What else could you use to track yourself with the GPSes? I don't know
my phone died, because it was cold. also, NOT going to race with a phone.
Yeah racing with a phone is dumb, who does that? Oh, wait.
My phone has been dying more and more in the cold, if it is below 50% and 50º it gives up the ghost mighty quick. For training skiing I'm wrapping it in spare gloves/buff before putting in a pocket/drink belt.
I'm in the market for a new GPS watch - what model are you currently using? Is there one you're currently eyeing?
I hate the ant transfer. I wish they would just use bluetooth or usb. Not sure if they have any model that still use usb, or use bluetooth on the high end, but I would try to go for one of those. I think the features we use for orienteering are basically the same in terms of reliability across all the models. I know Kenny (AP ken) has them all, so he may have more opinions about which one is best.
I just got the Garmin 235 and like it so far. I've been connecting it to my computer via USB and just uploading to AP directly from the watch. It also has Bluetooth. The built in heart rate monitor is not quite as good as the strap but so much less annoying that it's worth it.
Also, the wrist strap is really nice.
I use the Garmin 220, upload very easily via USB, which has the advantage of charging the watch at the same time (and it charges very quickly). Not so many bells and whistles, but meets all my needs.
I have the 910XT, and I like it a lot. Fits my wrist (important), finds satellites quickly (less important), and has only eaten one workout (oops). The major downside is the stupid ANT agent, as Ed said, but that works pretty flawlessly on my mac. It's when I try and connect to my PC that I have major issues.
I would probably be just fine with one of the lower models, but at this point I know this one pretty well, so am satisfied.
Could look into Suunto, too. My juniors are all using one of those watches, and seem to like them.
For AP users, Suunto -> AP is a two-step process, while from garmin it is one-step (when it works). No big deal, but might change the balance.