The best Garmin watches are the most popular performance wearables among elite athletes and everyday joggers alike. Wearing a Garmin watch is a testament that you take your chosen sport seriously and are not afraid to do whatever it takes to get better at it.
Even though most people associate Garmin with being the manufacturer of the best running watches and best triathlon watches, the company specialises in GPS technology and is also known for its car and marine sat navs. Garmin also made a name for itself in the wearable market over the years, and now most other fitness watches are measured against Garmins to determine their accuracy.
Below you'll find the list of the best Garmin watches ranked by T3's expert reviewers. Each entry in this guide highlights the most apparent benefit of every watch. That said, most of them can be used for various purposes, and we strongly recommend reading our full reviews to better understand what they are capable of. Looking for a cheap Garmin? We have a list of the best cheap Garmin watch deals.
We must admit; we made a mistake. When Garmin launched the Fenix 7 Pro and the Epix Pro, we only reviewed the former, then got swept away by the deluge that is the constant stream of wearable releases. However, we are on a mission to review the Garmin Epix Pro ASAP so that we can include it in our Garmin watch guide. Because we're confident it's good enough to be included.
Best Garmin watches to buy right now
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The Enduro 2 is the ultimate outdoor watch and represents the best features and sensors Garmin currently offers, hence why it's our top choice for the best Garmin watch. Its battery life and features make it more competent than the top-of-the-line Fenix, the Fenix 7X, featured just below. Granted, if you're a beginner runner wanting to track your local park run sessions, buying the Enduro 2 is absolute overkill. If you take training (mainly off-road) seriously and want a wearable that can keep up with you, your best option is the Garmin Enduro 2.
A slight downside is that the Enduro 2 comes in one size only, and it's pretty big, so if you've got a smaller wrist, you might find it uncomfortable to wear the watch (a smaller Fenix 7 version might be a better option then). The Enduro 2 hasn't got an AMOLED display, either, like the Epix Gen 2, and although that certainly doesn't help screen visibility in bright lighting conditions, it does help battery life.
Read our full Garmin Enduro 2 review
The Garmin Forerunner 965 is everything we hoped the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar would be and more. The watch uses the same sensors and has the same features as its predecessor, but it's lighter and thinner, ideal for a performance wearable worn by professional athletes. The titanium bezel is a nice touch, as are the different colourways, allowing people to buy the best Forerunner in colours other than black.
The AMOLED display is bright and responsive, and the glance view is as good as it's always been. The UI colours are a bit garish for our taste, but at this point, we accept it as a running watch thing. If you need an accurate multisport watch and have enough disposable income to justify the price, the Garmin Forerunner 965 is a must-have.
Read our full Garmin Forerunner 965 review.
The Garmin Fenix 7 is not a cheap smartwatch, but it's more affordable than the Enduro and even the Epix Gen 2, so – in its category anyway – the Fenix 7 is one of the best value watches you can get. The addition of touch controls makes the Fenix 7 more smartwatch-like, in a good sense, and probably more appealing to people who need an accurate multisport watch that also has all the smart features under the sun.
But a Fenix 7 is not just any old smartwatch; it's a premium smartwatch made of quality materials such as titanium; it's able to withstand the elements, has a slew of exciting features and boasts an incredibly long battery life. Much like its predecessor, the Fenix 7 comes in many sizes, so it's very likely you will find one that best suits your wrist size and style. It will cost you to get this watch, but you're certainly getting your money's worth with the Garmin Fenix 7.
Read our full Garmin Fenix 7X review (The Garmin Fenix 7X won the Best Multisport Watch category at the T3 Awards 2022!)
The Garmin Forerunner 255S is the smallest Forerunner to date, yet it offers more functionality than most running watches. In fact, we can't call the Forerunner 255S just a running watch anymore – thanks to the addition of the triathlon sports mode, it's now a full-fledged triathlon watch. And the smallest of those, too.
Heart rate variability stands out among all the new features; it adds another layer to the extensive recovery and training features already included on the Forerunner 255S. The Race Widget and the triathlon mode are also welcome additions to the already impressive features list. The best thing about the watch is that it enables people with small wrists to access pro workout features without any compromises. You can train like a pro using a small watch and a heart rate monitor – and that's worth the hefty price tag.
Read our full Garmin Forerunner 255S review. We also pitted the Forerunner 255 against its predecessor to find out which is best; you can find out if it's worth the upgrade here: Garmin Forerunner 245 vs Forerunner 255.
Compared to its predecessor, the Forerunner 55 significantly improved battery life; in both smartwatch and GPS mode, the Forerunner 55 lasts almost twice as long as the Forerunner 45. The Forerunner 55 also added a load of non-performance features such as a respiration rate tracker and women's health tracking, hydration reminders, breathing timer, etc.
The watch has a Pool Swimming profile and can now track a range of swimming metrics. Outside the water, it can help you pace yourself better using the PacePro Pacing Strategies (links to Garmin's site) feature. Garmin Coach offers personalised run workout suggestions based on your training history, fitness level, and recovery time. The adaptable feature is convenient for beginner runners.
Read our full Garmin Forerunner 55 review
The Garmin epix (Gen 2) is a brilliant AMOLED smartwatch. It's solid as a rock and accurate enough to be used for proper running training if that's what you want. The ruggedness comes at a price: a watch this big is not the most comfortable to wear for sleeping. This is sad since if you won't wear it during the night, the epix (Gen 2) won't be able to provide accurate Body Battery and recovery estimations.
Speaking of price: the epix (Gen 2) is a premium smartwatch, and it is expensive. The base model is way more expensive than the standard Fenix 7S, and that's not a cheap watch, either. People who like the Fenix series but need want a watch that will complement their smart or smart-casual attire will appreciate the Garmin epix (Gen 2). Not to mention, these people probably have enough money to buy the watch, too.
Read our full Garmin Epix Gen 2 review
We agree, the HRM Pro might not be the best Garmin watch, but cyclists don't benefit all that much from using a watch for training. Their screen is the bike computer, and their pacer is the power meter built into the pedal of their bikes. The Garmin HRM-Pro combines the best features found in other Garmin heart rate monitors, such as the Garmin HRM-Run and Garmin HRM-Swim, making the HRM-Pro the ultimate choice for – well – pros.
The Garmin HRM-Pro can connect to multiple devices simultaneously via Bluetooth and ANT+: you can feed heart rate data into your bike computer and your smartwatch at the same time. This heart rate strap can also collect data offline. Even if you aren't wearing a watch, heart rate data will still be continuously captured and fed into the Garmin Connect app as long as you wear the HRM-Pro.
Read our full Garmin HRM-Pro review
Suppose you aren't keen on having a dedicated sports wearable wrapped around your wrist and appreciate a good-looking smartwatch that has actually helpful health and fitness features. In that case, you'd be silly not to give the Garmin Venu 2 a try.
It has a stunning AMOLED screen, long battery life and features the latest Elevate V4 heart rate sensor. There is also built-in GPS, 25 preloaded sports modes, animated workouts right on your wrist, music storage, countless payments, etc. The Garmin Venu 2 blurs the line between running watches, smartwatches and fitness trackers, and it does it most fashionably. Highly recommended.
Read our full Garmin Venu 2 review
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is an excellent smartwatch for anyone who loves the Great Outdoors. Garmin improved on the formula that made the Fenix 5 Series great, further enhancing the battery life, tweaking the user interface and refining onboard TOPO maps for added clarity.
One slight issue (if you can call it that) is that the Fenix 6 Pro is massively overpowered. The watch feels more like a demonstration from Garmin of what their technology is capable of than a good set of features hikers might appreciate. Nevertheless, if you can justify the price – and weight – of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, you should get one because it just feels great on the wrist and represents what fitness smartwatches are capable of.
Read our full Garmin Fenix 6 Pro review
As far as golf watches go, the Garmin Approach S62 is certainly at the more expensive end of the market. You can get a cheaper watch that will get you around the course just fine and do most of the things you need it to do, but the S62 goes that extra mile and does things you didn’t realise you needed until it showed you.
The Approach S60 (the predecessor to the S62) is an excellent cheaper alternative and offers many (but not all) of the on-course functions you get with the S62. If the S62 is a little out of your budget, then the S60 is a fine option in its own right, and if you already have the S60, then you probably won't need to upgrade. The Garmin Approach S62 is as good as any golf watch out there, and although it is not cheap, based on our experience, we'd say it is worth every penny. If you invest in one, you will not be disappointed.
Read our full Garmin Approach S62 review
How we test the best Garmin watches
Garmin watches are ridiculously overcomplicated fitness wearables. Some Garmin wearables, such as the Fenix or MARQ series, have so many features no people on this earth can test them in depth.
When we test Garmin watches, we aim to use them in various situations, including at least one type of outdoor endurance training (running, cycling, etc.), one type of indoor training (strength training, HIIT, etc.), and, where possible, swimming.
Smart features and health sensors are tested in everyday situations and monitored for at least a couple of weeks to see how they perform.
Read more about how we test at T3 today.
How to buy the best Garmin watch for you
Garmin has one of the most extensive lineup of all smartwatch manufacturers. It's likely anyone interested in fitness trackers, running or triathlon watches will find a Garmin watch that suits their needs.
For passive fitness tracking, we recommend the Vivosmart or the Venu Sq series; these are smaller wearables that have excellent sensors and can track a bunch of health and fitness metrics, even if you don't interact with them a lot. For fitness tracking, the Venu series is your best bet, or, if you can afford them, MARQ watches are also all-around smartwatches.
For beginner athletes, something like the Forerunner 55 or the Forerunner 255 is the best option. These watches have a range of excellent sports tracking modes and have built-in GPS chips. They can also help you train and recover more efficiently. The Fenix, Enduro and Instinct lines are the most suited for off-road adventures (they have the longest battery life, too). The Garmin Forerunner 955 provides the most features and best sensors for pro athletes.
Are Garmin watches worth it?
Garmin watches are definitely worth it, especially if you are serious about training. Most Garmin watches have a myriad of sensors and GPS, which take money and time to develop and continuously update. Not to mention, Garmin offers all its services, including access to advanced health and fitness metrics in the Garmin Connect app, free of charge, unlike competitors such as Fitbit or Whoop. You have to pay a lump sum for a Garmin watch, but from that onward, all the support, update and everything else are free. Not a bad deal!
In-depth: Are Garmin watches worth the money?
Which Garmin has longest battery life?
The Garmin Enduro 2 has the longest battery life of all Garmin watches. It can last up to 50 days (65 days with solar) on one charge and the GPS battery life is also insane. However, theoretically speaking, the Garmin Instinct Solar has the longest battery life of any Garmins right now. Under optimal circumstances (adequate sun exposure, battery saver mode on, etc.), the Instinct Solar can run indefinitely, which is certainly longer than 65 days in our books.