Summary: My wife and I got a dog a few years ago and ever since we have been exploring the local trails and parks within an hour and half drive of our house. In the summer we have been doing 30+ miles a week of hiking.
good features, but not as one would think for the price
Jobin Gharakhani, Amazon
23 October 2009
Summary: After doing quite a bit of research, I decided to buy the Garmin eTrex Vista HcX, which basically seemed like the top of the line for a hiking/handheld GPS. Although all the features are there, not all of them work as effectively as one would hope. I bought also a topo map of Germany.
Summary: I bought this GPS mainly for use while kayaking in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The GPS itself is very nice, with tons of usable features, and is an excellent value. The color screen works great, and a lot of thought went into making this fine handheld GPS.
Summary: This unit is not easy to use. It takes some time to get used to. Once you get used to - it is very detailed and powerful GPS. If you are outdoor person and you are not looking for fancy graphics - this is device for you. Very accurate on the road and trails. Battery last forever.
Summary: First I have to say I have been a professional computer programmer since 1978 and our industry generally agrees that the Programmers who work for the two GPS maker's are the worst in the industry. After buying the Vista HCx I see that this "myth" hasn't had reason to change.
Summary: Be aware this product is virtually useless right out of the box. It works fine but the included map has detail down to my nearest interstate and no further. You have to buy more detailed maps to do anything useful. The included software is ancient but functional.
Summary: Overall the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx is a good - not great - product. The high-sensitivity receiver is the most important point. Even with heavy brush and tree cover (or in a car or house) the unit keeps on track. AA batteries, Waterproof, PC interface, Ability to add maps... like Topo... great.
Summary: So far this unit appears to do what it is supposed to do. It's early days yet so more experience is needed but initial impressions are that it locks on to sats in under a minute (even in the boot of the car which was a surprise). Point to point navigation is very accurate as is journey tracking.
Summary: The device works well, as does the supplied software. However be aware it doesn't come with any usable maps of its own - fine if like me you planned on loading OpenStreetMaps onto it - A slightly bigger bug bare is how little on-board memory it has - if you try to record a trace at the best accuracy...