Monday, 2 February 2009

KIT REVIEW: Garmin Foretrex 101


I love gadgets, especially gadgets that I can justify spending money on, when hubby checks the joint bank account.
GPS’s have been around for quite a while now but few have been designed for use in canoe’s and kayaks so when I heard about the Garmin waterproof range I couldn’t wait to put them to the test.
The Foretrex 101 has to be one of the easiest GPS’s on the market to use. With just a few buttons and a simple screen, flipping from page to page couldn’t be easier. My favourite page has to be the 4 boxes where you can choose what you want to see at any one time. I had my Trip Odometer, Moving Time, Current Speed and just for fun my Max Speed all on one page. But there’s loads of other option’s like, track log, route planning, waypoints, ETA, elevation, stopping time, vertical speed (possible useful when encountering a waterfall) and a location bearing. The location bearing is what you need to use when justifying the purchase to your spouse. Obviously if you’re out in the wilderness and get into difficulty you need to know where you are quickly and accurately to get help. The fact you’ll spend most of your time having fun trying to see how fast you can go or seeing if you can find the car just by following the funny little walking man on the track log, needn’t be mentioned. Designed as a hands-free GPS, the foretrex101 comes with a Velcro wrist strap which is useful but I have to say the pins holding the strap on are not really strong enough. I stuck a piece of sticky back Velcro between the strap and the GPS to save the risk of loosing it. You can also get a cycle mount for it so you can use it on the roads and hills too. On the technical side you can download all the trip info onto your PC via a pink cable and serial USB adapter, although you’ll need to bit a handy on the old computer to get the most out of this feature.
The batteries 2 x AAA do actually last 15 hours like the spec says and it is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water.
As you can probably tell I really liked this GPS. It’s no frills simplicity and price has put it high on my list of must have paddling kit for 2009.

Additional Info:
Unit Size: 8.4 x 4.3 x 2.3 cm
Screen Size: 3.6 x 2.3 cm
Weight: 78g
RRP: £99.99 (Amazon £74.78)

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