Having been let down over time by so many sat navs on the market I had virtually given up on them and returned to the old map book and pre-writing a route to follow, especially when traveling through Europe. When going off road and overland a sat nav has never been a consideration as part of the traveling kit.
However, the Garmin Montana range is a different story altogether.
Having been on the market for several years now the Garmin Montana’s seem to have it all, and work very well too.
We tested the Montana 650T the top end model of the Montana range, with a top end price too, but it does do what it says on the tin.
The 650T is happy to be a handheld unit for hiking, a marine unit for boaters, or fitted to a car windscreen as a standard turn by turn sat nav, the real plus though for us 4×4 folks, is the overland capabilities for tracks and byways.
Due to the rugged construction of the unit it is quite at home fitted to the bars of a quad or trail bike for off road treks with colour mapping of the areas or even satellite imagery up-loaded on to the screen.
With an SD card slot, memory expansion is easily available for maps relevant to whatever part of the world you are visiting, all available from Garmin as downloads including city navigator, trails, regional topos, equestrian, white water & marine.
In keeping with the multi-use theme, the Montana screen automatically switches between portrait and landscape screen modes.
Whilst driving I used the Montana in the landscape mode, and its screen looked and behaved as a Garmin auto GPS. On reaching the destination, it’s easy to switch to mapping mode, and perform all the functions you’d expect from a good colour-mapped-screen handheld, including waypoints, tracks, trip computer, elevation plots, and detailed topo maps.
A new unit will be pre loaded with European maps, comes with a charger, USB cable, quick start guide and owners manual CD. There is a large selection of accessories and various vehicle mounts available from Garmin.
The Garmin Montana 650t meets the promise of a true durable multifunction GPS device. Well built, waterproof and a good battery life with a thoughtful backup option.
We dropped the unit several times in dirt, gravel and water just to prove the point, it continued to function without fault.
In our view the Montana range is the one to consider for off road vehicle trips combining roads, tracks, trails and dry riverbeds, nothing comes close for price, functionality and adaptability.
16 hrs internal lithium ion
22 hrs with back up of 3AA
4” DIAGONAL TOUCH SCREEN
Bright with good resolution
BUILT IN CAMERA 5 mega pixel
DURABLE TOUGH CASING
Featured image; Garmin