UPDATE: I’ve posted a Garmin Foretrex 401 resource page with links to hands on reviews
Apparently there is still money to be made in the entry-level handheld GPS market – the Garmin Foretrex 301 and 401 are being announced this morning. These two wrist-mounted units update the Foretrex 201, adding a high-sensitivity receiver and USB interface.
The Foretrex 401 ups the ante, adding an electronic compass, barometric altimeter and the ability to wirelessly share data with compatible Foretrex, Oregon and Colorado receivers. The 401 is also compatible with Garmin heart-rate monitors and cadence sensors.
Garmin is touting the new models as lightweight, waterproof devices for light hikers, skiers, campers and military personnel to wear comfortably on their wrists.
The Foretrex series has been among Garmin’s lowest priced handheld receivers. They are capable of basic backcountry navigation, and while they don’t have a basemap and you cannot add detailed maps, they can display a rudimentary sort of “map” (seen above) showing your track, waypoints and route.
The units, weighing an incredibly light 3 ounces, are powered by three AAA batteries, lasting up to 18 hours in the 301 and 17 hours in the 401. There is no word yet on availability or price.