Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing, being the best value GPS available on the market

Garmin eTrex 20

[Rating:3.8/5]

Garmin eTrex 20 Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing, being the best value GPS available on the marketThe Garmin eTrex 20 is the best value GPS available as it locates position with reasonable efficiency and accuracy as well as get back en route or navigate in low visibility conditions.

Its screen is easier to see than many plastic touchscreen units, coming with a plastic rail mount for attachment of a carabiner clip, bike mount and other optional device accessories.

Being the lightest GPS, up to 4 oz. lighter than others, with a great battery life at 25 hours, the Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing.

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Garmin eTrex 20 Batteries Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing, being the best value GPS available on the marketThe Garmin eTrex 20 operates with 6 buttons, with an easy to operate configuration with the hand, with the zoom and menu buttons run with the index and middle fingers while the toggle, back and power buttons operated with the thumb.

Other than the fantastic weight savings it affords, it is also among the most compact GPS units, an added advantage in many applications.

The Garmin eTrex 20 is simple and lightweight and gets the job done well, however, its small size impacts on its reception and accuracy, which is not a drawback unless a lot of navigation in whiteout conditions or marking of locations of small objects is warranted.

Check out this review:

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Garmin eTrex 20 Product Features:

Garmin eTrex 20 Handheld Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing, being the best value GPS available on the market


  • weighted metrics – reception 6/10, ease of use 6/10, speed 6/10, display quality 5/10, weight 9/10 and versatility 5/10
  • dimensions are 2.1” x 4.0” x 1.3”
  • display size is 1.4” x 1.7”
  • display resolution is 176 x 200
  • weight with Alkaline batteries is 5 oz.
  • battery life is 25 hours
  • built in memory is 1.7 GB
  • accepts microSD data cards
  • automatic routing feature

 

Garmin eTrex 20 Pros & Cons:

Pros:

Garmin eTrex 20 Features Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing, being the best value GPS available on the market

Cons:

  • small screen
  • no electronic compass
  • hard to push buttons
  • less accuracy

 

What Customers Say about the Garmin eTrex 20:

“I purchased my unit about one year after they were released, when I found a great deal on the TOPO bundle at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I purchased this for mountain biking, Geocaching, and general exploration. I was going to do a very detailed, in-depth review on it right now, however LaredoHeat’s review says just about everything that I would have said, so I will just add a few things going off of their review. First, it should be known that Garmin has a history of releasing units before the software is really ready to be released, and this one was no exception. With that in mind though, the updates that have been made leave this as my favorite GPSR available to date.

My experiences Geocaching with this have been interesting. I say this because when a cache has been hidden with a unit of similar accuracy, this takes me directly to the cache with very little error (actual difference about three feet). When a cache has been hidden with a less accurate unit, or with less care taken, it is not unusual to see a fifteen foot difference between indicated and actual location. For my own testing purposes I took three of my GPSRs, a Magellan 2000xl (not a fair compairison), a Garmin GPSMAP 60 CSX, and this one, and plotted them (outdoor with the antennas in their ideal positions) on Google Earth every five minutes for half an hour after initial lock on. The Magellan is an old unit without WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System), and it varied about seven to ten feet with each entry, which is acceptable for its age. The GPSMAP has WAAS, though it does not support GLONASS (the Russian’s satellite constellation). It stayed stable from the ten minute mark on. The eTrex locked on the quickest (though the testing time was independent for each unit), and stayed stable from the five minute mark on.

As for biking and exploring, the unit allows for customized profiles, so I was able to set up one for each of my activities. On my biking profile, I have the Trip Computer laid out with the “Recreational” dashboard (shows sunrise/sunset, elevation, and trip odometer), speed, total time, moving time, stopped time, moving average, and max. speed. On my exploring profile, I have the trip computer laid out with the same dashboard, speed, total time, dist. to next, time to next, ETA at dest., and LAT/LON location coordinates. You can customize many other aspects of the unit, I just find myself using the Trip Computer most frequently. P.S. I have just been using the factory set Geocaching profile for Geocaching.

Also, LaredoHeat mentions the “D” appearing over the satellite bars on the satellite page. To the best of my knowledge, this stands for Differential Adjustment, and means that WAAS has corrected your location information for best possible accuracy.

Edit: The base map on this unit is not very useful. There are TONS of free maps available from different websites that work very well, but I do not believe that Amazon’s policies allow me to share those websites with you directly. I suggest Simply searching Google for “free garmin maps” and reading forums on groundspeak (geocaching’s forums).” – MCB

Garmin eTrex 20 Uses Garmin eTrex 20 is a favorite GPS for backpacking, paddling, lightweight hiking and climbing, being the best value GPS available on the market

“There is a broad spectrum of reviews on this gps. Seems like alot of the low ratings are more aligned with Gramin as a company and/or their product marketing/pricing policy. There are many more on the scant printed documentation supplied and several more on the base-camp app which you can download (for FREE) from Garmim’s website.

I bought the eTrex30 and the carabiner clip accessory, and 24k topo maps for US mid-atlantic states with the intention to use it for off-road (trail) hiking the many excellent trails in WV and VA. Anyone looking for a gps for car/road navigation should probably look at a different product like a Nuvi.

The carabiner attaches solidly with a detent lock on the battery compartment cover. Very well constructed. If you don’t want to use Garmin’s lanyard, there is a loop-anchor for a cord-type lanyard as well. Garmin’s lanyard attachment clip covers the battery door latch (good for security, a tad inconvenient when you have to change the batteries because the clip slides on MAN-tight and is hard to slide off. I expect this will become easier over time). The battery door latch is a quarter-turn key style and the lanyard clip secures it from accidental opening.

The GPS itself is really nice. Solid and riggedly constructed. Operation is intuitive, and should be easy to operate by anyone who is familiar at any level with personal electronics and/or a cell phone.

The user interface consists of a “stick” or “puck” to control the cursor, up/down arrows to control zoom level, backlight/on/off, and the menu and back buttons. Menu and Back take a little time to adjust to, because each function of the unit has a distinct sub-meny (map, compass, settings, etc). and you have to push “back” go return to the main menu from them (duh).

Initial setup is quick and easy: pick your language and your done. Mine got an initial position fix (with very accurate altitude) very quickly – less than 1 minute. The 3-axis compass does not calibrate manually, you have to go to the compass menu and select it (the recommend doing this periodically), and follow the prompts. It essentially asks you to rotate the device on each axis a few times.

Overall, i am very happy with it and recommend for anyone looking for off-road gps navigation” – Discerning Shopper

 

 

 

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