Garmin stands as a leading authority in the realm of fitness and health tracking, offering an impressive array of smartwatches designed to cater to diverse needs. Whether you’re a backcountry runner, a dedicated triathlete, or a gym enthusiast, Garmin has you covered with their latest models that excel in various fitness disciplines. Our guide serves as your trusted navigator in the world of Garmin watches, presenting the newest and most advanced models available on the market, ensuring you can make an informed choice that aligns perfectly with your health and fitness tracking requirements.

From rugged smartwatches built for extreme outdoor adventures to sleek options designed to support your daily gym routines, our guide simplifies the selection process. We’ve conducted research to identify the best Garmin watches that cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring that you discover the ideal device to elevate your health and fitness journey. Let our guide be your fitness companion, leading you to the best Garmin watch that offers cutting-edge features, precise tracking, and seamless integration into your daily life. With these top-tier wearables, you’ll gain deeper insights into your health and fitness, allowing you to excel in your chosen discipline, whether it’s backcountry running, triathlons, or conquering the gym as a weekend warrior, in 2023 and beyond.

Best overall: Garmin Forerunner 265 – Whitestone/Tidal Blue

Garmin Forerunner 265 - Whitestone/Tidal Blue colorway on a white background.

The Garmin Forerunner 265 is a smartwatch meticulously crafted for runners and fitness enthusiasts. Its dazzling AMOLED touchscreen display seamlessly combines with traditional button controls, all packed into a sleek 46 mm lightweight design. The device effortlessly transitions from everyday wear to hardcore workouts. What really sets the Forerunner 265 apart is its exceptional battery life. It delivers up to 13 days of uninterrupted functionality in smartwatch mode, making it a reliable daily companion. For dedicated athletes, it boasts up to 20 hours of GPS mode, ensuring it can keep pace with your training sessions. Each day starts with a comprehensive morning report, offering insights into your sleep quality, recovery status, training outlook, and even current weather conditions.

For racing enthusiasts, the Forerunner 265 introduces a unique feature that lets you input race details and course information via the Garmin Connect app. This, in turn, tailors personalized daily workout suggestions to prepare you effectively. The watch’s race widget provides real-time updates on your progress and strategy. Training readiness, a pivotal aspect of performance, is meticulously assessed based on sleep quality, recovery data, training load, and HRV status. It helps you discern whether you’re primed for an intense workout or need to prioritize recovery.

With an extensive array of over 30 built-in activity profiles, including running, triathlons, cycling, and open-water swimming, the Forerunner 265 caters to a diverse range of athletes. It adapts to your exercise history and performance, offering valuable insights into your overall effort and training status. Safety features, such as incident detection during select outdoor activities and Assistance, which shares your live location with emergency contacts via your smartphone, elevate the security of your outdoor adventures. Coupled with multi-band GNSS technology and smart notifications, this smartwatch is your ideal companion for both training and everyday life.

Top Reason to Buy: AMOLED touchscreen, remarkable battery life, and a suite of advanced features tailored for athletes. From customized race training plans to in-depth insights into your training readiness, this smartwatch empowers you to optimize your workouts and monitor your progress effectively. Its safety features and smart notifications keep you connected and secure during outdoor activities. For runners and fitness enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive tracking and training solution, the Forerunner 265 stands as the top choice and overall winner for one of the best Garmin watches in 2023.

Best budget: Garmin Forerunner 55 – Black

Garmin Forerunner 55 - Black colored on a white background.

Want all the benefits of some of the best Garmin watches around without having to spend close to half a grand? Then this is the model for you. The Garmin Forerunner 55 is a user-friendly running watch designed to help you maximize your performance and track your progress effortlessly. It offers heart rate monitoring at the wrist (not intended for medical use) and utilizes GPS technology to record the distance, speed, and route of your runs, providing a comprehensive overview of your training sessions. This watch is equipped with a special Bluetooth feature for added convenience.

One of its standout features is the impressive battery life, offering up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode and up to 20 hours in GPS mode. Whether you’re training for a race or just aiming to improve your running, the Forerunner 55 provides valuable tools to help you achieve your goals. The PacePro feature, although not compatible with on-device courses, offers GPS-based pace guidance for your selected course or distance, enabling you to plan your race day strategy effectively.

The Forerunner 55 enhances your training experience with race time predictions, finish time estimates, and a range of built-in activity profiles for various exercises, including running, cycling, swimming, and more. It also focuses on your overall wellness, offering insights such as intensity minutes, fitness age, and all-day respiration tracking. Customization options abound, allowing you to personalize your watch with free watch faces, data fields, apps, and widgets from the Connect IQ Store. Plus, it takes the guesswork out of your workouts by suggesting training sessions tailored to your fitness level, training history, and recovery time.

Top Reason to Buy: With heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and a variety of training tools, it empowers you to make the most of your workouts. The long battery life ensures it stays with you for extended periods, and the PacePro feature helps you strategize effectively for races. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, this running watch offers valuable insights and customization options to enhance your training experience, and you don’t have to break the bank for an overall solid Garmin watch.

Best for triathletes: Garmin Forerunner 955 – Whitestone

Garmin Forerunner 955 - Whitestone color on a white background.

For those who love exploring the terrain where the trail ends, this is the rugged Garmin watch for you. Elevate your fitness regimen with the Forerunner 955, a top-tier GPS smartwatch meticulously designed for dedicated runners and triathletes. This high-performance wearable serves as your ultimate training partner, equipped with a suite of features to enhance your performance and aid in recovery. The training readiness function functions as a virtual coach, notifying you of your optimal training condition. Daily suggested workouts dynamically adapt to your performance and recovery levels, ensuring you’re consistently on the right path. The race widget is a valuable asset, supplying training insights, course particulars, and race completion time forecasts to help you excel in competitions. The morning report offers a comprehensive overview encompassing sleep patterns, recovery status, training progress, and more, while also providing insights into your overall health, including heart rate variability (HRV) status. (Please note that this device provides estimates of activity and metrics.)

On the go, the Forerunner 955 truly shines, boasting multi-band GPS and a full-color, inbuilt map system. These capabilities bolster your confidence whether you’re traversing a familiar route or embarking on uncharted territory. The watch’s user-friendly interface, featuring a combination of traditional buttons and a responsive touch display, ensures seamless access to your training data and informed workout decisions. With an extensive array of functions, encompassing sleep tracking, alarms, timers, phone notifications, music playback, and more, the Forerunner 955 adapts to your versatile lifestyle, spanning activities such as running, cycling, swimming, and hiking. Its robust and water-resistant design guarantees it can keep pace with your active pursuits.

Top Reason to Buy: The ultimate smartwatch tailored for dedicated runners, triathletes, and backcountry exploration. It empowers you with its training readiness feature, adaptive workout suggestions, and race widget, facilitating effective training and peak performance. The morning report delivers valuable health and recovery insights. With advanced GPS and vivid maps, you can confidently explore new routes. The blend of traditional buttons and a responsive touch display ensures effortless access to your training metrics, making it the ultimate fitness companion for serious runners.

Best for fashionistas: Garmin vivomove Style – Silver/Moss

Garmin vivomove Style - Silver/Moss colorway on a white background.

The Garmin vivomove Style is a hybrid smartwatch that seamlessly blends a sophisticated analog aesthetic with advanced smart features. This watch features dual AMOLED color touchscreen displays that appear only when you need them, maintaining its classic look when not in use. With a sleek aluminum watch case and durable Corning Gorilla glass, it combines style and functionality seamlessly. You have the option to choose between stylish silicone or woven Nylon bands, allowing you to personalize your watch to suit your taste.

This smartwatch keeps you connected with smart notifications, enabling you to receive incoming calls, text messages, calendar updates, and more when paired with a compatible smartphone. Beyond basic notifications, it also offers comprehensive health tracking features, monitoring your energy levels, Pulse Ox (not intended for medical diagnosis), respiration, menstrual cycle, stress levels, sleep patterns, estimated heart rate, hydration, and more.

For added convenience, the Garmin vivomove Style includes Garmin Pay, a contactless payment solution that allows you to make purchases using your watch, provided you have supported cards from participating banks. It also connects with your smartphone’s GPS to track outdoor activities like walking or running, and it offers additional activity profiles such as yoga, strength training, and cardio workouts. With the flexibility of 20 mm quick release watch bands, you can effortlessly change your watch’s look to match any occasion. Plus, it boasts impressive battery life, providing up to 5 days in smart mode and an additional week in watch mode (hands tell time only).

Top Reason to Buy: Elegant analog appearance conceals advanced features such as health tracking, smart notifications, and contactless payments. With its customizable bands and dual AMOLED touchscreen displays, it’s a versatile accessory for any occasion. Whether you’re tracking your fitness, staying connected, or making convenient payments, this hybrid smartwatch offers a stylish and practical solution.

Best for backcountry: Garmin fēnix 7 Pro (Solar Edition) – Slate Gray/Black

Garmin Fenix 7 Pro (Solar Edition) - Slate Gray/Black colorway on a white background.

The fēnix 7 Pro Solar stands as the ultimate multisport GPS smartwatch, ready to excel every day. It boasts a sizable 1.3″ display encased within a robust 47 mm fiber-reinforced polymer shell, complete with a steel bezel and rear cover, ensuring its resilience in challenging conditions. Its differentiating feature is the Power Glass solar charging lens, ingeniously harnessing solar energy to bestow weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode. The watch incorporates a built-in LED flashlight with adjustable intensities and strobe modes, ideal for nocturnal training and illumination. New features, including the hill score and endurance score, evaluate your running prowess and overall stamina.

For comprehensive health tracking, the fēnix 7 Pro Solar offers round-the-clock health and wellness monitoring, encompassing HRV status, Pulse Ox (please note it’s not a medical device, and feature availability varies), and advanced sleep analysis. It furnishes a morning report and training readiness insights by harmonizing health and training data. Wrist-based running power, strength training tools, and advanced pacing modes lend a hand in training and race preparations. Enhanced navigation sensors and multi-band GPS featuring SatIQ™ technology deliver heightened accuracy in positioning, alongside prolonged battery life.

This intelligent timepiece supports a wide range of sports with additional activity profiles, from soccer to ice hockey. It facilitates connectivity with smart notifications, music storage, and more when paired with a compatible smartphone. With an extraordinary battery life of up to 22 days in smartwatch mode, complemented by solar charging through 3 hours of direct sunlight per day, and up to 73 hours in GPS mode with solar charging, the fēnix 7 Pro Solar emerges as your steadfast companion for all your adventures.

Top Reason to Buy: Its remarkable battery longevity, boosted by solar charging, ensures it won’t falter during your escapades. Advanced training metrics, such as the hill score and endurance score, contribute to your long-term performance improvement. Complete health and wellness tracking, coupled with in-depth sleep monitoring, render it a priceless tool for overall well-being. The inclusion of preloaded maps for golf courses and ski resorts, in addition to TopoActive maps, simplifies navigation and exploration – making it the ultimate choice for backcountry exploration.