Out of all GPS units that can’t display Ordnance Survey maps, Garmin Vista HCX is probably the best. Compact and not as heavy as other units, the Vista has everything a walker needs except for the OS mapping capability. If you can live without that, you’ll love this device. It can pick up a fix within seconds and it is solid and weather resistant. It allows you to plan your walks in detail on a PC and then transfer the data, if that’s what you want. If you prefer the manual input of your waypoint, you won’t have too much trouble either.


When crossing hills, the compass will show you the way via a Direction of Travel arrow. If you want, you can switch to the Highway page to see the representation of all turns and twists as you go. The unit has a very good battery life. You can use it for three consecutive days without having to replace the batteries. The altimeter and the barometric compass make the Garmin Vista HCX ideal for mountain hikes. The buttons are easy to access and to press. You only need one button press to enter a waypoint to be used as a Go-To or to mark your current position.