Review: Garmin Edge Touring Computer

The Garmin Edge 810 has been classified by many to be the ultimate GPS computer. It is a compact unit, which has mapping capabilities, as well as full training software, and the ability to connect it to any ANT+ measurement unit. However, for many touring cyclists, the need for training software is limited, and the importance of mapping capabilities is the highest priority... enter the Garmin Edge Touring.

The Edge Touring comes in at a significantly lower price than the Edge 810. It is a stripped back, mapping specific cycle computer, which focusses its devoted attention on guiding its user, rather than providing in-depth training data.

The Edge Touring is the same size as the 810. It also similarly has a colour touch screen display, two easy-to-press buttons for start/stop/pause and lap, and a waterproofed port on the back to insert a mapping micro-SD card and a USB connection cable. Unlike the Edge 810 though, the Touring is able to meet a price point, by stripping back the unnecessary (for touring) training functions. Therefore the unit will not pick up ANT+ sensors such as heart rate, cadence or power, and it doesn't have as many data fields to display as a result (it is worth noting the Edge Touring Plus does feature the ability to detect sensors however).

On my last touring trip, I didn't own a GPS cycle computer. It was all old-school, with maps and notebooks. Boy was I missing out...

The Edge Touring is impressive. First of all, there is the ability to guide you to any defined location with the simple input of a postcode or address, or to a POI anywhere in the vicinity. The routing when using this function is quick, and from my experience takes you on roads that are good to ride on (something that isn't always true with bike GPS mapping, especially if it has been taken from a car GPS system).

The second neat feature, is the ability to instantly create planned training routes. Put in a ride distance, and as long as you are in the covered map area, the Edge Touring will create three pre-planned cycle friendly routes for you to choose from. Ideal for when you're training in unknown territory!

The other notable feature of the Edge Touring when doing these mapping processes, is that you can select whether you are a "touring cyclist", "cyclist" or "mountain biker". The unit will then plan the routes accordingly i.e. off-road routes for mountain bikers, scenic routes for touring cyclists and direct routes for road cyclists.

The battery life of the Edge Touring is another notable attribute. I've had the unit running for up to 16 hours without it fully discharging the battery; that's pretty incredible for a computer this size with a colour display. It also makes it ideal for cycling tourists, who are typically in the saddle all day long.

If you are venturing into the unknown, need some new training routes or want to explore a new country, the Garmin Edge Touring could be the ideal choice. If you don't need sensors then this provides all of the data, information and mapping that you could ever need. You can upload and share your activities on sites such as Garmin Connect and Strava, and you can download routes from these sites to follow as well.

Put simply, this is a great, simple to use bit of kit. Go explore!

View the Garmin Edge Touring at Wiggle (Link)


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