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Newb looking for recommendation between specific models

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I have giftcards to bestbuy and a specific budget so need to chose between these models.


I am spending $150 or less on a handheld GPS. I am currently using the iphone caching app but havent had much success with the gps in there so i am ready to upgrade. These are the models they sell in my price range:


Garmin eTrex H

Garmin eTrex Legend

Garmin eTrex Legend HC

Magellan Triton 400

Lowrance iFinder GO2


Any thoughts - pros/cons on these and which a person just getting into the hobby should get? I have gone through the reviews on the site, etc but just can't single in on one.

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Well, scratch the eTrex Legend off that list, it has a very poor receiver that will frustrate you with lost signals if you go under tree cover etc..


The iFinder GO2 is a nice little unit and a LOT of bang for your $, but doesn't have any easy way to connect to computer so, no mass downloading of Geocaches etc will be available. If that isn't important to you then it's an OK unit. Also it only has an "enhanced built-in basemap" and no option to upgrade later if you wanted to,..


The other three,, all pretty comparable I believe

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I don't think there is such a thing as the Legend HC - i think you mean the Venture HC.


That is the unit I would recommend.


I agree!


And, even if you don't get the Venture HC, scratch the Legend (decent unit - but it is outdated). Also, scratch the eTrexH. It is a good unit and with the newer, high sensitivity receiver. But, you will soon get frustrated that it does not work with a USB cable - a nice feature for transferring data back and forth with your computer. And, for about the cost of that unit plus the cost of a serial cable and usb adapter, you can purchase the Venture HC - which comes with a usb cable and has more functionality.


I'm not familiar with either the Magellan or the Lowrance. But, I'm a very satisfied Garmin customer. I'm confident that you would be satisfied with the Venture HC.

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Thanks for the helpful feedback . I think I'm going with the Venture HC but have one more question: is the lack of SD slot on this model that big of a deal? Most of the negative reviews on Amazon and Best Buy are based on this not having a card slot.


Some folks might disagree, but I don't think it is that big a deal. It just means there is a practical limit on the amount of map data you can store in the unit. It thus is an issue of convenience - not essentials.


The venture HC has a 24mb internal memory. That is where you would store additional map data if you wish to download that data to your unit from mapsource (you can download some pretty cool stuff from http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/). With 24 mb of internal memory, I have a swath of Montana that goes from Glacier Park to Yellowstone Park of Topo 2008 loaded in my Legend C (an older version of the Venture HC). That is a fair amount of country. The 24 mb limit is an issue only if I want to use the unit someplace else and want the map data for the other location. You would have to clear the memory and install the new map data. By comparison, if you had a unit with that takes a card, the limit on map data would be determined by the size of the card and you can put a lot of 1/100 topo map data on a 2 gb card.


I think there is a second issue with not having a card. I don't think POI loader works with units that don't have a card. If it is important to store a large data base of customized points of interest, this would be a limitation. It would primarily be of concern if you wanted to do paperless caching.


Since I'm replying to you anyway, I'll play my favorite broken record. Go to the garmin website and download the users manual for the Legend C (in the discontinued trail models). That unit is essentially the same as yours and the manual that came with it was very comprehensive.

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Without knowing where you are, I would also suggest you look into the DeLorme camp specifically at the PN-20. Comes complete with maps, has card slot for expandability, is paperless and even routes (although not as well as other routing handhelds, but it does).


I realize it wasn't on your list, just wanted to give you something else to consider. Whatever you choose, good luck and HAPPY CACHING!


Ooops, the PN-20 is now on sale for $140 on amazon.com...a GREAT deal! Check here Sorry, I would assume the Best Buy card won't work here, will it? :( Maybe Best Buy has a similar deal?

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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