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Author Topic: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450  (Read 19026 times)

QuestionsGPS

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Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« on: January 25, 2012, 08:21:57 PM »
Hi, hereís my situation and I was wondering your input? I just bought the eTrex Vista HCx from Costco.com. I've enjoyed it so far.  However, I noticed that if I want to upload another map a day later, itíll overwrite that gmapsupp file. If I try renaming gmapsupp, like this website suggested, the Vista HCx wonít recognize the file. If I start from scratch by resending all the maps to my unit all over again, it takes more than 12 hours just to do the whole thing again (I have an 8 GB card in the unit). That's a pain.

Since Costco has a return policy if youíre not satisfied, I was thinking of returning this unit and paying the extra $100-140 to get either a Garmin Dakota 20 or Oregon 450. My questions: Do those two other units allow you to recognize the renamed gmapsupp file? Another thing Iím concerned about is if their touchscreens make it more difficult to pinpoint the exact point on the map you want compared to the eTrex's roller joystick (if you donít have good fingernails)? How do the Dakota 20 and Oregon 450 compare to the eTrex Vista HCx?

Boyd

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 08:50:10 PM »
Personally I think they are an improvement over the eTrex. I used to have a Legend C (and earlier version similar to yours). That little joystick was a pain. Pushing it causes a waypoint to be created. I would end up creating a bunch of waypoints accidentally while carrying in my pocket.

The Dakota and Oregon will recognize any file if it has a .img extension. They will also recognize .kmz files ("custom maps"). They also recognized .jnx files, which are Garmin's BirdsEye downloadable maps and imagery. None of these work on the old eTrex models.

However, if you do keep the eTrex, just use an external USB card read and do not directly connect the GPS with the card in it. The eTrex has the very slow USB 1.0 interface, and that's why it took you so long.

Seldom

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 09:25:50 PM »
Dakota and Oregon are touch screen interface.  If you like touch screens go with them.  The Etrex 20 and 30 support the same file formats as the DK and OR, but use buttons.  The 30 has a barometric altimeter and compass that the 20 doesn't.

To compare features see this:
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145

But buy it someplace like Amazon or GPSCity where you can get a more reasonable price.

babj615

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 11:14:02 PM »
I would normally say get the Oregon 450, it is Garmins best bang for the buck almost fully featured GPSr!

BUT, recently I have seen great prices on the Oregon 550, which includes a 3MP camera, on Amazon and other places.

Either Oregon 450 or 550 will do you VERY well!
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EagleBoy

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 08:29:05 AM »
Personally I think they are an improvement over the eTrex. I used to have a Legend C (and earlier version similar to yours). That little joystick was a pain. Pushing it causes a waypoint to be created. I would end up creating a bunch of waypoints accidentally while carrying in my pocket.

The Dakota and Oregon will recognize any file if it has a .img extension. They will also recognize .kmz files ("custom maps"). They also recognized .jnx files, which are Garmin's BirdsEye downloadable maps and imagery. None of these work on the old eTrex models.

However, if you do keep the eTrex, just use an external USB card read and do not directly connect the GPS with the card in it. The eTrex has the very slow USB 1.0 interface, and that's why it took you so long.

FYI, The Dakota 20 is not USB 2.0 eitehr.  But fast enough nonetheless.  Also, the latest update adds geotagged photos and .jpg images.  Nice.  :)

QuestionsGPS

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 10:45:50 AM »
Another thing I wanted to ask is I heard the reflection in direct sunlight is worse with the Dakota 20 and Oregon 450 touch screens than the eTrex?  Is that much of an issue?  Also, the battery life for them aren't rated as long as that eTrex.  So, in your opinion do the added features of the Dakota and Oregon overrule those two disadvantages?  Or, how much of an issue are those two concerns I have?

QuestionsGPS

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 10:50:09 AM »
I know it was mentioned above if it slows me down because the Vista HCx doesn't recognize renamed map files, the eTrex 30 uses the same file format as the Dakota and Oregon.  I also know it has the same battery life as the Vista HCx.  However, when I went to Walmart.com, the eTrex 30 is about the same price as the Oregon 450, so I would want to go with the better model.  (I could buy the eTrex 30 cheaper on Amazon.com, however I know Walmart and Costco are pretty good about returns to their local stores in case the GPS is not quite what you thought it would be; I don't know if Amazon.com allows returns if you've already used the product and it has no defects?) 

What would you prefer, the Garmin eTrex 30 or the Oregon 450?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 10:52:14 AM by QuestionsGPS »

Seldom

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 10:57:38 AM »
Screen visibility on touch screen GPSrs shouldn't be a problem if they are handheld, but if mounted fixed as on bike handlebars could be really bad.  Batteries definitely last longer on non-touch screens, but you should plan on getting rechargeables anyway.  In that case, unless you are out for more than 8 hours and don't have spares with you it isn't much of a concern.  I've gotten 16+ hours on a pair of eneloops in my 62s so I suspect that Garmin's battery life numbers are credible.

Seldom

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 11:01:07 AM »
What would you prefer, the Garmin eTrex 30 or the Oregon 450?

You should look at both units in a store and decide whether you prefer touchscreen or buttons. 

QuestionsGPS

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 11:42:09 PM »
Another question I have is about the Garmin Oregon 450 versus the 450t.  Which Garmin Topo map comes preloaded with the 450t model?  Is it the TOPO U.S. 100K at https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=255&pID=28229

I've found the gpsfiledepot topo maps quite detailed.  A question I have is if "the shading" on the preloaded Garmin 450t map helps out that much if you want to hike in the Rocky Mountains and need to find passes so you can get through, just like looking at those sculpted relief maps in National Park Visitor centers could help?  Or does the Garmin shading not help out that much compared to just a regular topo?

Thanks!

Boyd

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 04:42:41 AM »
I had an Oregon 400t for over 3 years (previous model). Yes, that is the map. It's handy to have the whole US on the device, but those maps are well known to have pretty significant errors. You will have to decide whether it's worth it... for one thing, you won't be able to get full seamless US coverage on a topo map from here or anywhere else, so if you want that then it's your only choice.

Personally I disliked the shaded terrain because it makes details the map hard to see, especially considering the limitations of the Oregon screen. I think elevation contours will be more helpful for what you describe. Or if you get the Garmin 24k map for your area, it will have more accurate shaded terrain.


maps4gps

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 06:46:49 AM »
Depends on how well a person can 'read the lay of the land' from contours.
As Boyd indicated, the shading makes it difficult to see the map data as it uses various shaded of medium/dark tan/brown as a background. 
The elevation grid behind the shading can also be used to place elevations on a track.

IMHO contours are a lot more informative than shaded relief.  You should have a lot more knowledge of an area than to 'find passes so you can get through' from a shaded relief map meant for GPSr use.  To minimize damage to the environment you should be staying on established trails.  Remember that even contour lines may not clearly indicate vertical walls requiring technical climbing expertise and the use of proper equipment.

Seldom

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 07:33:23 AM »

The elevation grid behind the shading can also be used to place elevations on a track.
Thought this could use a little more emphasis.  IMO the ONLY advantage to having a "T" series.

QuestionsGPS

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 10:30:55 AM »
Thanks for all the advice so far.  One question I have is if you were to get the Garmin 100K U.S. Topo and enable at the same time that and the free gpsfiledepot.com maps, could you get the detail of the contour lines of gpsfiledepot and shaded relief of Garmin's 100K at the exact same time? 

The reason why: I returned the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx back to Costco and got the the Oregon 450 from Walmart.  Apparently Walmart also has a return policy if you decide you're not completely satisfied, and I noticed the 450t is on Amazon.com for only $35 more than Walmart's 450 model.  I'm trying to figure out if the $35 extra would be worth it.

QuestionsGPS

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Re: Garmin eTrek Vista vs. Dakota 20 vs. Oregon 450
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 10:34:05 AM »
Also: When visiting Garmin's online store they give you an interactive tool to see what their 100K U.S. Topo looks like.  Below the 500 ft zoom level it appears to me that the Garmin 100K is worthless because of lack of detail, while gpsfiledepot maps help you understand the shape of the land better.  However, zoomed out past 800 ft the gpsfiledepot maps look confusing with squiggly lines and the shaded relief from Garmin U.S. Topo starts to be quite helpful (I'm in the Rocky Mountains area).

Why I would wonder: I've noticed on my 450, which doesn't come with the preloaded topos but rather the very primitive relief basemap, when it's zoomed to 3 mi I can see both the contour lines of gpsfiledepot and shaded relief of the basemap at the exact same time.  I was curious if the same thing would happen if I were to combine with Garmin's 100K U.S., and if I would have shaded relief at any zoom level?