We tested the new Garmin Montana 700 series GPS, both on and off-road: perfect for motorbike, outdoor or mountain bike adventures.
We went around the streets and several dirt roads to test all the new features of the Garmin 750i GPS and for a comparison with the 600 series toric that has accompanied for many kilometers around the world. Obviously the 700 series is also suitable for quads, boats, cars, motorcycles and campers.
- Screen and size
- Reception and functionality
- Brackets and mounting
- Connection and batteries
- pros and cons
Robust, waterproof and with a simple and intuitive user interface, they allow immediate use right out of the box, to immediately start the adventure.
The first impact is never forgotten, especially when you come from the 600 series. The Montana 750i is decidedly bigger and transmits reliability and strength already to the touch (and unfortunately the weight). The protruding antenna is not the best, in motorcycle we prefer shapes that are not angular or protruding.
Il 5-inch cap-touch TFT display it can also be used with i gloves and is 50% larger than the previous series. Bright, clear and perfectly legible even in direct sunlight, it allows you to consult the data and indications given by the instruments in almost all light conditions. A little less in those hours close to sunset, when the light starts to run low, but just increase the brightness.
Quite a leap over the 600 series which often took too long to focus the display while driving.
The new Montana 700s are equipped with Quad-Helix antenna (which allow you to hook up to the GPS and Galileo satellite systems at the same time): this translates into unparalleled reception even in areas less exposed to satellites and with a range of just a few meters.
We also enjoyed the compass electronics 3-axis with which we oriented ourselves even when stationary and in a vertical position, a very useful feature for those who, for example, practice hiking or mountaineering. L'barometric altimeter it allows to know with precision altitudes and differences in height as well as changes in weather conditions.
La Track Manager function it has improved and is more intuitive, both in reading tracks and in following them and / or recording new ones. This is especially useful for enduro riders, for those who go on adventures, for those who scout and also for those who go on the road and love to be itineraries at the desktop and then download the GPX file to the device.
Thanks to cartography topographic TopoActive Europe and City Navigator with preloaded turn-by-turn navigation (the latter present only on the Montana 700i and Montana 750i models), we traveled for several months both on the road and off-road, taking advantage of the classic functions of road navigators and all the details of the terrain off-road vehicle we have explored.
As for the topography, the detail is truly impressive and allows both to plan the routes very well and to understand exactly where and where you are going off-road.
The weight, as anticipated, has increased compared to the Montana 600 series, therefore we recommend using the Garmin original mounting brackets, Or the RAM mounts, undoubtedly the most robust and suitable for motorcycle use. Otherwise the supports offered by the crossbars of your maxi enduro.
The device is not afraid of water, blows, dust and vibrations, so you can leave for any type of adventure because we have scrambled it in all driving conditions, even on the most demanding mule tracks of the Liguria.
What we most appreciated, especially shooting on the most inaccessible terrains and in remote places, is the integration of the Montana 700i and 750i with the inReach two-way satellite technology. The latter, using the global coverage of the Iridium satellite network, allows you to always stay in touch, especially where there is no telephone coverage, with family and friends by sending and receiving text messages and e-mails, compiled through a file. QWERTY keyboard, and to update them on your position.
The most important function, however, is the possibility, in an emergency, of send an SOS geolocated to the GEOS® international emergency center, indicating one's position and the situation of danger, interacting in one's own language with the rescuers, to always be updated on their arrival or to receive useful instructions or further information.
Obviously, to access and communicate through the Iridium satellite network a subscription is required, which adds to the cost of the instrument. The costs range from Euro 14,99 per month to 74,99 per month according to your communication needs.
We report the presence of 8 megapixel camera integrated, for the model only montana 750i, which unfortunately we have not had the opportunity to try to give you an idea of the quality of the photos.
What is certainly very useful is being able to take many photos when you take a break, without having to put your hand to your mobile phone or anything else, perhaps in conditions in which they could get dirty.
All models of the new Montana series are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, technology ANT + and technology Bluetooth that allow you to connect to the Garmin Explorer app to plan trips, sync waypoints, tracks or routes, and to update your device wirelessly.
Speaking of autonomy, we practically ran all day on average (about 8 hours on average each time) without ever connecting the Montana 750i to the power supply or a power bank. In fact, the models of the new Montana series are equipped with integrated lithium-ion batteries capable of providing aautonomy up to 18 hours in GPS mode.
To save battery, you can also activate the Expedition mode to extend the battery life up to 2 weeks: once activated, the screen turns off, but the device continues to collect, albeit in a reduced number, the GPS track points.
pros and cons
We have practically listed the pros in the various paragraphs. Undoubtedly the new Montana 700 series, after so many years with the 600 series, flaunts a level of technology light years ahead. Robust, clearly visible, full of new features, especially related to safety, improved in every aspect, it really is the ideal GPS for any kind of adventure.
On the other hand the weight has increased, which requires more attention when mounting on the bike to prevent stresses from weakening the brackets with the risk of losing the device. The protruding antenna does not drive us crazy but it is the one that guarantees the reception we have told you about, especially essential for the InReach function which has its own dedicated key (to pay attention to when storing the GPS between objects that could press it and activate it ).
The models of the new series Garmin Montana 700 they are available in the best points of sale at a suggested retail price from € 599,99 to € 799,99, in addition to a subscription to the Iridium network for the Montana 700i and Montana 750i models.