RemoteMoto
 
Banner

Garmin - eTrex 20 review by 1K

I needed a GPS unit but didn't want to spend the money. Classic false economy error.
PROS: small, light, cheap, basic, not too complicated, great for walking, cheap mounts available.
CONS: slow, poor menu structure, reverts to factory settings on occasion, weak backlight (terrible in sunlight), battery hungry and requires high end batteries.

Let's all agree on a few facts. GPS is an expensive technology, and doing it properly requires spending money to get the good gear. This is just an irreducible reality. The eTrex20 is a perfectly capable GPS unit, and works really well as a hand held, basic mapping and waypoint finding piece of equipment. It is TOTALLY NOT UP TO MAPPING for an adventure bike setting. It has a nifty automotive mode that will rotate the map to the direction you are heading, but the interface is small and slow and its really designed for hiking / tramping applications. When you compare what this unit can do with what the newest GPS items available can do it is night vs day. If you can't afford to get the one you want now, use a phone app for GPS until you have the budget to get a proper unit designed for Adv. This unit will not serve your needs. I can make it work, but it requires a lot of patience as you work with the clunky interface, slow processor and budget joystick style map controls. Its a compromise and takes the shine off the concept.

Needs a decent jolt of energy and uses Energiser Max batteries or equivalent, which are pricey. The normal garden variety batteries don't even wake the thing up.

I will probably keep it as it is great for tramping and makes a useful back up for maps when you are out amongst, but I am looking for an alternative for the bike.

Not recommended (for Adv).
Small, light, very easy to mount. Great for peace of mind, but not really something that you can follow while on the move.
Can build and load any route using free software. Easy interface, but clunky and slow. Low resolution and basic graphics.
1K
review by 1K
star
star
star
star
star
View