Waterproof Case - Garmin Oregon 650 GPS?

I am going to be taking a new GPS, Garmin Oregon 650 on a week long paddling trip in the tropics.

Has anyone paddled with this unit on deck? We may get some pretty decent rain and I am looking to be able to use the unit on deck and not risk losing it due to rain / submersion (I know they say they are waterproof), but I have also read that the touch screen doesn’t do well in rain, and I am concerned about submersion as well.

Looking for a waterproof case that will work with the unit, i.e. where the touch screen will still work.

Any suggestions from your experience would be much appreciated.

No experience with the 650 but
I have both a 400 and 550. After five years in SAR and many paddling trips, I can say I never had a problem with water. Don’t expect you should have any problem with the GPS.

also not used that model, but…
I have also not used that specific model, but have experience with a few other Garmins.

the unit is rated IPX7, which means it is is tested to last sitting underwater at 1 meter depth for 30 minutes. So for most people, it should be fine on a deck and incidentally splashed.

But I have had some other units that are rated with this, and some have had water ingress. I replaced one unit under warranty because of water ingress, and the service person at Garmin who I talked to pretty much said something to the effect that it really isn’t waterproof so not covered under warranty if water got in, and that they would do it just this one time but not again for me.

I do still use Garmnins, and now when I do I usually keep it in an AquaPac dry bag. But, I do not have a model with a touch screen, so not sure how that would work. I believe they do have bags that work with touch screens.


– Last Updated: May-21-14 2:33 PM EST –

AQUAPAC sells clear bags that you can put things like an Iphone or GPS with touch screen and it will still work.They have a bunch of different sizes, they lock at top of bag with theses little rotating knobs and are fully water tight. I have one I used a few times on my Garmin Dakota 20 which has a touch screen BUT the bag made it real hard to see the screen in the sun which was hard enough without anything on it. Maybe the screen is brighter on your higher end model. I don't use any bag on it now since its just to hard to see with one over it. But that would most likely be your best bet. I bought mine at local EMS store. I dropped my dakota into the water a few times, had it attached to deck line so it didn't get away and mines still working after a year of use, thats without the bag for protection.

Another option would be get a pelican box and occasionally just open the box and pull it out when needed. Plus there are clear top pelican cases which you MIGHT be able to see through for a quick look but of course not be able to operate the gps.

Garmin GPS
I have a Garmin Oregan 450t, that I have been using on my kayak deck for 3 years. Getting some water from paddle drip, and a occasional rain…still working just fine.

Carry aquapac just in case
Thanks for the advice everyone!

I think I will test the unit out in an aquapac just in case things get rough. Sounds like it will operate just fine on deck. I want to cover that emergency scenario where the unit gets submerged. In that case, radio-ing in our current position would be important and want to make sure the unit doesn’t fail.