Although using mobile devices can be a challenge on motorcycles, this GPS unit from Garmin does not fall into that category. The unit has a glove friendly, 4-inch display that’s very easy to read, even in direct sunlight and being designed for outdoor use, is a rugged, all-weather device with an IPX7 waterproof rating.
The unit comes with several other features as well such as an 8 megapixel camera and high speed USB interface. Overall, the Montana 680t is a viable alternative to a dedicated motorcycle GPS which, at the same time, overcomes some of the limitations of those devices by offering a greater degree of versatility.
Garmin Montana 680tEditor's Ratings
Pros and Cons
pros: a variety of mounting options available | 8 megapixel camera
cons: no Bluetooth or MP3 player
- 4 inch dual orientation display
- glove-friendly touchscreen
- tracks GPS and Glonass satellites
- waterproof (IPX7)
- rugged mount available
- 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and automatic geotagging
- high speed USB interface
With a host of features, this GPS unit is great for motorcycle riders, especially if they want to take the unit with them after their ride.
The 4-inch touchscreen was designed with the outdoors in mind. The display is sunlight readable and produces high-resolution images. The menus are also very intuitive and simple to follow, so there isn’t a lot of time wasted trying to find anything.
The glove friendly display is yet another feature that will appeal to motorcyclists. There are plenty of manufacturers that produce gloves with capacitive finger tips. But, since this GPS has a glove-friendly display, you can wear almost any pair of gloves and still access the unit through the touchscreen.
Camera and External Memory
The camera takes 8 megapixel pictures, which is comparable to most smart phones available today. Plus, the unit will automatically add coordinates by geotagging pictures. This is a pretty cool feature that lets you navigate back to a spot from a picture.
The GPS unit will also accept a microSD card for added storage, so you shouldn’t have to worry about filling up the unit’s memory with pictures.
Another feature I really like is the versatility resulting from a wide selection of compatible mounts. For us motorcycle riders, the rugged mount is the way to go to use the GPS. There are also mounts for cars and boats. Plus, as a handheld GPS, the unit is not too large, so it isn’t a big deal to carry it around.
To me, this is one of the best features of this unit. Space and weight are always at a premium on a motorcycle. So, it is nice to have one thing that can be used in different situations and circumstances.
The satellite reception is very good. The unit tracks GPS and GLONASS satellites with high-sensitivity components and antenna. The unit does a great job finding your location and providing precise driving directions.
Navigation is also aided by the built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass. Since the compass is tilt-compensated, you don’t have to hold the unit level to get precise directions and it won’t lose your location just because it is tilted.
Other useful features include and altimeter as well as a barometer. If anyone is a weather watcher, the unit can lot pressure over time to help you track and be ready for changing conditions.
It is also very simple to add additional maps and information. You can download additional TOPO maps for hiking or camping, add preloaded cards if you are taking the boat out on the water and even load turn-by-turn directions for your maps.
The unit also comes with a 1-year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, which adds satellite images to maps. This is a neat feature that really helps to find the right spot or location by seeing landmarks right on the map.
If any of you are fans of geocaching, this GPS unit lets you upload geocaches from a popular website. Forget about writing down coordinates and having to enter them into the GPS! This unit stores coordinates and more, including information about hints and difficult of cache locations.
The Garmin Montana 680T is a great GPS unit for motorcycle riding, as well as several other uses. It can be mounted on different types of vehicles, including motorcycles, cars and boats.
With a display designed to be able to read in direct sunlight, and that can be accessed while wearing gloves, the unit is ideal for motorcycle rides with friends or your club.
The unit does a great job tracking position and displaying navigation data, and even lets you upload geocache data.
All these features come together in a nice, compact unit that would make a welcome and highly practical addition to your motorcycle gear.