Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Garmin 310 XT

After my Garmin Forerunner 305 died, I just used an iPhone app to log my miles. But in half-iron training, the long rides eventually tested the battery life, so I was back on the market for a GPS watch.

I ended up with the Garmin 310XT, and two weeks in I have been very happy with it. I still use the Runtastic app on the shorter runs.

I paid $179 for a refurbished model on Amazon and I'd never know the difference between that and a new one.

Eventually I'll upgrade to the Garmin 910XT, which can do more, especially on the swimming front, but it was out of my range so I know I'm doing without a few features.

I'm a data junkie so it's nice having all the numbers. Sometimes I have to force myself to not look at it though! I was psyching myself out by staring at the settings during the Quakerman Duathlon.

Setup: The 310XT is very similar to the 305, so I had no issues setting it up. It's really easy to customize the data fields and you have a lot of options.

Swimming: The watch is waterproof, so you can wear both it and the heart rate monitor under water. The vibrating alerts freaked me out a bit at first but it's nice for being in the water when you can't hear it beep. The distance on the swim is by far not accurate, but in the watch's description it never claimed to be. Someday I'd like the stroke counts on the 910XT but this works nicely for now.

Multisport mode: I used this for the first time during my event Sunday. When you turn on multisport mode you can customize which sports you'd like to use and whether or not you'd like transitions. This made it really easy, I just hit the lap button as I was running in and out of transition so my times were accurate. It kept a total time in addition to a lap time, and you could see the details of each leg.

Size: The watch is a little bulky and bothered me during my first long run with it. I got used to the Forerunner though, which was the same size.

Bike mode: There are more than one bike categories, so you can set a different profile depending on what kind of cycling you are doing.

Battery life: Great! It is supposed to last for 20 hours. The most I've ever used it for is 5, and the battery life only went down slightly. The charging clip was a little weird at first, but I figured it out.

Accuracy: Any GPS watch will be slightly off, and the distances Sunday were very close to the course estimates.

Heart rate monitor: I love it! If you leave the watch on, it also gives you a resting heart rate a few minutes after you hit "stop".

Satellites: Compared to the iPhone app, it does take awhile to find a signal. If I'm starting out at a different location than where I finished previously, I do need to turn the watch on 5 to 10 minutes beforehand so it can find a signal.

Syncing: Sadly, I haven't been able to sync it up yet. I don't have a home computer and I can't install new programs to my work computer, and there's no way to get the data directly onto the iPhone without a $40 ANT stick.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jessica, nice review. I chose the 310xt over other brands and over the garmin 910. I know many people complain that the gps and the HR monitor does not work under water 310xt but i wonder if any gps watch works under water. Anyway the 310xt still collect a lot of info in OWS but it is better to place the watch under your swimming cap than on your wrist for better accuracy. I wrote why i chose the 310xt at www.squidoo.com/garmin-310xt-review-and-why-i-chose-it