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Rated5out of5bycrotalusfromExcellent and ReliableI have used Garmin products in navigating the Mojave desert on foot and by car for years in wildlife biology and hiking. The eTrex models are lightweight, hold an astounding number of waypoints and tracks, and have an admirable battery life. Aside from not surviving being driven over by a large truck, these units are extremely rugged, as well!
Date published: 2014-03-06
Rated3out of5byFred in AtlantafromNice Product, Poor InformationThis is my second Garmin GPS. I bought the first on in the 90s, so I thought it was time for an update. I did a lot of online research so I knew about the poor documentation from the reviews. It was worse than I expected. It started at the REI store where the associates knew very little about the unit and the maps it would need or whether it would work on a Mac. I was steered towards some add-on products (National Geographic AllTrails and Garmin microSD card) that I probably didn't need. The local REI store didn't carry any of the add-on maps for the Garmin. I went to another nearby REI store and discovered that none of the stores carry the maps for the unit. They did have an associate that explained which maps worked on the unit and where to get them.
If you buy this unit you will need to connect it to your computer with the supplied USB connector and obtain the documentation from the unit itself. It does come with a world-wide base-map, but it is not a topo map and cannot provide much detail. If you want to buy maps for the unit, there are three ways to do it, a download from Garmin, a DVD, or a microSD card. I'm still not sure which is the best format, but all are expensive.
Look at the Garmin site before you buy this unit so you will be able to determine the full cost (unit plus maps). While I would recommend this unit to a friend, he or she would need to be very computer knowledgeable, experienced, or very patient.
Date published: 2013-11-30
Rated2out of5byClimber MontanafromEtrex 30The unit itself is more robust than my Etrex Vista Hcx and the addition of Glasnost satellites is great. However, even with the latest firmware (V 3.30), the unit does not calculate total ascent correctly. For example, on a number of recent trips the discrepancy between total ascent and descent was as much as 60% and the total ascent was off the correct amount by about the same percentages. In each case, Garmin's Basecamp software calculated both within expected GPS errors. My old Hcx and current Edge 500 calculate the total ascent correctly. Horizontal locatons are pretty good, but the Etrex 30 seems to not track in our conifer woodlands quite as well as the Hcx though I haven't run them side by side to confirm that. If total ascent is important to you (trail running, skiing, etc.) be warned.
Date published: 2013-10-28
Rated4out of5byMagoo0903fromFully SatisfiedThis unit was purchased in early 2012 a few months after its release.
I had done intense research and so far it seems to have been a good choice.
Despite the fairly expensive maps, this GPS is intuitive and robust. The interface with basecamp is also simple and creating then uploading/extracting routes and tracks is simple (even if you are not born in the 80's)
This unit was once immersed for a few seconds and the unit has been working fine ever since.
The only issue I see is the lack of "lock" position - unless it is there and I just don't know it... While in my pocket, I often get in different modes and change some settings...
For this I only give 4 out 5 stars.
Other than that, it is a great, compact and extremely useful device (especially when we go off trails)
I would buy it again if I was to lose it or break it!
Date published: 2013-07-22
Rated4out of5byCycloseekerfromGeocaching with the eTrex 30 GPSAfter manually entering coordinates for years, I decided to take the leap into paperless caching with the eTrex 30. While a bit chunkier than the GPS units I've used in the past, the ability to link to my computer and with a click, transfer the geocache coordinates, description, logs and hints onto the unit. It rapidly fixes on satellites and has amazing battery life, especially as it has a color screen. The screen is easily read outside and in the shade. It has held up well on the bike mount and survived a few inadvertent drops. Visibility on the bike is good. The transitions between screens and functions appear to require a few extra key strokes that could have been designed out but overall, is very intuitive to use. Overall, I am quite pleased with this product!
Date published: 2013-06-19
Rated4out of5byreverse dynofromWorks greatGreat GPS! It is small and light weight. The best part is that it turns on fast and finds the single quickly as well. It replaced an old Garmin eTrex Vista GPS of mine. It was well worth the upgrade. There are web sites online where you can download free topo maps and put them on the GPS.
Date published: 2013-05-30
Rated3out of5byIrishOutdoorsmanfromGood tool, need practiceThe Garmin was very accurate and worked great hiking and camping in Shenandoah National Park. The only complaint I have is that out on the trail I could not figure out certain features because it wasn't really that intuitive. With some more practice and re-reading of the directions, I imagine it would be more useful.
Date published: 2013-05-26
Rated5out of5byJosh the SomethingfromGreat GPSThis unit is great, it has a lot of nice features but still falls in the realm of the less expensive intro devices. This is also one of the first lines of the new generation of Garmin GPS units that can also receive signals from the Russian GLONASS satellites and that is a definite plus.
You definitely need a Micro SD card to add more than a few small maps and I have found that there is a lot of free (legally free) Garmin compatible topo out there so don't buy the Garmin maps right away. It can work for on-road navigation as well with the right map. It is not ideal but works in a pinch.
Date published: 2013-05-10
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