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on November 25, 2012
I love my Garmin GPS watch and if I didn't have the heart rate monitor strap then I wouldn't be utilizing my watch to it's full potential. Sadly this is my second one simply because I washed my original one (like a fool). Don't let the confusion between the hard and soft strap difference trip you up. The hard strap is 75% soft and the actual heart monitor is the only hard part of the strap, while the soft strap is 100% soft (with the exception of the actual monitor). Either way you can't go wrong because I noticed no notable difference between the two straps except for the couple bucks you save going from soft to hard.
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on October 17, 2013
SUMMARY: I love it. Check the "hook" and the "sizing" each time you put it on to avoid having to deal with it during your activity.

Caveat: I'm a guy so I can't address issues for women. I recommend you read other reviews for that.

Purchased from Amazon 10 months ago. I've been using it constantly since then for pairing with my GPS watch (Motorola MOTOACTV). I basically don't even notice I'm wearing this thing when I run and I even forget I have it on after I finish my runs. I never tried the older model with the more rigid strap but I do really like this soft strap model.

Due to the really good reviews I opted to go for the Garmin ANT+ HRM rather than get the Motorola model sold to pair with my Motorola watch.

Something that surprised me initially:
Putting it on and the way it "latches". I was expecting more of a clasp but it's just a loop and a sort-of hook. Often I just leave it hooked and STEP into/out of it. Other times I hook it around me. Not a big deal (but see below about it occasionally coming unhooked).

Issues I've had:
* On one run a few months ago I was getting some wacky HR data on my watch. I thought maybe the HRM battery was going dead but it's been OK since then. I've written it off as a one-time thing. I don't know if it was an issue with my watch or the HRM.

* Out of perhaps ~100 uses I've had it somehow become unhooked a few (5-10) times as I ran, usually within the first few minutes. It's annoying when it happens but I'm pretty sure it's because I had "stepped into" it rather than hooking it around me and I hadn't noticed it was partially unhooked. Stopping, setting the hook properly has always solved the problem and I've never had it happen again on the same run. So I consider this to be 100% user error on my part. Just make sure it is properly hooked before starting your activity!

* Sizing is done as you'd expect with an adjustable loop in the band. Over time I've found the sizing can shift and I'd start a run and it would have become too loose and I hadn't noticed until after I started running. So also double check and if necessary adjust the sizing each time you put it on to avoid this.
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on October 19, 2015
Half the price of the "premium" HRM strap and just as comfortable. BUT better in my opinion. Over time the sensor snaps on the premium strap corrode from sweat and its no longer accurate. It will say something like 98bpm while climbing a 20% grade hill on the MTB. After switching to this strap I've had zero issues.
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on January 31, 2014
I really love everything about Garmin except this heart monitor strap. If you read on the internet and look around, something wrong with a number of these bands. My heart monitor is completely inaccurate and totally useless for training. If you want to know what my problems is, just read some of the other reviews, heart read 200 when your jogging and then read 100 when your sprinting. It makes my Garmin watch totally useless for training. All can do is use it for distance and speed monitoring. I love the company and the people are nice when you call them, but this heart monitor is a bad product. Apparently I'm not alone, so when you shell out several hundred dollars for all the equipment be aware that your rolling the dice on whether it may be totally useless for training.
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on August 31, 2010
I bought this strap because I misplaced the stock strap that came with my Forerunner 305, and the pricing on this strap was only a few dollars more than the replacement for the stock strap. Anyway, I am REALLY glad I lost that old strap! I never really had issues with the old strap, but then again, I never knew how good things could be! This strap is 100 times more comfortable to wear, and I find I get a HR reading almost instantly, compared to the minute or two it took the old strap to start reading. I also want to note I usually had to completely wet down the old strap with water in order to get a good reading, but this one I either wet a tiny bit or sometimes not at all and I still get a quick and accurate reading. Also, I like how the strap snaps together in the front. Makes for less twisting to get it on right.

One thing to note if you are using with the 305 (I can't speak for other models, but this may be the case with those as well)...you have to "link" the watch with the new HR strap otherwise you won't get a reading. This info is not located anywhere on the HR strap manual, so it took me a good 15 minutes or so of messing around with the watch to figure it out. I was about ready to return the thing thinking it was defective.
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on May 19, 2012
I own two of these premium heart rate monitors - I bought one to use with my Garmin 305 and later purchased a Garmin 910xt that came with the soft strap heart rate monitor. Both worked good for around two months, then began the erratic heart rate displays - you can read the many one star and two star reviews about this product describing exactly what I experienced - erratic heart rates, first normal, then jumps to over 200 bpm - maybe later returning to normal status, often not. This is all before the run even starts. With both straps, I followed the maintenance, care and cleaning instructions religiously, but nothing has helped. I have tried the contact gel/s, adjusted the strap tension, checked the battery, considered static issues because of clothing, etc., etc. It has been very frustrating to know that I am purchasing top of the line Garmin equipment, and the company continues to manufacture these devices with no apparent acknowledgement of how unreliable this model has been for many, many people. I went back to my original(earlier model) Garmin rubberized heart rate strap, and although a little less comfortable, it works much more reliably. I plan to send these two straps in for warranty service, but have no confidence they will be any more reliable when replacements are issued. It's a hassle - Garmin needs to acknowledge there is a serious design defect with this soft strap device, and do better to resolve customer issues.
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on April 16, 2014
Like many athletes I have more straps and monitors than is healthy...always looking for the best version and the greatest dependability. My wife and I have many of the "premium" soft versions of the Garmin monitor, and they have two huge flaws: 1. changing the batteries is always a circus trying to find the micro philips screwdriver, not to mention trying not to keep track of the world's teeniest screws, and 2. The straps always start to fail after a couple months (four in 18 months?) sometimes the strap, sometimes the transmitter.
Changing the batteries on this "hard" version takes a coin...any coin, and you are ready to go. Is this as comfy as the soft version? No, it isn't. But it isn't uncomfortable either. And it will work a lot longer and be more dependable than the soft "premium" version.
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on August 3, 2017
When a product is sold with a battery, it should work. I reviewed this a few months ago and the review was deleted. I earlier complained how I needed to channel Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to figure out why I had no readings ... it was a darn dead battery. Just leave the battery out next time.
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on September 24, 2017
Works great. My wife got one of these bundled with her Forerunner 230 and I liked it so much I ordered one for me. Seems accurate and provides great information about my workout.
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on August 13, 2017
Works as promised. I actually bought two and keep the extra in my bike pack in case I forget my cleaned one at home. Ensure that you rinse/wash this after every ride. It will bring you years of durability and consistency. In the past, I didn't follow that simple instruction and ruined one.
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