Garmin Tri Tronics SportPRO – Review
An old favorite made better.
We have used the Garmin Tri Tronics SportPRO since it was introduced, here is what we at Gun Dog Outfitter think of it.
The now discontinued Tri Tronics Sport Basic G3 was a favorite of many hunting dog owners and trainers. So much so that the Sport Basic G3 was the top selling Tri Tronics e collar for many years. The Garmin Tri Tronics SportPRO is the next generation of the Sport Basic G3, somebody must have listened. Many times manufacturers will allow product developers take a good, proven product in a different direction ignoring the wants and needs of the end user by a country mile.* Not in this case. The SportPRO takes many of the good things from the Sport Basic G3 and adds a number of new features to make an all new product that will excite hunter and dog trainers everywhere.
- Features and Specifications
- Garmin Tri Tronics SportPRO 010-01205-00 (Bundle) $249.99
- Size – Handheld 2.1”X5.4”X1.4” Dog Device (PT10) 3.1”X1.7”X1.7”
- Weight – Handheld 4.5 oz. Dog Device 3.5 oz.
- Battery – Both – Rechargeable Lithium–ion Pack (Included)
- Battery Life – 60 hours
- Handheld – Floats
- Radio Frequency – 27 MHz
- Number of Dogs – 3 (With purchase of one or two additional PT10 dog devices)
- 10 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation
- Tone and Vibration
- Beacon Lights
- Long and Short Contact Points
- Built in BarkLimiter
- Range – ¾ mile
- Dog Device – Garmin Tri Tronics PT10
- Collar Strap – ¾” Polyurethane coated Nylon
*This of course can cause potential buyers to take a different direction eventually resulting in a discontinued product.
We have used a Tri Tronics PRO 100 G3 EXP or the newer Garmin Tri Tronics PRO 550 in the training of our own dogs. In addition, we have one or two competitive brand e collars we are testing at any given time. After starting with Tri Tronics Sport Basic and then moving to the Garmin Tri Tronics SportPRO when it was introduced, we have found ourselves using the SportPRO more and more. It now has become our main e collar. Why you ask? Its operation is simple, and the compact size fits very nicely in your hand. The SportPRO four-button design allows you to set the dial and push a button for all functions, and with perfect positioning of the dial you can easily learn to use the settings without looking. Another positive in one-hand, no-look operation is the lack of an LED screen. These features lead to easily and quickly learning to expertly operate the device with one hand. Operating the SportPRO with one hand is one of my favorite features. It fits my hand perfectly. I can carry it in my pocket, as well as operate it while it is in my coat pocket.
The SportPRO handheld is extremely durable. I have personally dropped one into a lake, pond, horse tank, and river (it floats). We have dropped one in into mud, snow and on to concrete from eight feet in the air. All this with no harmful effects. It has been kicked, stepped on and chewed on by more than one pup with no problems.
With ten levels of both continuous and momentary stimulation the SportPRO meets the needs of a wide range of users. With the positive click dial it allows us to watch the dog and not the transmitter.
Anyone that owns and trains hunting dogs knows that they need exercise–every day. Even in the winter, and even when daylight savings means it is dark before it should be, the beacon light built into the SportPRO is another great feature. You can let your dog run and explore while tracking him with the beacon light. It is another function easily controlled via one hand operation of the SportPRO.
Problem barker? The built in barklimiter will solve that problem. And easily do so with one-hand, no-look operation. Plus, the stimulation function is available when the barklimiter is on.
The three-way toggle switch makes it easy to control up to three dogs by adding one or two Garmin Tri Tronics PT10 dog devices to your system.
Using separate buttons, vibration and tone are both part of the SportPRO features. I really like this feature. The SportPRO makes it extremely easy to cross train commands. Example: Once a pup has basic obedience voice commands down, I will teach them a couple of whistle commands namely “sit” and “come.” Once the whistle commands are second nature it is easy to add tone or vibration to the mix. Put the dog 20 to 30 feet away and give a whistle command to “sit” followed immediately by a short tone or vibration (I prefer tone). Once they get it, move them further away. It won’t be long until they honor the command from clear across a field without the whistle command, just the tone or vibration. Once trained, I find the tone function command for “here” is terrific on windy days when the dog may not hear the voice or whistle command from a greater distance. Press the tone button and the problem is solved.
I have found the rechargeable lithium-ion battery has good run time. Manufacturers all feel the need to give a value for how long a battery will last. Usually the value is not necessarily useless but close to it. The fact is the run time is totally related to how much time the dog device is on and how often the handheld functions are engaged. There probably are not two dog guys that would have the same run times on their e collar batteries. In my experience if I am using the SportPRO for a morning exercise/training session, a midday exercise session, a late afternoon or evening exercise/training session, plus having the dog device would remain on all day while following me around, I would charge the SportPRO batteries after three days of use. Some weeks I could go longer but keeping that close track of use is a little too anal for me.
I know charging after three days under the circumstances mentioned means I don’t have to worry about it. That does not mean it is right, but it works for me.
Some competitive collars including some Garmin show a green blinking light on the dog device when it is on. When the power button is pushed the light holds a steady green for a moment indicating the device is shutting off. When in a hurry one can confuse the green momentary light and the green blinking light and end up leaving the collar on when not in use. A nice feature of the SportPRO is that instead of the momentary green light when you push the button it is a momentary red light indicating the unit is shutting off You still have the blinking green light when the dog device is on.
The smaller receiver than some previous models and the three quarter inch collar strap in place of the one inch strap lessens the stress and load on the dog’s neck during long periods the dog device may be worn.
It is worth mentioning the track spine built into the back of the handheld which allows for use with several of Garmin belt clips.
- Easy to quickly learn one hand operation
- Handheld is tough, tough material and floats
- No LED display
- Beacon lights
- Built-in barklimiter
- Expands to 3 dogs
- Quick turn dial allows clicks for each level
- Charger included
- Handheld size fits palm of hand perfectly
- There is a small knoblike projection at the auxiliary position, that I would like to see larger and more pronounced
- It would nice if a lanyard were included
- Compatibility with the Garmin Upland Beeper would be a great addition
In summary the Garmin Tri Tronics SportPRO is a tough, lightweight and compact design that is simple and easy to use one handed. In short order the user will not need to even look at it to utilize all of the functions. Many hunting dog trainers have made the SportPRO their go to e collar. The unique features, simplicity of its operation and affordability make the SportPRO more popular every day. Many non-hunting dog enthusiasts also find the SportPRO a right fit for them.