Whilst some prefer the trail blazing nature of a map and compass for their navigation needs you can't argue with the convenience of a phone sized device to perform all the duties and more of a paper map.
The Edge Explore 1000 features a 3" touchscreen colour display which can be used much like a phone. Up to seven screens can be set up, swiping between these gives you easy access to a raft of information about your ride including a map, compass, elevation graph as well as gradient, speed, total ascent and descent, heart rate, distance, time, cadence and power figures. The device is compatible with power meters, heart rate monitors and bike speed and cadence sensors so the set-up options are pretty much unlimited.
The Edge Explore 1000 comes pre-loaded with international mapping as well as the ability to add maps should you need to. The GPS signal is quick to lock and accurate in standard GPS mode, adding GLONASS increases the accuracy but drains the battery faster.
You can opt to simply navigate to an address or alternatively courses can be set up from within the device or through the free to use Garmin Express software which can also be used to view and upload your rides and share and compete with friends if that's your thing.
Courses can be created based on previous rides, points of interest, saved locations, as well as pinning directly on to the on-screen map, all of which are easy and intuitive to use. This generates a route which you can choose to set as an 'out-and-back' route and can handily be viewed by elevation before you commit.
The round trip routing function gives you the option to calculate a choice of three cycle friendly routes from your current location. This is a breeze to use and potentially one of the best functions of the Edge Explore 1000, you simply input a desired distance and starting direction and the device comes back with the routes, all of which tend to work out pretty well.
Turn by turn navigation is fairly clear both on and off road but, as with any navigation device, it takes a little while to learn how to read the information correctly. Re-routing after veering off the pre-assigned course can be a little frustrating as it continually asks you to 'do a U-turn' rather than re-calculating a more appropriate route, we've scoured the settings in an attempt to change this but have yet to find the magic button.
The device is waterproof to IPX7 and comes with a rubber case to protect it from knocks and drops. Garmin also generously include a huge array of attachment bits and bobs which means that it should work with pretty much any bike, handlebar, device and light combo.