Garmin - Instinct GPS Watch

Category: GPS Systems

The Garmin Instinct is awesome. It has all of the features I want and use, and the ruggedness that I need. Also, the battery life is amazing. I can easily get ten days between charges with multiple uses of GPS and other features. I have had mine for a week, and I have no regrets at all. My only complaints: so far is the heart rate wasn't as accurate as my previous fitness tracker during weight lifting. Also, I really wish the watch and app would automatically recognize activities. Otherwise, I highly recommend this watch.

Got the watch in December so still learning it and discovering some good things and some not so much. The first annoying issue is that often the buttons closest to my hand get inadvertently pushed by my hand movement. I will look down to find that it has gone to some other screen etc. I have very skinny wrists and average hands, so no beefy paws excuse. The buttons are just too exposed for an activity watch. Second is that Garmin has very little support yet for the Instinct. It’s not even listed as a device choice on their sites. I would not buy this watch again, instead biting the bullet for one of the more expensive, better supported devices.

Honestly, Garmin should have come out with this a couple years ago. I love it. I’m not a hardcore runner, but I trail run to keep in shape. It tracks beautifully, tested it around a lake hike yesterday.

I enjoy long distance trail runs and long Obstacle Course Races. I had an older Apple Watch that was fine for my everyday, but wanted something to use for a Spartan Ultra (30 miles) that I knew was going to take me around 12 hours.

Although it took me a few weeks to figure out all the features and how to use them, the watch does not actually 'track' you. I bought the watch with the intention of tracking the distance of my trail runs, determining my pace and exploring new trails. The watch will track distance, although poorly, but not locate you, unless you care about your current coordinates. I spoke to a Garmin representative who confirmed this and added that this watch will not track your pace. As these were my only reasons for purchase, I'll be returning it and mapping out my trails the old fashioned way and determine my speed by however long it takes.

Overall I like the Garmin Instinct, but it's not that instictive to get its full functionality. You can get your heartbeat on a constant basis as well as the date and time. When you start digging down through the various menues is where it gets confusing. For examply I set Indoor Cycling as one of my activities, but have not yet figured out how to turn on that function when I cycle indoors at the gym. The 30 page instruction manual does not fully explain how each function is used. Overall I like the Instinct, it's a bit thicker then a thought it would be but I wanted its ruggedness and thats the price you pay. For the price it does alot. Enjoy!

This basically has all the functionality of the original Fenix I had in a lighter, more durable, and easier to use form. I'm really enjoying mine from runs, hikes, and workouts to everyday use. One thing I'd like to see change in the software is the ability to select the level of vibration for notifications.

While the watch looks nice and is easy enough to use, it is essentially a paper weight for anyone serious about their pace for distance running. The gps consistently loses signal in multiple scenarios (tree coverage, clouds, etc), so some miles will inexplicably be slow even though I’m clearly running faster. The watches gps functionality seems to be broken beyond connectivity as well as it is consistently .06 miles off of each mile of my friends gps watches or an app like strava. On a longer run (16 miles or more) the watch can potentially be well over a mile off what you have actually run.

Love it! easy to use and with many great functions. I've had the watch for nearly a month now and I think it's a great product. The face is easy to read and once you get used to the button menus they make sense. The activity functions do everything I want for running and walking, though the pool swimming has had trouble detecting when I turned around in a lane. I'm giving it 5 stars because I really like the watch and it does exactly what I wanted, which is collect accurate timing and GPS data on my activities.

Purchased this watch mainly to use on trail races to quickly be able to determine my pace/mile as well as total mileage traveled. Used it on several winter training runs already with exceptional results. Picks up GPS location quickly in open areas as well as wooded terrain; and maintains signal in deep cover, hills, and valleys. Has worked in temps down to 8-degrees for hours without an issue. I have had no issues syncing to the Garmin Connect app which supplies you with all the data from the watch in seconds. All in all a great watch that I would highly recommend.

I have had the watch for about a month now and absolutely loving this watch. I wanted a smartish watch that wasn’t an Apple Watch or even the Fenix from Garmin. I wanted a watch that was similar to my Suunto Core All-Black mixed with a G-Shock Mudman. I liked how it has GPS/Glonas/Galileo, steps, Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, workout features, heart rate, apps that can help plan hikes, and a few notification features. Too much anymore people want all the bells and whistles and they don’t utilize all the tools. This watch has all the necessary tools and features plus an outstanding battery life. My wife has to charge her Apple Watch about every night. I can go a little over a week before I have to charge again. That is with me using heart rate 24/7, recording a half hour workout, and recording my hour walks at lunch with gps. Durability doesn’t seem like an issue at all. It is built very similar to a g-shock. Also the screen is visible in any condition. I truly can’t say enough good things about this watch and I hope to get many years of service out of it.

Alright...I will start off with the color. I bought the "Flame Red" version and it's really hard to actually describe the color. In the daylight it's more red-ish, but in incandescent light, it's very orange. I like it.

I have several Garmin devices which I primarily use for cycling. The Instinct is fine once you get down a steep learning curve, but it's altitude readings are way off. The sensor is on the bottom and can get plugged with sweat causing it to under record changes in height. When matched against my Garmin bike GPS, it recorded 30% lower total vertical than the bike GPS. Others have noted the same thing.

Bought this 30 days ago and love it. I have only charged it twice. It gives me about 2 to 3 weeks on a charge even with mild activities. I wanted a simple GPS watch that had all of the functions of a smart watch. It takes a little getting use to with the navigating the watch, but once you do the simplicity is awesome. I like the feel and weight and the simple background color. Must have for running, hiking and military.

I was looking at smartwatches for a longtime. When I heard Garmin had released a heavy-duty smartwatch that had great GPS capacity and was at a cheaper price point then the Fenix line... I got excited.

I have been a Suunto user for many years. My Baro 9 broke and I was looking for something new. My son got this watch a few months ago and he loves it. I have never loved the "smartwatch" look. I always wished there was a G-Shock smartwatch. This is really close.

I love this watch and use it a lot for xc skiing seems to track elevation and gps very well, and also works good in the cold. One thing I would say about the altimeter is you should calibrate it frequently to get the most accurate reading, the Garmin explore app is also very neat and. I do think the price is a little high but for what it does it is probably fine.

Love it. Has everything I need for hiking and backpacking. Especially like the light weight compared to other options (5X Plus or 9 Baro). Screen is very easy to read in direct sunlight. Explore app works great. Pairs with InReach as well (only the mini version so far, not the original yellow version). Lots of customizability. Nav and tracking are easy to use and sync. Heart rate tracking seems to be as accurate as Apple Watch 4. Only wish it had pulse-oxygen sensor for alttitude acclimation. Great product at a reasonable price.

Yup, 2 weeks of battery life. A smart watch and rugged. If you're ok with non-color screen and non-touch screen, then THIS IS THE WATCH to get!

Hidden issue. Although Garmin makes a big deal out of Instinct's swimming mode, for some reason Instinct does not collect personal records for swimming like it does for cycling and running. The watch does collect all the swim data but does not display PRs on the watch or in Garmin Connect. Seems like a simple fix but so far no luck. Returning the watch.

Does what it does. And does it Well. Takes the place of 3 devices

I have had this watch for a month and it has only been off my wrist 2x for charging. Only takes about an hour to charge when it does need it. Tracks everything you need, steps, flights heart rate etc. The connect app is easy to navigate and allows you to monitor your progress. This watch is not bulky nor heavy and screen is easy to read.

I’ve had this watch for about a month now. I’ve previously owned 3 Fitbits and my most recent was a Garmin Forerunner prior to this... and wow. This watch blows everything else out of the water. I feel like I learn a new feature every day. There are so many options to customize stats, history, etc. The biggest factor for me in purchasing this product was the battery life, and I have yet to be disappointed. It charges fairly quickly as well. I bought this specifically to train for and to run my first two ultramarathons, where my other watches would have easily died while I still needed them. I’ve used the “find my phone” feature quite a bit and LOVE the functionality while trail running. Not sure what else to say, I have yet to find a flaw with this device. If watches were people, this watch would be Tom Brady.

Unable to acquire satellites under tree cover. Tried twice 30 minutes at a time. GPS accuracy very poor under cloud cover. Only really works well on a clear sunny day. Hate to do it, but will be returning.

I've had this watch for about 8 months.

The estimates for battery life are pretty accurate. I get about 2 weeks between charges and about 14 hours if running GPS tracking. It syncs to my Android phone with ease and the storm alert is very accurate. Sleep tracking is good and swimming mode is also accurate. The only issue I have experienced was hiking with a staff and the HR registering low. Seems that activity with a bent wrist constricts blood flow and affects the calculation. Will try wearing the watch on my non-dominate hand next time. Altitude is accurate per my maps in the Pacific Northwest.

I love this watch! Is has ALMOST all the functionality I was looking for. Anyone interested in a smart watch that can help you train for biking/swimming/running will be impressed with all the training activities this watch can perform. Unfortunately for me, I purchased this watch to help me train for Mt Kilimanjaro and there is absolutely no hiking activities on the watch or that can be uploaded from Garmin Connect. This watch should not be advertised as a hiking watch. I feel like REI has mislead me in their advertising of this product.

The weather widget and the Find My iPhone app doesn’t work when paired with iOS devices. This has been a widespread problem for more than a year according to the Garmin forum, however Garmin seems to refuse to recognize it as a problem with their software and passes the blame on the users’ aptitude/device. This is rather annoying, however the phone works as described otherwise. Also, REI is always so quick to do what they do.

Many aspects of this watch are phenomenal. It's totally customizable, super smart, lightweight, comfortable, and durable. HOWEVER, the heart rate monitor is absolutely terrible and horribly inaccurate. During a hard workout, it reads my HR as 'resting' yet when i'm driving on the freeway, it picks up the vibrations of the car and tells me my HR is 180+bpm. If you are looking for a fitness watch, go elsewhere. This is not the watch for you. If you are looking for an adventure/tactical watch, this is a good buy, but realize it has some terrible flaws.

I had great hopes for this watch but am returning it after 1 week. The heart rate monitor seemed great when I was sitting and walking around but as soon as I do any workout the heart rate will either read totally inaccurate ( I would be fine with occasional dropouts or even like up to a 5% error, but this thing will read 110bpm when I'm doing sustained 155-160 for 30 minutes). I just did an hour long cardio workout and it wouldn't read over 80bpm the whole time (I was 120-150). I like to ruck weighted packs up our 20 story office building stairs for a lunch workout and tried using the stair tracker, it read 16 total stories climbed when I did 60 total. I tried wearing it as indicated in the manual, above my wrist bone. I tried it tighter and looser. Tried it on both wrists. Tried shaving my arm hair in the area to make sure they weren't interfering with the sensor lights. Tried wearing it facing in on my wrist. Nothing works once I'm actually doing a workout. I did call Garmin Support to see if there were any tips on how I was using it, they said I was using it right and the sensors just weren't accurate. At this point I feel the Garmin Instinct is only useful for reading time and maybe for some outdoor GPS tracks. If you want to use it for anything else, look elsewhere. Mine is going back for a refund.

I love the look of the watch/ durability and the ease of use. So far I have only used the gps function for MTB twice and when comparing it to mapmyride there was a 1mile discrepancy in the distance travelled, not sure if it was the phone being inaccurate or the watch.

The battery life is great, the features are great, and the menu system is quite good. I've added the Connect app to my iPhone, droid tablet, and laptop so I may sync on whatever device I'm using.

I cannot say enough good things about this watch. I absolutely love it. Fits great, perfect feature set and the price is very fair. I am a mountain and road rider who wanted this for GPS and heartrate. I couldn't be more pleased with the functions. Screen customizing is super easy and I change that depending on the course and what I'm looking for in terms of data feedback. This also works great for indoor workouts with a few simple clicks of the right side button. I can capture the workout and even upload to my tracking sites. The altitude and compass are an added bonus that are fun to use at stops or after the fact. One of my favorite features is the sunrise/sunset time and notification. Super helpful when trying to get out of the trail before the sun sets!

I have been using this watch for almost 8 months and I am completely satisfied with its performance. I have used it while hiking, mountain biking, walking, city biking and running so far and its performance was impressive for all. It was also very convenient to keep track of my daily calorie burning and I was able to lose ~20 lbs thanks to my watch. It is also very durable and its battery lasts almost 2 weeks after a short charging. I am wearing it all the time comfortably including taking the shower time and had no complaint.

I used an Apple Watch for a long time and after long runs (10 miles, HM, 26.2) the apple watch was unresponsive and skipped GPS points. The Garmin Instinct just works: easy handling, simple buttons, quick and reliable responses and works with Nike Run Club.

This was the first Garmin watch I've owned. I bought it in December 2018, right as it came out so I have had it for a while, and it was meant to replace my Suunto Ambit 2. Unfortunately, even after calibrating the GPS before every single run/ride/hike the GPS is at best unreliable, and at worst doesn't work at all. I've talked to Garmin about this and they offered virtually no helpful tips. The only thing they could suggest was to I "clean the GPS antenna area" as it doesn't perform well if sweat gets in there...remember this is an activity / running can't handle sweat. I've cleaned it, and it often malfunctions. The latest update (03-2020) was supposed to address issues with the GPS elevation map, I can report that the update has not fixed anything.

Very disappointed that the orange color "Flame Red" isn't so much orange as in the pictures in real life, but is actually red. Otherwise, item as described.

The watch turns on but that’s it. Would not advance past the language screen and the manual doesn’t say anything about how to do this. Very disappointed because the other reviews were great. The manual is not user friendly. I pushed every button and nothing would work other than the on off switch. There are no step by step set up directions in the manual and the company seems to assume some underlying computer/smart watch expertise. Ive never had one and couldn’t make it work.

So far this watch has been an amazing addition to my tech gear. I am a cyclist who enjoys scouting out new routes both on and off road. The course function in the Garmin Connect app works wonderfully and flawlessly with the watch, and the functionality through the watch while doing an activity is very good.

The battery life for my watch has not been as was advertised (up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up 16 hrs. in GPS mode, and up to 40 hrs. in UltraTrac™ battery saver mode). After having the watch <1 year I can't go more than 12 hours between charges even with light use (no GPS, bluetooth off, etc.). Other than that it has been a good watch, but long battery life (and reasonable cost for the features) was the main reason I chose this watch.

Guess what. ! This watch is amazing. Rugged lightweight and almost amazingly accurate. Almost is within realms of people’s perception of perfection. It is a watch folks. A small device. It does what you need it to. And I bet if you are lost it will help you get found with its 3x gps. It might take a minute to figure out how you want it set but there are helpful videos on YouTube. Cheap great and fulfilling.

So many things I wanted here - long battery life in GPS mode, multiple activities, wrist-based HR, lots of customization, decent price. Seemed neat, and in some ways it is.'s different enough from my previous Garmins to be irritating, the altimeter gave wildly different altitudes and elevation gain for runs, and except for the key item on display, text is awfully small. Those key things led me to return the watch.

I had the Instinct for about a month. I used it on a 2 week section hike on the Appalachian trail. Stand by battery 13-14 days just as it says, i was able to get around 16 hours of GPS tracking out of one charge both of which i think is great. This watch is a plain Jane GPS watch with a few smart watch functions. So far it performs great. Only reason i didn't give 5 stars is i haven't had it long enough.

Pretty cool watch with well thought out software and user interface. pretty brainless to put the fitness tracking tools to good use (although I struggled a bit to find the other options after setting trail run up as favorite) -once I figured it out - no problems. band is a little weak and HR is even still wrong but much more accurate when i wear it on the inside of my wrist near my radial artery.

I wear it daily to monitor heart rate and steps. What I like most is how well it works with the app. Very good information such as high/low heart rates and tracking my course. The mile splits for runs helps for training and achieving goals. I also like the altimeter; however, I had to calibrate it a couple times at high altitudes in the mountains. I don't know how I trained without it.

I was disappointed that I had to return this watch. It had everything I wanted, but had, for my purposes, a crucial inaccuracy: When hiking a trail that is, say, mostly uphill but has several significant dips -- up to 150 feet worth -- it gives incorrect results for both gross ascent and gross descent. I assume the reason has to be that it doesn't read the barometer often enough.

I have wanted a GPS watch for trail running for a couple years now and I keep looking at the Fenix line. They were just too expensive. I had never even heard of the Instinct until a friend bought one. I'm only a couple weeks into ownership of my Instinct, but it's exactly what I needed. I was with another friend yesterday at lunch who owns a Fenix 5 and the things looked monstrous on his wrist. It reminded me how happy I was with my watch.

I used a Garmin VivoActive HR (V-HR) for five years before it lost its mind. The Instinct had an attractive feature set with the promise of battery life even better than the V-HR. I bought one. The interface was not as easy to learn as the V-HR but I got onto it. The major problem was that I could not find any configuration, including BlueTooth turned off, where the battery would last longer than about 2 days. The V-HR would last up to 2 weeks on a charge. I tried all the suggestions on the Garmin support page to no avail. REI support people suggested I call Garmin. When I did, Garmin said the unit needs to be charged using a computer USB port - even though that is not clear in their manual. They also said it needs at least one overnight charge. I had already overnight charged it a couple times using my iPhone charger with no improvement. Hard to imagine a computer would do a better job, and I do not want to fire up my computer just to charge the Instinct. I decided if Garmin is going to be that picky, I don't need the unit. I returned it to REI. Kudos to REI on their customer service - great to talk this through with a human!

I bought this to replace a Fitbit Blaze that broke. I work outdoors and wear the watch every day at work. Outside of work, I am primarily a hiker/backpacker, but I also use this watch to track my daily movement and exercises at the gym. I do not use any of the smartwatch or notification features.

lightweight, battery lasts forever, in love with the customizable watch face options. I mainly use this for tracking my running and hikes; the running stats seem to be very accurate, and love the trackback and live track features for hiking. receiving lots of compliments on it, I purchased mine in Sunburst, I love fun color gear :)

I transitioned to the Instinct from a Fossil Q Explorist Gen 4, which by no means is an "activities/outdoors" watch, and is definitely more of a tech fashion piece that also happens to do some activity tracking.

I was eyeballing this watch for a while and finally pulled the trigger black Friday. The versatility and capabilities of this watch are amazing! The written instructions were confusing without the watch in my hands but make total sense once I did. My only complaint is the a volume of the tones and alarms cannot be adjusted

Replaced Garmin Vivoactive HR with the Instinct. It took a bit of time to move from touch screen to button navigation but I like it better. Fewer inadvertent changes. The black and white screen is easy to read in all situations. I have been able to get 2 weeks out of the battery without significant GPS use.

Great watch for everyday use, but also very clutch for adventure and travel. The GPS works flawlessly, and it is very handy when paired with other Garmin satellite/navigation devices. The functions are endless

This is a great watch for me. It has enough connectivity for alerts from my phone to be useful and it tracks enough data from daily life and exercise to fulfill my needs. It can probably do more than I am asking of it, but I am very satisfied with what I am using for the price.



Does it have a countdown timer?

Yes! This watch has a countdown timer.


Setup gps

For assistance setting the features on your watch, please consult the manual. If you do not have a manual, consider visiting Garmin's website.


Is there a way to use an app called sailing with this watch?

The sailing app from the Garmin IQ app store is not compatible with this watch.

Mad Max

I have three questions: (1) can you disable the smart watch mode and only use the time feature to extend the usable battery life; (2) can this watch provide storm warnings like the Sunnto Core; and (3) does this watch feature a “stealth mode?”

You can do several things to extend the battery life on this watch: 1) reduce the back lighting and dim the display, 2) use Ultratrac GPS for you activity, 3) turn off the bluetooth, 4) turn off activity tracking and 5) choose a simple watch face that doesn’t need to update as often. Also, you can set the Instinct's barometer to trigger a storm alert when the air pressure drops quickly, and the regular Instinct does not have the “stealth mode” features, however the Tactical Edition does.


So, is this or is this not a GPS tracking device? I see comments that is saying it's not. If that's true, I guess I don't understand exactly what kind of GPS device this is. Would love to know before I buy. Or do I need to find one that does track?

The GPS technology in this watch allows you to track speed, distance and help with outdoor navigation. On its own, it does not have the ability to function as a life saving device or have other people track your location. You can however share, map and track your adventures in real-time using the Garmin Exlpore app on your phone. Using this feature depends on whether or not you have cell reception.


Is the Instinct GPS watch compatible with Dexcom G6? It is a blood glucose monitoring device that uses bluetooth.

This watch is not compatible with a Dexcom G6 device.


Will it give distance on a golf course?

This watch will not give distance and yardage information on a golf course.


Is the Garman instinct smart watch iOS compatible with an iPhone

Yes, the Instinct is compatible with iPhones.


Does it display ft per min ascent and descent like a suunto Vector

This watch will display feet per minute ascent and descent within an activity such as hiking or trail running.


Can you control the music on your smartphone with this watch, i.e. paired to itunes??

This watch can control your smartphone's music.


Can you change the watch face to an analog view?

​This watch does not have the ability to display an analog watch face.


Will this be coming back in stock soon or has REI stopping carrying it?

As of January 2020, we're out of stock of this item and don't know when it will become available again.


Is the Flame Red actually red, or is it more of an orange color?

​It appears to be a paprika or cayenne red, so red with an orange tone.


Is this watch compatible with iPhone 11 Pro Max?

Yes, with the Garmin Connect app!


Can this watch be pared with an android phone to answer calls?

This watch can be paired with your phone to offer multiple features such text response or rejecting a call but you can’t answer a call or speak to your watch in lieu of the phone itself.


Can you access GPS features if phone is dead and can you continue to track if phone is dead?

Yes! You can use all of the GPS functions on the watch by itself. A smartphone is not required for this watch to function.


Does this watch pair with Garmin/Tritronics Pro 550 plus dog training collar and transmitter?

​Yes, they are compatible.


I understand the watch is compatible with Strava. In order to get the data on Strava, do you have to connect to WiFi and download? And when it downloads, will it have the complete map and route shown (segments, etc), or only the distance/time?

Good question! After you’re done with your workout/activity your data will be saved to the watch and synced to the Garmin Connect Mobile app. If Strava is connected then it will upload there as well. This is done wirelessly. You must have the Garmin app installed on your compatible smart device in order for this feature to work. ​


I have a Garmin 520 bike computer and connect it to my HR monitor, speedometer, and cadence meter (whatever that is called). Can this watch connect to any or all of those items? If so, would I connect to the 520 simultaneously or just use one at a time?

This watch unfortunately does not have the ability to connect to your Edge 520 computer or speed and cadence sensors from Garmin.


Does this watch support pool lap and open water swimming? Is it compatible with Strava? Could you record a multi sport event (triathalon)?

This watch is compatible with Strava when paired with the Garmin Connect Mobile app. This watch features each mode of a triathlon. However, it does not have a triathlon mode. This can be found on the Garmin Fenix series. Check them out:


My primary activity is biking and I have a 130. What extra benefit can I use to convince my wife I need a Garmin watch and which one?

We'd be happy to help you out but need a little more detail. Feel free to head into any of our REI stores for assistance, or contact us directly:


Does the watch read the temperature 

Yes, this watch features a thermometer.


I am wanting to get one. Do I need to pay monthly subscription to use the 2 way messenger on this? 

A subscription is not required to use/operate this watch. The only time a subscription is required is when the watch is paired with one of the Garmin inReach devices (sold separately).


How is this watch with weight lifting? I do a lot of running and hiking, but my primary day to day workout is lifting, so I need something accurate.

​The Instinct has strength training settings with automatic rep counting. You have to manually set your reps internals and add the weight as well. It does well counting reps for all movements as long as you are moving the watch more than three inches or more. It is important to initiate your rep sets in the same starting position so it doesn't count extra movements or reps. The elevate sensor can have difficulty giving the elevated heart rate after a set, and so you can use the heart rate chest strap for the best accuracy possible.


Does the Garmin Instinct have the "Livetrack" so that family and friends can always know where we are ? 

This watch does not have a "livetrack" features that lets family and friends know your location in real time.


Using a computer, can I locate the coordinates of a person wearing the watch?

​No, this watch does not offer a tracking feature.


Is compatible with an iPhone?

​Yes, this watch is iOS (iPhone) compatible.


Can you control your music from the watch?

​Yes, the Instinct as a music control widget which Bluetooth connects the watch to your smartphone to control your music.


Is the Instinct sold by REI APAC or ROW? 

This version of the Instinct is rest of the world (ROW).


Can it sync to a Garmin Alpha 100 

Yes, this watch will sync with the Garmin Alpha 100.


Is there a display option with a second hand (i.e. a normal clock face). I am a vet tech and I need a watch with a second hand to obtain heart rates on my patients.

​The watch face is customizable to show watch hands but it will not show a seconds hand.


Will this watch sync with the Garmin inReach?

The Instinct is compatible with the newer InReach Mini (and Mini Marine). It is not compatible with the InReach SE+ or Explorer+.


Can the band be replaced or stuck permanently?

Yes, the band is replaceable and can be purchased directed from Garmin's site.

Joe in Missouri

Actually 2 questions: Does this watch support maps of any type? Is is possible and convenient to enter UTM co-ordinates from a topo into the watch (creating a way point) in the field? TIA

This watch does not have memory for maps to be loaded directly to the unit. You can set the watch to UTM coordinates though, so any you enter or save would be in UTM.


Do you still have to bring your phone with you in order for it to connect to it?

Yes, this watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth. Your phone and watch need to be reasonably close together for you to receive media and such on your watch.


How do you charge it?

A USB charging cable is included. The charging port is on the back of the Instinct.


The watch can tell how fast I am run , or how far I am run ? 

​Yes, this watch does track speed and distance for running and other activities.


My watch and GPS is broken. Where can I buy a replacement band?

​You can buy replacement bands from Garmin's web site.


This pairs with your phone as I have read, will it pair with an Inreach+?

​Yes, the Instinct will pair with the InReach.

The geezer

When the watch is accumulating elevation gain on a hike, what is the smallest gain it can record, e.g., if you hit a rise of several feet, then descend?  One meter?  Three meters?

This watch features steps, floors and elevation gain and loss tracking, and there isn't a minimum gain or loss. It will track all movement once you've started the activity.


Does it show tides? 

No, the Instinct does not show tides.


Garmin newbie so please bear with me if this is a stupid question. Is it possible to install an app and enable this watch to also work for golf (yardages, etc)? Given that it has all the required GPS capabilities, can it also be used as a golf watch?

This watch does not have any golf-specific features on the device itself. While Garmin does have a golf app, it is not compatible with this watch. If you are looking for watch that has built in golf features, the Garmin Fenix series or vivoactive 3 Music GPS watches are better choices.


What service is required to take advantage of the GPS and training apps? Is there restrictions on phone types?

The minimum requirements for Android phones are 5.0 OS or later and Bluetooth 4.0 or later. For Apple, it is iOS 10.0 or later. It is also compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


what chest HRM will this work with. 

The manufacturer offers their own HRM model, however, this watch can work with a heart rate monitor chest strap that can pair with instruments that use ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart.


Military time setting yes or no?

Yes, this watch can be set to military time.


Does the watch have : 1. A countdown timer and 2. Does it have an alarm and if so how many alarms can you set at a time?

Yes, this watch has a countdown timer and an alarm. You can set up to ten separate alarms.


Does the Instinct support a Bluetooth connected temperature sensor?

Yes, Garmin's Tempe is compatible with the Instinct:


As a backup navigation aid to use in conjunction w/ map & compass for <1 week backpacking trips, is that tiny little screen going to be too cumbersome? Would I be better off w/ a slightly larger unit w/ replaceable batteries like the Foretrex 601?

This watch can effectively assist you in navigating to a recorded waypoint but not by virtue of a downloadable topo map. If you would like to carry a digital topo map, consider using a larger hand-held GPS unit:

Karate Jon

Is the Monterra Grey more of a Black or Grey? I noticed on Garmin's website they have a Graphite color, but not this one.

​The monterra gray watch is more of a black.


Does this watch give a pace per mile breakdown on the app or does it just give an average pace?   I like to see my pace each mile.  I am looking for a watch for running and hiking.  Thank you!

Yes, by setting your watch to Auto Lap you can track your pace mile by mile.


Is there any SOS or similar feature built into the watch?

No, this watch does not have that feature.


Will the Instinct show location using MGRS (military grid) or only lat-long?

This watch has a generic base map for displaying your location, but does not show MGRS information. However through the Basecamp software, you can create navigation and waypoints ahead of time, that can overlay the base map when adding to the watch.


Will you be getting the Lakeside color?

As of March 2019, we do not have plans to stock this watch in the Lakeside color.


Do you need data or wifi to use gps

This watch does not require any type of data or WIFI to use the GPS functionality.


Will thiswatch tell me if I have a text message or phone call and can I answer or text back?

Yes, when paired with a smartphone the Instinct will notify you and you can respond. There are some limitations; see the Garmin website for details.

The geezer

One use I have for my Suunto Vector is to set a logbook at the start of a trip to get the total gross elevation gain.  Is there something similar in the Instinct that lets me use only barometric pressure on (say) a 2-3 day trip?

The watch has a pressure-base altimeter that allows you to measure and record your current altitude and total ascent/descent during a specific adventure.


I am looking for a watch that will determine when I am snow skiing the total vertical, total assent, total laps. I previously owned a Suunto Observer for more than 12 years and it died this summer. That watch did exactly what I wanted and needed.

We believe this is a great choice to replace your old Observer watch. This watch offers a wide array of features including total ascent, descent and customizable lap alerts with manual or auto lap settings.


I am not able to find this watch locally to try it on for fit. Is the Garmin Instinct considered a unisex watch? Will it fit a womens 5 3/4" wrist comfortably? I have a Garmin Forerunner 220. Is the bezel on the watch similiar in circumference and depth?

​This watch fits wrist circumferences of 5.2 inches to 8.8 inches. The bezel is also very similar in circumference and depth to the Forerunner 220.


Does the time adjust automatically when switching on GPS ? I travel frequently across multiple time zones

Yes, with GPS enabled this watch can automatically detect your time zone and current time of day.


Is the notification vibration loud/buzzing(quiet room)? 

​The vibration alerts on this watch are very quiet.


Does this watch track distance (miles) hiked?

​Yes, this GPS watch tracks distance.


Does it show my position on an elevation profile graph. And the climbs ahead. And can i use ultratrac while using the course or trail breadcrumb navigation?

This watch will present a graph of your elevation profile after you've moved across it; it does not graph the forthcoming elevation profiles. For more information regarding the use of multiple programs simultaneously, please consult Garmin directly. ​


Do you have to sync this item to a phone?

Good question! You can use this watch with or without a paired smartphone. The smartphone will allow you to use additional features like smart notifications and automatic data uploads to the Garmin Connect™ online fitness community.​


Does altitude reference get set via GPS or do you have to calibrate it manually each time ?

​The barometer on this watch is calibrated at the factory and it uses automatic calibration at your GPS starting point by default. You can manually calibrate the barometer if you know the correct elevation or sea level pressure.


Is the watchband replaceable or if it breaks, do you have to buy a new watch?

Garmin sells replacement wrist bands for the Instinct.


How does the lap recognition work in the pool?

Swimming lap recognition is based on the size of the pool which must be entered into the device prior to your swim and takes into account information such as stroke and interval.​


Does this watch recognize floors and steps or just steps?

This watch tracks both steps and floors climbed.


Does the heart rate function work with any of the Garmin straps? How is this watch for cycling functions? How accurate is the altimeter? Thanks

​This watch is only compatible with the Garmin model 010-10997-00 and 010-10997-07 heart rate straps. This watch is a great choice for cycling. On its own the watch can give different profiles for activities such as mountain or indoor biking in addition to courses and race activity. You can get additional cycling data with the addition of Garmin Speed and Cadence sensors (sold separately). The barometric pressure based altimeter is very accurate.


For checking pulses at work, I need to be able to monitor seconds and keep the clock function always on. Is that a capability with this watch?

Yes, you can set the watch to keep the current time displayed in hours/minutes/seconds for as long as there is a charge in the battery.


Can this watch function in Nepal or anywhere overseas

Yes, this watch will function anywhere in the world.


I have a few questions I’m a firefighter don’t want to risk damaging my watch  What is the thermal raiting  I have a Fitbit along with my friends we like the group challenges  Does the application work with  Can I mark a trail and follow it days later

The operating temperature range is from -4 degrees to 113 degrees F. Yes, you can mark waypoints (locations) with the watch and navigate to them later. Garmin devices will only be compatible with Garmin Connect, although Fitbit may provide instructions for uploading files to their app or website.


Does the alarm vibrate?

​Yes, you can set the alarm to vibrate and tone or vibrate only.


How do you charge your watch

This watches charges via the included USB cable. The charging port can be found on the underside of the watch next to the optical heart rate sensor.


Are there any preloaded golf courses that work off GPS on this watch like the Garmin Fenix 5x Sapphire? If not, can they be accessed?

The Instinct does not have any golfing features that can be accessed.


does this watch link with strava 

​This watch can connect with the Garmin Connect Mobile app, which can be linked to Strava.


I do mostly kayaking on remote rivers and marshes.  Will this device work well on the water/

This watch has a kayaking profile to track your activity on the water.


Does the altimeter work with GPS turned off?

The barometric pressure based altimeter in this watch can operate with the GPS technology turned off.


Does this watch would with GarminConnect to display turns for a bike ride I've downloaded to my Garmin Edge 1000 using MapMyRide?

​This watch does work with Garmin Connect.

Marathon Trainee

How much does this watch weigh?

​This watch weighs 52 grams.


Does the altimeter ever need to be re-calibrated manually at a known elevation?

​The watch has a pressure-based altimeter that needs to be calibrated at known elevations due to normal changes in barometric pressure.


According to Garmin the Instinct will connect with an inReach Mini. Will it also connect with an InReach Explorer?

​This watch does not connect with the Garmin inReach Explorer.


Will this watch monitor heart rate when swimming?

​Yes, this watch will monitor your heart rate in a pool.


Is the battery replaceable?

The battery on this watch is not user replaceable. We encourage you to contact Garmin directly with inquiries about replacing the batteries.


On one of the watch screens above it shows a musical note. Can you store music on this watch?

You cannot store music on this watch, but you can use it to control music from your smartphone.

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