Excerpt: Yes its one of those things that was on my gadget wish list and I eventually managed to convince my 'then girlfriend to let me get one. There's just something about having a little gadget in your hand that can pinpoint your location anywhere on the globe, it also makes 'geocaching' which is a kind of online GPS treasure hunt much easier ;-) So the unit itself - well the feel of it, and this seems to be a trait with garmin products (have a GPS V now), it feels very...
Pros: Well Built, Compact, screen resolution
Cons: Complex if you are a tecnohphobe, designed for right handed use (see review)
Summary: I bought this refurbished and it was extremely inexpensive (compared to other units as well as new units). I was going on a 3-day backpacking trip in Yosemite, and the trails are well-marked. I really only needed it to see how far away I was from different points on the trail. It took a while to get a satellite signal (anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes), but when it did, it was fine. I found it very helpful, and it gave me piece of mind.
Summary: The Etrex series is obsolete and this is not what real GPS geeks will want. Examples of archaic features: it comes with an RS32 nine-pin serial pot cord which - useless with a laptop and it is incompatible with map data cards. I bought one used/cheap because I am familiar with using the Etrex and moreso because I only want the unit to do two things: 1) give you a position 2.) give you a heading. This is fine with the paper maps I still use. Yes, they still exist.
Summary: This is a great GPS for the person just getting their hands on one. It has few "bells and whistles" , just the basics, but gets good support from Garmin. The reception will be lost in deep forest cover (that's why you carry that compass too)but knowing this up front you can adjust line of travel. You will get a full day on a set of batteries (AA). I use a solar charger on extended trips to avoid hauling a crate of batteries.
Summary: The eTrex Venture was purchased to replace a much older Garmin unit that was lost at the airport. The Venture is a disappointment in every respect. The tiny pushbuttons have a mushy feel, are difficult to work, and do not function in a reliable, consistent manner, making it IMPOSSIBLE to select certain items from the main menu.
Summary: I've only used the Garmin eTrex Venture GPS unit for about a week or so, but it seems to work great. My sons like to geocache, and there have been several that they could not find over the years, but once we got this GPS system... they found their geocaches easily. The other good thing is that they're 12, and they figured out how to use it very quickly. Good buy!