Garmin Foretrex 401 Running Watches Review

  • GarminForetrex401Features high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix for improved performance and reception in heavy tree cover or deep canyons
  • Keeps track of routes, tracks and waypoints, and heart rate with add on heart rate monitor (sold separate). Uses standard AAA batteries. 2 required.
  • TracBack feature retraces user’s path on the easy-to-read LCD display
  • Supports dual position readout so user can view current location in multiple formats
  • Features trip computer, sunrise/sunset times, hunting/fishing information, electronic compass and barometric altimeter

The Best Review

Just after combing via testimonials to get a excellent hiking GPS, I could not determine regardless of whether to order the Garmin Foretrex 301 or 401, so I purchased the two. The reason I bought the 301 was due to the fact I had study a review from another person saying the barometer to the 401 wasn’t exact and that this individual had returned the 401 for that reason and purchased the 301 instead, and that is the older edition. The 301 hasn’t barometer, just a GPS.

Soon after shopping for the 301, I realized that it was certainly ineffective to me simply because it did not track elevation modify, one among essentially the most vital points for hiking.

I have been very pleased with all the 401. I come across the barometer and also the compass for being particularly precise. It is possible to set the two for automatic calibration but I normally calibrate the compass ahead of each and every use for optimal effectiveness. It only takes several seconds. I haven’t actually needed to calibrate the barometer.

The 401 tracks elevation and distance pretty properly. I took it towards the Catskills final weekend, exactly where max elevation was 3700 ft and it had been dead on. It’s lots of awesome features and also you can alter the items it shows you to the screen to fit your demands. The principle page includes a very little map of exactly where you have gone, the 2nd webpage has the compass and typical velocity (customizable), then you definately have the screen exactly where it displays you elevation adjust more than a certain quantity of miles, and that is pretty interesting; and lastly you may see particular stats like elevation obtain, elevation reduction, moving speed, typical moving velocity, existing elevation, moving time, stopped time, real time and so forth.

When you happen to be finished having a hike or walk, you upload the data to BaseCamp, Garmin’s no cost computer software, and it exhibits you nearly minute by minute data on what elevation you had been at, what time it was, and you are moving velocity. You can also open your hike in google maps for a 3D see, that is quite great and conserve all of your details to keep track of what you’ve accomplished and the place you have gone.

GPS tracks definitely nicely even below tree cover during the woods. Had no problem connecting to satellites in the Catskills without any phone reception for twenty minutes close to, as an example. Didn’t drop the signal the moment during the total eight miles we were hiking. Also has very good reception when strolling inside the city, ie Brooklyn or Manhattan, even though it does get longer to connect to satellite. Nevertheless below a minute however.

My only complaint is the fact that I haven’t been in a position to obtain the 401 to transfer wirelessly to BaseCamp but it’s not a large deal. I just plug it in by means of USB. I’ll update if I figure this characteristic out.

Battery lifestyle is good. I only go on day hikes so it hasn’t been a problem. I have employed it for about ten hours this week and I’m even now at two bars. Investing in rechargeable batteries is a excellent plan.

The wrist strap is very sturdy plus the gadget is not hefty. Truly handy way to be capable to see wherever that you are going/how fast/and at what elevation when you are moving or if you are stopped. I put on it increased on my wrist and discover that for being the most comfy way.

A different situation I really should deal with is a evaluation I read through was complaining the GPS does not have a cease perform, which threw me off when I was endeavoring to choose no matter whether to acquire it. It’s true the GPS does not have a “stop” function to record once you aren’t moving but that form of function isn’t needed, precisely since it is actually a GPS. It syncs with satellites so when you are at rest it’s not recording you. This tends to make sense for the reason that it is a GPS and it may possibly only record you when you find yourself moving. At the end, it even offers you complete moving time and complete time at rest, which is excellent. For this reason also, it can be a lot more exact in monitoring distance than gadgets like iphones or uncomplicated pedometers. When we’re done, I can see the mileage for only the time we have been moving without having stopped time while my close friends see the two stopped and moving time, which tends to make their mileage inaccurate and normally longer than mine.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the 401. I instantly returned the 301. I’d say strictly for hiking/walking functions it really is accurate and easy. I enjoy it.

Wanted to share my personal knowledge for individuals like me who’re around the fence about which hiking GPS to order and can not determine involving the 301 or the 401 from posted critiques. Hope this assists!

The Bad Review

This is often my first GPS unit. I purchased it to implement even though grouse hunting. Notion was, I’d get out of the auto, power up the unit, get a satellite lock, set a waypoint, “car”, power down the unit and walk in to the woods. If I received lost, I would re-power the unit, obtain a satellite lock, and it would tell me which path to visit get back towards the car or truck. Which is not asking loads of a gadget that cost me $180, is it? Effectively, all this functions except the aspect about remaining pointed during the proper course (back to my motor vehicle)! It factors me inside the Incorrect route. Just about every TIME! It has not worked because the day I received it out of the box.

My mistake was in not sending it back for refund promptly. Instead, I sought the enable of Garmin tech assistance. They had been evasive about answering my inquiries, and did their ideal to delay the issuance of an RMA to return the unit. They asked me exactly the same inquiries more than and above once again, ignoring the majority of my solutions. They did their finest to blame me for the challenges. When I lastly got authorization to return the unit, it had been months right after hunting season ended. I ultimately received a substitute that is definitely WORSE! Perhaps some or the vast majority of these units perform. But when you receive a bad one particular, I suggest you receive your cash back quickly, or you will be caught using a non-functioning block of plastic. Don’t say I did not warn you!

The instructions are extremely poor. Particularly for someone with no former knowledge with a GPS. I examined it outside my household. I walked out the garage door, beneath the open sky, powered it up and right after practically 5 minutes of holding it nevertheless and degree, received a satellite lock. I set a waypoint and named it “Home”. I then shut the unit off, and walked around the block. When I was about 300 yards from my property (which was in sight), I re-powered the unit, got a satellite lock, picked the destination “Home”, and picked “GO TO”. The arrow around the show pointed 90 degrees clockwise in the correct course! I continued strolling to my residence. Every one of the whilst, the GPS was pointing me during the wrong direction. About 75 feet from residence, I received an alert saying I had arrived! The arrow was nonetheless pointing from the incorrect direction! When I arrived on the exact spot the place I recorded my “home” waypoint, the machine informed me I was 53 feet from my location! This isn’t acceptable accuracy! I could probably live with an accuracy of 75 feet or much less, but I Can not dwell with a gadget that tells me to go 90 degrees in the wrong route! I experimented with this straightforward check various occasions, with and without having WAAS enabled. Constantly missed the house by at the least 50 feet, as well as path in the arrow was constantly screwed up. I turned on the developed in magnetic compass to check out if that assisted. But apparently the functions are absolutely independent. Not just that, but the magnetic compass couldn’t be calibrated per the guidelines in the guide.

One more issue. Outside our garage the unit go through 800 ft. of elevation. I walked into the garage, up three steps and into the initial floor door. The elevation now read through above one thousand feet! Say what?! This unit’s altitude readout is supposedly based upon a created in barometer. How the H>>K could a barometer be off this significantly? Garmin tech support attempted to tell me it had been my failure to calibrate the barometer. Baloney.. a barometer calibration may well have an effect on the absolute readings, nevertheless it does not account for a 197 foot RELATIVE alter in altitude.

03/15/14 Update. This unit occupies a spot on my bookshelves, the place it serves as an pricey ($180) reminder to never get a different Garmin merchandise. I’ve turned it on every so often, and walked down the street with it, but absolutely nothing has modified. It even now takes five minutes to get a satellite lock. (upstate NY) It nonetheless factors me within the wrong route when I try and return to a waypoint. The compass nevertheless won’t calibrate. It nevertheless reads whacky elevations. And it nonetheless bugs me that I wasted $180 on it.

P.S. I am school educated and also have been an electronics or laptop or computer technician for more than 35 years. I was even a calibration tech for more than a year. I also have 4 years encounter like a surveyor, so I realize about distances, headings and directions. So for Garmin to recommend that I’m not making use of the gadget accurately is outrageous.

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