I need to buy a hand held GPS device. Any suggestions as to brand and price?
www.travelbygps.com has some very good reviews and references. Me, I love my Magellan Map 330M since I have both marine and land mapping capabilities.
Stay safe on the water
Magellan Marine GPS
Look at reviews on p-net accessories (2), and I also own it and it is water specific and super. It also floats. You can type in your location on dry land, and it will list waterways and lakes within a hundred miles of your location, and then drive you there by map if you wish. I did not add any CD-rom map or anything, I use it just like it came out of the box. About $250. Garmin brand GPS, I was told by the Kittery Trading Post in Maine where I bought this unit, is harder to use with one hand while paddling due to button location on side of unit rather than front like Magellan. Some GPSs are more pricey and have color screens (battery drain) and more intricate maps at higher cost and complexity and usually a larger unit; some are cheaper with few maps and no bells and whistles, but the Magellan Marine (blue and white color) model seems to have the best compromise of middle price, maps included, waterway specific (esp for you in FL where the ocean bouys etc will be preprogrammed in the GPS-- as stated on the review), it is a winner. And did I say it floats. Oh, yes, I did.
Magellan Marine price reduction
Here it is, cheaper than I paid, on Amazon. Perhaps you could web search, too. Reviews stellar, but the couple that have lower star ratings seem to find glitches with software additions; again, I did not add any software to mine and I love it as is. Good luck.
It does not have a lot of the software restrictions that the Magellin does. It has buttons only on the front and floats too.
I love my Garmin 60cs, but there are alot of good GP’s out there now. I recomend www.geocaching.com
for info. Figure out the features you want, how much your willing to spend and then research. Goodluck and have fun.
Lot of options
Everyone is quick to throw out ideas.
Stop to consider why you want a GPSr, or what you need a GPSr to do for you.
Just like a boat, there are many differences between GPSr units. It comes down to bell & whistles, and each person has his or her own needs. There is no one right answer for everyone. These are a few of the primary things to think about when shopping for a GPSr-
Where will you use it?
Will it be primarily for use on the water or on land? Ocean or inland?
What are the chances it will get wet?
Will you use GPS coordinates in unison with paper charts/maps, and a compass?
How important is the recording of speed/distance traveled?
Could you get by with just coordinates or do you want on-screen maps?
If so would you prefer detailed topography or detailed street maps?
Do you want/need auto-routing?
Would any geocaching specific functions be desired?
Barometric/weather functions? Altimeter?
What are your needs for minimum battery life?
Would a rechargable unit or replaceable batteries better suit you?
Are you left-handed?
How is your eyesight?
Once you have answered these questions, we could narrow down the list of good options for you.
**forgot the big one- how much money are you willing to spend? **
This was the unit I purchased and it has all of the bells and whistles. I travel alot and it can hold an unlimited number of detailed maps through its SD card slot. I use a 512MB card and have most of the US on it at any time. If I travel somewhere new, I just load a new location. I use in on planes, kayaking, walking, driving and on the bicycle. This is capable of street routing with turn by turn directions and a database of thousands of places like banks, gas stations, restraunts and other places you may want to find whilst travelling. I paid $350 for the traveller pack but it only hurts once and do not regret it. If you get it, buy a set of 4 or six 2500mah NIMH rechargable batteries and a charger and it will be years before you buy batteries again. A great unit!
Alternative Simple solution
Garmin Etrex. Can be had for less than $100. Works very well one handed and fairly water proof. Used mine in water 3 years and no problems. Great for kayaking, hiking and climbing. No bells and whistles. Check reviews on other sites before spending a fortune for things you don’t use. Also take map and compasses with you. Batteries go dead, electronic devices fail, there can be problems with satelite reception, all of which can be very bad if you need to know where you are and where you need to go.
Garmin Ledgen C
I have the Garmin Ledgen Color unit and like it very much. Small and very accurate. I have a marine mount on my yak which works very well. Garmin has great customer service. My unit is mapping and I got the topo maps for my unit as I don’t go off shore . FishHawk
Garmin eTrex Vista C
Best screen for outdoor reading I’ve ever used on any portable device… easy to read in direct sunlight, and one-hand operation is no prob.
I love mine, I use it for routing to/from the put-ins, location and tracking on the water, and the kids and I go geocaching sometimes on weekends with it.
Very accurate, very small, and very cool…
I second the Map 76
It has a much bigger readout than the Etrex, plus you can have split windows.
since I got one, my Etrex has not been used.
No on Lowrance GO 2
I got a Lowrance GO2 and I am sending the 3rd one back to the factory. The first two locked up and this ones distance is not even close. Speed is also suspect. I am sure I did not hit 19.46 mph yesterday in the kayak. If I could get my money back I would get the Map 76.
I have a Garmin Map 76
Very happy with it. Color screen would be nice, but the B/W, or rather light gray and black, works/views pretty well except in high direct sun.
Pretty waterproof/water resistant as mine gets constant paddle drips and splashes.
Included marine nav buoys/markers are excellent, but the detail on the land portion of the maps is primiative. You’ll need the TOPO software if you want to use it for hiking. Blue chart is the best for detail coastlines and marine nav, but it is expensive. I basically use mine for route tracking/bread crumbs and mileage odometer.
I got mine for $179 at West Marine. It’s usually on sale somewhere on any given day.
Garmin Foretrex 101
If you don’t need mapping and just want stuff like lat-lon, speed, distance, track-back and go-to preset waypoints the Garmin Foretrex 101/102 is pretty cool. It comes with a wrist strap and isn’t much bigger than a large wrist watch. I wrap the strap around the first deck bungie and leave the display set to the trip odometer screen. It’s like having a dashboard that reads out max speed, actual speed, average moving speed and distance traveled. The trip odometer screen can be configured to show just about any combination of speed/time/distance parameters you can think of.
Etrex works for me,
as far as reminding me where that good gravel bar is, how fast I’m going and where I am on the river. It also is great for geocaching. It is rain proof and just simple and fun to play with.
It has a small display, not in color and does not show a map. It cost less than $100.00 and to me, was worth every penny. On a lake or in the wild, map and compass will be still be at hand. As said before, check out geocaching.com for good info.
flkayaknrew— don’t keep us in suspense
Which one you gonna buy?
go here http://gpsinformation.net/, read and research, then make your decision and let us know.