Runners: which watch shall I get?

(26 Posts)
Stumpedasatree Mon 08-Mar-21 09:32:23

I am predominantly a trail runner and always directionally challenged. I would like to be able to upload gpx routes and follow them easily. Previously had a Suunto Ambit but v displeased with it as they've changed the software now.

OP’s posts: |
Woodspritely Mon 08-Mar-21 09:46:57

Following - I have a Fitbit but find it really frustrating that it records my car driving miles as steps, so I have to remember to put it on and off which I inevitably fail at.

massistar Mon 08-Mar-21 09:50:53

I've got a Fitbit and it's crap. Friends really recommend Garmins?

DazzlePaintedBattlePants Mon 08-Mar-21 09:55:20

I have a Garmin Forerunner (235 I think) and it’s fab. Would replace it the same day if it broke but it’s been going strong for years. It’s a little big but they now do smaller versions.

I rate the Connect software too. You can upload routes on the newer versions. Needs charging once a week in lazy weeks, more often if I’m doing loads of miles.

Minikievs Mon 08-Mar-21 10:12:50

Another vote for Garmin forerunner (I have the 235 too)
It's quite big but I like that as it's easy to see everything when I glance at it whilst running.
I think the connect software is good too.

It wasn't great for when I was doing gym classes, it measures heart rate but was a bit hit and miss for pump & combat classes.

It is specifically a running watch though, and now I'm running more as gym is closed, I am remembering why I love it so much

Stumpedasatree Mon 08-Mar-21 10:13:50

Yep specifically running is what I am looking for.

OP’s posts: |
MrsRexVandeKamp Mon 08-Mar-21 10:21:22

Yes, another vote for Garmin - I've got a very basic 35 but it still does everything I need. Battery lasts for ages and the connect app is great too.


fellrunner85 Mon 08-Mar-21 11:52:09

I love my Garmin 235 as well, but it doesn't do the mapping stuff you're after. You'll need the Garmin Fenix range for that - and they're also brilliant, so I'm told smile

AOwlAOwlAOwl Mon 08-Mar-21 11:59:25

I have an ambit 3 too OP. I would also love a shiny new watch for nav but it refuses to die. So I plod on with it and the stupid new app angry

If that day ever arrives I will be buying a fenix 6 so quick my bank card will have scorch marks.

ultragroupie Mon 08-Mar-21 12:01:03

following - I loved my Ambit but now you can't put any bloody workouts on it!! It's so shit! I always felt so smug that I had all the features of a Garmin Fenix but for a much lower price angry. Not so smug now! grin

AOwlAOwlAOwl Mon 08-Mar-21 12:04:03


following - I loved my Ambit but now you can't put any bloody workouts on it!! It's so shit! I always felt so smug that I had all the features of a Garmin Fenix but for a much lower price angry. Not so smug now! grin

Totally with you there @ultragroupie grin

Stirmecrazy Mon 08-Mar-21 12:12:47

I have a Garmin Venu. I love it particularly as I can listen to Spotify with it so don’t need to take my phone with me. I would rank myself as an amateur runner though who doesn’t take it too seriously and probably only use 10% of the capability of my watch . I didn’t even know it was possible to put routes into watches before the run so no idea if my watch is capable of doing that . It tracks my run but I have never done it the other way and followed a route off my watch. I will be googling that now to see if it can. Wow that would be amazing like I say I’m an Amateur!

Thecatisboss Mon 08-Mar-21 12:27:14

I've been looking at Garmin vivoactive as I trail run & also collapse unexpectedly sometimes as that sends incident alerts if you fall (though you need to take phone as well).

It also comes in a smaller version so not too big for my small wrists.

Still haven't decided though as it is expensive.

randomsabreuse Mon 08-Mar-21 12:31:30

I love my Garmin 245. It has a return to start and a retrace my steps function which I haven't needed to test yet... to my great surprise!

emmathedilemma Mon 08-Mar-21 13:55:41

I'm a Garmin forerunner fan too. Currently have a 245 but (as far as I know) you can't upload maps to it, you need to go higher up the range for that - Forerunner 745 or 945 I think.

randomsabreuse Mon 08-Mar-21 14:15:38

I had the ability to add maps to my TomTom but it wasn't very easy to follow routes on it so I only did it a couple of times. I have a bad sense of direction so I'm planning to do some orienteering with DC once stuff opens up again. Hopefully either back the way I came or direct route to start (plus phone) will keep me out of too much trouble!

TheHeathenOfSuburbia Mon 08-Mar-21 14:22:21

I recently got the garmin forerunner 645, it doesn't do maps... it'll tell you which direction you're running like strava does though.

I was tempted by upgrading to the Fenix to get maps, as i do some trail running, but couldn't really justify the extra £££.
Very pleased with the overall software, reliability, ease of use etc though.

Stumpedasatree Mon 08-Mar-21 16:00:17

It looks like a choice between the forerunner 925 or fenix 5s/6s, both kind of similar in price.

@AOwlAOwlAOwl and @ultragroupie, while my suunto ambit 3 records fine still, the fact that it no longer syncs with the suunto app on my mobile and that i can't access movescount for my stats and route planning on my PC means I am trying to justify a new watch for myself. Neither of the Garmins are cheap though!

OP’s posts: |
AOwlAOwlAOwl Mon 08-Mar-21 16:18:03

I haven't needed to create new routes on my watch since I got the new app - and I only transferred from movescount a couple of months ago, left it as long as possible.

I didn't think about the logistics of route planning with only an app to use. Is it totally pointless now? My watch still syncs ok.

ultragroupie Mon 08-Mar-21 17:34:36

@Stumpedasatree @AOwlAOwlAOwl mine has totally given up syncing - hates the app on my phone - and now it won't even sync to movescount when plugging it into my computer with a cable. It is utter crap!!!

I hadn't thought of losing movescount as a massive issue but actually... how do you plot routes and do other stuff like change the accuracy settings etc to save battery now I wonder <cries>

Glittertwins Mon 08-Mar-21 17:42:23

@Stumpedasatree, I bought DH the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar for Christmas (The other models are quite big). Works brilliantly and it has been recharging even in the English winter sun. He had Garmin before so knew the functions he was after and he rates it highly - it's in daily use for running and biking.

ProfessionalTeaDrinker Mon 08-Mar-21 17:45:35

Do you have a blue light card by any chance? That gets you up to 40% off Garmin but only on selected items. Usually a decent choice though! Otherwise, take a look on Facebook seeking groups and Garmin groups - people are constantly upgrading and often selling on watches they haven't had long. I swear Garmin put something in the watches - you have one five minutes and you start twitching wanting a nice shiny new one even though the one you have is brilliant 🙈

AOwlAOwlAOwl Mon 08-Mar-21 18:12:25

I've just had a look on the app - it's fiddly because you only have a mobile screen and it's difficult to view the whole thing if it's a long route. There's no manual mode either, so you have to stick to paths and trails in the map. But that's not new, I seem to remember having that issue in movescount as well so I started plotting my routes in OS maps and exporting the gpx. Looks like I can still do that so no excuse for a new watch just yet angry

Stumpedasatree Mon 08-Mar-21 18:19:23

@AOwlAOwlAOwl yep I can't contemplate doing it on my mobile screen.

@ultragroupie my movescount sync has totally stopped now when I plug my watch into my laptop. It is intermittent when syncing to the suunto app on my mobile so far. I have to keep unpairing and repairing. So sad!

OP’s posts: |
ultragroupie Mon 08-Mar-21 18:56:43

@Stumpedasatree thanks for replying - seems like we’re in the same boat 😭😭

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