If you’ve ever considered buying a Garmin, chances are you were overwhelmed with all the options and models. There’s an S, a pro, an X, sapphire, solar, one number, two numbers, three numbers behind the name! What does it all mean?! We have created an easy guide for you to figure out which watch will give you what you want for all the activities that you do. Nothing more, nothing less.
When You Want All the Bells and Whistles
Enter the fēnix series. The fēnix 6 has about any feature you could imagine a smartwatch having. We promised not to confuse you, so we won’t go into all the details of the 10 different combinations between case sizes, glass type, and features. Just know that if you want it all the fēnix 6 is your go-to.
Listen to your favorite songs straight from your watch. Track almost any sport, including some of our favorites like backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and trail running. Get feedback on your performance to keep on track to reach your fitness goals. The fēnix 6 will give you your recovery time, pace you on a run, track your sleep, hydration, and even give you daily workout suggestions based on your current training status. For the ladies, it has menstrual tracking to give you an even better edge on your training.
With fully colored topo maps, ski maps from 2,000 ski resorts across the world, 41,000 golf course maps, bread crumb tracking, and access to multiple global navigation systems. You literally have the world at your fingertips. Incident tracking allows your watch to send your location to emergency contacts so you can feel safe where ever your watch may take you. For those who venture deep into the backcountry, have no fear, the fēnix 6 comes in a solar option so you can charge on the go.
When you think of the Fēnix 6, it’s almost easier to ask – What don’t I want in a watch?!
For The Ultra Athletes
Brand new to the Garmin line is the Enduro, made for the folks who need something that can keep up with them on their extreme endurance endeavors. With nearly all the features of the fēnix 6, the Enduro was built with endurance in mind. The standout differences being the lightweight and durable sport band, new trail running specific dynamics, and the best battery life of any Garmin on the market. The Enduro is equipped with Power Glass™ so you don’t have to choose between a solar model or not. This watch is truly meant to go the distance with you.
The Forerunner Family
Throughout the Forerunner series, you’ll find a watch for every type of runner. From a runner who wants the most basic running GPS watch to the rise and grind, race-driven runner who needs it all. Looking simply to track your runs and nothing more? Start with the Forerunner 35. From the 35 you can make your way up the line through the 45, 245, 745, and finally, the 945. As the numbers behind the name progressively get bigger, more features are added. Music storage becomes available as well as added training analysis and multi-sport tracking.
Making your way to the top of the Forerunner line with the 945 and you are on par with the fēnix 6. Though the fēnix 6 still has a couple more features than the 945, it is not lacking much. If you are a die-hard runner who wants a lightweight, dependable smartwatch with all the features, the Forerunner 945 is for you. If you aren’t quite ready to dive headfirst into all the fancy features, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for you within the Forerunner family!
Rugged and Ready for Adventure
When you just need a watch that is going to get the job done, the Instinct is for you. You don’t need fancy or too many training analysis’ to keep track of. You are just looking for simply a watch that can withstand your own grit and tenacity. In true Garmin fashion the Instinct comes in multiple models, from a dedicated surf-specific model to a solar tactical edition equipped with stealth and night vision modes. The Instinct has the same superb GPS sensors as the fēnix 6 and pairs with the Garmin inReach to view and send messages over satellite. You can also pair your Instinct with dog tracking devices when you and your furry friend are on the hunt together. Track your activities, yourself, the weather, and your best four-legged friend with the mission-ready Instinct.
The Options are Nearly Endless
There is a Garmin Smartwatch for everyone and these four models barely scratch the surface of customizations you can make or models within models. There are different colors, display resolution, battery life, music storage, GPS, sleep tracking, and/or heart rate monitors. You can search by sport, gender, or age. The list goes on! Get a watch that is tailored to you and exactly what you need for your lifestyle.
If you still are not sure which watch is right for you, stop in Tahoe Mountain Sports to talk to one of our awesome gear experts. They can help point you in the right direction and give you the details on accessories such as heart rate monitors and the inReach family.
If you are wanting to read a more detailed overview from our team ambassador, Kim, check out her post on the Forerunner 645 Music.
I’m a personal trainer, yoga teacher, and overall outdoor enthusiast who’s dabbled in a little of everything. I spend winter snowboarding, splitboarding, and more recently, snowmobiling too. In the summer you can find me mountain biking and teaching paddleboard yoga and fitness on Lake Tahoe and Donner lake!