For Father's Day, I'm allowed to pick a GPS for Marathon Canoe Training: which should I pick?

I found that a refurbished GARMIN 310 XT had all the info you’d need in terms of speed and distance, just not the mapping functionality of the other units.

I later got a Speedcoach OC which is better at giving current speed for intervals, but is also pricier.

Both attach easily to a footbrace and have big displays so easy to see.

– Andrew

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I also use an older Garmin GPSMAP 60 CSx, and have not yet seen a newer Garmin model that seems like an upgrade.

On the lower cost end, I recently bought my daughter a Garmin eTrex 32x (about $250). I think it is a fine unit for the price.

Actually, I was kind of shocked by how expensive the handheld Garmin GPS’s are, and by how little their handheld units have changed/improved over the years. The interface seems clunky given the massive improvements we’ve seen in smart phones & smart watches.

On a side note … If you want to manage your GPS waypoints, routes, and tracks on a Windows computer, I’ve found ExpertGPS to be very useful (just a user - not associated with the company).

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Hi, KennK,
The Garmin GPSMAP series may appear to be clunky in comparison to touch screen phones but that old school push button interface is far more reliable in rough conditions and cold weather. I used a GPSMAP 60 & 62s for my job in forest management and they always worked when you needed them to work. That’s why I bought a 64s when I retired, I wanted a durable GPS unit for hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and paddling.

I also use ExpertGPS and agree that it’s a good substitute for Garmin’s mapping software. The ability to use Esri’s shapefile format is especially handy.


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The new Etrex line will do all of that. I use an Etrex 20 for most of my outdoor pursuits. Tons of mounts available. Good coverage, good size, decent battery life and you can find them used for really good prices. If you are looking to go new I would look at the new E-trex line up.


looks nice: I see it says water-resistant… do these do well if you run them upside down under water (briefly) every so often? and is this “water-resistance” generally good for the water-proof non-floating Garmin’s? (in other words, brief tipping in flat or swift water)?

Don’t submerge them, and a real heavy rain doesn’t do them any good either. The Etrex 20 is a powerful budget model, but not really waterproof. Fits well in a pocket. I keep mine on deck in a small clear top pelican box.

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As seen mounted on my canoe in the photo above, and also on numerous other canoes in races and backcountry trips, I have paddled through many rain storms with heavy rain soaking everything. It has never affected the operation of life of any of my 60CSX devices. But I have never completely submerged any of them either.

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