My Garmins

Okay – so this page is only because I’ve not been able to find a comprehensive review of my eTrex 30 and whenever I need to get extra information or a quick reference guide as to what is best – or not!! – I usually go to this guy DC Rainmaker – in depth run/cycle/swim gear reviews.  Until he adds a review for my eTrex 30 I will try my best to give you a good idea of what you can you do with a Garmin eTrex 30.  Here goes…….

From the Garmin website – acronym overload!

Worldwide basemap

2.2″ 65K color, sunlight-readable display

3-axis compass and barometric altimeter

Wireless capability to share waypoints, routes and geocaches with other similar devices

GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster positioning

eTrex 30 takes one of the most popular and reliable GPS handhelds and makes it better. Enhanced ergonomics, an improved interface, paperless geocaching and expanded mapping capabilities makes eTrex more versatile and user-friendly, while maintaining its toughness and durability.

eTrex minisite

See the Way

eTrex 30 has an enhanced 2.2″, 65K color, sunlight-readable display. Durable and waterproof, eTrex 30 is built to withstand the elements. It has an upgraded interface and stands strong against dust, dirt, humidity or water.

New Tools for Your Trek

eTrex 30 adds a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, which shows your heading even when you’re standing still, without holding it level. Also added is a barometric altimeter which tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude, and you even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help you keep an eye on changing weather conditions.

Go Anywhere

With an array of compatible mounts, eTrex 30 is designed for use on ATVs, bicycles, in boats, as a handheld or in your car. Use the auto mount capability and City Navigator NT® maps for turn-by-turn driving directions, or the rugged mount for your motorcycle or ATV. Wherever you think you might take eTrex, it has the mapping and mounts to get you there.

Go Global

eTrex is the first-ever consumer-grade receiver that can track both GPS and GLONASS satellites simultaneously. GLONASS is a system developed by the Russian Federation that will be fully operational in 2012. When using GLONASS satellites, the time it takes for the receiver to “lock on” to a position is (on average) approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS. And when using both GPS and GLONASS, the receiver has the ability to lock on to 24 more satellites than using GPS alone.

Add Maps

With its microSD™ card slot and 1.7 GB of internal memory, eTrex 30 lets you load TOPO 24K maps and hit the trail, plug in BlueChart® g2 preloaded cards for a great day on the water or City Navigator NT map data for turn-by-turn routing on roads (see maps tab for compatible maps). eTrex 30 also supports Birdseye Satellite Imagery (subscription required), that lets you download satellite images to your device and integrate them with your maps.

Share Wirelessly

eTrex 30 lets you share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with other compatible devices. So now your friends also can enjoy your favorite hike or cache – simply press “send” to transfer your information.

Keep Your Fix

With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix® satellite prediction, eTrex locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.

Find Fun

eTrex 30 supports geocaching GPX files for downloading geocaches and details straight to your unit. Visit Geocaching.com to start your geocaching adventure. By going paperless, you’re not only helping the environment but also improving efficiency. eTrex 30 stores and displays key information, including location, terrain, difficulty, hints and descriptions, which means no more manually entering coordinates and paper printouts. Simply upload the GPX file to your unit and start hunting for caches.

Plan Your Next Trip

Take charge of your next adventure with BaseCamp™, software that lets you view and organize maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks. This free trip-planning software even allows you to create Garmin Adventures that you can share with friends, family or fellow explorers. BaseCamp displays topographic map data in 2-D or 3-D on your computer screen, including contour lines and elevation profiles. It also can transfer an unlimited amount of satellite images to your device when paired with a BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription.

Garmin eTrex 30 next to 2 AA batteries and my Garmin Fenix 3
Garmin eTrex 30 next to 2 AA batteries and my Garmin Fenix 3

The size of the eTrex 30 compared to my Garmin Fenix 3 and two AA batteries.  Its not huge but its not small either.

Garmin eTrex 30 back

This is what the back of the eTrex 30 looks like.

Garmin eTrex 30 behind the batteries

The insides of the the eTrex 30 with the batteries removed.


Garmin eTrex 30 microSD card example

The microSD card removed so you can see where it sits.  There’s a simple metal cover that slides to lock the microSD card into place.  Dropping the eTrex can sometimes knock the microSD card out of its secure little home.  Yes.  I did drop mine and it took me a while to figure out why my downloaded maps had disappeared from my eTrex.  Only eTrex 20 & eTrex 30 have the ability for additional data storage.

Garmin eTrex 30 USB port - not for charging batteries

The USB port for eTrex 10 20 & 30 are all covered by a tough silicon/rubber flap.  This port is to transfer data, this port does not have the ability to charge batteries whilst in the unit.  Even if those batteries are the rechargeable kind.  I’ve tried and so has a friend.  Data only.

Still here? Good. Next are the technical specs. This is filled with even more acronyms!!

I will try to add a lot more information here but in the meantime the table below will hopefully give you a good idea of the differences between a wrist worn and hand held Garmin device offers.  Enjoy

Function/Feature Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Actual Availability/Shipping Date 01/02/2015 01/05/2015
GPS Recording Functionality Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Data Transfer USB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFi USB/Bluetooth Smart USB USB USB USB
Waterproofing Yes – 100m Yes – 50m
Battery Life Up to 50hrs in GPS Up to 50hrs in GPS Up to 25hrs Up to 25hrs Up to 25hrs Up to 25hrs
Recording Interval 1S OR SMART 1S OR SMART
Alerts Vibrate/Sound/Visual Vibrate/Sound/Visual Sound Sound Sound Sound
Ability to download custom apps to unit/device Yes Yes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc…) Yes Yes
Touchscreen NO YES NO NO NO NO
Connectivity Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to Phone No No NO NO NO NO
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone Uploading Yes Yes NO NO NO NO
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc…) Yes Yes NO NO NO NO
Live Tracking (streaming location to website) Yes Yes NO NO NO NO
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts) No No NO NO NO NO
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required) No No NO NO NO NO
Cycling Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Designed for cycling Yes Yes
Power Meter Capable Yes Yes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration Options Yes YEs
Power Meter TSS/NP/IF Yes YEs
Speed/Cadence Sensor Capable Yes Yes
Strava segments integrated on device No No
Running Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Designed for running Yes Yes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills) Yes Yes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc…) Yes Yes
VO2Max Estimation Yes Yes
Race Predictor Yes Yes
Recovery Advisor Yes YEs
Run/Walk Mode Yes Yes
Swimming Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Designed for swimming Yes Yes
Openwater swimming mode Yes Yes
Lap/Indoor Distance Tracking Yes Yes
Record HR underwater WITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM WITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.) Yes Yes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.) YEs Yes
Indoor Drill Mode Yes Yes
Indoor auto-pause feature No No
Change pool size Yes Yes
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths 17M/18Y TO 150Y/M 17M/18Y TO 150Y/M
Ability to customize data fields Yes Yes
Can change yards to meters Yes Yes
Captures per length data – indoors Yes Yes
Indoor Alerts Yes Yes
Triathlon Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Designed for triathlon Yes Yes
Multisport mode Yes YEs
Workouts Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Create/Follow custom workouts Yes YEs
On-unit interval Feature YEs Yes
Training Calendar Functionality Yes Yes
Functions Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Auto Start/Stop Yes Yes
Virtual Partner Feature Yes Yes
Virtual Racer Feature Yes Yes
Records PR’s – Personal Records (diff than history) Yes Yes
Day to day watch ability Yes Yes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean Data Yes Yes YES YES YES YES
Tidal Tables (Tide Information) No Only with Garmin Bluechart g2 maps (extra) YES (with optional Bluechart) YES (with optional Bluechart) YES (with optional Bluechart)
Sun & moon information YES YES YES YES
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting) No
Geocaching Via GPS coordinates Yes (but not paperless geocaching) YES (paperless) YES (paperless) YES (paperless) YES (paperless)
Weather Display (live data) With Connect IQ With Connect IQ
Picture viewer YES YES YES
Navigate Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints) YEs Yes YES YES YES YES
Routes 50 50 50 200 200 200
Markers/Waypoint Direction Yes Yes YES YES YES YES
Waypoints/favourites/locations 1000 1000 1000 2000 2000 2000
Track log 10,000 points, 100 saved tracks 10,000 points, 100 saved tracks 10,000 points, 200 saved tracks 10,000 points, 200 saved tracks 10,000 points, 200 saved tracks
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS) No Yes YES YES YES
Basemap YES YES YES YES YES
Ability to add maps no YES YES YES
Points of Interest YES YES YES YES YES
Back to start Yes Yes
Impromptu Round Trip Route Creation No No
Download courses/routes from phone to unit Yes Yes
Sensors Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Altimeter Type Barometric Barometric no no Barometric Barometric
Compass Type Magnetic Magnetic Tilt compensated 3-axis Tilt compensated 3-axis
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internally No No
Heart Rate Strap Compatible Yes Yes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap Capable Yes YEs
ANT+ Speed/Cadence Capable Yes Yes
ANT+ Footpod Capable Yes Yes
ANT+ Power Meter Capable Yes YEs
ANT+ Weight Scale Capable No No
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym) No No
ANT+ Lighting Control No No
ANT+ Bike Radar Integration No No
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C) No No
ANT+ Remote Control No (can control VIRB though) No (can control VIRB though)
ANT+ eBike Compatibility No No
Di2 Shifting Integration Coming in update Coming in update
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap Capable No No
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Capable No No
Bluetooth Smart Footpod Capable No No
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Capable No No
Temp Recording (internal sensor) Yes Yes
Temp Recording (external sensor) Yes Yes
Compatible with Firstbeat HR tools Yes Yes
Software Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
PC Application Garmin Express Garmin Express Garmin Express Garmin Express Garmin Express Garmin Express
Web Application Garmin Connect Garmin Connect Garmin Connect Garmin Connect Garmin Connect Garmin Connect
Phone App iOS/Android iOS/Android iOS/Android iOS/Android iOS/Android iOS/Android
Ability to Export Settings No No
Physical & Performance Garmin Fenix3 Garmin Epix eTrex 10 eTrex 20 eTrex 30 eTrex 30x
Physical dimensions 2.1″x4.0″x1.3″ (5.4×10.3×3.3cm) 2.1″x4.0″x1.3″ (5.4×10.3×3.3cm) 2.1″x4.0″x1.3″ (5.4×10.3×3.3cm) 2.1″x4.0″x1.3″ (5.4×10.3×3.3cm)
Display size, WxH 1.4″x1.7″ (3.6×4.3cm) 1.4″x1.7″ (3.6×4.3cm) 1.4″x1.7″ (3.6×4.3cm) 1.4″x1.7″ (3.6×4.3cm)
Display resolution, WxH 218×218 pixels 205×148 pixels 128×160 pixels 176×220 pixels 176×220 pixels 240×320 pixels
Display type transflective MIP colour transflective MIP colour transflective, monochrome transflective, 65-k colour TFT transflective, 65-k colour TFT transflective, 65-k colour TFT
Weight 82g 85g 141.7g with batteries 141.7g with batteries 141.7g with batteries 141.7g with batteries
Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion Rechargeable Lithium-ion 2 AA batteries (not included) 2 AA batteries (not included) 2 AA batteries (not included) 2 AA batteries (not included)
Battery Life Up to 50 hours Up to 50 hours 25 hours 25 hours 25 hours 25 hours
Water rating 10 ATM 5 ATM IPX7 IPX7 IPX7 IPX7
High-sensitivity receiver YES YES YES YES
Interface USB USB USB USB
Unit to unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units) YES YES
Built-in memory 32MB 8GB 1.7GB 1.7GB 3.7GB
Accepts data cards microSD (not included) microSD (not included) microSD (not included)

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