When you go hiking, trekking, and mountaineering, finding your way around can be a challenge. This is especially true if visibility is poor or the landscape doesn’t have any distinct features. Our Gamin 64st review shows that this handheld GPS can be a true lifesaver.
These days, most recreational hikers use their smartphones for navigating the great outdoors. Well, that is until their batteries die out or they get their phones smashed. Dedicated handheld GPS devices are far more durable than your standard smartphone and can easily withstand the harsh outdoor conditions. Plus, they have longer-lasting batteries, which are definitely a plus for outdoor use.
Today, we’re going to review the Garmin 64st – one of the most popular handheld GPS available. Is this handheld GPS right for you?
Garmin 64st Review: What to Look for in a Handheld GPS Unit
Adding a handheld GPS to your gear may be a no-brainer for you if you do a lot of hiking. On the other hand, if your budget is tight, you may not feel confident investing in another gadget.
So, let’s take a look at the most common features to help you determine whether this is something that will benefit you and how much you should invest.
The number of satellites your GPS can access determines its accuracy. The two most significant satellite networks include the GPS satellite system (managed by the United States Department of Defense) and the GLONASS network (the Russian network). If your GPS can access both, you’ll enjoy higher accuracy and suffer fewer misdirections.
Make sure that maps for your area are included and loaded on the unit you’re considering before purchase. You don’t want to get out into the wild only to find out you had to purchase additional maps online to access local data.
If you’re keeping an eye on the weather, you may want a unit with a barometric altimeter. This handy reading can also help you achieve better accuracy in determining your location by giving you your altitude.
A good GPS will also include a compass, but make sure you check its accuracy against a regular compass. Your unit may feature an electronic or differential compass. While an electronic compass is more accurate, you may not need to spend the extra money on this upgrade.
If you want to log the landmarks on your hike, you’ll want the ability to upload images that will help you pinpoint your location along your route.
Marking waypoints along your hike can help keep you on track with fewer diversions. A good GPS unit will include a waypoint manager to help.
The 64ST accompany an IPX7 water rating which means it can deal with sprinkling, precipitation, snow or showering water. It could most likely endure a concise drop into a stream however I wouldn’t suggest it. The 64ST is as often as possible utilized by seeker and angler so Garmin manufactured it in light of water obstruction. For most explorers and climbers the IPX7 rating ought to be all that anyone could need.
Internal Storage Capacity
The Garmin 64ST accompanies 8GB of locally available capacity with an extra microSD opening on the off chance that you need to include more.
You may need to put resources into a bigger microSD card to fit everything. Garmin sells extra maps by locale (Southwestern U.S., Northwestern U.S., and so on). The whole guide of the United States is 560 GB however the 64ST just acknowledges up to a 32GB microSD. In the event that you plan on putting away more than 1 locale at any given moment on your gadget, I’d suggest this Sandisk card which is shabby and quick.
The GPS route is a standout amongst the best highlights of the gadget (as it ought to be!). I’ll cover this in more detail later however just to cover the specs, the 64ST uses an inherent 3-pivot tilt-remunerated electronic compass and a High-affectability GPS and GLONASS collector with quad helix radio wire. Long story short, the GPS gear within this gadget are strong and work admirably of following your area.
Weight is very significant for hikers. One reason a great many people choose to utilize their telephone for GPS route is on the grounds that they’re as of now conveying it so they won’t need to carry any extra weight with them.
Thankfully the 64ST is truly lightweight. Counting the 2 AA batteries, this gadget weighs simply 8.1 ounces. You’ll be unable to locate a devoted GPS unit that gauges substantially less than that.
Other Features Worth Noting
Some other intriguing highlights of the 64ST incorporate the way that it comes preloaded with 100,000 topographic maps just as the capacity to include your own. You can mean 5,000 waypoints and spare 200 distinct tracks. Like I stated, this gadget was made considering seekers who may have a variety of areas with tracks set up. For most hikers, you’ll approve of simply arranging your next climbing course and putting away that on the gadget.
With the essential list of capabilities off the beaten path, we should investigate where the 64ST exceeds expectations and what separates it from the challenge.
Nitty-gritty 10 ft. USGS Topographical Maps
Another feature of the 64ST is the very nitty-gritty geographical maps. The 64ST uses USGS maps which have 10-foot geological lines which means you can tell exactly where the height changes occur.
For the most part, geological maps will have 25 ft or 50 ft forms. This makes it simpler to take a gander at in light of the fact that there’s less detail yet it very well may be difficult to tell how to soak the height change is on the grounds that there are lines.
An example of the 64ST’s geographical guide is appeared here to give you a thought of what it resembles. You can tell where this zone has soak slopes/mountains in the light of the fact that the geological lines are near one another.
The 10-foot geological guidelines truly make this gadget champion and are one reason it exceeds expectations in this class contrasted with different choices available.
Bluetooth and Cellular Connectivity
One reward include on the 64ST is that in case you’re climbing someplace with cell availability, your family/companions at home can track with progressively as the Garmin refreshes your position. It likewise has worked in Bluetooth availability for moving information with your PC.
Frankly, Bluetooth is hard to get chipping away at a decent day and with the outdated UI, this isn’t too valuable. The cell network is decent however it bites through battery for something that you don’t generally require while climbing. I additionally will in general climb in quite confined spots where I don’t have cell administration so these aren’t generally huge selling focuses for me.
On the off chance that you’re a major seeker/angler then these can be decent rewards. The battery will at present last throughout the day even with the cell availability turned on and it can give your family genuine feelings of serenity to realize where you’re at.
The 64ST is excessively intense. You can nearly tell just from taking a gander at it that it can get hammered and continue running. Garmin completed a decent activity planning this to be strong in each perspective. From the screen to the catches to the durable packaging, each and every bit of this gadget was made to be strong.
The outside case is made of hard plastic so you can simply hurl it in with your hiking rigging and you won’t have to stress in the event that it will be broken when you take it out to utilize it.
Fast Start-Up Time
Very little to state here other than the way that this gadget turns on rapidly and gets a sign secured which means you can utilize it immediately. By leaving it killed you can extend the battery life out to ensure you have enough squeeze left for when you truly need it. We’ll get into the battery life in more detail next in light of the fact that this is one of the downsides of this gadget. Having the option to turn it off and leave it off for a large portion of the day is an important prerequisite on the off chance that you intend to utilize it for different days on end without reviving.
You can presumably tell from the rundown of Pros that the Garmin 64ST is a quality gadget. It checks the greater part of the major boxes you’d search for in a devoted GPS unit yet tragically it’s not all roses. There are two or three disadvantages to the 64ST you should think about before you get it. For the vast majority these won’t be major issues however relying upon your utilization case they could cause some enormous issues.
Other bells and whistles
Other features on various units include a few data trackers you may or may not need, depending on your outdoor activities.
- Geocache functions
- Points of interest
- Proximity alarm
- Route planner
- Sunrise/sunset data
- Tide tracker
- Trip computer
Garmin 64st Review: Specifications
First, let’s take a look at the specs for this Garmin unit from the manufacturer:
- Dimensions: 2.4 by 6.3 by 1.4 inches
- Display size: 1.43 by 2.15 inches
- Display resolution: 160 x 240 pixels
- Weight: 8.1 ounces with batteries
- Battery: 2 AA (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended
- Battery life: 16 hours
- Water rating: IPX7
- Memory/History: 4GB expandable
- Preloaded topographic maps
- Ability to add maps
- Waypoints/favorites/locations: 5,000
- Routes: 200
- Tracklog: 10,000 points, 200 saved tracks
- Barometric altimeter
- Photo viewer
- Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads)
- Hunting and fishing calendar
- Sun and moon information
- Garmin Connect™ compatible
- Smart Notifications compatible
- Live Tracking
Garmin 64st Review
The Garmin GPSMap 64st is available in six different models:
- Base model
- With ANT + Bluetooth + Camera
- Including ANT + Bluetooth
- Added ANT + Bluetooth and Canada TOPO
- With ANT + Bluetooth and U.S. TOPO
- With Slip Case
The price differs based on the model you choose. For this review, we’re going to focus on the 64st base model.
The Garmin GPS 64st features a 2.6-inch color display, which is easily readable even under the sunlight. For this size, we thought that the screen is a little bit small, especially when compared to other devices in a similar price range. The screen is also not a touchscreen, which can be a downer for many people.
However, the 160×240-pixel display delivers good clarity regardless of the lighting condition. The transflective display is quite tough, which is great for most outdoor activities. Overall, it’s not the largest display, but it gets the job done.
With GPS + WAAS + GLONASS combined and with a very sensitive quad-helix antenna, we’ve never had any significant issues with accuracy. In both open and shady places, signal acquisition has always been fast. Once the device finds your position, it stays locked in.
The built-in three-axis electronic compass makes it simple to navigate old waypoints and tracks. Upon further testing, we can conclude that this is one of the best units in terms of satellite reception and accuracy.
Ease of Use
The lack of touchscreen hurts the usability of the device, especially for those accustomed to using touchscreen devices. However, the Garmin GPS 64st features 10 large hardware buttons that work rather well, even when using gloves.
Regardless of the lack of a touchscreen, the buttons are easy to press and highly responsive. The large multi-directional pad works well for navigation, and the other buttons are working without issues.
We especially enjoy the mark button which made waypoint marking a lot easier.
The menus are also simple and easy to navigate. Although as expected, there’s a bit of learning curve when accessing more intricate features. Overall, the GPSMap 64st is a breeze to use even when you’re not a tech-savvy.
On a single charge, the battery life lasted for about 16 hours, even with the always-on display. You simply can’t have this much power supply with a smartphone. AA batteries power the device, so you can easily pack backup batteries with you during a trip.
Unlike your traditional smartphones, the backlight doesn’t illuminate except when indoors or in complete darkness. There is also a Battery Saver Mode, which extends the battery life even more by switching off the screen after a certain time.
Overall, the battery life on the Garmin 64st is excellent.
The Garmin 64st comes with a built-in worldwide base map, preloaded with TOPO 100k and a 1-year subscription of BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. However, you can easily add more maps if you choose to.
The device has an 8 GB onboard memory and even more expandable memory with the MicroSD slot. With this storage memory, you can simply download the map to your GPS and head out.
The Garmin 64st is for sale for approximately $260 to $300 for the ANT+Bluetooth and US TOPO model. For that price, we can say that the Garmin 64st offers good value. For such a price, you get a durable unit that is water-resistant. Plus, it’s packed with a good number of features and reliable accuracy.
Garmin 64st Review: Pros and Cons
While you may already be convinced one way or another, let’s sum up the high and low points for this popular handheld GPS unit.
- Fast satellite fix
- Quick boot up
- Preloaded maps
- Built-in cellular capability
- Small screen
- No touchscreen
- Functions may be confusing to navigate
- Not rechargeable
Garmin 64st Review: Additional Notes
The Garmin 64st requires a subscription for BirdsEye Maps. One of the cool highlights on the 64ST is the BirdsEye see you can jump on the maps. Tragically it’s excluded in the expense of the unit and it will run you an extra $29.99 every year. You can’t get it for a few months of the year and shut it off when you’re finished with your outing. So, you’ll need to pay for the whole a year regardless of the amount you use. On the off chance that you need to perceive what the BirdsEye highlight resembles you can look at this video for a see.
Profiles – But What Do They Do?
The 64ST accompanies a couple of distinctive preloaded profiles and the capacity to make your own. Lamentably it’s not so much clear what they do or why you should utilize them.
For example, on the off chance that you change to the Hiking profile, the 64ST will attempt to consequently design your course like Google Maps would when you like to drive someplace. In any case, the 64ST has no clue what course you’re taking so the route it makes is essentially pointless.
The gadget accompanies 3 profiles: Classic, Hiking, and Geocaching. The client manual doesn’t reveal to you what the distinctions are and it’s sort of difficult to tell except if you try different things with them yet that could possibly get you lost…so my recommendation is to leave it in Classic mode and don’t try different things with changing modes except if your at home and have some additional time staring you in the face.
Client Manual Lacks Detailed Information
The client manual doesn’t have much information on it. In the event that you need to look at it, you can click here. In case you’re attempting to make sense of stuff I’d prescribe watching recordings on Youtube since you can track with the video as they do stuff.
I never read the manual when I purchase stuff so this didn’t bug me much however on the off chance that you rely upon the manual, you’re going to be disillusioned.
Mainstream for Hunters and Geocachers
The 64ST is a not too bad choice for hikers however there are a few options (shrouded in the following segment) that have a few highlights explicitly made for climbing.
For seekers and geocachers, the 64ST is presumably the best choice available. It does all that you’d need and comes in at an entirely sensible value point.
In the event that you need to look at the authority Garmin item page for the 64ST alongside programming drivers, client manual, and so on, you can get to it here.
Garmin 64st Review: What Consumers Say
Another excellent way of assessing the quality of a product before investing is to check consumer reviews on retail platforms. For the most part, buyers of the Garmin 64st have been happy with their purchase.
Amazon buyers rated this unit an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars out of over 1,000 consumer reviews. High points cited include the speed of boot up and access to maps. Those who were not so happy with their purchase complained about its difficulty of use and poor battery life.
Bass Pro Shop buyers were somewhat more complimentary and rated it an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Happy customers also mentioned its connection speed and range of maps. Unhappy buyers complained about a lack of accuracy; however, it must be said that consumer unit GPS units are only accurate at about 15 feet. This can be a significant margin if you’re not prepared for it.
Garmin 64st Review: Should You Buy It or Not?
We hope you enjoyed reading our Garmin 64st review. The outdoor GPS market is a very saturated one. There are many units out there that offer great functionality and top-notch accuracy. With that said, we’re happy to say that the Garmin 64st is an easy recommendation.
There are some glaring issues such as the lack of touchscreen and the dated interface. However, it’s hard to dislike the robust construction, great accuracy, a good collection of relevant features.
Do you agree with this Garmin GPSMap 64st review? Is there are a particular unit that’s a better alternative than the 64st? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Featured Image: via Amazon