Garmin Etrex GPS

I’m bidding on GPS units primarily to determine my speed while kayaking, and maybe cycling. Are there any of these units that I should avoid? Are all of the Etrex units 12 satellite?

All work fine
The cheapest Garmin will work just as well as the most expensive for determining speed. But remember it does this by an average position, so top speed number will always be suspect at low speeds.

Agree with Seadart
I have 3 Etrex units… original yellow, the blue Legend and the Venture HC (also yellow).

The Venture HC is a real nice sweet-spot for price, memory and function. It also has mapping capabilities. On the water and forthe basics: speed, tracking, etc. they are all good units.

Besure to keep them in a bag while on the water, despite claims of ‘waterproof’, they are NOT.

E-Trex Legend :slight_smile:
I have the e-Trex Legend I bought several years ago. I am very happy with it on the water and on the highway (for major roads)

It shows time, distance traveled, speed, direction, and may more items. You can program the display to show the things you want to see picked from the long list.

It will save a “track” when you paddle in unfamiliar waters, so you can follow your track back home if you get lost.

The batteries last pretty long. I was happy with that.

As a tip… put a little Vaseline around the edges of the battery door. This keep water out of the battery compartment. The unit itself is waterproof, but the battery compartment must allow any gasses to escape as the battery is used. Put a little Vaseline under the flap where the computer cable attaches. This will keep it from corroding should it get wet.

I have dropped mine in the water twice with no water getting in anywhere.

If I was to need to buy another one, I would buy this model again.

Washing Machine Proof ?
When we were at a laundry in Kirkwall, Orkney my wife pitched my polartec jacket in to be washed when I went off to buy some food. My Etrex was in the pocket. I rescued it before the drier. Did not hurt it a bit. I’ve gotten it wet a lot, but I have heard of lots of them dying when submerged or even getting a little wet.

Garmin Etrex H
$89.00 on sale. The cheapest one they make. Accurate, fast to lock on to satellites and mine at least has been water resistant. It’s so sensetive that it works in my house, under the roof. Not that I need it there however! If you don’t need mapping it is a fine choice.


I too have the etrex legend …works fine for kayaking and tracking speed, time running, time stopped and distance. I also use it hiking and lose the signal in heavy cover. Remember , all GPS units track “as the crow flies” they don’t “see” bends in the river and such , so distance traveled can be misleading.

Not true …
The “distance traveled” is integrated over the path.

“Distance to an object” when you set up headings is a straight line distance.

I have the Garmin Extrex Vista HCX
and like it very much. Clear color screen with blue chart navigation maps and city navigator. The unit is under water alot and I keep it on deck where the waves and a fair amount of rolling get the water to it. I have never had an issue with it and the battery life is better than I expected. Now that I have said this I will go home and find it dead!

Another thumbs up for cheap Garmins
I’ve had two of the “yellow” models and both have been great. I’ve never had a problem with water leakage, and that includes occasional rolling with the unit on my deck. I use mine for waypointing landings, buoys, etc. as well as on-land for hunting, hiking, mushrooming, etc. Why spend $300?

However, don’t set it down on your rear bumper while loading your kayak on the car. That’s why I’m on my second unit!

Peak Bagging
I have developed a strange hobby of taking coordinates of mountain tops or hills or cool sites I have visited. Kind of fun to look at the log, but a little weird. Is useful for helping folks find cool places though.

I just got the Garmin Extrex Vista HCX
I find that the basic map is far less detailed than the original etrex (the blue one that finally died after two years of rolling practice on the deck)

anyone know of any good map downloads that won’t cost the same as the unit?

LOVE MINE!!! I have the…
Legend & the H. If I could combine the two into one??? OH BOY!! I also have the i350. Great for vehical travel!

Paddle easy,