I posted previously about having a Polar heart rate monitor and watch – and wanting a Garmin 305… and with a little birthday $$ I got it :)  So here’s what I think of it so far.


  • A HECK of a lot easier than carrying around my iphone
  • Pretty darn accurate for the GPS.  It uploads TONS of satellite points and is constantly pulling satellite data. 
  • Has a LOT of options/settings that I haven’t played with yet but seem cool ;)
  • I like all the alerts for heart rate, pace and mileage (although I learned not to use them all the time because they can get annoying….)
  • I love all the zones you can set for heart rate and pace – great for training
  • Actually feels pretty comfortable on my wrist despite the large size
  • Relatively easy to transfer data
  • Charges quick and the battery seems to last a decent amount of time
  • Saves all the data in the watch from all my previous runs!!!


  • Looks large and bulky on my wrist
  • The little cradle thing to sit it on to transfer data doesnt really “connect” to it well, so if I bump it it comes off and I have to reconnect. 
  • Locating the satellites takes the longest 3 min of my life.  I swear I feel like I’m standing there an eternity although it says it’s only 60-90 seconds
  • GPS is pretty darn accurate when in open areas… HOWEVER I ran in a heavily tree-populated area and it was ‘close’ but ended up being about .06miles off – not a huge deal considering the technology and I’m guessing that’s how it will be with any GPS.
  • Heart rate zones and pace zones can get annoying… Usually I will set a 30 second spread on the pace zones and that is just not enough to account for up hills and down hills (same with heart rate).  You can stretch out the zones – but I still find that I’m constantly beeping no matter what I do – so I usually just turn them off or only use them for training purposes.
  • The software that comes with it leaves much to be desired.  I use it for some data, then upload to RunKeeper to see elevation and splits (maybe there is a way to do this that I dont know about??) HOWEVER RunKeeper likes to make up it’s own course – even though I’m GIVING it data.  I have never been able to upload and have RunKeeper give me the right mileage and end up having to tweak the map. 
  • Heart rate monitor is less comfortable than my Polar

I know it looks like the “dislikes” column is bigger than the “likes” – but I really do love it.  I thought I would want to take my iphone with me and use the runkeeper app, but found out that the watch is more accurate because of the direct satellite links (I’m regurgitating info here) – and this is just what I’ve seen compared to Heather’s iphone.

I tried to do my research before I ordered it and really considered getting the 405 for a little extra – but the reviews scared the crud out of me about it being ‘worthless when wet with sweat’.  Kinda seemed to defeat the purpose.  Also heard the GPS wasn’t as accurate and that a lot of folks with the 405 went back to their 305!!  I’m dying to know if this is all true….  Anyone have a 405 they want to review???

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One Response to Garmin Forerunner 305 Review

  1. The Partins says:

    I have the 305 & use sports track software. Much better & they have a free version for download. Satellite search time reduces over time (almost like it learns). & it will find satellites if you put it on your car dash while driving to the trails.

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