.

      • Thanks for the reply Jeff, would you have any other suggestions of a better GPS unit to get a better accuracy? But still use NZTM and have expandable memory? Also are these able to export the data off in a Shapefile format? So we can use it in a GIS format?

  8. Thanks so much for the info. I am using both the GPSMAP64s and GPSMAP62s. The 62s goes to 2m with ease. The 64s remains at 3m

  9. ‘it does not make sense the buy the 64st as you would be paying for maps that you already have, other than that, the units are identical.’

    Everywhere I look, it states that internal memory on the 64s is 4Gb and on the 64st is 8Gb.
    On what way does this affect using the unit? Can the lack on memory be sorted out with an external SD (micro)?
    There is a huge difference in price between those two, +140€ on Amazon.es.

    Thanks for your blog.

  10. I almost forgot…
    The GPS map 64 series was launched January/14, is a replacement coming anywhere soon?
    Thanks again.

  11. Hi Jeff, Great review. I’m looking to purchase here in NZ along with the other commenters. My question is can you create a route on your pc then add it into the gps unit to follow?

    Many thanks

    • Thanks Dave. Yes, you can use the Garmin mapping software to plan routes in detail and send hise to the unit for field use. It works really well that way.


  12. Hi Jeff I do plenty of adventure biking.
    This leaves the danger of me getting hurt in the middle of nowhere.
    Sometimes I can get lost in Africa where my phone,free maps and google earth cant even help me.
    Could someone come and search for my Garmin GPSMap 64s on a laptop or PC to find my location if I dont come home and I have hurt myself so bad that I cant a message.
    I need a device that someone can also track from an PC and sametime use it as a mobile gps.
    It happens sometimes that there is no one around for hundreds of KM that it is better to leave the bike and walk.

    • Your best bet is an inReach device. You can set it up for live tracking to whomever you like and they can see your location and progress. Search up further in my blog and you can see a review of one as well.

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