We’ve heard this question more than a few times on our GPS forums: Which GPS is best for mountain biking AND everything else (like hiking, driving, etc.)? Garmin addressed the question on their very own blog and despite the fact their recommendations are all Garmin units (image that ) it’s actually a helpful post for anyone considering a do-all GPS unit for mountain biking+. They mention the Edge 605 and 705 as possible candidates for a multi-sport GPS but I say skip these. While they’re both incredible GPS units for mountain biking they suck for hiking and are too tiny for driving.
If you’re planning on using your GPS more outdoors than in the car then I say go for a GPSMap 60CSx. With a software upgrade it can give you turn-by-turn directions, the screen is large, and it has great outdoor functions like marking waypoints, sunrise/sunset calculations, and support for topo maps. The GPSMap series is also super rugged and takes AA batteries – great for long days in the field.
We’re wrapping up testing on the PN-40 from DeLorme and so far it’s also looking like a great candidate for multi-sport GPSing as well. The PN-40 has a color screen, multiple map compatibility (including support for aerial and satellite imagery), turn-by-turn directions out of the box, and a rugged case for biking or hiking.
Of course a multi-use GPS will do a good job at most things but won’t be great at any one task. If you have the dough to burn, stick to cycling specific GPS units for riding and auto units for the car – that way you can’t go wrong!