Garmin eTrex 30x – a recommended handheld GPS device for outdoor activities like trekking, hiking, mountaineering, kayaking and mountain biking. The eTrex 30x is small, lightweight, glove friendly, full of features and offers an outstanding battery life and an excellent sunlight readable display.
The Garmin eTrex 30x is a slightly upgraded version of the Garmin eTrex 30, a popular GPS handheld for outdoor enthusiasts. Compared to the eTrex 30, the new eTrex comes with a high-resolution display (400 x 320 pixels vs. 176 x 220 pixels), more internal memory (3,7 GB vs. 1,7 GB) and – depending on your country – a preloaded Garmin TopoActive map.
We tested the Garmin eTrex 30x during different outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, cross country skiing and kayaking and found a lot of good and only a few bad aspects!
Read our summary hands-on review, the complete review is available here: Garmin eTrex 30x Test (in German).
Garmin eTrex 30x: The Good & The Bad
- Excellent high resolution display
- Class leading battery life (ranging from 11:00 to 36:30 hh:mm, with low self discharge NiMH batteries)
- Fast satellite reception (GPS & GLONASS, HotFix satellite prediction technology)
- Glove friendly design
- Expandable memory for maps, geocaches, …
- Feature set for different outdoor activities
- Activity profiles for different settings
- Barometric altimeter, 3-axis electronic compass
- Wireless ANT+ interface for unit-to-unit transfer and sensors (e.g. temperature, heart rate)
- Small, fits in every pocket, e.g. life jackets (2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ / 5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)
- Lightweight (5 oz / 141.7 g with batteries)
- Availability of maps (different types, worldwide, free OpenStreetMaps)
- Large range of accessoires
- Sluggish when zooming and panning maps
- Some data fields with a slight yellow color cast
- Small screen size
- The interface takes some time to get used to (menu, thumbstick and button handling)
- Individual setup requires some know-how
Garmin eTrex 30x: Summary
The first steps with the Garmin eTrex 30x might be hard – especially when you are a novice user: the menu in combination with the thumbstick & button handling is quite annoying, getting used to all navigation features is time consuming.
But when you mastered these initial drawbacks, you get a rugged outdoor GPS handheld with an excellent display and an outstanding battery life – ready for all adventures!
The sluggish map zooming and panning are limitations, especially when comparing the eTrex 30x with actual GPS handhelds from Garmin, but the many good aspects of the eTrex 30x convince us!
Verdict: Highly recommended handheld GPS device!
Highly recommended for
- Mountain biking
Your eTrex 30x rating:
The Garmin eTrex 30x can be purchased for about $190.- / EUR 220,- at Amazon:
- Garmin eTrex 30x (Amazon)
Garmin eTrex 30x: Rating
- GPS 80%
- Battery 100%
- Display 100%
- Handling 60%
- Navigation 80%
- Features 80%
- Maps 100%
- Overall 90%