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Which Unit?

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Firstly, I'm in the UK so you good folk over the water please realise we pay premium prices compared to yourselves.

I'm considering upgrading from my GPS12 which does most things I want well but has no mapping or an electronic compass. I don't want or need colour. (money!)

The most obvious unit, feature wise, seemed to be the Etrex Vista. I can get UK mapping and it has the compass and is mono. My only concern is its apparently "fragile" appearance when compared to the GPS Map 60 series. Also was there not some questions about problems with the software?

There is not much recent discussion about the Vista and I wondered if this was an indication of its worth?

So then I looked at the GPS Map 60 range only to discover that if I wanted the compass then I had to get the top colour model.

I'm about to go and do a bit of research on magellan models but if anyone can comment on these as well I would be pleased.

All comments and opinions will be gratefully welcomes.....





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Take a look at the GPS V. It has no compass (and if that's a deal breaker then ignore this advice) but does come with maps. It's price has dropped a lot since the new color Garmins have come out.


The Vista should be hitting a sweet spot on price as well as the original 76S (Same specs as Vista but better antanea) I could have the model number wrong on that last one.


The 3 Axis compass relates to working no matter how you hold it while Garmin uses a one Axis compass that you have to hold level.

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Thanks for the reply, I'll look at that.


Do any of the Magellan's have the compass facility that works standing still? I read about the three axis compass but I think this is only relating to how the unit is held.





Any Magellan with a Electronic 3 axis compass will work while standing still and you will not to hold them level Your choices would be the Sport track color, Meridian Platinum, and explorist 600.

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You may wish to price the Magellan Meridian Platinum, which has greyscale display and the 3-axis magnetic compass. I used that unit for several years and liked it well (mostly chose it for the SD card capability).


I think the SporTrack color also has the magnetic compass, but that's running a little bit more money (and perhaps more to the point, many retailers appear to be out of stock on these items).


Although I like and recomment the magnetic compass feature for caching, I would not pay a lot more money just to get it. It's nice, but it's not that nice. The Meridian Gold has nearly all the features of the Platinum, but often is substantially less.

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My only concern is its apparently "fragile" appearance when compared to the GPS Map 60 series. Also was there not some questions about problems with the software?


The Vista is a rugged little device. It's fallen off the roof of my moving vehicle and survived with some minor scratches. I've dropped it, dunked it and banged it around without ill effect.

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Before the 60s and color 76s came out (a little over a year ago), there was much more talk about the eTrex Legends and Vistas. They were by far the most popular models in this forum. There's nothing wrong with them as they are - they just don't compare as nicely as the newer models.


The one caveat of the eTrex line is that their patch antenna tends to lose reception under dense tree cover more easily than models with the quad helix antenna.


Many a cache has been found by eTrex GPSrs! The Vista is well worth your consideration.

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I would suggest the sportrak color. I just got rid of mine and it worked flawlessly. its very rigid,I've dropped it numerous times and it just kept on going. and has orginal naming for the items in the menu, such as epe, distance to target,etc. now adays they are called accuracy and distance to end. not that big of a difference, but still a difference.


the only draw back is that it doesn't work that well indoors compared to the new models coming out that can practicaly lock on inside the middle of a house with no windows

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