Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
SiliconFiend

Foarm eTrex GPS case

Recommended Posts

There seems to be a dearth of information about the Foarm GPS cases, so I thought I'd write a proper review of the eTrex case, with photos.

 

Front

IMG_1840_Small.JPG

 

Left

IMG_1841_Small.JPG

 

Right

IMG_1842_Small.JPG

 

Construction

The case is made from a texturized rubber over a black fabric backing.

IMG_1846_Small.JPG

 

The case hinges at the top, and the bottom is secured by the lanyard. The lanyard passes through holes the top and bottom halves of the case. The two ends of the lanyard are sewn together and this end secures the bottom half.

 

When the GPS is inserted into the case, the loose end of the lanyard is pulled through the holes in the top half to cinch the top half to the bottom. The lanyard is then secured from slipping by a pinch-type slide.

IMG_1845_Small.JPG

 

A plastic clip slides on the loose end of the lanyard.

IMG_1844_Small.JPG

 

On the rear, there is a steel belt clip.

IMG_1843_Small.JPG

 

Impressions

The texturized rubber seems very durable and doesn't add much to the size of the svelte eTrex GPS, although if your're accustomed to using it without any case, you might struggle somewhat with the extra thickness. My Vista HCx fits in snugly--even with the case open, it won't fall out when I hold it upside down. The fabric backing seems to give it good tear resistance. The case is not spongy--it's fairly rigid. It wouldn't necessarily absorb the force of a drop, but the rounded corners would help distribute the blow and so it seems to give good protection. It probably would help more with scratch & dent protection, and the GPS itself is probably tough enough to handle the shock from a drop. The texturizing makes the case very grippable.

 

The clip on the lanyard is a nice touch and seems very durable. It has a feature on the tip of the clip latch which engages with the mating surface and keeps the clip from being pushed out to the side. The steel belt clip is strong spring and it's not likely to be falling off your belt. Note that after placing your GPS in the case, you will need to recalibrate the electronic compass (if your unit is equipped with one) due to the significant metal in the belt clip.

 

One of the nicer aspects is that the window for the screen is completely open--it doesn't have a cheesy plastic cover to interfere with a screen protector or to get get scraped and impair the visibility. So, the case doesn't affect screen visibility at all. They provide two peel-and-stick screen protectors which are the size of the window. The protectors seem to be made of the same material as the excellent Invisible Shield product, but they don't cover the entire screen--just what you can see through the window. I already had an Invisible Shield fitted, so I didn't use the supplied screen protectors. I'll probably cut one up and use it for my watch.

 

Usability

The case doesn't interfere a lot with the user operation of the unit, but it does somewhat. The side buttons are largely unaffected. Probably the most noticeable is the click stick. The case causes the joystick to be somewhat recessed, so it's not as easy to operate with your thumb. It can still be done, but it's somewhat awkward. The upside to the recessed click stick is that you won't be accidentally marking waypoints anymore (if it's in your pocket or on your dash up against the windshield). The case makes it somewhat harder to wipe fingerprints off the screen, too. The screen protector picks up fingerprints easily, and needs wiping regularly. Out of the case, it's easy to wipe it off, but in the case, it's quite a bit harder. That's the trade-off for using a screen protector and window in the case instead of a plastic screen cover.

 

The satellite reception seems to be completely unaffected by the case, in case anyone was worried about that.

 

Availability

As far as I know, the only place you can buy it is on Amazon (the manufacturer's web site directs you there). It runs about $17 + tax & shipping. It's listed on Amazon as a "Military-Grade" GPS case, but for some reason searching for "GPS Case" doesn't turn it up. Searching for "Foarm" will show you all their cases, though. I got the white case, but it looks like they currently only have a tan one. I would have preferred a black case, but it wasn't available.

 

Verdict

To sum up, I like the case. I'd trust it to protect my toy from a significant drop as well as the normal bangs and scratches from a geocaching outing. I'd probably give it 4 out of 5 (insert your favorite rating unit here), because I'd prefer a black case, and because of the slight interference to operation.

Share this post


Link to post

My Vista is usually in and out of it's holder between the dash mount and the Garmin holder. How easy is it for this cover to open/close to place the GPS on a holder - be it a bike or auto dash kit?

Share this post


Link to post

My Vista is usually in and out of it's holder between the dash mount and the Garmin holder. How easy is it for this cover to open/close to place the GPS on a holder - be it a bike or auto dash kit?

It's easy to open and get your GPS out, but you'd have to take the mount point on and off the rear screw hole every time you want to change to and from your mounts, unless you had a type of mount that gripped the sides or something. I'm thinking about creating something for my bike that could work with the super-strong belt clip on this case.

Share this post


Link to post

Availability

As far as I know, the only place you can buy it is on Amazon (the manufacturer's web site directs you there). It runs about $17 + tax & shipping. It's listed on Amazon as a "Military-Grade" GPS case, but for some reason searching for "GPS Case" doesn't turn it up. Searching for "Foarm" will show you all their cases, though. I got the white case, but it looks like they currently only have a tan one. I would have preferred a black case, but it wasn't available.

Of course they have a desert one now. I passed on the white one for a Garmin case and have just had an Amazon order shipped...

Share this post


Link to post

SiliconFiend,

 

Thanks for the very informative review.

 

I have had my eye on this case for my 76CSx and have it saved to my item on Amazon.

 

Can you tell me how many of the little plastic screen protectors did they send with the case?

 

And what does the literature say about the warranty ? Is it One year ? Liftetime ?

 

Thanks, Tim

Share this post


Link to post

I got one of those as a Christmas present. I like how it's much quicker and easier to open and take the GPS out than most other cases are.

 

I have only one issue with it, and it's really an issue with Garmin, not with the case:

 

I have a Vista C that's a few years old. This unit has had the same rubber-gasket issue that has befallen many other eTrex units: the adhesive loosens, and the gasket falls off. Following some advice from this forum, I reattached it with "Badge Magic" a few months ago. The repair had been holding up well, until I started using this case. It holds the Vista in so snugly that it was squeezing the rubber gasket, which started bulging out at the only places that it had room to: the openings in the case where the side buttons are accessible.

 

I'm sure that if this case were used with a brand-new unit, this would not be an issue at all.

Share this post


Link to post

SiliconFiend,

 

Thanks for the very informative review.

 

I have had my eye on this case for my 76CSx and have it saved to my item on Amazon.

 

Can you tell me how many of the little plastic screen protectors did they send with the case?

 

And what does the literature say about the warranty ? Is it One year ? Liftetime ?

 

Thanks, Tim

I got two of the screen protectors with the case. I'm not sure if that's normal, though, or just a packaging mistake. The Amazon page says Lifetime warranty (against defects and workmanship, not necessarily user damage), but I doubt they have to replace very many cases--it's very sturdy.

Share this post


Link to post
Can you tell me how many of the little plastic screen protectors did they send with the case?

I got two of the screen protectors with the case. I'm not sure if that's normal, though, or just a packaging mistake.

Mine also came with two.

Share this post


Link to post
Can you tell me how many of the little plastic screen protectors did they send with the case?

I got two of the screen protectors with the case. I'm not sure if that's normal, though, or just a packaging mistake.

Mine also came with two.

Reading the reviews on Amazon, that appears to be normal.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi there!

 

You all bought this case at amazon? Did you could choose the color? Do you know how many colors are?

 

Unfortunately they don’t sell to Portugal

 

regards

AA

Share this post


Link to post

Hi there!

 

You all bought this case at amazon? Did you could choose the color? Do you know how many colors are?

 

Unfortunately they don’t sell to Portugal

 

regards

AA

I believe that's the only place it's available. Bafflingly, you can't choose the color, and the current available color is a brown/tan.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

×
×
  • Create New...