Garmin’s new Oregon series GPS devices could be perfect for UK mountain bikers, combining a robust, waterproof build and touch screen with the ability to import Ordnance Survey maps.
Both 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale maps can be bought and downloaded via a microSD card. Versions are available for all UK National Parks. Other ‘top-ups’ include marine charts, street maps and even topographic data.
Garmin say what sets their device apart from rivals is that it uses vector mapping. Alternatives such as Satmap’s Active 10 can show you a digitised version of an OS map and tell you roughly where you are on it based on your latitude and longitude.
The Oregon’s vector mapping allows it go a step further and actually recognise map features such as bridleways and footpaths. As a result, it is able to pinpoint your position to a particular point on a particular trail. Points of interest can also be overlaid on the maps, such as pubs and mid-ride cafes.
The 200, 300 and 400t models also offer all the normal features you would expect of a GPS, including a built-in basemap, barometric altimeter and electronic compass. They can be paired with Garmin heartrate monitors and speed/cadence sensors.
The touch screen should make them easier to operate with gloves on, and a nifty handlebar mount is available.
We tried one out briefly at the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Show in Birmingham and were impressed. We hope to have one in to test soon.
The Oregon series models cost £274.03 for the 200, £322.97 for the 300 and £391.48 for the 400t. ‘Discoverer’ 1:25,000 microSD card packages cost £129.99 per National Park or trail.
You can also buy an Oregon 300 bundled with Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 mapping of all UK National Parks for £359.99.