Gadgets: The Garmin 305

I’ve been using this little gizmo for years. It’s been extremely (in fact, surprisingly) accurate and very easy to use. One of my original motivations for purchasing it came from participating in indoor cycling classes where there was a lot of heart rate monitor interference. This one worked without a hitch.

Also, having lugged around a much larger older unit to help out with field research for the book, I knew the value GPS would have on the road. Having all that functionality in a much smaller unit is great. But I left some features unexplored until recently.

Mostly I’ve used the unit to review routes after going out on a club ride or outings with friends in unfamiliar areas. Earlier this year I experimented with programming routes. Once again, I found the experience surprisingly pleasant. It’s quite easy to plan routes on the computer and then follow them on the GPS while riding. The interface is rudimentary, but very effective. You’re essentially following a breadcrumb trail on this unit. No color maps or street names. But.. it works great! While it’d be nice to have all the bells and whistles of the latest GPS models, you may consider re-exploring your old unit if you have one. There may be some very cool features left unexplored.

2 thoughts on “Gadgets: The Garmin 305

  1. The breadcrumbs are effective but can be distracting and hard to follow. I'm always having to zoom in to see if it's this turn or the next, but then I need to zoom out so I'm not constantly watching just the next 200 meters on the display.

    I've also found that the HRM and Cadence battery life is very short. My HRM shows hummingbird rates on cold days making it useless.

    Nevertheless, I use mine constantly. I did upgrade to the 705, but I don't think it's worth it unless you spring another $100 for the detailed base map.

  2. I had expected the breadcrumbs to be totally useless, which is why I ignored it so long. I was surprised that it was effective at all, I guess and I've had good luck with it. I typically just leave it zoomed in.

    It's helped me to explore new roads in areas I know and totally new areas by planning a little back at the home PC ahead of time. Still, I'm jealous of your new 705!

    I've not had issues with the HR and don't always use the cadence feature.

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