Garmin eTrex 20 vs Dakota 20


Hiking navigator is very useful because they are capable of viewing lots of information related to our activity and compared to our smartphone, they can last longer while being convenient. For those who are looking for a reliable navigator, Garmin eTrex 20 Vs Dakota 20 are a good model to consider because they offer a huge range of features right on the display. If you are also eyeing these devices, go check what they can offer below and pick the one with the best capabilities. 

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Why Using GPS Navigator
  • What are Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20
  • What Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 Look Like
  • How are the Mapping Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20
  • Are Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 suitable with Bird’s Eye
  • How are the Performance of Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20
  • Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20

GPS Navigator 

Getting lost is the last thing we want to happen when having an exploration because it can be very dangerous and even while you already know the area very well, there is still a chance of us getting off-track and separated from the group or lose the way to our destination. Thanks to our GPS system, today it seems going everywhere was less risky because mapping has been improved and even without a dedicated navigating tool we can utilize those in our smartphone.

For regular user, smartphone and reliable internet connection should be enough to let you navigate around even in unfamiliar places such as when travelling overseas but for hiking and adventuring, we will definitely need a dedicated GPS because chances there is no cellphone coverage on the area. Not only when hiking, you will find a dedicated navigating tool be as reliable when backpacking or checking new places, especially by walking. They provide reliable positions and will guide you to the destination through certain routes or even some interesting features.

GPS or global positioning system is a satellite navigation device which is very useful because it allows you to accurately pinpoint the position within approximately 10 feet in most cases. It is being used in very much anything today that require the user to find a path or travel from one place to another starting from individual use, military to mass transportation. With the system it becomes convenient to travel around the world without a fear of getting lost for we can always know where to go.

Compared to your smartphone, GPS navigator is definitely more compact because let’s admit it, today’s phones are mostly around 5 to 6 inches and not all of them have a great build quality despite the pretty design. A dedicated navigation is fairly small, almost half of the size of regular smartphone so they are easy to use and handle or carry when you are hiking or adventuring. They are very compact that if your backpack have a hip strap pocket, we can easily fit them in there.

The next pros of dedicated navigation device is their features because while smartphone apps are getting more and more capable each day, they still can’t beat the ease of use and the amount of navigating features in your navigator. In addition they have a very rugged built in case you will meet rain or other unfriendly conditions out there and not only for hikers, cyclists who ride long distances may find it very useful as well along with their bike computer.

Garmin eTrex 20Dakota 20
Shipping Weight 7.2 ounces1.3 pounds
Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 4 x 1.3 inches
10.7 x 8.6 x 2.6 inches
Best Priceclick hereclick here

About Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20

If you are planning to do some adventuring out there, getting a dedicated GPS navigator will be a great option because they are very useful. There are so many of them out there and most are capable of offering at least a map to guide you into a destination or prepare a path for you. However, not all of them will perform the same because depending on the model, some are more capable with lots of features or simply more accurate and convenient than the other.

When it comes to GPS navigation, there are so many great brands to choose from and it is great because we can pick freely depending on which you like better but, for those who are looking for a high-quality or reliable products, Garmin will be one of the best manufacturers to choose from. We are sure most people are familiar with this company because they are very popular and while most may recognize them for the fitness apps and wearable, their navigation device is also among the top.

They offer a wide range of products to match with your application and if navigating device is what you are looking for then Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 are a very ideal option to consider. Both of them are very affordable and easy to use while also offering a very similar set of features. When was first available in the market they were pretty hefty on the price tag but today they are far cheaper, thus, if you are not really into new-tech, we can get all the basic navigating features here.

They are an upgrade from the previous edition and there is also 20x eTrex which is very similar to the original model but is more capable. If you are willing to spend more, this version will have more features as well such as new 4 GB internal memory, better crystal clear display, packed with Western Europe Garmin TopoActive and has GPS receiver with HotFix and GLONASS support. Read about: SUUNTO Core Vs Vector.

Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 Design

Side by side, Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 are very similar to each other because they are sporting the same design and while it is hard to set them apart in a glance without reading the model name, the easiest method is that Dakota has a quite larger display in comparison. On the body of eTrex 20 there are zoom in/out buttons on the left and menu button at the same place. On the right side there is power/light which is also multi-function for different applications. 

At the front, as you can see there is a thumb stick to navigate the menu or we can press it to enter the menu command. The first thing you will notice more convenient in Dakota 20 is that it has a touch-sensitive screen which means operation is easier to get used to. The overall shape is the same and menu layout is very similar but has better convenience since it is operated in the same manner to older smartphones we have been used before.

Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 Basic Mapping

Moving further, let’s check what Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 will offer to you because this is the most important and checking their capabilities, the first thing that set them apart from each other is the GLONASS because the eTrex series including this one is already coming with the ability to use the service combined with GPS satellites. They can be used as both or we can pick GPS only yet there is no option to use GLONASS only.

As you may already know, GLONASS is an alternative to GPS and while it is reliable on its own, sometimes when you are in certain position especially far north and south, this additional service is great to offer a better accuracy due to their difference in of satellite positioning. The next feature we love from these navigation is the Geocaches because this feature will give you the ability to view description, hints, log, and many more.

Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 Bird’s Eye

The next mapping feature we want to talk about is their ability to use the bird eye function which is owned by the company. In the past the Dakota 20 has a problem when connecting to the service but not long after the service back in working reliably. This service will provide you a high-resolution satellite imagery or detail raster maps for use. This includes topo maps of the US and Canada but you will also have to spend some budget to enjoy it and currently, it is $29.99 per year.

This function is great for urban cachers, outdoor enthusiasts, or those who love to adventure out there in the landscape, especially if you are boaters. When tested they are very reliable even under dense canopy of the eastern US.

Garmin eTrex 20 and Dakota 20 Convenient

The last point we want to talk about is the convenience and ease of use or user experience because in this side it is prominent that Dakota 20 is a better option because of the touch-screen operation. It is not as easy to see under direct sunlight but it is faster for entering text so in comparison you will choose based on the display preference. We personally find both of them working good and equally comfortable to work with but then again, it will be based on how you find the device sit on the hand.

Garmin eTrex 20 vs Dakota 20

- UPGRADED DISPLAY - Features a 2.2” 65K color sunglight readable display offering increased resolution (240 x 320 pixels)
- LOAD MORE MAPS - Large 3.7 GB of internal memory and microSD card slot lets you load a variety of maps, including TOPO 24K, HuntView, BlueChart g2, City Navigator NT and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (subscription required)
- PRELOADED BASEMAP - Includes a worldwide basemap with shaded relief. Display size:1.4 x 1.7 inches
- KEEP YOUR FIX - With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, HotFix satellite prediction and GLONASS support, eTrex locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons
- A great bundle that includes everything you need for serious backcountry hunters, high-altitude alpine expeditions and coordinating with a group for urban or off-road travel. The bundle includes the Dakota 20, a protective case
- Functions under heavy cover and in deep canyons, sunlight readable screen
- Built-in 3-axis electronic compass
- Waterproof and impact-resistant

Both of them are a good option if you are looking for a reliable GPS navigation device but they are also different because while Dakota is offering a convenient touch-screen, eTrex uses buttons to operate the menu. Another difference is that eTrex is already suitable with GLONASS in which Dakota is not yet and in addition, this model has a very bright display in case you are worried about not able to distinguish it under a bright sun rays.


All in all, it is best to get the one that fits in your application but if GLONASS and bright screen are more tempting than fast or convenient operation, then eTrex 20 is the best option yet if convenient is what you look for, the Dakota 20 is the best choice.


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