GPS Recommendations - Car / Sled?
I am "slave to two masters" (well, three, really), and I'm wondering if there's a GPS that would suit them all well.
My wife: She has a smart phone that she will use occasionally when she needs navigation assistance as she has no built-in navigation in the van. I have a navigation system built into my truck, so I like to have that option available if we take her van (especially on the longer trips - I use it primarily to have a reasonable estimate on how much longer the trip will take). It would be nice if she had a more readily usable GPS system to use instead of having to rely on her phone (which is not always able to maintain cell signal to be downloading map tiles, and GPS lock is inconsistent in a lot of situations as well).
The sled: I would like to have a device that provided "bread crumbs" to track where I've been when I'm on the trails. I know how to read a map, so relying on printed trail maps to understand where I should be going is fine. I'm more interested in ensuring that I will be able to find my way back if I get myself turned around too badly. For this sort of use, having a good amount of battery life would be great since I don't want to have to be wiring it up to the "not-so-clean" power supply of the sled. Additionally, I'd like to be able to have GPS-computed speed available to see just how close to accurate my speedo is.
Work: I travel for work occasionally, and my rental cars don't always have navigation. It's much simpler to use a portable device than my phone (especially considering that I don't have unlimited data for my phone), and being in foreign places is really the ultimate best-case scenario for a GPS device. Portability here is important.
- Windshield mount (integrated auto power cord would be great)
- Carry case
- Easy to use (VERY easy) - touch screen seems par for the course, voice activation that works well would be a bonus, bluetooth pairing to your phone for handsfree use would be the ideal
- Portable, including carry case
- Works in cold temps
- Speed computation built in
- Bread crumb tracking feature, MUST work off roads / highways
I've read a lot about some of the Garmin units like the 3490LMT, 3450LM, 3790LMT, etc... The folks that say bad things about these units tend to say the SAME bad things... voice recognition is so-so, units are slow, screens lock up, the "free" traffic option requires that you get pop-up ads on the device and these seem to come when you need the maps the most (and they cover the map data), poor battery life. The 50LM looks like it would work well for my wife, and could probably serve me when I'm on the road, but it doesn't look like it's a good match for trail riding.
The 500 / 550 units, touted to work well in cold weather, but they cost about the same as the larger display units. The battery life on the 550 is touted at 8 hours, which is great. I suspect that a good portion of the difference in battery life between the 550 and the larger units is the direct result of the size difference in the displays and the fact that the larger displays are higher resolution.
Anyone have some input on a good unit to cover these bases?