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GPS watch recommendations (Read 350 times)

drewL


    Lots of old threads and lots of new options.  What do people recommend for a GPS watch.  My criteria:

    - Cost

    - Quick startup/ satellite sync

    - Dedicated running

    - Simple/painless connectivity with RunningAhead.com

    - Good battery for long runs (marathon training)

    - Comfort and form factor

    - Durability

    - Water resistant/proof - I sweat big time in the summer

    - I don't need Garmin Connect or some other service - hey I've got RA.com!

    - Comforable heart rate monitor

     

    I've been running with the Forerunner 305 for 7 years (replaced once with factory refurb program).  It's time for a new watch, and one of the most important features is RA.com compatibility!

     

    Thanks for your input!


    Member Since 2008

      I have been using the same Garmin 205 since 2007.  I have never had a single problem with it.  It is an older model so it doesn't link up to anything but I enjoy manually loading the data as much as I do running.  I even took a couple of years off, pulled it out of the drawer and it still had a charge.

      If I were to buy a new GPS it would be a Garmin, without second thought.


      Feeling the growl again

        I would avoid anything Timex....it won't last...I've had good luck with Garmin.  I still use a 201 from 2005-2006...I've thought it dead a few times and I can't do laps as the memory is full and I can't empty it because the mode button quit working last year...but the battery still goes 13 hours like when it was new and it is otherwise fully functional.  Can't ask for better longevity than that out of an electronic device exposed to corrosive conditions whenever in use.

         

        I wear Timex Ironman watches because I have been for 25 years and for $30 I can afford to throw them away when the battery goes dead (~3 years).  I've learned that it's useless trying to replace the battery, they will not stay waterproof afterwards and will be dead again in weeks.  I owned the first GPS Timex came out with...the one with the arm band and watch...the watch part went dead in 1 year.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         


        day after day sameness

          Forerunner 220 is right in the sweet spot of features / cost for most runners. Forerunner 210 is good feature balance (with a few nits) as well if you're willing to not have the fast GPS caching feature you mention in your list.

           

          Were I buying tomorrow, I'd go with FR220.

          Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

            Forerunner 220 is right in the sweet spot of features / cost for most runners. Forerunner 210 is good feature balance (with a few nits) as well if you're willing to not have the fast GPS caching feature you mention in your list.

             

            Were I buying tomorrow, I'd go with FR220.

             

            I was about to post something along these lines. I am pretty satisfied with my 210; it has all the basics, I didn't want anything more complicated. I have heard the 220 picks up a signal much more quickly, so might go with that if buying today; however the 210 isn't too bad in that department.

             

            My only complaint about the 210 is the glitchy uploading via the clip connector, although people also seem to have problems with some of the wireless systems. And I have had to do a hard reset a couple times; probably par for the course with these things in general.

            Dave

            StellarsJJayS


              I have been using the same Garmin 205 since 2007.  I have never had a single problem with it.  It is an older model so it doesn't link up to anything but I enjoy manually loading the data as much as I do running.  I even took a couple of years off, pulled it out of the drawer and it still had a charge.

              If I were to buy a new GPS it would be a Garmin, without second thought.

               

              What do you have problems linking up to?  I have a 205 as well, and am able to connect anywhere/everyhere...here at RA first and foremost, but I've tried Runner's World, MapMy/Fitness/Run, and GarminConnect to name a few....

              There is only one acceptable pace...all out suicide...

              ...and today is a good day to die!

                         --  Pre


              Gang Name "Pound Cake"

                I've had several models. The 310xt is the best I've had in terms of features, long battery life, and very good ability to see through tree cover.

                - Scott

                2014 Goals: First Marathon - BQ2016 <3:40 (3:25:18) - 1/2M <1:45 - 5K <22:00

                2014 Marathons: 05/04 Flying Pig (3:49:02) - 09/20 Air Force (BQ 3:25:18) - 11/01 Indianapolis Monumental


                Dave

                  After starting with a Garmin 201 and then graduating to a couple of 305's (warranty service fixed one that was pretty worn), I recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 220.

                   

                  So far so good.  Love how quick it picks up satellites and the HR strap is much more reliable.

                   

                  Don't like some of the limitations on fields (only 3) and inability to show lap HR.

                   

                  It's still a bit pricey for what it provides though.  I might even go with a more basic model like the Forerunner 15 that will double as a "fitbit-like" step counter as an everyday watch.

                  I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

                  dgb2n@yahoo.com


                  Member Since 2008

                     

                    What do you have problems linking up to?  I have a 205 as well, and am able to connect anywhere/everyhere...here at RA first and foremost, but I've tried Runner's World, MapMy/Fitness/Run, and GarminConnect to name a few....

                     

                    I'm not a tech guy.  No need for something that would just confuse me.

                    karsa


                      Perfectly happy with my FR10. Been using it for a year now, no issues so far. Doesn't know intervals (unless you press the lap button yourself or if you do intervals by time) but I don't do intervals anyway.

                       

                      If I were to buy a GPS watch right now, I'd choose between FR10 (nice and cheap, 5h battery life which is enough for a marathon), FR15 (same as FR10 but almost twice the battery life and a bit more expensive, can also be used with a HR monitor I think) and XT310 (even more expensive, larger, but around 20h battery life and interval function and HR strap)

                      Mr R


                        I have the 620, and I regret buying it. The GPS accuracy is really, really poor. I'm not talking about poor by the standards of people who obsess over these things (sort of like the amateur photographers who blow up pictures 100x on their screen and complain about lack of sharpness). I mean that I get a variation of about 5% per run every time.

                         

                        The design and user interface are wonderful, though.

                         

                        Were I to do it over, I'd just get the 10 or 15. I honestly think that interval functions aren't really that important, even for serious runners. I can't imagine ever forgetting what workout I'm doing, and the FR15 will tell you what lap you're on, so you won't forget how many you have left to do.

                         

                        I also don't think it's a big deal to be able to see HR as well as time/distance because HR will ALWAYS climb throughout a workout. That's why training with zones is so difficult. Better to go by speed and perceived exertion. You can look at your HR curves on the computer afterward and compare progress over time if you want.

                        What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles, Miles of Trials. How could they be expected to understand that? -John Parker

                          I've had my TomTom Runner Cardio for a few weeks and am loving it.

                           

                          My favorite feature is the optical HR monitor built into the watch itself.  Works beautifully and no more failure prone chest straps!  The watch picks up GPS incredibly quickly (just a few seconds) and much faster than my Garmin ever would.  The band is very comfortable, but would probably seem very wide for a woman's wrist.  The display is very clear and easy to read.  It shows 3 customizable fields per screen, which is fine for me, but a drawback for others.  The vibration alerts is one of those little things that I never knew I always wanted.  The watch's motion sensor tracks cadence (technically, arm swing), which I can see on other sites but haven't figured out how to review this data on RA's graphs.  For treadmill runs, it will estimate distance.  While the estimation isn't very accurate for me, the watch allows you to calibrate the workout, allowing for accurate reporting of treadmill workouts pace and distance.

                           

                          The watch can connect to your iPhone (Android coming soon) for wireless uploading to popular fitness sites, if you use those.  I generally just connect it to my computer so I can store my own data files.  The software auto-uploads to my PC upon connection, then it is easy enough to upload the .fit or .tcx file to this site.  Battery life is average, but certainly adequate for marathon training.  The watch is rated as fully waterproof up to 165 ft.

                           

                          Price is $270 though you can save 10% by following the link on DC Rainmaker's review.

                          2014 goals:   •  1st Marathon  •  3,000 miles


                          Okie Trail Runner

                            Lots of old threads and lots of new options.  What do people recommend for a GPS watch.  My criteria:

                            - Cost

                            - Quick startup/ satellite sync

                            - Dedicated running

                            - Simple/painless connectivity with RunningAhead.com

                            - Good battery for long runs (marathon training)

                            - Comfort and form factor

                            - Durability

                            - Water resistant/proof - I sweat big time in the summer

                            - I don't need Garmin Connect or some other service - hey I've got RA.com!

                            - Comforable heart rate monitor

                             

                            I've been running with the Forerunner 305 for 7 years (replaced once with factory refurb program).  It's time for a new watch, and one of the most important features is RA.com compatibility!

                             

                            Thanks for your input!

                             

                            I too ran with the 305 for many years. What a great GPS watch! I finally upgraded a couple of months ago to the 910XT. It was on sale, so I skipped the 310XT. The 310XT is still your bang for the buck champ, but with the sale I spent less than $100 for the newer 910XT. It works great with RA. Just don't install Garmin Express. Just use the Ant+ agent and you'll have no trouble. Love my new toy so far!

                             

                            Two minor quibbles with it, and they are quibbles: 1) I made one of the 4 customizable screens to only have one field, TIME, so that I could disable the GPS and wear around as a watch. It works great. But I wish it also had the date on the screen too. 2) When running the elapsed time of your run counts up in minutes and second until it gets to an hour and then you get hours and minutes and no seconds. I had that they don't show seconds. So if you are doing a 75 minute run, you start really staring at the watch when it gets to 1:14 because you have up to a minute to wait around until it gets to 1:15. And if you miss it, your split will be off. OK, small potatoes. It speaks well of the device if those are my biggest gripes about the watch!

                             

                            Ideas for their next version: 1) Bluetooth. Why not? 2) Activity tracking 3) Augmented by solar energy. If my Casio G-Shock can do it, why can't Garmin? I'm not talking about powering the GPS. Just the watch feature when the GPS is disabled. Anyway, just some ideas.

                            Upcoming races: Do-Wacka-Do Trail 50K September 6th, Palo Duro 50K October 18th, Wild Hare 50M November 22nd

                             

                            Obligatory out of date blog


                            I've got a fever...

                              Garmin 310XT.  It may be bulky, but:

                               

                              • It has buttons.  I greatly prefer buttons over monkeying around with a touch screen.
                              • Excellent waterproofing
                              • large, easy-to-read display
                              • Connectivity with RA is good as long as you don't install Garmin Express

                              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                                I used to be a backer of the 310XT as my for sure next GPS watch ... until I got my 220.  I'd sure hate going back to the bulky 205/305/310XT style again.  I used the 205/305 for several years and thought it was perfect but the wear-ability of the 220 made me forget about the extra features of the 205/305. The 220 can be worn as a daily watch (time and date displayed) without looking like you're wearing a goofy Dick Tracy watch.    Since I wear it all the time I never forget my GPS anymore.  As a watch it lasts for ... I don't have any idea but I've never even come close to draining the battery.  No menus to go into to disable GPS either, just lock the screen and it automatically turns off the GPS and goes into watch mode, unlock the screen and it automatically goes into GPS mode.  No touchscreen, waterproof, decent battery life, <5sec satellite acquisition.  I bought the one without the HR monitor but it actually works with my old 305 HR strap if I want to use that function.

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