Garmin manufactures some of the best smartwatches for sports activities. They appeal to athletes of all kinds. On the other hand, there’s a huge variety making it difficult to pick the one that best suits your personal preferences.
So, how do you go about picking a Garmin watch?
Begin with the types of sports activities in which you’re most interested because the majority of devices sold by Garmin are purpose-built. There are watch alternatives designed specifically for runners, swimmers, and divers, even for boat owners.
Smartwatches for Runners: Forerunner Series
Garmin is perhaps best known for its running watches. The brand has multiple running-focused smartwatches for various levels offered by the Forerunner series.
- Forerunner 55 is an ideal smartwatch if you are a new runner. It includes training plans, suggested rest periods, and a race time predictor. The latter is a unique tool that estimates how long it will take you to finish a race. It takes into account the effects of aerobic energy production and VO2 max on your race performance so that you can get an idea of the predicted finish times for various distances.
- If you’re a mid-level runner, you can consider Forerunner 245. This version has music storage allowing you to access hundreds of songs on the go. You can also connect to your Spotify or Amazon Music accounts to download your own songs. Forerunner 245 lets you monitor your training load so that you know if you’re pushing yourself too hard. Thanks to adaptive training plans known as Garmin Coach, you can train for a 5K, 10K, or half marathon race while receiving expert coaching. The smartwatch also monitors your heart rate. For this purpose, it employs its own sensor called Garmin Elevate™ heart rate technology sensor. It detects the runners’ heart rates by shining a green light through their skins reflected by the red cells in the blood vessels of the skin.
- For the most experienced runners, Garmin produces Forerunner 945. It offers detailed performance metrics and has up to two weeks of battery life. The special performance condition metric, for example, assesses your ability to perform in real-time by analyzing pace, heart rate, and heart rate variability.
Garmin also produces other regular smartwatches that track running. However, if you are running a lot, you should probably choose one of the watches listed above.
Do you engage in any other outdoor activities besides running? Then, consider whether the following watches are a better fit for your lifestyle.
- If you’re an athlete who also enjoys cycling and swimming, you can choose Forerunner 745, which has special features for these sports. It comes with preloaded profiles for these sports activities and provides detailed training stats. You’ll also get daily workout recommendations. There’s also a built-in multiple global navigation satellite system in order to better track in more difficult environments than GPS alone.
- Fenix7 series is also appropriate for a variety of athletic or outdoor challenges. What sets this device apart is its solar charging lens which uses solar energy to extend battery life to up to 22 days. Its thermal, shock and water resistance have been tested to meet U.S. military standards. Backcountry Ski is a preloaded profile that allows you to differentiate between skiing and climbing and stay informed even in snow. This smartwatch also has something special for surfers: it creates a video of every wave you ride. Do you prefer mountain biking? You can use Grit and Flow measurements to rate trail difficulty and track other metrics to increase your score next time. Another feature is HIIT which is used to track high-intensity workouts such as AMRAP, EMOM, and Tabata.
- Another Garmin smartwatch worth mentioning for multiple sports activities is Epix. The preloaded activity profiles include running, swimming, biking, hiking, rowing, skiing, golfing, surfing, and indoor climbing. It has advanced sleep tracking monitoring. Furthermore, the hydration tracking feature monitors how much you sweat during activities. You can also stream built-in animated yoga and Pilates workouts. Lastly, it has in-depth metrics for skiing, climbing, and surfing.
Swimming and Diving
When it comes to sports activities in the water, you want the ability to track your performance whether you’re in a pool or in open water.
- The Garmin Swim model is designed specifically for those who like to add some water to their workouts. Using the built-in GPS, you can swim in lakes, rivers, or oceans and record your distance, stroke count, rate, and distance. You can reach the same metrics in a pool as well, and moreover, there’re advanced pool features such as auto rest that track your rests with two types of timers. For pool swim, you can also create custom workouts. The Drill Logging feature allows you to track time and distance for drills like kicking or one-arm swimming. You can increase or decrease your swimming speed using the Critical Swim Speed feature.
- Descent Mk2S is intended for divers. It features several diving modes, including gauge, apnea, and apnea hunt. For each mode, you can add additional screens to view the fields you like. Its battery can last up to 7 days, making it ideal for underwater adventures. It’s possible to store data from 200 dives as well.
- Quatix is for the boat owners. You can always keep track of where you are, thanks to coastal charts and inland maps. When you’re on the boat, connectivity is super-important. Quatix connects with compatible Garmin chart plotters, chart zoom, and layout shortcuts. It also has built-in preloaded activity profiles, including kayak, SUP, and ski.
The Garmin smartwatches collect a massive amount of workout data to help you have a grasp of your daily sports performance. You can pick a watch based on your activity needs and lifestyle. Once you have the right Garmin smartwatch on your wrist, you can enjoy a complete picture of your workout performance and learn how you can improve them.