The Bottom Line
- Comparatively inexpensive
- 12 satellite uplink for accuracy
- 500 waypoint memory
- Weak plastic console mount
- Battery life is only enough for one fishing trip
- Waypoint input is cumbersome
- A small, light weight, hand held GPS unit
- Uses up to 12 satellites for accurate readings
- Provides either compass heading or runway path
Guide Review - Garmin GPS 12
Finding Your Way
Garmin has put a lot of product in a small package. The GPS 12 is arguably the most popular hand held GPS unit. It comes with a nice array of add on options, including a small plastic console mount and a cigarette lighter power cord to save you on batteries.
I prefer the roadway guidance to the compass heading mode, but it has both if you prefer one over the other. With 500 waypoints in its memory, you can store a ton of fishing spots.
The waypoint input is like all of the handhelds - more than cumbersome. But that can be overlooked if you study the owner's manual and practice.
Battery life is advertised as 12 hours. I can get 12 hours, but only with the most expensive batteries - the unit takes four AA batteries. I end up buying four new ones every trip just to make sure I can get home. The cigarette lighter cord option fixes the battery problem, but in rough water, I find the plastic console mount is not strong enough to hold the unit. So, I end up using it as a true handheld, and consequently need the batteries.
I find this GPS to be an excellent value and a very accurate unit. I have never seen it be off by more than about ten feet, and often puts me exactly on the spot.