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GPS that maps altitude?

Suzzie526 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
My husband asked me to purchase a GPS unit for him for Christmas. He wants to use it when we go dirt bike riding, and he mentioned that he wants it to track his altitude. He has a Go Pro camera and I think he wants a feature like it has, which iirc will show you a map of everywhere you've been in 3d. I might be imagining things though ;) He definitely mentioned tracking altitude.

What would be a reasonable unit for me to purchase? Or does such a thing exist?

It doesn't need to have a mounting capability, he'll likely just throw it in his pack.


  • privet01 228 Points
    Dirt bike.... motor bike or bicycle? If motorbike, you big issue here will be how well the unit will handle vibration. Zumo is garmins motorcycle line. Expensive for what little they do IMHO and do not have a barometric sensor AFIK. Also seem to be more for road use.

    If he is interested in something that gives him his altitude then he probably needs something with a barometric altimeter. Garmins handhelds for the trail will likley be the best bet in the Garmin line. And I think the Monterra or Montana might best fill the bill as they have an optional mount you can buy to mount on handelbars. Not sure on the Oregon and others.

    The 3D thing you mentioned is more about the maps and software you have on your PC/Mac. Not so much about the device, although some of garmins 3d imagery does not work with some devices.

    I don't do video, so I don't pay attention to features that may integrate the Go Pro to the GPS, but that's certainly something to look for. Garmin now has it's own cam called the Virb and I know some of their GPS's advertised compatibility with it.
  • Thank you! :)

    It is motorcycle dirt biking.

    So between the etrex 20 and the etrex 30, the 30 would be more appropriate for him?
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    I don't think the etrex is such a good choice on a bike. It's really tiny and the screen could be hard to see. Suzzie, do you have a store like REI nearby? If so, pay them a visit and look at the different models in person. It's hard to appreciate the differences by looking online.

    If you find one you like, you could comparison shop online afterwards, although REI is tough to beat when it comes to warranty and service.

    Looking at your post again though, i'm a little confused as to the use since you said it would be in his pack. Does he not need to look at it at all, but only record where he went to view it later? If so, then you might just want a tracker instead of a device that has a screen.

    Answering your specific question, the eTrex 20 does not have an altimeter. It uses data from the satellites to determine your altitude. This can result in errors of hundreds of feet. If altitutude is important, you probably would want the eTrex 30.
  • I asked him directly what he wanted in a GPS. He said he primarily wants it for hiking and dirt biking, and for the dirt bike part, he mostly wants it to "mark" where we parked so if we get lost and confused (hey it happens ;)) we can find our way back. He said the altitude tracking would be nice but is more of an added bonus. And as it ups the price by hundreds of dollars, I'm thinking it's an unnecessary bonus this year!
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    And as it ups the price by hundreds of dollars, I'm thinking it's an unnecessary bonus this year!
    Street price on the eTrex 20 is about $165. I would also look at the Oregon 450 which has a street price around $200 (recently on sale for as low as $150 though, so you need to shop around).

    The Oregon is arguably much better bang for the buck...

    * touchscreen that is larger than the etrex and much high resolution
    * barometric altimeter
    * triaxial compass
    * can actually show a 3d view on the screen
    * very popular model with mature firmware
  • ahhh yes I've just come across an Oregon 450 quite reasonably priced, it does seem to do a lot!
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