ideal GPS device


The review of GPS devices that you provide ( is a nice objective review of the features of GPS devices.
However, I open this thread because I feel that this list is not really helping me to choose which GPS device I actually want to get…

So, I am clearly interested in more subjective reviews, and what is generally considered good products… I know there are always pros and cons for each device,
but I am looking for devices that are generally considered good by most of the experts in the community… When I want to buy snow shoes, it is pretty clear to me that
I am supposed to either get MSR or Tubbs snow shoes, and forget about the rest of the offering…

A few hints of what I am ideally looking for (each item is not strictly mandatory, but the more items satisfied, the better) :

  • should be ideally suited to pedestrians (small, used by people for hiking, …)
  • should support (even through conversion steps) loading OSM maps
  • should also have decent commercial maps (ideally even with hiking trails, etc)
  • should support ways to contribute to OSM without nasty hacks (I don’t feel like upgrading a firmware or whatever to be able to hack it into launching whatever software necessary to record GPSX …)
  • should support uploading maps to the GPS device from linux (it’s always possible to reboot to windows for that, but ideally, …)

Please note that I am not set on the price range. I prefer paying more to have something decent rather than have a cheap device against which I am going to constantly fight.

thanks for your help !

I think the best option is a Garmin, specifically something like the eTrex Legend HCx or maybe one of the Dakota or Oregon range. They are reasonably small, plus rugged and with decent battery life, so good for hiking.

You can convert OSM maps to load on them, plus there’s a variety of ready made maps to download.
They work as standard USB mass storage devices, so its easy to load maps or download tracks using Linux etc.

For decent commercial maps, with hiking trails - it depends on where in the world you are. Some countries have pretty good commercial Garmin maps with paths etc, others its just street maps. And in some places OSM maps are more useful than the official / commercial Garmin maps.


Thanks a lot for your answer ! this is really helpful !

Sami Dalouche