Garmin Instinct model 2018, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS- The SmartWatch for Your Outdoor Days Review

5 Total Score
Garmin Instinct- The Tough Watch that Looks Cool

Description- Made for the toughest conditions, Garmin Instinct is loaded with features that takes your love for the outdoor to a whole new level.

User Rating: 4.9 (1 votes)

Enjoying the outdoors has never been easier than now as there are so many gadgets out there that can make your experience more comfortable and a lot more enjoyable.

One of the watches you can use for your outdoor activities is the new Garmin Instinct. Its features, build and overall value recommend it for all sorts of activities you’re planning to do outside.

Who is Garmin?

Garmin Instinct box view

For those of you who don’t know, Garmin is an American multinational technology company that has been around since the late 80s.

The company focuses on GPS technology for marine, automotive, marine and sports activities. Thanks to its development in wearable technology, Garmin is now a serious competitor on the market of smartwatches and activity trackers.

What’s to say about Garmin Instinct in a nutshell?

Released in the second half of 2018, Garmin Instinct is a great outdoor watch that impresses with the rugged construction that helps it take even the harshest conditions.

The watch is made to US Military standard 810G, presenting a thermal, shock and even water resistance (up to 100 meters). Its fiber-reinforced polymer case is giving the watch durability and strength, whereas the display is scratch-resistant since it’s chemically-strengthened.

Garmin Instinct comes with built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter and multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Galileo, and Glonass) that ease out the tracking in the challenging environment.

The watch helps you keep an eye on your activity, stress, and heart rate. You can also stay connected with smart notifications (as long as your smartphone is compatible) and get automatic data uploads to the Garmin Connect online fitness community.

The watch is easy to watch as the display has high-contrast and the silicone is entirely vented, ensuring comfortable wear. The two keeper loops are easy to remove, providing a tight fit no matter what you’re doing.

Let’s see the details!

Garmin Instinct back view

The lens is made with chemically strengthened glass, taking the scratches or the environmental challenges of outdoor activities. The bezel is made with fiber-reinforced polymer, which explains the ruggedness and the strength of the watch altogether. The fiber-reinforced polymer was also used for the case. The clock presents a water resistance up to 10 ATM.

The strap material is silicone, which has a nice feeling onto the skin. It’s not only comfortable but also durable, taking the longtime wear without losing its abilities or looks.

The Garmin Instinct comes with QuickFitTM watch band compatible, which only makes it more versatile than one would expect.

The display is monochrome and sunlight-visible so reading the watch isn’t going to be a problem.

When using the GPS mode, the battery runs for 16 hours, whereas in Smartwatch mode, it can last up to 14 days. If you’re using the UltraTrac TM mode, the battery can hold up to 40 hours.

When we check the clock features, we see that the Garmin Instinct comes with time/date, GPS Time Sync and Automatic daylight saving time functions. You can set the alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer too. It includes sunrise/sunset times as well.

The Sensors are accurate, and the watch includes not only GPS, Glonass, and Galileo, but it also comes with a compass, thermometer, and Accelerometer. It includes Garmin ElevateTM wrist heart rate monitor, so you get to keep an eye on your heart while running or hiking.

In terms of daily smart features, we should start by highlighting that the watch comes with Bluetooth and ANT.

You can get smart notifications, calendar, weather, text response/reject phone call with text (it’s only for Android) or even control smartphone music. The watch comes with Find My Phone and Find My Watch functions, and it’s compatible with Garmin Connect TM mobile. It’s compatible with Android and iPhone and includes the VIRB Camera Remote.

The list of safety and tracking functions begins with the LiveTrack function and continues with Step Counter, Floors climber; Distance traveled, Sleep monitoring, and Intensity minutes. You may monitor your sleep and periods of movement/restful sleep with Sleep monitoring function and set a daily step goal with the Auto Goal function. The Move bar is a nice addition as it shows on the watch after a period of inactivity. You can walk for a bit for resetting it.  All-day Stress Tracking, Moving IQ and TrueUp are also useful functions.

Let’s not forget to mention the gym&fitness equipment functions (for your strength workouts or cardio workouts or the Training, Planning, and Analysis Features. Customizable activity profiles, customizable data pages, downloadable training plans, Interval training, GPS speed and distance, customizable alerts, virtual partner, manual lap, configurable lap alerts, audio prompts, or course guidance is only a few of the many functions you can use with the Garmin Instinct. Auto-scroll, touch and button lock, activity history are also on this list.

Here are some other categories of functions you’re going to find on the watch:

  • Heart rate features: HR alerts, HR calories, HR zones, Auto max HR, HR broadcast
  • Running features: run workouts, cadence, available run profiles, foot pod capable, GPS-based distance, time and pace
  • Outdoor recreation feature: point-to-point navigation, back to start, bread crumb trail in real time, TracBack, UltraTrac mode, distance to destination, elevation profile, trail run auto climb, barometric trend indicator with Storm Alert, vertical speed, total ascent/descent, area calculation, GPS coordinates, sun and moon information, XERO Locations.
  • Cycling features: race an activity, time/distance alerts, courses, speed, and cadence sensor support
  • Swimming features: swim efficiency, available swim profiles, drill logging, pool swim workouts, stroke type detection, open-water swim metrics, swim efficiency

What do we like best about the watch? What are the cons?

Garmin Instinct side view

Summarizing the goods and the less pleasant parts, here’s our list of pros:

  • The watch has incredible robust build and resistance
  • It’s loaded with features for the outdoor activities
  • It’s easy to use and to read in sunlight
  • It’s tough, yet lightweight
  • The keys and the apps are responsive
  • The menu is fast and user-friendly

Even though its inherent flaws aren’t deal breakers, you still want to be aware of them:

  • The band could be of better quality
  • Unlocking the button can get tricky

What’s our final take?

For the outdoor fan that always relies on its watch, Garmin Instinct is a great choice nowadays. Its build and features are impressive, and its price is a pleasant surprise, considering its overall value. It looks just like what it is: a rugged, reliable and cool watch for the modern outdoorsy customer that’s always looking for a challenge.

Garmin Instinct™ | Outdoor Watch

Garmin Instinct GPS Watch In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker


Garmin Fenix 5 plus review


Disclosure: Clicking on the links on this page and making a purchase may earn us a small referral fee, at no extra cost to you.