I am currently looking for a gps unit to replace a old (15 years old) gps i had that finally died. When i started looking for units i came to the conclusion that i can't rely only on reviews on this item since the money involved in this item warrants every bit of input i can find, and most of the comments seemed to be from people that had little back-woods experience in navigation and most were just from people geo-caching in parks and to follow already-established trails, so here i am. I will be using it for hiking and for atv/bike/snowmachine mounting.
What i'm looking for:
1) A hand-held type of non-car unit with way points and trip tracking. Something that is compatible with computer downloads and uploads would be a big plus but not required.
2) Downloadable maps that don't cost more than the gps unit itself. a 3d topo feature would be nice, but not required.
3) Something that doesn't eat more batteries than a bear eats berries in the fall (my old unit would eat a set of batteries in just under 4 hours and would get expensive to use fast).
4) A reliable unit that won't turn into a very expensive paper weight in just a few months or even days.
5) Something that isn't going to cost a pile of money to get up and running. i'm fine with having to buy a memory card, case, ect. but i don't want to have to spend $200-500 for a us map and have to spend hundreds on "accessories" just to make it useful.
6) Price range of everything involved around $200-$400 after all maps, rechargeable batteries, cases, mounts, ect.
what i don't need or even want:
1) A incorporated camera... i have cameras... i don't need another
2) Something that has software that needs updated every 2-3 months like some units i have read about that won't work unless you basically check for updates every few days before use.
3) Altitude sensors... i'm not climbing mountains with it where i need to worry about oxygen use. This just seems like just another feature to drain batteries and run the price up.
I know many of you spend a fair amount of time away from pavement the wealth of knowledge is invaluable here. Thanks, in advance for any input you can offer and i wish you all the best.