by Marcus Leach
As the skies closed in around me, a wall of grey clouds pushing the mist down onto the mountains, I started to think that I was a little lost. Mapless and with a film of incessant rain only serving to make matters worse I was about to start becoming a little worried about my predicament when a vibration on my wrist alerted me to the fact that my situation was not as hopeless as it may have first seemed.
I had come to Snowdonia National Park to test out Garmin's latest offering, the Fenix 3, and as the weather gods would have it I was seeing the full benefits of several exciting features of the watch. I say watch but the Fenix 3 is so much more than that, it is in many ways the ultimate accessory for the active man, or woman for that matter, who wants to track their sporting activity, be it running, swimming, walking, mountaineering, the list goes on, so impressive is the Fenix 3 and all that it offers.
Having ventured out onto some of the smaller cols that surround Mount Snowdon the weather had taken a decided turn for the worse and at a point in my walk where there was no obvious sign of the path I should be taking. I had hazarded a guess and gone left, after all straight on was into a squelching bog and to the right was a cliff's edge. As the Fenix 3 vibrated I took a quick glance to see that I had strayed off course, much to my dismay as it did indeed mean I would have to make my way through the bog - thankfully I had the right footwear to go with the Fenix 3. The vibration was thanks to a pre-programmed route that was loaded onto the watch, using GPS it correlates your actual walking position with the route that you should be on, vibrating when you stray too far from the path.
Once back on track, and with a section of straight path in front of me I took a moment to scrtoll through some of the other data screens to see what else the Fenix 3 offered. It is more a case of what it doesn't offer the user as you can pick from an almost endless list of options, displaying only the ones you want. In that I was only out trail walking I kept things fairly simple, opting to focus on time, distance and speed, as well as a projected finish time for my walk. This was a feature I loved as it takes the set route you are using, as well as our current walking pace and calculates how long it will, at that speed, take you to cover the remaining distance. Very handy for making plans to meet friends at the pub for a well earned beer.
What's more the Fenix 3, like all good Garmin products, is compatible with the Garmin Connect mobile app. This means that moments after completing your activity you will have all manner of information downloaded onto your smartphone ready to analyse. Having used the same app with Garmin's 810 Edge I can happily say it is a great way to monitor your training and focus on areas where you need to improve. In truth I only used a small number of the features available on the Fenix 3, but just from those alone it is easy to see just how good this watch is. Easy to use it offers the information required on a highly visible screen, which can be illuminated with a backlight for nigh time use. And what's more such is the design it can be worn just as a watch too, you don;t have to be a data-mad sports nut to wear this watch, although it does help.