Garmin GPSMAP 66i Review

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The Nitty Gritty

  • Mid level price ($550 – $800).
  • Long battery life at 35-200 hours.
  • This isn’t touch screen and of course you can’t make phone calls but you can text and email (no pics).
  • The subscription plans range from $15 to $65/Month. The cost is based on usage for example up to 10 texts a month, 40 texts a month etc.  
  • The 66i also has a weather feature that includes specific marine info like wave height but NO radar.
  • Cool SOS button on the side that sends a message with your location to the Garmin emergency network. The SOS button has a cover over it that you have to pull off to then press and activate.
  • The 66i has an IPX7 rating so considered waterproof but don’t go snorkeling with it in your pocket.
  • Overall a very solid device. No calling but loaded with other features.

The Garmin GPSMAP 66i

The Garmin GPSMAP 66i is a great, affordable option for people looking for a reliable handheld GPS. This ruggedized device has a push button interface that’s easy to use and a helix antenna for all position function. It also has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stay connected while on the go. For those interested in taking their GPS to the next level, the 166i is a good choice.

The 66i comes with a large, color 3-inch screen that’s easy to read even in bright sunlight. In addition to GPS capabilities, the GPSMAP 76i offers an altimeter and barometer for navigation. The unit can be used for navigation with a compass and has a built-in thermometer. Despite the compass, the unit’s battery life isn’t great, but it is more than enough for most people.

The device can receive weather reports from InReach satellites, which can extend its battery life to up to 200 hours. In addition, the default tracking mode can give you up to 35 hours of battery life while saving your location every 10 minutes. You can even send messages to friends and family through its Wi-Fi connectivity.

Another great feature of the GPSMAP 66i is the ability to send an SOS signal to GEOS, which is a world leader in emergency response solutions. The SOS feature on the 66i will send an SOS signal to GEOS to track you. When you are in an emergency situation, GEOS will notify your contacts and provide updates until the situation is resolved. It’s also important to note that the GPSMAP 660i has excellent navigation and mapping.

The GPSMAP 66i also supports custom POI files. These are files of geographical features that are preloaded on the 66i. For more information, you can read the FAQs on loading POI files and creating routes. You can also download and install maps. If you don’t want to use the software, you can download the free software from the Garmin website. You can even buy an extended warranty, which is important if you’re planning on using the GPSMAP 67i for long-term use.

From the Manufacturer

  • Large 3 inch Sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the geos 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, two-way messaging via the 100% Global Iridium satellite network (satellite subscription required)
  • Preloaded Garmin TOPO mapping with direct-to-device Birdseye satellite imagery downloads (no annual subscription), includes multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) support and navigation sensors
  • Cellular connectivity lets you access active weather forecasts and geocaching live
  • Compatible with the Garmin explore website and app to help you manage waypoints, routes, activities and collections, use tracks and review trip data from the field
  • Internal, rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 35 hours of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode and 1-minute tracking mode (display off), 200 hours in Expedition mode with 30-minute tracking
  • Notice: some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used