Garmin GPSMAP 64s

8.1 score
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Editor rating: 8.1 / 10
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Garmin GPSMAP 64s Review Facts

The Garmin GPSMAP 64s is a handheld device with full-featured and rugged with GLONASS and GPS included. Best for all outdoor trips, adventures, and activities, most people use it while camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and biking. It can pinpoint your exact location accurately and in under a minute using Garmin Custom Maps, Birdseye Satellite Imagery, and 100K and TOPO 24K maps.

Other features include BaseCamp, Geocaching, and a worldwide base map with shaded relief. Water-resistant, lightweight, and slim, the Garmin GPSMAP 64s will record your whole trip or hike and save it for you. It has a card slot for microSD and 4GB of memory, so you can add maps of roads, marine, or topographic areas. The big plus of this model over others is the larger color display of 2.6 inches that is even readable in sunlight.

Read on further to see why buyers seem to enjoy Garmin GPSMAP 64s. If you are interested to check other Garmin models, read this guide. This model has reached the position of number 5 among the best ten. If you are curious to learn which model is first on the list, click here. This thorough review will provide all the details so you can compare it with the other models, and choose wisely.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Full-featured, hand-held, and rugged

For all outdoor trips, adventures, and activities

Load satellite images and use them with the maps

Location identification in 30 seconds

Battery pack can charge inside the product

Water-resistant, lightweight, and slim

Best for hunting, camping, backpacking, and camping

Color display of 2.6 inches - readable in sunlight

Paperless caching, GLONASS, and GPS

Accurate within 10 to12 feet


Is not a touchscreen; resolution can be grainy

Menus can be confusing; features are not grouped well


Described often as a rugged device, the GPSMAP 64s model is a high-performance machine that is slim in form and lightweight. You will not have to worry about having to coddle this product as it is built for roughing it out in the wilderness. This base model is full-featured and water-resistant with GLONASS and GPS together.

Much to the disappointment of buyers, it is not a touchscreen as some other popular models are nowadays. Navigation is by pressing buttons to move through the menu and possible functions. It does have over 1000 online reviews from mostly satisfied users with a decent rating.


There is plenty of versatility when using the Garmin GPSMAP 64s, as it includes several features. It will record your whole trip or hike each time you go out. Plus, it can be saved within the mechanism.

The internal memory is expanded with 4GB of memory and includes a card slot for microSD. You can download geotagged photos from the Internet and go directly to them with the included quality of photo navigation. Add maps that are of roads, marine, or topographic or download 100K maps and TOPO 24K maps before you travel.

One of the best aspects of this GPS product is Birdseye Satellite Imagery for maps and location identification or specific areas. From buyer feedback, we found that several customers had trouble with this part of the device. It did not work correctly for some people since it is a download for the map areas you want.

The file can be too big for the amount of data this device can hold. For instance, if you know that you will be hiking in some regions of your state, downloading the whole state map would be too much. It is better for the storage capability to just put in the area map of where you will be instead.


We found some confusing information given in the product information of the Garmin 64s concerning the weight. In one place it says the device weighs 9.3 ounces and on another dealer’s site it was listed as 8.1 ounces with the batteries included. The higher weight could be packed in the box, but it was not stated this way.

However, weight might be an issue for some people. If that's the case, consider lighter options. Even at 9.3 ounces, for what this item can do for you, it is not heavy or cumbersome to carry.

The overall dimensions are 1.4 x 4.2 x 6.3, and the full-color screen display is 2.6 inches in size. It is even readable in sunlight, which is extremely important when you are outdoors.

The vital thing to note with these dimensions, as you will see in our Versions section, is that Garmin has made the screen more significant but the device smaller. This results in a product that is mostly screen, as it should be.


Another point of confusion that we found in the product information is whether or not this mechanism has the BaseCamp characteristic. It is stated that it does have it and lists all of the highlights of it. However, in the given chart of comparison to other Garmin models, it says that it does not have it.

The BaseCamp software permits the user to organize and view tracks, routes, maps, and waypoints. BaseCamp is free software for trip planning used to make your own Garmin Adventures. It is shareable with family, friends, and companion explorers.

Also, it shows topographic data of maps on the computer screen in the 2D or 3D format along with elevation profiles and contour lines. BaseCamp transfers endless satellite images when used with Birdseye Imagery to your device.


Being able to download maps, information, and location information gives you the stability and support needed in the outdoors. Devices like the Garmin GPSMAP 64s help you remain secure in your location and maintain your footing, even when things look bleak and unfamiliar to you. Another feature that Garmin has incorporated into the 64s model is Geocaching.

From there is paperless caching with the 250,000 caches that are preloaded for you. It displays and stores essential information, such as descriptions, hints, difficulty, location, and terrain. Geocaching does help in cases of the user becoming lost along the way but will not give you directions for returning that are specific to each turn.

You must follow the points (or electronic breadcrumbs, as they call it) put into the device for getting back on track. Enter the waypoint at the start, know how to use this product, and bring extra batteries for the best use, according to current users. On the negative side for support of this product, the owner instruction manual could be improved with the given explanations. However, the operators on call are great and take up this slack for those having issues.


Both the company and customers say that no matter where you are, you can depend on the Garmin 64s to get you where you need to go even in hard to navigate surroundings. Tall trees and buildings are not a problem for this system’s navigational processes. It provides accurate data to you within the range of 10 to 12 feet according to buyers.

Maintain your position anywhere with the Garmin GPSMAP 64s as it locates your position fast. It will even accurately keep that position when you are in deep canyons or heavy cover. Use the preloaded cards for activities dealing with waterways or road routing with map data from Navigator NT.


Okay, so you want to get a Garmin GPS product but are confused by the several models they put out?
Yes, we were too at first, but we can help by sorting out the vast amount of information on these devices. The other models besides this 64s device that are similar are the 64, the 64st, eTrex 20x, and the 66s.

Very similar in name, right? Well, compared to the 64 and 64st model, the 64 has fewer features. The 64 lacks the accelerometer, compass, barometric, altimeter, Garmin Connect Mobil (or Live track), and the Birdseye subscription for free for a year. The Garmin 64 is a more economical choice, so more people have bought and reviewed it than the others.

The screen size is the same as the 64st but more significant than the other models. The overall dimensions of 1.4 x 4.2 x 6.3 inches are smaller than the others. The Garmin 64 and the eTrex operate with Bluetooth technology, and the other two do not.


Featuring a worldwide base map built-in with shaded relief, the Garmin GPSMAP 64s can help you navigate easily anywherewith this quality aspect. It is great for all outdoor trips and activities but is best for any type of wilderness adventures such as biking, hunting, backpacking, and camping. Especially if you have not been somewhere in a long time and are returning for a hike or trip, you will want to have this GPS device at the ready for any changes to routes and trails you need.


With the possible connections, you have many choices of using the data received. Upload data wirelessly to the Garmin connect site which is viewable on a smartphone where you can also share activities with the Live Track feature in real-time. The Garmin 64s product supports Garmin Custom Maps and Birdseye Satellite Imagery (with a subscription).

Using Birdseye allows the loading of satellite images and using them with the maps. Most people get the subscription for this so they can enjoy the full qualities of the Garmin product.

Ease of Use

The Garmin GPSMAP 64s has superior reception with the included helix quad antenna. It is highly sensitive, maintains your location, and keeps you from getting lost. This superb model pinpoints your exact location within 30 seconds accurately according to buyers. On the less positive note, the menus of the 64s can be challenging to read and confusing for some people.

Also, the resolution of the screen can be grainy. The features might not be grouped and categorized as well as they could be. These few minor points bothered some customers, so they included these remarks in their comments with their review.

Power Source

What powers the Garmin GPSMAP 64s? You have a choice in this matter. You can use two regular AA batteries, or you can recharge the included NiMH battery when needed.

The lithium battery pack is chargeable when it is still inside the product, so you do not have to take it out. Judging by the customer reviews, most people went with the rechargeable batteries. For those that did use the regular batteries, some of them found that they do not last long and needed replacing within a few hours. This depends on what you are using because, with minimal use, either type of battery will last much longer.

Bottom Line

With such an intricate and fully loaded device, you can expect some minor issues that buyers will comment on. Some people did not like the menus, the grouping of the features, the instruction manual, the resolution, the battery life, and the screen.

The Garmin GPSMAP 64s has plenty of strong points too. Garmin products have a good reputation, so we know right from the start that it is of high quality. The Garmin GPS 64s has the desired mapping and location features of the hiker and backpacker, a reasonable price, and the Bluetooth technology that everyone loves and depends on considerably.