Back in April of 2015, I wrote a “wish list” for what I considered the idea fitness device for kayak racing. At the time, I was using the Garmin Forerunner 910XT, and most of what I wrote there was based on my experience with it and previous devices (Garmin Forerunner 301, 310XT and 910XT as well as a brief flirtation with a Polar RC3 which sucked. I had also been looking at Garmin’s website for their new Forerunner 920XT and was trying to justify buying one. “Fortunately” I left my 910XT on my car roof and drove off, and it got run over by a truck so I had to buy the 920XT soon afterward. So let’s just see where we stand with the 920XT versus my wish list, shall we?
|Wish List Item||How the 920XT stacks up|
|As big a display as feasible.||The 920XT continues the downward slide on display sizes. No relief in sight because Garmin wants these things to work as watches as well as training devices. I don’t think the Edge or the various remote displays from Garmin or Wahoo are waterproof enough for kayaking.|
|Compatible with polarized sunglasses||To be honest, I was avoiding sunglasses this year because of all my video cameras, so I don’t know if the 920XT works with them.|
|Don’t scroll the fields that don’t change||Sadly, no. Even though I have the same heart rate field on the top of three screens in a row, you can briefly not read it as it switches between the screens|
|Support for multiple profiles||While Garmin Connect had some glitches in the last year, my “Paddling”, “Paddling Intervals” and “Paddling Race” profiles all upload as Paddling activities in Garmin Connect. Unfortunately so does my “Indoor Paddling”, and then I have to manually change it to “Fitness Devices/Cardio”.|
|No holes in the case||920XT continues that feature of the 310XT/910XT. The fact that this 920XT on my wrist spend a couple of weeks immersed in a river and in river mud proves how well it works.|
|ANT+ and Bluetooth||920XT supports both.|
|Bluetooth uploads and live tracking||I’ve never used the live tracking. The only person who would care is Vicki, and she uses “Find My Friends”. But it’s awesome having your workout uploaded to Garmin Connect as soon as you finish.|
|Great battery life||The 920XT’s battery life is so great I use it as a daily wear watch. I couldn’t tell you how often I charge it, but it’s probably no more than once every three days.|
|Course map if you load a course||I tried this at Lighthouse to Lighthouse this year and it worked great. Except they changed which way you went around the second lighthouse and that confused it, and so the distance to go was wrong for most of the second half of the race.|
|Virtual Race||Again, that was working great at Lighthouse to Lighthouse right up to the point where we went around the second lighthouse. I’ve tried it on a few training runs and it works well.|
|Start on movement.||Still a problem – if you want it to start when you start moving, it stops when you stop moving, even if it’s for a buoy turn.|
|Louder beeps.||Still a problem.|
I’m trying to think if I have any new wish list items. The only thing that springs to mind right away is that I bought a Wahoo cadence device, and Garmin won’t allow me to add a cadence field to a Paddling activity – if I want to use it, I have to make a cycling activity. That’s pretty annoying and arbitrary. I could probably think of a few for Garmin Connect.