GPS Review: Garmin Foretrex 101

Get started--or get simple--with the best GPS deal

Why: GPS doesn't get any easier than this. One of our testers torched the (blessedly thin) instruction manual-yep, up in flames-to see if he could master the unit without it, and within minutes he was saving waypoints and a track log. Novices may need more guidance, but the Foretrex's intuitive interface and plainly labeled buttons significantly shorten the GPS learning curve. But don't let the unit's size and ease of use fool you: It stores 500 waypoints, acquires satellite signals faster than some more expensive handhelds, and holds reception in all but the thickest woods. You'll want a bigger screen and map download capabilities for serious cross-country navigation, but we had no trouble with off-trail scouting and backtracking in open terrain. In testing, we got 6-8 hours of use on 2 AAAs.

Who: The Foretrex is a fine choice for beginners, ultralighters, and anyone who wants core GPS functions in a small, affordable package.

How much: $139

Weight: 2.6 oz.

Contact: (800) 800-1020; www.garmin.com