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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Versatile GPS Unit I had owned a small eTrex unit which developed some issues with the firmware. I finally gave in and bought this new unit. The GPSMAP 64s is much more sensitive and tracks better than the eTrex on cloudy days or under heavy tree cover. Like all Garmin units I've seen, it is a little cumbersome and/or non-intuitive to go through the menus to find what it is you want to do. There is potential for some customization of the interface, but I have not done much. I use the unit for geocaching and hiking/backpacking. Unit memory is adequate to hold 24K maps for about half of Pennsylvania. I have not need to add an SD card. Overall I have been satisfied.
Date published: 2016-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly reccommend I bought the 64st which is functionally equivalent to the 64s except that the 64st comes preloaded with topo maps. I wanted to leave a review here to because I found the GPSMAP 64 series to be so superior to my previous GPS units. The GPS reception is unbelievably better than my old eTrek. I took it out for a test today in a heavy wooded river canyon where I have never been able to get a lock before. Probably the worst place to expect a GPS unit to work. My new unit NEVER LOST SATELLITE LOCK. In fact, the reception never fell below 5 bars. I got an accurate, detailed track....even better than I ever expected. If you are looking for a GPS unit and hike under tree canopy, buy ANY version of the GPSMAP 64 series. You will not be disappointed in its performance!
Date published: 2015-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 54S = 62S+GLONASS Make no mistake about it, this is a 5 star GPS unit but I'm not sure it is vast improvement over the 62s (another 5 star unit which replaced another 5 star unit, the 60csx). I have both and have been using them at the same time for comparison and the 64s+GLONASS provides a more stable track in the deep and heavily forested canyons of the Columbia River Gorge. Were I traveling in the wide open spaces of eastern Oregon or Nevada I'm pretty sure the 64s and 62s would perform the same. The redraw rate is similar to the 62s so I think it might have the same CPU, I'm a little disappointed with this as I use custom maps which have been slow to draw on the 62s. I was hoping the 64s would improve on refresh rates but this has not been my experience. That it is so similar to the 62s is likely the reason that in spite of the fact it is new, the firmware is very stable and does not have the bugs associated with a new product. I've experienced no lockups or crashes, the compass is stable, the tracks are solid. I use rechargeable NiMH batteries and I did a test against the 62s using the same brand batteries and after 12 hours both GPSs were still going at which time I terminated the test. From the battery indicator, the 62s claimed to have more life left but I seldom have the GPS on longer than 10 hours, so battery life on the 64s is pretty good. I really, really like having buttons to push, having worked with and failed using touch screens in the rain I can't imagine a GPS with a touch screen performing well in wet conditions. I maybe wrong but I'm not going to spend the money to find out. I can work the 64s with or without gloves in freezing rain, snow, covered with sweat and other adverse conditions without a problem. There are other features in the 64s having to do with phones and what not, I've not used these items and probably won't - the unit does everything I need it to do. In the attached image the red line is the track of my 62s, the blue is the track of my 64s, the place is the canyon of Oneonta Creek in the Columbia River Gorge - a real challenging place for holding a GPS signal. In this case I declared the 64s+GLONASS (blue) to be the winner. More satellites is good.
Date published: 2014-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Garmin - Garmin GPSMAP 64s GPS I have owned numerous Garmin GPSs, three different etrex, an Oregon, Dakota, 60csx, 62s and now a 64s. Things I have learned; Garmin does not make a perfect GPS. Garmin does not have the best customer service, for minor issues I have found emails work the best. Update the software right away and check for updates regularly. Learn to delete unwanted files IE pre-loaded geocaches. Use clear finger nail polish on the buttons, especially the 62/64 the paint can wear off pretty quickly. The track logs will wander, meaning sitting still they track while gaining distance. No two GPS units are the same in there track logs or in their coordinate read outs. If you and your friend both go out on a hike and there is a 0.4 of a mile difference always assume your device is the correct one. Now about the 64. Got it out of the box, put batteries in it, turned it on. Took about a minute or so to figure out where it was. Then I changed some setting most important for me, switching from Garmin Serial to Garmin Spanner for my input. When plugged into a computer Spanner gives you choice, to enter mass media mode or gps power power mode. Then I checked for software/firmware updates and there was. After the updates and loading maps for my area I took it out for a spin. I took it out on a known course. Loaded personal POIs, loaded a geocache or two, all of these activities worked well. There are a few things I don't like about the 64 but most of these are personal, such as the the blue-tooth, I see no need but... a gps needs to know where it is, how to track your route, navigate to a location, have a reasonable battery life (turn the back light off during the day, batteries will last a lot longer) the 64s does this all of this and more....
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Improved, but the firmware is still buggy I purchased this a month ago as a geocaching upgrade from my GPSMAP 60csx and Oregon 450. The combination of GLONASS + GPS and "unlimited" geocaches was too tempting. Since I prefer the push-button interface to touch screen, I opted for this unit over an Oregon 600. With my previous Garmin units, and especially the Oregon 450, the firmware took a few revisions to get stable and include the expected features (like multicache support). The 64s has already had two updates and, indeed, the basic functions seem better. It locks on pretty quickly, error is generally pretty stable, and the compass is functional. While the 64s is not quite as fluid as the 60csx, navigation is far less cumbersome than the touch-screen of the Oregon where I found I was doing a lot of navigate up-up-up-up-up-find-> (stuff). For geocaching, the other benefit of the 64s is the "unlimited" geocaches one can load before a long trip. In comparison, the 60csx was limited to 1000 (geocaches + waypoints), the Oregon 450 was effectively limited to 2500 (lest it not boot). For giggles, I loaded in 24,000 from the greater northwest (WA, OR, BC, AB, and ID). I noticed that if I use a gpx files, waypoints will appear as "Waypoints" whereas with the GGX (compressed GPX plus other metadata), waypoints appear under the "Extras" menu, grouped by Final Location (puzzles), Parking, Question to Answer, etc. This is a bit confusing. One serious issue I've had with the unit is it is prone to freezing up if I switch menu functions too quickly. (Multithreading issue?) When it freezes, the only recourse is to pull the batteries out of the back, which almost always causes it to lose the geocaches in the system. When this happened yesterday, I was able to rely on my phone and the "share wirelessly" feature of my friend. I'm confident they'll get this fixed eventually, however until they do, I am cagey about relying on the unit for geocaching on my trip to Banff this summer.
Date published: 2014-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid Hardware This is a quick first impression -- I recently acquired a 64s and have mixed feelings on it. On one hand, Garmin generally makes great hardware. On the other hand, they typically take a while to perfect the software/firmware. There are definitely still some bugs to be ironed out in the 64 series. Thankfully this unit builds on the previous 62 series, so things are starting off on a solid footing. I'll withhold overall judgement until Garmin issues more firmware updates and I spend more time with the 64s. Reception-wise, I briefly compared the 64s to the Oregon 600 series in the store. The GPSMAP 64s immediately pulled in many satellites (including GLONASS) and was showing an EPE accuracy of 9 feet. The Oregon 600 series was showing an accuracy of around 15-17 feet (also with GLONASS enabled). That is *very* impressive considering one is standing in the middle of a large commercial building, full of steel, concrete, few windows, etc. If you live in the northern latitudes or frequent dense forests or canyons, you'll probably benefit from the extra satellites Russia's GLONASS brings to the table.
Date published: 2014-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic GPS I purchased in April 2017 this when I was in Iceland after talking to the locals. They all highly recommend a GPS unit as the maps here are not the best, and it often gets foggy on the top of the mountains. Great GPS unit, easy to use, I was going to get a touch screen version but the buttons are easy enough to get used to, and can be used easily with gloves. Highly recommend this GPS unit over a phone app.
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Garmin GPSMAP63s is a very good unit. I have had the 64s for about a month and a half now. I find the 100k Topo maps useless since I am always using more detailed maps but wanted the electronic barometer/compass so I opted for the 64s model. The 64s doesn't give you a whole lot more than the 60csx and in fact has some annoyances but it does have a couple of new aspects/features which to some may or may not matter. Reception seems about the same as the 60csx. I have run the 64 side by side with the 60 and not noticed any real tracking difference. The form factor is almost identical to the 60 however the mounting is different, so if you have any mounts etc for the 60, they are useless. The bike mount is really lame as it is basically a bracket and some zip ties (?!?) No touch screen. Same push button interface as the 60 which I honestly like better (didn't care for the Oregon 450). Granted the software works a little different (some kinda like the Oregon 450). All in all pretty similar but a few things are different (and annoying IMHO). I did purchase the Garmin 24K west topos (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada) on DVD. You must buy on DVD if you want to play with on computer. While you can use NWtopos (and I use both), NWtops has no street or actual trail routing capability. Again if you buy don't buy the download version or the SD card version. I recently also ordered the street maps and they work as well (although it took some work with Garmin Support to the them properly installed/updated). The downside is popular trails are strangely absent. I mean Lake Serene not there? On to the GPS points. The Good (outweigh the annoyances): 1) If you like the 60, this is a nice upgrade in general and similar in a lot of ways. 2) If you are used to the 60/don't want a touch screen, this is probably the best choice. 3) 4GB of memory and of course you can put in an SD card (I store all the birdseye and user downloaded maps on the SD card). I currently am using a 32GB SD card. 4) It also uses the Russian GLOSNASS satellites. In theory one would think better reception in questionable areas. My 60 didn't really have issues where I went so hard to tell. Keep in mind having GLOSNASS turned on will drain the battery a bit more (Unlike on your iPhone you can enable/disable GLOSNASS as desired). 5) It allows downloading Birdseye imaging (1 year free subscription included).Birdseye imaging is basically like what you see in Google Earth. It can be useful and is actually more fun around town. If you are hiking in dense trees that is about all you will see of course. At least once you download the data to your device it is yours (provided you save it/don't delete it). I.E. once your subscription expires you can no longer download any more Birdseye data, but what you have doesn't go away. If you save the files off to a hard drive you can always copy back to GPS, but you can't download anymore once subscription expires. 6) Unlike the 60, you can have multiple maps loaded and even overlay some of them. For instance you can overlay the Birdseye on top of the 24k Topo maps. The Annoying (none show stoppers for me and some people won't even notice or care about most of these probably): 1) Turning tracking on and off and saving tracks are in two separate screens and a lot more cumbersome than on the 60, especially if you are only used to the 60. If you played with an Oregon you will know what I mean. This can be made easier by changing which screens you see as you page through. 2) You turn off tracking and save a track. After you save the track it automatically turns tracking back on. I verified with Garmin that this is a feature not a bug. Their solution was to turn it off again manually. This should at best be a configurable option. 4) When on a route the waypoints on the route get a stick pin thing in them. All this does for me is often partially obscure the waypoint label. Again Garmin cited this as a feature and you can't turn it off. Huh? 5) Downloading Birdseye data is tedious and slow. Probably not an issue if you just want a small area but if you are trying to download/accumulate a lot of area it is a pain and very time consuming. You can only download so much at a time and it isn't that big of an area. 6) There is no smart way to update Birdseye data. I.E. say you downloaded Birdseye and want to see if that section has been updated. You just have to redownload it won't know if you already have the latest. It is all manual process. No update feature and you have no way of knowing if an area has been updated or not since your last download. 7) In order to download Birdseye data you have to have your GPS plugged in. I'd like to be able to download data without GPS and hook it up later and transfer it over, especially since the download takes so long. 8) To use/view Birdseye you have to use Basecamp. Mapsource doesn't know about it. I still like Mapsource for most stuff as it is easier and more intuitive IMHO. Well I bought it at REI in case it was a real dud. So far it's a keeper for me. I still need to get more use/determine how much if any better it might be than the 60 especially in sketchy areas. Also just to hopefully learn some more tips and tricks. If you already have a good working 60 which you are happy with/don't care about Birdseye or the new satellites you are probably better off staying with the 60 and saving your money. I like new toys occasionally and am starting to wonder when my 7+ year old the 60csx might finally give out. If you like something a little different/new and improved, but not a big departure into the world of touch screens, the 64 may be worth a look. The 62 reminds me of Windows ME or Windows Vista. Kind of in no mans land. At least the 64 gives you something (GLONASS,Birdseye). The only complaint about the operation itself so far is that a few days ago it locked up after saving a track portion. I had to remove the batteries to get it back, then it took 5-10 minutes to boot back up and be usable. I suspect this is a firmware issue (it's already had 2 firmware updates). So far it has only done this once. It would have probably gotten 5 stars if it hadn't locked up on me/now not sure if this will keep happening.
Date published: 2014-06-27
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Questions & Answers

Early reviews olf this series showed a lot of bugs and inaccurate tracking. Have these bugs been exterminated?

Asked by: PghDragonman
Garmin keeps their software as up to date as possible. We have not heard any recent feedback of widespread firmware issues on the GPSMAP 64s GPS​. For full details we recommend you contact the manufacturer directly
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-25

does the Garmin 64st gps have external power option?

Asked by: 01061950
It is possible to power this GPS unit externally. You would need to order the NiMH Battery Pack separately. This can be purchased directly from Garmin. From there you need to purchase any USB compatible charging device. The Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Kit is a fine choice. https://www.rei.com/product/880056/goal-zero-venture-30-solar-kit
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-01

does this gps work well for kayaking on bays, straits, open waterways? can it take waterway charts?

Asked by: DebJo
Garmin BlueCharts can be used on this GPS for travel on the water.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-01

What actually comes in the box with this unit?

Asked by: toeb13
​A 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription, a carabiner clip, a USB cable and a manual are included with this GPS device.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-25

Does this device have a sos button or ability

Asked by: Harmon GPS map 64s
This GPS unit does not have an SOS button and does not function as a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Personal Locator Beacons can be found via the links below. https://www.rei.com/c/satellite-messengers https://www.rei.com/c/personal-locator-beacons
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-25

My biggest gripe with the 62, my friend's too, is the buttons, The paint or what ever they uses wears off very quickly if  you don't know which button does what without a label, navigating the 62 can become a pit tricky... Has this been fixed?

Asked by: Plazmo
We have contacted Garmin. They have stated there were no significant changes on how the buttons were painted on the new GPSMAP 64 models.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-12-05

I am looking to replace an older Garmin GPS that cannot be repaired because it is too old. Will my existing Garmin topo maps load onto the 64s?

Asked by: PghDragonman
Without knowing more about the maps it's hard to say, but so long as they are Garmin maps that can either be downloaded to the GPSMAP 64s​ from your computer, or are on a micro SD card, they should be compatible.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-01

What is the maximum size memory card supported? The Owner's Manual only says it will accept Micro SD cards with no mention of a maximum capacity.

Asked by: PghDragonman
The Garmin 64 series can use up to a 32 GB microSD card.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-01
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