First impressions of the Polar strap was that it produced consistent data that reflected my physical effort. The graphs below show the HR graph for two runs along the same route. The upper graphs shows Garmin HR data and the lower graph data recorded by the Polar HR strap.
OK first up the Polar strap produced a much more even graph with an overall lower average heart rate, despite the fact the run was much quicker. There are no bizarre spikes in data up to 180 bpm. AT the point I recorded the highest HR of 160 bpm I was genuinely blowing out my arse, unlike the Garmin data.
So, first impression is that the Polar HR strap is MUCH better. Time to reevaluate my HR threshold.