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October 2021 Issue
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Review: Garmin eTrex 22x

Garmin eTrex 22x $369

Used by: Contributing Gear Editor Mark Watson
Used for: Eight months

It’s perhaps a little misleading to say that I have only been using this device for eight months. I actually started using the eTrex 20 class devices in 2016, but two other units have met their demise in the field. The 22x is an update to the 20x and has greater built-in storage (8GB vs 3.7GB). I keep coming back to these particular units because they’re well made, simple but functional, reliable in the rain and affordable.

This GPS is my go-to for recording my trips in the mountains, on bikepacking trips, and for following tracks. Its simplicity equals energy efficiency, meaning the screen can be left on all day if required. With a pair of NiMH AA batteries, it lasts four to five days of both recording and following tracks. It runs longer with lithium batteries. 

A downside of the Garmin’s low-tech design is that it has no Bluetooth for file loading, so that has to be done via a computer.   

Apart from that, my only complaint is that the screen scratches easily, so a protector is recommended. After significant sun exposure, the rubber button seals on these units can crack, but the case is replaceable.

Verdict: Affordable, reliable and well made, I’ll probably end up buying another one, although next time I’ll consider the 32x for its barometer, electronic compass and ANT+ compatibility (with other devices).