BackTrack Point-5: Bushnell Ups the Hunting GPS Ante
As the Point-5 indicates, I've successfully navigated to within seven yards of my house. Visual observation will likely guide me from here.
The Bushnell BackTrack was a very, very popular item. It was and remains an incredibly easy to use personal GPS that weighs very little and is handy enough to carry most anywhere. The new BackTrack Point-5 builds upon the success of the original BackTrack, in a more ergonomic platform with more capabilities. As the name suggests, the BackTrack Point-5 gives you the ability to save five waypoints instead of three as in the original. It isn't hard to come up with four or five spots you'd like to mark, whether it is home base, fishing/hunting spot 1,2,3, and a rendezvous point to meet your buddy at noon or the end of the day. It is a welcomed addition.
The Point-5 is a bit smaller than its predecessor. Bushnell also offers the Backtrack Point-3 version with twenty bucks off the retail price and three waypoints. For any significant outdoor use at all, I think you'll want the Point-5 version. Either way, the unit runs on a pair of AAA batteries with an estimated life of 132 hours of use for the Point-5 and 168 hours of use for the Point-3. I have no idea how they calculated their average turn-on cycles, but it seems to me that during a full day afield you won't be constantly referring to it. There is a prominent battery life indicator, so when batteries run down it should be no surprise.
The Point-5 now includes a clock, synched with the satellite. It also gives you ambient temperature, elevation, and a few more bells and whistles. The pointer display is now huge and far easier to read while following the arrow to a waypoint. As far as I'm concerned, the massive navigation pointer is the biggest, most obvious improvement compared to the dinky number on the periphery of the display found in the original. It makes this pocket-sized GPS far easier to use. For the record, the tested model is Bushnell Model #360200, it weighs 2 oz., and has dimensions of .88 in. x 2.3 in. x 3.5 in. Satellite acquisition seems markedly faster in this latest version as well, one of the few gripes I've heard about the original model. Expect to find the Point-5 at around eighty dollars, with the Point-3 model closer to the sixty-five dollar area.
It is a significant advance over the original Backtrack to the point where if you liked the old one, you'll love this version with no question. It has a better display, making it easier to use, and the five point capability makes it all the more appealing. Bushnell should sell a ton of these little beauties, there is nothing out there that competes with it that I'm aware of. It will be going bear hunting in a few weeks, to be sure. Bushnell did a fabulous job increasing the functionality of this unit, with no loss in ease of use.