Garmin eTrex 30x Review

To reach a precise location, you need to follow the right directions. The wrong route will lead you astray, while the right direction will lead you to your definite destination.

But then, we can’t always be right. There are times when we must have gotten lost or probably confused on how to get on the right way to a new place with predefined location!! Of course, we all have had such experience(s). I have, too.

During these moments, having to ask around for directions can be quite challenging and tasking, especially when you are going to a place with a means of transport such as a bicycle, motorbike or car.

Garmin eTrex 30x
1,208 Reviews
Garmin eTrex 30x
  • UPGRADED DISPLAY Features a 2.2” 65K color sunglight readable display offering increased resolution (240 x 320 pixels). Physical dimensions: 2.1" x 4.0" x 1.3" (5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)
  • 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
  • BUILT IN SENSORS eTrex 30x adds a built in 3 axis tilt compensated electronic compass and a barometric altimeter which tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude, and you even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time
  • WIRELESS Wirelessly share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches with other compatible devices simply press “send” to transfer your information also wirelessly connects to compatible Garmin devices, including VIRB and accessory sensors

When I moved into my new apartment some months ago, I decided to go hiking to familiarize myself with my new environment. When I started, it was fun all through.

The neighborhood was welcoming, and I was enjoying my hiking until it was time to go back home. I couldn’t make my way home. I felt stranded, scared, and stressed out.

I was almost beginning to lose all hopes about going home that evening until I found someone with a Garmin eTrex 30x Global position system (GPS) device. Only then was I able to retrace my steps back home.

From this singular experience with the Garmin eTrex 30x device, I decided to make more researches and studies about the GPS device; hence, my reason for writing this review article about the Garmin eTrex 30x. Sit back and enjoy the thrills of this “wonder” device.

Detailed Overview of the Garmin eTrex 30x

The Garmin eTrex 30x is a hand-held global positioning system (GPS), navigator. It has a 3-axis and a barometric compass with enhanced memory storage and resolution. The product hardware is designed with a water-resistant outer covering and has a 2.2-inch color display.

Without mincing words, this product is easy to use, rugged, and highly affordable for all. It is compatible with an array of mounts; for use on bicycles, ATVs, boat-stand cars.

Thus, it is fit for anyone going on hiking, regardless of the topography and weather conditions of the area.

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Furthermore, this device comes in handy for places where there is limited or no access to other electronic GPS devices.

This device is overly useful when it is not safe to take these devices along, such as while bicycling, hiking, and even mountain climbing. If you are the type that loves going on adventures, such as hunting, scouting, backpacking, and fishing, you can always trust that this device got you covered.

Even while in water, you wouldn’t have to worry your head over anything. This device has a waterproof compliment of IPX7; hence, the device can bear submerging into 1m deep water for up to 30 minutes. 

Product ​Specifications

Since Garmin eTrex 30x is the upgraded version of eTrex 30, the specifications of eTrex are enhanced with the following specifications:



​Physical dimensions

2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ (5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)

​Display size

1.4″ x 1.7″ (3.5 x 4.4 cm); 2.2″ diag (5.6 cm)

​Display resolution

240 x 320 pixels

​Display type

2.2″ transflective, 65K color TFT


5 oz (141.7 g) with batteries


​2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended

Battery life

25 hours

​Water rating




​Storage and Power Capacity

​microSD™ card (not included)


10,000 points, 200 saved tracks






​Yes (Paperless)

​Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads)

Yes (with optional mapping for detailed roads)

Other specifications include: High-sensitivity receiver, Interface USB, Maps & Memory, Ability to add maps, Basemap, Sensors, Barometric altimeter, Compass

​Outdoor Recreation Features, Area calculation.

Features of Garmin eTrex 30x

?Garmin eTrex 30x

  • THE POSSIBILITY OF LOADING MORE MAPS – The Garmin 30x comes with a 3.7GB internal memory and microSD card slot. It affords you the liberty to load a variety of maps, including TOPO 24K, HuntView, BlueChart g2, City Navigator NT, and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. Thus, making the product useful anywhere.
  • WIRELESS CONNECTION – With this product, you can share your tracks, routes, way-points, and geo-caches with other compatible devices via wireless means – by pressing the “send” button to transfer your information. In addition to this, this device also wirelessly connects to compatible Garmin devices, including VIRB and other accessory sensors. It relieves you of the burden of having to connect wires or plugs before getting a connection.
  • UPGRADED DISPLAY – With the 2.2″ 65K color sunlight-readable display offering increased resolution (240 x 320 pixels) feature. It is more feasible for you to read the map even while standing under direct sunlight, unlike the previous versions with monochrome lights.
  • IN-BUILT SENSORS – This distinct feature of the eTrex 30x makes it easier to track changes in pressure and to pinpoint your precise altitude. Also, with the built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and a barometric altimeter, you can use it to plot barometric pressure over time.

Pros And Cons Of The Garmin Etrex 30X 


  • ​GPS + GLONASS support, and helps to locate precisely and much faster
  • ​Long battery life: up to 25 hours
  • ​It supports Paperless Geo-caching
  • ​Features Advanced Track Navigation
  • ​Rugged construction; Waterproof up to IPX7 standards( meaning it can handle splashes, rain, accidental drops in water)
  • ​1-year warranty


  • ​Loss of signal or the inability to connect to the GPS source may sometimes occur, very uncommon though
  • ​There might be needed to go about with replacement batteries, especially for an extended time of use
  • ​Topographic maps have to purchased separately

Some ​Uses of the Garmin eTrex 30x

Locating Positions: The Garmin eTrex 30x Hiking GPS is a very cheap product, representing the main and most common application of GPS-tracking locations. 

It is fit for use by adventure lovers, hiking enthusiasts, mountain climbers, etc. In case you are hiking with friends, and you get separated, with this wireless device you can find one another.

Also, if you are embarking on a road trip journey to a place you are not familiar with, the Garmin eTrex 30x can provide you with route information to enable you to get to your destination and on time, too. It shows you the best routes and possible short-cuts.

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Easy Access to Emergency Support: In case of accidents, lost directions, or any other emergencies cases, you can reach out to the designated emergency crew to get to your location details directly with your Garmin eTrex 30x GPS location device.

The application of Garmin eTrex 30x is not limited to the practical uses mentioned above.

Garmin eTrex 30x VS eTrex 20x

The eTrex 20x is more cost-effective. Lightweight, and has same features like color screen, ability to add maps, long battery life, and many other interesting features that also come with eTrex 30x. 

However, unlike the Garmin eTrex 30x, the eTrex 20x has no electronic compass and no barometric altimeter. As such, the Garmin eTrex 30x is more of a choice product than the eTrex 20x for users that intend to go varieties of activities, especially those that enable them to monitor height and pressure.

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There are already several reviews of this product; more positive than the negatives ones though.

The Garmin hand-held eTrex 30x GPS receiver has been concluded to work better and well for hiking and many other outdoor events/ activities, especially those that involve personal movement.

It is also compatible enough to be carried in any pocket shorts. It is ruggedly, durable, and cheap. It also comes with replaceable lithium batteries, so you do not have to be limited by electricity to power it. Its job is to help you find your way in the wilderness conditions.

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However, you will have to purchase additional GPS maps from Garmin to harness the full potential of this device. Additionally, it may be advisable to take along a compass and paper map as a precaution to aid your GPS receiver malfunctioning.

Consequently, few claims are suggesting the unfriendly nature of the Garmin eTrex 30x. However, more claims are suggesting that the initial claims are false. These claims satisfy entirely with the use of this product.

The pros of the product as the latter claims suggest blends exceedingly well with what is wanted. Features such as excellent battery performance of Garmin eTrex 30x, Small and lightweight, Alarm clock, easy to upload, download, transfer tracks without any special software, just using your PC/Mac and Google Earth, makes it an exceedingly great device to use.

For newbies, using this device may be time-consuming. Nevertheless, the learning curve is minimal for users of Garmin GPS receivers. It acquires satellites quickly and locates your position on the receiver map.

Talking about the device hardware, you can be sure of everything to work excellently well. However, the Base-camp software sometimes doesn’t function optimally on some operating systems.

Also, the topographic maps which are usually purchased separately, are not the same as hiking trail maps. This is to say that for you to harness the full potentials in this device, such as using it for a hiking trail, you need to make use of a program for that, and then export your route into a GPX file, before transferring it to the Garmin device.

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In a review, users concluded that the learning curve is steep because of the poor documentation and hardware orientation. To further solve this, there are different online resources available to solve this.

​Alternatively, some other users conclude that they think the Garmin eTrex 30x is a better option for hiking, and I agree with them. If I am to choose any device for hiking, it would undoubtedly have to be the Garmin eTrex 30x.

Why You Should Get Garmin eTrex 30x

Conclusively, I can confidently conclude that the Garmin eTrex 30x is a specific GPS device, specially designed to suit the “average user,” for hiking and other outdoor activities. 

This product is rugged, water-resistant, cheap, and very effective in helping users navigate through places you are not familiar with. I recommend this product to you and can guarantee you a rewarding experience upon purchase and usage.

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