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When it comes to the best handheld GPS systems, the first and only name that pops into our mind is Garmin. This company has been producing the highest quality GPS devices in the 21st century, for a very good price. Garmin’s products are well known for their extremely sensitive positioning and tracking, as well as their long battery life and reliability.
The latest addition to the higher end of the handheld GPS devices’ spectrum is the Oregon series. The main distinguishing feature of the Oregon series is the large, 3-inch diameter touchscreen. Yes, you no longer need a dozen buttons on the handheld unit, which means there’s finally enough space for a large, color LCD screen.
All the models of the series come with many features. Actually, I can’t think of any more really useful features. Here’s a complete list, with some description:
This is a very useful tool. Most GPS devices can only determine your direction while you’re moving. A digital compass however, will always show your direction with pinpoint (2 degrees) accuracy.
This shows your altitude wherever you are, with 3 feet accuracy. Another important function for hikers.
Wireless unit-to-unit transfer
Now this is a feature I’ve been looking for a long time. You can share trails, waypoints, caches and other information with your travel mates very easily, if they also have Oregon GPS units. No cables or SD cards needed. Be aware that the Oregon 200 doesn’t support this feature.
Other features include:
Custom points of interest, picture viewer, hunting and fishing calendar, geocaching mode, area calculation and many more. Garmin Oregon is the swiss army knife of handheld GPS systems.
There are three different models in the series:
This is the basic model for a list price of 450 dollars. It lacks some of the features (wireless unit-to-unit transfer, digital compass, altimeter) and has only 24 MB of memory. I don’t recommend this one, because the additional price of a microSD card (you’re gonna need one, 24 megs isn’t enough for anything) will make it cost almost as much as the next model, the Oregon 300. Also, it doesn’t have some of the important features I mentioned.
The next step, with all the features and 850 megabytes of memory. It costs only 50 bucks more than the Oregon 200, making this the best handheld GPS unit in this price range.
This model is an extended version of the 300. It comes with 4 Gigabytes of memory and some maps installed. Three versions of the 400 are available:
– 400t, which comes with a topographic map of the US.
– 400c with Bluechart g2, and
– 400i with maps of inland lakes.
All three models cost 600 dollars. Make sure you buy the one with the map you need.
The Oregon series is the choice of the professional hikers, fishermen, hunters and other adventureous individuals. For its price, the Oregon 300 is the best handheld GPS system currently on the market.
By the author of:
Top 5 Handheld GPS Systems
For more information and a review of GPS units, please visit:
Best Handheld GPS