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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Route Planner: Rand McNally Foris 850 GPS

The first GPS unit from maps maker Rand McNally.

by: Andrew Matranga

Rand McNally Foris 850 (Courtesy Photo)
Rand McNally Foris 850 (Courtesy Photo)

Route Planner
When Rand McNally decided to make a GPS unit, the company put its vast archive of maps to good use—the Foris 850 comes preloaded with 5 million miles of trails in national and state parks, national forests, and content from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. And that’s just the start. Testers loved the onboard route creator, which plans custom trips for your desired activity, length, and difficulty. For bike rides, we plugged in a starting point and enabled the “Loop Me” feature set to hilly mode.

The device calculates preferred mileage, and the software spits out guided turn-by-turn routing for trails or streets (with both spoken and visual directions). The 3-inch touchscreen is rugged enough to survive trail abuse, yet maintains good sensitivity for checking stats and marking waypoints. Downsides: Battery life is only six hours, the onboard software is basic, and the map editing tools are PC only. $400; 9 oz.; 2 oz. (mount); 8GB internal storage (1,000 tracks; 7,000 waypoints); microSD slot; randmcnally.com

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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
sierracanon
Dec 24, 2013

If you get on their website, they dropped the price in half, so it might be a good time to get one.

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