Garmin Montana Hiking GPS Reviews

Garmin Montana 600T

Garmin Montana 600t Handheld GPS

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The Garmin Montana 600T is the least expensive version in the Garmin Montana line, but it’s still packed with features. It’s got a dual battery pack with a powerful Lithium-ion pack that can be swapped out for traditional AA batteries that you bring along as spares, so you never run out of power when you’re far from civilization. Ruggedized and water-resistant, it’s ready for as much rough and tumble activity as you are.

The Garmin Montana 600T has many available mounts that let you use it with boats, ATVs, mountain bikes, motorcycles, or even in your car if you like, and then pop it out and carry it with you when you’re ready to start hiking or climbing.

The Garmin Montana 600T can share all its data wirelessly, so you can just hit send and effortlessly give your friends all the routes and waypoints of your favorite treks, without cables. If you’re a competitive geocacher, you can all start your searches with the same information.

The Garmin Montana 600T has a electronic tilt-compensating electronic compass, so you can still check your heading while you’re standing still and stop worrying about getting false readings if you don’t hold it precisely level.

Pros

  • Multi-touch capable touchscreen display
  • Full color screen
  • Both GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning
  • ANT and Bluetooth enabled
  • Dual Orientation
  • Dual battery pack
  • Can be loaded with third-party maps
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Hard to insert and remove SD card
  • Slow USB download speeds

The Garmin Montana 600T is also available in with a Camouflage case for the serious hunter.

Garmin Montana 650T

Garmin Montana 650t Waterproof Hiking GPS

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The Garmin Montana 650T is Garmin’s top of the line handheld ruggedized GPS device. It’s got everything that the 600 and 600T models have, but it’s also got a waterproof camera and it comes loaded with extremely detailed topographic maps.

All the Garmin Montana devices are built tough for use in the great outdoors, but the Garmin Montana 650T has gone a step further and made the unit into what’s essentially an underwater camera. It’s got 5 megapixels of resolution, so it’s more than an afterthought, and it will allow you to leave your snapshot camera at home and carry one fewer device without missing out on opportunities to take photos of your geocaches or the beautiful scenery you find on your treks.

Pros

  • Multi-touch capable touchscreen display
  • Full color screen
  • Both GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning
  • ANT and Bluetooth enabled
  • Dual Orientation
  • Dual battery pack
  • Built-in 5MP camera
  • Can be loaded with third-party maps
  • Great customer support
  • Waterproofed camera
  • Camera geotags photos to find location later
  • 3.5GB of onboard data storage
  • Comes preloaded with 1:100k topographical maps

Cons

  • Short battery life for onboard batteries
  • Software occasionally freezes and requires a reboot

General information of the Garmin Montana Hiking GPS

The Garmin Montana series are tough, weatherproof GPS devices that are ready to go anywhere and do anything when you’re in the great outdoors. The Garmin Montana line has some of the most robust and useful handheld GPS units of any kind from the world leader in navigational devices.

The Garmin Montana comes in four models. There’s the Montana 600, the Montana 600T, the Montana 650 and the top of the line Garmin Montana 650T (full review). They’re all similar, but each has notable features that make them more useful for different outdoor activities.

Garmin Montana 650T -2It All Starts With A Big, Full Color Screen

All four devices in the Garmin Montana line have beautiful, full color TFT screens. They’re all dual-orientation touchscreens, too, so you can hold them any way you want to look at the terrain. The screen is bright and easy to read even in direct sunlight. The screens are impact resistant, and have multi-touch resistive screens that respond to your fingertips even if you’re wearing gloves.

Swapping Out Batteries Is A Breeze

One of the dangers of having a device to find your way when you’re out in the wild is having the batteries go dead before you find your way home. The Garmin Montana addresses this problem with an innovative double battery setup. There’s an internal NiMH battery pack that recharges when the unit is connected to external power, or use traditional AA batteries, which can allow you to carry spares with you in case you run low on juice in the middle of nowhere.

Garmin Montana Hiking GPS devices come preloaded with topographic maps of the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, and a world map with shaded relief. These detailed maps have both national and state parks with terrain and elevation markings to finding your way on hiking or climbing excursions a breeze.

Great Satellite Reception

The Garmin Montana series is equipped to take advantage of both GPS and GLONASS signals to ensure your location is shown on your maps with pinpoint accuracy, and all the units are great at keeping you locked in even in difficult terrain like canyons or heavy tree canopy.

If the pre-loaded maps aren’t detailed enough for you, you can add maps to the onboard memory or use a microSD chip for even more data storage. As you’d expect from Garmin, who made their name with car navigation devices, you can also load their City Navigator maps and enjoy the same turn-by-turn capability you’ve come to expect from Garmin nuvi devices.

Garmin Montana 650T -3

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A Favorite Of Geocachers

If you’re into Geocaching, your Garmin Montana can hold up to 4 million cache locations at once. Paperless geocaching has never been easier, and with the big, bright screen you’ll be able to read descriptions of the caches and view photos of them, too.

The Garmin Montana comes with Garmin’s BaseCamp software, which lets you plan trips that you can later share with fellow explorers and friends. When viewed on your computer, BaseCamp displays route information in 2-D, or uses available topographic information to show your route in 3-D, great for mountaineering directions.