Trail Runners


Sport watch recommendations (Read 183 times)


Me, the Barbie version

    Hello everyone! I am slowly acquiring more and more specialized gear to support my trail running habit. I think I am committed enough now to start looking for a watch with GPS and all that kind of stuff to help me track distances. I run on unimproved trails without mile markers, so good distance tracking is critical. Considering I am one of those supremely selfish individuals who enjoys taking advantage of "Holiday Sale Pricing" to buy items for myself, I thought I would take a poll of the "trail pros" for suggestions and then find a great deal in the next few weeks. If anyone wants to suggest other items that are very helpful to the sport, that is appreciated too. I will keep my eyes peeled for those as well. Thanks, Kitrin
      Kitrin - I don't know anything about sports watches w/GPS. The Garmin 301 (?) I use doesn't track in the trees, so when I run in the Arcata Forest, I have to figure out from my map which grouping of trails will equal my required miles. You might try posting your question over at Kickrunners Extreme. Lots of trail running experience over there. Good luck!

      Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain


      Trail Runner Nation


      2018: Mendocino Coast 50k - April 21

        Hi Kitrin! I asked this question when I was thinking about the Garmin Forerunner 305. I had a 201 previously, and had a lot of trouble, even on paved trails with trees around. But the majority of the replies to my post encouraged me that I would have better luck with the 305, and I have. I haven't lost a signal yet on any of my trail runs. It is SO nice to know my mileage. If you're at all interested in tracking heart rate, the 305 and 405 come with a monitor also. I'd say my Garmin is the most helpful thing I have (besides good shoes!)
          I also had a 201 for several years that eventually wore out. My husband has a 205, and now i have a 305. We run steep canyons with trees, and rarely have signal loss, although it does happen now and then. I agree with Trunner - my Garmin is my most critical training tool besides my shoes. Big grin
          Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado
            As I've posted elsewhere, I've had bad luck w/ my Garmin 205. I'm on watch #3 now... the others having failed. The 2nd failure burned a small hole in my arm when it discharged current during a R2R2R run. My watch is not under warranty anymore, so when it dies again I'm switching to Polar. Another big downside of the Garmin for me is that the battery only lasts 10-11 hours. Not enough for most of my ultras. You may also want to take a look at the Polar RS800CX... it has all the features of the Garmin plus it has field replaceable batteries, a barometric altimeter, and cycling computer functions (if you need them). It's quite a bit more expensive though ($469). If you do get a Garmin, I'd consider covering the 4 gold contacts on the back w/ a piece of electrical tape. Since I started doing that, I haven't had any problems w/ the watch. - Chris PS: As much trouble as I've had, I will say they are good about quickly replacing watches...

            Me, the Barbie version

              Thank you for all the replies. I ran a couple miles today at what I thought was an aggressive pace, but I will never know for sure. I think I will look into the Garmin 305. It is not TOO expensive and maybe I can get a good deal since they will be pushing the new 405. Chris, thanks for the heads up on the contacts. What an experience that must have been! Kitrin
                I've had my Garmin 205 for 2 years without any problem occuring. Also, I have never lost a signal even under a thick canopy. It's the same as the 305 but without the heart rate monitor so it's less expensive. If your not concerned with tracking your HR I'd go with the 205. I don't know anything about the 405. I don't think it would be worth the additional cost unless the battery lasts alot longer than the 205/305. Like Chis said, they only last about 10 hours. So far, that is not a problem for me.
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                  Kitrin I found this 305 on sale with rebate for $160. That's less than I paid for my 205. Here is the link. Dan
                  Only the lead dog has a different view. My Blog