Garmin GPSMAP 78, 79 & 86 series handheld GPS units are reliable and portable GPS devices that are suitable for hiking, hunting, ATV-ing or any outdoor adventure.

Some of the key differences between the units in the GPSMAP 78 & 86 series include:

  • Internal batteries: the GPSMAP 86 series has an internal rechargeable battery whereas the GPSMAP 78 requires two AA batteries.
  • Pre-loaded maps: The “sc” units (GPSMAP 86sc & 86sci) have preloaded BlueChart g3 U.S. coastal charts, the other units have no preloaded maps. All units have the ability to add maps.
  • Internal memory: The GPSMAP 78 series has a much smaller internal memory (1.7GB) than the GPSMAP 86 series (16GB). This impacts how many routes, waypoints and tracklogs you can store.
  • Photo navigation: The GPSMAP 78 series allows you to navigate to places where you’ve taken photos, the GPSMAP 86 series does not.

Some of the key differences between the units in the GPSMAP 78 & 79 series include:

  • Update Display: New scratch-resistant, bonded display provides improved contrast and eliminates fogging; 26% larger screen with 2.5 times the resolution of the past generation in a sunlight-visible color displa
  • GNSS: Reliable single-band GNSS supports multiple constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS and SBAS) to allow for access to data around the world
  • Cartography: Built-in BlueChart® g3 charts (sc model only)
  • Memory: Ability to track 10,000 waypoints (versus 2,000 in GPSMAP 78) and 250 routes (versus 200 in GPSMAP 78), 300 saved fitness activities, 8GB of internal memory (versus 1.7GB in GPSMAP 78s/sc)
ProductGPSMAP 86s
GPSMAP 86sc
GPSMAP 86i
GPSMAP 86sci
GPSMAP 78/s/sc
GPSMAP 79s/sc
Unit Dimensions 2.65″ x 7″ x 1.7″ (6.75 x 17.8 x 4.4 cm)2.65″ x 7″ x 1.7″ (6.75 x 17.8 x 4.4 cm)2.75″ x 7″ x 1.7″ (7 x 17.8 x 4.4 cm)2.75″ x 7″ x 1.7″ (7 x 17.8 x 4.4 cm)2.6″ x 6.0″ x 1.2″
(6.6 x 15.2 x 3.0 cm)
2.67” x 6.85” x 1.67” (6.77 x 17.40 x 4.23 cm)
Display Size1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm); 3″ diag (7.6 cm)1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm); 3″ diag (7.6 cm)1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm); 3″ diag (7.6 cm) 1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm); 3″ diag (7.6 cm)1.43″ x 2.15″ (3.6 x 5.5 cm); 2.6″ diag (6.6 cm)1.5″W x 2.5″H (3.8 x 6.3 cm); 3″ diag (7.6 cm)
Display Resolution 240 x 400 pixels240 x 400 pixels240 x 400 pixels240 x 400 pixels160 x 240 pixels240 x 400 pixels
Display Typetransflective, 65K color TFTtransflective, 65K color TFTtransflective, 65K color TFTtransflective, 65K color TFTtransflective, 65K color TFTtransflective, 65K color TFT
Weight 9.59 oz (272 g)9.59 oz (272 g)9.59 oz (272 g)9.59 oz (272 g)7.7 oz (218.3 g) with batteries9.95 oz (282g) with batteries
Battery rechargeable internal lithium ionrechargeable internal lithium ionrechargeable internal lithium ionrechargeable internal lithium ion2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended
Battery Life up to 35 hours at 10-minute tracking; up to 200 hours at 30-minute tracking (power save mode)up to 35 hours at 10-minute tracking; up to 200 hours at 30-minute tracking (power save mode)up to 35 hours at 10-minute tracking; up to 200 hours at 30-minute tracking (power save mode)up to 35 hours at 10-minute tracking; up to 200 hours at 30-minute tracking (power save mode)20 hoursup to 19 hours
Waterproof ✅ (IPX7)✅ (IPX7)✅ (IPX7)✅ (IPX7)✅ (IPX7)✅ (IPX7)
Floats
High-Sensitivity Receiver
GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS/SBASGPS/GLONASS/Galileo/GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/GPS/GalileoGPS/GalileoGPS/GLONASS/Galileo/GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS/SBAS
InterfaceUSB and NMEA 0183 compatibleUSB and NMEA 0183 compatibleUSB and NMEA 0183 compatibleUSB and NMEA 0183 compatiblehigh-speed USB and NMEA 0183 compatiblehigh-speed USB and NMEA 0183 compatible
Basemap
Preloaded Maps ✅ (preloaded BlueChart g3 U.S. coastal charts)✅ (preloaded BlueChart g3 U.S. coastal charts)✅(preloaded BlueChart g3 U.S. coastal charts on 78sc)✅ (preloaded BlueChart g3 U.S. coastal charts on 79sc)
Ability to Add Maps
Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads) for outdoor activities✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)
Includes detailed hydrographic features (coastlines, lake/river shorelines, wetlands and perennial and seasonal streams)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)
Includes searchable points of interests (parks, campgrounds, scenic lookouts and picnic sites)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)
Displays national, state and local parks, forests, and wilderness areas✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)✅ (downloadable from Garmin Express™)
Built-in Memory 16GB (user space varies based on included mapping)16GB (user space varies based on included mapping)16GB (user space varies based on included mapping)16GB (user space varies based on included mapping)1.7 GB8 GB (user space varies based on included mapping on sc version)
Accepts Data Cards ✅(32 GB max microSD™ card, not included)✅(32 GB max microSD™ card, not included)✅(32 GB max microSD™ card, not included)✅(32 GB max microSD™ card, not included)✅ microSD™ card (not included)
 ✅(32 GB max microSD™ card, not included)
Waypoints10,00010,00010,00010,000200010,000
Routes 250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing200250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing
Tracklog 20,000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks, 300 saved fit activities20,000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks, 300 saved fit activities20,000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks, 300 saved fit activities20,000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks, 300 saved fit activities10,000 points, 200 saved tracks20,000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks, 300 saved fit activities
Automatic Routing ✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)✅ (with optional mapping for detailed roads)
Electronic Compass✅ (tilt-compensated, 3-axis)✅ (tilt-compensated, 3-axis)✅ (tilt-compensated, 3-axis)✅ (tilt-compensated, 3-axis)✅ (tilt-compensated, 3-axis in 78s and 78sc)✅ (tilt-compensated, 3-axis)
Barometric Altimeter ✅ (in 78s and 78sc)
LED beacon flashlight
Photo navigation
Picture Viewer
Custom Maps Compatible ✅(500 custom map tiles)✅(500 custom map tiles)✅(500 custom map tiles)✅(500 custom map tiles)
Geocahing- Friendly✅ (Geocache Live)✅ (Geocache Live)✅ (Geocache Live)✅ (Geocache Live)✅ (Paperless)✅ (Paperless)
Hunt/Fish Calendar
Sun and Moon Information
XERO™ Locations
Tide Tables
Area Calculations
Custom POIs
Unit-to-unit Transfer
Garmin Connect Compatible
Smart Notification
LiveTrack
Active Weather 
Interactive SOS
Send and Receive Text Messages to SMS and Email
Send and Receive Text Messages to other inReach Device
Exchange Locations with Other inReach Devices
Mapshare Compatible with Tracking
Virtual Keyboard for Custom Messaging
inReach Remote Compatible
Boat Data Streaming
Functions as a Remote Control for Garmin Autopilot and Select FUSION Marine Products
Adjustable GPS Filter