Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS Review


Designed to make your outdoor adventures easy, Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS carries a wide range of navigation features. Built to handle tough outdoor conditions and coming with impressive battery life, eTrex 20x ensures that you are getting updated location information at all times. Below, we have the features that make the GPS unit stand out for professional adventurers: 

  • With a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, eTrex 20x gives updated location data  
  • Using BaseCamp software, you can organize maps, routes, and waypoints 
  • Geocaching allows you to access terrain data, difficulty ratings, and hints 
  • With a 3.7 GB internal memory, eTrex 20x stores maximum navigation data 
  • You can expand the device’s memory with a MicroSD card 
  • You can improve your navigational experience with custom maps
  • With GLONASS and GPS support, Garmin eTrex 20x offers reliable results 
  • Featuring a sunlight-readable display, viewing your location will be easy 
  • With an IP-X7 waterproof rating, the navigation aid can handle wet conditions 
  • Extremely lightweight, carrying eTrex 20x around won’t be a problem
  • With HotFix satellite prediction, eTrex 20x can find your position in heavy cover 



Width: 2.1 inches  

Length: 4 inches 

Battery Type: Lithium-ion (not included) 

Battery Life: 25 hours 

Waterproof rating: IP-X7 

Internal memory: 3.7 GB

microSD card support: yes

Tracklog: 200 saved tracks, 10,000 points 

Geocaching support: yes 

Custom maps support: yes

Automatic routing: yes 

Sun and moon information: yes 

Digital compass: yes 

Bluetooth support: yes 

Software compatibility: Compatible with BaseCamp software

Accessories: USB cable, Documentation 

User Experience


Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS features support for both GLONASS and GPS satellites. When connected to the GLONASS satellite, eTrex 20x will pinpoint your current position on the map up to 20 percent faster than when using the GPS signals. 

Loaded with an ultra-modern, high-sensitivity WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, eTrex 20x allows you to get a precise GPS when exploring the mountains. With the included HotFix satellite prediction, the navigation aid can find your location even in the heart of deep canyons or when under heavy tree cover. 

Coming with the BaseCamp software, Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS makes it much easier to organize and view routes, waypoints, and maps. With free software, you can easily and quickly plan all your future adventures and even share some of the past experiences with family and friends. Coming with a proximity alarm, the GPS unit lets you know when you come within a specified distance of a preset location. 

Custom Maps Support 

For most professional adventurers, land-based topo maps are generally not enough. Luckily for you, eTrex 20x allows you to upload custom maps to improve your navigation experience. 

Coming with an internal memory of 3.7 GB, the GPS unit can store numerous custom maps. However, Garmin takes the storage capabilities a notch higher with the device’s microSD card slot. If the internal memory becomes full, all you will have to do is input a memory card pre-loaded with an array of additional maps. 

Garmin supplies a wide range of MicroSD card map sets. For example, if you enjoy going on biking trips, you can get yourself a city biking map. For people who often go fishing, marine navigation sets are available. For those who prefer to explore the backcountry, Garmin has a set of precise topographic maps. 

With eTrex 20x supporting Garmin’s Birdseye Satellite Imagery system, you can download satellite images and proceed to integrate them into your current maps. This ensures you are getting maximum information to guide you on your adventure. 

Geocaching Capabilities 

With its superior geocaching capabilities, Garmin eTrex 20x allows you to download and store geocaches for a paperless experience. The navigation aid is capable of storing a wide range of geocache information, including location, hints, difficulty, and terrain. 

Downloading paperless geocache files from your computer is extremely simple. Simply plug in the GPS unit with the supplied USB cable, install the Garmin plugin on your computer and you can send the GPX files straight to your eTrex. 


eTrex 20x is primarily designed to be a handheld device. Weighing 5 ounces, the navigation aid won’t feel bulky to carry around. The GPS unit has a small build. This means that you can hold it in one hand.

It is, however, worth noting that the GPS device does not restrict its users. With a variety of mounts being available, you can easily fit your unit into your boat, car, or bike. 

Power Usage 

The battery compartment on Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS requires just 1 lithium-ion battery. As an alternative, however, you can use a pair of AA cells. 

With the battery fully charged, the GPS unit can operate for up to 25 hours without needing a recharge. However, it is worth noting that the backlight can consume a lot of battery power. Hence, use the backlight only when you have to. 

Ease of Use 

Although eTrex 20x does not feature touchscreen technology, it is extremely easy to use with the sets of buttons arrayed around both sides of its case. On the left, you will find 2 small keys to let you zoom in and out of specified zones, plus one that takes you straight to the main menu. On the right, you will find a “back” key that lets you return to the previous page, and a power/backlight switch. 

What you will use most, however, is the mini-joystick available on the front of the GPS unit. With it, you can hop around a page of menu options quickly. Once you get the item you are looking for, simply press the joystick to select it.


  • High-quality, no-frills screen
  • Strategically-placed buttons that can be operated with gloves on 
  • Custom maps support 
  • Supports paperless geocaching 
  • Picks up GPS signals quickly 
  • Can find your precise location even under heavy cover 
  • Has a long battery life 
  • Works perfectly even in extreme cold 


  • Relatively small screen 
  • The base map is limited 
  • Does not come with the Lithium-ion battery

Overall Rating 


Price: 98% – Supporting both GLONASS and GPS satellites, compatible with custom maps, and offering quick and reliable results, eTrex 20x offers a lot of navigational benefits. With the GPS unit, you get maximum value for your money. 

  • Design: 96% – eTrex 20x is designed to be a handheld device. It is lightweight and small to fit in the palm of your hands. However, with special mounts, you can use the navigation aid on your car, boat, and even bike. 
  • Durability: 96% – With an IP-X7 waterproof rating, eTrex 20x can withstand rains, humidity, and accidental splashes. With a rugged build, this handheld GPS can take a beating. 
  • Overall: 97% – Featuring an impressive large internal storage, allowing paperless geocaching, and tracking your location even under heavy cover, Garmin eTrex 20x is a device that any serious adventurer should own. While offering maximum benefits, the GPS unit remains affordable. 

Globo Surf Overview

A simple, yet versatile navigation unit, Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS is the perfect companion for exploring the backcountry. Despite being rather small, the GPS unit has an impressive screen quality and long battery life. The navigation aid is water-resistant, durable, and can work perfectly in cold conditions. As an added benefit, its large buttons are usable even when wearing gloves. 

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Garmin eTrex 20x Handheld GPS Review
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!