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Looking for advice on a Gamin smartwatch.

Hi, everyone I am super adventurous and am looking to buy a Smartwatch to be able to track my fitness and other things while traveling and having adventures. I have researched a little bit and saw that Garmin GPS watches are pretty good. Does anyone have any suggestions for an excellent smartwatch? 

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Hi there.  Great question!  A smartwatch is a great way to enhance your adventures, track your fitness, and stay connected throughout the day.  Garmin has some excellent options and certainly a lot, which can make it very hard to choose.  Without knowing more of your priorities for a watch, here are some good, general recommendations. 

Garmin's Vivoactive Series is a great, all-around smartwatch.  Its ideal for general fitness, hiking, travel, etc.  It has some really cool features like Pulse Ox, Body Battery, and has apps for yoga, running, swimming, etc.  You can even store music on it and use Garmin Pay.  Its a pretty feature packed watch!

If you want a little more in terms of analytics and features for training, multi-sport, navigation, etc, you might want to explore the Fenix Series . These watches are more rugged and much more feature rich.  Not only are they designed for multisport activities (triathlons, etc) they also have features like enhanced navigation and topo maps.  You can also use Garmin's LiveTrack feature, do interval training, and generally get a TON of training metrics. 

I hope this helps.  If you have more questions about certain features, let us know. 


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @mtadventurer .

I'm not an REI employee but agree with @REI-ToddC .  I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR that's a few years old, but is still going strong.  It's GPS enabled, and the Garmin Connect App is awesome.  I use it not only to track my daily activity, but my hikes and bike rides as well.  It tracks mileage, elevation gain, speed traveled, etc. In "bike" mode it displays speed in real time. And, it's waterproof.

IMHO, you can't go wrong with any Garmin model, depending on the features you find most important, and your budget. 

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@mtadventurer I got the Fenix 5S Plus about 6 months ago. It is way smarter then I am. However for what I use it for it is perfect. The information is collects and links to my phone is helpful. The actual heart rate monitoring is not as accurate as a chest strap monitor, but I believe you can add a chest strap monitor to link to the Fenix. Paul 

I completely agree. I have a fenix5 plus sapphire. The heart rate monitor is accurate when it works. Which I haven’t figured out why sometimes it doesn’t work. I use a stairmill to work out on a lot and it seems like it takes about 30-45 minutes for it to start tracking accurately. Otherwise I love it. 
ive has mine almost a year. I’m a firefighter and haven’t broke it yet so it’s very durable and I only take it off to charge about every 10 days or so. 

I track hikes and runs and bike rides and all the pre loaded maps are great. 

I love it and think it’s a better option than an Apple Watch if you’re outdoors and out of cell range a lot. 

the battery life is amazing too. 


@mtadventurer I've had 3 different Garmin smartwatches over the years. I'm currently using a Garmin Fenix 5. For me, it is excellent. I use it for indoor workouts and on trails and mtns. It has a pulse rate monitor built into the back of it and can be use with a chest strap monitor. Has GPS, temperature monitor and altimeter. Has a function for calibrating the altimeter. Has access to a fairly large selection of Apps and Garmin has a Connect site where you can download trips, workouts and etc data. I use mine with Training Peaks. Available Apps include different watch faces allowing you to emphasize data most important to you. Also, can display a map. So can monitor movements with a GPS and display a small face size map of where you are. Indoor workout Apps include things like treadmill, elliptical, bike, rower, cardio and etc. Each tailored for that use. Outdoor Apps include trail hike, trail run, bike, ski and etc. It'll monitor sleep quality and will do a stress calculation. Only problem I've had with it is the small connector on the back used to mate a connector cable to it to i/f with a computer. The connector sometimes acts up a bit and I must move it a bit to ensure I have a good connection when downloading workout or trail data. It is expensive. However, like all Garmin products does go on sale at times.