The eTrex line of handheld GPS units has been marketed by Garmin for roughly 15 years. The marketing is targeted towards outdoors use while hiking, camping or Geocaching. During the second half of 2015, Garmin released yet another new generation of their eTrex GPS line called the eTrex Touch. As you can tell by the name of the product, Garmin has added a touch screen to the GPS. There are three models of the eTrex Touch.
eTrex Touch 25 – This is the lowest priced GPS in the lineup and includes a 2.6 inch color touchscreen, an integrated compass, over 250,000 preloaded geocaches and 4GB of memory. While 4GB may not sound like a lot of memory, remember this isn’t meant for road maps, so you will not need as much memory.
eTrex Touch 35 – Take all the features of the eTrex Touch 25 and add a barometric altimeter to it.
eTrex Touch 35t – This upgrades the memory to 8GB which is double the other two models.
We all know that people will use these for more than basic handheld use, so without further ado, we present some thoughts on selecting a mount. Garmin provides a GPS and cable in the box. There are no mounts. An important note is that the eTrex Touch lineup is a complete redesign from prior eTrex models. The only common mounting component is a rear button that’s typically used to mount to a belt clip so if you have a prior mount that used this knob (such as a belt clip) then it should work with the eTrex Touch line as well.
Any custom cradle mounts such as those from RAM will not fit. As of the date of publication of this article, they have not released a custom cradle. However, RAM does make a universal finger-grip cradle that’s often used with handheld GPS units. These have the same 2-hole diamond mounting pattern that your old mount likely used. The finger grip cradle can also be purchased as a motorcycle mount. This mount combination features the RAM u-bolt metal mount. It fits handlebars up to 1.25 inches diameter and the arm is three inches long. The mount features vibration dampening technology. We always recommend that you tether your device to your motorcycle and do not use your GPS nor adjust the mount while riding.
Garmin offers a few mounts for mounting your device onto a flat surface. The Garmin Weighted Friction Mount is a solid choice especially if using the eTrex inside a car or truck. That’s the mount in the photo that accompanies this article. Just snap your eTrex onto the cradle and place the mount onto your dash. It’s easy to install and remove and as an interesting side note, the cradle from this weighted mount fits mounts designed to fit a Garmin Nuvi. This mount features the extremely popular Garmin friction mount which we reviewed here. Garmin also offer a screw down flat surface mount. You will potentially see these advertised for older GPS models such as a Rino or Colorado but they also fit the eTrex Touch as Garmin often makes mounts that fit dozens of models.
If you would like to use your GPS on bicycle, Garmin offers a stem mount. It’s an inexpensive mount that uses twist ties to fasten it to your stem or handlebar. Since the mount is permanent, be sure you like where you put it or you will need to cut the ties and buy new ones. This mount is good for a bicycle, not a motorcycle. A motorcycle has too much vibration and I don’t trust twist ties on anything other than a bicycle. Garmin also offers a variety of accessories to hold your GPS in a variety of places on your body such as around your neck attached to your belt or clipped to a backpack. These are especially useful if you are geocaching.
I continue to find it surprising that Garmin does not offer a suction mount option for the eTrex Touch. This is consistent with the previous versions of eTrex. I suppose since it’s not intended to be used in a car, a suction cup mount is not necessary. If you absolutely need a suction mount, the RAM finger-grip cradle previously mentioned can be found as a suction cup combination.
On a related note, I have seen some dealers offering screen protectors for the eTrex models. Please save your money and do not buy these. Most GPS units made over the past five years use an anti-scratch lens and under most normal use will not show any scratches. In addition, this is a touchscreen GPS and some screen protectors will render the touch option useless.