eTrex Touch Review - First Thoughts
Fri 31st July 2015
I thought it would be a good workout for my first expedition with the new touchscreen eTrex Touch 25 to see how it performs in Geocache mode.
My device came pre-loaded with Garminís Topo Active mapping for 46 countries in Europe, a BirdsEye map voucher that allowed me to download 3000sqk of OS Explorer 25k mapping (SRP £19.99) and a USB emergency power pack (SRP £25).
The eTrex Touch range offers a completely new user interface; as soon as you switch on youíre invited to select an activity profile naturally we went with Geocache. The selected profile displays a compatible activity dash and enhanced track manager to start and stop recording which we found logical & easy to use. To my delight on opening the Geocache database our cache on Blaze Fell was listed as nearest; pretty spooky as there are 2,681,712 active caches around the world.
The eTrex Touch truly makes the most of paperless geocaching whilst making navigation to caches like BlazeAway a piece of cake; we loved the geocaching dash as we could see where we were at all times on the map, follow the direction arrow on the mini compass, see the distance count down on route and simply tap the cache icon to reveal cache description, logs and hint.
OK here comes our moan; whilst we found the Topo Active mapping adequate for general navigation it offers the complete road network, we werenít that impressed when we looking for more detail when closing in on a cache. Thank goodness our bundle came with a BirdsEye Map Voucher that allowed us to download an area of OS Explorer mapping covering the locality of our cache. Each map voucher allows you to download multiple areas up to 3000sqk (compare that to the Lake District National Park 2600 approx). Premium maps make a real difference on the geocache trail and are essential as far as we are concerned; nice when they come free like our bundle.
We were using the eTrex Touch 25 which is waterproof & robust; it offers 2.6Ē sunlight readable colour touchscreen, electronic compass, Topo Active mapping pre-installed, 8GB of internal memory to store user data & downloaded maps, paperless geocaching & 250,000 pre-installed geocaches and access to Garminís free computer mapping software BaseCamp.
BaseCamp is essential for you to manage & save your user data (waypoints, routes, tracks and geocaches) on your PC/Mac. If you are a Geocaching.com premium member then you can download caches either direct to your device or to BaseCamp for future use (much easier than pocket queries). If you have your GPS connected to your PC/Mac with the USB cable supplied in the box then you can view any maps in your GPS like Topo Active or OS Explorer in BaseCamp.
Our initial reaction is this is going to be a very popular device with outdoors folk but geocachers in particular. The eTrex Touch bundle we have on offer is an inexpensive user friendly device with easy access paperless geocaching.
When comparing between eTrex Touch 25 & 35 we found that the 35 adds Barometric altimeter and unit to unit wireless sharing between similar Garmin units. Do we think this worth an extra £30? Probably not – we think the most popular model & package will be the eTrex Touch 25 Birdseye Bundle.
To find out more about the eTrex Touch range visit this page.
You van read the full article (PDF with screenshots) here.