Geko 301


Geko 301
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Geko 301
Manufacturer Garmin
Page By Alan Ellis
Page Type Sep 22, 2003 / Jan 20, 2007
Object ID 815
Hits 7845
Gekos are the smallest and lightest waterproof GPS units on the market—inexpensive, with sleek designs and simple operating systems.

With its sturdy, dark-gray case, the Geko 301 packs an amazing amount of functions into its slim frame. It has all the features of the Geko 201, plus an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter. The compass provides bearing information while you're standing still, and the altimeter determines your precise altitude and provides a 12-hour pressure-trend tool for gauging changing weather conditions.

The Geko 301 also includes five interactive games that transform the great outdoors into a virtual board game, including the new Gekoids, which takes advantage of the electronic compass. You can also enjoy a good workout while chasing a virtual lizard in Geko Smak, match symbols in a grid version of Memory Race, navigate to reference points without crossing one’s trail in Nibbons, and collect symbols along a path in Virtua Maze.


Built-in electronic compass
Barometric altimeter for elevation and weather pressure measurement
Accuracy of three meters or less with WAAS
Five simple buttons for easy, one-hand operation
Weighs only 3.4 oz (with batteries)
Compact 1.9" (W) x 3.9" (H) x .96" (D) size
64 x 100 pixels high-contrast display
Up to 16 hours of battery life (typical use) on two "AAA" batteries
500/20 waypoint/route storage
10,000 trackpoints and 10 saved tracks available
External port for PC connectivity and external power
Submersible for 30 minutes in one meter of water (IEC 529 IPX7 waterproof standards)
Five entertaining, interactive outdoor games



Viewing: 1-5 of 5

pphlux - Mar 1, 2004 3:12 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
The is the only modern GPS Unit I have used, and I absolutely love it. I am a big geek and I really like numbers, so this device feeds my craving.

I got this for christmas, and have been using it two months now. I've used it both for navigation and to keep track of my trips. It is quite easy to use, and I found myself using the unit without help of the manual. I eventually sat down with the manual to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

I seem to get patchy signals, depending on where I store it. It is especially poor if the unit is buried in a pack, and sometimes has trouble in a pocket. The best spot I've found is in the top of my pack. This causes trouble when the temperature is low, since battery life is very short. In fact, once when it was very cold, brand new batteries lasted less than two hours. I have not tried lithium batteries, which are supposed to have longer life in cold weather, and will update this review when I do.

In my mind, the ability to connect to a computer is vital to a GPS unit, and I use it all the time. I don't find myself using WAAS (higher accuracy) very often, as it consumes more energy, and the fix without WAAS is usually pretty good.

Moni - Apr 24, 2005 5:37 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Bought this to replace the Garmin 12XL "brick" I have been using for almost 10 years. Easy to use one handed. No toggle switch to get stuck or go haywire like on the eTrexes. Don't like that you have to page over 2 screens to get the coordinates once the unit has a fix - I would lose the cutsy graphics and put these on the main screen. Has a barometer and digital compass that work well. Considering the weight of a barometer and any other GPS, this is an excellent option. Tracks and waypoints can be up- and downloaded to mapping programs - handy feature.

WAAS does not use extra juice, but getting it is often questionable I seem to hook into it about 60% of the time. Without it, you still get very useable positions, especially when working with the standard USGS toposheet scale of 1:24000.

General info about ALL GPS units: No GPS will receive through solid objects - or if it appears to, the signal is so slowed down as to be skewed 300+ feet. Always use with the antenna (flat spot ahead of the screen) in clear view of the sky. Any canopy especially deciduous trees will interfere with the signal as will heavy rain. You can receive signals that first bounce off a reflective surface (rock face, snowfield, lake, etc.) Again, this means the signal came in slower than it should have and causes a position error. When in deep ravines or canyons, it is possible to not receive enough satellites to get a fix. The more unobstructed sky you see above you the better.
Never rely on a GPS- always carry a map and a non-battery driven compass!

Cody - Aug 17, 2005 1:12 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I purchased this gps mainly as an extra security measure for solo winter trips, I still depend mostly on map & compass for my main navigation.

The 301 is very easy to use, I have hardly had to look at the instruction manual. Programing routes manually is quite easy. But it really performs if you have Nat Geo TOPO software (or something similar) and hook it up to your computer. It almost seems like cheating, its so simple to program routes in.

I have experienced no problems with use in cold weather or higher elevation (14,000+ft). My only complaint is that it can be a bit difficult to turn on/off with gloves on.

tarol - Feb 9, 2006 5:24 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
I bought this GPS unit a couple of years ago and used it off and on until it was stolen a couple of months ago :( I navigate mainly by map and compass but liked the altimeter and waypoint features of this GPS. I also liked its small size and light weight. But I had trouble finding the correct cable to use to connect it to my computer and never was able to use that feature. Also had some trouble with naming waypoints. Looking for another GPS now to replace this one.

Pivvay - Nov 6, 2008 5:33 pm - Voted 5/5

Best small GPS
I started with this model and it's the best small/light GPS I've used. The chipset isn't as good as the new ETrex Series but they're light at only 3oz and I've never had any issues. Works great and for almost 24hours on 2 AAA Lithiums. I still carry it when I just need coordinate fixes/altimeter readings and want the lightest weight possible.

Viewing: 1-5 of 5