Garmin eTrex Vista Cx Waterproof Hiking GPS Reviewed





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The eTrex Vista Cx is a versatile, pocket-sized handheld mapping product ideal for both marine and outdoor use. It provides a bright, sunlight-readable color TFT display and includes a 32MB microSD card for storage of optional map detail. Garmin preprogrammed microSD cards can be purchased, providing detail for Topo, BlueChart, Fishing Hot Spots, Minnesota LakeMaster Promaps and European streets. The 32MB microSD card can also be loaded with data from MapSource products like BlueChart, U.S. Topo 24K, Minnesota LakeMaster Promaps and City Navigator. Fast USB connectivity makes loading charts and maps quick and easy, while navigation instructions can be shared with repeaters, plotters, and autopilots using NMEA protocols through the dedicated serial port. The Vista Cx incorporates a barometric altimeter for extremely accurate elevation and vertical profile data. An electronic compass displays accurate heading while standing still.

Introducing The Garmin eTrex Vista Hiking GPS Review

Hiking in the woods is a great way to explore, but like I mentioned in the post about the electronics that are needed it is also very easy to get lost in the woods. I mean seriously who has not gotten turned around in the woods from time to time or made a wrong turn. To avoid this issue a lot of companies have come up with portable waterproof GPS systems, that are meant to be used on hikes. With that being the case, we decided it was time for us to take on some of these GPS systems that are meant for hiking and review them so you can avoid making any mistakes. With that being said, here is our take on the Garmin eTrex Vista CX waterproof hiking GPS.

Features Of The Garmin eTrex Vista 

  • A bright and full color display is going to make it easy for you to follow the trail that you are walking on, but also know what kind of water features you should be concerned about and even know the density of the woods that you could be heading into.
  • Waterproof is a key feature that you will want to look for in this GPS system. While most of the GPS units meant for hiking will be waterproof, you need to verify this information otherwise you could end up with a dead GPS unit if it starts to rain or if you have to cross over a creek.
  • Hiking up any distance and seeing the changes of pressure are invaluable when you go hiking. A key problem that people have is they are not aware of these changes as they are happening and be shocked when the weather changes or they start to get out of breath. With this hiking GPS that problem is a mute point as it has a barometric, altimeter, and compass all included.
  • Hiking on the same trail all the time gets boring and old. However, some people do not want to break out of their comfort zone for one reason or another. With this GPS unit that is possible and easy to do as the GPS system will save the way points on how people have been hiking in and out.

Pros Of The Garmin eTrex Vista

Now this is where the fun part is going to come in. You are going to get to learn about all of the pros that are present with the Garmin eTrex. When you start to see these pros, you will begin to wonder how you managed going on your hikes before without the Garmin. You just have to remember this is the pros for the Garmin, so if you go out and buy a cheaper model I cannot guarantee you will have the same type of success with the GPS units.

  • Makes use of a Micro SD card, which means you will be able to add in more maps than what the GPS system already comes loaded with. This is nice because it means you can get updated maps, but also have a recording of where you have been to load onto your computer at a later time and date.
  • Decent size on the maps is something else you are going to enjoy seeing as well. While you normally would not think about the maps being to small, you need to realize this can happen and when it does you generally will have issues in seeing the map to find out where you are going to.
  • Extremely long battery life is something else you will enjoy with the Garmin GPS unit. While you normally would not think about this, you need to realize if your GPS unit goes dead on you in the middle of a hike and you are not sure where you are going, it can be easy to get lost in the woods. With this system, though, you are usually able to use it for up to 20 hours and not have to be concerned at all about getting lost.
  • Provides the turn by turn navigation you may need if you are trying to properly follow a hiking trail to a location or end of a trail. While this may not impact you in any major way, it will make a difference if you are on a trail that if you vary from to much will lead to your GPS disconnecting itself from service.

Cons Of The Garmin eTrex

Unfortunately not everyone has great things to say about the Garmin eTrex and this can be seen by a smattering of negative comments on the reviews about the Garmin. With that being said, we have opted to take and share a few of these negative comments with you so you can have a balanced and fair assessment of the Garmin.

  • Some people have reported they have a very difficult time in getting the Garmin to connect to their computers. While this may not seem like a major problem for everyone, if you are planning on offloading your trips to the computer map programs so you can show where you have been this could easily become a major issue.
  • Satellites are what makes a GPS system work. However, depending on where people are in the world, they have reported this system can have a difficult time in connecting to the satellites. When it has a hard time connecting to the satellites it tends to give people a false sense of the unit not working or never going to work.

Price Options

We are always dedicated to finding you the best pricing options on the marketplace. With that being said, we searched through several different retail websites, some of which are carrying the older Garmin eTrex models, but most of which are not carrying this model. Since we did so much research we have found that Amazon has a tendency to remain the most competitive for pricing on the Garmin and from what we have seen this has not changed in some time.

Our Final Take

Normally, you would find a quote, but to be honest I am running out of quotes and they are so hard to come up with. So I decided to use a picture instead and hope you enjoy it. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program on the Garmin and our final take on it. We are going to give this one a good thumbs up. The reviews on Amazon are all positive, a lot of people enjoy the turn by turn directions, but most importantly is the fact that it is waterproof. This means you do not have to be concerned about your “map” getting wet and ruined when you get caught out in the woods and a freak rain shower comes up. Overall, we love this unit and we are sure you will love it as well.


Our Other GPS Units Reviewed

Magellan eXplorist 200

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