Garmin Etrex 20x Review

Updated: March 27, 2023
Garmin eTrex 20x

The Garmin Etrex 20x is a small, lightweight and inexpensive handheld GPS device.

The simple and versatile GPS is the perfect companion for navigating through the backcountry.

It's got great screen quality despite being rather small, and it's got a long battery life. The Garmin Etrex is water resistant, durable and works well in very cold conditions. Additionally, its large buttons can be used even while wearing gloves.

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Garmin Etrex 20x GPS

Manufacturer: Garmin


  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great screen quality
  • Reliable push buttons
  • Versatile and fast
  • Long battery life
  • Water resistant
  • Durable and works well in very cold conditions


  • No electronic compass or barometer altimeter
  • Base map is very limited and screen is small
  • Owner’s manual lacks detail
  • Lacks fancy features like a camera or video recorder and is not touchscreen
  • Rubber skirting can make buttons a bit harder to press
  • Entering waypoint information can be a slow process


The Garmin Etrex 20x is an inexpensive handheld GPS device. At only 5.1oz, it can fit comfortably in your breast or pant pocket or even be worn around your neck on a lanyard.

It is water resistant, durable and works well in very cold conditions. The device is not touchscreen, and its large buttons can be used even while wearing gloves.

The software and buttons are easy to use, and you can customise data fields. It has sunrise and moonrise, and the screen is easy to see in bright lighting.

It runs on AA batteries and has a battery life of 25 hours. The device uses GPS and GLONASS satellite systems and can hold up to 2000 waypoints and 200 routes and is accurate up to 9ft in normal use. 

It is able to quickly find a signal in both covered and wide-open terrains, but reception can suffer in covered terrain.

The device has 3.7 GB and comes with a basic base map with the option to upload topo maps.

One significant downfall of the Garmin Etrex 20x is its lack of electronic compass or barometer altimeter which means altitude readings may not be as accurate.

Its base map is also quite limiting as it only contains road information and not trail information.

Key Takeaway

If you are looking for a cheap and lightweight GPS, the Garmin Etrex is one of the best you can get. It is durable, versatile and easy to use.

However, with these great features comes some drawbacks. It lacks the more advanced features you may want for a GPS, such as wireless sharing options, an electronic compass, and barometer altimeter.

But if you are looking for a simple device that gets the job done quickly and accurately the Garmin Etrex 20x is fantastic.

Key Features 


Can quickly attain a signal in both covered and wide-open spaces. GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation allow you to quickly lock on to a position accurate within 9ft.

However, reception can suffer in covered terrain and although the device is fast to attain a signal it may not be as accurate as higher performing devices.

Ease of Use

The simplicity of the device is a real winner. It does not have a touchscreen, so it is great for users who prefer buttons.

The buttons are also large enough to enable you to use it with gloves on.

With simple features, an easy to navigate menu and quick access to change the battery this is a no fuss device and you should find using it to be a breeze.

Display Quality

At 2x2 inches, the screen certainly is small. The screen resolution is 240x320 pixels and the transreflective display works well in both high and low light conditions.

Although the screen is small, the font is adequately big enough, so you should have no trouble reading it.


The device is surprisingly fast for its small size, in terms of draw and redraw capabilities, and is able to quickly pick up a new location.

Weight and Size

At only 5.1oz the Garmin Etrex 20x is easily stored. Whether you choose to store it in your pockets or around your neck on a lanyard, this device will never get in your way.

We all know the importance of weight when hiking or trekking and this device won’t even make a dent.


The Garmin Etrex 20x is water resistant and works well in cold conditions. It has a fantastic 25-hour battery life and is super lightweight.

It is easy to use, even with thick gloves. Even though it takes a bit longer than other higher performing devices, all waypoints taken were marked and labelled accurately.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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