Garmin Foretrex 401 vs 601: Which Is Best?

garmin foretrex 401 vs 601

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When it comes to outdoor navigation, Garmin is a name you can trust. The Garmin Foretrex 401 and 601 are two popular GPS navigators designed for outdoor enthusiasts. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct features that set them apart. In this article, we will compare the Garmin Foretrex 401 and 601 to help you determine which one is best suited for your outdoor adventures.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Garmin Foretrex 401 and 601 are both reliable GPS navigators for outdoor activities.
  • The Foretrex 601 offers more advanced features compared to the Foretrex 401.
  • Consider your specific needs and budget when choosing between the two models.
  • The Foretrex 601 is a significant upgrade with multiple navigation systems, longer battery life, and smart capabilities.
  • The Foretrex 401 is a more budget-friendly option for hikers.

Garmin Foretrex 401 Review

The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a reliable and versatile GPS navigator designed for outdoor enthusiasts, especially budget-conscious hikers. With its compact and lightweight design, this weather-resistant device is perfect for those who want a navigational companion that can withstand the elements.

Despite being a more basic model compared to its successors, the Foretrex 401 still offers several noteworthy features. It is equipped with a barometric altimeter, allowing users to track changes in elevation accurately. The electronic compass provides reliable directional guidance, ensuring you stay on the right path during your outdoor adventures.

One of the standout capabilities of the Foretrex 401 is its wireless sharing feature, enabling you to synchronize data, such as waypoints, tracks, and routes, with other compatible devices. This makes it easier to collaborate with fellow hikers or upload your adventures to online platforms for sharing and analysis.

However, it’s important to note that the Foretrex 401 does not come with preloaded maps, which may be a drawback for some users. Additionally, its battery life is relatively short compared to more advanced models. Nonetheless, considering its affordable price point, these limitations are understandable and may not be significant concerns for budget-conscious individuals.

Garmin Foretrex 401

Features Price Specifications
Compact and lightweight design Reasonable – Weight: 2.6 oz
– Dimensions: 2.9″ x 1.7″ x 0.9″
– Display resolution: 100 x 64 pixels
Barometric altimeter – Altimeter range: -2,300 to 30,000 feet
– Vertical speed display
Electronic compass – Tilt-compensated
– Heading accuracy: +/- 2 degrees
Wireless sharing capabilities – Wirelessly share routes, tracks, and waypoints

In conclusion, while the Garmin Foretrex 401 may not have the advanced features of newer models, it still delivers reliable navigation and tracking capabilities. Its affordability and durability make it an appealing choice for budget-conscious hikers who prioritize essential functionalities. Stay tuned for the following sections, where we will explore the features and benefits of the Garmin Foretrex 601 and 701.

Garmin Foretrex 601 Review

The Garmin Foretrex 601 is a top-of-the-line GPS navigator designed for outdoor enthusiasts seeking advanced features and durability. With its impressive specifications, this device is sure to elevate your outdoor adventures to the next level.

One of the standout features of the Foretrex 601 is its GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo support. This means that you’ll have access to multiple navigation systems, ensuring accurate positioning even in challenging environments. Whether you’re hiking through dense forests or exploring rugged terrain, you can rely on the Foretrex 601 to keep you on the right track.

Another notable improvement in the Foretrex 601 is its enhanced screen resolution. The high-resolution display provides clear and vivid visuals, allowing for easy readability in various lighting conditions. Whether it’s bright sunlight or pitch-black darkness, you can trust that the Foretrex 601’s screen will deliver crisp and legible information.

When it comes to battery life, the Foretrex 601 outperforms its predecessor. With an impressive battery life of up to 48 hours in GPS mode, you can enjoy extended outdoor excursions without worrying about your device running out of power. This long-lasting battery ensures that you can rely on the Foretrex 601 throughout your entire adventure.

In addition to its navigation capabilities, the Foretrex 601 offers smart notifications. Connect it to your smartphone, and you’ll receive important calls, messages, and alerts right on your wrist. Stay connected to the outside world while still enjoying the great outdoors.

Furthermore, the Foretrex 601 is MIL-STD-810 compliant, making it exceptionally durable and resistant to shock, water, and extreme temperatures. No matter the conditions you face during your outdoor excursions, the Foretrex 601 can withstand the elements and continue to perform reliably.

garmin foretrex 601 review

The Garmin Foretrex 601 is the perfect companion for adventurous individuals who want the best of the best. With its advanced features, improved battery life, and rugged design, this GPS navigator ensures that you can navigate with confidence and peace of mind.

Garmin Foretrex 701 Review

The Garmin Foretrex 701 is a versatile GPS navigator that shares many features with its predecessor, the Foretrex 601. However, what sets the Foretrex 701 apart is its Applied Ballistics calculator, which makes it an excellent choice for hunting and shooting enthusiasts.

With the Foretrex 701, you get all the advanced functionalities of the Foretrex 601, such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo support, a high-resolution display, and extended battery life. But the Applied Ballistics feature takes it to a whole new level. It combines environmental measurements with ballistics algorithms to provide precise aiming solutions for long-range shooting.

The Foretrex 701 also boasts additional memory capacity, allowing you to store more data, waypoints, and routes. This is especially beneficial for users who rely heavily on their GPS navigator for detailed planning and tracking.

Applied Ballistics Calculator

The Applied Ballistics calculator integrated into the Foretrex 701 provides shooters with critical information to enhance their accuracy. It takes into account variables such as distance, wind speed, atmospheric conditions, and even the shooter’s specific weapon and ammunition details. With this data, the calculator generates aiming solutions, making it easier to hit targets accurately, especially at longer distances.

The Foretrex 701’s Applied Ballistics calculator is a valuable tool for both professional shooters and hobbyists who seek precision and consistency in their shooting endeavors. It eliminates the need for manual calculations and guesswork, giving you a clear advantage in the field.

Garmin Foretrex 701 vs Foretrex 601

Features Foretrex 701 Foretrex 601
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo support
Barometric altimeter
Applied Ballistics calculator No
Memory capacity Increased Standard
Durability MIL-STD-810 MIL-STD-810

While the Garmin Foretrex 701 excels in accuracy and precision for shooting activities, it may not be necessary for users who do not engage in hunting or shooting. In such cases, the Foretrex 601 offers the same core features and durability at a more affordable price point.

Ultimately, the choice between the Foretrex 701 and the Foretrex 601 depends on your specific outdoor pursuits. If you are a shooting enthusiast or require advanced ballistics calculations, the Foretrex 701 is a top-notch option. Otherwise, the Foretrex 601 provides all the essential features for reliable navigation and performance.


In conclusion, the Garmin Foretrex 601 surpasses the Foretrex 401 in terms of advanced features, making it the preferred choice for outdoor enthusiasts. With multiple navigation systems, a superior screen, extended battery life, and smart capabilities, the Foretrex 601 offers enhanced functionality and convenience during outdoor adventures.

While the Foretrex 701 caters specifically to hunters and shooters with its Applied Ballistics calculator, the Foretrex 601 provides a well-rounded experience for most users. Its comprehensive features and improved durability make it suitable for various outdoor activities.

However, if you are a budget-conscious hiker, the Foretrex 401 still serves as a reliable option. Despite its limitations, such as the lack of preloaded maps and a shorter battery life, the Foretrex 401 can meet the basic navigation needs of outdoor enthusiasts.

When choosing between the Garmin Foretrex 401, 601, and 701, it is essential to consider your specific requirements and budget. The Foretrex 601, with its advanced features and reasonable price, strikes a balance between functionality and affordability, making it the recommended choice for most outdoor enthusiasts.


What are the main differences between the Garmin Foretrex 401 and 601?

The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a basic model, while the Foretrex 601 offers advanced features such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo support, as well as a better screen resolution and longer battery life.

Does the Garmin Foretrex 401 come with preloaded maps?

No, the Foretrex 401 does not come with preloaded maps.

How durable are the Garmin Foretrex 401 and 601?

Both the Foretrex 401 and 601 are weather-resistant, but the Foretrex 601 is MIL-STD-810 compliant, making it more durable and resistant to shock, water, and extreme temperatures.

Can the Garmin Foretrex 601 display smart notifications?

Yes, the Foretrex 601 supports smart notifications.

Is the Garmin Foretrex 701 suitable for non-hunters and non-shooters?

The Foretrex 701 includes an Applied Ballistics calculator, making it ideal for hunters and shooters. For non-hunters and non-shooters, the Foretrex 601 would be a more suitable option.

Which model is recommended for budget-conscious hikers?

The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a reliable option for budget-conscious hikers.

How should I make a decision between the Garmin Foretrex 401 and 601?

Consider your specific needs and budget when deciding between the Foretrex 401 and 601.

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