Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin eTrex 10, 20 and 30 announced


UPDATE: Garmin UK has confirmed that the eTrex 20 and 30 will support BirdsEye imagery.

UPDATE 2: Read my hands on reviews of the eTrex 10 and eTrex 20.

Garmin has announced three new models this morning, the Garmin eTrex 10, 20 and 30, updating the popular eTrex line with paperless geocaching and other new features. The new eTrex models sport up to an estimated 25 hour battery life and are expected to hit store shelves in the third quarter of 2011.

There’s no mention of BirdsEye, custom maps capabilities or memory expansion in the news release, so we’ll just have to wait for the product pages go up to learn more, hopefully later today. I’ll update this post as more info becomes available.

  • Garmin eTrex 10 – Monochrome display, $119.99 MSRP
  • Garmin eTrex 20 – 2.2” diagonal, 65K color display, $199.99 MSRP
  • Garmin eTrex 30 – Adds a tri-axial electronic compass, barometric altimeter and wireless data transfer to compatible units, $299.99 MSRP

UPDATE: eTrex mini-site says the eTrex 20 and 30 wil have expandable memory, and seems to imply that BirdsEye will work for them. Click here for the news release.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Finally an update to the eTrex line! This is the GPS a lot of people (self included) have been waiting for.

    It almost looks like there isn’t a battery cover big enough for 2xAA’s. I really hope it isn’t an internal battery… will wait for more details.

  2. A spec sheet would be really nice.
    SD card??
    Availability to use garmin’s new download services (for usgs topos and aerials)??
    But it is very encouraging to see something small but with a larger screen.

    • The eTrex mini-site is up:

      But when you click on “maps”, all it shows are the 24k and 100k topo’s – no birdseye or custom maps. If Garmin has not made these compatible, that would be a deal-breaker IMO…

      • I agree, it might be a dealbreaker on my end as well. I’m not fond of their proprietory 24/100k maps, and wonder if its worth the effort to download other sources using mapsource. Unless the Oregon series starts to fall in price I’ll probably give Delorme another good look.

      • I’m beginning to suspect that they are looking at these as low end devices, and are leaving out that (BirdsEye & custom map) capability. I’ve tweeted Jake Jacobson (@Garmin) and asked.

        • With the Dakota 20 going for ~$250 at Amazon, I think only confirmed touchscreen-haters would want the $300 eTrex 30, especially if it doesn’t support Birdseye. That’s a pretty steep price for a “low end” model IMO.

          In today’s world, it also surprises me they are even bothering to update the monochrome unit that doesn’t support maps.

  3. yogazoo says:

    Nostradamus Owings. You called it nearly a month ago. Come on, you had to have some inside scoop didn’t you?

  4. yogazoo says:

    The new Rhino series looks like it will be announced June 1st (tomorrow) according to the Garmin website.

  5. I wouldn’t trust this entirely, because it says touch screen (and its pretty obvious that it isn’t), but this is translated from

    Technical data
    • Dimensions and weight:
    o Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.3 x 9.9 x 3.3 cm
    o Display: 2.2-inch transflective TFT touch screen (= 5.6 cm
    Display diagonal), 65,000 colors, 128 x 160 pixels
    o Weight: 142 grams (with batteries)
    • efficient and high-contrast display
    • Powerful processor for fast map drawing
    • Mini USB port
    • waterproof to IPX7 (30 minutes in up to 1 m
    Water depth)
    • Support for paperless geocaching
    • Battery life: up to 25 hours (depending on use)
    • Galileo Ready
    • eTrex 20 and 30 additionally with:
    o 1.7 GB of free internal memory
    o microSD card slot
    o Support for Garmin vector maps (street, topo,
    BlueChart g2 marine maps)
    o Support of GPI-data
    • eTrex 30 additionally comprising:
    o tilt independent 3-axis compass
    o barometric altimeter
    o ANT +: wireless data carriers

    Items of note – BirdsEye/raster support not mentioned; Galileo Ready

    • Wow – do you think the display is really only 128 x 160 (20,480 pixels)? That is terrible! The old eTrex was 176 x 220 (38,720 pixels) – almost twice as much. It’s a little hard for me to believe they put such a low resolution screen on a new product. Another deal-breaker IMO.

  6. yogazoo says:

    The revelation that the etrex 10,20,30’s having GLONASS capability definately creates alot of questions regarding the benefits of such dual reception. From what I’ve read, there is a greater potential to increase availability and accuracy however it may be largely location dependant. Areas outside of North America or those who travel outside the US may benefit more. There has not been alot of discussion in the consumer GPS forum regarding GLONASS, probably because this is the first handheld line to have the ability to receive the signals. Perhaps a breakdown of what is currently known about GLONASS+GPS would benefit masses of consumer users looking for the ever elusive highest possible “accuracy”. Hopefully someone here could summarize the particulars for the rest of us?

  7. Gonzangas says:

    Will it work with the Garmin Chirp?

  8. Based on the photos, looks like my old Etrex Vista HCx. Well worn, cracked, but still works fine and I still love it. I like the design and shape of the new Etrex 30. I like that they have kept the buttons. It also seems like they did away with that annoying “rubber band” around the body. That is a good thing, I hate that rubber band! I use “Live Strong” bracelet to reinforce my Vista.

    1.7 G internal memory is definately a plus. With all that (not much), does not really make this hiker want to go out and buy it.

    I have been seriously considering the Magellan Explorist 610, and the Garmin 62st units.

    At any rate, if I did go with the new Etrex, I would definitely try finding some better maps than those Garmin publishes.

  9. thebigbadwolf says:

    I’m kind of hesitating between buying the Gpsmap 62st (bigger screen, free 100k topo maps of Europe and presumably better antenna) vs. the eTrex 30 (new and quite good looking form factor compared to the 4+ yrs design of the gpsmap, smaller and probably fitting in a jacket pocket, longer battery life).

    So far I can’t find any info online about the etrex 30 except for the very limited info and pics released by Garmin at the end of May so was wondering if anyone knows if the new etrex bring any changes in the user interface / menu system compared to the gpsmap 62 or if it will support data cards bigger than 4GB (the upper memory limit for gpsmap according to some websites)?

  10. So did we ever confirm if the Etrex 20 & 30 will support birdseye or raster mapping?

    Also, how will the accuracy of the Etrex compare to that of the 62 series?

    I wanted the 62 but with money as tight as it is and the possibility of upgrading once Garmin gets a communicator, this might due for the time being.

    • No additional info has been released, and may not be till early August. The accuracy should be comparable, but until we get to get to test it, that’s the best I can say.

  11. Just found out – the eTrex 20 and 30 will suport BirdsEye imagery:


    The above link left in my browser’s history. Garmin removed eTrex 30 from the list.

  13. Thanks for the link Miroslav. Odd that it doesn’t support Custom maps….

    Custom maps compatible: no

    But Birdseye is on the list of compatible products:

  14. Thanks Miroslav. I couldn’t access it yesterday, but can today.

  15. blackwater says:

    forget birds eye.why did they take out sight n go i use that all the time

  16. It is still there on the eTrex 30 (according to the manual anyway).

  17. What is the accuracy level of the three?
    Is altimeter integrated?
    Result in which format degree min sec or in point?

  18. The 20 & 30 have been out a little while. Anyone laid hands on the eTrex 10 yet?

  19. Kevin Bernard says:

    THIS HAS THE WEAKEST INSTRUCTIONS THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. THIS IS MY SECOND GARMIN PRODUCT AND MY LAST. I WILL PROBABLY RETURN IT IF I DON”T THROW IT AWAY FIRST. DO NOT BUY THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. nicholas tyers says:

    which is better the etrex 20 or 30, i want to buy for a friend who is an outdoor fanatic but want to buy her the best one, also is this a good price or is it somewhere cheaper



    • It’s cheaper than Amazon UK.

      The “best” one might be the 30, which has an electronic triaxial compass and barometric altimeter, though the compass is a matter of personal preference to many.

  21. Patrick Nixon says:

    Just purchased eTrex 20, also Garmin’s extra 24K maps (different topo from USGS). Used it under tree cover hunting for 3 days. Liked the unit, but instructions were terrible (apparently attempted to be written briefly or for 3-year old — big mistake). Very disappointed that no specs were given, like 50% CEP or 95% confidence radius. (I have requested from Garmin. We will see if they respond.)

    As I say, I liked the unit. Appears to be more accurate than older Magellan. Screen was quite readable, even in bright sunlight. Liked the small size. Also, good alkaline battery life although I used the screen a lot.

    On big design error, though. DO NOT attach a lanyard to the small ring on the battery cover or you may lose the unit. THE BATTERY COVER LATCH OPENS/DETACHES TOO EASILY! Purely by chance, I noticed and caught my unit as it fell into the brush on the forest floor. Others might not be so lucky. Instead, attach a cord lanyard to (less visible) slot on bottom of the unit.

    • My eTrex 20 review may help…

      With no way to measure or quantify multipath error, I don’t see how they could give a confidence figure. They do take into account dilution of precision…

      “A measure of the GPS receiver/satellite geometry. A low DOP value indicates better relative geometry and higher corresponding accuracy. The DOP indicators are GDOP (geometric DOP), PDOP (position DOP), HDOP (horizontal DOP), VDOP (vertical DOP), and tdOP (time clock offset).” From

      You’ll probably get better battery life with NiMH rechargeables like Eneloops.

      Good point about the battery cover! Glad you’re enjoying it.

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