Been putting off buying a GPS for backpacking for years but Garmin has a new unit that may finally satisfy my needs. I'm close to buying a Garmin Colorado GPS unit for solo backpacking and backup for when I'm a group leader on Sierra Club backpacking trips.
After talking to an REI salesman I think the base Colorado 300 is the one to get. Then I can spend $100. for the Topo software & not have a dedicated, "hardwired" topo map but one I can update or remove & load costal software for sea kayaking.
I understand the Colorado 300, when loaded with the topo software, is exactly the same as the 400t, including the novel "3D" viewing of a routes. Also, like the other Colorado units it can be upgraded with new Garmin operating software as it comes out.
Anyone have a Colorado? Any comments good, bad or ugly?
Eric P.S. Please reply quickly. This money is burning a hole in my pocket and I lust for that "New Item Worship" high.
OK, OK, OK the money has burned its hole in my pocket and I bought the Colorado 300 GPS.
NOW a few words of advice for those thinking of getting a Colorado 300 (not the 400t W/ its pre-loaded topo)
1. Get the 300 version B/C it has more available memory for storing waypoints, routes, etc. than the 400t version. (Same price once the topo software is purchased.)
2. Buy the Garmin Mapsource "TOPO U.S. 2008" software
3. VERY important> Buy a 4 gig. S D card. Garmin says do NOT buy the Ultra II SanDisc SD card as it often does not work well with their GPS units. (Nice! Why don't they tell us that on the GPS package?)
4. Now you can load part (say the Western U.S.) of the TOPO U.S. software to the S D card following the tutorial instructions on Garmin's website. 4 gigs is enough to handle that. The Western U.S. (west of Kansas) takes about 1,800 of Garmin's map squares and the Colorado will hold 4,000 maps. Most of the contiental U.S. will fit the Colorado 300's capacity.
5. Buy two AA Lithium batteries or NiMh if you like rechargables.
6. Buy a padded "holster" to carry this precious cargo on your pack strap or belt.
Loc: San Diego, CA
Don't have any experience with the Colorado, but keep in mind that with Garmin, the software goes with the unit.
Once the software is linked to a particular unit, they go together. Lose the unit, the software can not be loaded on another GPS. Gone, voila, useless DVD. I know this works for software that has to be "unlocked". Don't know for sure that this applies to the topo software (forgot if my topo software is linked to my 60csx)
And if you buy the software on the unit or on a SD card, those maps can not be loaded onto your computer for better viewing. They stay on the unit/SD card. The SD card can be moved from unit to unit though.
Check out the groundspeak forums for more info.
Note: this thread should probably be moved to the electronics forum.
Thanks for the heads up. I bought the Garmin CD topo software for the Colorado. Like Magellan and others, the software is proprietary so we're all stuck W/ that situation. There appear to be a few nice aftermarket ad-on apps for Garmin, some even free at "GPS trails maps" site.
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."