A GPS Cozy

I carry the little Garmin Geko 301 GPS unit mainly as a backup to the map and compass and partly to allow me to note any tricky-to-find wild camp sites. It’s very light at 87gms so I don’t begrudge the weight too much.

However the screen looks like it would be very easy to break and the on/off button very easy to accidentally press. Especially since I keep it in a silnylon stuffsac on the outside of the pack along with other things that I want to-hand like sunglasses and torch.

So I’ve constructed a very simple and very light “GPS cozy” from some duck tape, a little bit of foam sleeping mat and the side of a plastic bottle. It only weighs 14gms.

The plastic bottle is one of those square-sided Finish Dishwasher Cleaner containers. It’s purpose is partly to add more protection for the screen but mainly it’s to stop the foam being compressed into the on/off button thereby accidentally switching the unit on. Without the hard plastic to protect that button, it doesn’t take a great deal of pressure on the outside of the cozy to activate the switch.

Construction is fairly obvious from the pictures. You can just see the inset I’ve made so that cozy isn’t permanently pressing on the buttons. That inset also means that once the unit is slipped into the cozy, the buttons pop-up into the gap and therefore stop the cosy slipping back off again.

There’s also a chamfer cut along the front edge of the foam where the buttons first contact it as the Geko is slid inside. It’s the same principle as used on any door catch, a chamfer on the catch lets it slide back inside the door, only to pop back out once the door is closed.

To start off, you need to make a hoop of tape, just big enough for the GPS to slide into, with the sticky face outermost, with each end stuck to the foam/bottle-side. That then gets covered by a second layer of tape, sticky side in, that forms the outside face of the cosey. Trust me, it’s easier to see what I mean when you start playing around with it.

It might not be the slickest design ever but it’s very functional and has been shaken around in the pack for nearly two years now and is still in one piece. I’ve used the same technique to make a camera lens cozy that’s also worked rather well. Especially when I managed to drop the lens…

3 Replies to “A GPS Cozy”

  1. I’m just wondering if and when Garmin will replace their Geko series. They have been around unchanged for quite some time now. The 101 already disappeared but the 201 and 301 are still available.
    It would be nice seeing the same form factor/weight but with a better GPS receiver, longer runtime and maybe a color screen. I will inquire at the upcoming Outdoor traide show.

  2. Funny – I’d been wondering the same after looking up the link to the Garmin site for the posting.

    Glad to hear you’re going to the show again! Look forward to the postings – particularly on this :)

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