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can anyone recommend a hand held GPS system?

(10 Posts)
browntrout Thu 29-Jan-09 20:56:47

my DP is 40 in a couple of weeks and I would like to buy him a handheld GPS system. I have done a bit of research and it seems that Garmin is pretty much the best option but there are lots of negative reviews about the quality of the base maps and even the ones you can buy (at £150!). I dont really want to get him a GPS and then tell him to pay that much money for the maps himself but I am frankly bewildered at the array of products and the fact that none of them seem that good. I dont really have a budget. If it is the right bit of kit then I will get it (no more than £300 or so) but obviously I dont want to waste money for the sake of it. He does a bit of extreme camping, walking, cycling, fishing etc and probably would use it most in the UK and Europe. Grateful for any advice.

PuzzleRocks Thu 29-Jan-09 22:08:52

Bumping for you.

WriggleJiggle Sat 31-Jan-09 14:21:33

Can't recomend any, but will be interested to see if anyone else can. At the moment I'm using a very basic gps (no maps) for geocaching, but one with maps would be great.

nannynick Sat 31-Jan-09 21:43:14

It depends on what the device will be used for. If by GPS you don't mean SatNav... then SatMap Active10 may be the product you are looking for. Active10 is a GPS receiver with OS maps.
It is not cheap and 1:25k maps are brought at the County level - so separate maps for Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire etc.
The device is Waterproof and Shockproof and has an optional Bike mount kit available. It also has a long battery life - their website says 5-8 hours continuous use from two AA batteries, with Energiser Lithium batteries providing 12+ hours continuous use. Maps are being produced for other countries some of which will be available later this year.

nannynick Sat 31-Jan-09 21:45:46

I haven't got one yet - still thinking about it... they are NOT Cheap! So can't recommend it, but thought it might be of interest.

Lionstar Sat 31-Jan-09 22:04:27

I got DP a Garmin eTrex Vista HCX for his birthday and he has had lots of fun with it so far. Cost about £150 from HandTec. Maps are extra - though the basemap wasn't too bad. I got the Europe one extra (about £60) so that we could use it as a Sat Nav on holiday. There is a topographic UK one for about £100, but haven't tried that. There are also lots of free map sources out there if you search around, though they tend to be for small areas rather than whole countries.

The main problem with it is the instruction manual is not great, so there has been quite a lot of fiddling around trying stuff out. The geocaching websites have forums on them though where lots of people post about these types of handhelds, so lots of info there.

alipiggie Sat 31-Jan-09 22:08:42

Garmin is probably one of the best handhelds you can get. I would shop around for a good deal though.

I've got a Garmin Legend HCX which I'm happy with but if I'd been wanting to spend more I'd have got this;

www.amazon.co.uk/Garmin-Oregon-400t-Handheld-European/dp/B001E9651O/ref=sr_1_31?ie=UTF8&s=electronic s&qid=1233507063&sr=8-31

Its well thought of by people on my geocaching forum.

browntrout Sun 01-Feb-09 19:40:12

Tthanks to all. I have gone for the Satmap Active 10 after my lengthy research. This is mainly because it is compatible with OS maps. I was concerned about negative feedback on the Topo maps so thought that I'd give the Satmap a whirl. My first choice was initially the Garmin Oregon 400t which is about the same price but the bloke in Blacks said he'd never have a touch screen one as they were much more likely to break and the entire thing would be knackered. I guess it depends on what it is to be used for. I imagine my DP will be in the middle of the Scottish Highlands or climbing etc and so maybe one where he doesnt have to take his gloves off (bless) and which is a bit hardier is the best for him. I didnt buy it from the shop obviously. It was 300 quid there without maps and I got it for £256 with a map thrown in. Oh and apparently you can get the full UK OS map card for £200 which, although a lot to shell out at once, is far better than getting them one by one. Thanks to all for the advice and I will let you know what it is like.

nannynick Sun 01-Feb-09 19:52:48

Great news Browntrout. Would love it if you could report back with regard to how your DP finds it once it's been out and about a bit. All maps on one card sounds a good idea... bit daft how they have different cards for different areas... but then again I suppose they were trying to keep the mapping cost down for those who only wanted part of the UK.

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