My Comments on the Garmin model 60CSx
It's Convenient, but Is It Worth the Money?

I used a Magellan SporTrak Pro for several years, and bought a Garmin 60CSx in June of '07. 

I use a handheld GPSrs for geocaching only. I have a Nuvi for navigation/autorouting.  I can only compare the 60CSx to my cheaper, but now long discontinued Magellan SporTrak Pro. The advantage over the SporTrak is mostly convenience features. I didnít buy maps and thus donít use the autorouting.


  • Biggest advantage -- USB is *much* better than Serial Port for sending/receiving data to the unit -- Serial Port on SporTrak is painful

  • Battery changeout is easier than the SporTrak

  • The location updates quickly and is more accurate (see same feature under Cons)

  • Batteries last much longer (See auto turn off under Cons)

  • I find the menus easier to understand/use, but harder to make changes/enter data. The table entry method is tedious/slow compared to the SportTrak's arrow pad right/left increase/decrease method (repeated in Cons)

  • The popup menus are nice

  • Garmin's phone support is a lot better than Magellan's

  • It holds twice as many caches [a lot more if you use Points of Interest with the SD card, but these are a little clumsy.]

  • If you're an FTFer (First to Find) Garmin's download from the caching website directly into the unit is nice

  • If you use it for maps and navigation (I don't) the color screen is easier to read


  • I haven't found it significantly better than the SporTrak at basic cache finding  (Probably because the hiders coordinates become the major factor in location accuracy.)

  • It doesnít turn itself off automatically like the SporTrak Ė this runs battery down again-and-again

  • It doesn't let cache management software (GSAK, etc.) erase/flush the existing waypoints when refreshing them -- you have to do that manually using the units menus. A pain. 

  • If you try to update/reload the same caches; instead of erasing/replacing the old version it adds the same caches twice, thus wasting limited memory.

  • It doesn't start coordinate averaging automatically when you stop moving like the SporTrak. I find this inconvenient.  By averaging while not moving the SporTrak refines the location, and make it more stable.  The 60CSx keeps jumping around.

  • The table entry method of entering/changing data in menus is tedious/slow compared to the SportTrak's arrow pad right/left move around and up/down increase/decrease method

  • The location updates immediately after sensing a change, even a spurious one, thus while heading toward the cache the location it points to jumps around a lot. The SporTrak kept a weighted average (or it averaged more points) so one spurious reading didn't have much effect, thus the location it pointed to was more stable. The downside to the weighted average is you need to stop for up to a minute and let the SporTrak settle after getting near the target location.

  • I'm guessing it's because it doesn't start averaging automatically when you stop moving; but while the unit is sitting still the 'bearing' value drifts around a lot.  The range of drift can be 100 degrees.  After a minute or so of sitting still the SporTrak would settle down to a range of 5-10 degrees.

  • The electronic compass is a pain to keep calibrated.  I don't use it -- turned it off.  Even so, it occasionally turns itself on in the field and then the cache direction pointer is useless -- very annoying.  (Unless I had some special need for the compass, if I were buying now I would definitely get the model 60Cx without the electronic compass and altimeter.  Other than those two features, which I don't use, the Cx and CSx are the same.) 

Would I choose a 60Cx over the SporTrak if I could get either free?  Probably. Was the difference worth $350? I don't think so when you can now get a used SporTrak Pro on eBay for about $50 or less .  But, the USB is really nice.  For sure, if I were on a tight budget I'd get a used SporTrak (be sure it comes with the PC cable).  If you decide to buy a used 60Cx make sure it's a Cx not a C -- the "x" suffix indicates it has the newer, more accurate chip.