Highest Rated Fishfinders
1Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP G2
2Lowrance HDS 7 Gen3
3Garmin Striker 7sv
4Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 73sv
5Raymarine Dragonfly 7 PRO

Garmin echoMap 53dv Review

Garmin echoMap 53dv has an average rating of 3.33 out of 5 based on 3 user reviews.



The Garmin echoMap 53dv has a 5 inch high-contrast color display with keypad control and a MicroSD port. The LakeVu cartography and mapping solution provides you with instant access to over 17,000 lakes and rivers throughout North America.


• Combination fishfinder and chartplotter.
• WQVGA display with 480 x 480 pixel resolution.
• 5 inch/127mm vivid color display screen with automatic backlight adjustment capabilities.
• Easy-to-use keypad control.
• IPX7 waterproof-rated.
• HD DownVu transducer operating at 77/200 kHz.
• MicroSD access port.
• 500W sonar.
• Preloaded and pre-set LakeVu cartography.
• Supports MotorGuide and MinnKota trolling motors with quick-disconnect mount.
• LakeVu HD upgradeable option for High-Definition mapping.
• 5Hz GPS provides real-time updates on direction and distance.
• Garmin DownVu provides clear images up to 750 feet.
• Free HomePort trip planning software saves all trip and sonar history.
• Share routes, destinations, fishing hotspots and waypoints with the data sharing cable.

The Garmin echoMap 53dv is a well-constructed and light-weight (1.6 lb/0.7 kg) waterproof unit. However, Garmin intended this unit to accomplish more than just impress you with its sturdiness. It has a number of excellent features that easily distinguish this fishfinder from its competitors.

Your position on the water is always accurate thanks to a GPS that continually updates you on direction, distance traveled and potential danger areas, while also keeping you abreast of current and upcoming weather conditions. Garmin’s DownVu scanning sonar produces vivid, detailed and colorful images of baitfish, gamefish, surrounding rock structures and formations, underwater terrain, ridges and shore-to-shore contours.

The preloaded LakeVu cartography and mapping solution provides an in-depth view of shoreline contours up to 1 foot. Using the MicroSD port you’ll be able to save your sonar history, backtrack over previous fishing hotspots, while also having a clear history of past fishing trips. The Garmin echoMap 53dv also has an enhanced auto guidance feature that allows you to enter your previously visited location. You can then plan future trips safely by avoiding shallow water, rocky shorelines and other potential danger areas.

The DownVu sonar provides crystal clear images up to 750 feet below your boat. The safety shading option allows you to pinpoint potentially dangerous low-level waters and rocky points. This simplifies how you identify minimum water depths and potential fish-holding structures like docks, bridges, boat ramps and marinas. You can store up to 5000 waypoints and the unit includes GPX software formatting, which is the standard format for exchanging GPS data. This means you can transfer waypoints and routes from another GPS source or handheld device. You can get a great deal on Garmin echoMap 53dv here.

 Raymarine Dragonfly 5PROGarmin echoMap 53dvHumminbird Helix 5 DI GPS
Screen Size5 in5 in5 in
Screen Resolution800 x 480 pixels480 x 480 pixels480 x 800 pixels
Display Type16-bit color TFTWQVGA256 colors TFT
Imaging2D using CHIRP
DownVision using CHIRP
2D, Down Imaging2D, Down Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency200 kHz Sonar/350 kHz Down Vision77/200 kHz200/455 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Down Imaging
Maximum Depth600 ft 2,300 ft freshwater
1,100 ft saltwater
600 ft 2D
350 ft Down Imaging

User Reviews

Posted by Trevor

  • 5/5

The older Lowrance Elite 4 I owned was good, but the imaging detail on the EchoMap 53dv is unbelievable. It almost looks like I have a camera rather than a sonar sometimes. I fish mostly in southeast Louisiana marshes and the standard maps weren’t cutting it. The GPS is quite accurate if a little slow to establish a satellite lock when you first turn it on. Using it in combination with the down imaging makes navigating the maze of channels in the dark much easier. I was worried that the small display would be hard to read, but it is so crisp and bright that I can turn it around and see everything just fine from the bow. I am happy with my purchase and would definitely buy again.
One word of caution, make sure you are buying the package with options and transducer you want. I have seen plenty of negative reviews where the only problem was someone ordering the wrong set for their needs. Garmin has the equipment and software to fit most any need. There is no one size fits all, so make sure you know what you want before you order.

Posted by Ken Hecker

  • 4/5

After a dozen or so times using my EchoMap 53dv on the water, I have to say the folks at Garmin did a solid job engineering this unit. It replaced my old Garmin 500c and is a step up all around. The chart plotting works great and comes in handy. It also seems to have a lot of the features you would find on units with a much higher price tag. I really like the ability to freeze the display and take a screenshot. The included maps have more lakes than I would have imagined. It even has most of the man-made lakes I frequent in eastern Pennsylvania. In my opinion the 53dv is a good value and a solid purchasing decision. I will continue to stick with Garmin.

Posted by phil

  • 1/5

instructions were useless and the 100 dollar unit on the front of the boat kicks it gps is so far off dont plan on ever finding a waypoint the worst fishing purchase in 40 years

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