Etrex 20x, 30x, 25, 35 Touch Review

I am often asked, as both a geocacher and a keen hiker/walker, what I think of certain Garmin GPS devices.  To save me repeating myself (regularly) I thought it would be a good idea to write reviews of certain Garmin models that I have, or have used.

This is the first such review as I have used or owned several of these Garmin models and tested them with my own maps (which work fine).

This review is for the European models, not the US version.

The Etrex 20x and 30x:

Both of these models have the same size screen (2.2″/5.6cm diagonal, 240 x 320 pixels), and use buttons and a joystick to access functions and move around the map.

The main differences between the two models is that the 30x has an electronic compass (which moves  independently, like a real magnetic compass),  a barometric altimeter and the ability to transfer co-ords to another compatible unit wirelessly.

Both support paperless geocaching, up to 25 hours of use out of a pair of AA batteries, support both the current US GPS constellation and the new Russian (GLONASS) one too (this should improve accuracy in most conditions). They also have 3.7GB of internal memory and can take MicroSD cards (up to 32GB) for extra storage and adding supported mapping cards.

They are also IPX7 rated, meaning that they are waterproof to that rating and they are fairly tough little devices, and cheaper to replace than a modern smartphone.

These often come with Garmin’s TopoActive Western Europe maps (these are OSM based, like mine, but do not have contour data and are not as detailed). See my YouTube video to see how they compare. They also come with a very limited world-wide shaded basemap installed.

These are great little devices for those that prefer a non-touchscreen GPS and on a tight budget; recommended.

The Etrex 25 and 35 Touch:

Both of these models have the same size screen (2.3″ x 4″/ 3.6cm x  5.5cm diagonal, 160 x 240 pixels), and use a touchscreen display to access functions and move around the map.

The main differences between the two models is that the 35 has a barometric altimeter and the ability to transfer co-ords to another compatible unit wirelessly.

Unlike the 20x and 30x, both the 25 and 35 has an 3 axis electronic compass (which moves  independently, like a real magnetic compass).

Both support paperless geocaching, up to 16 hours of use out of a pair of AA batteries, support both the current US GPS constellation and the new Russian (GLONASS) one too (this should improve accuracy in most conditions). They also have 4GB of internal memory and can take MicroSD cards (up to 32GB) for extra storage and adding supported mapping cards.

Both the 25 and 35 also support “Live Tracking” (with Garmin Connect Mobile) and “Smart Notifications”. The interface is also significantly different than the 20x or 30x (although there is a “Classic Mode”, to allow you to use the old interface).

They are also IPX7 rated, meaning that they are waterproof to that rating and they are fairly tough little devices, and cheaper to replace than a modern smartphone.

These often come with Garmin’s TopoActive Western Europe maps (these are OSM based, like mine, but do not have contour data and are not as detailed). See my YouTube video to see how they compare. They also come with a very limited world-wide shaded basemap installed.

These are great little devices for those that want a touch-screen display GPS on a tight budget; recommended.

Data on functionality taken from the Garmin website and GPSCentral for this review.