Author Topic: Etrex or 64 series  (Read 900 times)

Mile Cruncher

  • MileCruncher
  • 'Namastey' from Lazy randonnuer !
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Etrex or 64 series
« on: April 22, 2017, 09:44:46 am »
I'm a randonnuer. I'm looking for a GPS device that will help me stay on course. That's my only purpose. I'm not at all interested in measuring speed,cadence or any other metrics. Staying in the route was my only motto. Also along with that, the additional requirement will be to survive on AA or AAA batteries as I cannot hope to charge it in middle of no where.

I have found Etrex  series and 64 series handhelds satisfies my requirements. But out of many models I'm confused to choose one. Since I have never used one, I'm not aware of their pros and cons. 

So kindly help me finalise one, by sharing your reviews and experiences.

P.S : cost matters for me. Though a basic model, I will fine with one that costs less and an be able to mount on bikes.
I'm a randonnuer, not a racer.

frankly frankie

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Re: Etrex or 64 series
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 10:22:39 am »
I don't think there is any significant difference between them other than the obvious one of size.  The 64 gives you a slightly bigger screen, front-mounted buttons and supposedly improved satellite reception (bigger aerial).  The last point is a bit of a non-issue I think - as a long-time Etrex user I've rarely encountered reception problems, and almost never in the UK (city centres apart) - and I suspect for the 64 aerial to be fully effective the device needs to be held vertically.  For me, the 64 package is too big for handlebar furniture although plenty of cyclists do use them.

The latest 'x' generation of Etrexes (20x, 30x) seem to have very dim low-contrast screens though - I find myself using the backlight a lot on mine, whereas with the older models (20, 30 and the older Vista) I never needed the backlight in daylight.  This (screen brightness) may be a point of difference between the current Etrexes and 64s.

Another popular AA-using option is the Oregon range - bigger screen, touch screen, a good GPS but again too big on the bars for my taste.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.


  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: Etrex or 64 series
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 10:38:01 am »
I use the Etrex 30 and think it's good for Audax and long distance riding.  With a good pair of rechargeable AA batteries I can complete a 400km ride without changing batteries.  I've had it crash a handful of times (over a few years) but this has been quickly sorted by pulling the batteries and restarting. I use the Garmin mount but with a lanyard tether as well which has saved it coming off a couple of times (I think this has been a function of my tired brain not pushing it into the holder properly).

After experimenting for about 6 months with different navigation methods I now use tracks which equates to following a pink line on the map screen, no alerts, no off route warning but very stable and very reliable.  There are plenty of other data available (speed, moving time, distance etc and you can easily configure it to display the ones you want).  Set up was tricky but Frankie's Aukadia website proved invaluable as well as a number of threads on here.  I think it can also synch with an ant+ sensor for cadence and performance data but like you I'm not interested in that stuff (this may also be a 30 only option but not sure).

No knowledge of the 64, the reason I got the 30 over the 20 was to have the altimeter data for climbing.