GPS Showdown

Magellan Triton 2000 ($499; Ease-of-use: * * Features: * * Durability: * * * Satellite acquisition: * * * Battery type: AA At first glance, the Triton 2000 impresses. It boasts a beautiful 2.7-inch touchscreen, a 3-axis electronic compass, a barometer, an LED flashlight and even a 2 megapixel digital camera and voice recorder. Not to mention, it's the first handheld GPS compatible with National Geographic topo maps and has an SD card slot that lets you sling along extra data and save routes, while a music player keeps you entertained throughout your journey. What's more, its SiRFstarIII chipset offers the fastest satellite acquisition available today. It even comes equipped with a mini-stylus. So why shouldn't you be running out to buy one? Well, it crashes and freezes up like it's running Windows Vista. Until Magellan remedies this problem, the Triton 2000 is a good example of a great idea, but poor execution. SCORING IS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 3 STARSOutdoor Life Online Editor
Garmin Colorado 400T EDITOR'S CHOICE & GREAT BUY ($639; Ease-of-use: * * * Features: * * Durability: * * * Satellite acquisition: * * Battery type: AA The Colorado 400t is a great and innovative new backcountry GPS unit. It's both intuitive and elegant, feels good in your hand, and is the most durable of the units we tested. Its speedy click wheel interface makes the 400t glove-friendly, so you don't have to worry about baring your fingers in cold weather just to mark a waypoint. At more than $600, it's also the most expensive of the bunch, but with many of the latest features in GPS technology all crammed into such a compact package, we think you'll agree it's worth the bounty. SCORING IS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 3 STARSOutdoor Life Online Editor
Bushnell Onix 400 ($499; Ease-of-use: * Features: * * * Durability: Not tested Satellite acquisition: * Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion No doubt about it, with XM satellite radio and satellite imagery capability, the Onix 400 scores huge in both the "unique" and "cool" departments. Sporting an extra large 3.5-inch full-color LCD display (the reason we didn't test its durability- we were too afraid to break it), the Onix 400 retrieves real-time NEXRAD weather data downlinked via XM Weather for your exact location. It can even layer it over a geo-referenced satellite map of your coordinates and tell you what the weather is going to be like in the next 30 minutes. But with all of these cutting-edge features, we found it oddly unnatural to use and discovered it has a steep learning curve. But once you know what you're doing, it's reassuring to know that you've got some of the most advanced technology at your aid. SCORING IS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 3 STARSOutdoor Life Online Editor
Magellan CrossoverGPS ($399; Ease-of-use: * * * Features: * * Satellite acquisition: * * If you're on the road just as much as you are in the great outdoors, Magellan's CrossoverGPS is a decent compromise. Sporting modes for both the jungle and the concrete jungle, you'll stay informed no matter where you find yourself. True to its rugged roots, the CrossoverGPS features an ultra-sturdy mount and has what looks like a brilliant optional marine navigation mode called BlueNav that shows nautical traffic lines and restricted zones. (Unfortunately we weren't able to test this feature.) Our only complaints lie with its less than attractive Hertz NeverLost-type interface and its bulky feel. SCORING IS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 3 STARSOutdoor Life Online Editor
TomTom Go 720 (EDITOR'S CHOICE) ($449; Ease-of-use: * * * Features: * * Satellite acquisition: * * * If you want a well-designed, simple to use, feature packed GPS, the TomTom Go 720 is it. It may not have the Lane Assist, Speed Assist or Zagat restaurant reviews found on the Navigon, but of the three vehicle GPS systems we tested, the TomTom Go 720 is the best of all worlds. Its huge 4.3-inch touchscreen is super responsive, route recalculations are made at lighting speed and the map page is laid out in a very readable format. Plus, the spoken voice, "Mandy," is actually pleasant to listen to and very human-like. Other features include a built-in FM transmitter for your iPod, Bluetooth connectivity for your phone and even a setting that asks what time you'd like to arrive at your destination- that's right, it doesn't tell you what time you will arrive, it asks what time you need to arrive. Optional features include real-time traffic and weather. Our only complaint: Most of the time Mandy simply said, "Turn right" or "Take the second right," while the Navigon told us exactly onto what street to turn. SCORING IS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 3 STARSOutdoor Life Online Editor
Navigon 2100 (GREAT BUY) ($249; Ease-of-use: * * Features: * * * Satellite acquisition: * * * While some GPS makers have lost their way over the years, regurgitating the same tired technology, Navigon has reinvented GPS technology. Features on the Navigon 2100 include an assist mode to help identify the proper lane for exiting the highway, real-time traffic, realistic depictions of complicated intersections and an advanced 3D highway Reality View. And it's the first GPS with a restaurant guide, complete with customer reviews from This small GPS even has the speed limit built-in for most major highways. As for it's mounting system, it's the best we've seen. Our only complaint is the slightly sluggish and less-than-intuitive interface navigation. But for less than $250, it's hard to beat. SCORING IS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 3 STARSOutdoor Life Online Editor

We put the latest global positioning systems- for the wild and the truck- to the test