Forerunner 310XT

Battery life is about 20 hours. Unlike most watches, you must plug the 310XT in every couple days to charge. I found this to be a hassle, as I would occasionally forget to recharge the watch and find dead batteries when it was time to workout.

Detailed, accurate mapping distinguishes the 310XT

The watch initially feels big on the wrist, measuring more than 2 by 2 inches square. But size concerns go away after a few uses, and the large display screen soon makes you appreciate the substantial watch face on your wrist.

In the end, if you can afford this tool, its pros far outweigh its cons. I had few complaints and no troubles getting the watch up and running. It became integrated into my workout routine this summer. To be sure, I am edging toward joining the Garmin cult.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.