We’ve named what we consider to be our 5 best GPS running watches for 2013. Barring a Garmin launch at the Boston Marathon in April of some new GPS this list will likely stay intact for the year.
UNDERSTANDING WATCH SELECTION VERSUS RATINGS
These watches represent the very best of what is available on the market today. Of course many runners have greatly varied needs these days from recreational runners prepping for the first 5k all the way up to 50k ultra trail runners and beyond. As a result, what might be the number 1 watch for one person’s needs might be ranked number 4 or 5 for another person. This is why we always recommend calling us first. Just because we rate it number 1 does not mean that it is number 1 for your needs.
WHO MADE THE LIST?
Our top 5 GPS watches for this year still remain a “Who’s Who” of the top manufacturer’s best products. Not on the list are many products we’ve opted not to carry because of qualitative issues like Motorola MotoActv, the Nike + Sport Watch and others. These are much more recreational players that really don’t make the products you’ll see the serious athletes using, so our advice is to forget about them.
Here’s the list:
No. 1 – Garmin 910XT – Yes, it is the uber-triathlon watch but its got all the metrics to be a
super running watches plus features like a barometric altimeter for accurate on board altitude. This watch delivers accurate pace, distance, heart rate, calories, cadence with optional foot pod. Screen customization is very flexible, screen size is best-in-class and vibrating and audible alerts allow you to control everything, plus the Virtual Partner pacing feature is still the best on the market.
No. 2 – Suunto Ambit – It’s already one of the best adventure and navigation watches on the planet along with the Garmin fenix, but what many don’t know is just how spectacular a running watch it is. The nice thing is that it has the juice to go 15 hours plus at 1 second recording intervals and only a small group of watches can do this. This watch can also navigate, track back and get you back home. It also has advanced heart rate features like training load, alerts, laps and most everything you’d expect from a top shelf running watch.
No. 3 – Garmin 610 – This watch was actually number one last year and for 10k and
marathoners it would still be our top pick because it is lighter and smaller than our top two for this year. This was the first-ever touch screen navigation GPS watch and its still one of my most favorite watches from 6 months of testing. It does running well but it is equally adept at other outdoor sports like cycling and more.
No. 4 – Timex Run Trainer 2.0 – Timex has learned from their past mistakes and created a real winner here ion the Run Trainer 2.0. This GPS running watch is loaded with timers and features but the excellent screen readability has become a real distinguishing factor, plus the new more intuitive user menu. Faster GPS acquisition, hydration alerts and more combine to make this Timex’s greatest
running watch – EVER.
No. 5 – Polar RC3 – This was Polar’s first ever integrated GPS watch and the latest version has altitudes built-in, albeit GPS based altitude. For running, cycling and all outdoor sports this watch is great. It’s distinguishing factor is its light weight, at 2 ounces it is the lightest GPS watch on the market today with over 7 hours battery life.
As with all watches we strongly recommend that you call us to discuss your personal needs, criteria and go through a more in-depth selection process. Just call our North American toll-free line at 866-586-7129.
Rusty Squire, firstname.lastname@example.org