First Look Gear Review

Garmin ETrex 30 Review

   

Handheld GPS

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: August 21, 2015
Street Price:   $235 | Compare prices at 1 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, 25-hour battery life, reliable push buttons, bright display.
Cons:  Small screen, buttons are harder to push than 62 series, less accurate than Oregon and 62 series.
Best Uses:  Lightweight hiking and climbing, best value GPS.
User Rating:     
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 (3.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Garmin
Review by: Steve McNamara ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 14, 2015  
Overview
The Garmin eTrex 30 handheld GPS device is the enhanced version of the Garmin eTrex 20, about which we did a full review. The main differences are that the eTrex 30 has a barometric altimeter, a 3-axis compass, wireless sharing and costs an additional $100 retail. The dimensions, weight, maps and memory are the same. The eTrex 30 has a grey rim around the face of its black body; the eTrex 20 has a red rim. Though the eTrex 30 is good for certain application our testers believe the 20 is a much better value. If you want more features we suggest coughing up the cash for the Garmin Oregon 600, which retails for around $100 more than the eTrex 300.

Check out the full review of the Garmin eTrex 20 and the Handheld GPS Review where we compare the top GPS devices.

New Version Update - June 2015
The Garmin eTrex 30 has been replaced by the eTrex 30x, which also retails for $300. The 30x now features an updated screen with a higher resolution (240 x 320 pixels versus 176 x 220) and now has 3.7gb of memory instead of 1.7gb. With the 30x, you'll also score a subscription to Birdseye Satellite Imagery. While we havent tested the 30x, we do feel as though our review will still give you a good feel for the newest version.

See below for a side-by-side comparison, with the eTrex 30x shown on the left and the eTrex 30 pictured on the right.

 



Other Versions



Garmin eTrex 10, $110. The main differences are that the eTrex 10 does not have a color display or expandable memory and costs less. The dimensions, weight, and battery life are the same.

The Garmin eTrex 20, $200, is the best value. This is our favorite GPS for backpacking because it's the lightest GPS we've tested (up to 4.3 oz lighter than others) and it has great battery life.


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Steve McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 21, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Aug 21, 2015 - 12:24am
Kiteboarder · Other · Pewaukee
This is for the upgraded, eTrex 30x. At this point I can only give it three stars because I bought it to replace an eTrex 20 I had been using in South America for the past two years. It has been great but I no longer have that one and now that I am also paragliding I thought it would be good to upgrade so that it has the magnetic compass and barometric altimeter. The PROBLEM is that it will not recognize the Garmin South American maps that works in other Garmin devices. They seemed unaware of the problem and I am now waiting to get this fixed. Has anyone out there used or attempted to load the South American maps in this device? It will get a 5 star rating once fixed, but it seems incredible that they can release an updated eTrex 30 without it even recognizing their own maps.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Garmin eTrex 30
Credit: Garmin
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