In-Depth Garmin GPSMAP 65s Review & Guide

The Garmin GPSMAP 65s is the first Garmin to offer multi-band GNSS and is a solid performer for a handheld GPS.

If you’re looking to buy “the most accurate handheld GPS” for a consumer, I’d say that you’d fare well with a GPSMAP 65s (basic GPS), GPS MAP 66S ,GPSMAP 66i (GPS with InReach),GPSMAP67i(GPS with Inreach) , or a Montana 700 (touchscreen). From my experience of hiking in the mountains and thick forest cover, they were all about the same in terms of recording tracks. If you spend all your time in the mountain, up and down the thick forests of Aberdare, or  something else extreme like that, the 65s will get the job done. But for the majority of forest use, they’re all good.

The GPSMAP 65 fits nicely in the palm of you hand, and is small enough to allow you to move your thumb across and hit buttons for one-handed use.
The only button on the (right) side is the power button. Long press it to power on and off, short press for the backlight setting screen.
Gpsmap 65 Buttons

The buttons are standard and the same as other Garmin handheld GPS units. Pressing a button gives a soft tactile feel. There is no hepatic “click” like you get on the GPSMAP 66 units. You can also set a tone  to get auditory feedback on a push.

The menu items on the GPSMAP 65 are:

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Trip Computer (data about your current trip, customizable)
  • Elevation Plot
  • Satellite (information about your position fix)
  • Setup
  • Waypoint Manager (list of all your waypoints)
  • Geocaches (allowing you to connect to
  • Route Planner (create a route from the POI database and waypoints, including routes with multiple stops)
  • Proximity Alarms (alert you when you are in a user-definable range of a waypoint)
  • Track Manager (list of all your saved tracks)
  • Share Wirelessly (transfer waypoints, tracks, or routes to other Garmin handhelds)
  • Active Route (step by step directions if you are navigating a route)
  • Waypoint Averaging (take multiple waypoint readings in one spot and average them for a more precise location)
  • Sight ‘N Go (pick a point in the distance and navigate to it using the compass)
  • Profile Change (switch between different settings for different activities)
  • Area Calculation (calculate square footage by walking a permitter)
  • Photo Viewer
  • Calendar
  • Calculator
  • Sun & Moon
  • Alarm Clock
  • Hunt & Fish (best times to do it)
  • Stopwatch
  • Collections Manager (a list of Garmin Explore site collections, more later)
  • Adventures (list of Garmin Adventures on the device)
  • VIRB Remote (remote control a Garmin VIRB camera)

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