These days it seems like there’s nothing a smart phone can’t do. From listening to music and taking pictures, to answering emails and browsing the internet, they’ve become integrated into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. It’s no wonder why most of us have ditched the old GPS units for an array of navigation and camping apps on our phones, yet one company has us reconsidering that choice with an all new device designed specifically for overlanders. Garmin’s new device, the Overlander GPS unit, combines turn-by-turn navigation with pre-loaded maps, POI’s, satellite texting, and for the first time, the immense databases of iOverlander and Ultimate Public Campgrounds.
In an industry that seems to think simply slapping “overlander” on a product makes it relevant, this device is a breath of fresh air. It takes the legendary reliability and accuracy of Garmin’s mapping devices, adds in the features of some of our favorite mobile apps, and then wraps it all up in a package catered specifically towards people exploring North or South America via four-wheel drive. Users can navigate pre-loaded maps on the 7-inch color touch screen display, or download topo, satellite, or quad sheet maps that specifically meet their needs for each trip. They have the option to use turn-by-turn navigation, sync their favorite routes from their phone or computer, and share their trips with friends, but that’s just the beginning.
The Garmin Overlander can also communicate with their inReach series of satellite devices, which enables it to send and receive text messages with friends and family, or send an SOS signal in the most remote of locations. It can provide drivers with information like pitch and roll, altitude, or heading, and even offers custom routing based on your vehicle’s height, weight, and length! All of this would have been enough to get our attention, but the integration with iOverlander, Ultimate Public Campgrounds, and Garmin’s carefully curated POI’s sealed the deal. This technology will make it easier than ever to find places to camp, hunt, or fly fish without a single bar of cell service.
“What sets the Garmin Overlander apart, is the opportunity it provides adventure travelers to escape modern life and create unique journeys through remote regions of the world that would otherwise be difficult to navigate or explore,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin worldwide vice president of consumer sales. “The Overlander provides an ecosystem like no other where travelers can plan their routes on a desktop or phone, automatically sync the information to the navigator for use, and take advantage of mapping solutions that are either preloaded or downloaded to the device for the ultimate overlanding experience.”
The Garmin Overlander will include a powered magnetic suction cup mount system with a RAM compatible adapter to keep it secure and fully charged on the go. It is also ruggedized and “designed to withstand the elements” though Garmin is not specific about what weatherproofing standards it meets. Retail prices are set to start at $699 USD, and you can learn more at garmin.com/overlander.