Garmin Forerunner 310XT Parent ASIN

Finally, a GPS-enabled training device that isn’t afraid of the water. The rugged Forerunner 310XT is the triathlete’s indispensable training tool a GPS-enabled, swim-proof trainer that tracks bike and run data and sends it wirelessly to your computer.

$ 24.99

Customer Reviews

748 of 773 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
310XT is most everything Garmin says it is, September 6, 2009

I felt compelled to write a review, because I am disturbed with what some other reviewers are publishing. This is the best watch of it’s kind I have owned, and as long as a purchaser understands what it does, and it’s limitations, I think they will be more than satisfied. It may be that this watch will not meet their needs, but it should not be a cause to deliver a poor rating.
I have owned the Forerunner 305, the 201, the Timex GPS and a Polar, so I have years of experience. Since I do triathlons, I was most looking forward to the waterproof controls, and 20 hour battery. The charger is a bit funky design, but for me it seems to work just fine. My battery has been lasting at least 16 hours–I haven’t tested it further before recharging. One issue that I had with the 305 also, though: the watch should be TURNED OFF while you are charging. If not, as soon as you disconnect the charger, since the watch is ON, it will start “discharging” (as it does normally while it is on. I have been caught several times with a depleted battery on my 305 because of this quirk–I think the watches should be programmed to automatically turn themselves off when the charger is connected).
I have used the new watch swimming, biking and running and hiking, and I am pleased with the performance for each sport. One reviewer pointed out that there should be a “swim” mode–I agree, but I think Garmin may have avoided that mode because the GPS does not work well in the water. Several reviewers complained about that, however Garmin does write on their website AND in their manual that the GPS does not work well in the water (I don’t know that I would blame that on Garmin–probably the technology is just not there yet–besides, GPS signals do not penetrate water.) In fact, I did NOT get an accurate GPS distance reading for open water swimming, but it did map my COURSE correctly, albeit with a lot of zig-zags (I know I can’t swim in a straight line, but I am not THAT bad).
The biking portion works great. The Garmin matches pretty closely with the distance measured on my bike computer (I don’t have the Garmin bike sensor–I want that and the quick-release mount for my next birthday). Of course it also tracks speed, altitude, heart rate, etc. (I used the heart monitor strap from my 305).
Running works well also, basically same as biking although I do set up the display screens differently.
Other, useful new features I have noticed:
1. The watch locks onto satellites more quickly than my 305
2. The watch vibrates, although I wonder how this affects battery life. For instance it vibrates every lap (if I set it) so I know I have completed an autolap without having to look at the watch.
3. The software is more refined (lots of small fixes. For instance the settings function lets me know what sport mode I am in–although I think this could still be made easier and less confusing. And the time zone can be put on automatic–I always wondered why they couldn’t do this before–the watch knows where it is for gosh sakes. And there are extra custom screens if you want them–statistic hounds take note.)
4. Wireless data upload. Very nice! Their new “Garmin Connect” site is also pretty useful, and the data can be uploaded directly to the Internet.
5. The 310XT is not much smaller or lighter than the 305 (according to the specs), but it FEELS MUCH smaller and lighter.
6. There is a progress bar for the battery charging. I would like to be able to see how much time is LEFT in my battery–I wish Garmin would add this.

In summary, I think this is far and away the best GPS watch Garmin has made, and is especially appropriate for triathletes (despite the swimming issue). You DO need to become accustomed to using the watch. Although I do not think it is hard to use, you SHOULD read the manual. At least you do not have to keep RE-reading the manual like I do for some other gadgets. I do think this watch is way overpriced, but I am a gadget freak, and I’m sure the price will come down over time, like it did for the 305 (which is a great deal, now, btw, if you don’t need a 20 hour battery-life and a waterproof stopwatch 🙂


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701 of 758 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Somewhat Misleading Advertising to Triathletes, but does its job., August 28, 2009
graymoment (Orange County, CA) – See all my reviews

*UPDATED* [5/12/2014] This review was originally from when this watch first came out and before any other Garmin triathlon focused watches came out. I’ve made some updates to the review over time in hopes that the review will stay relevant and help others to make a good decision on a triathlon focused GPS watch.

This device has been represented as a triathlete’s watch and the first swim proof GPS watch. If you watch the video from Garmin or see any of the advertisements, Garmin leads you to believe that this watch will collect reliable data for all 3 multisport events. It is reasonable for someone to assume this watch can be worn in a race and collect GPS data in the water, since, of course, swimming is the first event in a triathlon.

If you are considering buying this watch, hopefully the following information will help you:

-This device does not collect usable data in the water (other than time, which any waterproof watch can collect in a much smaller form factor). No heart rate data and totally unusable and inaccurate GPS data will be collected while in the water.

-There are preset modes for “run,” “bike,” and “other,” in which “other” shows a person on skis (obviously a mode for skiing and not swimming). They intentionally omit a category for swimming, despite advertising that this watch is for triathletes and show people coming out of the water in transition (see the photo I added under product photos).

-You will need to purchase a separate quick release kit if you want to use this watch on a bike. For some reason, it does not get accurate data on a bike if you are wearing in on your wrist. It auto pauses, then un-pauses for most of the time I am riding if I wear it on my wrist — even if I have it set to only auto pause when completely stopped. The quick release kit is not the more common one for the 205 and 305, so do not buy that one. [UPDATE: They made a new quick release kit specifically for this watch, then they updated it again. The current [updated] quick release kit that you want to buy is GARMIN 010-10615-00 Quick-Release Mounting Kit]

-If you want foot cadence or the ability to track distance indoors, you will want to buy a foot pod. Older, less expensive Garmin models included them in their kits, but it looks like they no longer do that. Either the current Garmin Foot Pod [Retail Packaging] or the older Garmin Foot Pod for Forerunner 305, 405, and 50 will work, but the newer one is cheaper (as of 5/12/2014), so there is no reason to buy it over the old one. I had the older version and it stopped working after about a year of use (I never ran in the rain or got it wet).

-The watch is large and sits high on top of the wrist (they packed 20 hours of battery life into this watch), so to wear it under your wetsuit will let water in the wetsuit, or you will have to wear it on top of (or crammed in front of) the wetsuit, which will not allow you to remove your wetsuit without first removing the watch (adding time and/or complication to your transition, and sort of negating that whole “triathlete” angle). You can see a photo of this watch on my wrist under the photos section of the product to hopefully give you a better idea of what it will look like on you (I’m a 6′ 195 lb male with a good sized wrist). If you purchase the quick release kit, you can simply twist off the watch portion from the band before removing your wetsuit, making the wetsuit come off much easier around your wrist (highly recommend buy the quick release kit, by the way).

-There is no way to turn off GPS tracking for only one of the 3 events in multisport mode. This means you will always either have incorrect GPS data recording for the swimming mode (or, actually “other”, since there is no “swim” mode, as previously mentioned). I have called customer support and they confirm this. Their solution was to turn off GPS while I am swimming, then reset and manually start a new timer and mode during transition 1 for my bike event. I’ll let you be the judge of how to take that advice. [UPDATE: I’ve been told by people in the comments that updates to the Garmin software help correct this information, but I have not been able to verify those changes myself. Feel free to comment if you have details on this.]

So, in conclusion, if you want to setup this watch for a bike and run, and want the ability to wear the watch in the water…

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156 of 179 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Decent watch, but a lot of catches, August 21, 2009

The 310xt was my first Garmin purchase. After years of having family use the Edge and the Forerunner for biking/running I decided I’d take the plunge when they came out with “the triathlete’s indispensable training tool” in the 310xt.

My first thought was this was pricey. But, looking at the ForeRunner 305 & 405, I realized it wasn’t that much more expensive for the additional supposed features and the “newness”. Then I looked at the price here on Amazon and almost passed out. 0? Without the HRM strap? Ouch. If you’re really into this watch, don’t buy at that price. Search for the ones priced at 9. Most sites sell at that price.

Ok, onto the feature set. Large, clear buttons. Large screen. Ability to track multiple sports. Quick upload of data. Lots of customizable options and screens.


Easy to set up and use. Pairing with the ANT USB stick is simple and can quickly get you started without the manual.
Online tools are pretty good (much better than previous iterations). Also, works with the MapMy list of sites (fitness, run, walk, hike, bike, swim, tri).
Customizable display allows for up to 4 tracking items per screen. So, you can track pace, HR, time and distance covered on one screen then scroll to another and get a map of your HR, your calories burned and a bunch of other potential options, all determined by you.
You can create routes on your watch and when you run it, it will record whenever you are on that route path. Great for comparing against previous training routes and for quickly setting the route and having it track you properly. Once you are on the route, it tracks you.
Auto-multisport option allows you to set that and when you click lap, it will dump you to the next “sport” whether it be a transition or another sport such as biking/running.
Tracks you the individual after you enter your height, weight, level of fitness. Provides caloric burn and other related info based on your input.
Virtual training partner. You can actually have it show how you’re doing on a saved route versus your virtual training partner. This partner is a previous version of you doing the same route and tells your pace and how far you’re up/behind. Pretty cool.
Multitude of things you can configure and display/adjust/fine tune.


Swim? As I quoted from the Garmin site above, this watch bills itself as the triathlete’s indispensable training tool. Umm.. triathlete means 3 sports, typically involving SWIMMING, biking and running. Swim is not an option. In fact, when I clicked other one time, it had what appeared to be an icon of a downhill skier. I’m not sure how that showed up since that option isn’t there. HUGE mistake in my book for a watch billed to be for triathletes.

Elevation Accuracy? This one is WAAAAAY off. On a 3.3 mile run, it had me ascending 853 feet. Unless I’m climbing the Washington Monument, I’m not getting that type of elevation in 3.3 miles. I’d have to say it is off by, 600 feet or so. On a 60 mile bike ride, it had me at 1500 feet and that one at least took me up some legitimate hills.

Switching events: There is no way to switch events mid-stream on the watch if you didn’t set it properly to begin. Let’s say you ran one day and then biked the following day. If you left it on run then switched when you realized the mistake, it clears the data and you start with a new workout. The original workout is kept but you can’t append the “new” workout on either on the watch or with any of their software (both installed SW and online site). So, when workouts are categorized, it shows a multisport recording on the installable software and whatever you mistakenly set in the online site. You then have 2 workouts you can’t consolidate or run reports against without manual intervention.

Swim accuracy leaves a bit to be desired. While I haven’t put it through its paces and will hopefully edit this review in the future, for a 1/2 mile swim, this thing was way off. Beach, opposite direction, gaps. All were part of that swim result.

While there are a lot of pros (which do warrant a 4 star), the cons are extremely negative. Since I don’t have a watch to keep track of everything, this one will have to do. At such a price point, I’m highly disappointed in the overall performance considering it is billed as the triathlete’s dream. It really does track mileage well and with enough fudging (using the elevation in MapMyRide instead of from the watch) and by manually adjusting routes in my various tracking sites, I can get close what I want. The HRM is good and the coupled effect of it all makes it as worthwhile as having a set of watches out there. But, I will not be ultimately promoting this to other athletes. While I’ve managed to make it work to a 4-star rating with my own fiddling, I wouldn’t recommend…

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