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58 reviews | 4.1 out of 5
This is an exceptional value for the recreational to serious hiker but not for the professional who wants extreme accuracy. Learning curve for a portable hiker GPS is harder than the learning curve for a car GPS. This unit is easily readable in the sunlight - able to track both the USA satillites and the Russian Glonoss satilites for greater accuracy - has microSD card holder for 24K US Geological maps - use City Navagator for all roads in North America - uses Bluechart maps for marine use on the water - uses replacable 2xAA batteries. The unit comes pre-loaded with a basic map set that is of little use so one has to purchase maps for an additional cost (between $60-$80). Never used a portable GPS unit before- spent months researching the right type of GPS to purchase for back county wilderness hiking and snow showing in the High Tor Wilderness area - selected this unit for cost efficiency and features. This is a great cost effective unit -- good for geocaching but accuracy is within 10-20 feet and less accurate when one is within 10 feet of the geocatch. The tracking feature is great -- it leaves an electronic "bread crumb" trail as one hikes - and then one can follow this 'bread crumb" trail back to the starting point using the electronic compass or the map. Have not tried the mapping features of the unit but need a computer and software (free from Garmin) to use these features.
I bought this GPS unit specifically for geocaching. I have been using an iPhone to do geocaching & really like it but wanted something I could use anywhere in the world without having to pay for data. Prices ranged from $166 (on walmart.com) to $199. I also had to purchase an SD micro card for about $10 to store the maps I wanted. The unit comes with a base map that is of no use at all. At least not for my purposes. Maps can be purchased from Garmin but I'm too cheap for that so I downloaded a free routable street map for the USA at http://www.osmmaps.com/maps/united-states It took a long time because the file is huge. Follow the install instructions--super easy, even for non-techies. If you want only certain cities or other countries check here for maps http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/ (not as easy as the previous link, but if you're as cheap as I am, you will take the time to figure it out like I did) The device powers on quickly and the screen is easy to read even in bright sunlight and shows a strong GPS signal even in heavily wooded areas. When you activate the Geocaching dashboard, the top of the screen shows the name of the cache, terrain, difficulty and size of the cache, and a compass. I am not a premium member on geocaching.com, but if you are you can also access the logs, descriptions and hints. It is easy to load the caches on your GPS with just a few clicks. Uploading the field notes from the GPS to Geocaching.com was a little confusing at first. On your profile, look on the right side under "field notes". I have not used opencaching.com with this device. I have been using it for just over 2 weeks for about 3-4 hours a day and the regular Rayovak batteries are holding up just fine, even with keeping my screen on all the time at the highest brightness setting. Still shows a nearly full charge. The user interface is not as friendly as the iPhone, but what is. The menus & how to access them are not very intuitive. The best tip I can give on that is if you're not on the screen you think you should be, press the back button and try again. I recommend downloading the manual and reading it to set up your device. Then take it out for a test run. If it doesn't show something you think it should, or shows something you don't want, check the manual and make adjustments. This made a big difference in my geocaching experience. By the third outing I had it set up exactly as I want it. Watch out for the option to restore defaults. That got me more than once & I had to start over with my set up. You can make different profiles for different uses and it's pretty easy to switch back and forth. As far as accuracy, I have found it to be much more accurate than my iPhone. It usually puts me within 2-4 feet of finding my cache. If you are looking for a GPS for Geocaching, I would recommend the eTrex20. I have found it to be a good value and after spending time reading the manual, does exactly what I want it to do.
Absolutely outstanding GPS!!! Does everything you could possibly need for your navigational needs in an austere environment. Lightweight, color screen, leaves tracks, way points can have proximity alerts, can put it all together for a comprehensive route plan. You can transfer it all onto your computer, make changes, and transfer it back (USB). Great professional tool for Marines. Semper Fi.
This is a nice little toy. But be prepared to buy, or subscribe to buy, maps. The map shown on the unit in all the sales literature does NOT come with the it. All you get, out of the box, is a blank screen with a few lines on it. They call that the "base map." Also, I had problems registering the product on-line and ended up on the phone with technical service for way too long!! But, it's fun to play with.
Maps are not a problem if you have the internet. Any thing you buy now a days, if it's missing something you can just punch it into the net with the word free in front of it and just watch how many things pop up. Use with caution of course but I have gotten topo maps, Illinois maps, trail maps etc for free and my gps works great. It's a little hard to figure out at first but gets easier with use. U-tube is a great help to see how it works. It is pretty small on handlebars, say a bit thicker than my cell phone, but about the same height. The way point features are great for many uses. Just got it yesterday, can't wait to try it in field today!! Oh yeah the bird's eye view, best ever!!! You have to pay to subscribe to it or you can just get a sample area, which I did and way cool. only $30 a yr I think to get it, might be worth it to you if you don't care for the Topo maps.
Works great! I use it for Geocaching and it works great. I'm able to find them a lot faster. I didn't realize it when I bought it but you can't use it for driving. It gives a birds eye view of how to get somewhere. Not complaining, just letting others know. This is my first handheld. Easy to learn the system. Still use my phone for turn by turn directions. Still haven't had to replace the batteries, which surprised me. Able to mark waypoints so I can always find my way back to my car on those long hikes. Highly recommend this gps. Especially if you go in areas that don't have cell service. Also tracks where you go so you can see where all you went, how many miles, how fast you where going, and how long. Great handheld at a great price!
I purchased this unit as a basic GPS for hiking, geocaching and marking fishing hot spots on the local lake. While there are cheaper Garmin units, I selected the eTrex 20 because it can be upgraded with the various maps available from Garmin thus making it far more versatile than Garmin units costing less. This GPS comes only with the Worldwide DEM Basemap. As the name implies, this map covers a very large area, but does not offer a great deal of detail, such as unpaved roads, etc. You will definitely have to upgrade maps if you want turn-by-turn driving instructions in your car, or shoreline details on the lake. The unit is loaded with features; far more than I knew when I order it. Navigating through the menus is quit easy and intuitive. I really like the fact that the full instruction manual is loaded in the GPS's software, so downloading the file to your computer is a snap using the provided cable. Small, lightweight, has a compass and provides elevation. A slick unit for the money.
The eTrex 20 is easy to use. The different pages are easy to find and to navigate through. After playing with it a few minutes I could find the different pages and options without having to refer to the manual for every little step. The pages are well laid out and easy to read. Two things that I don't like: First, the joystick protrudes from the face slightly, which I suppose is necessary in order to be able to work it. The problem is, in a tight shirt pocket or in a tight pouch of any sort the friction of moving around is probably going to be accidentally working that toggle and making it do things you may not want it to do. For myself, I will generally have it mounted on the handlebars of an ATV, so shouldn't actually experience that problem too often. The second problem, though, is something that I will have to deal with. The track line on the map page is difficult to see in the daylight. There are options for different colors, but none of the options are black. The options available are all pale colors, and are hard to see against the colorful map background.
We purchased this portable GPS to use for geocaching and it has definitely met our needs. There are MANY other uses for these kinds of units and being an avid outdoors person it will come in handy for fishing and hunting as well. I looked at other portable GPS systems, read lots of reviews on them and this particular one. For the money we were wanting to spend, or not spend, and all the features this one has we decided on this one and have not regretted one moment of our purchase. I also think the ease of use is a plus. We geocache at least twice week now. I would recommend this GPS.
The eTrex 20 works great for my purposes. Using google and bing maps, I manually entered the way points on the river for where we planned to camp and other landmarks. The proximity alarm worked as advertised and we never missed the sandbar where we planned to camp. The unit has a very basic map installed, but when traveling downstream on a river, the compass is useless, getting lost is just about impossible. I'm thinking about purchasing a sim card with detailed maps, but haven't made up my mind. I was able to save waypoints with a brief description of interesting points along the trip. Batteries lasted for the entire trip of 3 days. Satellite acquisition time was acceptable. There are other GPS units with more bells and whistles, but for an inexpensive unit that shows where you are, where your going and where you've been, this one is perfect.
My partner and I needed a small handheld GPS that we could use on our hikes. After doing a bit of research, we found this eTrex 20 for less than $200.00! Once we picked it up and started using it, we enjoyed the screens and the different options. The reason we chose the eTrex was because it has the most built-in memory, and it's expandable with a micro SD. It's pretty decent in the sunlight, most of the areas we've tried it in were desert areas. So that's a big plus! What I don't enjoy, and this probably goes for most Garmins, is having to download different maps onto our device. That was a bummer because the maps needed are just as expensive, if not more, than the device. But I feel safer knowing that we have this and getting lost hiking is highly unlikely.
You have to buy to many add on's for it to work such as layers, purchase separate for another $100. I purchased a free app for my phone that did more and with a larger screen.
as a gift to son in law, he is thrilled and states it does every thing he wished for
Not much to say EXCEPT I did read the reviews and the documentation contained in the package is to get you up and running with little or no explanation on how to "use" the GPS. Works as advertised. Wal-Mart is a lot faster, in getting it to me, then other vendors, a LOT faster...
The unit is too complicated, and did not come with detailed instruction. I was able to get what I need from an app on my Android, and it only cost me $4.99. I could have gotten the app for free, but the ads are annoying. I returned the unit.
Let me start by saying the GPS itself is good.The software,I`m talking about BaseCamp is a pain in the backside.I will never buy another Garmin GPS because of BaseCamp.Every time it updates you lose lose information you stored in it.They expect you to back up your GPS every time it does update which takes up computer space.BirdsEye is not much better,the satellite images are old and half of the time their server is down.If I could of gave less than 1 star I would of,just because of BaseCamp.Before buying this or any other Gamin GPS,Go to the Garmin BaseCamp Forum and you will see 2000 pages of problems.
I use the eTrex 20 primarily for backcountry skiing and mountain biking and needless to say it doesn't get pampered. Not only has is come away unscathed after miles of abuse, it has also been impressive with it's accuracy and ability to keep a signal in places my prior GPS units have not (even in blasting snowstorms). There may be fancier units on the market (i.e. more expensive), but this little device is well worth the money. Remember to always back yourself up with a compass...batteries are designed to run out.
This thing is a piece of trash. They give you 10 different instruction manuals in 10 different languages but none of them tell you how to operate it or how to setup any of the functions. Garmin is suppose top be one of the best, well this one is one of the worst!
The GPS has more features than I expected even after reading the product specs and description I use it for hunting and fishing and some work related operations. The instructions for overlaying graphics on the unit were somewhat vague. Using MYTOPO.COM and GOOGLE EARTH I have been able to install many maps that are very helpful. I was hoping for more accurate satellite readings but it does do as specified.
This eTrex 20 works very well but doesn't seem as heavy duty as the GPSMAP® 60CSx that we're currently using. We purchased the eTrex 20 for Fire Department use so we'll find out how tough it really is.