Gear Review: Garmin eTrex 30 GPS Unit

A compact, durable unit with sophisticated features like barometric altimeter.

Sometimes the sequel is better than the original. Take the 30, a revamped version of Garmin’s long-running eTrex series. Similar to its predecessor, this compact, durable unit tucks easily into pack pockets and survives drops along the trail, but it also offers more sophisticated features like a three-axis, tilt-compensated compass, a barometric altimeter, and the ability to add a variety of satellite and 1:24K topo basemaps.

Thanks to the high-sensitivity GPS receiver and HotFix satellite prediction, our field scouts reported quick and steady satellite lock, even when hiking beneath sunlight-blocking canopy on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Testers also praise the unit’s simple menu layout (with bigger icons and text than earlier models), newly added button labels, and sunlight-readable, 2.2-inch color screen.

Bummer: Topos aren’t preloaded.


5.4 oz.

1.7GB internal storage (200 tracks)

microSD slot

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