Customer Reviews

627
4.1 out of 5 stars
Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor (Soft Strap)
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeChange
Price:$40.34 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2013
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
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.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
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.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2014
Verified Purchase
I bought this in May 2014 from Amazon, looking for a reliable ANT+ chest strap heart monitor. It was inaccurate out of the box. When I say it was inaccurate, I am verifying by counting the pulse in my carotid artery and/or using a supplemental device.
It isn't consistently high---nor consistently low---in fact, sometimes it is spot on. But it is not accurate enough to be reliable such that the data can be counted on.
I have used this in conjunction with my Iphone 4 and Wahoo key with Digifit app. Digifit is pretty nice, by the way.
I have tried everything. I replaced the battery---yes I waited over a minute for it to fully discharge. I have washed it. I have rinsed it. I have soaked it when putting it on. I have used regular cotton shirts. Ugh....just when I think I'm going to get some consistency.....it blows up---either high or low. I'll check pulse at carotid....this afternoon I was walking and it displayed HR between 34-40 for ten minutes. I checked multiple times and HR was in 80's. Go figure. I adjusted it. I wet it again. No use. After 20 minutes it started giving accurate readings. It wasn't the sweat. Sometimes it reads accurately in the beginning and then inaccurate later. There is no rhyme or reason. I've recently changed the battery a second time in the less than one month I've owned it.
Enough about the product. Here is a bigger gripe that the product itself. I called Garmin Support last week for help. Julie offered the usual tips found in the owner's manual...which I've already addressed. She said they would send me a new one if I would send an email, which I promptly did. I never heard back so yesterday I called again and asked for status. George told me that he saw I had called last week and saw my email but it had not been handled yet. He said I needed to mail the old strap back first AT MY EXPENSE for them to look at and then they would send me another strap. What??? That's not what I heard last week. I pleaded and protested. He talked to supervisor and said if I gave him a credit card, he would send the strap to me before receiving the old strap, but I still had to pay for shipping to return the defective product. I pleaded and protested again. Put on hold again. George politely told me that was the best he could do. I told George it would be easier and cheaper for me to go back through Amazon. He basically said "Go ahead". Garmin's customer service is poor. I tried to work directly with the manufacturer to resolve the issue and they basically put up hurdles to easily resolving a defective product issue. They really didn't seem to care. I asked him to suspend my request and that I would attempt to go through Amazon. I also told him to let the supervisor know this will be the last Garmin product I ever purchase in my lifetime.
This morning, I opened a chat log with Megan at Amazon. She was fantastic. She looked up my order and quickly said she would ship another to me today. She also emailed a return shipping label to me. Did I say she was fantastic? She apologized for the defective product. She could not have been any better.....fantastic.
Garmin, if you are listening, please take a note from the customer service at Amazon. Your customer service is terrible. Amazon's is fantastic. Try to learn from it.
As far at the product goes, today it only gets one star. I would give it a zero if I could. I'll update the product review if the replacement works better. Otherwise, I'll return it and try another brand.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2014
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
(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).
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2013
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2013
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
Erratic behavior on workout one month after purchase. Next attempted use it was completely gone. Battery replacement does not help. Purchased Sep 24, 2013 and it quit Oct 29, 2013. Does anyone make a reliable Ant+ monitor that will work with Garmin 310XT?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2013
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
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
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2013
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2014
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
Fails. Repeatedly. I've tried the sensor pod in a Polar belt (supposed to work, via dcrainmaker.com), I've replaced batteries, I've gotten a second one and checked it - it worked a while then stopped. I just can't get the Premium Soft Strap monitors to work reliably.

Additionally, the fabric has what amounts to a small serrated edge. As you run, this slowly saws your skin. Doesn't seem like a big issue until the mileage bumps up during half-marathon or marathon training, and then it actually chafes right through the skin.

On the advice of my coach I switched back to the regular plastic strap and I'm happy I did. Cheaper, works reliably so far, no chafing. Premium - this strap wasn't for me
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2014
Color Name: BlackSize Name: One SizeVerified Purchase
I bought Garmin's Vivofit and associated HRM after a lot of research and finding an electronics writer's review with the Vivofit and HR monitor at UCSF's cardiology lab which found that Garmin's product was far more accurate than the other 2 devices they tested. I have been reluctant to invest in this technology because over the past 10 years I have tried 3 "alleged" heart monitors on sport watches that were 100% dismal failures in the past meaning wasted money and worthless products. So, I am very happy since the Garmin device seems to be accurate. The only problem occurs in the first few minutes - the initial readings in the first 5 min after putting it on are always too high (often starting at 80 as a resting rate! and then slowly settling down to 60, which is correct), so the system seems to self-correct and after that during the entire wearing it seems to be quite accurate. I have worn it all day during days with lots of activity, and less often on lower activity days - either way it is comfortable. I use it during Cross Fit, Folk Dancing, and Jogging and it seems to be accurate. However, I have not calibration tested it with a cardiologist like the electronics products reviewer did and I look forward to further such testing my others with access to the right equipment. Anyway, I am very happy so I give it 5 stars.
Advice to women: see the great demo online by a female trainer who shows how to wear a chest strap heart monitor properly - the Garmin manual illustration is for men's chests which doesn't work for women.
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