Garmin is one of the biggest players in the GPS industry; whether you want to explore the unknown or discover new routes, their Zumo series has been going for almost 15 years and are some of the most popular motorcycle sat navs on offer.
Garmin Zumo 595LM is their top of the range model which has taken over from where the 590LM left off.
The 346/396 have taken over from where the 345 and 395 left off.
But with a substantial price gap between the 595 and the 396/346, is the 595 really worth the hype?
In this article, we compare Garmin Zumo 595LM with Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S, aiming to help you find the best Garmin motorcycle sat nav.
Garmin’s heavyweight motorcycle GPS is feature-packed with a large 5″ screen. Including Lifetime European maps with lifetime free updates, a RAM mount and it’s IPX7 waterproof. It can be operated with a gloved hand (as you’d expect). Bluetooth connectivity, live traffic updates (when paired with your phone), speed camera alerts, petrol stations, hands-free calling and music control with Spotify functionality. It weighs 375g.
Zumo 595LM by Garmin is an outstanding motorcycle GPS designed for adventurers. Whether you’re craving to ride on winding roads or hilly terrains, this sat nav can help you find the most exciting routes.
Born for the motorcycle, it showcases a 5-inch glove-friendly and sunlight-readable display with an 800 x 480 resolution, one of the most generously sized and detailed displays on the market.
Its rugged design and IPX7 rating keep it protected from harsh weather; the device also incorporates a bountiful range of features.
Perhaps the most praised is its Bluetooth connectivity. Zumo 595LM is compatible with smartphones and Bluetooth-enabled helmets or headsets, giving you the benefit of hands-free calling while staying focused on the road.
An interesting navigation tool is the photoReal Junction View that displays realistic views of junctions and interchanges, so you’ll never miss an exit again.
This sat nav also displays 3D terrain and elevation information, and allows you to navigate the same route in reverse for an easier return trip.
Some of its best features include:
What’s in the box
The slightly smaller 396 has a 4.3″ screen and features full European maps. It’s IPX7 waterproof, comes with a RAM mount. Bluetooth connectivity with calling and music control. Route features such as tank range, petrol stops, sharp turns and speed cameras. It weighs 240g
One of the most popular motorcycle sat navs, Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S, has a slightly smaller screen than its 595LM brother but still incorporates a wealth of interesting features.
It impresses with rugged, all-weather construction and a glove-friendly touch display of 4.3 inches with a 480 x 272 resolution. This navigator boasts full European maps and is built to turn straightforward rides into gnarly adventures.
Setting route preferences and sharing GPX files with your group is easy, and so is connecting the GPS to your smartphone, headset, or helmet for added convenience. When paired with your smartphone, Zumo 396LMT-S enables LiveTrack, a nice feature that lets your friends track all your rides in real time.
Besides other general connectivity functions, this motorcycle GPS also gives you access to live traffic and weather data.
Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S also features built-in Wi-Fi for easy maps and software updates; furthermore, you’ll receive helpful alerts whenever and wherever you’re riding for sharp curves ahead, railroad and animal crossing, speed limits, and residential or school zones.
A nice feature is the fatigue alert designed to suggest break times and potential rest areas.
The built-in digital fuel gauge is another feature thought for your comfort. You won’t have to worry anymore about monitoring the fuel level, as your sat nav will let you know when it’s time to stop at a petrol station.
Its most popular features include:
What’s in the box
|Garmin Zumo 396||Garmin Zumo 595|
|Weight||240 grams||375 grams|
|Battery life||4 hours||4 hours|
|Traffic alerts||Yes||Yes (when connected to smartphone)|
|Check the price here||Check the price here|
How does the two Zumo compare? Is the 595LM really worth the premium price or would you be just as satisfied with the 396LMT-S?
Both devices come with lifetime map updates and motorcycle and automotive mounts.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the main difference is the larger display of the 595. This model also has a dual-orientation, trans-reflective screen that is more visible in direct sunlight compared to the 396’s backlit display.
Zumo 595 also has higher resolution, which may or may not make a difference, depending on how much you care about it.
A larger screen means a bit more weight too. This shouldn’t be an issue, as you will not be carrying the device in your pocket anyway.
Both sat navs come with lithium-ion batteries with an average runtime of four hours. They are both waterproof and equipped with high-sensitivity receivers.
What 595 has and the 396 doesn’t is a headphone jack/audio lineout. To counterbalance though, Zumo 396 has built-in Wi-Fi for automatic map and software updates, whereas you’ll have to connect Zumo 595 to a PC.
Nevertheless, Zumo 595 gives you the possibility to access 3D terrain view, a feature that could be a bit more important than automatic updates when riding in the wilderness.
With Zumo 595, you will also get tyre pressure monitoring; perhaps it seems unimportant, but this feature is truly handy for off-road riding.
Other interesting things you’ll find on Zumo 595 are VIRB Control, as well as Pandora and Spotify support.
However, Zumo 396 boasts automatic incident detection and group route sharing through GPX files.
Garmin’s naming conventions can get confusing.
The 346 and the 396 are the same unit, both with a 4.3″ display. Where the 346 and 396 differ is that the 346 comes with Western Europe mapping and the 396 comes with Full European mapping. The 396 also comes with a car mount.
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France (incl. French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, Saint Bartholemy), Malta, Monaco, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Vatican.
Isle of Man
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
French Guiana: Major urban areas with intertown roads
Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein
Greece and Cyprus
The 346 works out at around £50 cheaper than the 396. If you don’t need those additional countries, then the 346 is the one to go for.
First, the good news. The new 396 uses the same powered mount as the 395 (pictured above) and 390, so if you’re a long-time Garmin user, you won’t need to fiddle with a new mount, you can just plug and play.
The 396 has a lot more functionality than the 395 and most of the updates are designed around modern connectivity to bridge the gap between a sat nav unit and a smartphone GPS app.
In the table below you can see the major changes between the two devices.
|Zumo 395 LM||Zumo 396 LMT-S|
|Hardware Design||Curved and smaller display size (9.4cm x 5.6cm)||More modern and square to make better use of screen real estate (Display Size – 10.8cm x 6.5cm)|
|Smartphone Notifications||Only incoming call notifications||Displays smartphone notifications (texts, apps, incoming calls) also allows voice commands to read out loud messages|
|GPX Ride Sharing||No||Yes|
|Automatic Incident Detection||No||Yes|
|Compatible with Tyre Pressure Monitor||Yes||No|
|Check the price here||Check the price here|
The new 396 has bridged the gap that existed between the 395 and the 595.
Now the 396 and 595 are quite similar devices. While 595LM has a few more features, both sat navs are more than reliable when it comes to routing and navigating – you pay more for a larger screen and some added functionality.
It’s important to note that whichever Garmin Zumo you go for, they both benefit (read: need!) the smartphone connectivity to really unearth some of the features that sit in the unit’s submenus or are only accessible with a data-connection. From live traffic, to weather reports, incident alerts and closed roads. The good news is the phone connection is simple and it doesn’t use a lot of data or battery life.
If you value enhanced visuals, modern graphics, and a larger screen, Zumo 595LM is undoubtedly an excellent choice. This unit also gives you the possibility to browse music from Pandora or Spotify.
If you don’t mind a smaller display and lower definition graphics, nor care too much about Spotify and would rather save a few quid, the Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S is a better option.
On RRP alone, the Zumo 595LM is a tad overpriced when comparing its features to the 396.
However, you can get some great deals online which bring the price of the 595 down to a much more sensible outlay. At around £430, just over £100 more than the 396, makes the 595 a bit of a no-brainer.
Is it legal to use a Sat Nav in France?
It’s perfectly legal to use a dedicated Sat Nav device or a sat nav app on your phone while in France. However French law dictates that motorists cannot use a device which actively deters the effectiveness of speed cameras.
While this rule is fairly ambiguous and was introduced with the main aim of making it illegal to use radar jammers (which stop laser-based mobile speed cameras from working), if your sat nav warns you of an impending speed trap, in theory, the police could hand you a fine.
The reality is unless you’re caught at a silly speed or just plain unlucky, you’ll have no problems.
Thanks to the following websites which helped us research and write this Garmin Zumo motorcycle GPS guide: