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Garmin Oregon 550t

in Navigation Gear & Accessories

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (1 reviews)

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Tim Cheek
( hikerfan4sure )
Garmin Oregon 550t on 09/05/2009 21:53:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This review is by a first time GPS user, so I can’t offer a comparison to other units. I’m also not familiar with the technical aspects of GPS units, so I can’t offer you performance data. What I can offer is the perspective of a consumer level user with several decades of old fashioned navigating.

I bought this unit to follow an off trail route. It is seductive if you’ve been using a map and compass to triangulate your position. Without landmarks in seconds, you have your position. The complaints I’ve heard from others about the delay some units locating a satellite reminds me of my complaints about dial up when talking to my 89 year old father: it falls on deaf ears for those use to no technology at all.

I purchased the 1:24 map for Colorado/Utah for the Weminuche. They give you a 10% discount off the $100 cost. The additional detail was helpful, but I can’t overemphasize the need to disable the shaded map relief feature. All that feature did for me is darken the screen. Battery life is extended with the brightness turned down, so turn off the counterproductive shading. Shading might be helpful in planning a trip from a larger screen.

I was stunned by the misplacement of the trails on the maps. It made me wonder who is going to replace these maps from the middle of the last century with GPS units. Funny we have 21st century technology superimposed on 1950’s maps. Makes me wonder what could be done if we started fresh.

I felt there was little need for a manual. I poked around on it at home the week before my trip when I didn’t have to worry about battery life and found it intuitive. I’m one of those people that would prefer a manual. The touch screen reminds me of my iPhone. Occasionally, moving the map across the screen with my finger would not work, so I’d enlarge the display with the minus sign.

Battery life was not a problem. After five days I had all but one bar.

Satellite finding was virtually instantaneous from my perspective as a map and compass guy. I suppose spending this much money on a GPS unit it ought to be. Had I bought an earlier generation that burned battery life trying to find itself, I’d be upset.

I’ll supplement this review as I get more time with it, but if you have the money and need, I can’t come up with a reason not to be happy with it.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Garmin GPS priced at: $165.98
Garmin Oregon 550t priced at: $419.99 - $599.95
Shop 21St Century, Oregon products at GearBuyer

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