Sunday, March 18, 2012

The king is dead; long live the king?

The-king-is-deadGarmin has finally pulled the plug on the venerable GPSMAP 60CSx, officially discontinuing it. Long considered the gold standard, the 60CSx had started looking a bit long in the tooth over the past year or two, missing now standard features such as paperless geocaching.

But there is no heir apparent, although challengers to the throne include the Oregon 450 and the 60CSx successor, the GPSMAP 62s, ranked numbers one and two in our most recent top ten. Then there’s the new Montana series which has just recently hit the market (more on that one here in the next few days). They all have their advantages, but from my viewpoint there is no longer one GPS to rule them all.

So how do you feel about the demise of the 60CSx? Are the new models clearly superior, or have the latest features not yet swayed you? Is there a true successor to the throne? Chime in!

About Rich Owings

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


  1. Considering the new E Trex serise update is due out in a week or so, according to most shipping those units, I think you might see more units getting the axe or getting a face lift.

  2. I’m sticking with my 60csx until it dies or something clearly superior is produced. While some of the features, especially paperless caching are alluring, the constant stream of software bugs and hardware issues dissuades me from spending any money on the new models. Garmin obviously just skimps too much on design and production. And I still feel like a second class citizen paying way too much for a handheld (plus maps) when Nuvi’s are 20% the price of a handheld.

  3. The new Montana series is my choice of heir to the throne. Once the price drops a bit and the glitchies are worked out that is.

  4. Yogazoo, I’m with you there. The Montana is terrific and sets a whole new standard IMO. I love mine. There are certainly bugs, but no worse than other new Garmin models I’ve owned. Haven’t tested accuracy yet, but the other advantages of the Montana make it worth the price of admission for me regardless.

    I still appreciate my 60csx however. Recently, over the period of a few months, I recorded averaged waypoints at a property stake on my land. I created 14 waypoints that were each averaged from ~2400 readings. Plotting it all in Globalmapper, all of the points fell within a 2 meter diameter circle. 50% of them fall within a 1 meter circle. Not bad.

    However, real-world use (recording tracks) looks better with my Oregon. The 60csx is just “noiser”, which works out fine for averaged waypoints but doesn’t seem to produce as clean or repeatable tracks.

  5. Clikkers65 says:

    Never mind the “X” I’m still using my GPSMAP 60CS and whilst I get frustrated by blocked signals in heavy tree cover whilst my “Oregon” mates rattle away with at least 12 good satellites, it still gives good overall service and I am loath to consign it to the bin. However I think I might find the GPSMAP 62stc under the tree this Christmas!

  6. I have an old 60CSX from five or six years back, old enough to have the Sirf Star III chip. It is far more accurate than any other model I have seen. I’ve got some great topo maps from GPS File Depot, and I will keep it forever, or until it gives up the ghost (knock wood). I use it for mountain bike trail design and reporting for State Parks. Great device, RIP.

  7. I still love my 76CSx (The 60’s more logical twin it you have man-hands).
    If they could get the screen on the 62 series and it’s reception to match the Montana, it would be the natural heir to ascend to the throne.

    Montana out receives the Oregon 450, acquiring and maintaining a lock inside a store with it’s only windows being the doors.

  8. I’ve warmed up a bit to the 62s for use in navigation, but when I have to record accurate waypoints and tracks, I pull out my 60Cx. Given that the 60CSx outsells all of the newer Garmin models by a huge margin according to Amazon, I wonder whether this isn’t an effort by Garmin to force people to buy the newer and more expensive models, flaws and all.

  9. Jack Glendening says:

    I now have a 62s and a Oregon 450 but find myself using my old 60csx. I found I did not use the newer features added by the later models (including satellite & quad maps, which I have experimented with but found not very useful), whereas the 60csx has a position error indicator circle and a better (i.e. smaller) position indicator triangle. (Why Garmin thinks a 50% larger position indicator is an “improvement” I’ll never know since it gets in the way of viewing the map at my current position, including any waypoint icons there – I’m old and have difficulty reading smaller text on the screen, but never have had a problem seeing the 60csx triangle or the direction it was pointing).

  10. FWIW, on the Montana you can use custom position indicators (sometimes called “vehicles”). There are quite a lot available for download or you can make your own. I’m surprised that Garmin hasn’t introduced this feature on other handhelds since the Nuvi has had it forever.

    The screen is also MUCH bigger on the Montana which is also nice for old eyes. 😀

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