Being Different – Garmin Alternatives

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When buying sports gadgets I suspect that many people are faced with the “choice” ‘what is the most expensive Garmin I can afford?’. Whilst this strategy is generally not a bad one, sometimes it might be good to cast the net a bit wider and be a bit different. Would you have been the person who always bought a Ford?

Here are some alternatives for 2015-16, below.


Don’t fancy a Garmin 630? Then how about any of these BIG SELLING options

  1. TomTom Runner2/SPARK – Optical HR + Music
  2. Polar M400 – Well featured with a nice aesthetic and considerably cheaper.
  3. Epson Runsense SF-810 : Quality running watch for running ie running not other stuff. Fully featured Epson with good battery and good optical HR


Don’t fancy a Garmin 920XT, Garmin 735XT or a FENIX3? Then how about

  1. Suunto Ambit 3 Sport – Oozes quality (upcoming Suunto Spartan Ultra will likely ooze even more quality)
  2. Polar V800 – Hey good looking, pretty much as good as the 920XT.


Don’t fancy a Garmin Edge 520? Then how about

  1. WAHOO Fitness ELEMNT – probably better !
  2. Polar M450 – Great quality, ridiculously low price.
  3. MIO Cyclo 505HC – Good on navigation
Polar M450 - vs MIO Cyclo 505HC
Polar M450 – vs MIO Cyclo 505HC


Don’t fancy a Garmin SWIM? Then how about

FINIS Swimsense – Pool only

FINIS 2016 – Watch this space!


Don’t fancy a Garmin VIVOACTIVE? Then how about

  1. Apple WATCH (love it)
  2. Fitbit Surge (HR)


Don’t fancy a Garmin VIVOFIT or VIVOSMART HR? Then how about

  1. Microsoft BAND (love it, new version in October 2015)
  2. Polar A360 (announced October 2015)
Microsoft Band
Microsoft Band


Don’t fancy a Garmin VIRB? Then how about

  1. TomTom BANDIT
  2. GoPro Hero4 Black


Don’t fancy a Garmin Vector or Vector 2/2S? Then how about

  1. Favero BePro (pedal-based, accurate and ridiculously low cost)
  2. Powertap P1 (pedal-based)
  3. ROTOR INPOWER 3D+ (pedal axle based)
  4. 4iiii Precision Power Meter (crank-based)


Don’t fancy a Garmin HRM-RUN or HRM-TRI? Then how about

  1. WAHOO FITNESS TICKR-X (Read link for detailed compatibility of all functions )
  2. 4iiii Viiiiva V100 (Clever high sensitivity, caching and converting strap)
the5krunner-WAHOO-Fitness-TICKR-X-Totally Unbiased
the5krunner-WAHOO-Fitness-TICKR-X-Totally Unbiased


Don’t fancy the inbuilt Optical HR on the Garmin Forerunner 225 or 235 or that on the Vivosmart HR? Then how about

  1. SCOSCHE RHYTHM (more accurate)
  2. MIO Link (well really it’s the same sensor as the 225 but available as a separate HR wrist band as the Link!)
Scosche Rhythm+ HR Arm Band Strap
Scosche Rhythm+ HR Arm Band Strap


Don’t fancy the Garmin GSC-10 or the 2014 separate Garmin speed and cadence sensors? Then how about

  1. 4iiii Ride
  2. Wahoo Blue SC or Wahoo’s new separate speed/cadence sensors

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