View Full Version : Which GPS?
09-13-2006, 12:14 PM
I'm ready to bite the bullet and get a GPS, but know almost nothing about the differences between them and how they play out. I'd like something small and light, but with a good sized display, and EZ to use, to be able to take on treks in the back country, mark my routes and such. I'd like to be able to load topo maps onto it too, and road maps. And download trips to my desktop. It should work well in the cold and snow. It should be reasonably tough (if dropped). I don't know what else. What do people have that they like and would recommend (or what ones are you dreaming about getting)?
09-13-2006, 12:39 PM
I love my Garmin ETrex. I think its their middle of the line. Some have complained about battery life, but I haven't found that to be much of a problem unless you want it to track every step of the way for a weekend, then you'll need several sets of batteries.
Its about the size of a smallish digi camera, the display is pretty big, and I think you could learn how to use the basics pretty quickly without the instructions.
Mostly, I've only heard great things about Garmin.
09-13-2006, 06:44 PM
Garmin GPSmap60CSx... decent size screen... color too. Great choice for hiking, skiing etc. Has all the play toy features. :gps:
I also have a GPSMap 276C for the car/boat... not very portable for skiing though and not so good with obstructions like trees, but it does talk back! :chicken:
09-13-2006, 07:14 PM
I have owned a Megellan and two Garmins. I would only recommend Garmin. I had the Etrex Vista before. It had all of the bells and whistles including altimeter and a compass. Although both features were nice and a novelty to have...not really necessary. It also had a lot of memory to load maps onto.
I now have an Etrex Legend. It has all of the features that I want in a mapping GPS plus some memory for maps. It came with the computer cable. I actually wanted the Legend model with the colour screen but Bass Pro didn't have any and they were much more expensive. My Legend was a bargain at $120 cdn. It is nice and small and light. I can clip it to my belt, my pack...it's great. I just canoed the French River and it was extremely useful and accurate.
I use Fugawi GPS mapping software FYI.
09-13-2006, 10:39 PM
i just got a 60csx and it certainly kicks butt. currently garmin has a $50 rebate on the 'x' model series, iirc. if you are looking to upload topos to a gps, be aware that garmin forces you to use their mapsource software to upload maps. map software costs 100 per pop. the eastern us topo packing is only 100k so it is junk. they have a US national parks east which has the 24k maps which is respectable but limited to national parks only. i currently download DEM data and make my own topos for free, but there is a learning curve and some computer saviness is required. takes some time, but is good quality. the basemap the units come with are total crap. if you want both topo software and road maps, that will run you $100 each. total racket on the maps considering how expensive the better units like the 60csx are.
09-14-2006, 10:59 PM
The 60 series is indeed nice, but rather bulky to always have at the ready - Iíve noticed that many 60 owners often keep it in their pack, thereby diminishing its utility. By contrast, I find my Legend C (now the Cx) very convenient to keep in a shoulder strap pouch. The more expensive Vista Cx adds a barometric altimeter and digital compass, but I prefer to access those functions from separate devices. Battery life is excellent for the Cx models (about 30 hours in non-winter temps - the *non*color versions chew up batteries) when used in battery save mode (refreshes position even five seconds instead of every second), but if you do spring for the Vista, be sure to turn the altimeter and compass off except when you really need them.
Iíve found the Garmin 100k topo maps to be very helpful when displayed on my unit, whether ski mountaineering on Shasta or mountain biking near my house.
The Garmin 24k natíl park series also includes many areas outside natíl parks, e.g., Presidentials, even western mass. But check the Garmin website first to see if it covers places you might visit.
Still though, I use National Geographic topo software for actually printing out my paper maps.
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