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Garmin Instinct

GarminInstinct(Return to Product Page)

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(16 customer reviews)
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User submitted reviews

Review by Baldblogger

Exactly what I wanted
by Baldblogger
Boise, Idaho
7 of 7 customers found this review helpful.

I've had this watch for four months and it's exactly what I was looking for


1. It's not afraid of dirt, water or damage. I've hiked all day in the snow and rain and also worked on my vehicles with no sign of wear.

2. The GPS tracks all of my hikes and hunts and Garmin Connect provides mileage, time and elevation feedback and also an export feature to show me how much mileage I put in for each species I hunt and also feedback on my local runs and walks.

3. The watch provides sunrise and sunset, altitude and barometric pressure easily.

4. It tracks my weightlifting workouts, too, which I wasn't expecting.

5. It notifies me of messages, calls, calendar events and, through Garmin Earthmate, messages from my InReach Explorer.

6. Using Garmin Explore, or just the watch itself, I can backtrack my route.

7. It tracks my steps and so much more.

8. The battery will last a week while still tracking workouts, running, walking and strength training daily.


1. While I have yet to get the advertised 14 hours of battery life while tracking hikes or hunts, it get 10 hours easily. I've learned to charge it during my lunch break (with a portable charger), though, so I don't really have a concern there.

2. There was a period of time where the Garmin Explore map app was not syncing with the watch, so I was unable to backtrack using the watch during that period. That had been resolved.

I wore G-shocks for decades so, basically, I was looking for a watch with military grade durability and geared towards navigation and I got exactly what I was looking for with the benefit of just the smartwatch capabilities that I wanted.

Reviewed 5/11/2020
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Review by rmictks

Great watch and HR monitor
by rmictks
Competitive Racer
Wichita Kansas

Love this thing, I wear it most of the time. I really like that it can sync as a HR monitor to my Garmin 520, I hate chest HR monitors. Battery lasts a week or more even when I use the GPS. When this one dies, (Garmins never seem to die) I will purchase a Solar Instinct. Got this one on sale for $xxx a bargain.

Reviewed 5/15/2023
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Review by Mandomatt

This watch is tough!
by Mandomatt
Ashland, OR
1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

I wanted a watch that could track my skiing, walking, hiking and short bike rides. But when I crashed downhill skiing on Mt Bachelor, which resulted in a broken pole, damaged ski, and torn clothing, but no damage to my Instinct watch, I knew this was the watch for me. My daughter saw it and bought one for her boyfriend who is a firefighter because it will stand up to real abuse. I still like my Garmin 500 for longer bike rides, but I use the Instinct for all other activities.

Reviewed 3/1/2021
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Review by Anonymous

Good sports watch, but not perfect
by Anonymous
Cycling Enthusiast
Doylestown, PA
1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

Full featured waterproof sports watch, but with some minor issues. I tested the waterproof feature multiple times in the pool, hot tub and shower. It keeps on ticking. It integrates pretty well with Garmin Connect, and provides, step counting, stair climbs, etc. The app works pretty well. I like that it has a GPS and wrist heart-rate. Some of the things I think are lacking are 1) usability. It only has four buttons, so it's not very easy to navigate especially as each of the buttons serve different functions depending if you press and release or press and hold. It,s not very intuitive so it takes a while to get accustomed. 1) The wrist based heart rate is not as accurate as a chest strap. It is supposed to be able to pair with your heat rate monitor and use that instead, but I haven't gotten that feature working yet. The battery life is pretty good. I get about two weeks if I don't use the GPS alot.

Reviewed 7/26/2019
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Review by Gdogpdx

Looking good without getting lost.
by Gdogpdx
Cycling Enthusiast
Portland, OR
1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

This is my first Garmin watch and second Garmin device. The design and functions are impressive, and it looks sharp on the wrist. After owning this for about a month, I'm still discovering new features. Having the ability to track my rides or any outdoor adventure with heart rate is awesome. The battery stays charged for at least two weeks, and downloading the data to my phone is simple. The only negative is the learning curve required in learning how to access the multitude of functions.

Reviewed 5/6/2019
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Review by skunkybiker

Comfortable, durable, HR a bit slow to respond
by skunkybiker
3 of 6 customers found this review helpful.

Super solid and easy to learn if you are an experienced Garmin user like me. I found the HR less accurate than the chest strap - seems to be slow to respond to fluctuations. I like having the smart watch functions that give you read outs on total calories, steps, sleep quantity, and quality, etc. It's also nice to use in a pinch for ride if you don't want to mess with a chest strap or a separate computer.

Reviewed 4/29/2019
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Review by Anonymous

Great for what I use it for.
by Anonymous

This watch is great. It seems super durable. Its comfortable and the battery life is decent. Its a little chunky but I like that its rugged looking.

Reviewed 7/27/2021
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Review by Sheree

Great watch!
by Sheree

Got this watch quickly, decently easy to use and I like all of the things it tracks. I wear it every day to work landscaping so it gets dirty and wet all the time and it has held up perfectly for the month that I've had it

Reviewed 6/21/2021
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Review by Msignore

Simple, no-nonsense, rugged and great battery life
by Msignore
Cycling Enthusiast
2 of 2 customers found this review helpful.

I have had Vivoactives and apple watches. this watch is simpler with an easy to read screen and no fussy touchscreen. it is a rugged look, but it is very light and comfortable.

Reviewed 6/19/2020
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Review by Anonymous

Good, solid watch
by Anonymous
Cycling Enthusiast
1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

Watch is fairly easy to learn to use. Very accurate for distance and speed. Connects to speed, cadence and heart rate senors quickly. Simple, non computeriWatch look was appealing to me. Only issue has been the elevation during workouts has been off by a little. Good, rugged, solid watch for a lot less that Apple or Garmin's Fenix watches

Reviewed 6/16/2020
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Review by Jose O

This watch is awesome.
by Jose O

Excellent product!!!

Reviewed 1/21/2022
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Review by Active elder

Like the first one so much I bought a second one.
by Active elder
Cycling Enthusiast
Rocklin CA.

Tracking my daily activities, from sleep, stair climbs, steps to heart rate. Tracking my bike rides. To general time and date use of a watch.

Reviewed 7/23/2021
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Review by Scott

Really pleased with the Instinct
by Scott
7 of 8 customers found this review helpful.

I own the Fenix and Forerunner also and the Instinct is my favorite. The battery life is great and it is very comfortable. The watch does everything I need it to. It looks great and the bands are very easy to replace. So far very durable as well.

Reviewed 2/27/2019
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Review by Anonymous

Set-up instructions incomplete
by Anonymous
Casual Cyclist
Dallas, TX
0 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

Not sure I would have purchased this for my husband if I had realized how confusing the set-up would be.

Reviewed 7/16/2021
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Review by Donj

Smartest and most useful watch I have ever owned
by Donj
Cycling Enthusiast
Idaho Falls Idaho
6 of 6 customers found this review helpful.

I did not realize a watch could provide as much information as it does. I can't wait to try it while hiking or cycling. Great buy for what it does. It probably does more than I can figure out.

Reviewed 1/18/2019
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Review by Anonymous

solid watch
by Anonymous
1 of 1 customers found this review helpful.

very long battery life. I can do at least 2x long runs with this. Quite good tracking on the trails too

Reviewed 7/8/2019
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