User Review: Garmin eTrex 10
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $115
A quality entry level GPS that will will satisfy any expert.
- accurate and reliable
- easy to read
- easy to use
- good battery life (~25 hours)
- inexpensive (~$115)
- light weight
- not all functions are covered in the user manual
- joist stick needs improvement
The Garmin eTrex 10 is a great product. It's best used in conjunction with a map and compass as it lacks extra features such as detailed, color maps that are available on more expensive models. But let's face it, you should never haphazardly wander into the wilderness relying solely on a GPS to begin with, so get a map as well.
It has a fairly small B&W screen but it is not so small that it hinders ease of use or readability. The unit fits in hand comfortably and is small enough to place in your pocket when not in use.
The biggest flaw with this product is that the user's manual is far from complete, so some functions require a little experimentation to learn how to use. Even after reading the downloadable user's manual available on Garmin's website, not all features are explained. But this is not a major undertaking. Never having used GPS before, I was able to figure out how to use all of the features available on the device over two days of on-and-off experimentation.
The other flaw is that the joist stick doesn't always activate the desired menu or function the first time it's pressed. You have to be careful to press it straight down, otherwise it just toggles to the next menu option. As I recognize that this could be improved upon, the joist stick has never failed and usually activates your selection with a second depression.
The other thing is that the unit requires Garmin Base Camp (downloadable for free) to delete old or accumulated geocaches and waypoints. However Base Camp also allows you to view your tracks and route information via the computer and gives you the option to import these items into Google earth, which is great!
The eTrex 10 has always been accurate and reliable. I have spent 2+ years hiking on and off-trail in the New Jersey Pinelands, which can best be described as a pretty homogenous landscape, and this device has provided me with accurate coordinates and reliable performance every time I head off trail. While accuracy can decrease depending on weather, terrain, and tree cover, this device is accurate when used under ideal and close to ideal conditions.
This is typical of GPS units in general though and is not a flaw with this particular model. Even when it is not spot on, it is accurate enough for most uses. I know it is accurate because I have map skills. If someone tells you that this device is not accurate, it's probably a baseless statement as you need to be able to compare your known position on the landscape to a discernible spot on a map and then compare your GPS coordinates with that spot in order to evaluate accuracy objectively.
Overall, this is a great product and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. I even went back and bought a second unit. I highly recommend it! Hope this helps and have fun out there!