Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS Review

Adam Waheed | November 18, 2008
Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS
Getting lost can be fun sometimes, but thanks to the Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS, it only happens when we want it to.

Without question, getting lost is part of the fun of motorcycling. But what happens when it’s time to be serious? Places to go, people to see, schedules to keep – this is when Garmin’s eTrex Legend HCx handheld GPS comes in.

Weighing in at just over a third of a pound (with double-A batteries), and about the size of a pack of cigarettes, the Legend HCX is small enough to fit just about any sized pocket. A tough, scratch resistant plastic case and tacky rubber on the sides and back cover prevent it from slipping out of your hand, plus it’s waterproof so don’t worry about getting it wet.

A powerful receiver acquires satellites within just seconds, whether you’re inside a building or out riding in a deep canyon pass. Navigating through its menu system is easy courtesy of its side toggle buttons and the thumbstick on the front of the unit. A bright, backlit 256-color display is clear and easy to read even in direct sunlight.

Although the device comes preloaded with a worldwide base map, it doesn’t provide enough detail for routing within a city. Detailed routing requires the purchase of the optional $99.99 City Navigator North America map data. Once purchased you can upload the map data via a mini-USB port that doubles as a power plug on the back of the unit. Or simply load the maps on a microSD card and insert into the card slot located underneath the battery cover.
 
In addition to trip routing, the Legend HCx features some cool features like the ability to locate nearest lodging, fuel, and restaurants as well as a customizable trip computer that keeps track of mileage, average speed, maximum speed, and elevation. We enjoyed having the ability to mark waypoints, and create and save routes that you can share with friends.

Garmin eTrex Legend Highs & Lows
Highs
  • Small, light-weight, go-anywhere design
  • Easy navigation toggle switches and joystick
Lows
  • City maps an extra $100
  • Included 128mb microSD card too small

Although we’re pretty satisfied with Garmin’s handheld GPS it does have some features that could be improved. First, the processing power could be faster as takes some patience to navigate through parts of the menu, specifically the Recent Finds submenu. We also didn’t like that the unit only comes with a 128mb microSD card which fills up way too quickly with your route track information, not to mention that you need to spend another $100 to get the proper maps that should be included with its purchase price.

Nonetheless, after using the eTrex Legend HCx for the last few months we’d be lost literally lost without it. If you’re looking for a pocket-sized GPS that you can take with you anywhere, look no further.

For More Info: www.garmin.com
MSRP: $249.99

Adam Waheed

MotoUSA Road Test Editor | Adam's insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

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