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on May 26, 2013
After going thru 2 versions of Garmin and a Polar HRM&strap, this one finally works! I had been fed up with intermittent and erroneous heart rates, and no matter what I did (wet the pads, use electrode gel, etc.) there always would be crazy readings of 22 and even 222. This one worked fine right from the start. What's the difference between them all? This one has a shielding layer which mitigates the static electricity and interference that seemed to upset the other straps. It also has a 'polarity' - where you have the Right and Left side indicated as well as the shielding layer making contact to the skin. Garmin recommends to remove the transmitter module and wash in a regular washing machine after 7 uses, it would appear that a build up of sweat 'shorts out' the sensor pads and machine washing cleans up the salty sweat.
55 comments142 of 148 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 7, 2013
This is my third Garmin Heart Rate Monitor. I own the "old" style hard strap which came with my forerunner ages ago, and while it still works I've always found it a bit uncomfortable. The Premium strap which came with my 310XT was more comfortable, but it suffered from the heart rate spikes that so many people have complained about. I misplaced/lost that strap while travelling about a year ago, and have been making do with the old-style hard strap.

With the purchase of a Concept 2 erg and its PM4, it was time to find something comfortable again. I wavered between buying a the newest version of the Premium HRM strap and sensor or just going with the sensor and buying the Polar wearlink strap (a la DCRainmaker). I obviously went with the whole Garmin package, and I'm very happy. The strap is very comfortable and I have had no issues with it communicating with my 310XT or the PM4 on my Concept 2. I think the re-design with the silver fabric has helped solve the heart rate spiking problem.

If you've had issues with Garmin's older premium soft strap, are still committed to Garmin HRM products and ANT+, are in the market for a new one, I recommend this updated version.
22 comments68 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2014
(updated review below)

Original review: While this has a nice strap and a low profile sensor, the 4 Phillips screws that hold the battery cover in place are very small and very soft. The first thing I did when I received this from Amazon was check the battery, which requires removing the 4 screws on the back of the unit. I used a jewelers screwdriver and 3 of the 4 small screws came out relatively easily, but the 4th stripped the head and now can't be removed. Low quality screws with soft metal tend to do this, or the screw may have been over-tightened. Either way, this HRM will only be usable until the battery dies, which will be within a year. This is a very poor design or materials choice. I hope most units aren't like this, but you won't know until it's time to replace the battery. The unit will be out of warranty and then the user will be out another $50 because they'll need to buy a replacement HRM.

Other brands have a more sensible and easier to access battery door (e.g. coin twist door on the Cateye). Garmin is smarter that this and they should produce a higher quality product using better quality screws or design it in a way that doesn't require such small screws to be used. I'm very disappointed with them on this. I will be returning this HRM and looking for one that will last through multiple battery changes.

Update 3/31/14: I'm upping my review to 3 stars from 1. I prefer the slimmer design of this unit over some of the other brands I looked at, so I decided to give it another chance and ordered another one. I checked the screws on the back of the new unit to see if also had the same problem (soft/defective or stuck screw). This second one was fine and the screws all came out and went back in without any problem or damage. I've returned the 1st one as defective and will keep this second one. I still stand by my assertion that the design choice to use 4 tiny screws to hold the battery cover is bad. Perhaps my first one just had a defective screw? I recommend that if you purchase this HRM, check the screws to make sure you can get them out (to eventually replace the battery) before you get outside the return/exchange window (30 days).
88 comments87 of 93 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 5, 2015
This unit works very well until it flakes out and fails. I've had two of them. The first started to lose contact with my Garmin 510 after about a year. Replacing the battery helped only marginally so I bought a new one. After only three months it is starting to fail, which leads me to my second complaint. Of course the first thing you do when the unit starts to fail is replace the battery! But this is tremendously tedious and error-prone. Rather than use something reasonable like a tiny hex-head screw, the unit has miniature philips-head screws, so tiny that even a #0 driver doesn't fit. I end up using jewelers tools, but the screws are in so tight, the only way to get them out is to clamp a vise-grip on the tiny screwdriver and wrestle it into submission. Here's hoping that the battery is the problem this time.
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22 comments29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 8, 2015
Avoid this product! As mentioned by others, the battery cannot be removed because the screws are in too tight. Formerly you could open these devices with a penny; now four screws indicates the cheapest assembler in China now has the business. I have bought several of these devices and none is as poorly designed as this one. Second, the strap that Garmin sent me is *not* adjustable; so now that it has stretched, it no longer holds its position and doesn't work. Cheap, shoddy, overpriced and now, mine is useless. Go elsewhere for a heart rate monitor.
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0Comment22 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 13, 2013
Ok, I've used this particular monitor since I got my 910XT and it has always been reliable through rain, sleet, snow, dropping it on the floor, stepping on it, etc., But today it really showed it is an amazingly tough product. I accidentally left it on my shorts and machine washed it, then machine dried it on HIGH heat. I was amazed it didn't melt. Imagine my absolute amazement when I tried it and IT STILL WORKS! amazing
0Comment24 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 3, 2014
A must have, not necessarily for the high performance, but for everyone; since the heartbeats need to be maintained below 190 /min ; out of a few hundreds of slides, I could select the listed below, that i find most complete, and will give a quick idea of what range do you fall in.
You might consider a watch too, but they tend to skip when jogging and cant collect the data, a snapshot of your heart beat is a very limited data; also, try reading it when running and not crashing into a garbage can, stepping on a dog or bumping into a hot fitness babe and then saying it was not on purporse...
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11 comment13 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 8, 2013
I have been using Polar and Garmin HRM's for 20+ years. It has been several years since I had trouble with a strap that seemed to be intermittent. After three of this model I find the HR cuts out to 0 several times during workouts. The strap also folds along its length while I am wearing it. Not the best fitting strap.
On the other hand, the Garmin strap that utilizes the HRM sending unit to fasten the strap together does not exhibit the same problem. I also tried using my Polar strap with the Garmin sending unit. That also works great.
My suggestion is to try and find the older(?) style Garmin strap or switch to using a Polar strap with your other Garmin hardware.
55 comments30 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 8, 2015
Love it! I hook it up to map my fitness and I love having the data it provides my workouts!
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0Comment8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 10, 2013
I had the former version of this (the one that is entirely black– with no dark grey), and I had problems with it. Primarily, it seemed to have issues conducting signal in random situations. I read a number of online articles about people having erratic heart rate reports on their Garmins, and the number one suggestion was to swap out or modify the strap. I never had the chance, because the actual unit ended up going dead.

While Garmin happily replaced my old unit and strap for free, I impatiently ordered this one on Amazon so that I could continue my training ASAP. (Never hurts to have two! =P ) Both of the replacement units have the "new" soft strap, and I'm super pumped, because they're significantly better.

First and foremost, all heart rate and conductivity issues seem improved. While, I'm not sure of the exact science, there are some clear changes in the form of different patches of material on the band. Whatever it is, it seems to work!

Despite my own skepticism when reading about the "increased comfort," I have to admit that something about this material is also much more comfortable than the old version. It seems slightly thicker and sturdier. The material on my old one actually began to wrinkle after a year of use, so it became somewhat morphed. 90% of the time it just hung in my closet, so it really wasn't under and major stress. A few hot days of sitting wadded up in my gym bag distorted it. This strap is hold it's shape much better!

Overall, this unit and strap are great. Both of my previous issues seem fixed with the "new improvements," so I can't report any complaints.
0Comment17 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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