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Garmin's HRM-Pro Plus heart rate monitor is up to three or four times the price of some on the market, but if you are already enrolled in the Garmin 'family' of devices and you are into multisports then it does bring a lot of extra features over other monitors. It'll work with other devices too, and it is very comfortable to wear, even for long and sweaty workouts.
Check out our guide to the best heart rate monitors for more options at various prices.
Taking the HRM-Pro Plus out of the box, it really doesn't look any different to any other HR strap. You get a pod in the centre, which is now white – it was yellow on the previous HRM-Pro – and an adjustable strap, with a couple of sensor pads on it for monitoring your heart rate. The main difference between this Plus model and its predecessor is that battery replacement is now tool-free.
The strap is adjustable, with a range of 60cm (23.5in) up to 106cm (42in); that isn't massive, but I suppose being aimed at athletes, the majority tend to be quite slender. You can buy an extender if you need one for £8.99, which increases the chest size to 142cm (56in).
The strap is one of the most comfortable I've used. The thin design allows it to contour nicely with your body and it manages to stay in place without exerting a lot of pressure on your skin. I've worn it on some long gravel rides and barely noticed it – not something I can say about all body strap systems.
Things are pretty standard in terms of connectivity, with the HRM-Pro Plus transmitting your data via Bluetooth or ANT+ to whichever device you are using. I connected it without issue to my Garmin Edge 530 and Edge Explore 2, and my Fenix 6 Pro watch.
I had no issues with dropout from either ANT+ or Bluetooth, whether riding inside or out.
So, nothing out of the ordinary there, but if you are using a Garmin device and the Connect app, there are a few bonuses.
It works as an activity tracker, storing details like calories burned, intensity minutes and all-day heart rate, so you can wear/use it even when you haven't got your watch or device in range, like when swimming. Once it makes contact it'll upload all the stored data to your device and onto your daily feed on Connect.
If you run as well as cycle, the HRM-Pro Plus has Garmin's Running Dynamics built in, which'll save you having to purchase something like Garmin's Pod, which costs £59.99 on its own.
Running Dynamics measures things like stride length, cadence, ground contact time, vertical ratio, vertical oscillation and left/right foot balance.
This all works whether you are running outside or indoors on the treadmill.
The HRM-Pro Plus is rated to 5 ATM for swimming so as you can imagine there are no issues when riding in heavy rain. In fact the whole unit seems very well built, and after a lot of high-intensity rides on the indoor trainer over the last few months, salt from sweat has caused no long-term issues.
I have followed Garmin's recommendation of giving the strap a wipe over with a cloth every seven or so uses.
Battery life is reckoned on a year, allowing for one hour per day usage. It uses a CR2032 battery, which you replace by removing the white cover.
OK, £120 is a lot of money for a heart rate monitor strap.
The 4iiii Viiiiva, which Liam tested a few months back, has gone up but is still 'only' £79.99, and that also has the ability to log workout data to pass on to a device at a later time. It can also make ANT+ only devices compatible with Bluetooth, which is a neat touch.
If you want a Garmin heart rate strap purely for cycling, you are probably better off with the HRM-Dual – a basic device with connectivity to both ANT+ and Bluetooth devices that costs £59.99. But if you do more than just cycling and are really into your data, the HRM-Pro Plus isn't that over the top, price-wise.
I am returning to running at the moment, so I've been using the HRM-Pro Plus for that, and if I'd had it when I was running frequently before I wouldn't have needed to spend that £59.99 on the Running Dynamics Pod, which now just sits in a box on the shelf.
I don't swim, but if I need to know my heart rate in the bath then I am also sorted!
For basic cycling data, the HRM-Pro Plus is more than you need, but if you are a triathlete or just like to play various sports you'll get a lot of use out of it. It fits well and comfortably, and I had no issues with connectivity or performance at all.
More than just a heart rate monitor, and that is reflected in the price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Garmin HRM-Pro Plus
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Garmin says, "Whether you're training indoors or out, the HRM-Pro Plus heart rate strap provides the accurate data you need to push limits and reach goals."
It's more multisport than cycling specific and that is reflected in the price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Unit dimensions (LxWxD) 23.5-56.0in x 1.2 x 0.5in (60.0-142.0 x 3.0 x 1.2 cm)
Weight: 1.8 oz (52 g)
Module size: 29.6 x 53.7 x 8.6 mm
Size adjustment Bi-fold
Sizing range: 23.5'-42.0' (60.0-106.0 cm); 23.5'-56.0' (60.0-142.0 cm) with optional strap extender
Battery door: Tool-free
Battery life: 12 months (Tri training 1 hour per day)
Water rating: 5 ATM
Operating temperature: 32°F-104°F (0°C-40°C)
Radio frequency/protocol: 2.4 GHz ANT wireless communications protocol; BLUETOOTH® Wireless Technology 5.0
Number of concurrent BLE connections supported: 3
Number of concurrent ANT connections supported: No limit
Range: 3 m
System compatibility ANT+, BLUETOOTH
ANT+® heart rate: yes
BLE heart rate: yes
Supports heart rate variability and advanced heart rate features: yes
ANT+ running dynamics: yes
Stand-alone activity monitoring (steps, all-day heart rate, calories and intensity minutes)
Stores and forwards heart rate: yes
Swim interval heart rate statistics: yes
Running pace and distance: yes
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
No issues with connection via Bluetooth or ANT+.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Loads of data collection, and great connectivity.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Standard strap size isn't that big.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's pricier than most, even very capable monitors like the 4iiii mentioned in the review, though the Running Dynamics does make up for it somewhat.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
At first glance it looks overpriced, but it is a very capable heart rate monitor, especially with the Running Dynamics capability built in. If you are into your multi-sports then it is a worthwhile investment.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!