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Reader Reviews

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Garmin Foretrex 101

in Navigation Gear & Accessories

Average Rating
3.80 / 5 (5 reviews)

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David Kuchtrczyk
( dkucharczyk )
Garmin foretrex 101 on 08/03/2005 15:42:43 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Excellent receiver sensitivity, decent battery life, great price. Very nice display for the size. I especially like the feature that let's you configure what information you want on the screen. Buttons give decent tactile feedback.

The user interface falters a bit when it comes to data entry, but that's forgivable given the small size.

Having the wrist strap feature available is nice but it works just fine as a hand-held unit. Easy to use with a single hand.

Buy the data cable if you want to load more than a 2-3 waypoints into it at a time.

After using the unit 4-5 times it had a hardware failure. Garmin took it back wih no questions asked (I no longer had the receipt) and sent me a new one. It's still a favorite (I have a Garmin GPS 12 and several aviation units) due to it's tiny size.

Edited by dkucharczyk on 03/08/2006 11:44:07 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Garmin GPS priced at: $165.98
Garmin Data Cable priced at: $23.31
paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Where, Oh where have my satellites gone?... on 08/09/2005 14:16:48 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Nice light weight unit. Wrist mount is convenient. Simple, intuitive user interface. Easy to operate buttons. Various displays well thought out. Batt. life, on alkalines, leaves a little to be desired, but using only 2 AAA it's understandable that batt life will not be that long. Optional WAAS capability. Plenty of memory for storing tracks and routes. In the open, acquires multiple satellite signals quick enough, and is able to retain them.

S'all good, right? Wrong! Despite all of the aforementioned pluses, all this technology is worthless if it can't maintain its satellite fix when under tree cover - like on the heavily wooded trails of the Northeast.

It's pretty useless if it continually loses its satellite fix. However, when it's functioning properly, it's a great system, especially the TracBack breadcrumb trail - pretty neat feature.

Since I've never used any other trekking GPS unit (only the Nav system in my wife's car), I can't compare it to others. I'm giving it a 3 for this reason, otherwise it might only get a 2 due to the aforementioned inability to maintain a satellite fix when under tree cover. It might turn out that an external antenna might improve signal reception? The hypothetical 2 rating would only be appropriate if other systems retained a signal better when under tree cover.

If used on relatively open ground where signal reception is more constant/continuous, I would highly recommend this unit, and give it a 4+, otherwise I stick by my 3 (or 2 if used mostly under tree cover).

Edited by pj on 08/12/2005 12:04:22 MDT.

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Kevin Sawchuk
( ksawchuk - M )

Northern California
Great features for small size/weight on 08/12/2005 11:27:34 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I am fully happy with this GPS. It is light (2.7 oz with Lithium batteries and a lighter wrist strap), easy to use (except you want to program waypoints on the computer in advance as the intrinsic interface is difficult to use--must buy data cable separately), has enough features to keep nearly anyone happy (track backwards along a track with 30sec datapoints, make routes, navigate to a specific waypoint), and has some cool speed (MPH) features I appreciate as a runner. It I had to carry a 6-8oz GPS, I wouldn't. From what I've read its reception is as good or better than larger/more expensive models. I don't use a GPS often but I'm glad this is the one I have.

Ryan Jordan
( ryan - BPL STAFF - M )

Greater Yellowstone
Strapless ForeTrex 101 Benchmarks UL GPS's on 11/04/2006 13:55:15 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I removed the strap, use Li AAA batteries, and I have a 2.5 oz replaceable (vs. rechargeable) battery operated GPS unit designed with an outdoor (vs. training) interface.

That makes it the lightest GPS in its category (outdoor, replaceable batteries). The fact that it has a very usable interface (a strength of Garmin) and a tiny form factor is a bonus.

I lost my Geko 301, which is more powerful, and have used the Foretrex 101 w/o strap since.

If the Foretrex 101 functionality can be blended with the additional nav features of the 301 and put into the Edge form factor, then we'll have a GPS worthy of a "5".

eric levine
( ericl )

Northern Colorado
Great for everything but maybe tree cover on 03/13/2007 10:43:24 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've done like Ryan, with the addition of removing the back cover and substituting clear postal strapping tape, which is what I did with my old etrex. One could even rig up a nearly weightless strap and still get under 2.5 oz. for a very complete (and CHEAP!) gps.

Tree cover is not a problem for me in rocky mt high. If one hiked in thick tree cover and would not accept only occasional opportunities for a fix, the new technology (expensive!) units may be the way to go.

About the strap. It's too narrow as is, and too wide with the included extension.

For me a 4+ -- I like mine a lot.

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