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What is the best top end walking, cycling and multi-activity GPS Device?

What is the best top end walking, cycling and multi-activity GPS Device?

Fri 20th October 2017

What is the best top end walking, cycling and multi-activity GPS Device?

At GPS Training, we have a large range of hand held walking / cycling / multi-activity GPS Devices ranging in price from £99.00 - £1059, in this article we are going to look at our own recommendation for a great top end GPS unit, supplied with more detailed Ordnance Survey 1:25k Mapping.

The unit that we have selected for our recommendation of best top end multi-activity hand-held GPS Device is the Garmin Oregon 750 with full GB Topo Pro OS 1:25k Mapping. 

The Oregon 750 is a robust handheld GPS unit with a tough 3Ē Gorilla Glass Touch Screen and a high weather rating of IPX7, we feel that this is the best touch-screens within our handheld GPS range to view in bright sunlight, unlike our smart phones which we often struggle to read in bright sunlight, the unit is packed full of great features not just for navigation.

The unit that we are looking at is bundled with Garminís latest Topo Pro mapping, this mapping includes OS 1:250, 1:50 & 1:25k Map scales, when you zoom in on the map page the map levels automatically changes between the different scales.

For the first time in a Garmin hand-held unit this Topo Pro mapping has a new feature called on-trail guidance also described as Routable off-road data, this new function works in the National Parks on the OS path network, with this new function the Oregon 750 can route you across the OS path network in any of the fourteen National Parks in Great Britain giving you turn by turn on screen directional arrows, we love using this new features and it is especially useful when you need to create a quick route to get you off the hills in bad weather when walking in one of our National Parks.

The Topo Pro mapping also gives you turn by turn routing via the road network which is great for Road Cycling, you can simply search for a Village, Town etc to cycle to or use the great new Round Routing function, with the Round Routing function you input the distance that you would like to cycle and the Oregon 750 GPS calculates three different circular routes for you to choose from.

With both turn by turn routing options the Oregon 750 gives you tone alerts when you are coming up to turns and displays a clear directional arrow at the top of the map page, just like you would see on a car satnav device but without the voice commands.

When you first turn on the unit just like the eTrex Touch range the screen displays one of the pre-loaded activity profile homepages and with a simple swipe left to right on the screen you can move between these activity screens e.g. Hike, Tour Cycle, Geocache etc.

What we like about these activity profiles is that you can individually changes each profile to best suit the activity that you are doing whether this just be viewing some different data boxes or in the case of the Topo Pro mapping you can set a new profile to give you turn by turn trail directions when navigating on OS paths within one of the fourteen GB National Parks.

Once you have selected the Activity Page that you want to use a simple tap on the screen brings up the map page and from the map page you can simply swipe left or right moving to the Trip Log Computer, Electronic Compass screen and Altimeter screen with height data.

The trip computer shows a good selection of data boxes which display useful information about your Activity E.g. Distance Travelled, Speed, Elevation etc with many available choices that you can use to customize the data that you see within these boxes. 

It is easy to use the new track recording function from a simple swipe from the bottom of the map page you can start and stop a recording of your activity which can then be reviewed back in Garminís free planning software or if you have your unit paired with your Smart Phone we really like the Garmin connect app which when you are finished your walk, cycle ride etc lets you sync this data from your track recording to view or share with others.

For those of you interested in the outdoor activity of Geocaching which is basically a fun electronic treasure hunt, the Oregon 700/750 series range is the first ever Garmin GPS Device range to give you the new live Geocaching function, with this new Live Geocaching function you can pair the Oregon 700/750 with your Smart Phone or Wi-Fi network and download Geocaches live for the area that you are in without the need for a computer, giving you instant up to  data information on the go about the Geocaches you download, we also like that you can also upload your logs when you find the Geocaches directly to your Geocaching account with no need for a computer connection.

The Oregon 700/750 series of GPS units also allow for Garmin IQ apps to be installed to the device via the Garmin Connect IQ App store, these apps are being developed all the time and using these apps you can add new data fields or functions to your Oregon 700/750 Series as new Apps become available, the Oregon 700 series is currently the only handheld Garmin GPS Device range that has this new function, it will be good to see how these Apps get developed more over the coming months and the bonus is they are free to downloaded.

Finally, the Oregon 750 unit that we have chosen is the model fitted with the 8mp Camera, giving you a weatherproof camera all in one with your GPS Device, when you take pictures with the camera they are Geotagged with the Time, Date, Location and Elevation, these pictures can be viewed back on your track recoding in BaseCamp software or simply copied out of the unit for viewing or sharing with others as you would with digital camera images.

We feel that this is a great unit from someone wanting to use an outdoor GPS Device for many different activities such as Hiking, Mountain Biking, Road Cycling and Geocaching and with the more detailed Topo Pro OS 1:25k Mapping this is great to navigate with when you are off the beaten track, with the added benefit that if you are in a National Park the unit with the Topo Pro Mapping can automatically calculate routes for you across the footpath network with turn by turn arrows to follow.

Pros: 

User friendly good sized 3Ē sunlight readable touchscreen – quicker to move between screens and menus

Pre-loaded multi activity profiles – for ease of use and personalization 

Bluetooth connectivity – used for syncing data with Garmin connect App, pairing with additional Garmin ANT+ sensors and downloading live Geocaches with

Ability to download Apps from Garmin IQ store – add new features to your GPS for free

Routable off-road trail network in the National Parks – great for calculating a quick route on the footpaths when in the National Parks 

Built-in 8mp Camera – Geotag pictures whilst on your walks which are then automatically linked and displayed on your track recording in BaseCamp Software

Cons:

Higher cost

Topo Pro Mapping not available as a High-Resolution Map

The Garmin Battery Pack that is included for free with the Camera unit - this battery pack is not as high capacity (2000mah) as we would have liked hence we recommend using something like Eneloop Pro 2500mah Rechargeable Batteries with the unit

What is supplied in the Box with the Oregon 750 Topo Pro Bundle from GPS Training:

- Oregon 750 GPS Unit

- Topo Pro Map Card which includes both Full GB Ordnance Survey 1:25k & 1:50k Maps loaded on a micro sd card in the unit

- USB cable

- Carabiner Clip

- Garmin Re-chargeable AA Battery Pack

- 12 months free subscription to Garminís Birdseye Satellite image downloads

-  Getting started with Your Oregon 7 guide - (produced by GPS Training)

- Garmin BaseCamp Planning Software instructions (produced by GPS Training)

- Username and Password giving you free 12 months access to our GPS Training Online Training Resource (Normally £25.00)

If you do not require a Camera we also stock the none camera Oregon 700 unit bundled with the Topo Pro Mapping as per the link here.

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