Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS

Anyone know anything about this specific model? Would it be a suitable choice for fitness kayaking as well as cycling? I like the fact it has a heartrate monitor, but I haven’t really been able to determine if it has any kind of speed function on it…

I’m not so sure as I would want to wear it on my wrist, either…looks kinda “klunky”…but it shouldn’t be to hard to mount it somehow on the deck.

Most people will just tape to the deck of the boat.I have the old 201 and use it on my kayak and my bike.

I paddle by myself so that is what keeps me up to speed

I’ve had a few 305’s
and I put a small bracket on my coaming and put the strap around that. I use it for running, biking, XC sking and paddling. I bought a quick release kit for it to mount it to the bike or wrist so in triathlons I can always see it easy but that’s how I lost 2 in the boat so I don’t do that any more. Put a small peice of pipe insulation on the bike bars and mount it to that if you want to see it easy. I just leave it on my wrist and check it when I need to know if my heart is going to explode. Good luck I couldn’t be without mine now. Chaz

Fitness Use
Most folks I know prefer the 305 to the newer model 405. For a long while I used a large eTrex Vista CX, then a friend gifted me this one. Love it. It’s light, compact and enables downloading of workouts. The integrated HR function is very acccurate. I use a piece of pipe insulation and strap mine to the footstrap on the surf ski-works great.

But will it tell me kayak speed?
The literature I have read so far mentions an optional accessory for determining cycling speed and/or for cadence(if I remember correctly).

Why would I need an optional do-hicky for determining cycling speed if it is able to determine speed via global positioning? If it is capable of determining speed via global positioning then I know it will tell me my kayak speed…see why I am confused?

Sensor for cadence is optional.
And they make a foot pod if you wanted to use it indoors too. Speed outside is same no matter what your using. You can set up the screens for 1 to 4 readouts too. WHen I’m doing a TT in the boat I set it on 3 so speed is the whole top screen then distance and heartrate is under. But you have 3 screens for each disapline ( running,biking, and other) I see the 305’s are down to 159.00 after mail in rebate. I’ve looked at the 405 and don’t see any benafit for me. It’s alittle smaller but that means the screens are smaller too. Some people that don’t run with the 305 buy the edge instead of the forerunner because the screen is bigger. Chaz

305 has spped
The Garmin 305 displays actual speed and average speed, as well as distance,a nd many other parameters. It’s been a good motivator to get me to paddle a little further and a little faster during my workouts.

… for the responses to date; sounds like it will do what I would like it to do.

I read about that optional foot pod…so you can run stationary?

I found one new at a Goodwill for half-off of $149, w/a 7 day return option…I’m awfully tempted, as I am fitness oriented…I was originally just looking for an used Etrex as I already have a HRM, but it might be nice to have everything in one compact unit…and I could use it for speed on any of my bikes and get rid of all of those outdated cycloputers that keep needing batteries!

You also can have your mile splits
so when your kayaking or whatever you can see what your speed and HR was each mile. And when you download the info. on the computer it gives you graphs and stores it. It even has a virtual race if you want to compete against yourself. Lots of neat things for that cheap. You really can’t go wrong. Chaz

The graphing feature is a neat one. On a ‘That’s kind of neat in a semi related sort of way’ aside, I recently completed a science unit with my classes for a unit on Controlled Studies. We graphed the dissolving times/rates of Alka Seltzer in different temps of water manually and using graphing software on our Macs, interpolating and extrapolating data. As an extension, I threw a selection of the Garmin graphs from my workouts and races up on the Smartboard and had the classes attempt to glean ‘real world’ information from them, as to possible conditions, scenarios, etc.

They loved it. Although they had no knowledge of interval work, they were able to recognize ‘peaks and ebbs’ in the visuals for speed and HR as stepped patterns. One or two even recognized what paddling into a headwind/current looked like, as the speed stayed about the same, but the HR steadily climbed.

We also did an orienteering event using maps and compasses at a local nature preserve, and strapped the 305 aboard the wrist of one of the students before she ran the course. We printed out the map of the area covered along with our course track. (Didn’t wire her up for HR though…) We have a unit on the human body approaching, so when we study the cardio-pulmonary system, I’ll enlist a volunteer for this aspect as well.

As a training tool, it’s a great device. My eTrex Legend CX (about a year and a half old) sits unused. I don’t need the nav features it offers, plus I’m a Mac user so purchasing/downloading the charts doesn’t work for me either.

Bought the unit, brought it home to charge as per instructions…nothing! I was hoping it just needed charged when it failed to work at the store. Even tried pressing mode/reset at the same time. The only response I got out of the unit was a brief “charging cycle complete” when I plugged it into my computer via USB. Couldn’t utilize software as I am only using Win98, but I tried charging it w/the wall plug charger a couple of times at different outlets. I didn’t think the Li-on batteries would go bad sitting around w/out a charge…am going to return it probably Tuesday unless someone has a suggestion?

Probably a lemon…
I got my Garmin 305 via mail-order this summer, and had no problems with it, using it while kayaking, walking, running, biking, xc-skiing. Lots of good information during the activity and after, especially if you use the HR monitor. However, the Garmin calculation of calories does not use HR, so I continue using my Polar HR monitor and watch to keep track of calories, which Polar calculates using HR as one input.

My 305 has been splashed, wetted, sweated, and still functions without any glitches. Battery duration on a full charge is at least eight hours of continuous use. Personally, I think you may have gotten a lemon unit - it happens. Get it replaced and I think you will be happy with the information it gives you.

The 305 seems like a good deal
But a good number of the reviews on amazon complain of it having technical problems, dropping runs, etc. Was this the result of a software glitch that has been fixed?

Worn on wrist
This came up in a previous forum, but I can’t find the archive:

If I wear the 305 on my wrist, does the paddle motion affect the speed indication? Does all the back and forth motion have any contra indicated affects on the performance of the unit.

What’s a good way to mount it on a surfski? (V10S)


It isn’t affected by arm motion
if it was on a run I’d do twice as many miles. I have a V10 sport and I just put the strap between the velcro on the foot strap. I close the wrist band and it stays perfect for me to look at. Chaz

However, one friend who has one claims that when he wears it on his wrist versus the footstrap of his ski, it shows a higher speed reading. I use a piece of pipe insulation to take up the excess slack of the strap when mounting it to the footstrap of the ski, which also prevents it from twisting downward when you’re driving with the legs.

I’m finding though that when used indoors as a HR monitor solely, it’s showing inaccurate readings (Unless my HR is 189 at a resting rate…). I don’t have any of those issues on the boat.

Overall, it’s a great training tool.

Hey Mark
Once you let the HR monitor dry out the readings can get crazy. Your suppose to wet it before you put it on. Nothings perfect anyway. Mine says I have elevation when I’m kayaking on a lake. Or if I go under a bridge or close to tall trees my speed jump up when I come out. Nice to see but I know it’s not real. I think the these are the best training tools I’ve ever made. Makes training solo still enjoyable since I have someone to race still. Chaz

Just tried something different that seemed to work better. Turned the unit on in the windowsill where it was able to easily pick up a satellite, then strapped it onto the pullbar of the Speedstroke. Voila, accurate reading for HR. Maybe in the electronics it needs to ‘link’ first? Hmmm…shouldn’t have to be the case, but didn’t get the query on the screen: ‘Are you indoors now?’ No problems with having the chest sensor wet on the erg! Smile.

Chaz, I agree completely. Having a unit like this one takes the drudgery out of training/paddling alone. The GPS doesn’t lie, and consequently, doesn’t let me cheat. Funny how perceived exertion and actual exertion can be two vastly different things… Another fun thing to do when paddling with others who have them is to call out what their HRs are at speed; when they call theirs’ out and ask for yours in return, give them a number at least fifteen beats below-messes with your buddies’ minds.


We always talk HR on a ride or paddle
and it’s funny to see the difference. I went out last paddle outside and I was with a buddy that paddles a mohican but he had an 18X and I had the V10 sport, usually I’m killing myself and he’s not to stay together well that day he was 15 beats higher than me and I was taking it easy. So it’s funny checking HR with similar speed paddlers. Chaz

I had the same interest, but when I…
Called garmin, the guy was very honest with me & said that it was more for runners & joggers & nature walkers (not hikers) than outdoorsman & hunters. He also said that my Etrex is far better, especially for geocaching.

Paddle easy,