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Etrex vs Magellan 315 for Caching

Guest Hamster

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Guest Hamster

Hey folks, I need some opinions. I have an Etrex I use for Geocaching. I

have been reading on the forums that the etrex cannot do "position

averaging." I have also heard that the 315 is better at locking onto

satellites under tree cover. Can anyone confirm this? Which unit do YOU

think is better for geocaching?

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concerning "averaging"

I do not know what the technical aspects of this are, but what the etrex has, the "accuracy" function, which tell you within how many feet it is accurate, is a feature I like a lot. I assume once it gets to 15 feet, take a waypoint, and that's the best you can do. I live in Manhattan, and I will tell you I think the etrex aquires sat. faster.


I got an etrex summit, since I want to use the altimeter and compass when mountain climbing and hiking, but I think the simple etrex or one of the two others lower cost than the summit would be great too. I used a 315 for a while and liked it enough, but I like the etex interface, more friendly, less technical. My only concern of the etex is that there is no message area. So you have 5 chararcters for a name, but no text messsage like the 315. I liked that feature. I think the GPS with maps is ok for the car, but not very useful for woods travel.

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I have a Magellan 315. It seems to acquire satellites faster than my friend's etrex. Also, I can sit in my living room and acquire satellites through my 2-story house (In case I have to navigate to the bathroom, or backtrack to wherever I lost the remote control.)


I like the Magellan. The antenna works well. It's light enough to float. And I think it's fractionally cheaper than the Garmin.

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Guest Mike_Teague

The main problem with the Etrex (i dont know about the 315) is not that it doesnt have averaging, but the version of the software I have on the one I own does not have a decent satellite-status screen... It's a picture of a stick-figure standing on a globe, with magic beams coming from 4 orbiting object things that look something like = [-O-] , a "signal bar", and a EPE figure... not very useful... By contrast, my GPS3 has a sky screen that shows the bearing and elevation of every satellite in view, an individual signal strength meter for each satellite, a DOP figure, and an EPE figure.. You can look at this, and see if you're receiving 4 sats, 6 sats, 9, or 12 sats, you can see the DOP.. You can make a much more informed decision about whether you're getting good fixes.


I'll take a good satellite status screen with a DOP figure rather than position averaging , if i had to make the choice...


I know the Etrex has neither (at least my version.. 2.05? i think it might be)... Dunno bout the M315..

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e new features. The biggest difference between the Etrex and M315 seems to be the type of antenna that each has: Etrex = internal patch; M315 = quadrifilar. I have heard more than one owner talk about the superior lock (especially in forested areas) of the Magellan. But I haven't seen any comparison tests of the two. Anybody else have input on this?

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Guest Hamster

I got a good deal at a local Best Buy for an open-box magellan. I made them turn on the unit in the store and let me test it. So now I have the etrex and the magellan. The one I don't like is going back to best buy or onto Ebay. While I like my Etrex alot, I was dissapointed at how quiclky it lost lock as soon as I walked into a wooded area (even in winter with no leaves).


While I have not been in the woods yet, I will test them both there. However, in my house, the Magellan locked on every time, my etrex did not (both in their optimal positon). I also like how the magellan lets you display two coordinate systems. What I don't like about the Magellan is how distances are always displayed in Miles or Kilometers, never in feet or meters. I don't know, but I like how my etrex switches to feet when I get close.


I'll post more on this as I decide which I like better. But for now, the magellan gets a lock quicker and stronger than the etrex.

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I have been using the Etrex for a while now, and am even more happy with it after I downloaded the updated. But in a moment of gear lust, bought a 315. Wow, does this baby suck in satellite transmissions. I was sitting in a room about 10 feet from two small windows after I first bought it, switched it on and the thing found two satellites fairly quickly - I can't get my Etrex to do that!! I haven't compared the two yet under dense cover, but will soon. Like you, I have gotten used to and prefer the distance monitoring function on my Etrex. Plus the Etrex is a smaller package, and lighter is righter. So, which to use? I live in CA and we have open terrain, heavily forested terrain, and the in between (Oak forests). There are some Redwood stands close by that cover steep canyons, and should make a good test site. I will juggle both of these units for awhile trying to figure preference in different terrain and will report back results.

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