The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is the only Garmin sport watch that is suitable for swimming, and reviewers say it is a great choice for triathletes. The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters (164 feet), but there are a few important caveats -- the heart-rate monitor doesn't work underwater, and distance tracking is based on estimates while a user is swimming. Even so, reviewers say the Garmin Forerunner 310XT is an excellent training tool that has numerous features, including the Virtual Partner pace tool, customized advanced workouts, pace alerts and interval training. Battery life is very good, and the watch acquires satellite signals quickly. It is significantly larger than other Garmin sport watches, and you can find other Garmin watches for much less. If you don't need as many advanced training features, experts say the Garmin Forerunner 210 (*Est. $200; $250 with heart-rate monitor) is a good fit for most users.
We found the best reviews of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT at DCRainmaker.com, Wired, Backpacker magazine and TriRadar.com. These sources conduct hands-on evaluations of the sport watch. User opinions are plentiful at Amazon.com, and we found a shorter review at About.com.
DCRainmarker.com, a triathlon blog, has a very thorough review of the Garmin Forerunner 310XT. The author praises the lengthy battery life, waterproof design and wireless data upload, but he notes that the watch cant accurately track heart rate or distance while swimming.
Review: Garmin Forerunner 310XT In Depth Review, Editor of DCRainmaker.com, Sept. 16, 2009
Wired gives the Garmin Forerunner 310XT an overall rating of 9 out of 10. Editors say the watch is easy to set up, intuitive to navigate and comes with robust tracking features. The only downside is that it is expensive, they say.
Review: New Garmin is Hands-Down King of Wrist-Mounted Trainers, Mathew Honan, May 26, 2009
Backpacker magazine editors say the Garmin Forerunner 310XT has good battery life and acquires satellites quickly. Overall, they recommend it for those who want a good amount of training data at their fingertips.
Review: Gear Review: Garmin Forerunner 310XT, Editors of Backpacker magazine, Nov. 2009
TriRadar.com gives the Garmin Forerunner 310XT a mixed review, largely because the GPS tracking doesn't function accurately underwater. Even so, they call it "our favorite tri training buddy."
Review: Garmin Forerunner 310XT Review, Editors of TriRadar.com, Oct. 22, 2010
About 90 users comment on the Garmin Forerunner 310XT at Amazon.com, where the watch has a 4-star rating (out of 5). Most reviewers say they love the advanced features and multisport mode. However, some are disappointed that the watch cant track heart rate underwater.
Review: Garmin Forerunner 310XT Waterproof Running GPS with USB ANT Stick and Heart Rate Monitor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2011
Fred Zahradnik, the GPS guide at About.com, gives the Garmin Forerunner 310XT a 4-star rating (out of 5). Zahradnik says he is impressed with the many training features, and he finds the watch maintains a consistent GPS signal (even in heavily wooded areas). However, the heart-rate monitor doesn]t work underwater. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Waterproof Garmin 310XT Is an Excellent Training Tool, Fred Zahradnik