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Old 3 Sep 2011
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Garmin GPSmap 62s or Etrex 30?

Trying to figure it out:-

By all accounts the 62s is the same at the Etrex 30 But a slightly bigger screen, and less battery life - perhaps more rugged...

I have the previous etrex my Dad the GPSMap 60 so am fully aware of the size implications of both GPS's.

Looking to upgrade now and I am just not sure what the price difference gets you, and which way to go. I am swayed towards the better battery life.unfortunately its not on the market yet.

anyone any ideas, why you pay so much more for nothing extra?

Many thanks in advance
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Old 4 Sep 2011
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Not quite the answer you are looking for, but this may help.

Are you riding a bike? If so, maybe try one of the garmin seris that can take an external power source, like my Garmin MAP76S. I just connect the cable to a switched power source from my bike, then the only time I worry about batteries, is when I take it off for geocaching, or hiking etc.

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Old 21 Jan 2012
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Any updates on this one?

I'm looking for one of the mentioned GPS devices for my motor trip to the Americas. I won't be taking a computer with me.

Mainly, I want to navigate by map but have a gps for support to find campinggrounds, hostels, hotels, fuelstations or wander around town.

AIA (all input appreciated)
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Old 21 Jan 2012
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I have an the etrex 20 - it has bike powered plug as well as battery and I bought the marine mount which mounts on my bike dash fine. I use the best batteries i could get lithium type and the battery life is excellent, the road map card gives more than enough detail for on the road and off the road you have all the other features. The 20 is much cheaper than the 30 the only difference I cansee is the compass is slightly more usable on the 30 when stationary and you can connect to other devices.
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Old 29 Jan 2012
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I have been looking at the eTrex 30 and the GPS Map 62ST.

The eTrex 30 takes SDHC Cards and is smaller than the more expensive 62ST. The eTrex 30 is also compatible with the Russian Glonass GPS system and this can speed up position fixes apparently. I don't know if these GPS systems will read the new Chinese Beidou GPS system, but I think the accuracy available to civilians is not so good. The EU Galileo GPS system is still about 8 years away.

I don't really like the joystick control on the eTrex 30 and find the 62ST easier to operate. As already said, it has a bigger screen so is better if you want to mount it on a bike, etc.

The 62ST can be connected into auxiliary equipment in marine use, etc.

My biggest problem with the eTrex 30 is that it comes with a crude base map and Garmin will not sell the 1:100,000 map that comes with the 62ST. Garmin seem to be adopting a "sell the eTrex 30 GPS unit cheap and make their profit on the 1:25,000 detail maps at €100 apiece" policy.

Unfortunately I would have to spend a lot more than the cost of the eTrex30 in maps, if I want a detailed walking map of say parts of Norway or maybe Iceland. But that works out very expensive if I only use these supplemental maps for three days and don't revisit the area again.

Basically I am waiting for something like the Map62ST with Glonass capability, but of course Garmin will not say when their next batch of new GPS models will be issued.

I realise there are other map options including scanning paper maps and linking these to Google Earth, etc. but a built in good quality map is better.

Grey Beard

Last edited by Grey Beard; 29 Jan 2012 at 21:34.
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Old 1 Feb 2012
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Tnx for the replies.

Would the oregon 450 be a better alternative to those mentioned?

What are the differences between the oregon and the montana (other than price and size)? I read that the montana is suffering from software bugs.
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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Still deliberating:

The 20 doesnt have the barometric altimeter or electronic compass (or weather barometer) nor the Tide tables (with nautical maps).

I was particularly keen to have a GPS that is more orientated towards hiking than biking, I am climbing Kilimanjaro mid June (2012) and the extra 110gms of the GPS map 62s is probably going to be the deciding factor for the Etrex 30. On my bike, yes I do mount it on handle bars with a RAM mount and use it for routing.

I use my current etrex for road navigating extensively. It is now my primary routing GPS having abandoned my street pilot as effectively redundant.
When i borrowed my Dads GPS Map60 I did not notice the difference in screen size between that and the Exrex - they were both equally small and equally glance worth to get info needed. Somehow I hear the warning beep when a junction is coming up.

Given that I currently have the Legend CX - a predecessor to the Legend HCX which was replaced by the etrex 20, I am really interested to see how much faster the processing is with the new generation Etrex.

As I am likely to get it next weekend it would be really great to have any input or thoughts of anyone on either. I guess my mind is made up favouring the Etrex but I am second guessing myself.
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Old 5 Feb 2012
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Tnx for the replies everyone.

I have not decided which one I will buy. Currently I'm looking for a good second hand 60csx but it's still around 200 euro's. Perhaps I rather add some extra cash and buy a new oregon or etrex.

What do you think is the better choice?
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Old 5 Feb 2013
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Bike based - GPS map 60 csx.

I finally replaced my Etrex legend CX with the Etrex 30. (It has the barometric function as well in my mind worth the extra £40 over the 20)

It has a weird software interface, trying (and failing dismally) to make it more user friendly for different scenario's, in reality this feature is a gimmic, recreation and Automotive are about all that are practical to use

The Etrex 30 is extremely accurate and perfect for any hiking based activity. Not had the opportunity to sync it to alternative maps yet, just using tracks4Africa, and Garmins European City navigator. Will be looking into some ordnance maps next, and then photographing converting some of my old maps into electronic format, but thats another project.

My Dad has an older GPS Map60 and it really is excellent where you have 12V charging ability, and then for an all days hike / kayak trip.

I took the etrex up Kilimanjaro in June 2012. Its awesome. Didn't miss a beat, despite basically being strapped to the shoulder of my Rucksack the whole way up Kili, and on for at least 8 hours a day - used only 2 sets of AA batteries (Sanyo eneloop xXx).
I know its a well trodden path, but knowing the altitude and distance to go gave me a massive mental edge over those without any idea of where they were, how far they had come / how far they had to go, I also know where I saw a Lammergeier, and where I took various photo's (cross referenced to the time/date)

It took me over 1000kms off road in Kenya when I could have been on a crappy "Tarmac" road. it deffinitely gave me the ability to go where I would not have gone without the GPS. Most practically, I was camping in very very high Grass south of the sand river, so having the GPS meant the difference between going to my tent each night and, well sleeping in the back of an 88 inch Landy.

My opinion is that for a motorbike based adventure the GPS 60CSX is the best bet, and worth the extra £££'s. Off the bike its good for three days hiking, on bike the (marginally) larger display is much larger! But the unit is still small enough to quickly chuck into a pocket when off to the dukas.

GPS 60 range rather than the GPS 62 because the 12v power connection is much more rugged and suitable to an offroad / motorbike environment. (if you can live with the 'slightly' reduced functionality no camera no wireless transfer etc) As a navigation device it is more suitable.

I chose the Etrex, because I do multiple day hikes where the extended battery life makes a big difference to me. this is where it is of primary importance to me.
Weight is a factor, but its more the smaller form factor that I find practical. I have another Garmin for the Car, but on my bike use the Etrex 30 in a RAM mount, and dont need anything better. I have no regrets at all, nor would I change

For vehicle navigation the "beep" to indicate an approaching turn is rarely heard on a bike, so you have to keep an eye on the GPS. I find the distance to next the most useful way of 'listening' but adding these data fields reduces the screen size, I usually only have two fields

Try the display and make sure that you can read it from your seated distance to where you will mount it. This is the same with the Etrex and the GPS map 60/62 as the displays are small, make sure you can see them at a glance and get the information you need. Being small they dont take up much of your field of view which is great.

Vibrations are a frustration, I have mine mounted on the single cylinder Yamaha XT660 Tenere, (mount bar behind the screen,) and notice significantly more vibration than on a BMW twin handle bar mount (theres a surprise) its only a problem for me at around 3000 rpm.
Practically my old Garmin Streetpilot 3 was easier to read with a much bigger display, as is my Nuvi 50 (again larger screen) But neither are anywhere near as suitable.

Those are my thoughts - but take it in context to your chosen use.
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