I bought the Garmin Vista Cx shown above at the start of Jan 2007 and when I went to use it yesterday and noticed the rubber seal around the perimeter has come unglued. The unit is still functional, but when stuff starts to fall apart it doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling about it’s reliability when the chips are down. I thought about pulling the trigger on the Delorme Earthmate GPS with SPOT beacon. It looks awesome and I like the idea of being able to send msgs via satellite when I am away from cell or net service. But, I need to keep my budget in check by focusing on the stuff I really want/need. I’ll try and make the Vista Cx work through my brevets in 2011 and then it can live out its life in my truck. That will give the Delorme folks a chance time to run through one more product cycle and when I do get a new GPS it will be even more function – hopefully!
I’ve owned quite a few Garmin products and this is my first failure so I’m not going to totally give up on them, but the Delorme GPS with SPOT does offer something Garmin doesn’t and this failure certainly makes me more open to switching brands and learning a new OS/software.
BTW – Kurt is going to lend me his SPOT messenger beacon in 2011 since he isn’t using it much. I’l buy the subscription to their service and get to use it most of the time. If he needs it he’ll take it back for a specific trip. That way we both get SPOT functionality without buying something new. It won’t give me the satellite messaging service that the Delorme GPS w/ SPOT will, but it’s a reasonable compromise until I have to buy a new GPS.