Installing a Micro SD Card on a Garmin Zumo GPS

Installing a Memory Card on a Garmin Zumo GPSMost Garmin Zumo GPS devices allow expansion of memory by installing a micro SD card.  That’s different from most automotive GPS devices that do not have this capability.  We’re going to look at how to install a micro SD card and talk about the different types of cards available.   You can use these cards to hold additional maps or simply expand the storage for other purposes.

All Garmin Zumo units require a micro SD card to be at least 4 GB in size.  However the maximum varies by unit.  Specifically, the Garmin Zumo 595LM and 395LM top out at 64 GB.  The Garmin Zumo 220, 350, 390, 590, and 660 support a maximum size of 32 GB.  The oldest Garmin Zumo 400 and 500 series max out at 4 GB.

Garmin has a complete memory table that can be read here.  The table provides the largest card that each GPS can accommodate.

Pre-installed Maps

You can purchase specialty maps for a Garmin Zumo.  These maps can be purchased on an already populated micro SD card.  Be sure to read the Garmin GPS Map Types article on this site for additional information.  You will be surprised at the types of maps you can install on a Garmin Zumo GPS.

Blank Micro SD Cards

You don’t need a populated micro SD card for use in a  Garmin Zumo GPS.  In fact, Garmin themselves even offers blank cards.  Consider the Garmin 8 GB microSD Class 4 Card with SD Adapter which will fit many of the Garmin Zumo models made over the past several years.

Unfortunately, as of today, the 8 GB card os the largest one that Garmin offers.  Larger cards will mean a different manufacturer.  Fortunately, cards from other manufacturers are supported.  However, be aware of the different types of cards available.

Types of Micro SD Cards

First, let’s look at the types of speed categories.  There are two types.  The most common are called Speed Classes which range from Class 2 to Class 10.  The lowest which is Class 2 will record at least 2 MB per second.  That’s too slow so avoid these.

Class 4 provides at least 4 MB per second, and Class 6 is 6 MB per second.  A Class 4 card or faster is recommended but ideally a Class 10 which is at least 10 MB per second is better.  Looking at the market for these cards, you may pay more for a slower card.  Class 10 appears to be optimally priced.  A Class 10 card is the fastest supported by Garmin.

All cards including the 64 GB size (supported by only a few Garmin Zumo models thus far) must be formatted as FAT32.

Card Size

We suggest using the largest card that your Garmin Zumo supports.  Be sure that speed and size are within the Garmin supported specifications.

Stick with brand name cards.  Sure, you can save a bit with off brand cards, but these are the ones that will stop working or not work at all.

The Transcend 32GB MicroSDHC Class10 UHS-1 Memory Card with Adapter is a good fast micro SD card. This comes with an SD card adapter to make it easier to insert into a PC.  You can hold a lot of data on this card.

How to Install it

Installation of a micro SD card into a Garmin Zumo is a simple process.  Find the micro SD slot and insert the card until you hear it click into place.  On a Garmin Zumo 595LM, the micro SD card slot is found within the battery compartment.  The battery compartment is located on the back of the Garmin Zumo 595LM on the left.