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Garmin GPSMAP 62St Handheld GPS Navigator
Edition: 3.5GB Compass & Altimeter|Change
Price:$279.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on December 12, 2014
I purchased this unit in December 2013 and didn't notice the problems until I became more familiar with the unit in 2014. I've been communicating with Garmin on this GPS for since June 2014. The unit has two flaws that have yet to be corrected. The minor flaw is that the camera does not properly record purple items in true color. Purple is recorded as blue. Garmin says they are not supporting that particular sensor any longer. The major flaw is that the mileage reported by the tracking software and the trip computer are grossly inaccurate. I hike weekly on known trails that are repeated each month. The trails are 1.5 - 2.2 miles long and it usually takes us 1-2 hours as we bird watch and explore nature. For several months now, the GPS tracking software and the trip computer have been telling us that we are walking between 11 and 20 miles on each hike. The Tech Support folks have been very responsive with suggestions but none of the suggestions have fixed the problem. I was told in late Summer that the mileage reporting error was a known problem and was being addressed. My software is up to date and my 62sc is still not working properly. Garmin even went so far as to ship me a replacement unit a few months ago and still the problem exists. Since I bought the device through Amazon, Garmin will not permit me to send them the defective devices for a refund. Even if they permit me to return the unit, the additional software I purchased ($129) from Garmin is "non-refundable". Since I can't get reliable data and track information, I'm very reluctant to take the unit with me on outings into unfamiliar territory. In essence the device is of no value.
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on March 15, 2016
After several years of use I guess I can give the 62sc an accurate review. Of course it is much better than the old technology Magellan Meridian it replaced but I have no other modern unit to compare it with. Sensitivity seems good. The only time it has trouble finding satellites in inside under a metal roof. Accuracy/repeatability seems to be generally about 20 feet or less. However sometimes readings vary wildly when approaching a waypoint. I walk in a straight line towards the indicated point and all of a sudden the unit is telling me the waypoint is 10-20 feet in a different direction. Waypoint averaging is a handy feature to increase accuracy when measuring locations, i.e. for placing geocaches. I don't usually pay much attention to altitude but several times when I have evaluated track data I have noticed altitude is way off with wild swings compared to what I know the terrain was like. I find the menus and functions are not always the most logical layout and sometimes indications are not totally clear. I had one instance where I semi-bushwhacked several miles assuming I would have a track to follow back but discovered it was not recorded. Battery life is very good when battery save mode is on, NIMH rechargables will last the better part of a day. However the backlight consumes a lot of power and will drain batteries in about 4 hours if left on. The camera is better than no camera at all but don't expect high quality images. It takes fair pictures in good daylight but is nearly worthless in low light. In all but perfect light there is a noticeable color tint especially with snow scenes. If you leave the unit in camera mode it will really suck the charge out of the batteries.
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on August 25, 2014
I do a lot of hiking in remote parts of the Southwest. I use my 62stc on direct navigation most of the time. I always input the GPS coordinates of where I want to go into the machine, hit find, push go and you are off to the races. Make sure to name your points. Makes it easier to find them. The 62 will point you in the right direction ever time, just make sure you calibrate the compass the minute you get to your destination, especially if you have traveled a long way. Simply use Google Earth to get your coordinates. But that is just a little of what this machine can do. In order to take full advantage of all the functions, (inputing routes, adventures etc...) YOU HAVE TO BUY MORE MAPS SO PLAN ON SPENDING AN EXTRA $145 (just on your little region of our Earth) plus another $30 bucks for Birdseye (every single year). My problem with Garmin stems from having to buy extra maps. When I bought my Nuvi, it came with life-time updates. I paid under $200 for it. I love, love, love that machine and take it everywhere I go. I paid $458 for the 62stc and had to pay an extra $145 on a 24K map of the Southwest to make it work like it is designed to work, and that is only for the Southwest! That didn't go down well with me. I just don't think it is fair. So after you buy the device, purchase some maps and subscribe to Birdseye, you have just under $700 in the 62stc. Is it worth that much money? Depends. Unless you are a serious geocacher or do some really difficult, trackless hikes and have some money to burn. Why not? Don't forget to bring lots of batteries, as this expensive little device sucks batteries down like they were cold beers after a long, hot hike in South Coyote Buttes. Helps to have glasses as the screen is small. If you just use the 100K topo, you cannot, I repeat, cannot set up routes, which is why you must set the machine on direct navigation. Buy the maps and you can take advantage of adventures, routes and more info on the area you are in.
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on July 5, 2014
I have owned quite a few handheld GPSr's over the past 15 years. In total, about 20 units, 15 of which were Garmin's. I use them primarily for hiking and geocaching, and generally prefer durable, stand-alone GPSr's over a smartphone app.

That said, I am quite impressed by the 62s. My previous unit was an Oregon 300 and I just recently traded it in for this one since I was not happy with the touchscreen. The 62s is a very solid device, with sturdy buttons, ample memory for maps, user-replaceable batteries (AAs), and a super sharp screen which is easy to see in daylight. The menus are laid out very well, and are intuitive enough for beginner users. This is one area Garmin has really improved over the years - adding the right shortcuts on screens where there weren't any on past models. The unit is also fully integrated with geocaching GPX files, so you can view caches, log attempts, view hints, and customize to your heart's content.

The 62s comes with a high sensitivity receiver which not only finds your position quickly, but also maintains your position even when the sky is significantly blocked (e.g. thick forest, high walled canyons, etc.) By the time it has booted up, it will be ready to go (cold starts may take up to a minute though). Very impressive, especially when compared to the older Garmins from the early 2000s (i.e. original etrex). Track logging is accurate, and compass and altimeter features work very well for the price point. I do wish the compass needle updated faster as it did on the older models. Currently, it swings slowly, which makes it a bit more difficult when closing in on a geocache since you can overcorrect your target more easily.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the 62s. It is the type of GPS I would be happy owning for the long-run. Very solid and durable design. I would highly recommend it to any geocaching and/or hiking enthusiast!

+Solid design
+Robust menu system
+Geocaching features well integrated
+Good battery life
+Takes standard AA batteries!
+Fits well in the hand
+Strong antenna

-Bearing pointer moves a bit too slow for my tastes
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on January 10, 2015
After using it on a few hundred hikes now, I still have not come to like it. I've had Garmin GPS's before and was extremely satisfied, but this model has dampened my enthusiasm for anything Garmin.
Using the automatic setting, the Trip Computer reads a full 19% too high! If you do a hike in which the track reads 10.0 miles the Trip computer will show 11.9 miles. Completely unacceptable! After NUMEROUS calls to Garmin support, the recommendation was to set the unit to set points by TIME and set it a point every second, but at that rate it will reach the maximum 10,000 points in 2.7 hours of hiking. For someone who does up to 20 mile hikes in one day, that it simply WORTHLESS!
I've set it to mark a point every 10 seconds and it still reads about 8% too high.
The electronic compass is also worthless... to the point I take a cheap compass along. With my previous Garmins I NEVER had to wait more than a second or tow for the compass to stabilize when I stopped to take a reading. With this unit, forget about a compass reading while stopped. Even the map jumps all over the place... Garmin tells me I need to be moving. What?! Again USELESS! Garmin support also tells me to make sure it's calibrated. I only had to recalibrate my old Garmin 76CSx if I was over 100 miles from the last calibration point, but this 62ST must be calibrated many times on even a short hike. Further, sometimes it takes 3-4 attempts before the calibration is a success. But it can be 5 minutes later and it can't find North again. VERY frustrating!
And Garmin's firmware updates... I hate them because for every 'fix' they do, they seem to break something else.
When I got the unit and 'saved' a track, it would put it in the SAVED folder on the GPS. Another option was to 'archive' the track, which would place the track in the ARCHIVE folder. But after several updates, while the SAVED folder is still there, I can no longer save the track in that folder, ONLY in the ARCHIVE folder. I want to save the current track and decide later if I want to keep it archived on the GPS or not. But now with many tracks archived, I have to wade through the whole list instead of have only one track in the SAVED folder.
Oh yeah, and 'Clear Current Track' must be done the moment you start a hike or it will include the distance back to the end of the previous hike, and that EVEN AFTER clearing the current track immediately after the previous hike.
I better stop here before I get my dander up about Garmin once more...
Suffice to say, I would not recommend this product to anyone, nor any Garmin product until they fix the huge discrepancy between the actual distance traveled and the Trip Computer reading. (I've heard the same complaints from many folks in a high-traffic hiking forum for most of the new Garmins... it seems Smart Phones with tracking apps are more accurate, but I doubt I'll own one of those anytime soon)
While I don't fault the support techs at all, they only have so much to work with, but I do fault the atrocious engineering of the firmware/software. They have GOT to come up with a better algorithm so the Trip Computer is at least halfway close to reality. (On my previous Garmins the worst I ever saw was 8% error, but with my settings it was under 2% error, very acceptable)
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on October 8, 2015
Where do I begin? If I could I would upload a video of it's poor performance. Out of the box for an hour and a window pops up advising that "external power lost, Do you want to power off? Yes or No." A 30 second countdown begins. Sometimes it doesn't allow time enough to choose because another message appears that advises that it is saving all waypoints, tracks etc and a percentage of progress. However when it reaches 100 percent it continues to beep incessantly. It doesn't respond to buttons etc so the only choice I had was to turn it off. I contacted customer service and they advised me that I needed to perform an update through the program Base Camp. Which I did. The same thing happened immediately after I turned it back on after the update. I contacted customer service again. This time another agent told me that the 62 series was discontinued and would no longer receive any updates and that the 64 series was now on the market. Wow. That helped me alot. So, I'm returning the device. I had a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx and I really enjoyed it alot and it worked perfectly and I never had a reason to contact customer service regarding their products until today. Prior to contacting customer service I did an information search on the Garmin Forum and I found numerous comments in regards to the same incident dating back to 2012 and they received the same response that I received from customer service. Don't know if I will purchase another device from Garmin.
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on May 30, 2015
I work as a GIS mapper, involved mainly in water rights research and filings, and use GPS in field-investigation.
The unit is very quick to acquire a fix, and holds it well even in occluded conditions.
I ran tests on points I logged in the yard, and it returns to them day after day with only about a 3' error radius.
You could (almost) "bury the gold" with it.
Menus and pages are laid out well, and are customizable.
I read review complaints about the auto-compass, and it's calibration procedure;
and indeed sometimes the compass would get outta-whack, but the re-calibration
procedure is simple, takes all of 30 seconds, and can be run during ops.
The camera is very good, though I wish it had a peep-site, as in certain lighting glare conditions
the screen is a little hard to see. No big deal.
The Garmin "GPSmap" PC program is a real plus for data downloads (haven't figured out batch data uploads to unit yet,
but it's probably there somewhere). That program also calls up recorded data points in Google-earth overlay,
which is a real plus. Onboard 100k topo didn't meet my needs. For 100$ I got the SD card with 24k topo
and it was well worth it. The topo is layered, so you can select levels of detail.
I got the HD case (Gizzmovest) and recommend it even though it's pricey.
It's easy to put on & take off, and will be good protection when I drop it, which is bound to happen at some point.
I got the "military screen shield" for it to protect the screen glass.
I'm pretty well satisfied with the unit, all around. It's paid for itself already in a couple of projects.
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on January 21, 2014
Previously I was using a Garmin 100. I was looking for a GPS which was more sensitive to receiving the satellite signals, but I was happy with readily accessible inform provided by my 100 which was simple to operate. The 62s has a maze of options, much more than I need. It was easy enough to create and save a track. In too many cases I've found the instruction manual to be poorly written (in at least one case, the instructions may be wrong for the 62s). Simple things such as battery level and distance travel for the current track require multiple steps. I still haven't figured out how to get basic data about a saved or archived track (for example, distance traveled). There is a basic map that comes with the 62 which is satisfactory for me, except that it is about half-mile off. Yesterday when I was kayaking on a river, the map showed me at least half-a-mile away sometimes on a highway. I'll keep working with the unit--surely with more experience I will be able to enjoy it. My 62 definitely receives the satellite signals well even inside my house. Yes, I regret buying the 62s.
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on February 8, 2014
First and foremost, it has decent antenna. I was able to get a signal and mark within 18 feet inside the house. A outside test got me closer to 12 feet in comparison to 29 feet on the same marked waypoint of the same location with a Garmin Hcx, of 2007 vintage. Both set at WAAS.

I really like the lanyard and carabiner having lost my Hcx in field. The switches and menu items are much easier to deal with. The unit does not come with a micro sd card but there is a slot for one and it is highly recommended for storing custom maps. It is much easier to delete maps from the SD card rather than main memory.

I have not been able to fully test functions yet, but so far I am happy with the purchase at the price I paid.

UPDATE: After a few weeks of use. my GPS fell face down into a snow bank, kept working fine, but the next day would not power up. The product is advertised to be water proof. Clearly not so much. Now I have to do the warranty dance and based on other reviews, that might not be easy. I'll update this when I know.

UPDATE: 03/12/14....Took 3 weeks for my GPS to be exchanged through warranty with Garmin. Overall the experience was better than expected. I had my RMA number within 5 minutes of getting on the phone. I called around opening time in Kansas, that may have helped. This counters what I have heard about Garmin in these reviews.

Good product, good service, but keep it dry and take a map and compass along with you.

UPDATE: 07/13/14: Been using it 4 months now and it works very well. I can get up to 9 feet accuracy under full satellite connections. The one bug I have run into despite firmware fixes is that the trip computer will record everything, even if reset, with power off, unless batteries are removed. The short of it is to keep batteries out of the device until you are ready to use it. A good practice anyway. The unit has allowed me to use set and use more complicated back country routes, faster and more efficiently than map and compass, although it is critical that both be carried with ability to use them.
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on June 9, 2013
After reading many of the reviews here, I was expecting to have some issues with the 62s, but I went ahead and bought it because a friend had one and it passed his high standards. So far, I've only had one small problem with it. I got the 62s to replace my 60csx because I wanted a better device for geocaching. In that regard, it is a vast improvement over the 60csx. I used to have to take my smart phone with me and use both devices to find a cache. Now, the 62s has all the information I need.

When I got the device, I plugged into my OS X computer and brought up Base Camp. It immediately told me there was a software update. I had to download an app from Garmin to do the update. After doing so, the upgrade was a breeze. I also uploaded a non-garmin map to it using Garmin Map Install without any issues.

Some reviews complained of a difficult interface. After the 60csx, I found it easy to use. It only took me a few minutes to get comfortable with it. Full disclosure: I have 40+ years programming experience and was the go to guy to assemble toys at Christmas. The interface is more complex as there are more options. For regular use, you generally don't have to access them. A nice improvement is the ability to customize the interface. I dropped several screens from the standard rotation making it easier to get to the ones I want. The only problem I have with the interface appears to be a bug in paging. At the completion of a search for a geocache that I decide to cancel by selecting Stop, I can't navigate to another page. When I press Page, I see all the other pages and can select one. When I do, it just returns to the compass page. The way around the problem is to select the compass page first. After that, it works fine. My friends 62s doesn't do this.

I also read about complaints about the case creaking. I don't have this problem with mine. This may have been something they fixed in production since the product came out. I also read complaints about the battery level indicator going from full charge to no charge quickly. I've only discharged it once. The device was at full charge when I started out on my last outing. I wasn't checking the charge as I went along until I got a message that the batteries were low and that the back light would be turned off. At that point, the charge was down to two bars. I continued to use it for about an hour until it got down to one bar. At that point, I put in new batteries. I'm guessing I could have used it for a while longer before they went completely dead. Overall, I didn't find the performance any better or worse than my 60csx. I use alkaline batteries and my usual practice is to always carry an extra set with me when I'm out with the device.

There appears to be one drawback in comparison to the 60csx when using the device to feed coordinates to a camera. They still supply a cable to do that, but it plugs into the USB port. From the look of the cable, it would stick straight out of the device like any other USB cable so you have to leave the flap open. My concern is that it would get in the way and be subject to getting bent. The cable for the 60csx plugged into another socket and came out at a right angle to the device. Another disadvantage of the new cable is that the other end is just bare wires. You would have to solder on a connector of your choice. My solution was to buy another GPS that mounted on my camera hot shoe. Even with the 60csx, the cable between the Garmin and the camera was a pain.

In use, the 62s seems to lock onto to satellites faster than the 60csx and is slightly more accurate in zeroing in on a cache. These are just my opinions; I haven't done any formal testing. With both devices, I had problems in heavy tree cover.

Overall this device is a vast improvement over the 60csx for the purpose of geocaching. My only complaint is the problem with the page switching,which hopefully can be fixed.
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