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Garmin eTrex Venture HC

*Est. $150
Reviewed
December 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Garmin eTrex Venture HC

Best budget handheld GPS

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Highly sensitive signal processor
  • Color display
Cons
  • Non-expandable memory
  • No high-end features
  • Included maps aren't the most detailed

Reviewers say the Garmin eTrex Venture HC offers the most bang for the buck for those looking for a low-cost handheld GPS receiver. Unlike other inexpensive handheld GPS receivers, the eTrex Venture HC comes with a color screen and a high-sensitivity signal processor. The memory, though limited to just 24 MB, can save up to 10 tracks, 50 routes and 500 waypoints. You won't find features such as a barometric altimeter or a compass at this price point, however. The included maps aren't the most detailed, reviews say, but you can purchase other maps. If your budget is a little bigger, the Garmin Dakota 20 (*Est. $250) packs a bevy of useful extras into a diminutive package, including a compass, altimeter and a touch-screen display with an easy-to-use interface.

Among reviewers, GPSTracklog.com provides the best information on the eTrex Venture HC. The site does a great job comparing it to other receivers in its buyer's guide and provides a number of related links in their review. ConsumerReports.org includes the Venture HC in a roundup of several handheld GPS devices, and users on Amazon.com provide good insight into how happy owners are weeks and months after the sale.

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Garmin Dakota 20 Waterproof Hiking GPS
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from Amazon.com
New: $279.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Where To Buy
Garmin Bicycle Mount for eTrex H, Camo, Vista H, Venture HC, Legend H, and Summit HC (010-10267-00)

 
Buy new: $17.99 $16.46   75 New from $9.86

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 

Our Sources

1. GPS Tracklog

Although not nearly as detailed as other reviews on the site, GPSTracklog.com still does a good job summarizing the Garmin eTrex Venture HC's strengths and provides links to other resources for more information. In his buying guide, reviewer Rich Owings picks the eTrex Venture HC as the best budget handheld GPS. Highlights include a highly sensitive GPS receiver and a bright color screen.

Review: Garmin eTrex Venture HC Review, Rich Owings, Aug. 2007

2. ConsumerReports.org

Although their review is not very detailed, ConsumerReports.org tests several handheld GPS devices, including the Garmin eTrex Venture HC. A handy comparison chart and list of recommended GPS receivers are also helpful.

Review: Handheld Hiking GPS Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org

3. Amazon.com

With a rating of 4 stars out of 5 from more than 300 reviews, the Garmin eTrex Venture HC scores relatively well among Amazon.com users. Most are satisfied, but several say the included map could be more detailed and recommend buying better maps for serious hiking or other activities.

Review: Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver, Contributors to Amazon.com

Handheld GPS Runners Up:

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2 picks including: Amazon.com, TrustedReviews.com…

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Garmin Garmin eTrex Vista HCx Handheld GPS w/High Sensitivity GPS
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Garmin Oregon 550T 3-Inch Handheld GPS Navigator with 3.2MP Digital Camera (U.S. Topographic Maps)
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