Rated 2 out of
My 4th Etrex
This is my 4th Etrex. I've been an Etrex fan since the very first model. I love the pocket size and the UI. The model has seen steady improvements over time. Better screens, toggle button and expandable memory.
The user interface and buttons seem a little awkward at first, but once you learn it, you can fly through it.
... and that's where the 20x seems to go off the rails for me. The toggle switch is critical for navigating the current UI and entering text. The toggle switch in this model is not very accurate or very sensitive. (Not nearly as good as past models.) combine this with the very slow CPU and interface and it becomes very frustrating to use. I'll be returning this unit.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of
Study - Research = knowledge
First off, people who complain about garmin map add on prices...You do not need to buy Garmin map add ons. There are many, many free topo maps you can add (do a web search) many are more detailed than the garmin ones.
It's easy enough to learn how to use. Holds all the data you will need. A decent, light weight, handheld GPS. It is what it is though. Set tracks, follow them, know where you are and where your going. Give nice info.
Date published: 2016-08-25
Rated 3 out of
Good for hiking only
This unit is rugged, weather-proof, and can be operated with one hand while wearing gloves. The battery lasts up to 20 hours and the GPS is highly accurate (compared to a cell phone). There are built-in software features for hikers. However, the screen is small and difficult to read. The user interface is troublesome. The design is old and the processor inside is very slow. The manual (including Garmin on-line information) leaves a lot to be desired. You can load in external maps like contour maps. But you have to ask around to find the loading procedure, there is nothing from Garmin.
Don't try to use this unit for city driving navigation. In this aspect it is useless. Google map does a way better job.
Date published: 2016-07-15
Rated 5 out of
Excellent device, entry level or otherwise
I used a Magellen GPS 315 for many, many years but always wanted something that did mapping. I looked into the alternatives for something that could be used as a handheld and still serve in a vehicle and the eTrex 20 looked like it would fill the bill nicely.Well, after having used it for a couple of years now I can safely assert that it's all I'd hoped it would be and more. Lightweight, downloadable maps, plenty of storage space, a clear bright screen, gentle on power use, and excellent reception even in thick woods. I can still get lost, just not as easily. More, it's a lot harder for me to lose my way on the roads these days…which is either a good or a bad thing, depending on one's destination. It even gives me directions! When I was younger I might've eschewed the use of something like this, but as I get older, I appreciate knowing exactly where I am at any given time. I wouldn't hit the trail without it.
Date published: 2015-10-15
Rated 1 out of
Useless without added maps (not cheap!)
Base map is a joke - shows major highways only. You need to add Topo or City Navigator (starting at a hundred bucks) to make this unit functional. Foolish me, I thought "I already have this map product!" Unless you bought pre-loaded SD cards you can't share maps between Garmin devices - and you can't use the cards on your computer. Love Garmin hardware, hate their map product greed! (No reflection on REI, just Garmin.) I'm going to take the plunge and throw another hundred bucks at some Topo maps, I'll come back and update when I can use the thing...
Date published: 2016-05-25
Rated 5 out of
Great for geocaching and hiking
I used an Etrex Venture HC for years before it finally broke down after 6 years and stopped holding a charge regardless of battery status. I got this one since it's one of the more basic, less expensive current models and I've been overall pleased with it. I love that it stores geocache information (beyond coordinates), and the transition from my old model has been pretty easy, even without using the instruction manual. I wish you could flip through the map, compass and options screen using the back button like my old model, but otherwise it's pretty smooth. It can take a little while to pick up satellite signal, but no longer than my old one. This GPSr does not come with a lanyard although it has a place to loop one.
Date published: 2016-06-13
Rated 4 out of
Decent product but could be better...
The Etrex20x is relatively light, and handy enough once you get used to the idiosyncrasies of its user interface. Here are my notes:
--changeable AA batteries are a plus, and battery life is adequate for day hikes, however for UL backpackers it needs much longer battery life;
--the user interface does not suit MY normal usage of a GPS, which is, simply enough, to keep track of where I am and where I've been on a TOPO. Yes you can do it, but I haven't figured out a way to start and stop it tracking without using a cumbersome menu choice... I'm not a slave to waypoint navigation;
--the "base map" is essentially useless as mentioned by others,,, BUT ALSO Garmin DOES NOT appear to have have ANY topos of the rocky mountain west (e.g. Montana, where I live & play.)
--the GOOD NEWS is that you can download & manage whatever topos you need from third-party sources...Thanks, Garmin!... for leaving this option open!
--the Etrex20x is poorly equipped for use of altitude and compass data. It uses GPS estimates of elevation (which are low-precision no matter device you use) and gets reliable compass bearings only when you're moving (there's no mag flux sensor). If you EVER need to navigate in a (slow-going) thicket it won't be adequate... bring a magnetic compass as a supplement. If you need either altitude or compass very ofte , pay the extra to get an Etrex 30 model.
Date published: 2016-06-29
Rated 5 out of
Rating based on effectiveness and trust
It took a weekend trip up Hoh River Trail in March 2016 to figure everything out, but used it successfully and with ease completing entire Wonderland Trail in June 2016, which was covered in snow for many large sections of the trail.
Not everyone will agree with my 5-star rating, but here is why I gave it a "perfect", including the pros and cons:
- not sure on accuracy; the eTrex did not match the data on two phone GPS apps
- not entirely user friendly, and maps are expensive (I highly recommend free OpenStreetMaps)
- took lots of practice
- superb battery life - when using lithium batteries and adjusting battery settings to "lithium" (very important to change the settings!), our eTrex used only one set of AA lithium batteries in completing 93 miles in 9 days on the Wonderland Trail.
- reliability: the entire section from Fryingpan Creek all the way to Indian Bar was completely snow covered and trail was not evident. We relied on the GPS to successfully navigate snow bridges on creeks and streams. During this particular time of year, the bridges are very exposed and are very thin - you could hear the water moving underneath, so the GPS helped alert us when nearing a crossing so we could move further up hills to cross.
Date published: 2016-11-19