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on February 10, 2017
Bought this to supplement my new Garmin Forerunner 230. Initial setup took about 5 minutes and 2 tries, but now it connects to my Forerunner immediately when I am about to head out for a run. I do wet the sensors (with a drop of spit, honestly) but I sweat so much during my runs that it's probably not even necessary. Heart rate seems accurate but my running coach has cautioned me against worrying about "zones" and "max HR" without an actual treadmill/bike test with a cardiologist. I use it more so for calorie calculations and seeing how much my HR goes up on hills or during speed work.
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on August 11, 2016
I've used this for rides up to 90 minutes, I've had a similar construction one (came with Timex HR watch) that I used for rides up to 4 or 5 hours. Never had any issues with fit or comfort. I wear size M or L t-shirts.

Nice data, consistent from the beginning of ride, no issues linking to Ant+ on the computer. With my Polar HR strap I get fluctuating HR readings for a bit until the strap is more wet (I wet the strap before putting it on but I have to ride a bit before the HR readings stabilize).

I bought this for Zwift. I do not have an Ant+ cyclocomputer head, just Ant+ dongle for computer (with 6' extension cord so dongle is on floor under bike), so this is good for me.
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on October 4, 2017
The gold standard in heart rate monitor straps. This one might not be as comfortable as the soft strap version, but it will last infinitely longer. My first one of these lasted 8 years, with multiple battery changes (from the original Garmin Edge 305). Battery changes are easy with just a coin, and if put back together correctly, it is water proof over and over. Compared to the soft strapped version with the tiny screws (which I use for running), this one is a breeze to change batteries on.
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on October 29, 2014
I have had every version of this thing. Every one!

When I lost my last one (down behind the dresser drawer as it turned out) I was mad I had to buy a new one. when the new one came and it was different I was again frustrated. Why different? isn't the all cloth one better?

Answer: nope!!! I loved this thing right away. Well, after using it anyway,

This one is the best hands down.

It has shinny contact spots that make contact with skin and heart quicker without added water (moisture whatever you have handy (saliva)).

I was loath to part with the money for this since I knew My other one was somewhere in the house (and it was) but after using the new one I would do it again.

I have both soft straps now but I only use this one.
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on November 20, 2016
It is like a tachometer for your heart.Prevent over revving it!
A very good friend, an MD, checked my latest full blood work and declared me in very good health and gave me the go ahead to work out hard, but recommends a stress test with a cardiologist to absolutely determine my heart's limit (red line) now at 59 yrs. I will do that, of course.
In the interim, I just keep it at below 140 bpm, since my rest rate is 90.
Also, everyone, at whatever age, should immediately stop any spirited activity at the first ping of dizziness...just common sense advice.
Paired the Garmin for rowing on my C2 model D, easy catch for it's PM5. A flash drive is needed for permanent pairing; found an old one on my desk, and works OK, gets the monitor automatically every time.
This is an outstanding bargain. VERY comfy on my XXL chest. And it looks very, very well built. So, recommended without reserve.
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on January 7, 2017
Inexpensive, comfortable, and pairs immediately with my Peloton with no configuration required. No reason to pay more for expensive straps, this does exactly what I need.
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on October 1, 2016
I have gone through three of these Garmin heart rate straps. They work great when functioning properly but over time they seem to be effected by sweat or something. When new just making sure there is some moisture between the heart rate strap sensor and your body would ensure it would work well. Over time they just seem to start getting more temperamental. I try to keep my heart rate straps clean by wiping them down with a moist towel and sometimes removing the stretchy part of the elastic strap and washing in the washer. Changing the coin battery is pretty straight forward but sometimes it just stops working, not sure if I am doing something incorrectly. It is to the point that I don't even ride my bike with a heart rate strap anymore.
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on June 2, 2017
Comfortable and seems more durable than the soft strap on my polar monitor. Gave identical readings compared to the Polar monitor when paired with my Fenix 2, so at least as accurate. This is an excellent choice if you need an ANT+ sensor to work with a Garmin device.
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on April 17, 2014
(This review is for the hard strap monitor)

I had absolutely miserable luck with the soft strap HRM. I've had two, one that came with my Garmin and one that I bought to replace the first when it failed after 6 months - which also failed, again after 6 months.

I had a similar hard strap HRM with my old PowerTap that lasted for years (and still works). This HRM is identical to that one, except it is ANT+ and works with my Garmin. Perfect.

It's comfortable - I could say it's not quite as comfortable as the soft strap, but honestly after wearing it for 5 minutes, I completely forget it's there. It's accurate, and even without wetting the contacts it picks up my heart without issue.

If I could complain about this, it'd be about the strap. It's a little hard to adjust the length. Don't expect to do that on the fly like you can with the soft strap. It's going to take a few minutes and a little patience.

I'm looking forward to getting heart data for a long time.
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on February 11, 2012
EDIT 2/14/2013: The second strap crapped out on me one year to the day after I wrote this review. The second one lasted for 1,620 miles, slightly better than the first one but very similar. So I'd say, figure a year per strap.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

I'd been using Polar heart rate monitors for nearly a decade when I got my Garmin 405 watch in March 2011. Although some people have negative opinions of the Garmin 405 GPS watch, I personally love it and it's been great for me. This heart-rate monitor strap came with it.

My strap crapped out on me two weeks ago, after ten months of usage. To be fair those have been a rigorous ten months: I've run approximately 1,500 miles with this heart-rate strap, with every one of those miles above 80% of my max heart rate. I've run one marathon, three half marathons (including a 1:37:58 PR!), a 10-miler and some shorter races. I tend to sweat a LOT and then shove the heart rate monitor and strap in with my gear when I'm done.

It died after an especially grueling treadmill interval run during which I hit my max heart rate on three separate intervals, and I was sweating profusely. I'm almost positive it was moisture that killed it. I have confirmed that the battery was not the problem: I replaced the battery with a known-good fresh battery and have tried several times to resuscitate the strap.

Anyway, if I have to spend $25 to replace this every 1500 miles I'll be all right: in that same mileage I've gone through five pairs of running shoes so it's a small price comparatively. But I've never had trouble with Polar chest straps, which are completely sealed and hence have nowhere for moisture to enter. I'd wondered from the start whether it was a good idea to have a battery door against the skin and a multi-piece design, and I think my experience shows it's not the best choice.

If I were looking for a new HR-only setup I'd go Polar because of this difference. But of course, people are only buying this strap by itself if they've already got (or decided on) a high-end Garmin watch, so it's the only choice. At least it's super cheap. And it *is* totally reliable when it works.
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