As a leader in the field of GPS devices, Garmin is renowned for its great tech capabilities and integration. But with their huge range of handheld hiking GPS units on offer, it can be rather daunting to figure out which one to invest in.
The two most similar are the Montana and Oregon ranges. So which line is better and which takes the crown in the Garmin Oregon vs Montana throwdown?
There really isn’t an easy answer for this one and the one you end up choosing will be the one best suited for your individual needs. Oregon models have smaller screens compared to the four models in the Montana line, but is that all you need to consider?
To make things a little easier, we’ll dish out our honest opinion about both lines and show you what both the Oregon and Montana line brings to the table.
Garmin Oregon vs Montana: Basic differences between the ranges
The main differences between Oregon and Montana devices come down to screen size, tech, and tracking capabilities.
Montana units have 4-inch screens whereas Oregon devices have 3-inch screens.
The differences do not end with the size, Garmin Oregon GPS units rely on 3-axis compasses, barometric sensors, and accelerometers while the Montana units use TOPU US 100K maps.
Garmin’s Oregon series comprises of three different models: 700, 750 and 750t
The Oregon 700 is the perfect intro to Garmin’s Oregon range since it’s supported by GPS and GLONASS. On top of satellite navigation, the 700 also features a 3-axis compass, accelerometer, and barometric sensors.
Thanks to the unit’s compatibility with the Geocaching Live app and Active Weather features, the Oregon 700 is more than sufficient for the average weekend warrior’s hiking needs.
- Can be used in either landscape or portrait mode
- Features live tracking and geocaching abilities
- Compatible with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+
The 750 is basically a replica of the Oregon 700 but sports one great addition: a camera!
The 750 comes with a built-in 8MP digital camera, which is also why it’s quite a bit more expensive than the base model.
Otherwise the functionality is pretty much identical
- 8MP built-in camera
- Compatible with Geocaching Live app
- Fitted with 3-axis compass, accelerometer, and barometric sensors
If you’ve got more cash to splash, take things up a notch with the Oregon 750t.
This is the top-of-the-line model in the Oregon range and features all the functions of the 700 and the camera of the 750 PLUS built-in TOPO US 100K maps.
- Supports landscape and portrait mode
- Built-in 8MP digital camera
- Preloaded with TOPO US 100K maps
The Garmin Montana Range has 4 different models you can choose from.
Designed for multi-sport use, the Montana 610 sports all the basics you’d expect from a Garmin GPS including a stunning 4-inch touchscreen display complete with dual-orientation.
Like the Oregon range, the Montana units are all fitted with GPS and GLONASS navigation, but the Montana 610 also supports different mapping apps like BlueChart and TOPO US 24K.
Just like the intro model from the Oregon range, the Montana 610 has a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter built-in.
- Compatible with rechargeable or traditional AA or lithium-ion pack batteries
- 4-inch touch screen display
- Supports mapping apps such as TOPO US 24K
Considered to be a step above the 610, the 610t offers everything the Montana 610 offers but with the added benefit of preloaded TOPO US 100K maps.
As you might expect, the t in 610t stands for TOPO mapping.
- Comes preloaded with TOPO US 100K Maps
- Supports different mapping apps
- 4-inc touchscreen display works even when you’re wearing gloves
The Montana 680 comes with all the maps and functionality you’d expect to find in the 610 and comes with an 8MP built-in camera.
The Montana 680 is perfect for hikers that like what the 610 offers but also want something that can capture special moments.
- Built-in 8MP camera
- Glove-friendly 4-inch display screen
- Works with traditional or rechargeable batteries for longer battery life
This is the top-of-the-line model in the Montana range and offers all the functionality you could need in the great outdoors.
Preloaded with TOPO maps just like the 610t and camera features found on the 680.
The Montana 680t is an all-in-one deal if you’re looking to invest in the Garmin Montana range.
- Preloaded with TOPO US 100K Maps
- Built-in 8MP digital camera
- Supports traditional AA or lithium-ion batteries as well as rechargeable batteries
Garmin Oregon vs Montana – Summing up the similarities
It’s obvious that the Oregon and Montana ranges have a lot of similarities like touchscreen displays that can be used in landscape or portrait mode. Both ranges offer handheld devices that were made with hikers in mind and both lines offer accurate location data.
All models in the Oregon and Montana range use GLONASS and GPS tracking, are equipped with 3-axis compasses and have barometric sensors. The models from both lines that have cameras are all fitted with 8MP digital cameras, and the t (TOPO) models all come programmed with the same mapping tech and data.
Garmin Oregon vs Montana – Defining the differences
The construction and features found in the Oregon and Montana lines are what really sets each range apart. Montana units are more detailed and have more advanced features. Compared to the Oregon line’s 3-inch display, the Montana units offer larger 4-inch touchscreen displays.
Garmin’s Montana GPS units have tilt compensation on their 3-axis compasses that offer greater accuracy and they also sport barometric altimeters, which aren’t present in the Oregon units. Unlike the Oregon range, the Montana line can run on lithium-ion or AA batteries for extended battery and includes a 1-year satellite map subscription.
Both the Garmin Oregon and Garmin Montana ranges offer you everything you need for outdoor exploring. While the Oregon range is more affordable, the Montana line is somewhat more advanced as far as navigational technology and convenience are concerned.
If you’re looking for something smaller and more affordable, we’d suggest the Oregon range. But if you’re more than just a weekend warrior and need something more durable and advances, the boost in size and performance offered by the Montana range is your best option!
Matt Green, is an avid hiker and lover of the great outdoors. He is always planning his next big trip or hitting the trails for a solo hike.
He’s traveled extensively to many remote regions and has plenty of experience exploring various terrains, and stories to tell.
- 1 Garmin Oregon vs Montana: Basic differences between the ranges
- 2 Oregon Range
- 3 Montana Range
- 4 Garmin Oregon vs Montana – Summing up the similarities
- 5 Garmin Oregon vs Montana – Defining the differences
- 6 Final thoughts