Garmin Montana 650t Hiking GPS | Best motorcycle gps reviews

Garmin Montana 650t Hiking GPS

Garmin’s 600 series of GPS systems are probably some of the best among all of its weather proof portable navigational units that were designed to meet the demands of avid adventurers. Considering that all Garmin Montana 600series GPS systems are tightly sealed in with a durable silicon rubber gasket all along the seams of its main casing, including its battery pack, gives it the ability to be submerged in water as deep as 1 meter for as long as 30 minutes is one way of proving that it is not your average GPS system. One truly amazing feature that was added to these GPS systems, particularly on the Garmin Montana 650t was a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera that allows you to take pictures, just like that of a digital camera, but at the same time, gives you the option to tag your current geographical location along with the details of your data.

Garmin Montana 650t Hiking GPS Navigation

Garmin Montana 650t Hiking GPS

Garmin Montana 650t Hiking GPS

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The great feature of hiking GPS devices like the Garmin Montana, is its weatherproofness since on a motorcycle you can drive in the rain sometimes. Comparing to the much cheaper Garmin Nuvi series this is a huge plus and should not be underestimated. You don’t have to buy a waterproof case but you might need a motorcycle mount (overview here) to attach it properly to the handlebar of your motorcycle. Since the Montana is designed to be a hiking GPS device, you can easily take the unit off it’s mount and go for a hike or city sightseeing.

The pictures that you have taken with the Montana 650t can easily be uploaded to your computer or the Internet, giving other people a quick account of all the pertinent details of your travels. Having a 4 inch glare-free 272 by 480 pixel resolution, wide angle touchscreen display gives you more viewing advantage and since it uses a screen technology similar to that of IPS (In-Plane Screen)  as you can have a better view of details on its touchscreen within a 180 degree viewing angle. Given the fact that its touchscreen can be readable under any lighting condition, which automatically adjusts itself accordingly to the time of day. It comes pre-loaded with a worldwide map which is stored in its built-in 3.5 gigabyte solid-state memory drive which can withstand the toughest traveling conditions without having to worry about data being corrupted. If you may find its memory a bit small, you can always add more memory using its memory card slot, which is expandable up to 16 gigabytes.

Sharing traveling details with your friends will never be a problem because the 650t has a built-in wireless interface that allows you to transfer data such as maps and way-points easily without the use of data cables with similar Garmin systems, which is quite convenient if you do not have a computer at your disposal. As far as accuracy is concerned, the Montana uses a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter that does not need to be held on the proper horizontal level since it can determine the direction of where you are regardless of how you hold it. Undoubtedly, one of the most important features that it has is the use of a highly precise navigational system that is currently used as a standard for the airline industry. WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) uses a triangulation method of bouncing tracking signals between a GPS source, a satellite and a ground station to get the exact current location with a 95% pinpoint accuracy within a 3 to 5 square meter area.

The Garmin Montana 650t uses a Lithium-Ion battery pack that allows it to operate for as long as 16 hour straight, which is good considering that the average person doesn’t hike longer then that. To use it as a motorcycle or car GPS, most drives are shorter as well or can be charged on the battery. Its 16 hour battery life span should be more than adequate to get you through a day on the road or trail, but if you should find your self in a very compromising situation so that you’re running low on battery power which can greatly affect the efficiency of your GPS system, you can easily replace the three (3) double “A” batteries to get you through the rest of the way.


Being lightweight as it is at 10.2 ounces, the 650t measures no more than 5.7 inches in length by 2.9 inches in width with a thickness of 1.4 inches (including the battery pack). Its back portion is textured in such a way that handling it will never be a problem even it is wet. The battery pack also adds a means of holding it comfortably on the palm of your hands without slipping while you are holding it. Its whole outer casing is made from impact resistant ABS plastic that can withstand frequent accidental drops along with a silicon rubber seal lining that goes all the way around its seams, including its battery pack, which renders it virtually waterproof. A lanyard loop can be found at the backside, which you can use to fasten it around your neck while you are trekking.


Not all GPS systems have built-in cameras and its nice to know that the Montana 650t has one which you can use for your own personal use along with being able to upload these images that you have taken and tag them with your current geographical location as well as all other important details such as altitude, barometric pressure, distance and time traveled. The ability to instantly share among similar Garmin systems wirelessly all the information that you have stored in your unit is very convenient as well. The use of the current airline tracking technology such as WAAS has made the Montana very precise when it comes to giving you your exact current location and in real-time and to think that it has a 95% accuracy within a 3 to 5 square meter area, gives you the assurance that you are where it says you are. Being water proof that it is, you can consider it as an essential traveling companion that will point you to the right direction regardless of the weather without ever having to worry about incurring water damage. The ability to use 3 double “A” batteries as an alternative power source is a great help when you find that you are running low on battery charge since GPS systems are reliant on power to perform efficiently.


A 4 inch wide angle touchscreen give you all the viewing advantage and to think that it uses a similar IPS (In-Plane Screen) technology that allows you to get crisp and vibrant images with a 272 by 480 pixel resolution within a 180 degree viewing angle. Apart from this, its touchscreen is very readable under any lighting condition, which automatically adjusts to the time of the day, giving you constant image quality. Since the 650t model has a built in 5 megapixel camera, you can be assured that its touchscreen will render the same image quality that it captures, along with all the details that you need to distinguish one image feature from another.

Final Thoughts:

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At its current price of $ it can be considered a bit expensive compared to other GPS systems in the market today. Of course, not all GPS systems have a 5 megapixel camera that allow you to upload your images along with your way-points nor do they use the latest WAAS tracking technology to give you the most accurate method of determining your current location in real-time.

Plus the added feature of being able to use ordinary double “A” batteries to extend its operational time can save you a great deal of time when you find yourself coping with a low battery charge. A 1 year limited warranty on parts and service gives you the assurance that your Montana 560t will give you the best of what it can do with regard to giving you your exact location in real-time which reduces the need to carry a compass and a map while traveling. For its price compared with its features, it is well worth it since it will give you the most of what it can do as a reliable all-weather GPS system.


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