How To Buy The Best Garmin Fitness Tracker For You – Coach

Garmin is a company that seems to believe that there can never be too many choices for the consumer. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because it means that whatever your particular circumstances and preferences, there is almost certainly a Garmin that will cater to your every whim.

However, it does mean that your first visit to the Garmin website will probably result in decision fatigue, and you may well give up in the mistaken belief that it’s practically impossible to find the right device.

We’re here to help. We’ve tested out all manner of Garmins and are pretty confident we have a good handle on what’s available. Aside from the really expensive Garmin devices for sailing and aviation – we’ll concede that we’ve not kept up with those.

The principal Garmin ranges for sporty types are the Forerunner and Fenix running and triathlon watches, the Edge cycling computers, and anything with Vivo at the start of its name, which indicates that it’s some kind of fitness tracker or fitness-focused smartwatch.

Beyond that you’ll find models whose names indicate what they’re for, like the Garmin Swim 2 for swimming, or the Garmin Approach watches for golf. And then sometimes the name doesn’t help at all. Like the Garmin Venu, which is a smartwatch.

Nearly all of Garmin’s devices now have GPS and a heart rate monitor, right down to its cheapest running watches and even some of its fitness trackers, and almost all are waterproof too. To pick between them requires some serious analysis, then… or you can just use our guide to the best Garmin for different types of people below. That will be easier.

Best For Beginner Runners: Garmin Forerunner 45

Runners should head straight to the Forerunner range, and those new to the sport will be well-satisfied by the range of features you get with the Forerunner 45. Alongside giving you all your key stats on your wrist, the 45 can estimate your VO2 max and guide you through training plans for common race distances like 5Ks or half marathons, with all the workouts on the plan synced to the watch to follow from your wrist.

| £139.99 ( £169.99) | Garmin Forerunner 45 review

Best For Runners: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The Forerunner 245 Music builds on the impressive base provided by the 45, offering useful features for regular runners, including more detailed training analysis, breadcrumb navigation along routes created in the Garmin Connect app, and music storage and streaming to Bluetooth wireless headphones. As well as being able to transfer music files, the 245 Music can also log in to a Spotify premium account to wirelessly sync playlists. Prefer to listen to the beat of your feet? There’s a that’s £50 cheaper.

| £284.99 ( £299.99) | Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review

Best Fitness Tracker: Garmin Vivosport

If you prefer a band to a watch, the Vivosport is the best Garmin for you. It has built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor despite its slender design, along with a colour screen to show your everyday activity and sporting stats. It’s also been around for a little while, and that means you can now pick up a Vivosport for under £100, which is quite a bargain.

| £90.50 ( £149.99) | Garmin Vivosport review

Best For Swimmers: Garmin Swim 2

The Swim 2 watch does track everyday activity and other sports, including cycling and running, but it’s all about getting wet, providing detailed analysis of pool and open-water swims, and even tracking your heart rate in the water. All the key swimming stats like SWOLF are there along with advanced features like drill logging, pace alerts to help you stay on track during workouts. The cherry on top is a Critical Swim Speed measurement, which estimates your aerobic swimming threshold and is perhaps best equated to the functional threshold power measure used by cyclists.

| £219.99

Best If Money Is No Object: Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

The Fenix range contains Garmin’s premium multisport watches and we reckon the 6 Pro is currently the top dog in the company’s entire line-up, offering a bigger screen than even the luxury Marq watches which cost north of £1,000. The 6 Pro offers the most advanced training and recovery analysis features Garmin currently has, plus music and colour maps, and introduces the PacePro feature, which can help runners stay on target in their races.

| £599.99 | Garmin Fenix 6 Pro review

Best For Triathletes: Garmin Forerunner 945

The Forerunner 945 is basically the Fenix in a lighter, slimmer plastic frame – perfect for triathletes and keen runners in particular, who will appreciate a little less bulk on their wrist, and the fact that the 945 is also a little cheaper than the Fenix doesn’t hurt. We’ve found when testing the watches that the 945’s lighter build makes it more accurate when it comes to optical heart rate tracking than the Fenix 6 Pro, which is something to consider if heart rate is crucial to your training and you don’t want to wear a chest strap.

| £519.99 | Garmin Forerunner 945

Best For Golfers: Garmin Approach S60

The Approach has more than 40,000 golf course preloaded and will give you the precise yardage from your position to the green, as well as any hazards and doglegs you’re attempting to negotiate. The AutoShot feature will also track the distance of your shots automatically, so you can admire the length of your drives in the bar after your round.

| £326.91 ( £479.99)

Best For Cyclists: Garmin Edge 530

All Garmin’s sports watches do a fine job of tracking your bike rides, especially when linked with other sensors like power meters, but it’s far easier to keep an eye on your stats mid-ride using a handlebar-mounted bike computer than a watch. The Edge 530 also provides turn-by-turn navigation on colour maps, with the route chosen informed by where other Garmin-owning cyclists have opted to ride, so you’re kept off unpleasantly busy roads where possible.

| £259.99

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