Help me choose my next Garmin!

If you’ve been following my recent race/training recaps, you’ll notice an absence of a training tool that I had been utilizing since I first brought it home in April 2012: the Garmin 405.


Now, I was actually a fan of my 405, despite people’s commentary about its faulty/moody bezel, but in recent months, I’ve had a series of unfortunate incidents with the watch – for one, the band broke right off – so I replaced that with the fabric band – which was fine….until the bezel stopped allowing me to lock the screen, even with hard resets. After I was just getting used to keeping my hands off the watch during a run, it’d randomly power off, and most recently, Dug found my charger and mistook it for a chew toy, so sadly, I’ve been Garmin-less for a few weeks now.

Fortunately for me, I’ve been keeping an eye on the world of new running tech, and saw that a new watch, the Forerunner 220 was set to be released. DC Rainmaker, my fave place to find reviews on said topics, posted a “first look” here.

Now, this watch is NEAT, y’all. At the mid-price range of ~$249, it does a lot more than my last watch (including a really neat new “live tracking feature” which is great since I often run alone, plus bluetooth connectivity), and appears to be a lot easier to use too. And, it’s COLOR, which is kind of neat. But, there’s another watch in that price neighborhood that I’m eyeing…



Yup, the 310 XT. It’s not the cutest, but it’s got a killer battery life (~20 hours) and is known as a tri-athlete’s watch (good for swimming and cycling, beyond just running). Now, I am no triathlete, but with the prospect of training for an ultra next year, that longer battery life sounds great – and although it’s not an attractive watch, it’s really easy to read, perfect my ‘runner brain’ that I tend to get on a long run.

To make matters more interesting, I have a $50 gift card to Road Runner Sports, as well as a VIP membership, which would bring the 220 cost to $175 and the 310XT to just $138.95…it’s hard to decide because I really want this to be a longer lasting relationship than the one I had with the 405 😉

I’ve asked a few runner friends already, and have heard votes for each side, so it’s hard to decide…but if you were in my shoes (pun intended) which would you choose?



  1. 310xt. I’ve been on the 305 for years and love it. 310xt is like the next step up in the same mold and will probably be my next Garmin. You wouldn’t (I’d hope) buy running shoes just because they’re cute … don’t buy a Garmin just because it’s cute!

    • Haha, you’re right, Sam. I think the thing that keeps swaying me toward 220 is the new-ness. And TBH, I will prob go with 310 XT because it has so much praise/reliability.

  2. Kris and I have had our 310s since 2009 and love them … Even after 4 years of heavy usage, the battery life is fantastic! We have used and abused them and are happy to answer any questions you have about them!

    • Thanks so much, Mindy! Just ordered mine today (310) so I am sure I will be contacting y’all as soon as it reaches my hot little hands, lol 😀

      • Yay!!! Can’t wait to hear what you think of it!! And, feel free to contact us anytime with questions! 🙂

  3. I love, love, love the 220. Its so pretty. BUT having said that I recently upgraded my 205 to the 210. My 205 was old wasn’t staying charged quite like it should. The only thing I didn’t care for was that it was the size of a small cadillac on my wrist. It was super easy to read and I really liked it. The 210 is nice and a good watch, but no where near as easy to see “on the go” as the 205. The 310 XT looks very similar to the 205/305 which are still popular models, even though they are old. I like my 210, but I miss the 205. For that, I would say the 310 XT. The 220 is really nice and has a TON of features but I wouldn’t have the first clue how to work any of them!

    • Agree with the feature overload – I just need my splits and battery to take me through the run!

  4. I’m coveting the 220. Badly. I have the 10 and it’s not going to hold up during marathon training. The 310xt is just too much watch for me, lol. But, if you’re planning on going the ultra route, that may be your best choice.

  5. I am getting the 220 next month…
    Tip: you can call Garmin and they will give you money for your old watch that doesn’t work. Then you can apply that to the new watch! They told me the 220 won’t ship for 3-5 weeks.

    • Ali – I saw your instagram post and was thinking about that!! My only thing is this – I want to use my $50 RRS GC…but no idea what value my 405 might have…and I am week 11 of 18 into my marathon training schedule and maybe not the best idea to learn a new watch then lol…oh so many thoughts!!!

    • Yeah, I linked his review in the post! 😀 I’ve been studying both reviews like it’s my job, lol!

  6. I’m a sucker for new tech, so I’d probably go with the 220. I can’t believe you only had your 405 for a little over a year – my 110 that I bought in August 2010 is only now starting to be weird (and it’s just the computer connection, watch is ok.) I have a 405 now that someone gave me (yes gave me if you can believe that) because their husband started working for Nike and they wanted it to have a good home. Good luck with your decision! Oh – also I saw the 220 at the RnR San Jose expo and the profile was amazingly thin.

    • I ended up going with the 310XT because I need to have my run as dumbed down as possible, even though I love technology, haha! 😀

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