Garmin Forerunner 305

"I can't say enough about my Garmin. Even when I found myself relying on it too much for training feedback (instead of my body's biofeedback), its versatility allowed me to remove the "pace" field from the display so I just have "Heart Rate" and "Distance". I love the ability to review your training and race info."bigpapajon

(0)

Ease of installation

See my review of the quick-release system. This makes this watch the best value for the watch/HR/bike computer market.

(4)

Ease of use

The on-watch interface has a slight learning curve, so I couldn't give it a 5. However, I'm pretty tech savvy, so I don't really have much of an issue with it. The run, bike, other, or multi-sport settings are great and easy to use. The HR monitor is simple as well. Just wet the contacts (ribbed on the inside of the front...I use spit!) and put it on. Very adjustable from BIG (I have a 50" barrel chest) to small).

(4)

Quality of Construction

I haven't had any issues with it yet, but I can tell already that the case could have been made from a more durable plastic. It's not going to crack, but it scratch if you look at it too hard.

(4)

Fit

With the included watch band and additional longer watch clasp, this gets a 4 for fit. Once you purchase the (in my opinion) indispensable quick-release system this is a 5+! The HR monitor is very adjustable.

(3)

Comfort

I can't give this higher than a 3 purely because of it's weight. If there weren't lighter, smaller options I'd just chalk it up to required size. However, the 2010 Ironman watch and the Forerunner's 400 series are smaller, lighter, and less cumbersome. Again, if you add the quick-release system (see other review), this adds one point and makes it a 4. HR monitor is comfortable, as well. You can even buy an optional comfort band if you want to make it even more so.

(5)

Adjustability

Gotta give them a 5 on this. The dual watch bands (that are easy to switch) makes this super adjustable. I sound like a broken record, but the quick-release system adds a fine-tuning Velcro aspect to the whole setup. If it doesn't fit you, you are at one of the extremes.

(4)

Durability

Seems durable to me. After months of use, I haven't had a single issue. Other people have had long-term issues, but I haven't yet. I can tell that repeated use as-delivered will damage the contacts eventually. There are two easy fixes for this: (1) buy the quick release system and (2) wear it over a wrist band. If the big, fluffy ones aren't your style, try one of the Under Armour football ones. You can even use the quarterback model to hold route info, split times, or motivation.

(5)

Value

I bought this from Amazon.com for $169 and free shipping. You seriously can't pass that up. A quick call to three local running stores netted me quotes of $289, $249, and $312 (I know...12?) I patronize local stores whenever possible, but even I know that $100 is $100 bucks. Plus, if I use that $100 to buy store-branded tech merch they make even more $ then they would off their modest Garmin-dictated markup.

(5)

Appearance

This watch looks cool. Straight-up cool. The on-screen appearance is very versatile, as well. You can choose the number of info sections on each screen (1-4) for three screens, PLUS you can still have a map screen and a Virtual Partner screen. Even the HR monitor looks cool.

(5)

Customer Service

The online Garmin support is great. I haven't had to call yet, so that means that their online and in-manual support is fine tuned.

(5)

Performance

It has performed very well. Having the versatility to use a foot pod, cadence sensor, and HR at the same time PLUS have the GPS-related feedback, the map tracking, and the cycling info is what makes this my #1 pick for tech-loving endurance athletes.

Strengths

(1) Real-time training feedback
(2) Low-cost integration of HR monitoring
(3) Versatility and personalization options
(4) Multi-sport use (including swim...put it in your cap)
(5) Lots of available accessories
(6) No-nonsense swim/bike/run training tracking.
(7) Ability to upload files to websites (i.e. MapMyFitness) and creates in-depth training history
(8) Large number of users allows for easy advice gathering.

Weakness

(1) Size on wrist (no biggy for me...I'm BIGpapajon, after all.
(2) Weight
(3) Slightly cumbersome interface

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Buyers clubForerunner 305
  • 213 people use
  • 6045 workouts logged
  • 89034.94 miles / 11189.71 hours logged









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