Best Buy : Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS heart rate monitorGarmin have a reputation for producing high-performance GPS equipment and the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS heart rate monitor is no exception.

In fact, the Garmin 305 Forerunner GPS is top of the current range and it is one of the most reviewed GPS heart rate monitors online. To date a staggering 275 customers have left a review at Amazon.com with a heartening average rating of 4.5 out of 5.

What Does the Forerunner 305 Do for You?

So what will this wonderful piece of fitness equipment do for you? The Garmin 305 heart rate monitor:-

  • accurately measures your speed and distance via the high sensitivity integrated GPS (global positioning satellite) SiRFstar III receiver. This Garmin heart rate monitor has a unique antenna design (curving around part of the wrist) for better signal reception and better locking on and tracking under trees and alongside tall buildings – a problem with lesser GPS heart rate monitors.
  • accurately and continuously measures your heart rate, lap heart rate, average heart rate, and heart rate zones via the coded heart rate chest strap
  • gives you the ability to track calories burned during your exercise session
  • provides an interface which allows you to track and monitor heart rate and other data from each fitness session using free Garmin Training Center software. This means you can see your progress over a number of workouts. Each training session is stored in memory so you can review how you’ve done over time with interactive graphs and charts.
  • The software interface allows you to overlay your run or cycle ride on maps so you can see how the terrain affected your workout. And you can go even further in your workout analysis and route planning with a free Garmin Motionbased.com account. With that software you can see your route superimposed on the GoogleEarth satellite image too. More elite athletes can also interface easily to trainingpeaks.com to train for any event.
  • provides a comparison of your current workout data to previous runs. Using the courses feature you can compete against previous workouts as if you were training with a competitor and the monitor will tell you if you are beating your previous workout. You can also compete against a virtual competitor you pre-set which means you can program in the performance figures of your rivals and work until you beat them.
  • switches between various sports so you can use it for running, cycling and more
  • allows you to train indoors or where GPS signal is unavailable and still track distance, speed and calories burned using the optional Foot Pod unit
  • allows you to create custom, goal-oriented workouts or just set up a quick workout using time, distance and pace targets. You can also set up interval training with rest and exercise sections
  • uses a facility called Auto Pause® which pauses and resumes the timer based on speed automatically so you don’t have to stop and start the timer
  • uses a facility called Auto Lap® which automatically starts a new lap based on a specified time, distance or position so you don’t have to remember to hit the lap button to register your lap data

And the Garmin Forerunner 305 also features

  • a softer, more comfortable chest strap which is coded to eliminate cross talk with other heart rate monitors so you get information on you and not others
  • a simple button layout and the buttons with a great feel and pressure response
  • rechargeable long-life lithium batteries (guaranteed for one year). The battery life is about 10 hours use before it needs to be recharged
  • 40 different data fields give you feedback on your workout and you can display this according to your own preferences, putting just as much as you want on the flexible data screen
  • an auto scroll feature cycles through data pages during workout without you having to switch mode
  • stores 100 waypoints and 50 routes
  • keeps up to 1000 laps lap history
  • has a pace alert feature which triggers an alarm if you vary from your pre-set pace and a time or distance alert which sets off an alarm when you reach your pre-set goal) as well as the usual heart rate target zones and alerts

The GPS Forerunner 305:-

  • is waterproof: IEC 60529 IPX7 standards (submersible in one meter of water for up to 30 mins.)
  • unit dimensions : 2.1″ x 2.7″ x 0.7″ (5.33 x 6.86 x 1.78 cm)
  • screen size : 1.3″ x 0.8″ (3.3 x 2.0 cm) resolution 100 * 160 pixels
  • weight : 2.72 oz (77 g)

The Garmin 305 package includes:-

  • Forerunner® 305 Heart rate monitor with chest strap
  • Garmin Training Center CD
  • Docking cradle with PC/USB interface cable for easy connection to your PC
  • A/C charger
  • Quick start guide and Owner’s manual

Comparison with the Forerunner 301 GPS Heart Rate Monitor

The Forerunner 305 is a big step up from previous models such as the Garmin 205 GPS Forerunner model and the Garmin 201 and 101 but you might still like to compare the benefits of the 305 with the most recent 301 version which is also an excellent GPS heart rate monitor.

I use this thing for running, biking, rollerblading, mountaineering, skiing, and just about everything else outside. I am really happy that I spent the money for the upgraded version. (Quote from Amazon)

For those who are undecided between the Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS and the 305, here are the differences which should help you:-

  • The Forerunner 301 is cheaper than the 305 in terms of M.R.P. (though when we last checked prices at Amazon there was a better deal on the 305- so good you had to click a special link there to see the price)
  • Although the size of the units and display screens are the same, the 301 has a clearer display than the 305 which will be helpful if your vision is not the best.
  • The 305 has faster initialization of the satellite signal (2 to 3 minutes in the 301 and as little as 30 seconds to 1 minute in the 305) and keeps the signal better – important if you exercise in areas where the signal may be partially obscured
  • The 305 has better looks, better cradle connection for download and more display options than the 301. In the 305 you can alter the display to suit yourself.
  • The 305 also has more functionality than the 301 such as the comparison with previous workout (this great motivator is worth buying the 305 heart rate monitor for – beat your personal best or previous training session or even the best of your competitors and it tells you how you are doing compared to that as you work out!)

Any Problems with the Garmin Forerunner 305?

Of course, no heart rate monitor is perfect although this one comes pretty close to it. Here are some issues which have been mentioned in reviews of the monitor:-

  • The unit takes a little time to get a signal but it’s not that much of a delay. Set it up while you get ready if you’re an impatient type.
  • Some reviewers have mentioned that current pace (mph) is not always accurate every second (this may be affected by satellite switching/tree cover etc but lap average seems to be ok)
  • The unit is quite large and may be too chunky for a small wrist but of course it has a lot more functionality than a simple slimline sports watch!
  • The Forerunner 305 requires an additional unit (GSC10) for cadence measurement for cyclists. If you’re going to use your GPS heart rate monitor only for cycling you may prefer the bicycle mounted Garmin Edge 305HR Bicycle Monitor with GPS which includence a cadence sensor although this is not for you if you want to use your heart rate monitor for different sports.
  • The Garmin Software is not MAC compatible

It has to be said that despite all of that buyers love their unit. This comes across time and again in Garmin reviews and as one reviewer on Amazon states ” I’ve bought dozens and dozens of items from Amazon over the years, and this is the first review I’ve taken the time to write – hope that gives you an indication of how happy I am with this product.”

Our Summary

Quite simple – the Garmin Forerunner 305 is a great choice for the serious athlete, runner or multi-sports enthusiast looking for the best in GPS Heart Rate Monitors

Where to Buy the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS

Amazon usually have the best deal on the Garmin Forerunner 305 and with their great free delivery service you can have this wonderful piece of technology in your hands and be enjoying better workouts in just a day or two.