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3.9 out of 5 stars152
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 1 February 2013
This device exceeded my expectations, once configured correctly and with suitable maps installed. I use it on my bike, mounted on Locking Strap Motorcycle Bike Handlebar Mount for Garmin Dakota 10 & Dakota 20. I knew that I'd probably be able to program routes into the device but I never imagined it would be a fully functional sat nav for a bike, including prompts for the next turning, recalculating the route if you get lost and even directing you along cycle paths and bridleways as shortcuts! Here's a quick guide to achieving this. First replace the absolutely rubbish default map with a free one from Talky Toaster! The OS style map is probably best for cycling as it has more cycle paths marked. Go into your Dakota's setup menu and scroll down to the routing sub-menu and make sure it is set for "Calculate Routes for - Bicycle" and "Lock On Road - No" and "Off Roads Transitions - Auto". In urban areas, the "Guidance Method" is probably best left as "On Road For Distance" rather than "Off Road". Download and install Garmin BaseCamp on your home computer. This free program provides the easiest way to create your routes and mark your waypoints (make sure to select cycling as your mode of transport when making a route). Once you have transferred a route from BaseCamp to the Dakota you can activate it by selecting "Where to?" then choosing your route from the "Routes" menu. You can even edit the route in the Dakota and reverse it to find your way back home! I hope this info helps with using the Garmin Dakota 10 or 20 as a sat nav device for your bike!
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on 27 November 2009
This is a good sized GPS that fits reasonably well into a pocket and a generally good touch screen with a customisable menu.

The touch screen interface works really well, but the screen inteslf can be difficult to see in some lighting conditions. It does not perform as well as the eTrex series colour screens. Having said that - it is not such a big problem that you should not purchase.

If you've read about the device having a Tide Time table - be aware that this only applies to the US. Even if you purchase the European unit, the built-in tide timetable is not for Europe, just for the US coast.

Also if you are using the device for walking and want to have an estimated time of arrival at your destination this does not appear to work with any pre created tracks (e.g. Memory Map, Base map tracks, etc). This may be a bug that is fixed in a later update, but this problem was reported to Garmin early October 2009 and it is still an outstanding issue.

On the whole a good robost device with a easy to use interface.
Just be aware that there are some issues, but hopefully some of these will be fixed by a future software update??
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on 28 July 2010
I've previously used a Garmin Oregon 300 & this unit is very similar. However it is less expensive & the touch sensitive screen is less milky than the Oregon 300 which is a bonus. Both are readable in bright sunlight but the Dakota is easier to see. The unit also seems to give a more consistant location under tree canopy. On the down side the smaller screen compared to the Oregon 300 means you keep wondering even more "what is just off the edge of the screen" when looking at 1:50,000 OS mapping for the UK. Having said that the OS mapping is well worth buying; the base map supplied with the gps unit not being up to much for hill walking. If you want to know what is off the edge of the screen then look at the offering from Satmap; it costs more but has a much larger screen but I've tried it & its also very good in my opinion. Moving the menu 'buttons' onto the screen seems more intuitive & quicker to me than older untis with more buttons but they do pack in a lot of buttons with various options which makes it more difficult to find the few functions you want to use regularly.
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on 11 December 2011
I've had this a few months now and overall pretty pleased, but two things worthy of note:

1. The unit has lost memory three times - batteries have been full and I've loaded it with a route and it's just reset itself when I've gone to use it next. Very annoying if you've planned a walk and are relying on it as everything is gone - all setings, time, date, country, your route, waypoints etc. You have a new factory setting device.

2. The unit comes with what are called maps but I found them unusable - they don't even show footpaths. OS maps cost me £190 so not cheap as an extra. You can get free maps though from Open Streetmap Porject, but they're not perfect and third party open source maps.

On the plus side, I've found the screen usable, it's been reliable getting signals and I find the battery life good - it lasts for at least a day and easy to change being standard AA.

Overall I'm glad I have it and would probably buy agin at the price (as no better alternative I found), but it falls short of what I expected

Update March 2012:
The unit died suddenly and is frozen on bootup. Good customer services - posted it on Thursday, they've got a replacement to me on Tuesday two working days after it reached them. Searching on Google quite a few people seem to have had to return theirs so hoping this one stays good.
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on 21 September 2010
This has been one of our best buys. We had a Garmin eTrex back from 10 years ago when these things were quite new, and as geocachers it wasn't quite getting the accuracy of coordinates that we needed. The Dakota 10 is very geocaching friendly and we can download caches straight from the website (we upgraded to premium membership for this). As other people say, the maps are a disgrace but having read the reviews here I went on to talkytoaster and easily loaded the free maps which make all the difference.

It's the bottom of the range as far as geocaching-ready GPSs go, but I am not sure that the extra money is worth the extra bells and whistles. With the Dakota 10 we have had amazing accuracy even in trees and tall buildings and it always finds the satellites quickly and easily - you can't ask for more than that.
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on 19 February 2010
This is my first hand held GPS which I have had for a few months now and after some initial problems I am now delighted with the device; which I bought after my Nokia N95 failed to get a signal in cloudy conditions on a 6 mile walk.

So to those problems. My first unit broke down after one day, the replacement unit from Cave & Crag arrived just a few days after I had returned the original. I thought the map update was slow and clunky and it kept bouncing around even when I was going in a straight line. The OS map is fixed to the device which means it cannot be loaded into Garmin's Mapsource software for planning routes. Trying to plan a reasonable walk on the device would take up to 40 minutes or more.

The replacement unit has been fine with only the rare system crash (I'd expected more in all the times I have used it). I got around the bouncing map problem by fixing the map to always show north as up. This probably saves a lot of battery as well; as it is no longer rotating the map but simply scrolling it. I found a free to use OS Openspace application that can be used for route planning and now it takes less than 10 minutes to enter a route and download it to the device. The application also uses the same OS maps as the device.

Since finding these work arounds I am now delighted with the device; which is very quick to gain a signal (much faster than my car sat nav), usually within 15-30 seconds, even under heavy cloud cover. The accuracy is really good as well. I've tested it's weather proofing with using it in light rain and snow without problems. I really like the way many of the applications can be customized so they show the information you require, and I have not had to calibrate the 3-axis compass or altimeter, they both seem to work fine out of the box. Not sure if the battery life is as good as they say, but it easily lasts a days walking with two 2700 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries.

One problem I have found is not with the device, but if you upload a route into Mapsource and edit that route before saving it to the device, you cannot seem to navigate to that route using the device. This seems to be a bug in Mapsource.

Overall a brilliant unit which has already given me hours of pleasure with walking and caching, the book I use for walking now usually stays in my back pack as it is no longer needed; and this also gives me the ability to walk a route in the reverse direction to that given in my book.
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on 13 August 2010
I bought this as I wanted to go paperless with Geocaching. It was the lowest cost Garmin product (my preferred manufacturer, no other reason) offering this feature and to be honest, the additional features of other units didn't justify their unbelievable costs; especially the Dakota 20. The extra money seems to go for an SD card slot, magnetic compass and pairing!!! Big deal. As you can connect to the Dakota 10 using USB, and it has over 800Mb of internal storage the SD card is not a requirement of mine. The compass works fine when moving, so that wasn't an essential need either.

I have been using it for a few days and what a Geocaching revelation it has been - having cache descriptions, hints, logs available on the unit is a HUGE improvement from printed or remembered details. The 'Accuracy of GPS' field is helpful too when searching for that elusive microcache to get an idea of where you need to look. You do have to upgrade to be a Premium Member on the Groundspeak website, but it's well worth the $30. Once the Pocket Query results are copied into the relevant folder on the device, there are tons of caches and their information available at the press of a few buttons. Plus, there are Premium Member only caches - nice.

The interface is nice and customisable and I especially like the way you can add/remove/reposition all the menu items per profile. The trip computer is great too as you can decide exactly what you want to see, as you can on the maps and compass too. As I am primarily a Geocacher rather than hiker/walker I have not explored the route/track options to a great degree, but they look good and I will be getting into them the more I get out and about.

Now - the downside. The basemap that comes with it is....well, it rhymes with 'map'. As a previous reviewer has said, this isn't good enough; I agree 100% - the map is unbelievably poor and the costs of commercial maps are outrageous given that it's an essential part of a GPS. This device SHOULD come with a decent map - sort yourselves out Garmin. It did feel like buying a book with an amazing cover to discover that it only has chapter headings in it and no story. However, as Martin wrote on the comments to this other review - FREE maps are available to put onto the device. I followed his fantastic advice and tried it out and the results are terrific (thanks Martin). Just Google "talkytoaster" and follow the instructions.

The battery life is great, the interface is great, the features are great, it's great!! For the Amazon price you can't go wrong if you want to take your Geocaching to the next level. Go on, treat yourself.
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on 31 July 2010
I wanted to go paperless with Geocaching so I bought this as a replacement for my Garmin ETrex Venture Hc.It does the job perfectly and I can geocache without reames of paper as it holds all the description of the caches, logs and hints for me to look at on screen.
It was good value for money offering paperless feature and additional features too.Other units with similar features were really expensive so this seemed a cost effective option.I at first wished I had shelled out the extra and got the Dakota 20 when I had realised The map I purchased at the same time was sd card and not the dvd I nneed to load onto Dakota 10,but It was not a problem sending it back and buying the correct Map software.

I have used it for a few days and what a Geocaching difference it has been - having cache descriptions, hints, logs and so on available on the's a big improvement from printing all the details.At first I had a little trouble as I was looking at the wrong reading as with my venture the reading for distance to cache was in a different position.Then I realised I can also customise these readings and positions to suit the way I want to see/read it.The 'Accuracy of GPS' field is helpful too when searching for that elusive cache to get an idea of where you need to look. I had to upgrade to be a Premium Member on the Ground speak website, but it's well worth the few £'s. Once the Pocket Query [I did approx 100 caches in one go]results are copied into the relevant folder on the device, there are tons of caches and their information available at the touch of the screen.
It is user friendly and very neat and easy to carry and store on your person when not in use.I had to get a screen protector as I worry about messing up the screen therefore making it unreadable as there is a touch screen,and my nails would eventually make a mess of it.also a case for a little added protection while it is knocking around in my bag.

The basemap that comes with it is rubbish which I had expected from my experience with the Venture HC so I was prepared and as I said before bought A map at the same time [pity it was in the wrong format].Once I got the correct map I,after a little research on the net on how to load the map I managed to put the map onto my device and it works a treat .personally I think all these type of devices should come with a decent map,base maps are pathetic and only show major cities,rail and major rivers etc...But then this is how the manufacturers make their money as the maps are not exactly cheap.

I have only had it a short time so I'm still in the playing with it faze,but so far it does not disappoint me.
I now also have a bike bracket so I can see how it works while on he move.
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on 15 May 2010
I bought this mainly for hiking and geocaching.

The possibility to add your own custom map is very appreciated ! With that, I could add the map I wanted etc. Perfect !

My previous GPSr was a Garmin eTrex Summit. The Dakota catch more quickly the satellite, and this is also appreciated (eTrex could take 10 minutes, Dakota only one or two, when it is long ! ;) )

The main drawbacks of this device is the backligth : the screen is not lighten enough and it could be hard to see something, some times...

Very good product !!!
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on 28 February 2012
A mate of mine bought a Garmin Edge 800 - lovely bit of kit if you can afford it. I wanted a GPS that was able to track a route and also allow you to send a route to it. I'd been mulling over and over the Edge 800 but it was just too expensive.

I did alot of homework and chose the Dakota 10 as it seemed a good compromise. It has all the features I need, its very easy to operate and excellent at acquiring and holding onto a GPS signal (even indoors).

Its seems fairly robust and the only button is the power button - every thing else is touch screen which works well even with cycling gloves on. The menus are really intuitive. I havent need to refer to the manual as of yet. I've also since bought a bike mount which is pretty much a 'must have' if using for cycling purposes.

I've now played around with Geocaching which it handles superbly and will be taking this trusty bit of kit along on the 140 mile Sea-to-Sea bike ride later this year.
A bit peeved its dropped 15 quid in the last 2 weeks - I should've waited! Such is life.....
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