Handheld GPS units

Yes, yes, yes, I’m aware that this is the kind of thing that p.net created the Product Reviews pages for. But those have come up short, particularly for some of the newer GPS models, so I thought I’d pose some questions here as well as encourage everyone to update the product reviews whenever possible.

I’m looking at the Magellan eXplorist series. While they are all based on the same body design, some models in the series are waterproof while others are not. The two cheapest models, the 100 and 200, are definitely waterproof, while some of the higher-end units with USB connections and memory card slots apparently are not. I’m curious if anyone has any experience with the Explorists (or other waterproof handhelds, for that matter).

I noticed on Amazon.com that one user/reviewer mentioned that the Explorist 100 did in fact have a PC connection, even though Magellan does not advertise as such, and even had a pic of a routemap generated on Google Earth from data uploaded off the GPS. Do all current Explorist 100s have PC connectivity, or did this guy have some earlier version of it and maybe Magellan later decided to reserve that feature for its pricier models?

according to the site http://www.magellangps.com/products/product.asp?prodID=1073&SEGID=355&tab=1&ajaxlink=1073:features

they all have the same rating, at least the few i looked at did. My XL has gotten dunked with out any problems. It also got dropped off my motercycle on a dirt road doing about 50 MPH and that didnt even phase it.

I have a…
Explorist 600. It’s the second one I have had as the first one failed the first time it hit the water. Magellan said it “must have been a defect”. It doesn’t leave the car anymore.

I am and always have been much happier with my Garmin Legend. I just bought my spouse a Legend Cx which is also an impressive little unit with good battery life.

Handheld GPS
Get one that FLOATS!!

Put it in a bag.
Never rely on the waterproof standard. Use a clear faced bag and for sure it will float.

Garmin GPS Map60 is my truck, boat and hunting unit.

JT in Central Florida

210 Model
does have the PC upload/download capability Got mine from www.tigerdirect.com for $159.00 and love it.

I just finished a 14 day, 6,366 miles coast-to-coast-to coast trip and plugged the 210 into my laptop and used it with Delorme to map and keep taps on my routes. Worked great and beat having a separate piece of gear in my inventory of electronic gizmos. Was still able to disconnect and record trails of the various paddles I did on the trip.

This is the second Magellan product I’ve been extremely pleased with. And as another poster has written, get a GPS bag - $30.00 is cheap insurance.

Any day on the water is a great day.


I can only advise you or my experience. I use a Garmin 76CS and it’s alot smarter than I am but it’s a great GPS, has taken a beating, been swimming many times and keeps on ticking. It uses 2- AA batteries every 2 days. When the little window pops up that says low batteries you have less than 15 minutes to change them but you won’t lose any data if it goes dead it just stops tracking and you will not document anything until you replace the batteries. And always carry extra batteries even if for a day trip.

Garmin Trip

– Last Updated: Apr-30-07 8:26 AM EST –

I used this Garmin 76CS recently on a 851.4 mile 49 day solo kayak trip down the Etowah, Coosa, Alabama and Mobile Rivers with internal tracking points every 1/2 mile and then added lots of way points along the way. At the end of the trip I had used 14% of the memory.
A friend of mine (GPS smarter than me) downloaded the pages and stitched them together to make a JPEG file of the trip. It's awesome. I had it blown up and put on 3x4 foam core board and use it for presentations.
If you'd like to see it, e-mail me Richard@georgiakayaker.com

garmin waterproofs
I have two different models, neither are ever bagged, and both have been dunked (and dropped) repeatedly. Assuming you keep it in good shape, I disagree about not trusting the waterproof ratings. If you’re traveling solo and are that dependent on your GPS then perhaps - or perhaps get a backup to save you from other catastrophic damage. If you’re on a group outing and are that dependent on your GPS then someone else should have one also.

garmin trip
sounds like great trip, was wondering if you had the us topo maps loaded on your gps and if those base maps was included in the 15% of the memory you used? The tracking points I guess you would preload before your trip? Thanks for info.

A bag is cheaper than a backup
I don’t trust luck with a 400 dollar investment.

I’m retired on a fixed income and plan on keeping my GPS for a long time.

Just my 2 cents.

JT in Central Florida.