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Hand held GPS receiver with high-sensitive MediaTech antenna, slot for µSD memory card, large, easy to read color display, integrated world and Europe/Africa map, electronic compass, barometrical altimeter, automatic route calculation plus USB interface.

The GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx is very easy to use thanks to its click stick and user friendly, graphical interface. It supports multiple languages, has an integrated world map (overview) plus a base map of Europe, Africa and the near East. Besides the GPS receiver, the eTrex Vista HCx has an electronic compass and a barometrical altimeter. In addition, the Vista HCx has a slot for a standard micro SD memory card next to the battery compartment to store even more detailed information, such as local roads, restaurants and points of interest. The GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx provides automatic route calculation and visual guidance. The high-sensitive MediaTech antenna provides navigation information outdoors, in a car, in a train or even in an airplane (see MapSource examples). The built-in USB interface supports data exchange with a PC.

Comparison of the models of the eTrex H series:

All models provide similar functions; these are the main differences:

Feature / Model eTrex H Venture HC Summit HC Legend HCx Vista HCx
Interface to PC serial USB USB USB USB
Shows map - YES YES YES YES
Electronic compass, barometrical altimeter - - YES - YES
Slot for µSD memory card - - - YES YES
Automatic route calculation - - - YES YES
Price discontinued discontinued discontinued discontinued discontinued

Contents: Features - Overview - Main Pages - Price - Options - Downloads - Order

GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx


  • Portable, robust, to be operated with one hand (buttons are located ergonomically on each side of the unit)
  • Large, easy to read color display with background illumination (176x220 pixels)
  • Easy to use thanks to its click stick and user friendly, graphical interface
  • Multilingual user interface in Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish
  • Integrated 12 channel GPS receiver with built-in high-sensitive MediaTech antenna
  • Integrated world map (overview) with countries of all continents including major cities
  • Integrated base map of Europe, Africa and the near East with countries, waters, towns, highways, major roads and city maps. Navigational information are available for the following countries: country list
  • Slot for standard micro SD memory card ("TransFlash") to store additional, even more detailed maps with roads, crossings and addresses of restaurants, public buildings, points of interest etc. from a PC.
    Memory cards are available as an option. See also our attractive bundels.
  • Electronic compass to check heading while not moving¹ (can be turned off so safe power, accuracy ±5°, resolution ±1°)
  • Barometrical altimeter for precise elevation recording², accuracy ±3 m (10 feet), resolution ±30 cm (1 foot)
  • Powered by batteries (2x AA, last about 25 h), by USB cable from a computer (connection cable included in package) or by an external 12 V power source, e.g. from a car's cigarette lighter (power cord available as an option)
  • Short time to first fix (TTFF³: approx. 15 seconds after a warm start, meaning there are valid coordinates of the satellites available, or approx. 45 seconds after a cold start, meaning there are no valid coordinates of the satellites available)
  • Supports more than 100 different datum (coordinate systems)
  • Supports various display formats include the Swiss Grid (CH-1903)
  • Firmware stored in Flash-Memory, can be updated by the user
  • Operating temperatures -15 .. 70°C (5° .. 158°F)
  • USB interface (connection cable included)
  • Dimensions: 105x55x31 mm (4.14x2.15x1.21 inches)
  • Weight: 120 g (4.23 ounces, without batteries)
  • Water resistant up to approx. 3 feet (1 meter) for about 30 minutes


  • ¹) In order to check the heading with a GPS, a minimal movement with a speed of at least 5..8 km/h (3..5 mi/h) is required. Where no movement is not possible, a compass is needed.
  • ²) Even though a GPS provides accurate elevation information, the value slightly varies continuously. A barometrical altimeter is therefore more accurate, especially when summarizing elevation changes.
  • ³) TTFF: Time To First Fix, time until the first information about the current position is acquired.

Information for navigation:

  • Stores up to 1000 waypoints with name (up to 14 characters), icon (choice of 180 symbols) and coordinates
  • Stores up to 50 reversible routes with up to 250 waypoints per route
  • World map with zoom function in the range of 800 km to 5 m (500 mi to 20 ft)
  • Information on the map displayed in 5 levels of details
  • Find waypoints, favorites, cities and exits
  • Automatic route calculation and extended search function for points of interest, addresses and intersections, if there is a MapSource map available in memory. These maps require a Windows PC plus a connection cable and are available as options, see GARMIN MapSource.
  • Current position (longitude, latitude, altitude)
  • Current accuracy of the position information
  • Current time
  • Current bearing
  • Current, average and maximum speed
  • Trip duration and distance (Odometer)
  • Records the travelled path (track), capacity 10'000 track points
  • Stores 20 travelled routes (tracks) with up to 500 track points for each track
  • Proximity alarms
  • Supports metric and U.S. units

Additional features:

  • Air pressure trend
  • Calendar
  • Stop watch
  • Calculator
  • Time of sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, current phase of the moon, constellation sun-earth-moon
  • Various games
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GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx overview:

Buttons and connectors of the GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx
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Main pages of the GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx:

Note: The images below show the display of the eTrex Vista HCx. Many of the pages are configurable, the pictures are just examples. For the data fields, there is a choice of 34 different values, see selection.

Main Menu Satellites Map Navigation
GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx main menu GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx satellites GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx map GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx navigation
  • Satellites status information
  • Trip computer settings
  • Save current location as waypoint
  • Find waypoints, favorites, cities and exits (extended search functions with MapSource)
  • Manage travelled pathes (tracks)
  • Manage routes
  • Graphical representation "highway"
  • System setup
  • Proximity alarms
  • Calendar
  • Calculator
  • Stop watch
  • Constellation Earth/Sun/Moon
  • Time information for hunting and fishing
  • Games
  • Accuracy of current position information
  • Current position (coordinates)
  • Constellation of the satellites
  • Strength of satellites' signals
  • Current elevation
  • Current time of day
  • Map with current position

For each data field, you can choose from 34 different values.1)

You can chose to show no, 1, 2, 3 or 4 data fields. You can also chose to show navigational directions when a route is active.

  • Current speed
  • Distance to next turn
  • Current time of day
  • Distance from route
  • Compass ring with bearing to next turn

For each data field, you can choose from 34 different values.1)

You can chose to show 2, 3 or 4 data fields.

Trip Computer
(small numbers)
Trip Computer
(big numbers)
Route Sun & Moon
GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx trip computer (small numbers) GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx trip computer (big numbers) GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx route GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx sun/earth/moon constellation
  • Travelled trip distance
  • Maximum speed
  • Moving time
  • Average speed (moving time only)
  • Stopped time
  • Average speed (total time)
  • Current elevation
  • Accumulated travelled distance (Odometer)

For each data field, you can choose from 34 different values.1)

  • Travelled trip distance
  • Current speed
  • Moving time

For each data field, you can choose from 34 different values.1)

  • Navigation directions
  • Map with current position, planned route and waypoints
  • Date and time of the constellation shown
  • Position of the constellation shown
  • Time of sunrise
  • Time of sunset
  • Time of moonrise
  • Time of moonset
  • Phase of the moon
  • Constellation of sun/earth/moon
  • Controls for constellation animation (time step 1 hour, 1 day, stop)
  Elevation Jumpmaster  
  GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx elevation GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx jumpmaster  
  • Total ascend
  • Maximum elevation
  • Elevation profile with selected point
  • Date and time of the selected point
  • Current elevation

For each data field, you can choose from 34 different values.1)

  • Type of jump
  • Location where landing should occur
  • Drop altitude above ground
  • Horizontal distance traveled by due to aircraft speed
  • Course to drop off point
  • Setting for the winds at various altitudes
  • Constants
  • Directions to drop off point

Data fields on pages with user selectable data fields:

No Name Explanation
1 Accuracy GPS The current accuracy of your GPS determined position.
2 Bearing The compass direction from a position to a destination measured to the nearest degree; also called an azimuth. In a GPS receiver, bearing usually refers to the direction to a waypoint.
3 Course The direction from the beginning landmark of a course to its destination (measured in degrees, radians, or mils) or the direction from a route waypoint to the next waypoint in the route segment.
4 Distance to next Current distance to the next waypoint or turn.
5 Distance to destination Current distance to the final destination.
6 ETA at next Estimated arrival time at the next turn.
7 ETA at destination Estimated arrival time at the final destination.
8 Elevation Current altitude above sea level.
9 Glide ratio The ratio of horizontal distance travelled to vertical distance.
10 Glide ratio to destination The glide ratio required to descend from your current position and elevation to the destination's elevation.
11 Heading The direction in which you are currently moving.
12 Odometer Total distance travelled since last reset*).
13 Off Course The distance you are off the desired course.
14 Pointer Arrow that indicates the direction to travel to the next point on a route.
15 Speed Current speed.
16 Speed - Maximum Maximum speed since last reset*).
17 Speed - Moving Avg. Average speed without the time with no motion since the last reset*).
18 Speed - Overall Avg. Average speed including the time with no motion since the last reset*).
19 Sunrise Time of sunrise at the current position.
20 Sunset Time of sunset at the current position.
21 Time To Destination Estimated travel time to the final destination.
22 Time To Next Estimated travel time to the next waypoint (turn, crossing etc.).
23 Time of Day Current time.
24 To Course Direction to the planned course.
25 Trip Odometer Travelled distance since last reset*).
26 Trip Time - Moving Time with motion since last reset*).
27 Trip Time - Stopped Time without motion since last reset*).
28 Trip Time - Total Total time since last reset*).
29 Turn The direction of and the distance to the next turn on a route.
30 Velocity Made Good The rate of closure to the destination, based upon your current speed and course.
31 Vertical Speed Current ascending or descending speed.
32 Vertical Speed To Dest Required rate of ascent or descent to reach the final destination.
33 Waypoint At Dest Name of the waypoint at the final destination.
34 Waypoint At Next Name of the next waypoint.

*) You may reset the trip-counters, the Odometer and the Maximum Speed separately.

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This model has been discontinued; however, you can still order options for the eTrex Vista HCx.

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4.0 GB micro SDHC memory card including µSD to SD adapter Add item to shopping basket CHF 9 | EUR 9 [Picture and details]
Power supply without USB cable Add item to shopping basket CHF 17 | EUR 16 [Picture and details]
USB cable for data exchange and power supply
(One such cable is included)
Add item to shopping basket CHF 14 | EUR 13 [Picture and details]
Power cord for car cigarette lighter Add item to shopping basket CHF 43 | EUR 41 [Picture and details]
Belt clip Add item to shopping basket CHF 19 | EUR 18 [Picture and details]
Retractable lanyard Add item to shopping basket CHF 28 | EUR 27 [Picture and details]
Mounting adapter for larger handlebars (25..32 mm) Add item to shopping basket CHF 11 | EUR 11 [Picture and details]
Mounting kit for dashboard Add item to shopping basket CHF 22 | EUR 21 [Picture and details]
Adhesive base for dashboard mounting kit to use it in a second vehicle Add item to shopping basket CHF 11 | EUR 11 [Picture and details]

All options for the GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx in detail.

MapSource, various µSD memory cards, DVDs and CDroms with topographic and street maps (products on DVD or CDrom require a computer and a cable for data exchange).

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Here we provide additional documentation and software updates related to the eTrex Vista HCx.

If Adobe Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, you may download and install it for free.
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To order options for the GARMIN eTrex Vista HCx please:

  1. Click on the price or the shopping basket symbol Show shopping basket to add the item you wish to purchase to the shopping basket. Your browser must accept cookies, otherwise the shopping basket won't work.
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Specifications and packaging of the products are subject to change without notice.

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