Gear Reviews

Garmin International Foretrex 401

This wrist-ready, weather-resistant GPS device is only 2.2 ounces.

Brand: Garmin International

Model: Foretrex 401





Get a GPS with core functions in a wrist-ready, weather-resistant package that weighs little more than a watch. Said one minimalist tester: “The 401 complemented my map-and-compass navigation and gave me extra confidence when I was in tricky terrain in Rocky Mountain National Park.” It’s a bit bulky on the wrist, so we usually strap it to a pack’s shoulder harness. The 401 stores up to 500 waypoints and 10 tracks, and the high-sensitivity GPS chip rivals those in more expensive units.

Other features include a barometric altimeter, electronic compass, and the ability to share GPS info wirelessly with other compatible Garmins. Expect 12 hours on two AAA batteries. Caveat: The 1.8-inch, black-and-white screen is surprisingly readable in direct sun, but it isn’t designed for advanced onscreen navigation. No preloaded maps, either. $250; 2.2 oz.;

The Foretrex® 401 is an easy-to-use wrist-mounted high-sensitivity GPS navigator. It’s ideal for active adventures requiring both hands to remain free. Rugged, lighter than many watches, and waterproof, it features an electronic compass, a barometric altimeter, and a USB interface. You can even wirelessly share routes, tracks and waypoints between units. It also incorporates a trip computer, sunrise/sunset and hunting and fishing information and can connect to your PC. When it’s time to head back, simply turn on the TracBack® feature, and Foretrex will retrace your path back to where you started. With Foretrex, you can always find your way back.