Garmin Colorado

Garmin Colorado 400T Stock-1 I’m not the gadget hound I used to be – practicality’s got the better of me. But I’ve been drooling over Garmin’s coming Colorado handheld GPS receiver. Is this the iPhone of the GPSr world? After nine months of geocaching with my intro-level unit, I’ve become painfully aware of its limitations: Small screen, tendency to lose signal easily in tall trees, difficult-to-use buttons, inability to store anything but coordinates from .gpx files (which is why I wrote gpx2ipod).

The Colorado addresses all of that and more… at a price. Excellent review at GPS Magazine (6-page review, check the photos on inner pages). “Indiana Jones Meets MacGyver.” Not sure I want to be either of those guys, but dang, I’m drooling. Went to look for a demo unit at REI yesterday, but it’s not in stores yet. Ended up walking out with new mud boots instead. Saving pennies.

Music: The Langley Schools Music Project :: Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft

9 Replies to “Garmin Colorado”

  1. Dear Friends,

    I own many Garmin GPS and I like them until I Bought this Colorado 300.

    I own an III Plus, a 60 CSx, a 498 and a Colorado 300.

    I think that Colorado 300 is a Map GPS, that you can do almost nothing using the maps.

    For example:

    1) I can enter a Waypoint using the map, but I cannot move the waypoint using the map.

    2) I cannot enter or edit a Route using the Map. I’ve to program all the waypoint before I Plan a route. (It’s the worst way I can enter a route, ever).

    3) When I chose “view map” in the Route Planner, Colorado shows me the entire route in a 3″ display and I cannot zoom or scroll the map to see the route!

    These are only 3 examples, but if you try to use Colorado to Plan Routes and manage waypoint, you will see that are so many difficulties and the map is not used at all.

    They put a revolutionary interface and made a very pretty GPS, but I think that the software needs to change allot. The only way to insert routes and waypoint in Colorado is using Mapsource, but I cannot carry my notebook on the trail or to the sea.

  2. Carlos – It’s clear that the Colorado was rushed to market, and there have been a lot of complaints about firmware issues like these in the geocaching forums. You know they’ve been upgrading the firmware on a pretty regular basis? Use the WebUpdater to make sure you’ve got the latest. Also, keep up with the issues and firmware updates here.

  3. Gorgeous display when connected to external power and that’s about it for the pluses. Battery is atrocious at best, with back light on high enough to read screen and compass on–battery life is a few hours.
    You do not want to take this thing to sea, it has a nice rubber gasket around the battery compartment to keep water out and a big hole near the case latch to let water in! What were they thinking?
    They have left out most of the very good features of the 60 CS family, it is not usable on the trail. It has unstable software and an inadequate user manual. Mine has broken completely and on its way back to Garmin, I would like my money back so I can buy a new 60CSx.
    This dog is not ready for prime time. :(

  4. @ Bob –

    it has a nice rubber gasket around the battery compartment to keep water out and a big hole near the case latch to let water in!

    I’m trying to find the hole you’re talking about and not finding it. Did yours actually get flooded? This thing is rated waterproof!

    I think we all agree the Colorado was rushed to market, but with the latest firmware, I’ve been pretty happy with mine (aside from a few lock-ups, it’s been stable).

    And I definitely disagree that it’s not usable on the trail. Certainly better reception and a better screen than the Vista Cx I used to use.

  5. Dear Shajer,
    I can not understend how some one can be happy with Colorado.
    Try to move some waypoint using the map screen
    Try to make a route using the map

    For me, a GPSmap that can do that is a trash.

    If you use only the GPS to see wher you are and use auto-route, you can use Colorado, but if you whant to use GPS to plan routes over the map and manage waypoints, go back to 60CSx or even a Vista Cx.

    The Colorado is not usable in the trail or on the sea, not by the poor reception, the reception is good, but if you can not make routes over the map, what is the reason to use a GPS?

  6. See this page:

    The latch and gasket are in separate zones, but the battery compartment gasket requires a very precise sliding fit over most of the length of the cover to be effective, it is easy to envision the gasket getting torn during cover slide-on operation. Contrast this with the 60CS cover installation having no sliding action only a direct cover-to-case compression during the D-ring quarter turn step. My Colorado is back at Garmin being repaired (complete wipe out at conclusion of bootup process) so I can’t double check the SD card gasket reliability, it is more like the 60CS seal so it might survive an incidental dunk.


  7. More on the [lack of] CO waterproofness.

    If my repaired Garmin isn’t any better than before on such matters as battery life—I’m going to try to get my money back and buy a 60CSx–if that fails maybe its time to find one of those ‘roadkill’ lawyers and prompt for a class action suit. There is a legal concept of ‘implied merchantability’ that requires a manufacturer to produce something that meets published specifications. This thing seems to miss those specs on multiple fronts.

    I was an early adopter on the 45XL, Vista, and 60CS units and was very happy with each, they outperformed their respective predecessors mightily. The CO has been a gross disappointment. Won’t make the CO mistake again, will let some other sucker do the beta testing and write the reports before I [don’t] buy.


  8. Two and a half weeks ago I sent my failed CO back to Garmin—I’m still waiting. When issuing the RMA they said it would be 10 days for turnaround. Called them yesterday–a very conciliatory young lady informed me that replacement units are on backorder and it will be mid-April before a working CO is sent to me. Again, I asked for my money back–no can do–was told to see the dealer for a refund–but Garmin has my hardware! I checked with web dealers and find that new units are in stock ready to ship– this means that Warranty victims are relegated to the back of the line! They have had my $$ for over 2 months, I have had (marginal) use of the unit for about a week.

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