Just in time for Overland Expo West 2019, Garmin has released a new GPS called the “Overlander” and I have a strong suspicion this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. It hasn’t quite been released yet (Garmin website says 3-5 weeks for shipping) so this is more just my thoughts on the unit.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Garmin products, and I still use the Drivesmart 61 as a dedicated GPS in my truck, along with a pair of their Rino Series walkie talkies (with GPS-and it shows you where the other people are in your group!) but Garmin has had no offroad specific GPS.
Because of that, I was using the Magellan TRX7, but as you may have read in my other posts, it has NOT performed well for me at all. I have since switched over to a Samsung tablet and Gaia, but this announcement has me excited.
Now this video shows almost nothing, but it’s all we’ve got to go on. The Garmin Overlander is a regular GPS with turn by turn navigation for the street, but it has topographic maps, for when you hit the dirt trails. What we don’t know yet is if you can download other topo maps, and how the navigation (or “guidance” as Garmin calls it). I’d assume it will be similar to Gaia, but we’ll see when we get one in our hands.
This is what you’ll receive in the box:
- Overlander GPS
- Vehicle suction cup mount
- RAM ball adapter with AMPS plate
- Vehicle power cable
- USB cable
My main issue with the TRX7 from Magellan is that the device was slloooooooow. They would have been much better off offering the software by itself and allow users to install it on whatever they want. The Garmin Overlander is an Android tablet based system, so hopefully they’ve gone with something decent in the performance department.
The Magellan TRX7 has a slick mount, and the Garmin Overlander uses something similar, so hopefully, it will perform similarly.
The last thing, which is HUGE, is the price. Garmin shows it as being $699.99 which is a LOT of money for what it is. The performance will need to be off the charts to be worthwhile. Right now my current setup of the Samsung Active 2 Tablet and RAM powered mount and Gaia was only about $350, and I suspect the performance for offroad topo maps to be similar. However, not needing to download maps like I do for Gaia is going to be nice…but will it be a $350 convenience?
The Garmin Overlander allows you to enter in details about your rig and trailer, so the routes it shows you are ones you’ll be able to drive (hopefully). I know they use this for on road navigation, so hopefully this will carry over to off road as well.
The Overlander can also connect to your phone and allow texting and phone calls.