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Review - Garmin Montana 700 series

Review - Garmin Montana 700 series

Mon 10th August 2020

An update of the Garmin Montana series has been a long time coming, so lets review the Garmin Montana 700 series.

We have had a Garmin Montana 700i for a number of months now and have walked extensively with it and have loved every mile with this new large screen GPS unit from Garmin.

The videos in this review are extracts from our online resource, the free training resource you get when you purchase a GPS from GPS Training. In this we have over 50 training videos to help you get to grips with your new Montana 700 series GPS unit

Model options available for Garmin Montana 700 series

– Montana 700, Montana 700i, Montana 750i:

These all come with Barometric altimeter, 3-axis compass, preinstalled maps (Garmin TopoActive), smartphone connectivity, compatible with Garmin Connect & Garmin Explore App.

– Montana 700i

The Montana 700i comes with the key features above plus inReach technology (Iridium satellite network, 2-way-messaging, exchange text messages, SOS alerts, location sharing, active weather), preinstalled CityNavigator maps.

– Montana 750i

The Montana 750i comes with all the features on the Montana 700 I and it also has the addition of an 8 MP camera

Physical overview and screen size – Garmin Montana 700 series

The Montana 700 series of units has certainly kept its rugged design.

It looks very different than past touch screen units from Garmin, with the Quad Helix antenna. The Montana 7xx GPS units has upgraded to using both GPS and GALILEO (European satellites).

The Montana 700 also has the option to use the Russian GLONASS system, but this is not the case with the 700i or 750i as these units have to incorporate an IRIDIUM antenna which is used for the two way satellite communication (inReach technology). This is identical to what we find on the GPSMAP66 range.

The screen size is a stunning 5 inches diagonal (6,4 x 10,8 cm (4″, 5,0 x 8,9 cm)) and this is crystal clear gorilla glass, which has been more proven on the Oregon range of GPS units.


The video above in an extract from the GPS Training online resource - the free online training course you get when you buy a GPS from GPS Training.

Menus and interface – Garmin Montana 700 series

The Montana 700 has a fresh looking interface, looking more like the hugely popular GPSMAP66 range with the ribbon across the bottom (you can add your own shortcuts to this ‘ribbon’) but you still have the tradition ‘main menu’, with all the icons we have grown to love with a Garmin GPS unit.


The video above in an extract from the GPS Training online resource - the free online training course you get when you buy a GPS from GPS Training.

Power and batteries - Garmin Montana 700 series

The Montana 700 series comes with an interchangeable Lithium battery.

For the Montana 700 you can also get a AA battery cradle, so you can run the unit from AA batteries.

Garmin state an 18-hour battery life, but I was finding it nearer to 10 hours (but I was playing with the unit lots, which you do with a new GPS unit), still plenty of power for a good day in the hills.


The video above in an extract from the GPS Training online resource - the free online training course you get when you buy a GPS from GPS Training.

To improve everyday battery life the Montana 700 series also comes with battery save option (as most units do but we also now see the addition of Expedition Mode, this cuts down some of the functionality but improves the battery life to up 2 weeks (according to Garmin).

Two-way satellite communication (inReach technology) - Montana 700i/ 750i series only

Using the worldwide coverage of the Iridium satellite network the Montana 700i and 750i lets you exchange text messages with any mobile phone number or email address anywhere – while using GPS to track and share your journey’s progress. You can also post to social media or even communicate inReach-to-inReach in the field.

The key thing with the Montana 700i/ 750 is the QWERTY keyboard, the problem on the GPSMAP66i and inReach was that it was always hard to input text (for the messages) but with the large screen and QWERTY keyboard it is very easy and quick to type messages

You will need to sign up to a contract to use the inReach feature – more here – but you can use the GPS as a navigational device without registering the inReach feature.

Summary

After spending a couple of months walking with the Montana 700 range of GPS units I really liked it, the 5-inch screen is stunning. 

I think the unit has certainly raised the bar on outdoor GPS units, well done Garmin!

Options -

- With Topo Active maps

1. Garmin Montana 700 with Topo Active maps - more
2. Garmin Montana 700i with Topo Active maps - more
3. Garmin Montana 750i with Topo Active maps - more

- With Topo Active maps and TOPO PRO 1:50k OS maps

1. Garmin Montana 700 with Topo Active maps and TOPO PRO 1:50k OS maps - more
2. Garmin Montana 700i with Topo Active maps and TOPO PRO 1:50k OS maps - more
3. Garmin Montana 750i with Topo Active maps and TOPO PRO 1:50k OS maps - more

- With Topo Active maps and TOPO PRO 1:25k OS maps

1. Garmin Montana 700 with Topo Active maps and TOPO PRO 1:25k OS maps - more

comments
Posted By: Chas Barrikady | Mon 10th August 2020

Thank you for your interesting and informative reports on the Garmin Montana 700 GPS units!

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