The World's Best Triathlon Watch - Garmin Forerunner 910XT Versus Polar RCX5 G5

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The Heart Rate Watch Company blog testers recently evaluated the Garmin Forerunner 910XT triathlon watch and heart rate monitor versus the Polar RCX5. The results were very, very close and the subtle differences created a situation where personal preferences had to come to the forefront.

garmin forerunner 910xt, power meters

Garmin Forerunner 910XT receives power data with ANT+ power meters

The women testers we talked to tended to favor the Polar RCX5, while the guys seemed to like the Garmin 910XT

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The Heart Rate Watch Company blog testers recently completed side-by-side evaluations of the Garmin Forerunner 910XT versus the Polar RCX5 G5, arguably the two best triathlon specific heart rate monitors in the world.

"We decided that this year our blog will conduct side-by-side comparison tests of the best products because this what our readers have been asking us for," says Rusty Squire, President of the Heart Rate Watch Company. He adds, "There are such subtle variation in metrics capacity between these two watches with one having an advantage here and the other there that it made it very, very difficult to name a winner - it was that close."

In the swim phase the Garmin 910XT counts laps and strokes for training but does not transmit heart rate in the water and the Polar RCX5 does thanks to its transmission frequency. In the T1, or swim to bike transition area, the Garmin 910XT was faster because of it's quick release strap that transitions to bike mount effortlessly.

In the cycling phase the Garmin produces power data whereas the Polar RCX5 does not so the edge in the cycling was toward the Garmin.

"If your cycling is geared toward power then the Garmin is an obvious choice but we felt the Polar held a slight advantage for the swim and the run" says Squire. He adds, "The Garmin also held the transitions advantage so it is once again a very close and is really very dependent upon what an individuals needs are in the final analysis".

The fact that the Polar has an external GPS, as opposed to an integrated GPS, is somewhat of a drawback but this makes the watch lighter and more comfortable on the wrist than the Garmin.

"The women testers we talked to tended to favor the Polar RCX5, while the guys seemed to like the Garmin 910XT, but cyclists that use power meters had no choice but to go with the Garmin so it all became very situational and case by case" says Squire.

To read the complete blog post and evaluation go to and you can get the complete overview.

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Rusty Squire, President

Tarie Beck, CFO
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