Yet Another GPS Question

Santa has consented to bring me a GPS, and I’m torn between two, the Garmin eTrex Legend CX or the 301. I’d be primarily interested in the speed and distance functions of the unit, but also would not mind being able to conceivably use it to navigate as well. Is the 301 useless for this? I believe I read a criticism of the Legend CX that unlike the B&W Legend, it does not display the speed when the map screen is on; is this true? I have a separate heartrate monitor that I currently use, but of course the 301 would give this as well. Any opinions out there? Thanks in advance.

Garmin 201/301 series does not do mapping functions, it only knows where you started and where you are, with an automatic bread crumb trail you could follow home. It can tell which direction you are traveling, but I haven’t had to use it, being super small for my eyes.

I use the 201, very similar to 301 but for the HR pulse function. 201 & 301 give a good time, distance, and speed display that I use all the time. If you need mapping for car use or other, 201/301 will not do it.

Reliability: I’m on my 3rd repair at $50 each replacement. Another paddler is on his first. Canoes may be dryer than kayaks. Steve.

Check out The GPS Store online

– Last Updated: Dec-06-06 3:03 PM EST –

their staff is pretty knowledgeble. I had good luck with them.

Addendum: Water sports people should avoid the Garmin 301 since Garmin won't back up their claim that it meets IPX7 standards. I was stone walled with their claim that it was not being used as they intended. This begs the question: does it ever rain on joggers of cyclist? The GPS Store would accept a refund.

Legend Cx
can definitely display the speed while you are looking at the map screen. Using the menus, you can choose which fields are displayed on the map screen and on the trip computer screen. No problem there.

Listen to Fishdoctor
He knows! The legend Cx can display speed and other variables simultaneously (I think up to 4 data fields). It is great for all of the things you want it to do (and more).

Legend CX

– Last Updated: Dec-06-06 10:59 AM EST –

I'd say go with the Legend CX. Its a far more versatile unit. The screens are customizable so I'm sure you can have the speed displayed on the map screen if you wish (I personally turn off data displays on the map screen).

Also you might want to consider the Venture CX. It's basically the Legend CX without the PC USB cable and memory card and its about $50 cheaper ($150 with Garmin's current $50 rebate). If you have a digital camera or certain cell phones you already have the USB cable and most people buy a more capacious memory card to replace the relatively low capacity one that comes with the Legend.

No sense paying for those items if you are going to do that, so the Venture CX is an attractive alternative to the Legend CX.

The Legend CX (and Venture CX) will also give you turn by turn driving directions in your car, which is a very useful feature.

Check this out has refurbed Magelan Explorist 200’s selling for $69.99 and free shipping if you use code DZR2-6885. Not a bad deal for a mapping GPS that usually goes for about $130. I have not found who is selling refurbed Garmins, but I am guessing similar deals are available.

Avoid Magellan
I would avoid the Magellan eXplorist 100, 200 and 300. They do not have a PC connection so you can’t download tracks, waypoints and software upgrades.

The Magellan eXplorist 210, 400, 500 and 600 do not have this issue.

GPSMAP 76 series, s, c, cx, etc.
Why screw around with eTrex series? Screens and the buttons on GPSMAP series units are larger. Easier to see and MUCH easier to operate one handed on water (gloved too) and are less prone to wear/failure.

The original GPSMAP76 can be had for as little as $150 now and does a LOT for that.

The color units (under $400, sometimes under $300) are MUCH easier to see and easier on batteries, more memory, etc.

The previously mentioned eTrex units are color and have great battery life. The Map76 was a a good unit it its day, but its almost 6 years old and doesn’t come close to the newer eTrex CX units in features and performance.

$150 for a Map76 vs. the same price for a Venture CX makes the Venture CX is a no brainer. Color screen, autorouting, USB connection, expandible map memory and better battery life (32 hrs for the Venture CX vs. 16 hrs for the Map76).

Sure the Map 76CX (or CSX) would be an excellent choice, but it’s also more than twice the price of a Venture CX.

My Preference…
Waterproof and floating. I had a simple yellow Etrex that took on water. My MAP76 is waterPROOF.

You must paddle canoes…
… and eTrex may be OK for that, and for hiking, etc. Still, there’s a reason the eTrex are (and alway have been) cheaper…

Yes, color is nicer, and CURRENT 76 series have all the latest bells and whistles and more screen to display it. I only mention the older unit as it is still being sold (at half original price now) and a great deal for someone that can live without color.

I use mine more like dashboard instrumentation than as a hand held. For kayak deck mounted use where it’s a little farther from your face than when in your hand, and one finger operation is handy, the difference between eTrex and 76 series is worth it.

Thanks all, for your past and ongoing input. Working some discount coupons and rebates the eTrex Legend CX comes out to $174, and the Map $324. I’m just hoping their numerical readouts are visible as I’ll be using it mainly as I use my bike computer, for training speed and distance in the kayak. Borrowed a Forerunner 101 for a previous race and that was easily readable.

I do like the idea of being able to program in waypoints for navigation. At the Blackburn which was cancelled due to fog last year, I saw a large number of competitors with their gps units locked and loaded, ready for bear…or lobster boats. Again, thanks for the advice.

*Steve, good to hear from you. Did you ever get that derailleur controlled rudder system worked out? What a great idea…

You can read an Etrex
Ive got a Legend, its not color but I think the screen options are the same for the B/W and color Legends. I mount mine to my bike handlebars and can read the speed and distance fine, even while sitting straight up.

$50 mail in offer on eTrex & 60 series

Just be aware that the rebate is only for the X (expandible memory) models.

All are waterproof
All Garmin handhelds are waterproof to IPX7 standards. That includes eTrex units. IPX7 means that the unit can be submerged under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Of course this is out of the box. After heavy use, some seals can be compromised and they unit may no longer be waterproof to those standards.

has the Magellan eXplorist 500 (Popular Science mag’s best bang for the bucks GPS)with the Mapsend Topo 3D software,cable,user cd’s,etc on sale for $179.99.Thats a great deal on an excellent GPS.It also has a color screen.I seriously doubt you’ll find anything comparable for that price.Good luck!

Garmin Etrex GPS

– Last Updated: Dec-07-06 11:32 PM EST –

I use the cheapest Garmin etrex ,cost me 99 dollars I checked and it is still the same price. It is simple to use. Now it has no internal map. I bought the National Geographic Tope map software for my state, Florida. With that software I can plan a route and setup waypoints to fallow. Just input the waypoints into the Garmin setup a route Print the map with waypoints you choose and laminate it and your off. It will display speed odometer and a number of other useful information. Main thing is it did not cost an arm and a leg so I'm thinking of buying a second for a backup. The printed map is also handy because it will show the whole route so you can see terrain and profiles if you choose.

Garmin 101 here.

– Last Updated: Dec-08-06 6:19 AM EST –

$69.99, no sales tax and FREE SHIPPING!

I love mine, and love that it takes regular batteries, thus don;t have to carry a charger or run out of juice in the wild. I like the size. I don;t need a heart rate monitor like 301, so the triple price is not worth it to me (buy a separate heart rate monitor at a fraction of the price of teh combined uint, trilobite, and use when you need it and not when you don't).