Review: Garmin Foretrex 401 – Best wrist GPS for hiking

The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a great hiking GPS with good features. If you are ok with it black and white screen then this wrist GPS is the best choice for hiking. The simple but clever device the Foretrex 401 is a compact and lightweight GPS, which is worn on the hand like a watch. This device is ideal for activities where both hands must be free (tourists, skiers, military, etc.) The Foretrex 401 model includes a highly sensitive GPS receiver, a rugged waterproof case, an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter. For data exchange, you can connect Foretrex to your computer via a USB port, and transfer information to other devices via a wireless connection.

What in the box?

The Foretrex 401 hiking GPS is packed in a small white-and-blue box. Inside the box, in addition to the device, there is a warranty card, brief instruction in different languages, safety manual, USB cable, CD with an electronic version of the manuals, spare bolt for fastening Strap and extra elastic strap extension.

Garmin Foretrex 401 Specification:
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.3 x 2.3 centimeters
  • Weight: 87.3 grams with batteries
  • Black and White Display
  • 2 AAA batteries (Working time up to 17 hours)
  • Waterproof (IPX7)
  • High-sensitivity GPS receiver
  • Electronic compass
  • Barometer
  • Hunter / Fisherman Calendar
  • Information about the sunrise and sunset and the phases of the moon
  • Can store 500 waypoints and 20 routes
  • Track recording: 10,000 points, 10 tracks
  • USB interface
  • Data transfer between similar devices
  • Garmin Connect ™ compatibility

Garmin Foretrex 401 waterproof hiking gps

The Foretrex 301 and Foretrex 401 GPS units appeared in mid-2009, they replaced popular models Foretrex 101 and Foretrex 201. The Foretrex 401 differs from Foretrex 301, except for a higher cost by the presence of an electronic compass, barometric altimeter and the ability to transfer data between similar devices, In the rest, these products are absolutely identical. The Foretrex 401 has compact dimensions and light weight. This GPS unit works from 2 AAA batteries which are good as you may change batteries in the middle of nowhere.

Garmin Foretrex 401 great looking

This GPS device has a plastic body with a rubberized black edging, the back cover is fastened with four bolts. The back cover includes a nylon strap, a sealed battery compartment and a microUSB input that is closed with a rubber stopper. The nylon strap of the navigator is quite comfortable to wear, the strap width is no more than 32 mm it is attached to the hand. Fastens quickly and without unnecessary movements, using only one hand. Information on the black and white display (3.6 x 2.3 cm) is easy to read at any angle of inclination and illumination, for the night time there is an orange LED backlight.

Informative screen of the Garmin Foretrex 401

The Garmin Foretrex 401 has four buttons to control the device, not counting the on / off button (which also activates the backlight). The buttons are large enough and respond well to pressing. The first button Page (Goto) switches between the five pages: an interactive map, compass page, altimeter page, general page, options page. Also, there is a timer that can be turned on / off in the device settings. The name of the second button Enter (mark) speaks for itself, except for the input function, it allows you to quickly mark the necessary points. The remaining two buttons perform the functions of up and down.

Location and elevation mode

The “interactive map” page shows information about the current relative position, a compass, the scale of the map, as well as the direction to the next point and the traversed path. The next page contains the compass information, the current speed and the approximate distance to the destination. The “Altimeter” screen displays a graph of altitude changes on 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000 meters sections, as well as the altitude value.

Elevation mode of the Garmin Foretrex 401

The general page contains information about the maximum speed, distance traveled, time of travel, an approximate amount of time before the end of the route, coordinates, altitude, and speed. The indicators on the compass and general page can be changed to suit your needs, for example, the indicator of the current speed on the compass page can be replaced by the altimeter information, current time or by any other “feature” of the Garmin Foretrex 401.

Garmin Foretrex 401 menu

In the settings it is possible to select and view the points, the traversed route, directions and connect to one of the sensors (heart rate sensor, cadence sensor), check the GPS signal, and configure the Jumpmaster function, which is intended for static, HAHO And HALO skydiving. In the device settings, it is possible to set the compass, adjust the brightness of the display, determine the basic units (metric system), calibrate the compass and altimeter, select the language and much more.

This device has the high-sensitivity GPS so the signal of the satellite in the forest area is caught in less than a minute. All routes are stored in the GPX format, which can be uploaded later from the navigator to the computer via a USB cable.

Updating software of this device is easy you just need to go to the official Garmin website, register your product, and just check for updates, by connecting the Foretrex 401 to the computer.

Click here to read customers reviews

8 Total Score
Excellent choice for hiking and for military use

PROS
  • Long battery life
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Compact in size
  • Wrist strap
  • High-sensitive GPS
  • Imperial or metric units of measure
CONS
  • Screen scratches easily (so buy the protective film)
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

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