Garmin Zumo XT better then Montana for off-road use?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by BronNowo, May 28, 2020.

  1. BronNowo

    BronNowo Been here awhile

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    Wanted to buy Garmin Montana 610 since some time exclusively for off-road but with new Zumo XT on the market not sure now if it's worthy. Strangely though price both units is similar still despite of Montana being so old already. What do you think? Zumo XT seems to be road orientated to me.
    #1
  2. Hopey

    Hopey Hopey

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    I have both
    XT any day
    I can see it

    Hopey
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  3. Hopey

    Hopey Hopey

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    I have both
    XT any day
    I can see it

    Hopey
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  4. dtaski

    dtaski Been here awhile

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    Sold my Montana. Love the XT Much more intuitive.
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  5. sati8d

    sati8d REALLY?? Eh! Oh! ca va pas non??? Supporter

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    That pretty much says it all.
    I sold my Montana last year, was sick of how complicated it was to load GPS routes...then you cant see the damb thing.
    As soon as I get home from this deployment I'm doing the Rade F4 with an XT on it. That seems to be the right ticket
    #5
  6. Triplog

    Triplog Adventurer

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    Have a Montana 680 for a couple of years now. Mostly on road but some trails. I've been trawling through threads and reviews for 2 weeks now, thinking about either the XT or 276cx. Although the xt would be the front runner I'll stay with what I know. Prime reason for change would be the larger screen but there's not much sense in a larger screen when half of it is plastered with massive banners you can't get rid of. The Montana is awesomely configurable so I can have a wealth of information, or a full screen map (or a mixture).
    #6
  7. BronNowo

    BronNowo Been here awhile

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    ok, thanks. Is the new XT rugged enough though for off-road beating...
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  8. BronNowo

    BronNowo Been here awhile

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    what banner covers the screen? so I understand you prefer Montana still.
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  9. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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  10. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    ^^^You can change that.
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  11. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I didn't see in that thread any details on changing it, but it's ok, I don't use a Garmin. I just follow the thread to know what's happening in the Garmin world. ;)
    #11
  12. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    I haven't seen anything on this either. How do you change it? Link to a post where it's discussed?

    --mark
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  13. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    My apologies, I was confused. I misread the above quoted post. I thought we were talking about the navigation banner on the Montana.
    #13
  14. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    My apologies. I misread the above quoted message. I thought we were talking about the navigation banner on the Montana Nuvi screen.
    #14
  15. mxracer9111

    mxracer9111 Adventurer

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    Saw this thread definitely wanted to ask about the XT. I just broke my Magellan TRX 7 on the trail in big bear. I love my Fenix 5X plus and wanted to switch to Garmin now. I love the tablet idea. If I ride mostly dirt what are your thoughts vs Montana?
    #15
  16. mda185

    mda185 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I am a long time Montana 650 user and do a fair amount of off road riding. I ride with other folks that have also invested a lot of time and effort into learning how to use Basecamp and we regularly share tracks with each other. I decided to try the Zumo XT for the great sunlight readable screen. I will add that I am also very computer literate. 3 decades of experience with both Windows and Mac machines for engineering and leisure use. If you use a Mac, ride off road, and like to share tracks with other off road riders, this is not the GPS for you. I really wanted to like this unit but I just wasted a solid 5 hours trying to get this configured to work with my 2020 Macbook and get my existing collection of trips and tracks imported. The current generation of Macbooks with USB C ports will not reliably detect the Zumo XT in Basecamp. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. More often, it does not detect it. I have no problem with my Windows computer. I called Garmin tech support and I read all of their relevant online help. I tried everything they suggested. No joy. It still will not reliably detect the Zumo XT. This is a show stopper for me.

    One thing has not changed in 30 years. Garmin makes great devices but their computer software for managing the devices, mapping, and creating tracks is and always has been non-intuitive and buggy. My day job is analyzing software and working with software developers for spacecraft so I speak from some experience.

    If you use a Windows computer, this works much better. If you are going to use it out of the box with the installed maps and don't care much about things like 24K Topo maps then this might be for you. If off road riding and exploring is important to you, this is not for you. I really wanted to like this but mine is going back.
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  17. ZIEN BARON VON SUPERDUKEN

    ZIEN BARON VON SUPERDUKEN Been here awhile

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    You cant have Garmin Express and Basecamp open at the same time:

    https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=nbOTEO6uuA3Fs1M7aSrGF7&productID=679804&tab=topics
    #17
  18. mda185

    mda185 Been here awhile Supporter

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    That was the first thing I made sure to do correctly. Basecamp on my MacBook Pro still would not reliably detect the Zumo XT even with verifying that Garmin Express was closed and not just minimized. It was detected reliably on my Windows machine. As I said, I spent hours working on this trying to make it work reliably because I really wanted the improved screen.

    When I take multi-day riding trips, my MacBook is the computer I take to manage my tracks - better screen and lighter weight. Zumo XT and Basecamp on latest MacBooks are not reliably compatible. It can be made to work some of the time. Wasting time on this after a long day riding is not something I am willing to put up with. There are other options out there.
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  19. mda185

    mda185 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Follow up to my original post. I packed up my Zumo XT to return it and had 2nd thoughts. I still think Garmin software development is managed and performed by people whose training is from the last century - but my 63 year old eyes really struggle to see the map on my Montana 650 when riding in the woods with strong sunlight. The high glare when the sunlight is not blocked by leaves alternates with moments when I can see the screen but it's almost like looking at something with a strobe light flashing. Typically, if I adjust it so there is no glare while sitting, then I have strong glare while standing and vice-versa. If I try to adjust it on the move, at least 50% of the time I accidentally touch the screen and cause it to stop tracking because the Montana thinks I am trying to make a waypoint. This is not a situation a street rider will struggle with. It is really bad on my KTM 350EXCF.

    I need a better daylight readable screen and the Zumo XT has that. I revisited the issues with my MacBook and Basecamp and discovered a work around. The problem is that if Garmin Express or any other software connects with the Zumo XT, the computer resources used for the communication link never get released after Express or other software is shut down. I don't know if this is purely an OSX issue or a combination of OSX and the Android operating system Garmin uses on the XT. Either way, if another program was 'talking' to the XT prior to starting Basecamp on a Mac, then Basecamp will not detect the XT even if you shut down all other programs. (This does not happen with my Montana 650 on a Mac)

    I did the following. I set up preferences for Garmin Express so that it will not automatically start when I plug a Garmin device into the USB port. I also stopped it from running constantly in the background (that is the default Garmin sets when Express is installed.) If I used Garmin Express to update software or load maps, I unplug the Zumo XT when finished and plug it in again when I want to use Basecamp. This forces the Zumo XT to reboot. Sometimes, this does not work, and the solution is to reboot the computer and the Zumo XT. That seems to work every time.

    If the MacBook goes to sleep with the Zumo XT connected and Basecamp open, it will not detect it when the computer wakes up. Same deal - I have to reboot the XT and the Macbook.

    These are issues that were common and expected on 20-30 year old computers and operating systems. Sucks that we have to deal with this in 2020 with a new $500 GPS.

    Some other observations. The active topo map included with the Zumo XT sucks for real off road riding on trails and dirt roads like we have in the NJ Pine Barrens and places like Famous Reading Outdoors in central PA. I will have to spring for Garmin 24K topo maps like I had on my Montana. The motorcycle mount included with the Zumo XT may be fine for street use but the way it attaches to the back of the Zumo does not look like it will hold up in an off road environment on a small single cylinder bike like the KTM 350. Too much vibration. I will have to come up with some kind of tether just in case the mount breaks or vibrates loose.
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  20. sati8d

    sati8d REALLY?? Eh! Oh! ca va pas non??? Supporter

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    That why I am tired of Garmin.. spend that much and have to drop another 100 for topo...I hate that.
    I'm looking to go KISS and do a Kyocera
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