Pros: Functional, easy to use, customisable, great accuracy, multisport settings
Cons: A little chunky, battery life ~8h, sync a little annoying
Best Uses: Shorter/Single Day (>8hr) adventures for full GPS tracking, multisport or any outdoor adventure.
I’ve been using my Forerunner 310XT for around 6 years now, Garmin in general for 10 – it’s had a few meltdowns, has had upgrades, I’ve dropped it, smashed it, lost it, bashed it but it’s still around and kicking. It’s probably the most important piece of technology (apart from the new age of smartphones) that I own – it has tracked me on orienteering courses, mountain marathons, fell races, trail runs, half-marathons, mountain runs, bike rides and kayak adventures – it’s been a long history.
It’s rectangular, and quite large (probably won’t fit a slender wrist, but fits mine fine). It’s got a customisable display with pretty much everything able to be viewed on it’s ¼ split screen modes from the pace, distance, time, speed, HR, split and more…
Ease of Use
One button starts it, one button stops it. It’s that simple. If you want to see the history or change something then there is a mode button and it’s all self explanatory.
The watch is pretty slow at picking up satellites when you first switch on the device – especially if you move around between runs (usually I’m around 2-300km from my last location so it takes between 2-5 minutes to actually find satellites) but when it does find you, the pace, speed and other features are all pretty accurate.
The watch started out as being really easy to use, but with age, and the incremental upgrades of Windows computers, it’s a little bit finicky to connect to the ANT+ wireless USB. However, Garmin files can all be found on your hard drive, and uploaded directly to Garmin Connect or whatever 3rd party application you use (I use SportsTracks).
I like the Garmin’s easy to use philosophy. It’s accurate, sturdy and has lasted through years of battering through forests, rivers and on tarmac too. The only thing I’m looking for in a watch is better flexibility of data or a watch that actually does the running for me – which no watch offers at the present time (but I did watch a movie called iRobot a few years back…).