Gear Review: Garmin GPSMAP 62st

The pinpoint accuracy of this GPS system will keep you on track even in the most narrow valleys.

Our testers raved about this unit’s pinpoint accuracy and ironclad satellite lock in GPS-challenged areas, such as narrow valleys and dense forests. After stashing the 62st in the toplid of a backpack, one Colorado tester still recorded a continuous, high-resolution track of a 15-mile route in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

At the trailhead, the HotFix satellite prediction locked on in seconds, which meant less downtime waiting for reception. On the trail, the easy-to-read, 2.6-inch color screen and preloaded, 1:100K topo maps of the Lower 48—with terrain contours, trails, rivers, and points of interest—made navigating a cinch right out of the box. The 62st stores up to 200 tracks and 2,000 waypoints, and comes with a microSD card slot to expand the unit’s 500MB memory.

For high-mileage trips, enable the power-save function to keep it running for roughly 20 hours on two AA batteries. Another great feature: The tilt-compensated, three-axis electronic compass displays accurate headings even when you’ve stopped for breaks or aren’t holding the unit level. $550; 7.6 oz.;