gps ??

magellan or garmin ?? what do you prefer.i’m going to use it for kayak trips only ,does one stand out over the other ??

Ford or Chevy?
In all seriousness, there are proponents of both. A lot of people like the Garmin GPSMap 76(s) around here. I have had one for a couple of years and think it’s pretty good. It has everything I need and then some.

Map 76



I did this same post last summer, and got an overwhelming response to get the Garmen, e-Trex, “Legend”, so I did!

I have been very happy with it. You can change what you want displayed on the screen,and change the font size. It tracks speed, distance course, and about 12 more things to pick from. It also keeps a record of the track you just paddled, in case you get lost and need to follow that track back home.

It has road and waterway maps in it, and the unit itself is waterproof. The battery compartment on most of these is only water resistant, as batteries give out gasses when they work, so they can’t be sealed in. I dropped mine into the water twice, and when I got home the battery compartmernt was still dry inside. When I do get it wet, I open the battery compartment at home for as while, just to be sure it is dry inside.

Good Luck!


I Have Never Used A Magellan
But I’m very satisfied with the Garmin MAP76. If there was one change I could make to it… I’d like several odometers. It would be nice to be able to keep track of miles in different vehicles without writing it down.


I have the Garmin GPSMap76
I just got this unit and have it primarily for yaking and outdoors stuff. I have used it in my car also. I paid $179 for mine new at West Marine.

Here is my intial opinion on this unit:


  • Included Marine Navaid DB is great. Has a nearly all of the Marine Aids when compared to NOAA charts.
  • Big screen. Pretty easy to read. Some difficulty in very bright sunlight though.
  • “Waterproof” to 3 meter immersion for upto 30 minutes. They say it floats, but haven’t proved this yet on mine.
  • Buttons easy to minipulate even with yak gloves on.
  • Lots of screens with lots of info.
  • Ability to accept uploaded maps from Garmin software. Will accept waypoint/route upload from non-garmin software, but no map though.
  • Breadcrumb retracking ability.
  • WAAS capable.
  • Bluechart compatible

  • Shoreline/Road detail with included software is mediocre at best. Half of the roads don’t exist. Interstate, US Route, and Major State roads shown, but that’s about it. Shoreline detail is poor. US Topo, Metroguide, Bluechart maps are much better in this respect, but these don’t include all, if any Marine Navaids.
  • Unit is fairly big for a handheld unit. ETrex units smaller, but have smaller screens.
  • No ability to plug in the unit for power when using in a car. Battery powered only.
  • Antenna somewhat orientation specific. Need to keep fairly vertical in order to maintain best signal. Does work the horizontal orientation, but in dense covered areas, will lose signal. Vertical orientation is best to minimize probability of signal loss which makes awkward mounting on kayak.
  • Only 8 MB of Memory for Map Uploads

    I bought this unit based on recommendations from folks on this discussion group and because of it’s price at West Marine.

    I won’t say it is the best unit out there, but it appears to be a very good unit for it’s price. I am disappointed with its shoreline detail, especially since it is advertised as a handheld Marine GPS. This is purely a software thing as Garmin has geometric databases that have better shoreline detail. I don’t know why they couldn’t improve the shoreline detail and still keep the Marine Navaid DB. They just needed to improve/correct the errors in the old “Lights and Waterways” Garmin software, which has pretty good shore detail and most of the Marine NavAids. I am not too concerned with the lack of detail in the Highway/Roads.

    If you purchase other Garmin software (US Topo, Metroguide, BlueChart) and use their maps for improved shore or road detail, only Bluechart will presereve all of the Marine Navaids. The other two will “erase” the aids in the area that you use the maps. You can recall them, but you need to reload the Marine Aid DB (Free) from Garmin, which will wipe out the uploaded map.

    Bluechart software is expensive.



– Last Updated: Jul-14-05 10:00 AM EST –

I'm partial to Garmin. I find they are easier to use than Magellan units. The Map 76 series is a good choice for kayaking, as the units float.

The Map 76CS is top of the line, with a color display and 115 megs of map storage. It also does autorouting in your car if you have the software. Its a pretty nifty unit.

The Map 76C is similar, but its a bit cheaper and eliminates the magnetic compass and barometric altimeter that the CS has.

The Map76S is an older unit. It has a greyscale screen and 24 megs of map memory. Its still a good one, but other than its case and name, it has little in common with the 76C and CS.

The Map76 is a step down from the 76S, with 8 megs of map storage.

Map 60CS (REI) Use it in town, on road trips, hiking, and kayaking. Not WP so keep it in a Voyageur radio dry bag (REI) when on the water. The included base maps suck (no detail). You need to buy the MapSource software (at an additional $100 per set). Battery life is pretty good (about 8 hours or so), I replace batteries (2 AA) before each hiking day and boating trip and carry extra batteries in dry bag, backpack, and truck.

Definitly Magellan
One of the biggest differences between Garmins and Magellans is that Magellans have a waterproof battery compartment. How Garmin can claim to be waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes I will never know. Maybe I am wrong but I consider the battery compartment to be a part of the system. Garmin uses the excuse that there is no international standard on the size of AA batteries. Maybe not but there are a lot of other companies that have overcome this isse. If you send a GPS back to Garmin the version you get back will only have a 90 day warranty. And its $50.00 for out of warranty repair. This gets expensive when you are returning them about twice a year. I have used Garmins for years but have given up on them.

either one
ill buy either one if itll help me find my wway to you sweet thing!!!

Tide charts?
What cheap GPS has the best tide charting system?

does anyone have any exp. with this, especially units that can tell you the tide on big rivers like the Columbia?

Garmin Map76 has them
built in as part of the software that comes with the unit. I think the tide charts DataBase is for 7 years, so mine would expire/run out somewhere around 2011.


“Cheap” and “Tide Chart”…
don’t go together. Not when I was shopping, anyway.

I have 4 GPS systems…
I own 2 Garmins, 1 Magellan and 1 indash nav system in my car.

I’m and currently shopping to replace the GPS we use for paddling and I WILL DEFINATELY BUY GARMIN. I much prefer the garmin product (and software).


And I am not affiliated with Garmin in any way.

Garmin GPS 72

– Last Updated: Jul-16-05 12:21 PM EST –

The Garmin GPS 72 is the entry level MARINE apps GPS. It has Tide Charts, Fish and Moon cycles, and is $150 compared to the more expensive 76. the down side to the 72 is a limit of 500 waypoint/8 meg storage.

I've had mine geocaching now for a few years, even submerged it a few times, still no problems.

correction… I just bought another

I just purchased another Garmin GPS. I bought the 60C. After some testing, I’ll post a review.


sounds like we got a LOVE CONNECTION
thing going on here. GO FOR IT GIRL!!

new legend
I just came back from my first long road trip with the recently purchased Garmin Etrex Legend. The trip computer says my maximum speed was 1035 mph!

I do look forward to hearing what THAT is about and will call Garmin soon. Total miles driven was off by quite a bit as well. I’m learning and enjoying the travel data! I’ts one thing to have a map…but to see your self as a moving pointer on the map is great fun!

I have the Garmin 60CS. It has full colour mapping. What ever you buy, consider colour over gray, ambar, green only and should have full mapping not only waypoints and data. Also, some units are marine dedicated and may have more built in info like tides, etc.