DeLorme PN-60 vs Garmin GPSMAP 62st vs ....

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by _vortex_, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,135
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Ugh. Decisions, decisions.

    I've got the GPS Bug. I want a handheld, and I think I have narrowed it down to essentially 3.

    Garmin Oregon 450t
    Garmin GPSMAP 62st
    DeLorme PN-60

    First, I guess I have to decide if I want a touch screen or not. On all other features, the two Garmin's seem identical (compare)

    The touch screen is larger... but people complain about it in the sun. I also think I like the idea of not smearing dirty fingers all over the touch screen all the time... so I think I want buttons. But the 62st is way higher priced (WHY? I really dont understand Garmin's marketing) Then there is some question as to how the two Garmin's behave... from what I have read, it seems that the software on the Oregon has many different features than the GPSMAP model... (especially with routes and tracks) which you can only discover from using the device. And folks seem to like the predecessor to the 62st a lot better for off-road behavior. Don't know if that carries through into the new model....

    If I decide against the touchscreen.... now the DeLorme comes into play.

    It seems like if I am comparing features of the 62st vs the PN-60, the DeLorme wins on available maps, price (big win here), and the all-the-maps-you-want for $30 bucks a year. But the drawbacks are - no free maps available (that I have seen, anyway), and a smaller screen.

    It seems like the folks here who have DeLorme models really like them.

    Anything else I should consider? I'm going to go try to find them in a store today to get a hands on feel....

    Can anyone tell me about the maps that they come with - on the Topo included with the Garmin and the DeLorme - how good are they at roads? Do they have all the roads, down to township gravel? Can they locate places by street address? Or does that require other maps?

    Any other feedback appreciated :)
    #1
  2. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    Odessa TX USA
    The Garmin Topo I had for my 60c you could not auto route, and there was no POI's, plus it was a mess on the screen as the roads were very hard to see from the topo lines.
    The Delorme Topo is very usable on the GPS, Better visibility than the Garmins, it also has POI's, is Routable, and you can even add you own routable roads to the maps. The Garmin 62st you have to buy the Street maps for detailed roads with auto routing( and only has 500mb of internal memory so you HAVE to Buy a Micro Sd card, The Delorme comes with the best maps IMO.
    Yes the Delorme maps will have very good detail when you load the Maps the unit comes with onto a SD card or into the built in 3.5 gig internal memory ( 16 gig for the SE model), just remember that at a store the unit might only have the world base map on it( only major Hwyways), It will come with Topo NA 9.0 which has topo for the US and Canada and roads for Mexico. It will also come with 4 DVD's with precut maps to load onto the Sd card for the detailed maps you want. You can search by address etc, The routing has been improved over my 40 also.
    The screen is smaller than the 62 but the data is better and to me it has not been an issue.
    I can only say the the PN60 is a very nice GPS. It's tracking capabilities alone blows the Garmin away. The map subscription is very handy and a good deal. I got mine ( PN60wSE with SPOT) for the same price as the 62st and mine has the SPOT unit, better maps and 16 gig internal memory which really makes it a great deal.
    #2
  3. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,999
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Everything Robert said above is good stuff and he has had quite a few.

    You did not say what size bike, what you want to do with a GPS, and how much you want to interface with the Internet and other users.

    Off-road only, a lot of street also, all street, in car/truck.

    Another consideration is software. If you want simple (like my brain) Garmin and Mapsorce is all you need. If you like software (I hate it and even the guys who write it) then there are lots of options for GPS and data management software.
    #3
  4. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,135
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks for the info. I went and saw them all at REI last night. On specs, I really thought I would like the DeLorme the best. I wanted to like it the best. But in my hand... I dunno. It feels more awkward to hold. And I really wish the screen was bigger. And the button feel just seemed... cheap.

    I was also disappointed by the lack of roads, but I hadn't though of how it may or may not be set up in the store. Thanks, rwamf. So, if I load it up with what it comes with, it would have all of the small roads?

    Can you search by address with the Delorme? Because I couldn't figure out how to do it in the store. The best I could find was by city, and even that wouldn't let me type in a city, it was only based on what cities were near my current position (a list). But that was probably a map issue?

    By contrast, the 62st felt good in my hand. The buttons worked the way my fingers expected them to. The maps it had loaded in the store were better than what the DeLorme had (as far as roads)... but I have no idea what was loaded. I also couldn't figure out how to enter an address on this unit... I came away thinking that with either of these handhelds, the only way they would work trying to locate an address is to map them out ahead of time with the software, or google maps, and then upload the route. I hope I'm wrong? I don't mind it being frustrating and slow to enter an address, I won't do it often... but I'd like to be able to do it.

    That takes me back to the 450t... which I liked a lot more than I thought I would. You can type on the screen... the screen is bigger, and it feels nice in the hand.

    But, folks say the reception on it isn't as good... and I don't know the specifics of how the software behaves compared to the other garmin line.

    So I still have no clear favorite.

    As far as how I want to use it... well, that needs to develop as well. I've never owned a handheld GPS before. Have an older TomTom for the car. First use will be hiking.... but after that, I want to mount it on my DRZ, mostly for the fun of it. Like to be able to find roads, and record tracks, etc... if I ever find time to take another trip. But I don't do serious street riding with it. I'd also like to be able to throw it in my pocket when I'm in a unfamiliar city... since I don't yet have one of those fancy phones :)
    #4
  5. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,135
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Can anyone tell me... what are the differences between the PN-60W SE and the PN-60?

    I thought that the W was for the SPOT... but that isn't true.

    The only difference I can see is the 16 GB of memory, vs 3.5.

    Is there more? Other than the color?

    It also seems like the only place you can get the W SE (without the spot) is DeLorme direct... which makes it about $200 more than I have seen just the PN-60. And I can get a 32 GB SD card for ~80.
    #5
  6. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,999
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Based on that I would buy a 60/76Cx on blow out sale for about $200 plus City Nav for $80 and get some use under your belt. Probably 80% of the the off-roaders are using these model now and are very happy. Once you know what you may not like about one of these you will know best how to spend some big bucks.
    #6
  7. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    Odessa TX USA
    The 'W' = Wireless, it can be for communicating with the Spot or with other PN-60w's, You can buy it with or without the Spot, I got my 60wSE with the Spot for $549.
    They will have a new feature out this fall that will show you where your buddies are on the map , kinda like the Garmin Rhinos,
    The SE is only sold through Delorme and has 16 gig internal memory
    Like I said in the earlier Post do not compare maps in the store as the unit will not have any detailed maps in it, you load the ones you want as there is about 20-30 gigs of data for all the NA, So I just loaded the Western US on mine which is about 10 gig, and have about 12 gigs of Aerial Photos on the SD card for areas I want to explore.
    As far as searching for addresses? well I have never tried that, I do like the search function as you can hit the search and it will bring up many options for different categories, or you can narrow the search from a drop down menu.
    You can input a street name, city, State etc, I just have not used it, in my Car I have a street unit touch screen that works great, so off road I do not or have not found a need for that feature.
    #7
  8. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,135
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    For the price, (as low as $331 for a PN-60, delivered) I just have a hard time considering the Garmin's. Even if I bought one of the last gen models, I would be spending close to the same to get the necessary maps... and as a tech person, it really pains me to spend that kind of money on outdated hardware. Especially when Garmin seems to produce outdated hardware from the beginning :)

    And everything I read seems to indicate that the DeLorme data is better.

    Anyone have any longevity data on the Garmin vs the DeLorme, when stuck on the buzzy handlebars of a bike like the DRZ?
    #8
  9. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    Odessa TX USA
    I quit using my Garmin 60C cause the thing kept shutting off on my thumper, first one was the battery contacts, fixed that then it was the contacts from the battery board to the GPS board, not an easy fix. even quit while on bike power. Garmin replaced it twice and then I just quit using it, Went to a Lowrance H20c, never had a power problem, I bought my PN40 when it first came out a couple years ago because I loved their Topo maps, never a problem with it, to me it is a much better built unit than my Garmin. Now I have the 60 and it is very nice and all my cables, SD cards and Ram mount etc from my 40 work with it.
    But buy what ever one you want and try to use it, learn all that it will do. The GPS can be a very handy tool, but there is no perfect GPS, so till then I just use what works for me and right now I like the Delorme Maps the best, and the new 60 is very very nice.
    #9
  10. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,999
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Yes the pre "x" 60/76 units had some battery/power problems. Actually I think more from 76 than 60 but both had them. I don't think I have seen any reports of the problem on the "x". Also the new lighter batteries came along about the same time which really helps and most people started hard wiriing them which also helped.
    #10
  11. wparkinson

    wparkinson Gear Whore

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Down On the Farm...
    I am going to have to throw my hat in on the Delorme side..... now I don't have the 60 but I do have the 40....... I love it... It works great for me all the time.

    As stated above you have to add the maps to it but it comes with TOPO 9.0 which is an awsome package.

    I don't ever carry the GPS in my hand so that really isn't a consideration. I use my 40 in a ram cradle mounted to my handle bars and it works great. I have a USB hard wired into my bike so I can keep it powered all the time. I do have the Li-ion battery in it just in case and it stays nice and charged. The battery isn't the greatest and won't keep a charge long but I usually don't have to worry about it. I do keep extra batteries around just incase but I have a helmet cam too so I have them anyway.


    Long and short the PN series in combo with the TOPO USA S/W is a great system and I love mine. I wish I had the $$$ to upgrade to the 60w with the spot. But for now I will keep using the 40.

    On the map download..... For the price it is great. I went nuts when I first started....now I really don't use it that much. I have found that the TOPO maps that come TOPO usa are just fine. It is nice to be able to get Sat photos if I want but I just end up using Google Earth to look at... I don't even use them on my GPS anymore.

    Anywho... just my two cents worth....

    BTW rwamf pretty much covered it all.....
    #11
  12. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,356
    Location:
    Odessa TX USA
    Here are a few screen shots from the 60w
    With and without aerial images, also have draw layers on there, the red and blue are tracks for a ride coming up and the others are tracks saved as a draw layer, as you can see they show up at at farther zoom levels.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Very nice Off-Road GPS
    the best I have found so far.
    #12
  13. _vortex_

    _vortex_ snow snow snow :(

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,135
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    To update my thread, I ended up getting a DeLorme PN-60. And a RAM mount. And a 32 GB SD card. Everything works great so far. No regrets yet. Though I am discovering that most of my NiMH batteries are... well, not up to the task anymore. Either that, or this thing really eats batteries. But I need to get some new ones before I pass judgement on that.

    Maybe after camping next week I will know how to use the entire thing :)

    About the only review I can provide so far is that the screen is really crisp and clear. Even outside... in the sun. Easily readable while at road speed.
    #13
  14. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,032
    Location:
    NWA
    Went to REI today and played around with a PN 60 and a GPSMAP 62. Both have very good display's with the 62S having the larger real estate. What really impressed me about the 62S was the speed of the redraw. Now this was with the base maps in mind you, not sure if the Topo's and CN might slow it down a tad. It was faster then the PN 60 for sure though, not to say the PN 60 is slow. On the 62s, the menu showed a selection to prompt before auto recalc on routes, but then my 76x has that option and it doesn't work. Since Garmin has stopped using the SIRF chipsets, I can only assume that the 62s probably has the same fault which added to the external antenna are too very big minuses in my book. Add to the fact that the PN 60 can hold 100 routes and it stores 20000 point tracks, and I'm thinking this is gonna be my next GPS.
    #14
  15. JimC

    JimC Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,039
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    rwamf and I have had this ongoing discussion about the Delorme GPS's since they were first released and in my opinion nothing has changed much in the last 5 years or so except the GPS's from both manufacturers have improved significantly.

    Here is my take and I have owned every model of Delorme GPS and at least 6 or 8 models of the Garmin handhelds.

    Delorme
    Without a doubt the best mapping package in the business with the worst PC interface in the business. The track/map drawing capabilities are unmatched. If the most important function of your GPS is to be a catalog of hundreds and hundreds of tracks you save and you need them all loaded on your GPS at one time then the Delorme is the GPS for you. Without a doubt the PN60 is the best of the Delorme GPS’s. If you are going to buy a Delorme do yourself a favor and save up until you can afford the 60, it is worth the extra money. The integrated Spot system is another game changer and the ability to send text messages from the middle of no where for the price of a Spot subscription was unthinkable just a couple of years ago. When it is delivered (and if it works) this functionality will make the Delorme unique in the industry.

    Other than the above the Delormes suck when compared to the Garmins. The Find capability and the routing functions are a joke, really. The routing is so bad and so slow that I just don’t use it for anything. I guess if I was in the middle of nowhere with no maps and no local knowledge I would use it but that would be about it.

    Garmin
    While not the world class mapping package of Delorme, Garmin is not far behind. The new 62/78 GPS’s allow you to store 200 tracks of 10,000 points each which is enough for all but .001% of the ADV riders out there. The Mapsource software is certainly not as powerful as the Delorme Topo Software but I can teach you how to use it in about 3 minutes and you will remember how to use it the next time you go to create a route or a track. I never felt the old 60/76 track handling capabilities were a significant weakness so the new capabilities remove any limitations.

    For all other GPS functions the Garmin is superior to the Delorme. The find function, routing, etc., etc. are so much faster and accurate on the Garmins that there is no comparision.

    So I guess you can tell where this is headed. As an all around, do it all GPS the new Garmin 62/78 units would be my first choice. They are easy to use, intuitive to operate, lightning fast, have decent, easy to use PC software and now have an ever expanding universe of downloadable maps (both free and for a fee) which means you can use them anywhere in the world.

    The Delorme GPS’s are kings of the niches they focus on, outstanding track building software and maps and integrated Spot communications. If these are critical to you than the Delormes are an easy choice.

    My personal experience is that 90% of the people on this forum would be happier and better served with a Garmin GPS.

    Jim in Sacramento
    #15
  16. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,032
    Location:
    NWA

    Just curious, have you had a chance to really play around with any of the newer Garmin models or even the older units with the new chipsets? Because from my experience, crappy hardware, buggy software, and clueless support has completely turned me off to Garmin. What's critical to me is accuracy and the confidence that in a dire situation the unit is going to get me where I need to go. Garmin doesn't meet those requirements for me. Guess I'll see how a niche unit compares in those requirements.
    #16
  17. JimC

    JimC Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,039
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Colorado, Oregon, Etrex HCx, Nuvi 500 and 78S. I never had any more issues with accuracy than with any of the other manufacturers GPS's. Accuracy was the least of my issues. Hardware reliabilty was my biggest issue with the Colorado and Oregon. My units would constantly turn themselves of for no reason, I got to the point that I would not use the Colorado or Oregon on the bikes, auto only. I was down to the Etrex HCx as my main bike GPS (which I believe is one of the most underated GPS's out there) until the 78 came along. I love both the Colorado and Oregon GPS"s they just would not stand up to the off road abuse.

    Jim in Sacramento
    #17
  18. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,032
    Location:
    NWA

    I guess I should have used a different term then accuracy. I meant an accurate route calculation. Right now, I have 3 GPS's. a ZUMO 550, 76cx, and a Nuvi 265. All 3 loaded with CN 2010.30. With the exact same route parameters and avoidances checked. I just enterin th etown i want to go to and let the GPS route it. All 3 come up with a different route. The ZUMO gives me a 741 mile route that actually takes me southwest before eventually heading northeast which is where the end waypoint is. The 76cx routes me somewhat better doing it in 445 miles, and the cheapo Nuvi does it in 336 miles which is also the way that Mapsource calculates the route and from my opinion is probably the correct way given the parameters chosen. Unfortunately, the Nuvi would make a pretty poor choice for use on the bike.
    #18
  19. JimC

    JimC Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,039
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    If routing is important to you and you are not happy with the Garmins don't even think about buying a Delorme.

    How many possible combinations of routes do you think there are in getting to a city 350 miles away? I can almost always develop a better route than any of my GPS's can, which is why I do so for all my trips. Where I use routing is when I am lost or am looking for a particular address or business. In those cases I find the Garmins do a good job of getting me to my destination. If you are looking for a GPS to route you on trips of several hundred miles or more and come up with the ideal route I think you will be dissapointed more times than not no matter what GPS you use.

    Jim in Sacramento
    #19
  20. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,032
    Location:
    NWA
    So does the Delorme recalculate YOUR routes even when you tell it not to? Because my 76cx did. Doesn't matter how much better my routing is compared to what the unit comes up with, when I can't stop the unit from calculating it the way it wants to.
    #20