Garmin eTrex GPS Unit

Any one tried this unit? Would it be worth the $80.00 at Walmart? Supposed to be waterproof, gives distance times and 50 waypoints.



Works for me
I found it did all I needed and it spend a good deal of time in salt water and always worked. Of course I was not interested in maps and all the bells and whistles, but it gave me the basics in a good readable display and the battery life was excellent. I now have a Foretrex 101 which I like even more since it is smaller and has more informative display options. It has spend a fair amount on time in salt water and keeps working. I suspect you can get one of them for around $80 too.

Of course YMMV.

Mine’s going on 5 yrs old
All saltwater paddling, never been in a drybag or box. It’s been underwater more times than I like to remember, no problems. I use it with paper maps.

Which eTrex?
I notice there are several models. I’m looking at this one.

Good Basic Unit
The yellow eTrex is a decent, basic unit. One of the most popular models around.

The reception under trees can be iffy sometimes, as its very sensitive to the position its held in but as long as you keep it flat, face up to the sky, you can get reception under trees.

It doesn’t have mapping, so if you are looking for a mapping unit, look elsewhere.

For a budget mapping unit check out the Lowrance iFinder H20. The unit itself is around $135 and you can always add topo maps in the future. The H20 also has outstanding reception under trees.

Etrex Legend?
Can’t find on web site or on the box in the store. Does it show elevation? Looks like it does everything else I’d want, except it doesn’t say anything about altitude/elevation.



Legend does display elevation.

– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 8:39 PM EST –

I have an ETrex Legend, and it does display elevation. It doesn't have a barometric altimeter like some of the higher-end units have, and it doesn't have the electronic compass feature (that is, you have to be moving for it to display direction).

I have had a little yellow E trex
for over three years now. It mounts to my motorcyle and bicycle and jon boat. It’s been used for aiming ham radio and tv antennas. I use it for geocaching and hiking around in the woods. In the canoe I just use the speed and odometer functions. I can also mark a waypoint for good fishing holes, gravel bars or campsites along the river. Its been wet but never dunked. Lots of entertainment for a hundred bucks.

Etrex legend cx or vista cx ???

The unit you are looking at is a very basic unit. I believe ones you get more GPS savvy you will outgrow it very fast due to its lack of features. I would spend a bit more money and look at the Etrex legend cx or vista cx. Now you can download maps, waypoints, routes etc. These units are also water proof but they do not float. Also keep in mind if you are going this route that purchasing the GPS is only the first steps, you will also need maps and depending how many maps you buy it can easily cost you more than the GPS itself. I purchased an Etrex legend Cx last year and have used it on an extended canoe trips in the BWCA last fall. I had the entire trip mapped-out with the camp sites and portage locations before leaving and had it all downloaded on my GPS unit. I have to say it worked great, beyond my expectation, we made no wrong turns, always knew the exact location we where and saved a lot of time by not having to study the maps. One really gets spoiled with it. I also noticed the Etrex will loose signal when traveling in the woods so I do not know how well this unit would work for backpacking.

Good luck in you decision

Get the "Legend"
IMHO, the E-trex kegend is worth the extra cash.

One reason that is important to me is that on the Legend, you can program the display to show several of about 20 different criteria. The cheap one is not as good.

On my Legend, I display the speed, time of day, distance traveled, and course traveling. I changed the display font to the large size, and I can read it while it is laying on my deck under a deck bungie. You can display several more criterial at the same time, if you use the smaller display font.

It has a lot more features the cheap one does not have, but this is the most important to me.

One other feature that is great if you are exploring… The GPS keeps a track in the map section of where you traveled. if you get lost, you can turn around and follow your track back home.

Neat stuff!

Yes I have used mine for several
years, very easy to use, and small, easy to take along and mine has been 100% water proof. Follow the directions and keep sand and grit out of the battery O-ring and you will have no problems.

I use mine for hiking, sea kayaking and travel.

Yeah, that’s the one
Cheap cheap cheap. Very reliable.

Excelent unit
I have the basic yellow. My wife bought it for me, when I was sailing out of Marina Del Rey (nasty fogs would set in very quickly)

Doesn’t have graphic mapping but will get you where you want to go, and home.

I have have since bought a bicycle mount (works better than an avocet bike computer IMHO) and carry it with me in my rowing shell to chart my workouts.

I’m hankering to get the one with all the bells and whistles, including HR monitor, but the one I have works just right. I’ve got other things to spend my cash on.

I have the Legend and I really like the large fonts capability. Makes it easier to see from a distance. And not everyone uses all the capability after they’ve owned it for a while. I don’t. I still use the same parts that I used when I started, i.e., “trail of bread crumbs”, moving speed, distance travelled, moving average speed, overall average speed. Does the Legend have a waterproof battery compartment now? Didn’t used to. Mine doesn’t.

The blue one
Legend I believe?

I had an early yellow one that is still serviceable (gave it to my godson) but the Legend has just enough extra features to make me happy.

As noted previously, the programmable display is very handy. What I like best is the little joystick (lacking on the yellow model) which makes navigation of teh functions easier when ensconced in a dry pouch.