With GPS now a basic cell phone feature, and more vehicles rolling off the production lines with built-in satnav systems, the role of standalone satellite-navigation devices is diminishing. Why have an extra bit of kit in your car that needs additional maintenance? But Garmin thinks there's still a place for them, particularly in the world of off-roading and overlanding.
Today, the company has announced the all-terrain Garmin Overlander, an all-in-one GPS designed for people who want to explore the remote regions of the great outdoors. It comes with built-in topography maps for off-grid guidance covering public land boundaries and 4x4 roads in North and South America. The seven-inch touchscreen color device also comes preloaded with adventure-specific points of interest and campground locations, all available without cell signal.
Traversing these kinds of roads isn't always for the faint-hearted, so it comes with a bunch of safety features, too.
An in-built (Update - the satellite communicator is sold separately,) Garmin's inReach mini satellite communicator will let you send and receive text messages wherever you are, and you can transmit interactive SOS distress signals at the touch of a button. The Overlander also offers custom routing based on your vehicle's dimensions, and comes with integrated pitch and roll gauges, a digital compass and a barometric altimeter. And if you just can't do without your usual tech, the corresponding Garmin explore app lets you wirelessly sync your routes, waypoints and tracks from the device straight to your smartphone.
Of course, the Overlander isn't going to appeal to all drivers, but for those with a taste for overlanding it packs in a whole heap of features that are still way beyond a smartphone's paygrade. With a suggested retail price of $700 it's not cheap, but then again, what price can you put on adventure?