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I bought another Garmin nuvi 2599


It is absolutely worth having this as a backup for my backup.

While my primary GPS is a Garmin DriveSmart 66, the Garmin nuvi 2599LMTHD outfitted with this USB power cable (works on USB alone with no 12V required and enables FM traffic) and a 32GB microSD card is my backup in case the DS66 fails. I like it so much that I bought a second because they're relatively easy to acquire, inexpensive and have monster good legibility.

What I mean by "monster good legibility" is that even though the 2599 is a nine-year-old model from 2014 with only a 5" display, the fonts are easier to read compared to just about anything else. Yes, really. It's also quick to calculate routes, recalculate routes when necessary and easily read during bright daylight driving.

When you're willing to put in the legwork... get something great.

Most people wouldn't want to bother with the 2599 because it's required to buy a 32BG microSD card to fit the latest maps, buy that USB power cable to enable everything, and connect to a PC to get everything updated. Initial setup, said very honestly, takes a good two hours.

But once it's all ready to go, the 2599 is amazing to use even now in 2023.

Other models and phone apps use teeny tiny and/or skinny fonts and/or skinny arrows and/or place other junk on the map that gets in the way. Not the 2599. Fonts are big and easy to read, highway exit number are bold making them super easy-to-read, and it's just a lovely system to use.

Yeah, I know, It's ridiculous to have GPS, backup GPS and a backup for the backup. But I like the 2599 enough to where I thought yeah, this is worth having a copy of.

I read user reviews of nav apps for the phone...

...and it's not pretty.

Developers of phone apps just love using skinny fonts, putting up on-screen boxes of "info" that have nothing to do with your trip whatsoever, and sometimes even change where buttons are.

You may not think that's not a big deal. It is.

Imagine you get in your car one day and instead of the fuel gauge or charge level being on the right, it's on the left due to an "update". You didn't ask for that. It just happened. And you can't switch it back.

Imagine the same thing happened to your speedometer or other gauge.

Now imagine if stuff was moved around and the font size changed to being smaller and skinnier.

How long would it take before you got fed up with that? You'd probably want to punch a hole in a wall the first time it happened. Developers of nav apps for the phone just love changing stuff around. A lot. And it's infuriating.

The 2599 doesn't do any of that crap. Fonts and arrows are big and stay that way. Menus don't shift around, nor do they change. They stay just the way you remember them.

There's value in that.

App developers don't seem to understand that if an app is used for driving, it should be treated like a car gauge that always stays the same. The last thing you want to deal with are gauges that randomly move around from an "update".

Fortunately, all the modern Garmin offerings (such as the Drive 53 I just talked about) act more or less the same way the 2599 does. That's a good thing.

I'm enough of a GPS nerd to where I was willing to put the work into a backup-of-backup 2599 because I like the model that much.

Published 2023 May 4

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