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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx Review

Hands on with the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx

UPDATE: The 60CSx has been superseded by the Garmin GPSMAP 62s.

UPDATE 2: This model has been discontinued. For more current recommendations, please refer to our handheld GPS buyers guide or our Garmin handheld GPS comparison chart.

UPDATE 3: Here are some reasons to look at a more up to date model.

The Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx updated the now ancient Garmin 60CS with two important improvements. First, the 60CSx includes the SiRFSTARIII chipset, which has been getting rave reviews for its fast acquisition time and awesome coverage under canopy, in urban canyons and even indoors! Second, the 60CSx no longer utilizes the built in memory for MapSource maps, but loads them to a removable microSD card instead (the unit comes with a 64 MB card). This means you have nearly unlimited map storage capability.

UPDATE: In early 2009, it appears that Garmin stopped using the SiRFstar III chipet due to a patent dispute, substituting a MediaTek (MTK) chipset. While both are high-sensitivity chipsets, Garmin is still fine-tuning the MTK firmware. The switch to this chipset has reduced one of the advantages the 60/76 C(S)x series has enjoyed over newer Garmin models.

UPDATE 2: Here’s my 2010 take on SiRFstar III and the newer chipsets.

The Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx is a favorite of geocachers, and is great for hikers and bikers. There are newer, flashier units, but the 60CSx is tried and true, and is perhaps the most accurate handheld GPS on the market; I always use mine as a comparison whenever I am testing new devices for accuracy.

One other point before we go on to other reviews — the 60CSx is identical to the 60Cx, except that this unit, the 60CSx, adds an electronic compass and barometric altimeter. To see how the 60CSx stands up against other Garmin models, check out my Garmin handheld GPS comparison chart.


 

More Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx reviews

I’ll be posting more reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some other…

Garmin GPSMap 60CSx resoruces

Compare prices on the Garmin GPSMap 60CSx at these merchants:

 

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Stephan says:

    Good day Rich
    A brilliant website filled with information. Congratulate! However, I need advice. Late December 1999 I replaced my Garmin XL45 with a fantastic Garmin III+. Now the screen is giving me endless problems and I need to replace the GPS but with which model! I use it in the bush, driving on two spoor roads; sometimes I use it while hiking, not on familiar routes. When I return home I used to down load my tracks with either Mapsource or Tracks4Africa and print my tracks. The Garmin III+ also had an external antenna. I also use Oziexplore to gather waypoints from topographical maps and then transferred it to the GPS unit. By the way, I am living in South Africa. Thanks.

  2. Receivers have improved to the point where you probably don’t need an external antenna anymore. The most popular units right now are the Garmin Oregon 450 and their GPSMAP 62s. The former may be a bit better for driving, due to its larger touchscreen. You’d probably enjoy some of the new capabilities…

    http://gpstracklog.com/2011/04/five-reasons-to-upgrade-your-garmin-handheld.html

  3. Rich,

    Reading the information on your site has motivated me to make a purchase of the GPSMap 60CSx from REI for $220. I am new to the whole thing and that was about the top of my price range for one of your “Top Selling” recommendations. It should arrive in about a week.

    I have some anxiety…. for example…

    What if it does not have the SiRFSTAR III chipset as advertized?

    Is the GPSMap 60CSx too much of a unit for a person just starting out?

    Is the technology old and obsolete already?

    Have I made a mistake?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

    Oh, and by the way, your site is terrific. It inspired me to get out and do some walking and I will be 59 next month. Thanks for that too.

  4. Well *I’m* three years ahead of you, and I just keep on walkin” :D

    I have a 60csx and an Oregon 400t, which is an older version of the 450. Personally, I find the pushbuttons frustrating at times on the 60csx. The interface is setup with a series of “pages” and you keep pushing buttons to move to the next or the previous page. Physical buttons are nice for zooming and marking waypoints. Not so good for scrolling around the map and really terrible for entering text. That is basically like torture – or programming an old VCR maybe. :)

    The 60csx screen will be easier to see in certain conditions, but much lower resolution than the Oregon. Stop by an REI store if you can and try the Oregon after you get the 60csx. If you like it better, they will probably swap it on the spot. I think the user interface on the Oregon was much, much nicer and easier to understand.

  5. Yogazoo says:

    Only 5 stars for one of the best GPS’s ever! This unit set the standard by which so many units are judged even today. The most solidly accurate GPS I’ve ever used, the 60csx was quite an achievement for its time.

    A bit dated now, if you don’t currently have a GPS and can find this one used somewhere for cheap you won’t be disappointed.

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