How do you weatherproof your Garmin?

TimeTraveler

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#1
Rainy season is here, which means that you will most likely get caught in a rain shower or downpour while working out or enjoying one of Pete’s famous weekend group rides.

Each year, there are stories of Garmin failures due to water damage. As I have joined the legion of Garmin owners, I have concerns of possible damage to my device, due to wet weather conditions. So, I would like to know “How do you weatherproof your Garmin?”

To get this discussion started, I would like to share my method of weatherproofing my device. I use everyday household items, because they are inexpensive and do not require any adaptation of your current Garmin mount.

Materials: a pair of scissors, electrical tape and plastic wrapping paper; Glad cling wrap, Saran plastic wrap, domestic brands, etc…

View attachment 131

Directions:
1. Cut a 22cmx22cm square plastic sheet and place it on a flat surface; smoothing the wrap surface as much as possible.
2. Place your Garmin face down on the sheet about 4cm from either the left or ride side of the wrap, but centered.
3. Wrap until Garmin is completely covered.
4. Pull the wrap tight and fold excess under the device. Keep in mind that, the excess should be cut away to avoid obstructing the connector. (see step 5 image)
5. Apply as much electrical tape to the bottom of the Garmin as necessary to ensure it is completely sealed. (do not to tape over the connector) View attachment 132
6. Place your Garmin in the mount and you are ready to go. View attachment 133

Well, that is the method. The materials are readily available in most homes, it's inexpensive and the thin plastic wrapping paper does not impede use of touch screen functions.

I am looking forward to all of your comments.

Cheers,
Kevin
 
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bloaker

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#2
I have two garmins I use on the bicycle as well as hiking and running...

Oregon is a hiking model and weather proof... I dropped it not too long ago from the bike and tested its waterproofness.... Like magic - under a foot of water for roughly a minute. When I found it, I shook the water off and kept going, no issues.

My other garmin is a forerunner 305. I have used it of several occasions in driving rain and mud runs. I just put it in a ziplock baggie and a jersey pocket. I am OK riding without it for the most part, but enjoy having the data after the fact. I do not have a method to keep the gps dry while on the bars, because I never cared to.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#4
I protect mine by doing the following;

1. Not riding in the rain with it.

2. If it starts raining, immediately take it off my bike and put it in the plastic ziploc bag I always carry my money / cards etc. in.
 

TimeTraveler

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#5
I have two garmins I use on the bicycle as well as hiking and running...

Oregon is a hiking model and weather proof... I dropped it not too long ago from the bike and tested its waterproofness.... Like magic - under a foot of water for roughly a minute. When I found it, I shook the water off and kept going, no issues.

My other garmin is a forerunner 305. I have used it of several occasions in driving rain and mud runs. I just put it in a ziplock baggie and a jersey pocket. I am OK riding without it for the most part, but enjoy having the data after the fact. I do not have a method to keep the gps dry while on the bars, because I never cared to.
bloaker, a minute underwater is pretty impressive, but the weather being as unpredictable as it is, you can sometimes get caught out for hours in the rain. For example, if I had timed my ride differently today, I could have started out with no rain and ended up splashing my way home in foul weather for at least an hour. This is the case that problems usually occur.

Hi Kevin, nice thread for this season.


I don't. :p

When you do your waterproofing, I hope you're not blocking the barometric sensor.
(On aircrafts, covering static ports by mistake can be very dangerous)
bird, good question, but my only concern is keeping it dry:)
I protect mine by doing the following;

1. Not riding in the rain with it.

2. If it starts raining, immediately take it off my bike and put it in the plastic ziploc bag I always carry my money / cards etc. in.
Owen, like you I used to tuck my Garmin away in a ziploc bag, but in putting it away I lost data that I would have liked recorded. So, to enable me to ride and still record data, I use this method.
 

bloaker

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#6
bloaker, a minute underwater is pretty impressive, but the weather being as unpredictable as it is, you can sometimes get caught out for hours in the rain. For example, if I had timed my ride differently today, I could have started out with no rain and ended up splashing my way home in foul weather for at least an hour. This is the case that problems usually occur.

Yeah... I do think a full minute underwater on the Oregon (may have been longer) was very impressive. Like I said...a foot deep.
but that model is listed as waterproof. I have had it on my bars in the rain and never cared to cover it for a rain ride.
Last Sunday we did 3 hours in the rain and that was the unit I took with me, the 305 stayed home in the dry.
 

jdd

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#7
I protect mine by doing the following;

2. If it starts raining, immediately take it off my bike and put it in the plastic ziploc bag I always carry my money / cards etc. in.
This is what I do with my 500, and in a jersey pocket it continues to record the track just fine.
(tho I use a thinner bag than a ziplock)
 

zenbiker

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#9
I have an old 705, it has been thought torrential downpours in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and even that one day a year we get a shower in the UK. Never missed a beat!
Its designed to be on a bicycle! If yours goes pop in the rain then it isn't fit for purpose.
Send it back!
 
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joewein

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#10
When you do your waterproofing, I hope you're not blocking the barometric sensor.
(On aircrafts, covering static ports by mistake can be very dangerous)
Unlike bicycles, aircraft have a choice at what altitude they can attempt to cross a mountain range and a bad altimeter reading could lead to some very bad choices... With a bike, at worst your elevation total for a ride will be off.

Usually I don't worry too much about my Garmin Edge 500 in the rain. All I do is to make sure the rubber cover for the USB socket is flush with the case before I lock it in place, as I suspect the USB socket to be the primary route for water entry. Often I need to give it a couple of good squeezes before the cover is well seated.

There appear to be 4 tiny breathing holes on the back side of the 500, to the top right of the 90 degree twist lock ring. I would expect those holes only to cause a problem if you are descending (i.e. outside air pressure increasing) while rain drops are sitting right on top of the breathing holes.

If I was really worried, I'd use Saran wrap like I do for my Android. Mount your Garmin, put Saran wrap around it, then secure the film with a rubber band. Easy to add and remove and probably good enough for anything short of taking your bike for a swim in a river.
 
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TimeTraveler

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#11
I have not had any issues in the rain however:
FYI here's a water immersion test performed by DC Rainmaker.
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/12/feeling-lucky-water-immersion-tests.html
D.K, that was a good read. I am not surprised by Garmin recommendations because the term waterproofing is not absolute and has limits.

I have an old 705, it has been thought torrential downpours in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and even that one day a year we get a shower in the UK. Never missed a beat!
Its designed to be on a bicycle! If yours goes pop in the rain then it isn't fit for purpose.
Send it back!
zenbiker, it's true that Garmins are meant to be on the bike, but I do not want to take a chance on having to buy a new one because I left it unprotected and exposed to the elements.
 

FarEast

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#12
Brand new Garmin 510 and don't do anything to protect it from the rain. My last Garmin went about 3 years before I replaced it due to a cracked body and misting up......one of the juniors on my team now has it.
 

TimeTraveler

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#13
Brand new Garmin 510 and don't do anything to protect it from the rain. My last Garmin went about 3 years before I replaced it due to a cracked body and misting up......one of the juniors on my team now has it.
FarEast, how did the body crack? Was it due to a crash or could it have been due to exposure to the elements? Three years? I hope mine is problem free for as long.
 

jdd

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#14
((more practical than rain worries: I dream of an oversized edge 500/510--like an 800 series size--so I don't have to bring my reading glasses along on a ride))
 

microcord

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#16
I protect mine by doing the following;

1. Not riding in the rain with it.

2. If it starts raining, immediately take it off my bike and put it in the plastic ziploc bag I always carry my money / cards etc. in.
Bugger. I don't have one, but I did order one (800) less than 24 hours ago. I thought it would be a decent navigation aid. I was going to cover it in cellophane wrap in the rain. If that caused the altimeter to go berserk, well, it's not as if this would open a parachute, release any bombs, etc.
 

Doug3

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#19
I have an old 705, it has been thought torrential downpours in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and even that one day a year we get a shower in the UK. Never missed a beat!
Its designed to be on a bicycle! If yours goes pop in the rain then it isn't fit for purpose.
Send it back!
I get the feeling the 705 is one of the best models out there. I have never had a problem in the rain. Also, I never had any heart rate monitor problems discussed in a previous thread.
 
May 22, 2007
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#20
... anything short of taking your bike for a swim in a river.
I HEARD THAT!

I've never had water problems with my eTrex, eTrex Legend, eTrex Vista HCx, Edge 800 or Forerunner 401, all of which have at some point undergone unscheduled immersion tests.

So
Bugger. I don't have one, but I did order one (800) less than 24 hours ago. I thought it would be a decent navigation aid.
I realise that telling you, microcord, not to worry is a waste of online breath, but I confidently predict your new navigation device will be very fine. What are you going to do about a map set?