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Garmin Etrex Vista ... Product Feedback, Please!

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My Magellan GPS310 has finally gone belly up. A friend has offered me his ETrex Vista that was only used 5 times for $250 CDN ($180 US). This is lower than the suggested retail price on the garmin website, and I am in need of a new GPS. Before I jump and buy it, does anyone use this model? Are there any problems with it? Any feedback would be appreciated.



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I have had 2 Vistas for several years and have been very happy with them. I paid much more for them than $180 but today, at that price, I am not sure it is your best option. The main reason is that in order to get the real value from a Vista, you must buy either MetroGuide or CitySelect map software. Without them, you cannot look up addresses or most points of interest. With them, you can, which is very useful, but you will not be able calculate a point to point route without a separate PC.


Right now, you can buy a new GPS V Deluxe for about $300, including CitySelect maps for the entire US and much of Canada. It has slightly less memory, is a bit larger and heavier than the Vista, but does autoroute and has several other desirable features the Vista lacks. It is also free of hardware problems that were a nuissiance for me and many other Vista owners. Don't take my word for the qualities of the GPS V, read reviews or ask anyone who owns one.


If money is not a major issue, you can have the best of both worlds and buy a new Vista C, but you would have to buy the CitySelect maps as well. The very best deal, which I would do if I did not already own 2 Vistas and a V, would be to buy both the GPS V deluxe and a Vista C. You would not have to buy maps for the Vista as you get unlock codes for 2 units with the CitySelect software. You could buy the V now, and get a Vista C or Legend C or 60C or some other autorouting unit later and use the second unlock code at that time.

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I purchased a Vista in april and have been nothing but delighted with it.

$250 is a good deal as well. it has done everything I need it to.

it has a built in compass, alot of on board memory, altimeter, tide charts, moon phases, scratch pads and will take mapsource maps. very versatile.

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I believe I'd jump on it at that price. I've been using a Vista for the past year. It appears to be not quite as stable in heavy woods as the cheap baseline etrex, but it is accurate enough to find accurately placed caches. The purchase of city select or one of the other programs is a must as stated above. But even so, you can't get a better unit for less than your current offer. GO FOR IT

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I can tell you I HATE my Vista! IMHO it is not worth the trouble. It is battery hungry, a pain to use, and hard to see or read the screen. I have used/owned many Garmin units and feel that I have wasted my money on my Vista. All I use it for now is a GPS engine for a laptop in the car (and have not done that very often since I bought a GPS V, then a GPSMAP 60CS). I have even given up using it as a back-up unit for cache hunting.

It had to be sent in for repair for the screen problem that a lot of Vistas had (black lines in the screen or lines missing from the screen). The rubber seal that is around the edge came off because of the glue failing. The unit was not treated harsh but still had so many problems Garmin replaced the whole unit the 2nd time it was sent in and gave me a new unlocking code for the maps sets that were installed in my old unit.


In short, I was one of the few who had a bad time with the Vista. :)


Now if you are talking about a color version of the Vista (Vista C)....... never mind :blink:

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