Garmin Foretrex 601 Review

Garmin Foretrex 601 Review


The Garmin Foretrex 601 is the latest in the Foretrex line of GPS products that provides an easy-to-use device for tracking your hike or run. It combines the data recording features of a traditional sports watch with an integrated GPS receiver, allowing you to map out your path on its integrated digital compass and barometric altimeter. It is ideal for hiking, cycling, similar sports, and marine applications such as kayaking.

Garmin Foretrex 601 and Standard

The Garmin Foretrex 601 has many similarities to the previous generation of Foretrex 401s, including the exact 1.7″ x 1.7″ x .9″ dimensions, 6 oz weight, and robust plastic case covered in a simple form-fitting rubberized coating. It has the same 3.6 peak hour battery life for GPS tracking but upgraded to include backlighting for Garmin’s transflective 65K color display. 

An encouraging upgrade is that the 601 is now directly compatible with Garmin’s QuickFit bands, widely available for purchase. Also noted is that Foretrex has gone to a flat magnetic charge cable, which Users can charge by plugging into the wall or being attached to their computer’s USB port.

With most devices, you need to calibrate their altimeters before going outside to best estimate your elevation change. The 601’s altimeter has a configurable calibration factor, so changing the offset is as easy as powering it on, pressing the up button till you see “CF” displayed, then entering your calibration factor using the down key once. After that, you are good to go.

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The most significant upgrade in the Foretrex 601 is its digital compass. With the Foretrex 401, once you turned off the GPS, it would only display your last direction, even if you knew where you were and were trying to navigate back to a trailhead or other point. One workaround I found was to use the barometric altimeter to factor in the pressure change as I moved, then use that to indicate my direction of travel. 

The 601, on the other hand, will display your current bearing along with your distance back to the last waypoint you created during GPS tracking. With this new feature, it is much easier to navigate your way back to your starting point.

I have been impressed with how accurate the Foretrex 601 has been in my testing thus far. Compared to other GPS devices I have used, including a smartphone and a Garmin handheld GPS, the readings from the Foretrex 601 have been dead nuts on, at least when acquiring satellites while outside.

The only time the readings haven’t matched up is if there is some interference, like moving buildings or other tall structures. This isn’t surprising for a device that doesn’t cost all that much compared to its competition.

Another handy feature that has been added to the 601 is waypoints. This is nice because it starts you off with two default locations, your home, and work. This enables you to track where you are going, how long it will take to get there, what roads you should take, etc…

Garmin Foretrex 601 Features

The Garmin Foretrex 601 is a cutting-edge wrist-mounted GPS device that offers a range of powerful features for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a military operator, or a search and rescue team member, the Foretrex 601 provides you with the tools you need to navigate confidently in any environment. In this article, we will explore the key features of the Garmin Foretrex 601 and how it can enhance your outdoor adventures. Let’s dive in!

1. Built-in GPS Navigation

The Foretrex 601 boasts a highly sensitive GPS receiver that enables accurate navigation in even the most challenging terrains. With its high-sensitivity antenna, you can rely on precise positioning data, ensuring you never lose your way. Whether you’re exploring dense forests, trekking through mountainous regions, or traversing unfamiliar trails, the Foretrex 601’s built-in GPS navigation will guide you with confidence.

2. Dual Positioning Systems

To further enhance its navigation capabilities, the Foretrex 601 features both GPS and GLONASS positioning systems. This dual system integration provides you with better satellite coverage, increasing the accuracy and reliability of your location data. With the combined power of GPS and GLONASS, you can navigate through challenging environments, including deep canyons or dense foliage, with improved signal reception.

Garmin 010-01772-00 Foretrex 601, 2 inches

3. ABC Sensors for Enhanced Outdoor Functionality

The Garmin Foretrex 601 comes equipped with a set of ABC sensors: an altimeter, barometer, and compass. These sensors provide vital information about your surroundings, helping you make informed decisions while exploring the great outdoors. The altimeter accurately measures your elevation, enabling you to track ascents and descents with precision. The barometer keeps you informed about weather changes, alerting you to any sudden shifts in atmospheric pressure. The built-in compass ensures you always know your heading, even in areas with limited visibility.

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4. Wireless Connectivity and Smart Features

With wireless connectivity capabilities, the Foretrex 601 allows you to stay connected while on your outdoor adventures. You can pair it with your compatible smartphone to receive smart notifications, including emails, texts, and alerts, directly on your wrist. This feature ensures you can stay informed without needing to constantly check your phone. Additionally, you can wirelessly share waypoints, routes, and geocaches with other compatible Garmin devices, enhancing your teamwork and coordination in group activities.

5. Long Battery Life

One of the standout features of the Garmin Foretrex 601 is its impressive battery life. With its efficient power management system, the Foretrex 601 can operate for up to 48 hours on a single set of AAA batteries. This extended battery life ensures that your device won’t give up on you during extended outings or missions. You can rely on the Foretrex 601 to keep pace with your adventures, allowing you to focus on the journey ahead.

Read More: Garmin Foretrex 601 vs 401

Once Back at the Office, I Told Belle About My Day

However, it doesn’t work out too well when you’re trying to track your route and find the waypoint’s location. I tried it with Google Earth and had difficulty finding my waypoints because of their small and low-resolution digital compass display.

Instead, I found it easier to use the USB cable to load all my waypoints onto BaseCamp, and then view the folder on my desktop and manually zoom in and out and click around to find each location.

Suppose you have been looking for a watch that can also provide GPS tracking, navigation, or other functions where accurate measurements are needed. In that case, I will give the Foretrex 601 a vital consideration. You can pick one up from Amazon for $189, the same price as the previous model (the 401), but with twice as many features.

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Ready to Elevate Your Outdoor Adventures? Get the Garmin Foretrex 601 Today!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the power and precision of the Garmin Foretrex 601. Enhance your outdoor excursions with its built-in GPS navigation, dual positioning systems, ABC sensors, wireless connectivity, and long-lasting battery life.

Click here to order your Garmin Foretrex 601 now and embark on a new level of exploration and navigation:

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Take control of your outdoor adventures with the Garmin Foretrex 601 and navigate with confidence. Don’t wait! Get yours today and unlock a world of possibilities.

Read More: Choosing The Best Handheld GPS Device