Summary: I have a Garmin Vista Hcx that I bought this to replace. It was a mistake. The battery life is crap, I mean really crap. Make sure to pack a spare pair or two. The screen is hard to read unless you crank up the brightness which you can't do with a low battery and it always has a low battery. It seems to measure everything a bit long. It is water proof, I've check on more than one occasion, I take it kayaking with me.
With 100K topo only this unit will not set a direction to a waypoint.
Peter Najar "PAN", Amazon
7 September 2013
Summary: I've used Garmin for quite a long time. I bought the 450T for a hiking trip to Isle Royale in Michigan. If you haven't been you are missing a great place to hike. In eight days we hiked about 55 miles on this beautiful island National Park. After getting back last night I've decided to return the 450T. Although Garmin does tell you upfront the 100K topo map is not routable. Meaning it will not follow the trails so clearly marked on the topo.
Summary: I've had roughly a dozen different Garmin GPS's, starting with the 12XL back in 1997 or so. I've been mostly happy with all, but this one is a disappointment (enough so that I returned it). Functionality as described on the box or online is good -- has all the things you'd want (at least on paper). 1. The 100k maps are pretty close to useless. Paying extra to have the 100k topo maps loaded is a waste of money. You can't meaningfully use it for hikes, etc.
Be aware: Oregon 450 and 550 have DIFFERENT screens
4 January 2013
Summary: I purchased 550, because it is cheaper than 450 and it has a camera. And I am happy with it at first. But, one day when I was in REI, and it sells 450, I instantly observed the screen difference between my 550 and 450 in the store. The 450 has a MUCH brighter screen. I would say at least 2-3 levels brighter than 550. So I did a little bit research online.
Summary: I bought this for my wife who intended to use it for finding geocaches - a very interesting and fun hobby by the way. The device is awesome but limited in an urban setting without enhancements. Unfortunately, this device only comes with basic "earth" maps and no detailed street maps. Since we live in a populated area, we thought it would be useful to see the streets. What I discovered when I called Garmin shocked me. The maps that come with the unit are very basic.
Summary: I bought this unit from Amazon after having owned a LOT of Garmin products over the years. It was a mistake. 1) The high resolution display is extremely difficult to read in sunlight. Since I didn't buy it to use indoors, that's a real problem. If you hold it at just the right angle to the sun it looks good, but if you have it on a bicycle mount it is almost never at that angle, which means you can almost never read it. 2) Battery consumption is terrible.
Summary: 1. No software is provided, so search until you find out that Garmin BaseCamp can be installed for free. - why is the PC software not preinstalled on the unit, so that it is automatically installed when connecting unit to a PC? 2. UI is pretty bad if you are used to an iPhone where everything just works perfectly. - very slow zooming on maps and only with "+" and "-" buttons. - hard to read height curves 3. Basemap (with streets and POIs etc.
Summary: The Oregon 450, as well as the 550, has important software problems: The trip odometer readings are about 15% less than the real distance. The stopped time shows absolutely wrong values, sometimes the stoping time is longer than the total trip time! It seems incredible that Garmin delivers such expensive products with bugs like these, while older units as the GPSMAP60CS(X) performed well. Most e-mails about the problem are not answered.
Summary: UPDATE Nov/25/2010 So, I've used this device on a regular basis for over a year and it has definitely become a "don't leave for the woods without it" device. My initial complaint about battery life is still valid, but as I understand it, fast battery drain is a GPS device characteristic. To be sure, the battery indicator has a life of its own, run the battery down until the indicator goes red and you'll be fine. Just carry spares.