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.
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
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
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