Garmin Forerunner 310XT
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is a waterproof running and biking GPS watch that is marketed as the triathlete’s dream device. It boasts quite an extensive list of features that are not found on many other products of its type. By wirelessly connecting to a computer, the Garmin Forerunner 310XT compiles and organizes workout data automatically and saves lots of time and effort for any trainer. It is extremely durable and is one of the first devices of its kind to be waterproof. All in all, this device is at the forefront of this type of technology.
Garmin Forerunner 310XT Features
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT allows a trainer to track position, distance, and pace. By adding the appropriate accessories, namely a Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor and a Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence Bike Sensor, the trainer is also able to track heart rate and power data. All of this data can then be wirelessly sent to a personal computer where it can be stored and later analyzed. The product is rather rugged. Its waterproof build is reliable to a depth of fifty meters, or around one hundred and sixty four feet, and the single lithium ion battery lasts up to twenty hours. A one-year warranty guarantees the Garmin’s durability.
- Waterproof to a depth of 50 meters, so you can wear it in the pool or the lake to time your swim
- Tracks bike and run data and sends it wirelessly to your computer
- Track your position, distance, pace, heart rate (with bundled monitor), add accessories to measure power data and more
- 20 hours of battery life
- One-year limited warranty
Garmin Forerunner 310XT Customer Reviews
Compared with other products of its type, many users have described the Garmin Forerunner 310XT as having a short learning curve. Some people figure out the basic features without even referring to the owner’s manual. Online features are also vastly improved from previous iterations offered by Garmin as well. For fans of the “MapMy” list of sites, there are some very convenient integration features available.
The display is fully customizable and accommodates up to four parameters per screen page. One is able to track heart rate, time, distance, and pace covered on one display while another can incorporate a display of calories burned, a visual map of heart rate, and many other options. It is very easy to fully customize this device.
Routes can be recorded into the GPS tracking so that multiple trips can be compared and contrasted. This route recording feature also improves the accuracy of the GPS on subsequent runs. The Garmin actually creates a “Virtual Training Partner” which incorporates the statistics of the previous performance of a particular run, and then tells the user hoe far ahead or behind he or she is. By using the auto-multisport option on the device, an athlete can simply click the lap button, and the Garmin will switch to the next “sport”.
Fitness tracking is rather customizable and can be highly individualized. Users can enter height, weight, age, and fitness level and the Garmin provides calorie expenditure information among other things based on the GPS input. On top of these, there is a myriad of other things one is able to configure, adjust, and fine tune.
In general, the number one complaint about this device seems to be the ineffectiveness of the GPS route tracking once the user enters the water. Time is still tracked accurately, and some users say that routes are mapped with marginal accuracy after multiple runs, but all in all most features become useless in the water. This is acceptable for most devices, but this is an almost fatal flaw in the Garmin because of its rather explicit marketing towards the triathlete. In fact, there is not even a swim setting on the device itself; the third sport display looks like a downhill skier or some sort. (In the product’s defense, this is a problem with all GPS technology. It simply does not penetrate under water as it is currently designed. Both the Garmin website and the owners manual do not claim that the device will work well in the water. It seems this flaw is mostly brought out by the marketing and not the product itself.)
Some users have expressed problems with elevation accuracy, sometimes in the neighborhood of almost six hundred feet. This also seems like it would be a rather large bug in the system for prospective triathlete users. That being said, other users contest this inaccuracy and claim that the Garmin Forerunner 310 XT has worked extremely well in tracking their elevation.
Another common complaint from customers is the relatively inflexible event switching features. It is not possible to switch sports in the middle of a workout without erasing all of the accrued data. For example, a cross trainer bikes on one day and then runs the next. If this trainer forgot to switch sports before the run, there is no way to switch parameters without starting from scratch. Although this is a rather specific bug in the system, some people have found it to be a very negative aspect of the product’s programming.
Last but not least, there is the issue of cost. At well over three hundred dollars, many users have complained about the price of the product. There is also the additional cost of accessories if one wishes to record heart rate and power data. This is certainly up to the consumer to decide. There are no competitively priced products of its kind that offer the same amount of customizable features.
All in all, the Garmin Forerunner 310 XT is one of the most advanced designs for a product of its type. Although there are quite a few flaws perceived in that design, many of them are associated with all GPS devices and not just the Garmin Forerunner 310XT in particular. Cost may be prohibitive for some, but this can be expected to lower over time. The vast majority of users of this device seems to be very satisfied with its features and believes that it lives up to its marketed expectations. Despite the swimming limitations, it is one of the best products on the market for serious triathletes.