Forerunner 301 vs 305

I am so jonesing for a GPS/HRM combo so I don’t look like a robot when I go out running. The difference in price between the 2 models available is about $100. Is it worth it?

I have teeny writsts so the shape of the 301 is fine with me. What I need to know is if you think the signal is better and is the 305 waterproof enough that you can wear it while swimming in open water.

If you have any ideas please let me know. I’ve read a few reviews but it still isn’t clear to me.

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16 Responses to Forerunner 301 vs 305

  1. Karen h says:

    I am not quite sure how I arrived at your blog but I am very impressed with your running and working out. We are the same age and for the first time in my life, I am overweight. Would you mind sharing how you first started running? I realize you may not have the time to respond to such a broad question but thanks anyways for inspiring me!

  2. Juls says:

    The 301 is waterproof to a certain extent. I used to put it in a baggy and then up in my swim cap so that it could “see” when my head was down in the water. The 205 and 305 don’t share this waterproof quality – as I understand, but they are far more comfortable for us small wristed folks.

  3. Firefly's Running</ says:

    I was told by the local running store that the 201 is a steal now, which I might go for. 😀

  4. Firefly's Running</ says:

    I was told by the local running store that the 201 is a steal now, which I might go for. 😀

  5. Bob says:

    I can only speak for the 305 which I own. It is great, no problems and I have run in the rain with it many times, no swimming but the rain has not been an issue. I have had great success with getting and holding GPS signal. I have never had any wacky HR readings. Althought it helps to moisten the chest strap before you start. The difference between the 301 and 305 from what I have read is that the 305 has a much better chip and holds signal much better in difficult conditions. Trees, building and similar areas. I can’t say that I have ever lost signal except in the Chicago Marathon when we ran under a 1/4 mile overpass. The 305 also from what I understand has a much better HR monitor and link as the 301 can get wacked out at times. At least that is what I have read on cool running about it.I find the 305 to be an indensible tool, I love love love it and recommend you spend the extra green and go with the new model. JMHO Good luck

  6. Bob says:

    oh and one trick, if you get one, to get signal set it on something flat and turn it on and let it aquire signal. Then put it on your wrist it aquires faster and is more accurate.

  7. Susan says:

    I want a 305 with all my heart . . . it will be a while before I get one.

  8. 21st Century Mom says:

    Karen H – you have given me an idea for a new post. I will write about my running history soon.

  9. Karen H says:

    Thanks so much! I keep coming back to your blog to see if you have responded. And thanks again for inspriring me!

  10. DebbieJRT says:

    I have the 205 – used to have the 201 but switched when it broke. I definitely feel that it has an easier time obtaining and holding the satellite signal. My usual park trail is wooded and the 201 totally lost the signal frequently. The 205 rarely loses the signal, and when it does it searches for a longer time, if that makes sense. The 201 used to just give up and go blank.Just my experience, hope it helps.

  11. momo says:

    i have the 301 and have stopped using it because i was getting those wacky hr readings. i’m wondering if its the shape of the strap for women, maybe? i wear a polar (with the soft strap) now and i like it much better although it doesn’t give all the info that the garmin does. i found, though, that i pretty much always run in the same place, i didn’t really need all the functionality of the garmin, i really only needed the hr monitoring. they are cool, though.

  12. Black Knight says:

    Garmin is my nightmare, I have a 201 and it never measures the same distance! A friend of mine got the 305 and he says that it works very well. The 305 will be my wife’s next present.

  13. Running Rabbit says:

    I have the 205 and I love it, love it, love it. I kinda wish I would ahve splurged and gotten the 305 with heart monitor though. I have no trouble with proper mile measurement. It takes a little while though to link to the satelites. But I live in the city!

  14. Anonymous says:

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  15. Steve J says:

    For the GPS and fit aspect, here’s a very detailed review of 201 vs 205. (Neither has the HRM) guy put a good bit of time into the review. Enjoy!

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