The Forerunner that Does Everything Short of Raising Your Children
Ok. I know I spend a lot of time talking about how I like things that are simple, and for the most part I absolutely do. Every now and then, however, a device comes along and basically does everything short of making me coffee, and I instantly want to play with the nifty things that it does.
Though I usually end up sticking with things that don’t have a lot of bells and whistles, I am pretty happy with things that do what they’re supposed to do well.
Mapping and running and data, OH MY!
The Garmin Forerunner 220 has a bundle that supports connecting a heart rate monitor, and it’s a pretty spiffy example of exercise fanciness. Since Garmin has made its name as a GPS company for the majority of the last several years, it makes sense that they would want to combine that technology into their fitness products. Basically, you can run with the added bonus of knowing where you’re headed.
There is a lot of data you can get right on your wrist. It lets you set milestones and landmarks so you know where you’re headed, and it’s all easy to read in a super cool, high resolution color display. There is no monochrome on this baby.
The GPS is also used to track your run so you have a map afterwards of where you went.
When you don’t need the GPS because you’re on a track, it is still able to keep an eye on the distance. You don’t have to be bounding throughout a busy city to get your information stored. I’m not sure that it’s worth the money for a GPS watch if you’re not going to be running outside much, but it is at least versatile enough to be able to do both.
Good Data Management AND a Heart Rate Monitor that Works?!
It seems to manage pretty well as a wrist-mounted GPS, but it’s also a pretty good heart rate monitor. It’s hard to find both in the same package, but the Forerunner 220 literally has both in the same package, because if you buy the bundle you get the heart rate monitor chest strap that hooks up to the watch. That way, it can tell you if you’re in the right range or if you need to kick it up a notch (or even knock it down a peg).
Forerunner 220 is flexible enough to let you pick what kind of alerts you want, like putting it on silent and/or decide if you want it to vibrate, make a noise or both. The flexibility is pretty great and really helps with staying in range. It’s also small and lightweight, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a massive box on your wrist.
Do You Actually Need The Perks?
From everything I’ve seen, however, this is not a tool for just anyone who likes to run. It’s not that it won’t work, but it probably does too much for people who aren’t serious runners. Plus it’s not cheap, the bundle costs $300.
That being said, it’s totally worth it for someone who is going to use all of the features.
Minor Malfunctions. Very Minor.
For those who do think they need it, the GPS takes some time to connect to the satellite the first time it’s used. From there, it should be good to attach without a problem when you use it, but you should know that GPS technology can be affected by a lot of things. Whether it’s weather or battery power or available memory, it’s rare to find a GPS that works 100% of the time. That’s not the fault of the device, it’s just the nature of the satellite technology and data.
The battery life on the Forerunner 220 isn’t stellar, but it’s no worse than most devices like it. You should get a few days charge, but not likely more than a week. The more you use the GPS feature, the more you’re going to have to charge it.
Definitely The Forerunner
Overall, there wasn’t a whole lot to complain about here. It might be the device that gets just about everything right if you don’t mind the chest strap for the heart monitor.
The price is steep, but if you’re really going to use the features it could be worth it. I don’t know how many people qualify as serious-enough runners to need a $300 device to get all of the data they want, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who just want it and may not need it.
Regardless what group you fall in to, if you want to try out the Garmin Forerunner 220 in the bundle that includes the chest monitor, run over to Amazon here and add it to your cart. Happy trails!