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Choosing "on sale" GPSr


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Checked my local alleged "Sporting Goods" chain store, and found several GPS units on clearence. I am looking to definatly get a unit for Christmas for Daughter (12 yo). If price is right might also get another for myself to supplement my Garmin eTrex Legend ( 5+ yr old) with screen going blank issues. I suffer from GPS ludditeness, and haven't figgured out most features, so I am not necessarilly married to Garmin set up.

My priorities are ability to give close location with marginal signal, longevity/ durability, and after that the other features I'm not yet using.

The choices are : Magellan eXplorist 210 and 300, both $79.97 ; Cobra GPS 500, $99.97 ; Garmin eTrex H, $129.99 .

The price of the Magellans is obviously temping. The store personell could barely figure out the prices, so I called magellan customer service to compare the features of 210, 300. They seem to be discontinued, but that's probably why the price is right, and doesn't inherently bother me. The gist was that the reception capibilities are same, other than 300 having barrometer . The 210 has maps preloaded, while 300 comes w/ coupon for discount map software. 210 has more built in memory, while 300 is expandable

The box for 210 mentions particular suitability for geocaching, 300 packaging makes no mention. Does 210 actually have somthing extra, or is just mater of advertising ?

Am I/she likely to "need" more than 22mb of memory ?

Is there anything about the Cobra, or Garmin to make them worthwhile for extra $ ?

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we started with the 210. We have found 2 things with ours that might give you pause.


1. the "joystick" no longer goes left...searching other forums this seems to be a common problem with these.

2. at times while in the woods the GPSr will lose track of itself. We will be heading for a cache and all of a sudden it will say the cache is in a completey opposite direction up to 1/2 mile away! We then need to cancel the current "goto" and select a new "goto" for the cache we are seeking and then it seems fine. This may happen once or twice a day depending on cover.


If you could swing it I would pick up a DeLorme PN-20 for $149. We bought 1 a little over a year ago for twice that and love it! If I didn't want the PN-40 so bad I would buy another PN-20 and retire the eXplorist 210.

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Stay away from the cobra. I don't think I've ever seen a good comment about the cobra units. Plus they quit making gps devices all together. As mentioned earlier that is a really bad price for the yellow etrex H. If you were dead set on buying there I guess the magellans would do, but I am hard pressed to recommend any magellan units. Although the explorists are good units in general, the magellan support is horendous if anything goes wrong. So my answer would be none of the above.

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