Garmin Dakota 20 GPS review
If you want your GPS to be more than just a small, plasticky map or something that can record your ride then the versatile, feature-packed Dakota 20 is a good choice.
It’s certainly tough, surviving crashes that tested the 148g unit and the bike mount, and the touchscreen works with gloves on and when wet and muddy. We’ll need a long term test to see if it stays that way, though.
The Ordnance Survey base maps are fantastic for navigation, offering all the details that you get with a paper map – if a little grainy.
The dashboard displays live speed, distances and a host of other outputs including an elevation plot that’s perfect for mile munchers, while the ‘navigate to’ function will guide you turn-by-turn like an in-car system – although there’s no voiceover. It even has listings for local restaurants!
The interface was intuitive, and we were able to navigate though features and customise displays in a few taps. However some of the function paths were complex.
Recording a route, which we think would be a regularly used feature, was a real chore, having to go though a number of screens just to start and stop recording.
We had more success using the preset ﬁtness and recreational user modes, which were well set up and we found them easy to use.
One random system freeze reminded us to take a back-up map – these things can happen if there’s bad data link from a satellite. One niggle is that the USB cable doesn’t recharge the two AA batteries – it only transfers data – so you’ll need a charger too.
If you need a GPS unit that can master maps, deliver data, record your ride and ﬁtness data, and direct you to your post-ride pasta when it’s all over, this is a good do-it-all option.