Garmin Montana 680 Review

The Garmin Montana 680 proved to be our most powerful device, featuring a large screen, mounting options, easy to use interface, and 8 MP camera with the best reception of all units tested. It was also the heaviest and largest.

Best reception, large display, 8 MP camera, compatible with several mounts, dual orientation, wireless communication, electronic compass, waterproof.

Reception

Of the all units, the Montana 680 had the best reception. Utilizing a high sensitivity receiver, the Montana 680 picks up both GLONASS and GPS networks with WAAS compatibility. When testing in deep canyons, high mountains, and covered areas, we discovered it was the second fastest to lock on a location. It maintains a recorded accuracy within eight feet in both open and covered areas. In our tests we set a way point and tried to navigate back to it. On average, the Montana put us within 40 inches of the initial way points while Garmin GPS MAP 64s put us within 73 inches.

Display Quality

The dual orientation color display features the largest screen (3.5 inches) of all tested. Due to its size, it’s perfect to use as a navigation system for automobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs. No other unit was as easy to use while driving.

Furthermore, this unit worked well with light gloves in gnarly weather. It was harder to use with thick gloves but better than most given the large screen size. Our testers also didn’t like it for backpacking because of its weight. Overall, the unit was a little more versatile than the Oregon 600t, but because it didn’t have as many fancy features as the Magellan eXplorist 510 (a video and voice recorder), it scored average in this category.

Best Uses

As mentioned above, we think this unit is best used for four-season activities, day hikes, fishing, hunting, or other recreational purposes. It is not our top choice for long backpacking trips due to its heavier weight. We did like the extra mounting options and large screen that makes it the a great option for motor-sport navigation.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a power handheld GPS with most of the bells and whistles, the Garmin Montana 680 may be your next big buy. This device proved to be our fastest receiver with the best reception. With many fancy features such as a 8 MP camera, several mounting options, and a 4 GB internal memory, this device is ready to go on your next big adventure. This receiver is the most powerful of all tested, giving it the best accuracy and reception. It also features a very large screen and easy-to-use interface (similar to other Garmin units). The rechargeable NiMH battery pack (or use of 3 AA batteries) is perfect for the traveler who uses their GPS unit often. Even though we loved how powerful this unit was, it was not as versatile as other units like the Garmin GPS MAP 64s. It was the largest and heaviest of all tested, and proved to be a poor option for backpacking or lightweight adventures.