According to reviews, the Garmin Dakota 20 is compact, rugged and versatile, with a bevy of features including an easy-to-use touch screen. You'll also find an altimeter, a three-axis electronic compass that keeps its bearings no matter its orientation, wireless transfers between other compatible Garmin GPS devices and more. On the down side, while the Dakota 20's trim form factor makes it a pleasure to take on the trail, the trade-off is a screen that's on the small side, meaning you won't see as much of a map without scrolling. Though the Dakota 20 has some of the same bells and whistles, those looking for the ultimate in GPS features and performance might also want to consider the Garmin Oregon 550t (*Est. $500), which, among other things, offers a bigger, higher definition touch-screen display and a geotagging digital camera.
We found two helpful expert reviews for the Garmin Dakota 20. The most comprehensive is at GPSTracklog.com. Shorter but still competent and worthwhile feedback can be found at About.com. Amazon.com has a selection of owner reviews.
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1. GPS Tracklog
Reviewer Rich Owings highly recommends the Dakota 20 in this detailed review. The touch screen, iPhone-like user interface, small and lightweight form factor, and long battery life are all pluses. The screen comes in for some criticism, most notably for its small size and difficult viewing in bright sunlight.
Review: Garmin Dakota 20 Review, Rich Owings, Oct. 2009
About.com's guide Fred Zahradnik calls the Dakota 20 rugged and versatile, saying that it's "small enough to comfortably take on a run or mount on a bike, yet substantial enough to rely upon as your main GPS on a multi-day backpacking trip." He notes that it has a marine chart mode and dedicated geocaching.
Review: Do-it-all Garmin Dakota 20 GPS Suitable for Multiple Sports, Geocaching, Hiking, Fred Zahradnik
Amazon.com is a good destination for user reviews of the Garmin Dakota 20. Most of the more than 50 owners that weigh in are pleased, though some negative comments can be found as well.
Review: Garmin Dakota 20 Waterproof Hiking GPS, Contributors to Amazon.com, Feb. 15, 2010