Go wherever life takes you and never get lost! The Garmin eTrex Vista handheld mapping GPS provides all the navigation tools you will need when you depart on your next adventure. This GPS comes packed with important traveling features including a barometric altimeter, an electronic compass, a detailed basemap of the Americas, and more!
Garmin's eTrex Vista GPS receiver is smaller than its popular eMaps, but far more powerful. The Vista offers more memory, more features, and more convenience than any other GPS hardware in this price range.
Don't be fooled by the product's small screen. Although smaller than the display used in products like the eMap, it has a higher resolution, letting it show more information more crisply. Small text can be difficult to read from a distance, but there are "big number" options available to make important data like your speed easy to read.
It's this configurability that makes the eTrex Vista so special.
Map page (shown with optional MapSource topo detail).
You can easily set it up to suit your needs, regardless of the situation. Menu choices are highlighted and confirmed with a small joystick near the top of the unit, providing an elegant interface for navigating a formidable amount of options. Our only complaint is that the joystick used to access all the product's features is offset to the left, making it nearly impossible to control using only your right hand. When the joystick is held in your left hand, however, every control is within easy reach of your left thumb, freeing your right hand to hold a flashlight, walking stick, lantern, or anything else.
This GPS unit's diminutive size and weight, not to mention its rugged design, make it an ideal hiking companion. It's waterproof in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes and is generously coated with shock-absorbing rubber. The barometric altimeter keeps a historical record of your ascents and descents, graphing elevation changes so you can easily track your progress.
The ability to store waypoints, points of interest, routes, and other information means you can blaze your own trail and always find your way back to camp.
Best of all, 24 MB of internal memory makes it possible to store an enormous amount of data from Garmin's optional MapSource CDs, turning the eTrex Vista into an interactive road atlas. The memory isn't expandable, but 24 MB is enough to store street-level data for entire states in some cases.
A serial cable is included for transferring the maps from your PC to the GPS unit, but it's terribly slow. A USB connector, sold separately, transfers data in a fraction of the time.
The eTrex Vista was very accurate in testing, especially in a car on the open road. Accuracy diminished somewhat when the device was used in heavy tree cover or a dense urban area, but not enough that you're ever going to get lost or miss an exit. Used side-by-side with an eMap, the eTrex Vista kept up in update speed while displaying even more information on the moving map than the eMap did, cementing its position as perhaps the best all-around handheld GPS unit money can buy. --T. Byrl Baker
Small and light without sacrificing features
24 MB of integrated memory stores reams of detailed maps
High-resolution screen displays sharp text legible even at extremely small sizes
Can't be used one-handed when held in the right hand
Smaller display is hard to read from a distance, as when the device is placed on a dashboard
The Garmin eTrex Vista GPS receiver adds a barometric altimeter, electronic compass, the same base map as in Garmin's III+ and eMap models, and 24 MB of memory to Garmin's popular eTrex model. The altimeter displays your altitude and provides a graphic profile of your trip, while the compass provides bearing information. Housed in a silver case, this powerful 12-parallel-channel GPS receiver weighs only 5.3 ounces and measures 4.4 inches high by 2 inches wide. It literally fits in the palm of your hand. The king of the hill for memory and features, the Vista has it all and the memory to learn more. If you like the eTrex Summit, but want a lot more of everything that's useful, the Vista is second to none.
The eTrex Vista's 24 MB of memory enables you to store more types of data--from topographical maps to roadside points of interest such as campgrounds, restaurants, and hotels--with a single download from Garmin's series of MapSource CD-ROMs (sold separately). These include MetroGuide USA, U.S. Waterways and Lights, and U.S. Topography.
The built-in Americas base map displays cities, interstate highways, and U.S. exit information for North, South, and Central America. Address and business listings are displayed with data downloads. Additionally, it provides marine points of interest for lakes, rivers, and coastlines.
The eTrex Vista has a front-panel rocker switch that allows for quick and accurate map panning. You can view maps on a liquid-crystal display with a resolution of 288 by 160 pixels. The eTrex Vista is waterproof to an IPX7 standard, so it can take an accidental splash or dunk in the water and still continue to perform.
Even while operating in forest conditions, the eTrex Vista will continue to maintain a tight satellite lock. The unit can store up to 500 user waypoints with graphic icons and boasts Garmin's own TracBack feature, which will reverse your track log and help you navigate your way back home. In addition, the eTrex Vista uses animated graphics that help you identify your marked waypoints quickly and easily.
Garmin makes some of the accessories to help you integrate your GPS with your life and your priorities. Keep your GPS at the ready while protecting it from knocks and bumps with the carrying case. If you'll be on the road, you'll want to have access to the most detailed topographical maps of the United States available: the Garmin MapSource USA TOPO CD-ROM. And don't let the product's many abilities overwhelm you--train yourself in all the eTrex's ins and outs with a handy instructional video.
The Garmin eTrex Vista comes with a PC interface cable, manual, and quick reference card. It is covered by a one-year warranty.