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Discussion: Best current garmin?

in: Orienteering; General

Mar 24, 2017 1:13 AM # 
I just got a tax refund and a 20% voucher for REI and I am going to replace my garmin! What's the current best combination of usefulness vs price? I haven't been keeping up at all. I might consider going outside garmin but it's got to be available at REI :)
Mar 24, 2017 5:41 AM # 
920XT - the grand kid of the 305 :)

The only "downside" I've found is it can not be charged while recording an activity So if you need to record over 12-13 hour workouts, you might consider other options
Mar 24, 2017 11:03 AM # 
Ha ha! I'm not sure I've ever done a 12-13 hour workout!
Mar 24, 2017 11:30 AM # 
Has anyone got the fancy new Fenix?! Looks kind of amazing.
Mar 24, 2017 11:40 AM # 
Check out for the most comprehensive reviews of these and other devices.
Mar 24, 2017 12:23 PM # 
You may want to check that REI doesn't exclude gps devices from the coupon.
Mar 24, 2017 12:41 PM # 
At the other end of the spectrum from the Fenix, I'm using the 230 at the moment. For me it covers all the features I want: good GPS, customisable screens (although other models have more flexibility I think), very flexible interval programming and sync over bluetooth. It also has good battery life.
Mar 24, 2017 12:48 PM # 
* when I say "good" battery life: I've never really counted, but easily get through a week's ordinary training without needing to recharge. They advertise 16 hours which I wouldn't disagree with, plus there are helpful options to extend battery life if you want to (e.g. switch it off, 'smart' GPS logging instead of every second).
Mar 24, 2017 1:01 PM # 
I and many other orienteers are a fan of the the Forerunner 220. It's the cheapest version of the more advanced Forerunner models. Compact, simple interface, great battery life, and pretty accurate GPS.
Mar 24, 2017 1:49 PM # 
I've got the 220 currently. It's done me very well for the last 3 (?) years, but the battery is finally pretty much dead. If it hasn't been charged in the previous 24 hours, it dies during exercise within about ten minutes.

Thanks for the heads up Valerie - it's not in the on card T & Cs but I don't think they're super extensive.

I'm kind of interested in the recovery prediction facilities on the Fenix given I've had mild chronic fatigue problems for years - but not sure if they a) really work at all b) are worth the huge extra cost.
Mar 24, 2017 3:05 PM # 
I have the 920 and have been very happy with its functionality. It is much smaller than previous models and I wear it as a regular watch every day which I would never have done with the 310. When wearing the HR monitor for workouts it does come up with a recovery rating each time you start another workout but it's a very coarse variable- Good, Fair, Poor and most of the time I'm aware of my recovery level to that extent before my watch confirms it.
Strava has released a much better measurement system for training effects and recovery for runners using the same data which I've started using. It is much better at keeping track of cumulative fatigue IMO.
Mar 24, 2017 3:14 PM # 
I have a Fenix 3. Lasts 30 hours on ultratrac, I like the different watch faces, switches sports pretty well, does the recovery rate at the end of a workout and a performance meter (but it doesn't know if I am wearing a pack ;)) at the beginning of a workout. I have found it to be pretty accurate. It's bulkier than the 920 I think. I really like it. I have some crazy HR reads, but I think it's user error.
Mar 24, 2017 3:23 PM # 
Garmin has a service website where you can pay something like $65 to turn in your watch and get a refurbished one with a new battery. A few months ago you could outright buy refurbished Fenix 1s for about $65, and Fenix 2s for $120 or $130. Of course, they're big and metal and heavy. I think the Fenix 3 might be lighter than the 2 and 1. I've heard the scratch-resistant sapphire glass is worth it. You might donate your old one to a friend or the junior team or something.
Mar 24, 2017 3:29 PM # 
Super: is a good site too.
Mar 24, 2017 4:17 PM # 
+1 for what cedarcreek said about Garmin refurbished replacement. Works great, I've gotten at least 4 305s all came back as pretty much new case, new straps.
Mar 24, 2017 7:52 PM # 
I've had the FR 235 for a bit over a year and quite happy with it. Built in heart rate (wrist) and gives a recovery time at conclusion of workout though I usually ignore that metric. And does both GPS & Glonass for additional track accuracy (double the number of visible satellites).
Mar 25, 2017 3:00 AM # 
You might check out what people had to say in my recent thread as well.

I ended up with the 230 and paired it with the existing HR strap from my 305. It's been great (once I learned how to lock the screen so I wasn't accidentally turning it on and off while running). However, I don't really need or use any advanced functions. Pretty much strictly record routes and HR data with it. I appreciate the smaller size compared to the 305, and the battery life has been great although I haven't tested it on any really long activities.
Mar 25, 2017 7:35 AM # 
REI seems to have ambit 3 nepal editon with good price. IMHO easily the best choice there at the moment for logging workouts, especially O.
Mar 25, 2017 2:26 PM # 
Oh no Valerie, you're totally right! Apparently I can't read on Friday mornings :)

So maybe I will check out the refurb options. Now I looked at the new ones I totally want one though :)
Mar 26, 2017 1:51 AM # 
I too, have gone the Garmin re-furb route a few times, plus once I did a battery replacement on my own. You can by a battery for a few bucks on ebay, and lots of instructions online....never throw it away!
Mar 29, 2017 8:33 AM # 
I'm still learning about my Garmin 235 (thanks AP). And my heart, it's reaching 220 - age + 20 or 30 on easy runs. Some suggestions on the web about a phenomenon called "cadence lock".
Mar 29, 2017 2:43 PM # 
I LOVE my Garmin Forerunner 235. The commands are well organized, The wrist HR monitor is good enough and best of all it is incredibly fast (compared to my old 405 and 610) at locating the satellites it needs for tracking. AND it recharges much faster, too.
Mar 29, 2017 5:38 PM # 
I went with a different Garmin model a few months ago. The vívoactive HR has worked well. You can wear it all the time like a watch and it has functions much like the fitbit, but you can also use it for specific activities. While I don't use all of the functions, the run, walk, bike, and run indoor work well. The HR function doesn't need a separate chest strap and seems to be accurate. The best function is the Total Ascent. It's nice to compare my climb with what the course setter specifies.
Mar 29, 2017 5:53 PM # 
Michael - have you had an ecg recently? You're getting what I have had for many years. Start a run, immediately goes up to 170-180 for half hour at an easy pace, then drops into 140-150 range for remainder. Last run the transition was at the start of a hill climb and barely rose from 145 or so. An ecg for my pre-op revealed atrial flutter, so another thing to deal with though not like afib. Probably have had it for a while as those HR numbers have been so typical that I gave up monitoring as told me nothing. Duh! Was telling me I had Heart prob.

Sorry for the side track. And I do use a 310, and like it a lot except for the reveal about hearts.
Mar 29, 2017 10:16 PM # 
I really like my 235 as well. HR is optical and seems consistently high. Maybe wrong, I'm not sure, but consistently so. Works for me. I've never run the battery out or purged any files. Only gripe is that the sync with iPhone drops periodically and is a beast to reestablish. Once it's good it typically is trouble free for a while. Garmin is weirdly unhelpful with instructions here too.
Mar 29, 2017 10:17 PM # 
Oh, and the recovery advisor is a bit off too. The other day it suggested I take a 7 hour recovery from my ten minute warm up before a workout and almost always tells me to take three days off after anything moderately hard or long.
Mar 29, 2017 11:23 PM # 
Change it from 'weekend warrior' mode to 'lifetime athlete'.
Mar 30, 2017 2:36 AM # 
Thanks walk. Had one a year ago (pre-Garmin).
Mar 30, 2017 8:18 AM # 
Garmin’s latest sport watch — the Forerunner 935 — looks to be its most serious yet -
Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
Offers advanced running and multisport features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features.
Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more
Battery life: up to 2 weeks in watch mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode or up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode.
Mar 30, 2017 12:11 PM # 
For all the features the Garmin watches have and all the orienteers that wear them can anyone tell me why Garmin Connect has not yet come around to including orienteering among the activities on their drop down list? or even include the possibility of a write-in?
Mar 30, 2017 12:24 PM # 
crowd sourcing via custom activities would give them data regarding what, if any, popular activities they ought to be adding to the drop downs. So long as users allow garmin access to that data. I suppose ap has the kind of dataset that garmin might find compelling, or not, in making such a decision.
Mar 30, 2017 12:47 PM # 
@gordhun- What functions under 'orienteering' would you want that are not already available under 'running'? With the 920xt there is 4 screens available under the activity 'running' with up to 4 customizable data fields for each. Seems you can easily customize one to meet your needs.
Mar 30, 2017 4:51 PM # 
@jayXC it is not a function on any watch. Garmin Connect is their website where Garmin users can uplioad their tracks and make notes.
Mar 31, 2017 4:16 AM # 
I too, have gone the Garmin re-furb route a few times, plus once I did a battery replacement on my own.

My Garmin has never lasted long enough to require a new battery. Twice it's become non-waterproof (once when the buttons degraded and the latest time when the face came off) and both time the battery was still lasting for 16-20hrs.
Sep 29, 2017 2:59 AM # 
Is it possible to load from all these devices the data directly to What's the easiest procedure? Does any of them automatically send an email?
Sep 29, 2017 7:32 AM # 
Ken has an API that syncs your Garmin connect activities with your AP log. You do have to launch it, but short of it being a persistently running program, I can’t think of an easier way to get them from GC to AP. I have seen GPS tracking apps on phones that automatically send your track to a specified email, which AP has, but I have not used it. I have yet to find an app that works as well as my Garmin. :-)
Sep 29, 2017 8:55 AM # 
Agree with jvincent, logging in to your Garmin Connect account via attackpoint is the easiest way. Next step is automating it like Strava does but I'm guessing this isn't trivial or Ken would have done it already. Click the gc web sync link on your add training page.
Oct 23, 2017 4:16 PM # 
jvincent can you give me a call?

973 985 4358

This discussion thread is closed.