15 Best Garmin Watches For Every Fitness Activity

Photo: Garmin Instinct

Usually, getting fit is a goal most people can meet to some degree with a driven mindset, but staying healthy is where things start getting difficult. One spontaneous cheat day is a crack in your fit life that can expand into a spider-web of fissures, which would give away and eventually crumble your healthy body. Staying fit isn’t a goal as much as a lifestyle, which is why doing everything possible to make sure you stay the course is crucial. One device that can get you to the level of fitness where not working out feels odd is a Garmin smartwatch.

Garmin has come along way from making car and boat navigation devices. Today, they produce wearables for a myriad of fitness activities from golf to running. If you’re looking for a fitness smartwatch, we can guarantee that Garmin has what you’re looking for in their extensive lineup. However, you can’t go in blind and choose a smartwatch from their selection without contemplating which fitness activities you’ll be participating in the most, as well as the smartwatch features you’d prefer. In order to save you time, we’ve rounded up the best Garmin watches for every fitness activity. All you have to do is go to the right fitness category and browse our carefully curated selections.


Post-Game Analysis

Golf is a game of inches where every small detail along the way will affect the outcome. The appropriate smartwatch to assist you in improving your game should be pre-loaded with thousands of courses around the world, as well as offer scorekeeping, post-game analysis, and standard activity tracking. A colorful touchscreen display is also an alluring feature for visual learners who want a top-tier wearable.

Garmin Approach X40

If you want a simple golf smartwatch that won’t be too bulky on your wrist, the Garmin Approach X40 fits the bill. This smartwatch will display distances to the front, back, and middle of the green, including hazards, and utilizes ‘AutoShot’ tracking technology, measuring your shot distances and recording shots for post-round analysis. It also has a built-in heart rate monitor and comes with standard activity tracking. Use this simple but effective smartwatch for 10 hours straight in GPS mode on a single charge.

Purchase: $250

Garmin Approach S40

Pre-loaded with 41,000 courses, the Garmin Approach S40 smartwatch looks fantastic on your wrist and performs well on the course. The wearable records detected shot distances and lets you manually adjust the pin position for accurate approach shots. You can even pair it with the Approach CT10 club tracking sensors for accurate game tracking. You’ll also benefit from everyday activity tracking, including steps and sleep data.

Purchase: $300

Garmin Approach S60

For the complete package, the Approach S60 is the golf smartwatch you need. The sunlight-readable watch is packed with 41,000 detailed color golf course maps around the globe and GPS technology to inform you of accurate yardages to greens, doglegs, and hazards. It’s compatible with the ‘TruSwing’ analyzer so you can analyze your swing speed and path angles, in addition to providing swing training. And with up to 10 hours of battery life on a full charge, you can play a couple of rounds of golf without recharging.

Purchase: $350


Navigate The Trail

In searching for the quintessential hiking smartwatch for your journeys to come, make sure you’re choosing one with the appropriate features. The device should provide accurate navigation technology, keeping you from getting lost in Mother Nature’s complex web, and rugged construction so it can survive any rough falls in the backcountry. It doesn’t hurt to pick up a watch that’s water- and shock-resistant; you never know what you’ll run into on your adventure.

Garmin Instinct

Built to U.S. military standard 810G for shock, thermal, and water resistance, this rugged smartwatch is a hiking hero. The trail companion has a built-in 3-axis compass, multiple global navigation satellite systems (GLONASS, GPS, and Galileo), and a ‘TracBack’ feature so you can navigate the same route back to the place you started. On a full charge, you’ll have 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 16 hours in GPS mode, giving you plenty of juice for extensive use.

Purchase: $290

Garmin Fenix Chronos

Constructed with athletic adventurers in mind, the Garmin Fenix Chronos has a tough metal housing and resilient, scratch-resistant sapphire lens so it can survive the worst Mother Nature has to offer. It has a 1.2-inch sunlight-readable color display, tachymeter, heart rate technology, barometric altimeter with 3-axis compass, and GPS and GLONASS satellite reception. With a stylish titanium hybrid band, you can go from the trail to the city with this timepiece and you won’t miss a beat.

Purchase: $1,400

Garmin Marq Collection Expedition

Created for exploration, the handsome Fenix Chronos smartwatch allows you to navigate your route with a classic compass overlaid on a digital map. It’s equipped with a barometer to warn you of any changing weather, an altimeter scale to show the altitude level, and topographical maps to help you discover new territory. You can even check your oxygen levels to see how you fair in higher altitudes and jam out from a selection of up to 2,000 songs to keep your spirits up on your hike.

Purchase: $1,750


Chase Your Best Performance

If you’re an all-around athlete and like to dabble in every sport under the sun, you’ll need a multisport smartwatch. You’ll want to grab wearable technology with a balanced mix of features, including GPS navigation, fitness training metrics, music storage, and heart-rate monitoring at the very least. Multisport smartwatches are a sound choice for those training for triathlons or athletes who mix it up for MMA.

Garmin VivoActive 3 Music

This Verizon-connected smartwatch complements anyone with an active lifestyle. Easily download up to 500 songs to keep your running or lifting rhythm, enjoy 15 pre-loaded sports apps, and breathe easy with incident detection safety feature. The watch has a wrist-based heart monitor, customization for various workouts, and compatibility with Garmin Connect so you can compete with a community of fitness freaks.

Purchase: $238

Garmin Tactix Charlie

Navigate the outdoors with the Tactix Charlie and map your route with pre-loaded full-color TOPO mapping as well as GPOS and GLONASS satellite network reception. You’ll benefit from a myriad of fitness training metrics so you can keep up with your workout goals no matter what activity you’re crushing. The smartwatch even has a night vision mode that doesn’t interfere with the operation of night vision goggles if you’re involved in some insane nighttime paintball training. The more you workout, the more this watch stores, comparing your current performance with past statistics.

Purchase: $639

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series

This multisport GPS smartwatch has multi-network navigation and advanced performance metrics, allowing you to dive into physiological metrics, running statistics, and more to fine-tune your technique. If you enjoy outdoor expeditions, you can use the color TOPO maps with ‘Trendline’ popularity routing to follow the best paths in your area. You can even store up to 1,000 songs in this watch so you’ll never run out of music when you’re in the zone.

Purchase: $747


Marathon Training Companion

Choosing the ideal smartwatch for running will allow you to refine your stride and crush your current mile time. Of course, you have to seek out the device with the ideal specifications to surpass your personal best performances. A running smartwatch with deep running dynamics, GPS, and training evaluation is what you should be looking for in a running smartwatch. The optimal wrist assistant will help you in breaking down your performance so you can pinpoint places of improvement and evolve as a runner.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Become a better athlete with the Garmin Forerunner 735XT, as it provides you with advanced dynamics for running, including stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact time balance. The smartwatch also offers VO2 max estimates and lactate threshold statistics so you can monitor your performance. It also has you covered post-race with a recovery advisor feature. Everything you need to train for a marathon or run your daily route is right here in this convenient wearable technology.

Purchase: $323

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

Running just isn’t the same with your tunes. The Forerunner 645 Music smartwatch allows you to download up to 500 songs so you can always have the jams to push you further than yesterday. On top of providing you with music fuel, including compatibility with several streaming services, this watch monitors your performance, including your cadence, vertical oscillation, and stride length. You’ll also be able to view your exercise volume form the previous week and juxtapose it with the optimal range from your training history.

Purchase: $415

Garmin Forerunner 935

Both fashionable and functional, the Garmin Forerunner 935 will monitor your performance and recovery to keep you fit. You may have a plan, but just how effective is it? This smartwatch will evaluate your training status, providing information on a variety of statistics including stride length, heart rate, and balance. It also includes a GPS mode and provides you with elevation change information with its built-in barometer.

Purchase: $429

Water Sports

Swim, Surf, and Sail

Whether you’re swimming, sailing, or surfing, getting your hands on a quality smartwatch will improve your skills. In your search for a water sports smartwatch, you’ll want to focus on water-resistance, GPS functionality, and activity tracking. Make sure the water sports wearable is suitable for the type of sport you practice. For example, one timepiece will be better for sail racing than it is for swimming because it’s programmed with an assistant created for boat navigation.

Garmin Fenix 5

The 100-meter water-resistant Garmin Fenix 5 is an all-star smartwatch with a 3-axis compass complete with gyroscope and barometric altimeter, wristband heart rate monitoring, and interchangeable watch bands. It’s packing an advanced training status monitoring tool, informing you on whether you’re being productive, peaking, or overworking yourself. The monitoring tool prevents injuries and pushes you to your optimal range of fitness. Whether you’re skiing, golfing, running, or swimming, this watch has you covered.

Purchase: $500

Garmin Quatix 5 Series

For those who lean toward water sports but also enjoy other fitness activities, the Quatix 5 Series can chart your progress. You can access a GHC 20 autopilot control unit to turn and steer a boat, collect water sports data, and track dry land activities with 24/7 monitoring. It also has an internal gyroscope to improve position accuracy, extending the smartwatch’s battery life. And with the free Garmin Connect app, you can access the online fitness community for extra adventure inspiration.

Purchase: $548

Garmin Descent MK1

Dive with confidence while sporting the Descent MK1 and benefit from the built-in sensors, 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and gyroscope. Track your progress with the device’s dive log, which lets you store and review data from up to 200 dives. To make your diving sessions run smoothly, you can set the tone and vibration alarms to give you reminders at critical points in your dive. Up to six gas mixes are supported, such as nitro and trimix.

Purchase: $1,000

20 Best High Tech Fitness Gadgets

Now that you’ve picked up the appropriate smartwatch to help you crush your health goals, it’s time to consider upgrading other fitness gear. Check out our list of the best high tech fitness gadgets and revamp your routine.