Make sure that you know as much as possibl about the product you're buying
6 May 2011
Summary: This is a great unit, but I should have done more research and learned that this was an early version of the eTrex Vista and therefore only came with the ability to do data transfer with a serial cable. I have an iMac and do not have the ability to do ANY data transfers with this unit. No map downloads, no uploading Geocaches, no data connection at all.
Summary: the vista is good, but in trees it looses reception fast, and not in that thick of trees, My old Garmin gps-12 eat batteries, but it never lost satelite reception, but the vista is great in open country
Summary: We loved the Garmin and it helped us locate 4 caches on the first day we used it with our 10-year old grandson. My negative - the numbers are too small and hard to read. If I bought it again, I would get a diferent version. Check you age and your eyesight when you order the product. If you can read the telephone book in dim light you are almost OK with this model.
Summary: The eTrex was picked based on cost. My work changed in a way that it required that a gps receiver. Only need it to mark and record latitude and longitude. It was easy to use and the manual was understandable.
Summary: This is my first GPS unit so I'm not sure how good others are. I've had it for 4 years now. I originally got it for backcountry skiing and mountaineering. Big problem is I live in the north west and the unit performs poorly under trees. It eventually gets a signal but you have to hang about, so I just use it to get waypoints, then turn it off. I've used it on a bicycle after buying the bicycle mount accessory - works great. Used it in the car with no problems.
Summary: This is a great unit overall, but the rubber bumper around the edge of the unit is a real problem for those of us who live in the Southwest. It appears that exposure to the sun and heat causes the adhesive to disintegrate. I have had my unit since April 2004 and in just over two years, it had to be repaired twice for the same problem. I have spoken with a local Garmin dealer who confirmed that other Vistas (and similar models) have this chronic problem.
Good feature set, but the well known flaw is very annoying, especially given the price
Paul Wake, Amazon
25 August 2006
Summary: If you want a GPS unit for backpacking, this one (or the newer color version) has among the best feature sets. Downloadable maps, an altimeter, an electronic compass, etc. It's a Cadillac, unless you step up from the eTrex line to something beautiful but horrendously expensive like the GPSMAP 76CSx (super duper Cadillac). However, a few things need to be kept in mind. Few backpackers should need a GPS receiver at all.
Summary: After some research, I found Etrex Vista as a very nice GPS unit. I was looking for something with a compass, altimeter, and also with a built-in area calculation feature. I was happy with this product, but it started to fail. The problem is that it simply turns off, no matter you are walking, cycling, or just stopped at a window. I tried several pairs of different rechargeable batteries and it kept turning off by itself.