Running Gear: Garmin Forerunner 310 XT

My Garmin Forerunner 205 is probably my favorite and most essential piece of running equipment (read my detailed review of the Forerunner 205 here). It was therefore with some excitement that I discovered that Garmin was releasing a new Forerunner, called the Forerunner 310XT (credit due to http://www.innoland.it/) – here’s what it looks like:

As you can see, the Garmin Forerunner 310XT sports a sleeker new look when compared to the Forerunner 205/305 models, and in addition to the cosmetic makeover, it features the following:

1. Waterproof to 50m – I don’t swim (except floating and doggy paddle), so this won’t matter for me unless my dog pulls me into the Merrimack River after spotting a squirrel while trail-running. Also, I run in the rain with my Forerunner 205 all the time with no problem.

2. ~20hr Battery Life – no more running out of juice in the middle of a 15 miler, which, although rare and totally my fault for not recharging, is incredibly annoying.

3. Wireless Sync w/ Computer – I like this a lot!

4. Four Data Screens – vs. three in my 205.

5. Works with a Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor – this would be great for triathletes.

6. Syncs with a Small Foot-Pod – this will allow it to track distance on a treadmill (kind of like Nike+ I’d guess – the treadmill is really the only place I have continued to use Nike+ – you can see my review of it here).

The 310XT has created some positive buzz amongst triathletes on forums that I frequent given its waterproof design, and reviews have generally been positive. For more, check out the Garmin preview video on YouTube:

Here’s a commercial Garmin has put out for the 310XT:

Looks interesting, and the tech junkie in me really wants one, but the price will have to come down a bit from the list of $349.99 before I ditch my reliable old 205.



Update 4-11-09: Looks like Garmin is dropping prices on the older Forerunner models. The Garmin Forerunner 305 (w/ heart rate monitor) can now be had on Amazon.com for around $160.00 (it fluctuates daily – see link below for exact price). The Forerunner 205 is only about ten dollars less (which makes me wonder why anyone would opt for that model now when the price is so close). I’m almost tempted to Ebay off my 205 and buy the 305 to take advantage of the heart rate tracking (though my wife might have a thing or two to say about that idea – she “tolerates” my love for new gadgets only to a certain degree). Anyway, you can read my detailed review of the Garmin Forerunner 205/305 GPS wristwatches by clicking here.

I have also posted a review of my experience with the Nike+ system here.


Below are links to various Garmin Forerunner products on Amazon. The last two are accessories that sync up with the Forerunners (check individual watch specs for compatibility). The Forerunner 405 is a smaller-profile watch with similar functions to the 205/305, though it is considerably more expensive.

Amazon offers free shipping for any order over $25.00, which would clearly apply to most of the items below.

Running Warehouse: Great prices on closeout shoes! View men's and women's selections.
Amazon.com: 25% or more off clearance running shoes - click here to view current selection.

Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. I’m really looking forward to buy this Forerunner. I’ve bought all the versions with HRM since the beginning (201, 301 and 305).

    I’ve been swimming the last couple of years with the 305 inside a zipped plastic bag under my swim cap with great results but the new 310XT sounds like a good solution to this.

    I guess it will become available a little bit later in Europe so I hope to find some US reviews soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    this is a comment for David Aleu…., but if anyone else knows the answer…

    David, us said that you swim with the FR305 inside a zipped bag, just wondering if you also use the HR monitor chest strap while swimming? Is this waterproof, and does it work while submersed?

    Interested to find this out…

    Thanks
    Ryan

  3. I used the HRM once while swimming but once I downloaded the data it was giving me some unusual reads so I assumed the HRM wasn’t really waterproof.

    By the look of the new FR specs, it seems that the current HRM straps are not meant to be going under water! not sure what the FR305 manual says though but I thought the strap could be used under water!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    ok thanks for the reply
    ryan

  5. Anonymous says:

    I use the Forerunner 305 in triathlons with the HR monitor on during the swim. It does not pick up the information correctly while swimming but once out of the water mine works great on the bike and run.

  6. I have had also heard about some of the underwater functions gone awry with the heart rate monitor. But outside of this, it has been a great help to me. I also found the 310xt at link to therunstop.com for less than you posted David. Hope this helps!

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  10. After reading many reviews and forums i ended up choosing the garmin frorerunner 310xt

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