What's the best-value GPS unit on the market?

I'm thinking of buying a GPS system for my son. What's the best value out there (good quality at a reasonable price)? Hir Buffalo, New York

Nov 19, 2003
Outside Magazine

Garmin eTrex Venture

A: Quite a few good choices out there. One really good-value option is the fairly new Garmin eTrex Venture ($159; www.garmin.com), which builds on the design of the popular eTrex, introduced about three years ago. The Venture improves on the basic eTrex (now $100, itself a good buy) by offering better screen resolution, more memory, and better accuracy. It's also weatherproof, so can be used on wet hikes.

You might also look at Magellan's SporTrak GPS ($170; www.magellangps.com), which has memory and features similar to the Venture. A little sturdier case, perhaps, and some people may find its interface easier to use (that's more a matter of personal taste than anything objective).

If you opt to spend a bit more, then the Magellan SporTrak Pro ($270) has enough memory to support detailed internal maps in addition to the usual collection of waypoints. Or, Garmin's eTrex Summit ($229) incorporates an accurate compass and altimeter—an excellent choice for mountaineering, cross-country skiing, and backpacking.

Hope your son enjoys his gift!

Filed To: GPS Devices

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