Garmin Etrex Vista HCx

A joy to use. PC connectivity is simple and it will readily share data with Memory-Map with no need to use any other software for file conversions. Menus are intuitive and can be easily customised, while swapping between main functions is amazingly easy. The single button press for “Find” and “Mark”, means little time need be wasted on the hill. The new, highly sensitive antenna is lightning-fast to pick up a fix and holds on to it well in cover. Light, compact and comfy, yet rugged, in the hand. An SD card slot makes it easy to run Garmin Topo maps, although at £70 each (with three covering the whole country) this isn’t a cheap option. The “Highway” page – a 3D representation of the route – makes complex navigation simple, while the direction arrow on the compass page works brilliantly for easier route-finding.

VITAL STATS
Size: 10.7 x 5.6 x 3cm
Weight: 156g (including batteries)
Screen: 256 level colour TFT, 176 x 220 pixels
Battery life: 25 hours on two AAs
Routes/waypoints: 50 routes/1,000 waypoints
Works with: Most mapping software; WAAS/EGNOS-enabled
Contact: 02380 524000, www.garmin.co.uk
Verdict: Lacking some of the super hi-tech features of newer top-end units but, at this price, we can’t fault it.