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Garmin Dakota 20 Waterproof Hiking GPS (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.4 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews
| 33 answered questions

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Dakota 20
  • 2.6-inch LCD display
  • High-sensitivity GPS with HotFix satellite prediction, Sunlight-readable
  • Built to withstand the elements: bumps, dust, dirt and water
  • Preloaded with a worldwide basemap plus has 850 MB of free internal memory for map transfers
  • Includes 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, barometric altimeter, microSD slot, and wireless sharing between units
12 new from $216.20 7 used from $160.00 1 refurbished from $179.99

There is a newer model of this item:

Garmin eTrex 20x
$180.77
(119)
In Stock.

Technical Details

Edition: Dakota 20
  • Touch Screen

Product Description

Edition: Dakota 20

Outdoor navigation meets touchscreen simplicity in Dakota 20. This rugged, palm-sized navigator combines touchscreen navigation, high-sensitivity GPS with HotFix satellite prediction, barometric altimeter, 3-axis electronic compass and microSD card slot in one affordable, power-packed punch.

Product Information

Edition:Dakota 20
Product Dimensions 2.2 x 1.3 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight 5.3 ounces
Shipping Weight 11.4 ounces
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
ASIN B002G1YPIO
Item model number 010-00781-01
National Stock Number 5825-01-582-4267
Customer Reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #182 in Electronics > GPS & Navigation > Sports & Handheld GPS > Handheld GPS Units
#4,645 in Sports & Outdoors > Sports & Fitness > Hunting & Fishing > Hunting > Hunting Accessories
#19,338 in Sports & Outdoors > Sports & Fitness > Accessories
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Witt on October 11, 2009
Edition: Dakota 20 Verified Purchase
After losing a Garmin etrex vista hCX which I loved, I decided to go with the Dakota 20 (D20). I will be comparing the two in the review.

Maps and Storage:

The D20 comes loaded with a basemap, which has most major highways, but no streets. So for your purpose, you can choose City Navigator (required for auto navigation to work), or Topo 2008 (shows mountain countours & most lakes). Luckily, I had both Topo and City Nav on my computer.

Since the D20 comes with 850mb of internal memory, it's enough for self selected regions in Topo 2008 and/or Inland Lakes map, but not for City Nav. I put in a 4gb microSDHC card, which handled the 1.2gb .IMG file of the city navigator map. What might trouble some is that the D20 does not come with Mapsource(a great program for making custom maps, and upload trails and routes) or any kind of software. The hCX comes bundled with Mapsource. Although if you purchase the City Navigator, it comes with Mapsource.

When combining multiple maps onto the device, the D20 is much more convenient as you simply add the .IMG files (must have different file names) into the Garmin folder. D20 will automatically detect the maps and enable them. In the hCX, you had to merge all of the .IMG files into one or use seperate microSD cards, which was a toll. The D20 stores the saved tracks individually as .GPX files, whereas the hcx clumps all the trails into one file(named by date).

Auto Navigation:

I didn't find much info about Auto Navigation for the D20 before purchased, so I wasn't sure what to expect. After trying it a few times, it's definitely a step up from the hCX. There's an Automobile mode for navigation, where the map is tilted so you can see the turn coming from farther ahead.
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Edition: Dakota 20
Before I even start: A lot of times when one reads a critical review they try to dismiss it; the reviewer is an idiot, just had bad luck, has an axe to grind with the company, or just likes writing negative reviews. I can assure you that this is the first seriously negative review I've ever written in my life and I've been around for a while. It actually pains me to have to slam a product so hard, but in this case I honestly feel it's justified and I seriously implore any potential buyer to think long and hard about what I write before choosing this unit.

The Garmin Dakota 20 is a great idea; it's a very small, very portable unit with a lot of features that fits easily in a backpack, jacket pocket, camera bag, purse or what have you. While the screen isn't the brightest I've ever seen, it's workable even in sunlight, and the user interface has a nice feel. The GPS receiver picks up satellites reasonably (but not amazingly) quickly. Lots of stuff for a reasonable (although not bargain) price. When I first bought it, my hopes were very high and my initial impression good.

The pre-installed basemap isn't serious enough for any real hiking; you're best to get one of the 24k or 100k topousa maps and install what you need. That being said, the map/GPS relationship isn't very accurate - my home location is reported the same in terms of GPS position by the Dakota 20 and both of my Garmin automotive GPS units, but on the map the Dakota 20 reports my position approximately 1/4 mile away from where I actually am while the auto GPS units are within 15 feet. That's not good. I'd almost say that's laughably bad.

The most serious problem with the Dakota 20 is simply one of reliability.
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Edition: Dakota 20
EDIT / New Information August 18. 2012 (read addition).

GREAT FOR:
Any type of tracking or traveling (including motorcycles, bicycles) where you want the security of an accurate, reliable and highly water resistant GPS unit. Always ready to work thanks to the vast availability of AA-batteries, and a good range of quality maps (TOPO, Street etc.).

HIGHLIGHTS:
- Easy-to-use and reliable touchscreen (even for big fingers/hands).
- Good "Classic" color LCD screen (Can be watched with no back-light). Many other units turns the screen off after a certain time which could be frustrating during some activities, like when hiking small tracks or motorcycling.
- Uses two (2) AA-batteries. Very practical for those who travel, and the batteries can be gotten everywhere.
- Waterproof/resistant. When the USB-flap is tightly shut and the unit's new or haven't been too much in the sun or in the dry, it has been quite waterproof/resistant.
- Maps. Everything from small Norwegian hiking tracks, city-center maps to typical road/street maps with navigation (no sound though). Garmin has a lot of maps to choose from, and they're EXPENSIVE!

REMEMBER that you can't get those special lithium batteries that is required by other GPS units (or phones) everywhere, and sometimes you can even have problems charging them for many reasons (camping, wrong voltage, forgotten cable, dead battery...). In a bad case scenario, this could make you stranded somewhere...

After a few years of service now, my Dakota 20 is still doing it's job. Perfect for the tracking, bicycling, motorcycling (motorcycle) and other activities I have used it for.
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