GPS watches for navigating trail routes?

any forumites got a view on the best GPS watch for following a complex, the best one for inputting a load of waypoints for a trail run and then following the route using the watch (saw someone using one the other day and it seemed to work a treat, but didn't ask what model it was). thanks


  • The Suunto Ambit is excellent. There are new models just out so I imagine you'd get a good deal on the original.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    I don't know what is available now, but I use my garmin 305. It's a very basic display, a thin line for the course you've loaded and a thick line for your track, and it beeps if it thinks you're off course. So if you go around a planted field for instance rather than over the crop it gets a bit confused. It's helpful, but not what it does best, and in a forest the margin of error renders it unreliable.


  • It's not a watch, but I use a garmin edge 800.  

    Plusses:  full UK 1:50,000 OS maps, can upload a coarse and it'll tell you when you're off it and distance to go, good battery life, can be recharged on the go with AA batteries, clear display.

    Minuses: about the size of a thick mobile phone, shows speed not pace.

    I only really need it's navigational capabilities when doing long offroad runs away from home, so when I have a rucksack on anyway.  This means the size isn't a problem.


  • If it genuinely is a complex route, then I would use a map & compass. I'd only rely on GPS for fairly simple routes.

  • I've just Got a Garmin Fenix (also own a Garmin Forerunner 210). While I love tech and find them very useful, I am an old school navigation instructor and although I use tech, I weigh heavily towards map/compass. 

    When batteries die and Satelites can't be received..... what is left?

  • Banksy7Banksy7 ✭✭✭

    anyone used the 310XT for navigation - we are doing the GR20 soon, so could be useful on that....


  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    The Suunto Ambit 2 is cheaper than the original Ambit. £275 compared to £350. For some unknown reason black and silver are expensive options.

    Agree map and compass for complex routes.

    I would not use a sports watch for following a complex route. Have both Garmin 405 and Suunto Ambit. Still stick to paper maps when i want to go somewhere new.

    I think some of the larger handheld devices which hold OS maps would be better if that's what you wanted, though you can easily print a map for a one of. 

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