If you are reading this and the other reviews of the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx then you are doing your homework and wondering if this GPS is as good as all the hype makes it out to be. The short answer is YES! I have an old Garmin 12 Map which has served me well, but was getting a bit long in the tooth. I wanted something a bit smaller, lighter, with color screen and was water tight. The Vista HCx meets all of these needs and so many more. It is small in size, but with a fairly big and bright screen (easily readable in the sun) for its size.
Every review I read touted the extra sensitive antenna and how it picked up and locked onto satellites inside of homes or buildings. Well I can honestly tell you that it does all this and does it quick. How this happens it Garmin magic. I was always told you had to have line of sight to pick up satellites, but not in the case of the Vista HCx, it can get them just about anywhere short of being in a bunker.
The menu is intuitive and easy to navigate, so much more that my old Garmin 12 map. The long story short, this little GPS is the one for everyone else to beat. If you are seriously considering a GPS purchase for hiking or navigating the back country, do not look elsewhere, this is the one to get! The base maps in the Vista HCx are of course upgradeable through additional accessories purchases from Garmin (at substantial cost), but worth the money. How Garmin managed to pack so much into so little a package is a mystery to me. Do yourself a favor, stop reading the review and just buy one, you will not be disappointed.
BTW, I purchased mine through Amazon.com and took advantage of the free shipping. It arrived four days ahead of when it was scheduled to arrive which was a nice surprise. Amazon has a very good price and I have always been happy with my purchases through them. And no I am not getting paid to say these nice things about Amazon, I am just a very satisfied customer.