Garmin's already firmly entrenched in the GPS for outdoorspeople game with its Oregon line of handhelds, and now the company's announced a new series, the Dakotas. Two models -- the 10 and 20, respectively -- have been launched. These bad boys supposedly have a 20 hour battery charge life, a 2.6-inch LCD (diagonally), and store up to 200 tracks. The higher-end Dakota 20 boasts a MicroSD slot, an electronic compass, a barometric altimeter, and wireless data transfer between compatible units. They're expected in the 3rd quarter and will run you $299.99 for the Dakota 10 and $349.99 for the 20. Full press release after the break.

[Via GPS Tracklog]

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced the Dakota 10 and Dakota 20 handheld GPS navigators, packing a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, worldwide basemap and color touchscreen display into a compact, waterproof device with up to 20 hours of battery life.

"As families and friends explore the outdoors – from an exotic locale to the local park – Dakota helps keep their adventures affordable and enjoyable," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales.

"While kids have fun with Dakota's small size and simple interface, parents can take comfort in never losing their way thanks to high-sensitivity GPS and extended battery life."

Lightweight, rugged and waterproof, Garmin's new Dakota devices quickly acquire and maintain satellite reception – even in heavy tree cover or deep canyons – thanks to a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix TM , which automatically calculates and stores critical satellite information and can use that information to quickly calculate a position. Everyone from geocachers and youth scouts to surveyors and hunters can take advantage of Dakota's 850 MB of internal memory, which can store up to 1,000 waypoints, 50 routes, 2,000 geocaches and an active tracklog of up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks.

Based on the innovative interface of Garmin's award-winning Oregon series, Dakota's glove-friendly, color 2.6-inch touchscreen display is easy to read and use in all conditions, responsive to the touch of your finger, yet resistant to the forces of nature. Weighing only 6.75 ounces, Dakota lasts up to 20 hours on two AA batteries and can connect to your PC or Mac via USB connection.

Dakota 20 adds even more features, including a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, a microSD card slot for increased mapping and memory storage, and wireless unit-to-unit connectivity for sharing your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with compatible Dakota, Oregon, Colorado and Foretrex devices. Dakota 20's 3-axis, tilt-compensated electronic compass shows your heading even when you're standing still, without needing to hold it level.

It's fun and easy to get into paperless geocaching with Dakota. You can download up to 2,000 caches, with information such as location, terrain, difficulty, hints and description - no more paper print outs and manually entered coordinates. Visit Garmin.com/geocache for more information.

Dakota comes preloaded with a worldwide basemap and is compatible with Garmin City Navigator NT for turn-by-turn directions on city streets, Blue Chart g2 for marine charting, and TOPO U.S. 24K and 100K map software for incredible terrain detail (each sold separately).

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Garmin launches Dakota line of handheld GPS units for the great outdoors