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Garmin GPSMAP 942xs

ProductDisplay SizeSonarMax. Depth
GPSMAP 942xs

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5,000 ft
on transducer)
10 Hz,
US LakeVü HD,

BlueChart g2,


The GPSMAP 942xs is a bigger version of the GPSMAP 742xs that we have previously reviewed here. It’s a multifunction display which offers a wide array of navigation features, and also has 2D CHIRP and ClearVü sonar. This unit does not include a transducer. For reference, this is the Garmin part number 010-01739-03.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Display: 9″ diagonal WSVGA color touchscreen display, 1024H x 600V pixel resolution, with LED backlight
  • Sonar: CHIRP 2D, CHIRP ClearVü
  • Supported Frequencies:
    CHIRP 2D: 50/77/83/200 kHz
    ClearVü: 260/455/800 kHz
  • Max. Depth Capability: 5,000 ft (at 1 kW)
  • Transducer: Not included
  • Max. Power Draw: 12 VDC, 2.3 Amp
  • Typical Power Draw: 12 VDC, 1.3 Amp
  • Transmit Power: 1 kW
  • GPS: 10Hz, Internal
  • Charts: LakeVü HD and BlueChart g2
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks)

Sonar features

The GPSMAP 942xs has built-in 2D CHIRP sonar and ClearVü CHIRP sonar. It supports 50/77/200 kHz for 2D CHIRP and 260/455/800 kHz for CV. Plus, it supports dual-frequency sonar; for example, if you pair it with a 50/200 kHz transducer, or with a 77/200 kHz transducer, it can use both beams simultaneously.

In terms of structure scanning sonar, the unit is also capable of SideVü sonar. However, in order to use this sonar technology, you will also need an external sonar black box which is not included.

As we’ve mentioned above, the GPSMAP 942xs does not include a transducer. It is, however, compatible with quite a few types of transducers from Garmin and Airmar. The list includes the GT20-TM, GT21-TM, GT21-TH, GT23M-TM, GT22HW-TM, or the ice transducer GT10HN-IF. The unit is also compatible with Panoptix transducers and supports Panoptix all-seeing sonar.

The unit has an 8-pin connector for the transducer. So, depending on what transducer you’re going to opt for, you may (or may not) need a plug adaptor.

The system’s depth capability depends on the transducer. For example, if paired with the classic GT20-TM, it should provide a maximum depth capability of 2,300 ft. at 77 kHz, and up to 250 ft when using ClearVü at 455 kHz, in freshwater. Or, with 50 kHz / Low CHIRP capable transducer and a max. output of 1 kW, it should be able to scan depths up to 5,000 ft.

In terms of standard sonar features, the GPSMAP 942xs offers Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind, Bottom Lock, A-Scope, UltraScroll, Fish Symbols, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, and more.

Navigation features

The Garmin GPSMAP 942xs is a highly versatile navigation unit. To begin with, it has an internal 10 Hz GPS receiver. This means it can provide position updates 10 times per second. It offers position enhancements via WAAS and EGNOS. Needless to say, it shows the coordinates of any point of interest or created waypoint. Plus, it has a GPS speed function, which means it can calculate and show the speed of your boat.

The unit has waypoint and trail recording functions. It can save up to 5,000 waypoints in its memory, and up to 50 trails with up to 50,000 points per trail. It also has a route creation function. You can save up to 100 routes in its memory.

As opposed to the Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 93sv, this unit is equipped with both U.S. LakeVü and BlueChart g2 chart platforms. The LakeVü HD platform offers charts for the inland waters. They cover more than 17,000 U.S. lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, and from those, over 13,000 are covered in HD detail with 1-foot contours shoreline-to-shoreline.

The BlueChart g2 platform offers charts for the coastal waters. Their coverage includes the East Coast, the West Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. and the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. These charts provide other information as well, such as tidal and current stations, IALA nav symbols, fishing spots, and more.

Of course, the unit is also compatible with the LakeVü HD Ultra and BlueChart g2 Vision which offer superior detail, 3D view, AutoGuidance and many other features. Plus, it also supports the upcoming LakeVü g3 and BlueChart g3.

In case the preloaded charts do not provide satisfying detail for your lake, the Quickdraw Contours feature has you covered. This application uses the 2D sonar and GPS data in order to reveal and draw the depth contours of the lake or body of water that you are scanning. Therefore, you can create your own personalized charts with 1′ depth contours, waypoints and other custom data. Also, you can share your custom charts with other users via Quickdraw Contours on Garmin Connect.

The SailAssist feature page is also included with this unit. It includes pre-race guidance and shows your virtual starting line along with data fields showing laylines, time to burn before the start and a race timer that can be synchronized across all your networked Garmin GPS products. In addition, other supported sailing features include an enhanced wind rose, heading and course-over-ground lines, set and drift, true and apparent wind data and more.

Last but not least, the GPSMAP 942xs is Garmin Radar compatible. It supports most Radar modules from Garmin. It also supports AIS, DSC data from VHF compatible radio, autopilots, and many more. Plus, it has built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to sync it with your smartphone in order to access ActiveCaptain to manage better your marine experience.

Networking and other features

The Garmin GPSMAP 942xs offers NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 capabilities. Therefore, you can integrate it into your already existent network and share data with various other units and boating instruments such as AIS, VHF radio, FUSION-Link compatible radios, SiriusXM receivers. Plus, it supports imaging provided by IP video cameras, thermal cameras, or encoders. It’s also wireless remote compatible; however, the RF or GRID wireless remote control is not included with the unit. The unit also has an Ethernet port for Radar.

As we’ve mentioned above, this Garmin unit has built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to sync it with your mobile device in order to access the free ActiveCaptain app. This app creates a connection between your compatible mobile device and your Garmin unit, charts, maps and the boating community. It even offers the possibility to get smart notifications on your unit, or pre-fish a lake before actually getting on the water.

The GPSMAP 942xs features a full-color WSVGA display, 9-inch in diagonal, with a pixel resolution of 1024H x 600V. It has adjustable LED backlight and provides excellent readability even from sharp angles. Its internal operating system offers a highly intuitive interface, very easy to use. It’s full-touchscreen and responds to the same commands as any tablet or smartphone. It allows you to work with up to three applications simultaneously, in split-screen format.

The unit is equipped with a dual microSD card reader. Therefore, you can use a data card and a chart card at the same time, without the need to continuously swap them.

Finally, the box includes both the bail mount kit and the flush mount kit, along with a protective cover.

The Pros

  • CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition, for both 2D CHIRP and ClearVü;
  • Supports SideVü sonar, via the GCV™ Black Box external module;
  • Supports Panoptix all-seeing sonar;
  • Supports dual-frequency sonar;
  • Compatible with a wide selection of transducers from Garmin and Airmar, including 1 kW models;
  • Sonar recording and rewind;
  • Many standard sonar features, including Fish Symbols, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Sonar Zoom, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, etc.
  • Fast and accurate 10 Hz internal GPS;
  • Preloaded with the U.S. LakeVü HD and BlueChart g2 coastal charts;
  • Quickdraw Contours function, for the possibility to add contours and customize your maps;
  • Multiple Depth Range Shading;
  • Compatible with the Garmin premium charts, such as BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra;
  • Tide tables information;
  • Data graphs and information from other NMEA 2000 sensors;
  • Supports AIS, RADAR and DSC-capable VHF radio;
  • Garmin Meteor™ Audio System compatible;
  • Supports FUSION-Link™ compatible radios;
  • Touchscreen display;
  • Dual microSD card reader;
  • Wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi networking and Bluetooth);
  • Garmin Helm compatible;
  • Wireless remote control compatible;
  • Bail and flush mounts included;
  • Unit cover included;
  • Easy to install;
  • Straightforward, comprehensive operation.

The Cons

  • Does not support Navionics or C-MAP charts;
  • Remote control is not included;
  • Transducer is not included.


The Garmin GPSMAP 942xs is a multifunction display which offers 2D CHIRP sonar, ClearVü sonar, GPS, LakeVü and BlueChart maps, and a wide array of navigation and networking features. It does not include a transducer, but it is compatible with many transducers from Garmin and Airmar. It’s a highly versatile unit, perfect for boats of all sizes, offering an excellent value for the price.

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